Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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WILLIAMS , RICHARD (‘ Gwydderig ’; 1842 - 1917 ; DWB , 1066-7).

B. 16 Feb. 1842 in a cottage called Pen-y-graig , Brynaman . His parents moved to Bryn Hafod later. (Information from John Jenkin Morgan , Glanaman .)


Corrections and additions:

WILLIAMS , RICHARD ( Gwydderig ; 1842 - 1917 ), collier and poet ;

b. Feb. 1842 , the son of Daniel Richard Williams , collier , and Mary , his wife, the daughter of a farmer . Gwydderig was brought up in a house named Bryn Hafod , Brynaman, Glam. He lost his father when he was only a boy and went early to work in a coal mine . He began to contribute poems to Y Gwladgarwr at a time when William Williams ( Caledfryn , q.v.) was editor of the poetry column of that journal. When a depression came to the Brynaman and surrounding districts, Gwydderig went to work in Pennsylvania , U.S.A. After his return he continued to write poems, particularly englynion , and won prizes at national and other eisteddfodau; he became, in fact, known in many parts of Wales as ‘Bardd yr englyn.’ It is said that, in conjunction with Evan Gurnos Jones ( Gurnos , q.v.) , another poet , he began to compile a dictionary giving examples of cynghanedd . It does not appear that a collected edition of his poems was published; they must, therefore, be sought in newspapers and journals of his time — there are some examples in the articles in Y Gen. noted below. He d. 30 March , and was buried 4 April 1917 in the burial ground attached to Gibea chapel , Brynaman .


  • Y Geninen , April and Oct. 1917 ;
  • Amman Valley Chronicle , 5, 12, 19, and 26 April, and 3 and 10 May 1917 ;
  • South Wales Weekly Post , 7 April 1917 ;
  • Western Mail , 24 Jan. 1936.


Sir William Llewelyn Davies, M.A., LL.D., F.S.A. (1887-1952), Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001