The Project Gutenberg eBook, A Biographical Sketch of some of the Most Eminent Individuals which the Principality of Wales has produced since the Reformation, by Robert Williams This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: A Biographical Sketch of some of the Most Eminent Individuals which the Principality of Wales has produced since the Reformation Author: Robert Williams Release Date: March 15, 2012 [eBook #39152] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII) ***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF SOME OF THE MOST EMINENT INDIVIDUALS WHICH THE PRINCIPALITY OF WALES HAS PRODUCED SINCE THE REFORMATION***
Transcribed from the 1836 H. Hughes edition by David Price, email email@example.com
The Rev. ROBERT WILLIAMS, M.A.,
AUTHOR OF AN HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF CONWAY CASTLE.
(To whom the Cymmvodorion awarded a Silver Medal in 1831).
WITH AN ADDENDA,
MEMOIRS OF DR. WILLIAM OWEN PUGHE,
RICHARD LLWYD, THE ANTIQUARIAN, BARDD NANTGLYN,
BARDD CLOFF, AND SEVERAL OTHERS, DERIVED FROM
VARIOUS AUTHENTICATED SOURCES.
H. HUGHES, 15, ST. MARTIN’S-LE-GRAND.
The object of this little work, is, to show to the English reader, that Wales has produced a number of highly talented and distinguished individuals; and the publication might be greatly extended, were it deemed prudent to add the names of those learned men who are still among us.
The publisher will feel obliged for any additional names, which will be inserted in a future edition.
Mr. Williams’s portion may be
had printed in Welsh.
Price one shilling.
William Baxter was born in Wales in the year 1650. In his eighteenth year he was sent to Harrow School, when he could speak no other language but Welsh; he, however, soon acquired English, and triumphantly overcame all these disadvantages, and at the age of twenty-nine he commenced author, with the publication of his “Analogia Linguæ Latinæ.” He afterwards was appointed master of the Mercer’s School, in London. He soon made himself known as an excellent philologist and antiquary, by several learned works, and more particularly his Horace and his Dictionary of British Antiquities, entitled “Glossarium Antiquitatum Britannicarum,” in which he attempted, from his knowledge of the British language, to determine geography by etymology. He died in 1723.
p. 2Lewis Bayly, an eminent prelate, was a native of Caermarthen, and studied at Oxford. He was appointed chaplain to Henry Prince of Wales, son of James the First, to whom he dedicated a religious work, entitled the “Practice of Piety,” which has passed through a vast number of editions. He was rector of St. Matthew’s church, in London, and afterwards bishop of Bangor; and died in 1631. His son,
Thomas Bayly was educated for the church at Cambridge; and during the civil war he resided at Ragland Castle, as chaplain to the Marquis of Worcester; after the surrender of which he travelled on the Continent; and on his return to England he published his “Certamen Religiosum, or a Conference between King Charles the First and Marquis of Worcester, concerning religion, in Ragland Castle, Anno 1646,” which he is supposed to have written to justify his embracing the Roman Catholic religion. He also published the “Royal Charter granted to Kings,” for which he was committed to Newgate. He also published another work, entitled “Herba parietis.” Having made his escape from prison, he died in France in 1659.
Morris Clynog was a native of Caernarvonshire, and was educated at Cambridge, where he graduated L.L.B. He was appointed rector of Corwen sinecure in 1556, and became a prebendary of York, and an officer in the Prerogative Court, under Cardinal Pole, p. 3archbishop of Canterbury, and he was nominated to succeed Dr. William Glynn in the bishopric of Bangor; but the queen dying before he was consecrated, he fled beyond sea, and going to Rome he became, some years after, the first rector of the English hospital there, after it was converted into a college for English students, where he became much noted for his partiality to his countrymen of Wales, which always caused a great faction between the Welsh and English students resident there.
Thomas Coke, the eminent missionary, was the son of a surgeon at Brecon, in South Wales, where he was born in the year 1747. He was educated at the College school at that town, and in due time he was entered a Gentleman Commoner of Jesus College, Oxford. He took the degree of L.L.D. in 1775; and becoming acquainted with Wesley, he supported his opinions with great zeal. He commenced his labours as a missionary in North America in 1784, where he remained for several years in great popularity with the Methodists; but his advocating the cause of the negroes, and his opposition to the inhuman traffic in slaves, brought upon him the indignation of the Americans, and he was obliged to leave the country with precipitancy, and it was with great difficulty that he escaped to England. He afterwards made nine voyages as a missionary to the West Indies with great success, p. 4which must be attributed to his pious zeal and learning, which he has left several works to prove. His character has always been greatly extolled for the judgment which he exhibited in very trying periods, and for the amiableness of his disposition. He died on his voyage to the East Indies in 1814.
Francis Davies, D.D., an eminent and pious prelate, was a native of Wales, and was born in the year 1604. After an academical education, he entered the church; he received various preferment, and in 1660 he was appointed archdeacon of Llandaff. In 1667 he was raised to the bishopric of the same diocese; and died in 1674.
John Davies, D.D., the celebrated Welsh antiquary and learned divine, was born at Llanverras, in Denbighshire, and was educated at Ruthin School, under Bishop Parry. He was entered at Jesus College, Oxford, in 1589, where he graduated. In 1608, he removed to Lincoln College, and took his Doctor’s degree in 1616. Having been appointed chaplain to Bishop Parry, he was made canon of St. Asaph by him; and in 1604, he was presented to the rectory of Mallwyd, and subsequently to those of Llan yn Mowddy and Darowen; and in 1617 to the prebend of Llannfydd, and subsequently to Llanvor sinecure. His character was held in high estimation in Oxford for his proficiency in the Greek and Hebrew languages: p. 5a most exact critic, and an indefatigable searcher of antiquities. His celebrated works are “Antiquæ Linguæ Britannicæ Rudimenta,” 8vo., 1621, and “Dictionarium Britannico-Latinum, and Latino-Britannicum,” which was published in London, 1632, folio. At the end of his dictionary is a good collection of Welsh proverbs. He died in May, 1644, and was buried in the church of Mallwydd, Meirionethshire.
Miles Davies was a native of Whitford, near Holywell, in Flintshire. He was originally intended for the church, but from some unknown cause he left his native country, and went to London, where he subscribed himself barrister at law. Here he commenced author, and published three volumes of his “Athenæ Britannicæ,” in 1715, which contain much curious and valuable knowledge. Very little is now known of his history, but he is supposed to have been unfortunate in his later career as a literary character. It is uncertain when his death took place.
Richard Davies, D.D., was the son of David ap Gronw, and was born in Denbighshire, and educated at New Inn Hall, Oxford. Having entered the church, he became vicar of Burnham, and rector of Maids-morton, Buckinghamshire, which preferment he was deprived of in Queen Mary’s reign, for being married; and he consequently retired to the Continent. On the accession of Queen Elizabeth he returned home, and p. 6was raised by her to the bishopric of St. Asaph, in 1559, from whence he was translated to the see of St. David’s in 1561. This eminent prelate was a man of great learning, and he was employed, with others, in translating the Bible into English, and he translated all from the beginning of Joshua to the end of Samuel. He also translated part of the New Testament into Welsh, particularly some of the Epistles. He published also some other works. He died at the Episcopal Palace of Abergwyli, Caermarthenshire, in 1581.
Thomas Davies, D.D., Bishop of St. Asaph, was a native of Llanbeder, near Aberconwy, Caernarvonshire, where he was born about the year 1515. He received his academical education at St. John’s College, Cambridge. He became rector of his native parish, and was also made archdeacon of St. Asaph, and chancellor of Bangor. In 1561 he was advanced to the bishopric of St. Asaph, where he continued to his death, which took place in 1573. He was a very pious and charitable person, and founded a scholarship in Queen’s College, Cambridge. He bequeathed also considerable sums of money for other pious uses.
Walter Devereux, Earl of Essex, the father of the unfortunate favourite of Queen Elizabeth, was born in Caermarthenshire in the year 1540, and succeeded his grandfather in the titles of Viscount Hereford and Lord Ferrers. His joining the Earl of Lincoln with a p. 7body of troops against the rebels who rose in the North, recommended him to the favour of Queen Elizabeth, who created him Earl of Essex in 1572, and made him a Knight of the Garter. He was afterwards appointed governor of Ulster in Ireland; and his death, which was supposed to have been hastened by poison, by his enemy the Earl of Leicester, took place in Dublin in 1576, leaving the character of a brave soldier, loyal subject, and disinterested patriot.
David Dolben was born at Segrwyd, near Denbigh, in 1581. He was educated at St. John’s College, Cambridge, where he proceeded regularly through his degrees to that of doctor. He became a prebendary of St. Asaph, and vicar of Hackney, in Middlesex; and in 1631 he was raised to the bishopric of Bangor. He died two years after his promotion, in London, and was buried in Hackney church.
William Edwards, one of the most wonderful examples of self-taught genius, was a native of Glamorganshire, where he was born at Eglwysilan, in 1719. At an early age he attracted notice by the neatness of his workmanship, in building walls on his father’s farm; and gradually he arrived at the building of houses and larger structures. Having given great satisfaction to all his employers, he undertook, in 1746, to build a bridge over the river Tav, which was executed and greatly admired; at the end of two years and a half it p. 8was destroyed by a tremendous flood, which carried it away: he immediately commenced a new one, which however was likewise a failure. The third was completed in 1755, and remains a splendid monument of his talent, and is one of the most beautiful in the world; its span is 140 feet; and it exceeds the famed Rialto of Venice, which was supposed to be the largest arch in the world, by 42 feet. He devised several important improvements in the art of bridge building, and the success of his last bridge over the Tav introduced him to public notice; and he was employed to build numerous other bridges in South Wales. He died in 1789. It is rather singular that his son and grandson were equally possessed of the same taste and architectural talent.
Thomas Edwards, better known by his familiar appellation of Twm o’r Nant, was born at Nant, near Denbigh, in the year 1739. He received but a poor education in his youth, and was brought up to no regular trade, but worked as a labourer; his genius however showed itself at an early age, and he gave proofs of his Awen in the composition of a peculiar species of dramatic writing, known in Wales by the name of “Interludes,” which were very common there in the last century. They appear to bear some analogy to the New Comedy of the Athenians, where he satirizes living persons under fictitious names; and although p. 9there are numerous examples of low scurrility and satire, yet they abound with fine strokes of genuine wit, and excellent poetry. He possessed a command of language, and was a good writer when he pleased; a neat specimen of which exists in his Autobiography, in Welsh. He spent his life in various parts of Wales, in different occupations, although he esteemed the acting of his Interludes not the least profitable. He generally bore a part in the exhibiting of his compositions, and gained considerable profit by selling printed copies of them, which he hawked about the country himself. Some of his poetry on various subjects has been published, and two portraits of him. He was a man of great muscular power; and he died in 1810, in the seventy-first year of his age.
John Evans, D.D., was born at Wrexham, in Denbighshire, in 1680. He was an eminent Dissenting divine, and graduated both at Edinburgh and Aberdeen; he was the author of several most excellent sermons on the Christian Temper, which have been admired by divines of every denomination. He for some years was the minister of the congregation of Independents in Petty France, having succeeded Dr. Williams; he was also lecturer for some time at Saddlers’ Hall; and he died of dropsy in 1732.
John Evans, D.D., was born in Llanarmon, Denbighshire. He received his education at Jesus College, p. 10Oxford, where he proceeded through his degrees. Having taken orders, he obtained the living of Llanaelhaiarn, in Carnarvonshire, and in 1701 he was promoted to the bishopric of Bangor, and he was translated thence to the bishopric of Meath, in Ireland, in 1715.
Evan Evans, an eminent divine and poet, better known among his countrymen by the bardic appellation of Ienan Brydydd Hir, was born at Cynhawdrev in Cardiganshire, in the year 1730. He received his education at the grammar school of Ystrad-meurug in the same county, whence he removed to Oxford, and was entered at Merton College in 1751. After leaving college he officiated as curate at several places; and applied himself with great diligence to the cultivation of Welsh literature, and employed his leisure time in transcribing ancient manuscripts; for which purpose he visited most of the libraries in Wales, where manuscripts were known to exist. In the pursuit of his literary labours he for some time enjoyed the patronage of Sir Watkin W. Wynne, and Dr. Warren, Bishop of Bangor. He received an annuity of 20l. from Paul Panton, Esq., of Plasgwyn, in Anglesea, on condition that all his manuscripts should on his death become his property; and in consequence, the whole collection, amounting to a hundred volumes, was deposited in Plasgwyn Library, where they still remain. He published p. 11two volumes of Welsh sermons, and was the author of an English poem, entitled the “Love of our Country;” but his chief work which ranked him high as an antiquary and critic, was a volume of Welsh poems with Latin translations, prefaced by a learned “Dissertatio de Bardis.” The Welsh poems in this volume furnished Gray with matter for some of his most beautiful poetry. Mr. Evans was a man of excellent disposition, and great abilities as a Welsh scholar, but for some reason he never obtained any preferment in the church. He served in succession the curacies of Towyn in Meirion, Llanberis, and Llanllechid in Caernarvonshire. He died suddenly at the place of his birth, in August, 1789.
Richard Fenton, well known as the author of a “Historical Tour through Pembrokeshire;” was born in Wales, and was for several years an eminent member of the Welsh bar. He was also author of other works which were published anonymously, of which “A Tour in search of Genealogy,” and “The Memoirs of an Old Wig,” were highly esteemed as works of great interest, and abounding in wit and anecdote. He was a particular friend of Garrick, Goldsmith, Glover, and other great wits of the day. He translated also the works of Athenæus, which were never published. He died at an advanced age in November, 1821.
John Gambold was born at Haverfordwest about the p. 12year 1706. He received a liberal education, and was entered at Christ Church, Oxford, where he took his degree of Master of Arts in 1734. He was presented to the living of Stanton Harcourt by Archbishop Secker in 1738, which he resigned ten years after, from motives of conscience, having become a convert to the opinions of Zinzerdorf, an account of whose life and character he published. He was appointed by the Moravians one of their bishops, of whom he had become a distinguished member in 1754. While at Oxford, he was the author of a “Sacred Drama,” which was published in 1740, on the subject of the martyrdom of Saint Ignatius; and he superintended an edition of the Greek Testament at the Clarendon press; he translated also a History of Greenland from the Dutch, besides several sermons and other productions. He was a man of blameless morals, deep erudition, and sincere piety; and he was greatly beloved for the amiableness of his manners. He died at Haverfordwest in 1771. He was author of a “Welsh Grammar,” and an able critic in the language.
William Glynn, D.D., was born in 1504, at Malltraeth in Anglesea, and educated at Cambridge, where he became Master of Queen’s College. In 1549, he was presented to the living of St. Martin’s-le-grand, London; and in 1551 he was made rector of his native parish of Heneglwys, and in 1555 he was promoted to the episcopal see of Bangor, where he died in 1558, in p. 13the fifty-fourth year of his age. Fuller, in his Worthies of Wales, gives a high character of this excellent bishop; and he was a man of great natural abilities and learning, and strictly attentive to the duties of his high station.
Edmund Griffith, D.D., was a native of Lleyn in Caernarvonshire, where he was born in 1570. He was educated at Brazen-nose College, Oxford, whence he removed to Jesus College, where he graduated. In 1599, he obtained the rectory of Llandwrog, and the following year he was made canon of Bangor; and after other preferments he was made dean of the same diocese in 1613, and he was promoted to the bishopric in 1633. His death took place in the year 1637.
