Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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ROBERTS , JOHN ( 1731 - 1806 ; DWB , 865).

He was summoned before Bangor consistory court in Aug. 1765 for keeping a school in Llaniestyn without a licence.

Sources:

  • Bangor diocesan papers, B/CC/C(G)/69 at N.L.W.;
  • Y Traethodydd , 1870 , 464.

Author:

Dr Llewelyn Gwyn Chambers, Bangor

Corrections and additions:

ROBERTS , JOHN ( Siôn Robert Lewis ; 1731 - 1806 ), author, almanack-maker, and hymn-writer ;

b. 1731 at Llanaelhaearn, Caerns. , son of Robert Lewis , farmer , for whom he acted as shepherd in his younger days. Being converted by Howel Harris on the occasion of a visit by the latter to the neighbourhood, he began to exhort with the Calvinistic Methodists . He settled at Holyhead about 1760 , when he obtained a licence from the bishop of Bangor to open a school . He was the author of many works on various subjects; these include Rhai Hymnau , 1760 , which he wrote in conjunction with Richard Jones ; Yr Anedigaeth Newydd , 1762 , a translation of an English pamphlet, The New Birth ; Drych y Cristion , 1766 , which was the second edition of Carwr y Cymru published by T. Gouge and S. Hughes , 1677 ; Hymnau a Chaniadau , 1764 ; Rhyfyddeg neu Arithmetic , 1768 , the first arithmetic book in Welsh ; Geirlyfr Ysgrythurol , 1773 , the first Welsh scriptural dictionary; Caniadau Preswylwyr y Llwch , 1778 ; Yr Athrofa Rad , 1788 . While the books that Roberts wrote, compiled, and issued were good and valuable, his fame rests rather on his ‘ Almanacks ,’ which he commenced to issue about 1761 and continued to publish for the next forty-four years. After his death his son Robert Roberts ( 1777 - 1836 ) (q.v.) published the almanacks until 1837 . In 1766 he m. Margaret Jones , Bodedern , Anglesey , by whom he had six children. He d. 19 Sept. 1806 .

Sources:

  • Y Traethodydd , 1856 ;
  • Enwogion y Ffydd , 1880 , iv;
  • Revue Celtique , 1870–1934 , i;
  • W. Rowlands Cambrian Bibliography , Llanidloes, 1869 ;
  • Geiriadur Bywgraffyddol o Enwogion Cymru , ii, 165-6;
  • Cardiff Free Libraries, Catalogue of Printed Literature in the Welsh Department , 1898 , ii.

Author:

Thomas Isfryn Jones, Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001