Elizabeth Griffith, who has distinguished herself in the literary world by several productions, was a native of Wales; she married an Irish gentleman of the name of Richard Griffith, and little is known of her except her works. She first published “Letters of Henry and Frances,” which is supposed to contain the genuine correspondence of herself and her husband before, and for some time after their marriage. She was the author of several dramas, novels, and several other productions, which obtained various success. She died in 1793.
George Griffith, D.D., was born at Penrhyn, Caernarvonshire, in 1601. He was educated at Westminster p. 14School, from whence he was elected student of Christ Church, Oxford, in 1619, where he became an eminent tutor and preacher. He was appointed chaplain to Bishop John Owens, and was by him presented to the rectory of Llanvechain, Montgomeryshire, which he subsequently left for Llanymynech, and he also had the rectory of Llandrinio. In 1631, he was made a canon of St. Asaph. On the commencement of the civil war, he lost his preferment on account of his attachment to the royal cause, to which he rendered good service; but on the Restoration he was rewarded, and raised to the bishopric of St. Asaph. In a convocation of the clergy in 1662, he was an active member in drawing up the Act of Uniformity, and making several alterations in the Liturgy; and he is supposed to have written the form for the baptism of those of riper years. He was also author of some Plain Discourses on the Lord’s Supper. He died in 1666.
John Gwillim was born of an ancient Welsh family in Herefordshire, in 1565. He was educated at Brazen-nose College, Oxford, and became a member of the Herald’s College, London, in which he obtained the appointment of Rouge Croix Pursuivant, in 1617, which was owing to the appearance of his famous work, the “Display of Heraldry,” which first appeared in 1610, and has since gone through several other editions. His death took place in 1621.
p. 15Matthew Gwinne, M.D., was an eminent physician, and was the first professor of medicine on Sir Thomas Gresham’s foundation. The exact year of his birth is uncertain, but he was born in London of Welsh parents; and he received his education at Merchant Tailors’ School, whence he removed to St. John’s, Oxford, of which college he became a fellow. He composed a Masque, which recommended him to King James the First, before whom it was performed in Oxford; and he rose higher in that monarch’s favour by an essay which he wrote against tobacco. He was the author of various other poems and prose works. He died in 1627.
John Hanmer, a member of the ancient family of the same name, living at Hanmer, in Flintshire, was educated at the University of Oxford, where he obtained a fellowship in All Souls College. He subsequently became a prebendary of Worcester, and rector of Bingham, Nottinghamshire. He was appointed chaplain to King James the First, who nominated him bishop of St. Asaph in 1623. He died at Pentre-pont, near Oswestry, in 1629; and bequeathed several sums of money for charitable purposes.
Sir Thomas Hanmer, Baronet, was born in 1676, and succeeded to the title and estates of his uncle Sir John Hanmer, in Flintshire. He was educated at Westminster School, and Christ Church, Oxford. He commenced his parliamentary career in the representation p. 16of the county of Suffolk; and in 1713, he was elected speaker of the House of Commons, which honourable office he held until the end of his parliamentary life, which from its commencement lasted upwards of thirty years. He then withdrew altogether from public life, and turned his attention to literature; he published an elegant edition of Shakspeare in six volumes, quarto, which was printed at Oxford in 1744; and he liberally presented the copyright to the University. He died at his seat in Suffolk in 1746.
Howell Harris was born at Trevecka, in Brecknockshire, in 1714. His parents were in humble circumstances, but they contrived to give him a classical education, and kept him at school until he was eighteen, when his father dying, he was obliged to support himself by giving instruction to a few boys in the neighbourhood, intending at a proper time to enter the established church. In 1735, he went to Oxford, and was entered at St. Mary Hall, where he did not remain to complete his studies. In 1739, he began to traverse Wales, preaching in the open fields and streets according to the tenets which Whitfield was spreading in England, and gaining numerous converts every day. The sect which he introduced is still very great in Wales, and after spending seventeen years in spreading his doctrine, he came to reside permanently at his native town of Trevecka. After an active life, he died in the year 1773.
p. 17John ap Henry was born in Wales in 1559, and was a celebrated character at that period, better known by his assumed title of Martin Marprelate. He was entered at Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he took the degree of B.A. in 1584; he afterwards removed to Oxford, where he graduated M.A.; he preached frequently in both Universities, and gained great reputation, and he afterwards became a notorious Puritan. His embracing the principles of the Brownists, rendered him obnoxious to a vindictive government, to the cruelty of which he afterwards fell a victim. He was prosecuted for some libellous pamphlets which could not be proved against him; and afterwards he was most illegally tried and condemned on a charge of denying the sovereign’s authority, for which he was accordingly executed. He was a man of great talent and learning, but his productions are chiefly political tracts which related to that period.
Matthew Henry was the son of Philip Henry, an eminent Nonconformist, and he was born at Broad Oak, in Flintshire, in the year 1663. He was early instructed by his father in the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew languages, in which he made great proficiency, and being originally intended for the bar, he was entered at Gray’s Inn; but his great predilection for divinity induced him to leave that profession, and for twenty-five years he was the zealous pastor of a Dissenting p. 18congregation in Chester. In 1702, he removed to Hackney, where he paid the most sedulous attention to the duties of his ministry; he remained there until his death, which took place in 1714, of a stroke of apoplexy. His numerous works are a proof of his deep learning, and he enjoyed great popularity both as an author and a preacher; his chief work is an Exposition of the Bible, in five volumes, folio, which has gone through numerous editions.
Edward Herbert, Lord Herbert of Cherbury, eminent for his character and writings, was the son of Richard Herbert, Esq., of a very ancient family, and was born at Montgomery Castle, in North Wales, in 1581. His proficiency was so great in his early education that he was entered at University College, Oxford, at the age of twelve. In 1600, he came to London, and being introduced at court, he became a Knight of the Bath soon after the accession of James the First. After spending his time in visiting various courts of Europe, and serving for some time under the Prince of Orange in the Low Countries, in 1614, he was sent on an embassy to the court of France; and having been recalled, he was sent ambassador a second time, and while there he printed at Paris his famous book “De veritate prout distinguitur a Revelatione.” In 1625, he returned home, and was created an Irish Peer, and afterwards an English Baron. He afterwards p. 19retired from public life, and upon the breaking out of the civil war, he joined the parliamentary party, but he soon quitted it, and joined the royal cause, and consequently he was a great sufferer in his estate. He died in London, in 1648, and was buried in St. Giles’s-in-the-fields. He wrote the Memoirs of his own Life, which were not published until the year 1764, by Lord Oxford. The character of this distinguished nobleman was brave, generous, and disinterested.
George Herbert, younger brother of Lord Herbert, distinguished himself as a poet and divine; he also was born at Montgomery Castle, in 1593. He was educated at Westminster School, and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he obtained a fellowship; and in 1619, he was chosen public orator. Having taken orders, he applied himself with great assiduity to the duties of his profession, and the first benefice which he received was a prebend in the diocese of Lincoln, and the parish church connected with it was rebuilt mostly at his own expense. He subsequently obtained the rectory of Bemerton, near Salisbury. His death took place in February, 1633. He published the “Country Parson,” and he was the author of the “Temple,” which contains poems on sacred subjects, besides other minor pieces.
James Howel, the author of the popular and interesting “Epistolæ Hoelianæ,” was the son of a p. 20clergyman, and born in Caermarthenshire, in 1596. He took his degree of bachelor of arts in Jesus College, Oxford, in 1613. When he left the University, he was appointed, through the interest of Sir Robert Mansel, to superintend a patent glass manufactory in London, which had been established by some men of rank. In 1619, he commenced a tour on the Continent in the service of his employers, and during the three years that he continued abroad, he visited Holland, Spain, France, and Italy; in Venice he engaged some workmen for his manufactory, for the Venetians were at that time very famous for their skill in casting plate-glass. Soon after his return to England he was elected fellow of Jesus College, and travelled abroad again with the son of Lord Altham. He afterwards had the office of secretary to Lord Scrope, then president of the North, and was elected member of parliament for Richmond, and subsequently he was appointed secretary to the English Ambassador, the Earl of Leicester, in Denmark. In 1640, he was made clerk of the council, which he did not long retain by reason of Cromwell’s usurpation. His works are numerous, and he was the first who held the office of Historiographer, which he obtained on the Restoration. He died in 1666.
William Hughes, D.D., was a native of Caernarvonshire, and was educated partly at Oxford, whence he removed to Christ’s College, Cambridge. He was p. 21chaplain to the Duke of Norfolk, and he took his degrees of divinity in Oxford, having been incorporated from Cambridge. He was afterwards rector of Llysfaen in Caernarvonshire, and in 1573, he was consecrated Bishop of St. Asaph. He died in 1600.
Humphrey Humphreys, D.D., was born at Penrhyn-dau-draeth, Merionethshire, in 1648. He received his education at the free grammar schools of Oswestry and Bangor, and in 1665, he was admitted a member of Jesus College, Oxford, where he obtained a scholarship, and afterwards a fellowship; he proceeded regularly through his degrees, and became rector of Llanvrothen, which he left in 1672 for the living of Trawsfynydd. Having been made a canon of Bangor, he was installed dean of the same cathedral in 1680, and in 1689, he was raised to the bishopric, from which he was translated to the see of Hereford in 1701. His death took place in 1712. He was a person of excellent virtues during the whole course of his life, and an example of piety, and strictly attentive to the duties of his high station.
George, Lord Jefferies, Baron Wem, was the son of John Jefferies, Esq., of Acton, in Denbighshire, where he was born in the beginning of the seventeenth century. He received his education at Shrewsbury School, and Westminster, and was entered at the Middle Temple to study law. His father’s family being p. 22large, his allowance was consequently very scanty, but his industry and ingenuity supplied all deficiencies. On commencing his professional career, he was made a citizen of London through the interest of a relation; and he was subsequently chosen recorder of the corporation. This high station recommended him to the notice of the court, and furthered his advancement. He was appointed successively a Welsh Judge, and Chief Justice of Chester, and created a baronet. Having been appointed Chief Justice of the King’s Bench, he was employed to prosecute the adherents of the Duke of Monmouth, which office he executed with great cruelty, and for his zeal in this service he was rewarded by the vindictive and cold-hearted James with the post of Lord High Chancellor. It is acknowledged, however, that he showed himself an able and impartial judge in cases which were not connected with politics. On the accession of William the Third, he was committed to the Tower, where he died in April, 1689. He was succeeded in his title and estates by his only son, whose daughter was married to Earl Pomfret; and after his death, she presented the noble collection, known by the name of Pomfret marbles, to the University of Oxford.
William Lleyn was a very celebrated Welsh bard, and flourished in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. He was a native of Llangain in Lleyn, in Caernarvonshire. He excelled all the bards of his time in sublimity of p. 23thought and poetic fire, and was much admired for the sprightliness of his wit. His compositions are remarkable for grave sentences, and maxims of policy and wisdom. He had a poetical contest with Owain Gwynedd, a contemporary bard, which is still extant, besides several other pieces which have never been published. He died at Oswestry.
David Jenkins was born at Hensol, in Glamorganshire, in 1586. He was educated at Edmund Hall, Oxford, and entered at Gray’s Inn. Being called to the bar, he was subsequently made a Welsh Judge, and continued in this office until he was taken prisoner by the parliamentary forces at Hereford, and imprisoned in the Tower of London. Having rendered himself obnoxious to the parliament, in consequence of his having condemned, when judge, several who had taken arms against the King, he was brought before the House of Commons; whose authority he denied, and called the whole assembly a den of thieves; being provoked by this language, they voted him guilty of high treason, and sentenced him to be hanged; on which he undauntedly observed that he would suffer with the Bible under one arm and Magna Charta under the other. He escaped however this punishment, but was fined 1,000l. for contempt, and his estates were confiscated. He was committed to Newgate, where he remained until the Restoration; but it does not appear p. 24that he obtained any reward for his courage and fidelity from the forgetful Charles. He died in 1667, at Cambridge.
Sir Leoline Jenkins, L.L.D., was born in 1623, at Llantrisaint, in the county of Glamorgan, and was educated at Jesus College, Oxford. When the civil war broke out, he took arms for the King, and upon the failure of the royal cause he left the kingdom. On the Restoration he returned to Jesus College, and was elected fellow, and in 1661, he became the principal. He was afterwards admitted an advocate at Doctors’ Commons; and with other eminent civilians he was appointed to review the maritime laws, and to compile a body of rules for the adjudication of prizes, which became the standard of the Court of Admiralty. He was made judge of the same court in 1665, and in 1668, of the Prerogative Court in Canterbury. He was likewise sent on an embassy to the Dutch. On his return he was chosen member for the University of Oxford, sworn of the privy council, and appointed secretary of state, which office he resigned in 1684. On the accession of James, he was again elected member for Oxford, but was prevented by ill health from sitting in that parliament, and died in 1685. His letters and papers were collected and published by W. Wynne, in two folio volumes; and all his estate was bequeathed by him for charitable uses, and chiefly to Jesus College.
p. 25Thomas Johnes was born of an ancient Welsh family in Ludlow, in 1748. He was educated at Eton, and Jesus College, Oxford, where he proceeded to his Master’s degree. He was the proprietor of the estate of Havod, in Cardiganshire, where he built a splendid mansion, and occupied himself there in planting trees, and otherwise improving his property. He also devoted himself to literary pursuits, the fruits of which are elegant editions of the “Chronicles of Froissart and Monstrelet,” and several other works, all of which he himself translated from the French, and printed at his own establishment at Havod. He first obtained a seat in parliament for the borough of Cardigan, and afterwards for the county of Radnor; he was likewise auditor for Wales, and colonel of the Caermarthenshire militia. In 1807, his library, consisting of the finest typographical productions, and containing a number of valuable Welsh manuscripts, was burnt in a fire which nearly destroyed the whole house. He died in 1816.
Edward Jones, D.D., was born near the town of Montgomery, and was educated at Westminster School, whence he was elected to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was chosen fellow in 1667. He became master of Kilkenny College, and dean of Lismore, in Ireland, and was made bishop of Cloyne, and in 1692 he was translated to the see of St. Asaph. His translation p. 26to this diocese was entirely owing to his being a native of the country. He died at Westminster in 1703.
[For an account of Edward Jones, Bardd y Brenin,—see Addenda.]
Owen Jones, the distinguished Welsh antiquary, whose name will be ever associated with the Welsh language, was born in Llanvihangel Glyn-y-myvyr, Denbighshire, in 1741. In early life he removed to London, and entered the employment of an eminent furrier, whom he eventually succeeded. Being enthusiastically interested in the antiquities of his native country, he devoted a great portion of his time to the collecting of Welsh manuscripts; and the result of his disinterested patriotism has been the publication of the “Archaiology of Wales,” in three volumes, entirely at his own expense. He also procured transcripts of ancient Welsh poetry, amounting to fifty volumes, quarto, which invaluable collection is now deposited in the Cymmrodorion Library, in London. He published the works of the famous poet, Davydd ap Gwilym, and also “Dihewyd y Cristion.” In 1772, Mr. Jones, formed the Gwyneddigion Society, for the purpose of patronizing the Bards of Wales, and promoting the study of the Welsh language; and this excellent society annually offers prize medals, and other rewards for compositions on various subjects. After a most useful and active life, p. 27this amiable man, whose zeal was only equalled by his private worth, died at his house in Thames-street, London, September, 1814, in the seventy-third year of his age.
Inigo Jones, whose proper name was Ynyr, which in his travels in Italy, he Italianized into Inigo, was born at Llanrwst, Denbighshire, about the year 1572. Being originally destined for a mechanical employment, he emerged from obscurity by dint of talent, which recommended him to the Earl of Pembroke, a great patron of the fine arts, who also supplied him with the means of visiting Italy, for the purpose of studying landscape painting. While at Venice, the works of Paladio inspired him with a taste for architecture, in the practice of which he arrived at unrivalled excellence. His reputation recommended him to the notice of Christiern the Fourth, King of Denmark, who bestowed on him the post of first architect. Having returned to England, he was appointed architect to the Queen, and Prince Henry, and afterwards to the Board of Works. His acknowledged taste in classical architecture obtained for him sufficient employment from court, and many of the nobility and gentry, so that he realized a handsome fortune. Many proofs exist of the elegant taste of this great architect; and he was also commissioner for the repairing of St. Paul’s Cathedral, all of which was ruined by the great fire; p. 28but it was subsequently rebuilt after Jones’s original design. During the civil war he was forced to pay a fine on account of his known attachment to the royal family; and being distressed at the ruin of the royal cause, and worn down with suffering and old age, he died in July, 1652. He was a good geometrician, and well skilled in various branches of literature and science; but as an author he only published a curious treatise, to attempt to prove that Stonehenge was a Roman temple.
John Jones, L.L.D., an eminent divine and philologist, was a native of Caermarthenshire. He was educated at the Dissenting College of Hackney; and he became tutor in several Dissenting academies successively in Wales and England. He finally settled in London, where he spent his time in editing his numerous works; among the most popular of which are his “Greek and English Lexicon,” and his “Grammar,” both Greek and Latin, besides other works on education; and he likewise was held in great esteem as a private tutor. He died in London in 1827.
William Jones, an eminent mathematician, was born in the Isle of Anglesey in 1680. At a very early age he applied himself diligently to the study of mathematics; and in his twenty-second year he published a “Compendium of the Art of Navigation,” which was much approved of. He began his career in teaching p. 29these sciences on board of a man-of-war; and he was present at the capture of Vigo. On his return to England, he gave instructions in the mathematics in London, and having attracted the notice of some influential men, he was appointed by Lord Hardwicke secretary of the peace. He enjoyed the friendship of the great mathematicians and writers of the age, among whom were Newton, Halley, Head, and Dr. Johnson. He was member of the Royal Society, and then vice-president. He was author of several valuable papers on mathematics, which were published in the Philosophical Transactions. He died of a polypus in the heart in July, 1749.
Sir William Jones, the celebrated oriental scholar, was the son of the subject of the preceding article, and was born in London, September, 1746. He received his early education at Harrow School, where he was sent in his eighth year. He very soon attracted the notice of the masters by his splendid genius; and in 1764, he was entered at University College, Oxford. While here, he supported, at his own expense, a native of Aleppo, for the purpose of acquiring the true pronunciation of the Arabic. And having undertaken the office of tutor to Lord Althorpe, he went with him to the German Spa, where he perfected himself in the German language; and on his return, he distinguished himself by translating the “Life of Nadir Shah” into French, p. 30which language he wrote with much elegance. He obtained a college fellowship, and afterwards entered himself as a law student in the Temple. In 1772, he published some poems, and in the same year was elected a fellow of the Royal Society; and in 1774, he was called to the bar; about two years after, he was made commissioner of bankrupts. In the mean time, he published several works, chiefly in oriental literature, which excited the admiration of the world; and at the same time he was advancing rapidly in professional reputation. In an election for the University of Oxford he offered himself as a candidate, where, however, though respectably supported, he did not succeed. On the accession of the Shelburne administration, he obtained what had long been the summit of his ambition—the appointment of Judge in the Supreme Court of Judicature in Bengal, to which he was nominated in 1783, and received the honour of knighthood. He married Miss Shipley, the daughter of the Bishop of St. Asaph; and in the same year he arrived at Calcutta. While in India, he wrote numerous translations from the Hindostanee, and formed there a society, similar to the Royal Society of London, of which he was chosen the first president. He next undertook to compile a complete digest of the Hindoo and Mohammedan laws, which was not however completed by him. In 1794, he was seized with an inflammation of the p. 31liver, and died on the 27th of April, in the forty-eighth year of his age. Few men have died more respected and lamented than Sir William Jones: his genius and profound learning had attracted the praise of all; and as a linguist, he has not been surpassed, for he knew no less than twenty-nine languages, and most of them critically. All his works were collected and published by his widow, in six volumes, quarto.
Lloyd, Lord Kenyon, was born in Gredington, Flintshire, in 1732. He was the second son of a gentleman of independent fortune, and was originally intended to be brought up as a solicitor, and he was under the instruction of an eminent lawyer at Nantwich. In consequence of the death of an elder brother, he was entered at the Middle Temple, and after being called to the bar, he attended various circuits before he obtained any practice, which caused him to despair of succeeding in his profession, and think of applying himself to divinity, and taking orders. Active attention, however, and indefatigable industry, brought him at length to notice and extensive practice. He confined himself afterwards entirely to the Court of Chancery, where he obtained the most distinguished celebrity, although he ranked high as a common lawyer. He conducted the defence of Lord George Gordon, when he was tried for high treason. In 1780 he was appointed Lord Chief Justice of Chester, and he twice filled the p. 32office of Attorney-general. On the death of Sir John Sewell, he accepted the office of Master of the Rolls, and in 1788 he succeeded Lord Mansfield as Lord Chief Justice of the King’s Bench, where he gave the greatest satisfaction by his integrity and able administration of justice. He died in 1802, in his seventieth year.
David Lloyd, L.L.D., was born at Llanidloes, Montgomeryshire, in the year 1603. He was entered at the age of fourteen at All Soul’s College, Oxford, where he afterwards became a fellow. Having taken orders, he obtained the rectory of Trevdraeth, in Anglesea, in 1641, which he resigned on his presentation to Llangynhaval in the following year, and became successively vicar of Llanvair, in Dyfryn Clwyd, and warden of Ruthin, and prebendary of Chester; out of all of which he was ejected after the breaking out of the civil war, and for his loyalty he was a great sufferer. On the accession of Charles the Second, he was restored to his benefices, and promoted to the deanery of St. Asaph in 1660. He was esteemed an ingenious man, and a good poet; and he published several pieces which were prized for their wit. He died at Ruthin in September, 1663.
David Lloyd, M.A., was born at Trawsvynydd, Merionethshire, in 1635, and educated at Ruthin School. He removed thence to Oriel College, Oxford, p. 33where he graduated, and obtained a college living. He subsequently retired to Wales, where he was appointed chaplain to Bishop Barrow, who, besides other preferment, gave him a canonry in the diocese of St. Asaph. He was afterwards vicar of Northop, where he resided for several years; he published several works, of which the principal are “Worthies of the World,” 1665, octavo; “Memories of Statesmen and Favourites of England,” octavo. He was zealous and industrious in the discharge of his clerical duties, and esteemed by all for his charitable disposition. On finding his health decaying, he retired to the place of his nativity, where he died in 1691.
Henry Lloyd was the son of a clergyman in Wales, where he was born in 1729. His early education he received from his father, who instructed him in the classics and mathematics. Being intended for the army, he went abroad, and was at the battle of Fontenoy; he afterwards travelled in Germany, and resided in Austria for some years, where he was appointed aid-de-camp to Marshal Lascy, and received higher promotion. In 1760 he commanded a large detachment of cavalry and infantry, which was destined to observe the motions of the Prussians. He executed this service with great success; but soon after, for some reason, he threw up his commission in disgust. He was next employed by the King of Prussia, and p. 34served in two campaigns until the peace. On the breaking out of the war between the Turks and Russians, he offered his services to Catherine the Second, who made him a major-general, and he greatly distinguished himself at the seige of Silistria in 1774, and subsequently he had the command of 30,000 men in the war with Sweden. After his return to England, he published several works on military tactics, which are highly thought of, and placed him in a high rank as a military writer. He died at Huy, in the Netherlands, in 1783.
Hugh Lloyd, D.D., was a native of South Wales, where he was born in the year 1589, and having been brought up for the church, and having received an University education, he became rector of Llangatoc, in Breconshire, and archdeacon of St. David’s. In 1660 he was advanced to the bishopric of Llandav, where he continued until his death, which took place in 1667, and he was buried in his cathedral.
Humffrey Lloyd, D.D., was born in 1610, at Trawsvynydd, Merionethshire. He received an academical education; and having taken orders, he became in time, a prebendary of York, and vicar of Rhiwabon, in Denbighshire, and likewise a prebendary of Chester; out of which he was ejected in the great rebellion; but living to be restored in 1660, he was made canon of St. Asaph the following year, and in 1667 dean of p. 35the same cathedral; in 1673 he was raised to the bishopric of Bangor. He was a great benefactor to his cathedral, and greatly increased the revenues of his see. He died in 1688.
John Lloyd, D.D., was a native of Caermarthenshire, where he was born in 1638. He was entered at Merton College, Oxford, whence he removed to Jesus College, where he graduated, and of which in time he became prebendary. He also discharged the office of vice-chancellor in that University with great satisfaction, and was held in high esteem for his piety and learning. In 1686 he was promoted to the bishopric of St. David’s, but by reason of ill health he removed to Oxford, and died at Jesus College in 1687.
Nicholas Lloyd, an eminent divine, and philological writer, was born in Flintshire in 1634. He received his education at Winchester School, and Wadham College, Oxford, where he obtained a fellowship. He was for some years rector of Newington Butts, near London, to which he had been appointed by the Bishop of Worcester, to whom he was chaplain. He died there in 1680. He published an excellent and highly esteemed “Historical and Geographical Dictionary,” in Latin, which has been the basis of many similar compilations.
William Lloyd, D.D., an eminent prelate, was the son of the Rev. Richard Lloyd, Rector of Tilehurst, p. 36Berks, who came from Henblas, in Anglesea, and was born at his father’s living in 1627. At the early age of eleven he was entered at Oriel College, Oxford, whence he removed to New College, and subsequently to Jesus College, where he became successively a scholar and fellow. Having taken orders in 1648, he was presented to the rectory of Bradfield, Berks, in 1654, which he afterwards resigned. He was appointed chaplain to Charles the Second, and prebendary of Salisbury, then rector of St. Mary’s, in Reading, and archdeacon of Merioneth; four years after, he was made dean of Bangor. After various other preferment, he was advanced to the bishopric of St. Asaph in 1680. He was one of the seven bishops who were committed to the Tower for subscribing and presenting a petition to King James, deprecating his assumed power of suspending the laws against popery. Bishop Lloyd having heartily concurred in the Revolution, was appointed lord almoner to King William, and in 1692 he was translated to Lichfield and Coventry, and thence in 1699 to Worcester. His writings, which relate to history and divinity are greatly prized, and are distinguished for the learning and acute judgment exhibited in them. He died in 1717.
William Lloyd, D.D., was a native of Wales, and was educated at St. John’s College, Cambridge, and graduated there. Having taken orders, he obtained p. 37various preferment, and in 1675 he was made bishop of Llandaff, from whence he was translated to Peterborough in 1679, and thence in 1685 to the see of Norwich, out of which he was ejected for not taking the oath to King William and Queen Mary. He retired to Hammersmith, near London, where he died in 1710.
Edward Llwyd, M.A., an eminent British antiquary and naturalist, was a native of Cardiganshire, where he was born about 1670. At the age of seventeen, he was entered at Jesus College, Oxford, where he graduated. He succeeded Dr. Plot, the keeper of the Ashmolean Museum, and applied himself with great diligence to the study of the language of the early Britons, and for that purpose he travelled in the countries where it still remained. After having visited Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall, and Bretagne, and making himself perfect in the various dialects, he published the results of his accurate observations in the “Archæologia Britannica,” which was the first volume of a series on a great plan, which he did not live to carry on; and his death taking place before the ample materials which he had provided were properly arranged for the press, the whole of his manuscripts were sold to Sir Thomas Sebright, but not before Jesus College and the University had refused to purchase them. They subsequently came to the possession of Colonel Johnes, of p. 38Havod, and were mostly burnt in the fire which nearly destroyed that gentleman’s mansion. He died in 1709. He was also author of “Lithophylacii Britannici Ichnographia,” and a catalogue of the manuscripts in the Ashmolean Museum, besides several papers published in the Philosophical Transactions.
Humfrey Lloyd, M.A., a learned antiquary and historian, was born in the town of Denbigh in 1527. He was entered a gentleman commoner of Brazen-nose College, Oxford, where he graduated in 1551, and studied medicine. He returned to his native place, where he practised his profession, and also represented it in parliament. He was highly esteemed by Camden, and the geographer Ortelius, to whom he addressed his “Commentarioli Britannicæ descriptionis fragmentum,” published at Cologne in 1572. He also translated Caradog of Llancarvan’s “History of Cambria,” which was edited by Dr. Powel, in 1584, quarto, and he was author of a letter “De Monâ Druidum Insulâ antiquitati suæ restitutâ.” He died in 1568.
Christopher Love, an eminent Presbyterian divine, was born at Caerdiff, in 1618. He was originally intended for trade, and was apprenticed in London; but his father was persuaded afterwards to give him an University education, and accordingly he was entered at New-Inn Hall, Oxford, where he proceeded in due order to his degrees of bachelor and master of arts, p. 39and entered the church. Upon his refusal to subscribe to the canons which were enjoined by Archbishop Laud, he was expelled the congregation of masters. Upon the establishment of the Presbyterian government, he was ordained to preach at St. Mary’s, Aldermanbury; and he was one of the commissioners appointed by parliament at the treaty of Uxbridge. He was one of the London ministers who signed a declaration against putting the King to death, and subsequently he took an active share in a conspiracy to place Charles the Second on the throne, which was detected by the vigilance of Cromwell; and Mr. Love was tried, and beheaded on Tower-hill in August, 1651.
Richard Lucas, D.D., an excellent divine, and classical scholar, was born at Presteign, Radnorshire, in 1648. He received an University education at Jesus College, Oxford, where he graduated. In 1683 he was elected by the parishioners to the lectureship of St. Olave’s, Southwark, and the vicarage of St. Stephen’s, Coleman-street. He obtained afterwards a stall in Westminster, which he held for nineteen years. His writings consist of sermons and various other theological works.
Francis Mansel was the third son of Sir Francis Mansel, of Muddlescomb, Caermarthenshire, where he was born in 1588. He was educated at Hereford School, and Jesus College, Oxford. He became a fellow of All p. 40Souls, and in 1620 he was elected principal of Jesus College. He was ejected from his office at the parliamentary visitation in 1648, and he retired to Wales, where he assisted the royal cause with his greatest exertions, and consequently exposed himself to the persecutions of the parliamentary party. He was a very great benefactor to his college, and considerably increased its revenues, and he obtained besides for it a valuable library. He died in May, 1665.
Henry Maurice, D.D., an eminently learned and talented divine, was born in 1648, at Llangristiolus, in Anglesea. He was sent to Jesus College, Oxford, in his sixteenth year, where his abilities and great merit recommended him to the notice of the principal, Sir Leoline Jenkins, who made him a scholar of the college, and afterwards fellow. When Sir Leoline was sent on an embassy to Cologne, he appointed Mr. Maurice to be his chaplain, in which station he gave the greatest satisfaction by his diligent attention to his duties; and on his return to England, he became acquainted with Dr. Lloyd, afterwards bishop of St. Asaph, who recommended him to Archbishop Sancroft, and he was appointed his chaplain, and soon after rector of Newington, and prebendary of Chichester. He published some treatises against popery; and in 1691 he was elected Lady Margaret’s professor of p. 41divinity in Oxford. He died suddenly in 1693, at Newington. It was observed when Dr. Maurice was appointed chaplain to the Archbishop, that several of the highest offices in church and state had been filled by Welshmen. Dr. Dolben was Archbishop of York, Dr. Lloyd Bishop of St. Asaph, Sir George Jefferies Lord Chancellor, Sir Leoline Jenkins Secretary of State, Sir Thomas Jones Lord Chief Justice, Sir John Trevor Master of the Rolls, and Sir William Williams Speaker of the House of Commons.
Thomas Maurice, the celebrated orientalist, was a member of a respectable Welsh family. On the death of his father, who had been a master in Christ’s Hospital for twenty-six years, Thomas, the eldest of six children, was admitted on the foundation there, but he was afterwards removed to various seminaries in the country for the benefit of his health; the last of which was the celebrated one of Dr. Parr’s, at Stanmore-hill. At the age of nineteen he was entered at St. John’s College, Oxford, whence he subsequently removed to University College, and here he commenced author at an early period, by publishing a translation of “Sophaclis Ædipus Tyrannus,” which gained him great credit; this was soon followed by some other pieces of verse and prose. On taking orders, he obtained the curacy of Woodford, in Essex, and afterwards he purchased a chaplaincy in the ninety-seventh p. 42regiment. In 1783 he commenced the arduous undertaking of his “History of India,” the various volumes of which appeared successively at different times—the last in 1804. He was presented by Earl Spencer to the vicarage of Wormleighton, in Warwickshire, in 1799; and the appointment of assistant librarian to the British Museum was also bestowed upon him; and in 1804 he was presented to the living of Cudham, Kent, by the Lord Chancellor. He died at his rooms in the Museum, March 30th, 1824. Besides his great works on India, he was the author of numerous poems, dissertations, and other miscellanies, all of which ranked him high as a literary character.
Rowland Meyrick, L.L.D., was born at Bodorgan, in Anglesea, in 1505. He was educated at Oxford, where he subsequently became principal of New-Inn Hall; and after holding various preferments, he was advanced to the bishopric of Bangor in 1559, where he died in 1565.
Sir Hugh Middleton, well known as the maker of the New River, London, was the son of Richard Middleton, Esq., governor of Denbigh Castle, under Edward the Sixth, Mary, and Elizabeth. Having settled in London as a goldsmith, he made several successful speculations in some mines in Cardiganshire, and became an alderman. Observing the scarcity of good water in London, he took entirely upon himself to p. 43supply the metropolis with a stream of pure water; for the corporation, with all its wealth, conceiving the undertaking to be too difficult, refused to have any share in it. He, however, patriotically persevered; and after almost the ruin of his own fortune, he succeeded in obtaining assistance from the King for a share, and it was completed. The water was let in before an immense concourse on Michaelmas-day, in 1613. He was knighted, and in 1622 he was created a baronet. His death took place in 1631.
Robert Morgan, D.D., was born at Llandysilio, Montgomeryshire, in 1608. He was entered at Jesus College, and thence he removed to St. John’s College, Cambridge, where he graduated. Having taken orders, he became chaplain to Bishop Dolben, who preferred him, in 1632, to the vicarage of Llanwnog, Montgomeryshire, and rectory of Llangynhaval. He was afterwards prebendary of Chester, vicar of Llanvair, Denbighshire, and rector of Trevdraeth, and Llandyvnan, in Anglesea; out of all which he was ejected during the usurpation of Cromwell, during which he was a great sufferer for his loyalty. In 1660 he was restored to his benefices, and was promoted to the archdeaconry of Meirioneth; and in 1666 he was raised to the bishopric of Bangor. He died in 1673, and was buried in his cathedral, which had been greatly improved at his cost.
p. 44William Morgan, D.D., the first translator of the Bible into the Welsh language, was born at Penmachno, Caernarvonshire, and was educated at St. John’s College, Cambridge. He was vicar of Welsh-pool, in Montgomeryshire, and obtained other preferment. Having occasion to go to London to see Archbishop Whitgift, his grace conceived a high opinion of his abilities, and appointed him his chaplain. At the Archbishop’s desire, he undertook a translation of the Bible into Welsh, which was published in 1588, black letter, folio. The New Testament was only corrected by him from a translation by William Salusbury, a Denbighshire gentleman, who first published the Epistles and Gospels for the whole year, in Edward the Sixth’s time. Queen Elizabeth rewarded Dr. Morgan with the bishopric of Llandaff, in 1595, and he was translated to the see of St. Asaph in 1601. He died in 1604.
Hugh Morris, one of the first of Welsh poets, was born at Pont-y-Meibion, in Denbighshire, in the year 1622. Being a younger son, he was apprenticed by his father, who was a respectable freeholder, to a tanner in Flintshire. He did not carry on his trade, but lived a life of retirement in the cultivation of his talent for poetry, of which he has left us splendid memorial. The productions of his pen are numerous; and these valuable poems have been patriotically collected p. 45and published by an eminent Welsh scholar and divine, in two volumes. Hugh Morris, on the breaking out of the civil war, was a stanch friend to royalty, and he exerted all the powers of his pen in its support, and there is no doubt but that his writings had great influence over the minds of the common people, ever attached to poetry. His satirical poems, where he lashes the religious cant and vile hypocrisy of the times, are unequalled for the keen wit and cutting irony, which he handles in so masterly a manner. He was universally esteemed for his great abilities and excellent character, and always exercised his influence in behalf of justice and benevolence, and in the furtherance of religion. He died at the place of his birth in 1709, in the eighty-seventh year of his age.
Lewis Morris, an eminent poet and antiquary, was born in the Isle of Anglesea in the year 1702. In his youth he received but a slender education; but, however, he and three other brothers, through self-instruction, and cultivation of their natural talent, became eminent characters in various branches of knowledge and science. He was chiefly employed in the service of government; and in 1737 he was appointed by the admiralty to survey the coast of Wales, which he accomplished with great satisfaction, and an account of it was published in 1748. At the same period he had the appointment of the surveyorship of the crown lands p. 46in Wales, and in 1750 he had the additional offices of superintendent and agent of the King’s mines in the principality. He was a very good poet in his native language, and several of his productions have been published. As an antiquary he was eminently skilful, and it is greatly to be lamented that a valuable work entitled “Celtic Remains,” which he left in manuscript, has never been sent to the press, as his acute and learned remarks would be a great addition to illustrate our national antiquities. He collected about eighty volumes of Welsh manuscripts, which are now deposited in the Welsh School Library, in London. He died in 1765, in Cardiganshire.
Goronwy Owen, A.M., was born about the year 1722, at Llanvair Mathavarn Eithav, in Anglesea. His parents being in a humble condition, were not able to bestow upon him a proper education in his youth, but his great abilities and industry overcame every obstacle. He was at a respectable seminary at Pwllheli, where he became second master, and from thence he removed to Oxford. He was ordained deacon in 1745, and for a short time he held the curacy of his native parish, where he enjoyed great happiness among his friends and early acquaintances. He was obliged to resign this, to make room for a friend of the bishop’s chaplain, who had appointed him to it, and this took place with the bishop’s sanction. He next removed p. 47to the neighbourhood of Oswestry, and soon after he was appointed curate of Oswestry. In the year 1748, he became curate of Donington, in Shropshire, where he kept also a school in order to add to his small income, and support an increasing family. Here he composed “Cowydd y Varn,” one of his most celebrated pieces; and what portion of time he could spare from the drudgery of school-keeping, he spent in the study of Hebrew, Arabic, Syriac, and Chaldee. In 1733 he removed to the curacy of Watton, in Lancashire. His great desire was to obtain even the smallest preferment in any part of his native country, but he was disappointed and neglected; and in 1755 he resigned his curacy and went to London, where his countrymen had an intention of building a Welsh church, and to which he was to be appointed minister. When this plan did not succeed, he became curate of Northold, where he remained two years, when an offer was made to him of preferment in America; and by the assistance of the Cymmrodorion in London, he crossed the Atlantic, to St. Andrew’s, in Virginia; here he settled for some time, but afterwards removed to New Brunswick, and from thence to Williamsburg. The time of his death is not well known. This talented man was one of the greatest poets that ever appeared among the Welsh, and his poetical works were printed, with other productions, in a volume, under the title of “Diddanwch Teuluaidd.”
p. 48Henry Owen, an eminent divine and philologist, was the son of a gentleman of fortune, in Merionethshire, where he was born, at Tanygader, in 1716. He was educated at Ruthin Grammar school, from whence he removed to Jesus College, Oxford. He originally intended to practise physic, but entered into orders, and after various preferment, he became rector of St. Olave, Hart-street, London, and vicar of Edmonton, Middlesex. His numerous works consist chiefly of theological subjects, and he edited “Xenophon’s Memorabilia,” “Critical Disquisitions,” and “Critica Sacra, or Hebrew Criticism.” He also furnished several papers to the “Archaiologia.” His death took place in 1795.
John Owen, the celebrated epigrammatist, was a native of Caernarvonshire. He was educated at Winchester School, and New College, Oxford, where he graduated L.L.D., and became a fellow. He afterwards held the mastership of a grammar-school, near Monmouth, whence he removed to a similar situation in Warwick. While here, he distinguished himself by his skill in Latin poetry, and more particularly epigrams. This talent, however, did great harm, for he was struck out of the will of a rich uncle for his satirical epigrams on the church of Rome. He died in 1622, and he was buried in St. Paul’s Cathedral, at the expense of Archbishop Williams, by whom he was supported in the latter part of his life. His epigrams p. 49have been several times reprinted, both in England, and on the Continent; they are justly admired for their wit and purity of language.
John Owen, D.D., the most eminent of Nonconformist divines in this country, was descended of a respectable family in North Wales, though born at Stadham, in Oxfordshire, in 1616, of which place his father, a native of Wales, was vicar. He was educated at Queen’s College, Oxford, where he was supported by a rich uncle, living in North Wales; but who, being a royalist, was offended at his nephew’s principles, and died without leaving him anything. On the breaking out of the civil war, he sided with the parliament, and became a Presbyterian in his religious opinions; and his display of Arminianism, which was published in 1642, so recommended him to the prevailing party, that he was presented to the living of Fordham, in Essex, and subsequently by the Earl of Warwick, at the request of the parishioners, to that of Coggeshall, in the same county. Having now acquired great celebrity, and become acquainted with General Fairfax during the seige of Colchester, he was appointed to preach at Whitehall the day after the execution of Charles the First. He soon after became a favourite with Cromwell, whom he accompanied on his expeditions to Ireland and Scotland; and in 1651 he was appointed to the deanery of Christ Church, Oxford, on which p. 50appointment he received his doctor’s degree, and in 1652, Cromwell being chancellor, Owen was made his vice-chancellor, which office he held for five years. On the death of his patron, the Protector, he was deprived of his office and deanery, through the influence of the Presbyterian party, whom he had offended by adopting the Independent mode of worship, which he thought more conformable to the New Testament; and he published his reasons for thinking so, in two volumes, quarto. On the Restoration, his merit was so highly appreciated, that Lord Clarendon offered him immediate preferment if he would conform, which he respectfully declined. This eminent man died at Ealing, Middlesex, in 1683. His works, which are of high Calvinistic principles, are very numerous, amounting to seven folio, twenty quarto, and thirty octavo volumes.
John Owens, D.D., was the son of Owen Owens, of Bodsilin, in Caernarvonshire, the last archdeacon of Anglesea. He was born at Burton Latimers, Northamptonshire, where his father was rector, and was educated at Jesus College, Cambridge, of which he became a fellow, and succeeded to his father’s living in 1618. He was appointed chaplain to Charles the First, when he was Prince of Wales, who, on the supposition that he was a Welshman, which he was in every respect excepting the place of his nativity, preferred him to p. 51the bishopric of St. Asaph in 1629. This excellent prelate was distinguished for his incomparable skill in the Welsh language, and for his pious zeal in promoting the good of his diocese. He was the first who established there preaching in Welsh, and laid out great sums of money in new building and beautifying several parts of his cathedral, and especially in the erection of an organ. Upon the breaking out of the civil war, he was a great and extraordinary sufferer; and he died near St. Asaph, 1651, and was buried under the episcopal throne, when the church was used as a stable for horses and oxen. He was author of “Herod and Pontius Pilate reconciled.”
Lewis Owen, who distinguished himself by his writings against the Jesuits, was born in Meirionethshire in 1572. He went abroad, and entered the Society of Jesuits in Spain, but being disgusted at their behaviour and principles, he withdrew from them, and made use of the information which he had gained in exposing them in his works, which are the “Running Register.” “Unmasking of all popish priests,” &c., and “Speculum Jesuiticum,” which abound in details to their disadvantage. He died in 1631.
Morgan Owen, D.D., was a native of South Wales, and was educated at Oxford, where he graduated. Having taken orders, he obtained various preferment, and in 1640 he was installed bishop of Llandaff. On p. 52the breaking out of the civil war, he retired to Glasallt, Caermarthenshire, and was a very great sufferer on account of his loyalty. On receiving the news of the death of his patron, Archbishop Laud, he died suddenly soon after he heard it, in 1645, and he was buried in the same county.
John Humphreys Parry, an ingenious antiquary, and one of the most pleasing and learned writers of the present age, was born at Mold, in Flintshire, in 1787, and his father was rector of the neighbouring parish of Llanverras. After an University education, he became a member of the Temple in 1807, and in due time he was called to the bar in 1810. He obtained considerable reputation in his profession, and gained great praise by the publication of the “Cambro Briton,” in three volumes, which appeared periodically, and the value of which was greatly enhanced by his valuable and judicious notes; he was the author also of the “Cambrian Plutarch,” and several prize essays. He was appointed the editor of the transactions of the London Cymmrodorion, a volume of which appeared under his auspices. His native country sustained a great loss by his death, which took place in 1825, in a most melancholy manner: a drunken man knocked him down in the street; he fell with his head against the pavement, and was killed upon the spot, leaving a wife and five children unprovided for.
p. 53Richard Parry, D.D., was born at Ruthin, Denbighshire, in the year 1578, and was educated at Westminster School, under Camden, from whence he was elected a student of Christ Church, Oxford; at the age of nineteen, he became chancellor of Bangor, vicar of Gresford, and then dean of Bangor. On the accession of James the First, who had a high opinion of his learning, he nominated him to the bishopric of St. Asaph in 1604. He was a prelate of great learning and piety; and he revised the Bible which was translated by Dr. Morgan, and published a second edition in 1620, which is now the standard of the Welsh translation of the Bible. He founded a scholarship in Jesus College, Oxford, to be held by one who has been educated at Ruthin School, where he was the second who held the mastership after its foundation by Dean Goodman. He died at Diserth, near St. Asaph, in September, 1623.
Thomas Pennant, the celebrated antiquary and naturalist, was born at Bychton, in Flintshire, in the year 1726. He studied at Queen’s College, Oxford, and he afterwards removed to Oriel, which he left without taking a degree. Being of an active and talented mind, he imbibed early a taste for natural history; and the first effort of his pen appeared in an account of an earthquake which was felt at Downing, and it was published in the “Philosophical Transactions.” In p. 541754 he was elected a fellow of the Antiquarian Society, and in 1757, at the instance of the great Linnæus, he was also elected fellow of the Royal Society at Upsal. He published the first edition of his “British Zoology” in 1761. He soon after visited the Continent, where he became intimate with Buffon, Pallas, and several other distinguished naturalists. In 1768 a new edition of the British Zoology appeared, and it was successively followed by his other works on Natural History, and “Tours in Scotland and Wales.” In 1790 was published his “Account of London,” which was received with great avidity, and rapidly passed through several editions. His works are very numerous, and will ever remain a lasting proof of his splendid talents, both as an accurate observer of nature, and diligent antiquary. Several of his works were translated into German, and other Continental languages; and he was frequently consulted by the great naturalists of his time, and his opinions recorded in their publications. His accounts have always been looked upon as most authentic; and he holds the first rank as a writer from the popular and interesting style of his narrative, and his incomparable skill in the selection of subjects for illustration. He may be esteemed as one of the greatest patrons of the art of engraving, for upwards of one thousand plates were used in the embellishment of his works. He p. 55ended an active and useful life at the family seat of Downing, near Holywell, in December, 1798.
Sir Thomas Picton, a British general, was born at Poyston, Pembrokeshire, in 1758. Having entered the army, he served with great reputation in the West Indies; and his skill and gallantry were conspicuously displayed in a long service of forty-five years, both there, and in the marshes of Holland, and in the peninsula of Spain and Portugal. On the morning of the battle of Waterloo, he fell gloriously leading his division to a charge of bayonets, by which one of the most serious attacks made by the enemy was defeated. After his death a wound was discovered, which he had received two days before, and which he heroically concealed, having dressed it himself only with a piece of torn handkerchief. He died greatly lamented, and his meritorious life was distinguished for his zeal in the service of his country.
Henry Parry was born in Flintshire. He was educated at Gloucester Hall, Oxford, where he took his degrees in arts, and his degree of B.D., at Jesus College, in 1597. He travelled much abroad, and on his return, he obtained the rectory of Rhoscolyn, in Anglesea, in 1601, and in 1612 he was installed canon of Bangor. He died in 1617. He augmented and published a “Welsh Rhetoric, or Egluryn Fraethineb,” which was originally written by William Salusbury, and is commended by Dr. Davies.
p. 56Hester Lynch Piozzi, was the daughter of John Salusbury, of Bodvel, in Caernarvonshire. She was a distinguished authoress, and well known as a friend of Johnson, who made a Tour in Wales on a visit to her. She was first married, in 1763, to Mr. Thrale, member of parliament for Southwark, and after his death, she became the wife of Signor Piozzi, a Florentine. Her works are rather numerous, but the best known perhaps are her “Anecdotes of Johnson,” with whom she was a great favourite until her second marriage. She died a widow, at Clifton, in 1821, at a very advanced age.
David Powel, D.D., was a native of Denbighshire. In 1568 he was sent to be educated at Oxford, and after the erection of Jesus College, in 1571, he removed thither, and having proceeded through his bachelor’s degree, he graduated M.A. in 1576. Having taken orders, he obtained the livings of Rhiwabon and Llanvyllin, and became a prebendary of St. Asaph; in 1584 he was appointed chaplain to Sir Henry Sidney, then president of Wales. His first work, “Caradog’s History of Wales,” quarto, appeared in 1584, which had been partly translated from the Welsh by Humphrey Llwyd, and was finished by Powel, who illustrated it with annotations. This was followed in the following year by “Pontici Virunii Historia Britannica,” octavo. He was also author of “De Britannica Historia recte intelligenda Epistola ad Gul. Fleetwood, Civ. Lond. Recordatorem.” He is said to have undertaken the p. 57compilation of a Welsh Dictionary, but he died before it was completed, which event took place in 1598.
John Price was born of Welsh parents in London, in the year 1600. He was educated at Westminster School, and Christ Church, Oxford, whence he removed to Florence, having become a Catholic, and he was there admitted doctor of civil law. He held the appointment of keeper of the ducal cabinet of medals and antiquities, and subsequently he became professor of Greek at Pisa. He was a very ingenious and learned critic, as his “Commentaries on the New Testament” and “Notes on Apuleius” testify. He died at a convent, in Rome, in the year 1676.
Richard Price, D.D., was a native of Glamorganshire, and was born at Llangunnor in 1723. He was educated at Talgarth, and afterwards removed to a Presbyterian academy in London. He became pastor of a congregation at Hackney; and in 1769 he was complimented with the diploma of doctor in divinity by the University of Glasgow. He was the author of several mathematical, statistical, and political works; and for one of them he was presented with a gold snuff-box, containing a vote of thanks by the corporation of London. He was also fellow of the Royal Society, in whose Transactions he wrote several papers. He died in 1791.
Sir John Price, L.L.D., was a native of Breconshire. p. 58He was a learned and ingenious antiquary, and was author of “Historiæ Britannicæ Defensio,” quarto, which was written in answer to Polydore Virgil, and was published after his death by his son, in 1573. He was one of the King’s council in the court of the marches, and was one of the commissioners employed by Henry the Eighth, to survey the monasteries that were to be dissolved. He died in 1553.
Robert Price, D.D., an eminent prelate, was the son of Colonel Price, of Rhiwlas, in Meirionethshire, where he was born. He was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, and after taking orders, was for some time vicar of Towyn, in Meirionethshire, and afterwards chancellor of the diocese of Bangor. He was promoted to the bishopric of Ferns, in Ireland; and on the death of Bishop Roberts, in 1665, he was nominated to succeed him in the see of Bangor; but his death took place before his election was completed, and he was buried in the cathedral church of St. Patrick, Dublin.
Rees Prichard, the celebrated author of “Canwyll y Cymry,” was born at Llanymddyvri, Caermarthenshire. At the age of eighteen, he was entered at Jesus College, Oxford, in 1597, and graduated B.A. in 1602, and obtained the vicarage of his own parish. In 1613 he was instituted to the rectory of Llanedy, in the diocese of St. David’s; and he was chaplain to p. 59the Earl of Essex. In the following year he was made prebendary of the collegiate church of Brecon, and in 1626 chancellor of St. David’s. As long as the Welsh language endures, will the memory of Prichard be kept with gratitude; and few productions ever caused such a profitable and rapid change in improving the morals of his countrymen. He died in 1644.
Edmund Prys, M.A., a distinguished Welsh poet, was born in the year 1541. After an academical education, he entered the church, and in 1572 he was made rector of Festiniog, and in 1576 archdeacon of Meirioneth. In 1602 he obtained a canonry in St. Asaph. He was a very learned man, and particularly distinguished himself by an elegant metrical version of the Psalms, which is still in use. There are also extant fifty-four controversial poems between the Archdeacon and a contemporary Bard, William Cynwal, both holding a high rank in the first class of the Welsh poets of that age. It is also said that Cynwal fell a victim to the poignancy of the Archdeacon’s satire. The last poem of the fifty-four is a most pathetic elegy, composed by Prys when the news of his rival’s death reached him; he was also an elegant Latin poet, and a specimen of his talent is prefixed to Dr. Davies’s Welsh and Latin Grammar. He died at Maentwrog about the year 1622.
p. 60Abraham Rees, D.D., the author of the well known Cyclopædia, which bears his name, was born at Montgomery, in 1743. His father being a Dissenting minister, placed him first under Dr. Jenkins, of Caermarthen, and subsequently at the Hoxton Academy, where his brilliant talents and rapid progress procured his being appointed at an early age mathematical tutor to the institution, and afterwards resident tutor, which place he retained for twenty-two years. He then removed, and became resident tutor of the Natural Sciences at the Dissenting Academy at Hackney, in 1786. He was minister of a Dissenting congregation in St. Thomas’s, Southwark, and in the Old Jewry. He was a fellow of the Royal and Linnean Societies, and he obtained his doctor’s degree in Edinburgh, at the express recommendation of the illustrious Robertson, the historian. He was author of some other works, besides the valuable and learned “Cyclopædia.” He died in June, 1825, in his eighty-second year.
John Davydd Rhys, M.D., an eminent grammarian, was born in the Isle of Anglesea, in 1534. He was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, and entered the medical profession; he removed to Sienna, where he took his doctor’s degree. While there, he greatly distinguished himself by his skill in the Italian language, the fruits of which are “De Italicæ linguæ pronunciatione,” which was printed in Padua, and “Rules for p. 61obtaining the Latin tongue,” printed at Venice, in Italian. His valuable “Welsh Grammar” was published in 1592, folio. His death took place in the year 1609.
Peter Roberts, an eminent divine, and writer on British history, was born at Rhiwabon, Denbighshire, in 1760. He was educated at the Grammar-school of St. Asaph, and removed thence to Trinity College, Dublin, where his abilities soon became conspicuous. He applied himself to the study of astronomy and the oriental languages; and at one time it was supposed that he would have succeeded Dr. Usher, as professor of astronomy in that University. He became afterwards private tutor to several noblemen and gentlemen of rank; and in 1800, was published, his “Harmony of the Epistles,” a work of exceedingly high character and labour, which the University of Cambridge printed at their own expense. Having been presented to the living of Llanarmon, he dedicated his leisure time to the elucidation of the antiquities of his native country. The fruits of his labours in this department are well known—“Collectanea Cambrica,” “Early History of the Cymry,” and “Cambrian Popular Antiquities.” He was presented also with the living of Madely, in Shropshire, by Lord Crew. The living of Llanarmon he subsequently exchanged for the rectory of Halkin, Flintshire, where he died in 1819. As an excellent p. 62critic in his native language, and equally so in Hebrew and Rabbinical learning, his works are a sufficient proof; and his “Letters to Volney” show to advantage the depth of his reasoning powers and scientific acquirements.
William Roberts, D.D., was a native of Denbighshire, where he was born in 1585. He was educated at Queen’s College, Cambridge, where he became fellow, and subsequently sub-dean of Wells, and rector of Llandyrnog. He was made bishop of Bangor in 1637. During the great rebellion he suffered much for his loyalty, and was deprived of all his benefices, and all the church lands were sequestered; but, however, he was restored to all in 1660. He was a great benefactor to his cathedral, in which he erected an organ, and bequeathed money for beautifying it. He founded an exhibition for a scholar from the diocese of Bangor, in Queen’s College, Cambridge, and a similar one in Jesus College, Oxford. He left also 200l. to be distributed among two parishes in the suburbs of London, which were visited by the plague. He died near Denbigh, in the year 1665.
Nicholas Robinson was a native of Aberconwy, in Caernarvonshire, and was educated at Queen’s College, Cambridge, where he obtained a fellowship, and was appointed chaplain to Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury. He was made dean of Bangor in 1556, and p. 63obtained the sinecure rectory of Northop, in Flintshire, in 1562, and he was likewise archdeacon of Meirioneth. In 1566 he was raised to the bishopric of Bangor; and he held the living of Whitney, in Oxfordshire, in commendam. He died in 1585.
Henry Rowlands, D.D., was born in Mellteyrn, in Caernarvonshire, in 1551, and was educated at New College, Oxford. He obtained the rectory of his native parish in 1572, and subsequently of Launton, in Oxfordshire. He was advanced to the deanery of Bangor in 1593, and was consecrated bishop of the same diocese in 1598. He was a most munificent benefactor to his cathedral, and bestowed great sums in improving and adorning it. He also founded two fellowships in Jesus College, Oxford; and bequeathed money for the foundation of a school in his native place. He died in 1616.
Henry Rowlands, B.A., the author of the valuable and learned work entitled “Mona Antiqua Restaurata,” was a native of the Isle of Anglesea. Having taken orders, he became vicar of Llanidan. He devoted his leisure time to the examination of the antiquities which abound in his native island; and his researches afford important information concerning the language and manners of the Cymmry. He endeavours to prove that Môn was the metropolitan seat of the Druids; and his work first appeared in 1723, and a second p. 64edition was published in London, in 1766. He died in 1722.
Grufydd Roberts, a learned grammarian, distinguished himself by the publication of a valuable “Welsh Grammar,” which was printed at Milan, in 1567. Nothing is known of his history, besides that he was educated at Sienna, in Italy, under the patronage of William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke.
William Salusbury, an eminent antiquary, was a native of Denbighshire, where he was born in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. He was educated at Oxford, and entered the profession of the law. He assisted in translating the New Testament into Welsh, and he published also a Welsh version of the “Epistles and Gospels,” besides a “Dictionary,” and a “Treatise on Rhetoric.” He died in 1570.
George Stepney, whose parents were of old families in Pembrokeshire, was born in 1663. Having been entered on the foundation of Westminster School, he removed in due time to Trinity College, Cambridge, and while there, he acquired the friendship of Mr. Montague, afterwards Earl of Halifax, and through his patronage he was employed by government on several important and confidential missions to the courts of Brandenburgh, Vienna, Dresden, Mentz, and Cologne, and to the congress of Frankfort. He was again employed on an embassy to Holland in 1706; p. 65and after completing it successfully, he returned to England in the following year, and a few months after he died in Chelsea, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. He was a very ingenious poet, and ranked high as a political writer; several of his works obtained for him great credit.
Charles Symmons, D.D., was born in Caerdigan, in the year 1749, which borough was represented by his father in three successive parliaments. He was educated at Westminster School, and the University of Glasgow, whence he subsequently removed to Clare Hall, Cambridge, and in 1776 he took the degree of bachelor of divinity at that University. Having given offence by declaring some Whiggish principles in a sermon, which destroyed all his prospects of promotion, and fearing some obstacles when he proceeded to his doctor’s degree, he removed to Jesus College, Oxford, where he took it in 1794. He was presented to the living of Narberth and Lanpeter. As an author, the greater portion of his works consisted of poetry, and he published “Milton’s prose works, with a Biographical Memoir.” He died at Bath, in 1826.
William Thomas was born in Wales, and was educated at Oxford, where he took the degree of bachelor of canon law in 1529. Being obliged for some cause to leave the kingdom, he travelled in Italy; and on his return to England, he published a “History” p. 66of that country, in 1549, quarto. He was appointed clerk of the council to King Edward the Sixth, who bestowed upon him, though a layman, a prebend in St. Paul’s Cathedral, and a living in Wales. On the accession of Queen Mary, he was deprived of his office and benefices, which treatment is supposed to have instigated him to join in the rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyatt, for which he was arrested, and being convicted, was executed at Tyburn. He was also author of several less important works.
William Thomas, D.D., was a native of South Wales, where he was born in 1613. He was educated at Jesus College, Oxford, where he proceeded through his degrees. Having taken orders, he became vicar of Penbryn, in the time of the great rebellion. On the Restoration, he was appointed precentor of St. David’s, and rector of Llanbedr, in Pembrokeshire, and subsequently dean of Worcester. He was consecrated bishop of St. David’s in 1677, and in 1683 he was translated to Worcester, where he died in 1689.
Josiah Tucker, D.D., an eminent political writer, was the son of a Welsh gentleman of property, and was born in 1711. He was educated at St. John’s College, Oxford, and entered into holy orders, being appointed to the curacy of All Saints, Bristol; he afterwards became chaplain to Dr. Butler, bishop of that diocese, by whom he was appointed to the rectory p. 67of St. Stephen’s, in the same city. He was author of numerous political and controversial essays, some sermons, and a multitude of treatises, and publications on commerce and religion. He obtained a prebend in Bristol Cathedral, and the deanery of Gloucester, in 1758. He died of an attack of paralysis at the advanced age of eighty-eight, in the year 1799.
William Tyndale, the first translator of the Holy Scriptures into the English language, was born in Wales, in 1500, and after a learned education, he was entered at Magdalen Hall, Oxford; he was afterwards a canon of Wolsey’s New College of Christ’s Church, whence he was ejected on account of his religious principles, which were liberal, and according with the doctrines of Luther, who began to flourish at that time. He took a degree in Cambridge, whither he had removed from Oxford; but his opinions becoming known, rendered him obnoxious to some of the dignitaries, and being reprimanded, he thought it prudent to retire to the Continent, in order to publish his translation of the Testament, which appeared in 1526, and was printed at Antwerp. He commenced afterwards the translation of the Pentateuch, and some other books of the Old Testament; but his first publication, of which a second edition was widely diffused over England, caused him to be marked as a victim to Popish bigotry. Henry the Eighth employed p. 68a man to betray him to the Emperor, and by his decree he was burnt as a heretic at Augsburgh in 1536. He was author of some other works; and his Testament hath by many eminent divines been declared never to have been surpassed in clearness, and noble simplicity of style.
Henry Vaughan, commonly known by his assumed name of the Silurist, was born at Newton, in Brecknockshire, in the year 1621. He received his academical education at Jesus College, Oxford, and afterwards settled in his native country, where he practised medicine, although he does not appear to have taken any degree in arts or medicine at the University. His writings consist of a poem entitled “The Mount of Olives,” “Thalia Rediviva,” “Olor Iscanus,” and “Silex Scintillans, or The Bleeding Heart.” He died in 1695, in the seventy-fourth year of his age.
Thomas Vaughan was the brother of the above (Henry), and a fellow of Jesus College. He was a man of great natural abilities as well as learning; he was chiefly known from some curious “Treatises on Alchymy and Judicial Astrology,” to which, although a clergyman, he seems to have been devoted. According to Wood’s Athenæ Oxonenses, he had sense enough not to publish them in his in own name, but under the assumed name of Eugenius Philalethes; they are, p. 69however, now forgotten. He died rector of St. Bridget’s, Brecknockshire.
Sir John Vaughan, an eminent and learned chief justice of Common Pleas, was born in Caerdiganshire, in 1608. He was educated at Worcester School, whence he removed to Christ Church, Oxford, and subsequently to the Inner Temple. During the civil wars he lived in retirement; but after the Restoration he was elected member of parliament for the county of Caerdigan, and in 1668 made chief justice of the Court of Common Pleas. His death took place in 1674. Sir John Vaughan’s “Reports and Arguments” in the Common Pleas are all special cases, and ably reported. They were first printed in 1677, and again by his son, Edward Vaughan, in 1706.
Richard Vaughan, D.D., an eminent and learned prelate, was born in Caernarvonshire, and received his academical education at St. John’s College, Cambridge, where he graduated. Having entered the church, he became archdeacon of Middlesex, and obtained also a canonry in Wells Cathedral, and in 1595 he was raised to the bishopric of Bangor. Two years after, he was translated to the see of Chester, and thence to London, where he died in 1607.
Robert Vaughan, a distinguished and learned antiquary, was a member of a very ancient family in Meirionethshire, and was born at the family seat of p. 70Hengwrt, in that county. From all his ample materials, he only published a small tract entitled “British Antiquities Revived.” He formed a noble and invaluable collection of Welsh manuscripts, which still remain at Hengwrt. He died in 1667.
William Vaughan, an ingenious Welsh poet, was a member of a very ancient and illustrious family, who have lived for several centuries successively at Golden Grove, in Caermarthenshire. He was born in 1577, and having gone through the usual course of academical education at Jesus College, Oxford, took the degree of L.L.D. in that University. He was the author of a variety of miscellaneous poems, the principal of which are a metrical version of the “Psalms and Solomon’s Song,” “The Golden Grove Moralized,” &c. Previously to his decease, he went to Newfoundland, where he died in 1640.
John Walters, M.A., an eminent Welsh philologist and divine, was the author of a valuable “English and Welsh Dictionary,” which was published in quarto, in 1794. It has since gone through two other editions, and he wrote a learned “Dissertation on the Welsh Language,” printed in 1771, besides some sermons. He was rector of Llandochan, in Glamorgan, and died in the year 1797.
Daniel Williams, an eminent theological writer, and Presbyterian divine, was a native of Wrexham, in p. 71Denbighshire, where he was born in 1644. Not having received an education in his earlier youth, he made up the deficiency by his unwearied diligence and application; and devoting himself to the study of divinity, he was, at the age of nineteen, ordained a preacher among the Presbyterians. After officiating in various parts in England, he went to Ireland as chaplain to the Countess of Meath, and presided over a congregation in Dublin, where he continued for twenty years; and married a lady of an honourable family, and a considerable estate. He subsequently removed to London, where he was chosen minister of a congregation of Presbyterians in Bishopsgate-street; and in 1701, having become a widower, he married a second wife, who survived him. His learning and piety being held in great esteem, he was honoured with the diploma of D.D. by the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow; and he bequeathed estates for the support of six Presbyterian students in the latter. His library, together with a sum of money for its increase, was left by him, with the liberal view of founding a public library in London, and which led to the establishment of the celebrated Red cross street Institution, which was opened in 1729. He died in 1716, and left numerous legacies for charitable purposes. His works were published in six volumes, octavo.
David Williams, a learned and ingenious writer, p. 72was born in Cardiganshire. Having been educated at a Dissenting Academy, he was appointed minister of a congregation at Frome, Somersetshire, and afterwards at Exeter, then at Highgate, near London. While in the metropolis, he distinguished himself by numerous publications on education and morality. He left his ministerial office among the Dissenters, and becoming sceptical with regard to the Christian religion, he opened in 1776, a chapel for the celebration of public worship, on the principles of natural religion, in Margaret-street, Cavendish-square. The novelty of the institution at first attracted the curiosity of the public, but it was finally closed, and the lecturer turned his attention to private tuition. He has obtained great and deserved reputation as being the founder of the Literary Fund. He died in June, 1816. Among his numerous works, several of which have been translated into German, is a valuable “History of Monmouthshire,” in two volumes, quarto.
Edward Williams, whose bardic appellation was Iolo Morganwg, was a native of Glamorganshire, where he was born in March, 1745. His father being a stone-mason, brought him up to the same trade; but even in his early youth he was remarkable for avoiding all diversions with boys of his own age, and was pensive and thoughtful, eager in receiving the instructions of an excellent mother, who grounded him well in the p. 73English language. In 1770, on the death of his mother, he left Wales, and travelled over several counties in England, in the exercise of his calling, and studying architecture and other sciences connected with it. He resided for several years in London, Bristol, and other towns, and returned to Wales, where he married in 1781. His first productions were Welsh poetry, and he was a man of wonderful abilities as a Welsh and English poet, and a skilful antiquary; he wrote English with great ease and elegance. In 1794 he published two volumes of English poetry, which consist of original compositions, and translations from the Welsh, and in conjunction with Dr. Pughe and Mr Owain Jones, edited the “Myvyrian Archaiology.” He has left several valuable works in manuscript, especially materials for a History of Wales, which it is greatly to be lamented was not published in his lifetime. He died on the 17th of December, 1827, aged eighty-two.
Griffith Williams was a native of Caernarvon, in North Wales, where he was born in the year 1589. He was educated at Jesus’ College, Cambridge, and having taken orders, he was appointed to the lectureship of St. Peter’s, Cheapside, but his preaching so offended the Puritans, that they procured his suspension. He obtained a living in Wales, and became chaplain to the King, prebendary of Westminster, and dean of p. 74Bangor. In 1641 he was created bishop of Ossory; and his death took place at Kilkenny. He was the author of several works on divinity.
John Williams, Archbishop of York, and Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, was born at Aberconwy, in 1582. He was educated at Ruthin School, and St. John’s College, Cambridge, where he soon distinguished himself by his application and splendid abilities, which were rewarded with a fellowship. He was ordained in 1609, and soon after he obtained the rectory of Grafton, in Northamptonshire. Being appointed chaplain to Lord Ellesmere, then Lord Chancellor, he ingratiated himself so much with his patron by his talents, that he obtained through him rapid preferments, and was appointed one of the royal chaplains. In 1619 he was made dean of Salisbury, and soon after exchanged it for the deanery of Westminster; in a short time he was appointed lord keeper, and immediately afterwards he was raised to the bishopric of Lincoln. He retained great influence at court during the reign of James the First, and was the chief cause of the promotion of Laud to the episcopal bench, who, however, ungratefully joined in various persecutions to which the Archbishop was subjected for several years; but his worth and excellent character prevailed: he was restored to favour, and in 1641 he was raised to the archiepiscopal see of York. p. 75During the civil war, he fortified Conwy Castle for the King’s use; but after a seige, being surprised, he was compelled to give it up on honourable terms to the parliamentary troops. He died at Gloddaeth, near Conwy, on his birth-day, in 1650. He was the author of several theological works, and an interesting “History of his Life” was published by Bishop Hacket, who had been his chaplain; and a more condensed biography subsequently by Stephens, and also by Phillips.
John Williams, L.L.D., was born at Llanbedr-pont Stephen in 1727. He was educated at the Grammar School of the same town, where he acquired a competent knowledge of the classics; being strongly inclined to the ministry, he was entered at the age of nineteen at a Dissenting Academy, in Caermarthen, where he went through the usual studies to be qualified for the office of a minister. In 1752 he went to Stamford, Lincolnshire, at the unanimous request of a congregation of Protestant Dissenters, and in 1755 he removed to a similar situation in Berkshire. Here he completed his “Concordance to the Greek New Testament,” and afterwards he removed to Sydenham, where he officiated for the long period of twenty-eight years. In 1777 he was chosen the curator of Redcross-street Library; and the lease of his chapel expiring, he retired to Islington, where he remained until his death, which took place in 1798. In his character, both public and p. 76private, he was esteemed for the conscientious discharge of his duty as a Christian minister, and for his literary acquirements. He published several works on theology and other subjects, which are of great merit, and enriched with valuable information.
Roger Williams was a native of Wales, where he was born in the year 1599. He was entered for the church, and was accordingly educated for it; but adopting puritanical principles, he emigrated to North America, where he founded the town of Providence. He distinguished himself by his zeal for the conversion of the Indians to Christianity, of whose language he published a very useful “Manual and Glossary,” which has been frequently reprinted. His colony thrived rapidly, as he was decidedly opposed to all restraint in religion, and granted to all who settled there free liberty of conscience. He died in 1683.
Thomas Williams was a native of Caernarvonshire, and received an University education at Oxford. He practised as a physician at Trevriw, near Llanrwst, and he wrote a “Welsh and Latin,” and “Latin and Welsh Dictionary,” which he left in manuscript; and it was subsequently published in 1632, with many additions and corrections by Dr. John Davies. He made a good collection of pedigrees, which he entitled “Priv achau holl Gymru Benbaladr,” i.e. The Primitive p. 77Pedigrees of all Wales. In 1606 he was proceeded against as a Papist in the court of Bangor, and in the following year he was excommunicated. There was written also by him a large “List of Plants” in Latin, Welsh, and English.
William Williams was a native of the Isle of Anglesea. He was educated at Oxford, and in 1652 he was elected scholar of Jesus’ College, whence he removed to Gray’s Inn. In 1667 he was appointed recorder of the city of Chester. When the Popish plot broke out, he sided with the party then dominant; and in 1678 he was chosen one of the representatives of the City of Chester, and again for the parliament which sat in 1679, and a third time in 1680; in the two last parliaments he was chosen speaker of the House of Commons. After the Presbyterian plot broke out in 1683, he became an advocate for them and the fanatics. When James the Second came to the crown, he was taken into favour, and was made solicitor-general instead of Sir Thomas Powis, who was appointed attorney-general in 1687. Williams was knighted on this occasion, and soon afterwards created a baronet. He has published several of his eloquent speeches, besides some other works.
Richard Wilson, the eminent landscape painter, was the son of the Rev. John Wilson, rector of Penegoes, in Montgomeryshire, where he was born in p. 781714. Having received a good classical education, he was sent at the age of fifteen to London, where he was apprenticed to a portrait painter: and he set up for himself in London, and painted the portraits of the Prince of Wales and Duke of York, who were then under the tuition of Bishop Hayter, of Norwich. Not obtaining any great success in the metropolis, he went to Italy, and meeting with the Earl of Dartmouth, who saw the young painter’s great abilities, proposed that he should travel with him to Naples, which being readily accepted, enabled him to study some of the finest specimens of painting. Here also he became conscious of his particular excellence in landscape painting, at the height of which branch he soon arrived. His reputation having become now very great, he returned to England in 1755. Although his abilities were esteemed, he was far from obtaining the patronage which his extraordinary talents deserved, and it was not until after his death that his works were duly appreciated. After a long period of neglect, and insult, caused by the mean jealousy of rivals, he died near Mold, in 1782, in the sixty-eighth year of his age.
William Worthington, D.D., an eminent theological writer, was born in Meirionethshire in 1703. He received his education at the Grammar School, in Oswestry, and Jesus’ College, Oxford, where he proceeded p. 79through his degrees. Having taken orders, he obtained various preferment from Dr. Hare, then bishop of St. Asaph, he was rector of Hope, and Darowen, and had a prebendal stall in the Cathedral of St. Asaph, and another in York, to which he was appointed by Archbishop Drummond, whose chaplain he had been. Among the variety of his works, the principal are an “Essay on Redemption,” “Evidences of Christianity,” and “Sermons on Boyle’s Lectures.” He died in 1778.
Sir John Wynn of Gwydir, was born near Llanrwst, in the year 1553. He was made a baronet on the creation of that honour in 1615. He lived in retirement, and wrote a curious and valuable work, entitled “The History of the Gwydir family,” which was first printed in 1773, octavo. He was a member of the council of the marches, and was well versed in the history and antiquities of his native country, and a great patron of its literature. Inigo Jones was born on his estate, and enjoyed the patronage of the family who first brought him to notice. He died in 1626, in the seventy-third year of his age.
John Wynne, was born at Caerwys, Flintshire, and was educated for some time at Northop School, from whence he removed to Ruthin, and received his academical education at Jesus’ College, Oxford, where p. 80he obtained a fellowship. He became rector of Llangelynin, in Caernarvonshire, and prebendary of Brecon. He was appointed also the Lady Margaret’s professor of divinity, and by virtue of that, he had a prebend in Worcester Cathedral in 1705. He was elected principal of Jesus’ College in 1712, and was advanced to the bishopric of St. Asaph in 1714. He was a very learned divine, and extremely liberal in the repairing of his cathedral, which had suffered great damage by a violent storm soon after his appointment. He was translated to the diocese of Bath and Wells in 1727, and died in July, 1743.
John Huddleston Wynne, an eminent writer on miscellaneous subjects, was born of a respectable family in Wales in 1743. He was brought up to the profession of a printer, which he followed for some time in London; he afterwards obtained a commission in the army, which he quitted and commenced author. His principal works are “A General History of the British Empire in America,” and “A History of Ireland.” He died in 1788. His uncle,
Richard Wynne, M.A., of All Soul’s College, Oxford, was rector of St. Alphage, London, and of Ayot St. Lawrence, in Hertfordshire. He published the New Testament in English, carefully collated with the Greek, two volumes, octavo. He died in 1799.
p. 81Philip Yorke, an eminent antiquarian, and author of a learned work entitled “The Royal Tribes of Wales,” was born at Erddig, near Wrexham, in Denbighshire, in 1743. After a liberal education, he was entered at Benet College, Cambridge, where he graduated M.A. He represented successively in parliament the boroughs of Halston and Grantham. He died in 1804.
John Bradford, an ingenious poet, who was admitted a disciple of the bardic chair of Glamorgan, in 1730, being then a boy; presided in the same chair 1760, and died in 1780. He wrote several moral pieces of great merit, some of which he printed in the “Eurgrawn,” a magazine then carried on in South Wales.
Rev. Thomas Charles, A.B., the son of a respectable farmer, in the parish of Llanvihangel, South Wales, was born October 14, 1755. When he was about ten or twelve years of age, his parents entertaining thoughts of bringing him up to the ministry, sent him to school at Llanddowror, about two miles off, where he continued three or four years. When about fourteen years of age, his father sent him to the academy, at Caermarthen, which he left for Oxford in 1775, where he remained about four years. On leaving Oxford, he was engaged to a curacy in Somersetshire, which he p. 83gave up in 1783, and removed to Wales, after a ministry of five years. After Mr. Charles returned to Wales, he was engaged successively to serve several churches in the neighbourhood of Bala (where he then resided), at each of which, his evangelical preaching giving great offence to the inhabitants, his services were declined. Mr. Charles having been so many times deprived of the opportunity of exercising his ministry felt no small perplexity of mind: his active disposition would not allow him to remain wholly unoccupied. The ignorance which prevailed among the people at Bala excited his sympathy; he invited them to his house to give them religious instruction. He was offered the use of the chapel by the Calvinistic Methodists, who were then, and for some time after, connected with the Established Church: this offer he accepted, and there he instructed and catechised the numerous children who attended. In the year 1785, Mr. Charles commenced preaching among the Methodists, from which period to the time of his death his ministerial labours were very great; the effect of which are still to be seen, and will probably continue to appear for ages to come. Shortly after Mr. Charles left the church, he began establishing circulating schools; they succeeded wonderfully, the whole country being filled with them. The fruits of these schools were numerous Sunday schools throughout the Principality. p. 84Mr. Charles prepared two editions of the Welsh Bible, one in duodecimo, published in 1806, and another in octavo, completed just before his death. But his greatest effort as an author was a “Scriptural Dictionary,” four volumes, octavo. Mr. Charles was the principal instrument in originating the Bible Society; the exciting or moving cause of this noble institution was the great want of Bibles, especially in North Wales. He died October 5, 1814, in the fifty-ninth year of his age.
Robert Davies, better known by the appellation of Bardd Nantglyn, was born about the year 1769. At an early period of his life he became a votary of the Awen, which propensity was strengthened by his intimacy with Twm o’r Nant, who always expressed a just tribute of admiration for his poetical efforts. In the year 1800 he removed to London, and there became acquainted with those patriotic fosterers of their native language and customs, who instituted the Gwyneddigion Society, and he filled at intervals the situation of their bard and secretary. The illness of his family compelled him reluctantly to leave the metropolis, after a residence of about four years, and return to Nantglyn, which he never afterwards quitted. This occurrence, which was unforeseen, obliged him to borrow a sum of money from Owain Myvyr, to defray the expenses of removal, and shortly after he p. 85was given to understand by that generous character, that the loan should be a gift; and this munificent donation enabled him to build a decent cottage, which formed his domicile during his life. When the premiums awarded by the Eisteddvodau stimulated the bards to unwonted exertions, Robert Davies early distinguished himself, and acquired the honour of occupying the bardic chair for Powys, at the meeting held at Wrexham, in 1820, by his prize elegy on the death of George the Third. The number of medals he acquired on different occasions amounted to eleven; and in addition he received, on various occasions, many money premiums for meritorious exertions. It would be needless to recapitulate the various subjects on which he was a successful competitor, as the prize poems of his composition are mostly published in his publication entitled “Diliau Barddas,” which contains the greater part of the productions of his muse. He likewise was the compiler of a very excellent “Grammar,” in great esteem in the principality. He died on 1st December, 1835, and was buried at Nantglyn, where it is in contemplation to erect a tablet to his memory.
John Evans, an adventurous young man of Caernarvonshire, who, about the year 1790, went to America, with a view of discovering the Welsh Indians, or descendants of Madog and his followers. After p. 86surmounting many difficulties, and penetrating about 1,300 miles up the Missouri River, he was obliged to return to St. Louis, on the Mississippi. The commandant there encouraged him to try another voyage, with attendants and everything necessary to make discoveries; but unfortunately, John Evans died of a fever there in 1797, when everything was prepared to ensure success to his enterprise.
Wyn Elis, A.M., an eminent divine and poet, who lived at Y-Las-Ynys, in Meirionethshire, from about the year 1680 to 1740. About the year 1720, he published a small tract in Welsh of great utility, containing letters of advice to Christian professors, with various hymns and other pieces. Soon after, he published the “Bardd Cwsg, or the Vision of the Sleeping Bard,” in the manner of Don Quivedo, a very popular work, which has been reprinted several times since the death of the author.
Rev. Evan Edward, Aberdare, Glamorgan, an eminent Dissenting preacher, philosopher and poet, and one of the few who being initiated into the bardic mysteries, have helped to preserve the institution to the present time. He died on the 21st of June, 1798, being the time fixed for him to meet the other bards of the chair of Glamorgan.
Sir John Glynne, an able political lawyer in the time of Charles the First, and during the Interregnum, p. 87was born in the year 1590. He received his academic education at Hart Hall, Oxford, and afterwards studied at Lincoln’s Inn, where he became a bencher. His talents were quickly discovered by the popular party, and through the tide of opposition, he was buoyed up above the common level. He became steward of Westminster, was returned for two parliaments that sat in the year 1640; was made recorder of London, and at length lord chief justice of the upper bench. Cromwell made him one of his council, and placed him on the committee appointed to inquire into the title most proper for the usurper to assume. He continued in office till the Restoration, when he prudently and promptly determined to submit to the new government. After having been one of the ablest supporters of the protectorate, he was received by the reinstated King with the most distinguished attention, and obtained honorary marks of royal favour, for he was appointed prime serjeant, himself knighted, and his eldest son created a baronet. He appears to have been of considerable service, by sitting in the convention parliament, as a representative for Caernarvon; assisted by his advice to obtain the act of general amnesty; and particularly in his judicial capacity, establishing the first precedent of granting a rule for new trial in cases where excessive damages had been awarded by the partial, or inconsiderate verdicts of a jury. He died in the year 1666.
p. 88Doctor Gabriel Goodman was a native of Ruthin, distinguished for his various learning, but especially eminent as a linguist and divine. He was promoted by Queen Elizabeth to the deanery of Westminster; and, with other distinguished characters, appointed an assistant in that great work, a version of the Holy Scriptures. By his translation of his “First Epistle to the Corinthians,” wholly performed by him as well as other parts assigned him, he acquired great fame; yet he obtained no higher preferment, dying dean of Westminster after forty years’ incumbency, in the year 1601. His regard for learned men was great, as appears from his having helped to support Camden in his travels, who, through the dean’s interest, was made under master of Westminster School. His desire for perpetuating learning was no less conspicuous in the free-school founded in his native place, and his philanthropy still lives in an hospital established for the aged poor.
Howell Harris, an eminent preacher, distinguished as the introducer of Methodism into Wales, was born at Trevecca, in Brecknockshire, on January 23rd, 1713; and being designed for the church, was admitted a student of St. Mary’s Hall, Oxford, in November, 1735. Here, however, he remained only during one term, at the expiration of which, he quitted the University, with the design of entering immediately on the duties of the clerical profession. He had by this p. 89time, apparently, imbibed the tenets and spirit of Whitfield, and determined to propagate the doctrine of Methodism; with this view he applied for orders, but was refused. Having commenced his ministerial career, he came to his native place, and exerted himself with great zeal and earnestness. His style of preaching was much the same as that practised by the ministers of his connection, particularly among the Welsh, who have probably taken him for their model; it was bold, declamatory, and animated, to a degree that might often be denominated vociferation. At a period when religious freedom was but imperfectly understood, even by those who deprecated persecution, a man of Mr. Harris’s active zeal for proselytism, was not likely to pass unobserved. He was in some instances prosecuted, but more frequently persecuted: his undaunted resolution, however, triumphed over every opposition, and rendered impotent every attempt to reduce him to silence. He married in the year 1730, Anne, the daughter of John Williams, Esq., of Screene, by whom he had one daughter. In the year 1756, when some apprehensions of an invasion were entertained, he made a voluntary offer to furnish at his own expense, ten light-horsemen completely armed and accoutred, which proposal was accepted. Three years afterward, A.D. 1759, Mr. Harris himself, embarked in a military character. He was first appointed to an ensigncy in p. 90the county militia, and afterwards invested with the command of a company, in which were enrolled many of his own followers. In the latter part of his life, he derived much support from Lady Huntingdon, the warm patroness of the Calvinistic Methodists, who came to reside in the neighbourhood. Mr. Harris died at Trevecca, July 28, 1773, and was buried in Talgarth church. In the year 1752 he formed the plan of a religious community, something similar in its constitution to the Moravian societies; and in the same year he laid the foundation of Trevecca house, with a sufficient extent of buildings and garden, and other ground to accommodate a large number of inhabitants. Here he invited his disciples to assemble, and to invest their property in a common fund, of which all members, as occasion might require, were equally to participate.
Morus Huw of Perthi Llwydion, near Cerrig-y-Druidion, Denbighshire, a distinguished poet, who flourished from about the year 1600 to 1650. He is generally considered to be the best song writer that has appeared in Wales. Many of his compositions are in the Blodeugerdd.
Thomas Jones, bardd cloff (the lame bard). This highly respectable bard was born at Mynydd Bychan (the little mountain), in the parish of Llantysilio, Denbighshire, April 15, 1768. When quite an infant, he met with an accident which lamed him for p. 91life—hence the appellation of the lame bard. In 1775 Mr. Jones’s family removed to Llangollen, and Thomas was sent to the best school in the town; in 1782 the family removed again to Machynlleth, in the county of Montgomery. In 1780, Mathew Davies, Esq., brought young Jones to London, and placed him in his counting-house, in Long Acre, where Mr. Davies carried on a very large establishment in the coach and military-lace line. Mr Jones was exceedingly fond of reading, particularly poetry; and about this time he began “to torment the Awen” (Muse), as he used to say; and wrote several things both in Welsh and English. In 1789 he was elected a member of the Gwyneddigion, and shortly afterwards he became secretary to the society. At the time when it was regularly attended by Owain Jones, Myfyr, Dr. W. O. Pughe, &c., who encouraged the young bard, and gave him much valuable advice. In 1794 we find his name as one of the stewards of the festival of Ancient Britons, and in 1801, as llywydd (chairman) of the Gwyneddigion. In 1802 he published “An Ode of St. David’s-day,” and the following year Mr. Davies made him the head manager of his business; a convincing proof of the rectitude of his conduct, which was farther testified by his becoming a partner in 1813. The Metropolitan Cambrian Institution, founded on the basis of the Cymrodorion (established in 1750) was revived, and Mr. p. 92Jones was elected treasurer; and he gained the gold medal offered by the society for the best poem in the Welsh language, on its revival. In 1821 he was president of the Gwyneddigion for the third time; and at the jubilee anniversary dinner, he was presented with the society’s silver medal, to commemorate the event. Mr. Jones gained several prizes at the different Eisteddvodau held in Wales. And, after residing for a period of forty-five years (with little intermission) at No. 90, Long Acre, departed this life February 18, 1828, esteemed and lamented by all who knew him. Mr. Jones was an open-hearted, generous, hospitable, benevolent man; no indigent countryman appealed to him in vain; his name was invariably found in every list of subscription raised for the promotion of literature, or the relief of distress. Y bardd cloff, was, like his equally generous countryman and friend, Mr. David Jones, of the House of Commons, universally known by the Cymry, both in London and the principality. And when he was gathered to his fathers, the Cymrodorion offered its silver medal for the best approved of marwnad (elegy) on his lamented demise, which was awarded to Robert Davies, bardd nantglyn.
John Jones of Celli Lyvdy, distinguished as one of the most indefatigable collectors of Welsh literature that have appeared among us. He continued translating old Welsh manuscripts for a period of forty years, as it p. 93appears from some of his volumes, which are dated variously from the year 1590 to 1630; and of whose works in this way upwards of forty large volumes still exist.
Edward Jones was born at a farm in Meirionethshire, called Henblas, or Old Mansion, on Easter Sunday, in the year 1752. His father was what is generally termed a musical genius: he could not only perform on various instruments, but he also made several. He taught two of his sons, Edward and Thomas, the Welsh harp, another son the spinnet, and another the violin, and he played himself on the organ—so that the “Family Concert” was at least a tolerable strong one. Edward Jones came to London about the year 1774, under the patronage of several persons of distinction, connected with the principality. His performance on the harp was considered in those days, when taste, feeling, and expression, were the characteristic features of a lyrist, to be very superior. He met with great encouragement, and had the honour of giving instructions to many ladies of rank. He was appointed Bard to the Prince of Wales in 1783, but it was merely an honorary situation.
In conjunction with Dr. Owen Pughe, Mr. Walters, and a few literary friends, he published a volume of Ancient Bardic Lore, and Welsh Airs, in 1794, and, in four years afterwards, brought out a second volume. In 1820 he published the first part of a third volume, p. 94and had employed his days chiefly since in preparing the remainder, so as to complete the work; but he was not permitted to accomplish it. He had been severely afflicted with rheumatic pains for some time, and his memory became daily more defective; he was a very reserved man, and passed most of his time alone, with his chamber door locked.
He had been a collector of scarce books, and possessed many valuable ones; but his inability to follow his professional pursuits, and his high spirit preventing him from making his situation known to his relatives, caused him to dispose of a part of his library, on the produce of which he subsisted.
Several friends saw that he was daily becoming an object of their friendly attention, who endeavoured to ascertain his circumstances; but from him they could learn nothing, notwithstanding it was pretty certain that he passed many days without a dinner.
It became at length a duty incumbent on them to take him under their care; a recommendation to the Governors of the Royal Society of Musicians was promptly attended to, and an annuity of 50l. was granted unknown to him. This single act of benevolence speaks volumes in favour of that excellent institution, which was founded in 1738, with a view of shielding the “child of song,” in the decline of life, from penury and want; also to provide for the widows and orphans of p. 95its indigent members, at their decease. Mr. Jones entered the society in 1778.
Mr. Parry was deputed to give him the first monthly payment. It was in the evening when he called; he found the Bard locked in his room, at his lodgings in Great Chesterfield-street, Marylebone, and was admitted: he did not recollect Mr. Parry immediately, although most intimately acquainted with him; he had his dressing-gown and night-cap on, his harp standing by the table, on which was a blotted sheet of music paper. Mr. Parry told him the purport of the visit, but he did not pay much attention to it, and only asked, with much fervency, whether he knew “The Melody of Mona,” (See Relicks, vol. i. p. 168,) a most beautiful pathetic Welsh air, in the minor key, to which Mrs. Hemans has written an excellent song, called “The Lament of the last Druid.” He took his harp, and with a trembling hand,
“Struck the deep sorrows of his Lyre.”
It was impossible not to feel affected on such an occasion—the scene reminded him of the dying hour of a celebrated Bard, who called for his harp, and performed a most plaintive strain—
“Sweet solace of my dying hour,
Ere yet my arm forget its power,
Give to my falt’ring hand, my shell,
One strain to bid the world farewell.”
In a few days afterwards he fell in a fit; the landlady p. 96who sat in the apartment below, heard a noise; she ran up, but could not gain admission; the door was burst open, when the poor Bard was found lying on his face, with a heavy chair on his back. He remained senseless for two days, and expired without a groan on Easter Sunday, April 18, 1824, aged 72. He was conveyed to his silent tomb, in St. Mary-le-bone burial-ground, on the following Sunday. Mr. Jones left a number of scarce books, and much music, which were disposed of by public auction in February, 1825, and produced nearly 500l. He had, at various times previous to his death, sold books and prints to the amount of about 300l., so that his whole collection may be stated at 800l.; an extraordinary sum, considering the habits of the collector! Of his professional abilities, his “Relicks of the Welsh Bards” bear ample testimony; and will convey his name, with honour, to posterity. They are the result of forty years labour and research; and his countrymen of the Principality may now boast, that, as well as the Irish and the Scotch, they also have their “Melodies.”
Rice Jones of Blaenau, in Meirionethshire, one of the most eminent poets of Wales of recent times. He died in the autumn of the year 1801, at the great age eighty-six. In the year 1770 he published a “Welsh Anthology,” in quarto, containing choice selections from the poets of different ages.
p. 97Theophilus Jones, the ingenious and learned author of the “History of Brecknockshire,” was born Oct. 18, 1758. He was the son of the Rev. Hugh Jones, successively vicar of the parishes of Langammarch and Llywel, Brecknockshire, and a prebendary of the collegiate church of Brecknock. With his grandfather, Mr. Theophilus Evans, Mr. Jones passed much of his early life. His principal education was completed in the college school at Brecknock. Being destined by his parents to the law, Mr. Jones, at a proper age, was placed under the care of an eminent practitioner then resident in the town of Brecknock; and after having passed with credit the period of his probation, entered into the profession upon his own account, and continued in it for many years, practising with equal reputation and success as an attorney and solicitor in that place. Upon a vacancy in the deputy registrarship of the archdeaconry of Brecknock, he was appointed to that office, and held it till his death. From the documents committed to his charge, and to which he was particularly attentive, he derived much valuable information connected with the parochial history of the county. After Mr. Jones commenced the history of his county, finding that the duties of his profession could not be attended to, and antiquarian pursuits followed at the same time, he disposed of the attorney’s and solicitor’s business. Being now more p. 98at liberty to pursue the great object of his ambition, he spared neither pains nor expense to carry it into execution. There was no part of the county into which he did not extend his personal researches, inquiring most minutely into the natural history and antiquities of every place and parish. The first volume of his history of Brecknockshire in quarto, was published at Brecknock in the year 1805, and the second volume in 1809. With the exception of two communications to periodical publications, and two papers in the Cambrian Register, this was his only literary production. It was his intention to publish a history of Radnorshire, but his enfeebled state of health would not allow him to make the necessary exertions. His last literary attempt was a translation of that well written Welsh romance, entitled “Gweledigaethau y Bardd Cwsg,” or Visions of the Sleeping Bard, by the Rev. Ellis Wynne. He died upon the 15th of January, 1812, and was buried in the parish church of Llangammarth.
David Jones of Trevriw, in Caernarvonshire, a poet who flourished from about the year 1750 to 1780. He edited two collections of Welsh poetry, one called “Diddanwch Teuluaidd,” and the other “Dewisol Ganiadau.” He also formed a large collection of old manuscripts, which have been lately purchased from his sons by the Rev. H. D. Griffith, of Caer Rhun, p. 99and appropriated by that gentleman for the enriching of the Welsh Archaiology.
Richard Llwyd, generally known in North Wales as the Bard of Snowden, and Author of “Beaumaris Bay,” two volumes of poems, &c., was born at Beaumaris, in the Isle of Anglesea, in 1752, and terminated a life devoted to the interest and literature of his country, on the 29th December, 1834, at his residence in Bank-place, Chester. The morning of his days was clouded with adversity. While yet a child, his father, who traded on the coast in a small vessel of his own, was shipwrecked, and lost at once his vessel, his cargo, and his life!—a calamity which plunged his surviving family in hopeless poverty and distress. The extreme poverty of his mother precluded her from giving Richard any education. Nevertheless, in early life his propensities for knowledge discovered itself in a variety of ways, and in spite of the obstacles with which he was surrounded, gave an early promise of the brightness and ardour of his genius, and that greatness of character in which he afterwards so eminently distinguished himself. There was, fortunately for him, at Beaumaris, a free-school, founded by Mr. David Hughes, a man born, like himself, in the vale of humility, but who afterwards became a blessing to his native island. Hence he says in one of his notes to “Gayton Wake,” I received an education of nine p. 100months, and I acknowledge this blessing with humble gratitude as it has been to me an inexhaustible source of happiness. At twelve years old, his mother gladly accepted a situation for him in the service of Henry Morgan, Esq., of Henblas. Here he remained several years, and here it was that his character was formed; he had not many opportunities of gratifying his insatiable thirst for reading, but such as he had he availed himself of, with unremitting zeal and ardour. He always rose at a very early hour, and devoted the time he thus gained to reading and studying. In temperance and frugality he was remarkable through life, and always studied and practised it with the utmost exactness, which gave him a constant feeling of dignified independence. In the year 1780 Mr. Lloyd entered into the service of Mr. Griffith, of Caer Rhûn, near Conway, as superintendent of a large demesne and family. Mr. Griffith being in the commission of the peace, and the only acting magistrate in an extensive district, Llwyd acted as his clerk; this situation offered him an opportunity of pursuing his favourite studies. Here he lived until Mr. Griffith died, and with what he had saved, aided by bequeaths from two friends, he retired from the world. In 1797 he published his poem of “Beaumaris Bay,” which was extremely well received by the public, and materially added to his pecuniary resources. Mr. Llwyd had p. 101successfully studied the antiquities of his country, and was exceedingly well versed in heraldry, which added to his native vivacity, wit, and good humour, made his company courted by the first families in the principality, at whose mansions he was always a welcome guest. In 1804 Mr. Llwyd published his “Gayton Wake,” and two volumes of poems, “Tales, Ode,” &c., translated from the British, which show the extent and variety of his genius, and which met with extensive encouragement. In 1814 he married Miss Bingley, daughter of the late Alderman Bingley, of the city of Chester, with whom he lived happily in comfortable independence, and whom he survived about twelve months.
William Maurice of Cevyn-y-Briach, in Denbighshire, a distinguished antiquary and the assistant of Mr. Robert Vaughan, of Hengwrt, in collecting old Welsh manuscripts. The collection made by Mr. Maurice is now preserved at Wynnestay. He died about the year 1660.
William Middleton, sometimes called in Welsh, Gwilym Ganoldrev, an eminent poet and grammarian of the family of Gwenynog, in Denbighshire, who lived from the year 1560 to 1600. He served in the armies of Elizabeth, and was afterwards a captain of a ship of war; and, it is worthy of notice, that the principal work that he left behind him was done at sea, p. 102being an elegant “Version of the Psalms,” in the higher kind of Welsh metre. This work we find, from a note at the end of it, was finished January 24th, 1595, in the West Indies, and was printed after his death by Thomas Salusbury in 1603. The only other performance of this author which has been printed is his “Grammar,” and “Art of Poetry,” which he published in the year 1593.
Richard Morris, a brother of Lewis Morris, of Penros Llugwy, Anglesea, an ingenious Welsh critic and poet. He passed the greater part of his life as first clerk in the Navy-office; during which, he superintended the printing of two valuable editions of the Welsh Bible. He died in the year 1779.
Paul Panton, Esq., of Plas Gwyn, in Anglesea, a character distinguished for his acquaintance with the history and antiquities of his native country, and who left behind him a valuable collection of Welsh manuscripts; but who was more conspicuous for his liberality in aiding others, who pursued a similar track with himself. In addition to his own collection of papers, he also became possessed of the books of the Rev. Evan Evans, author of the Desertatio de Bardis, and other things, in consequence of having settled an annuity of £20. on that child of misfortune, towards the close of his life. Mr. Panton died in 1797, in the sixty-seventh year of his age.
p. 103William Parry, some time president and theological tutor at Wymondley Academy, Herts, was born in the year 1754, at Abergavenny, in Monmouthshire. When he was about seven years of age, he removed with his father to London, where he attended the ministry of Dr. Samuel Stennett. At the age of twenty, he was introduced to the Academy of Homerton, where Mr. Parry remained during six years, pursuing with unremitting ardour, the studies to which he had devoted himself. On leaving the academy, he acceded to an invitation from the church of Little Baddow, Essex, where he was ordained in the year 1780. In the year 1798 proposals were made to Mr. Parry by the trustees of W. Coward, Esq., to become theological tutor in the Dissenting Academy which had for some years been conducted at Northampton and Daventry, by Doctors Doddridge and Ashworth. An earnest desire of extended usefulness led Mr. Parry to accept those proposals; and in the year 1799 he took an affectionate farewell of his beloved flock at Baddow, after having laboured amongst them for twenty years, with great acceptance and fidelity. Mr. Parry entered on his new and important office at Wymondley (to which place the academy was removed). In undertaking the office of tutor, Mr. Parry did not resign that of a minister of Christ: immediately after his settlement at Wymondley, a small chapel was erected on the premises, where a p. 104congregation was raised, and a church formed, over which he presided as pastor till the time of his decease. With the exception of a charge delivered at the ordination of one of his students, Mr. Parry appeared but once in the character of an author. He died in the year 1818, in the sixty-fourth year of his age.
William Owen Pughe, D.C.L., was born at Ty’n y Bryn, in the parish of Llanvihangel y Pennant, county of Meirioneth, on the 7th of August, 1759. A man who is, by universal consent, pronounced the greatest literary character which old Cambria has ever produced at any period of time; and this may be truly said, without detracting from the unfading renown of our Taliesins, Aneurins, Gwalchmais, Cynddelws, Hywel Ddas, Goronwy Owens, or any other Cambrian author, because they did not exercise their talents, however great, in so varied and rich a field, or so extensive and bright a sphere as Dr. Owen Pughe. The family removed to Egryn, in Ardudwy, a short period after his birth, and there he passed his youthful days until he was sent to school at Altringham, near Manchester; and when arrived at seventeen years of age, he settled in London. Here he became intimate with Owain Myvyr and others, members of the Gwyneddigion; and projected and commenced his great work, the “Welsh and English Dictionary.” He laboured, at intervals, upon this arduous undertaking for the p. 105space of eighteen years, during which he read all the remains of antiquity which could be procured to furnish materials to incorporate in this thesaurus of the words of the Welsh language. In conjunction with Owain Myvyr and Iolo Morganwg he became engaged in a work, which must elicit the warmest thanks of all Welsh scholars, intended to perpetuate, for the benefit of posterity, the existing documents of the Cymry to the close of the thirteenth century. This splendid memorial of patriotism and industry is entitled the Myvyrian Archaiology of Wales, and has afforded a facility for the study of British Antiquities, which will place this department of the history of our island on a sure basis. The Cambrian Biography, the translation of the works of Llywarchhen, and an agricultural treatise for Mr. Johnes, of Havod, the superintendence of the Cambrian Register, the Greal, the edition of the poems of Davydd ap Gwilym, and numerous important communications to such works as Rees’ Encyclopædia, Warrington’s History of Wales, Hoare’s History of Wiltshire, Britton’s Beauties of England and Wales, Campbell’s Books on Wales, Gunn’s Tracts, Meyrick’s Cardiganshire, Cox’s Publications, Chalmer’s Caledonia, were the fruit of his studies and indefatigable perseverance at this period. In the year 1806, an estate in Wales devolved to him, where, after intervals spent in London, he finally p. 106settled. During this retirement he translated “Milton’s Paradise Lost,” “Heber’s Palestine,” many of Mrs. Heman’s poetical pieces, &c., into Welsh, and the “Mabinagion,” &c., into English, besides many original productions of great merit. The University of Oxford, as a testimony of estimation for his arduous and useful labours, conferred on him the degree of D.C.L. He breathed his last at Dolydd y Cae, a house at the base of Cader Idris, where he had spent a few days in the same tranquil manner as had distinguished him through life, on the 4th of June, 1835; thus closing a life useful to his country, and endeared to his family and friends, at the foot of the same mountain which had witnessed his birth. A subscription has been entered into for the purpose of raising a fund to defray the expense of erecting a monument to the memory of the erudite and amiable William Owen Pughe.
Dr. David Powel, an eminent antiquary of Denbighshire, born about the year 1552, and educated at Oxford, where he took his degree of D.D. He died in 1590, and was buried at Rhiwabon, of which he was vicar. In 1584 he published an English version of “Caradog’s Chronicle of Wales,” with annotations, and some other works.
Edward Richard, an eminent Welsh critic, and an elegant pastoral poet, who was a native of Ystrad Meirig, in Cardiganshire. He was the master of a p. 107grammar school in his native village, from about the year 1735 to the time of his death, on the 4th March, 1777.
William Richards, L.L.D., was born in the year 1749, in the parish of Penrhydd, in the vicinity of Haverfordwest, county of Pembroke, South Wales. Though the Bible was the favourite theme of his studies, his reading was not confined to it, he made himself acquainted with the best authors in the English language; was well versed in civil and ecclesiastical history, and deemed an admirable critic in the Cambro-British tongue. Having determined to devote himself to the ministry of the gospel, he placed himself in the Baptist Academy at Bristol in the year 1773, where he continued two years. On leaving the academy at Bristol, Mr. Richards accepted an invitation to Pershore, in Worcestershire, where he became assistant to Dr. John Ash, pastor of the Baptist church of that place. In 1776 he accepted an invitation from the Baptist church at Lynn, in Norfolk, to become their pastor, and arrived there on the 1st of July. When Mr. Richards had been some years at Lynn, he received an invitation to settle at Norwich, but that he declined. After having passed forty-two years among his people at Lynn, he died on the 13th of September, 1818, in the sixty-ninth year of his age. His greatest effort as an author, was the “History of Lynn,” in two large octavo volumes, embellished with engravings.
p. 108Sir Richard Richards, Lord Chief Baron, was born in the year 1752. In the whole circle of the profession, no man stood higher in private estimation, or public respect. As a lawyer and a judge, his decisions, particularly in exchequer cases, were sound, and evinced considerable acuteness. He long enjoyed the friendship and confidence of Lord Chancellor Eldon, for whom, on several occasions, he presided under special commissions as speaker of the House of Lords. He was appointed on the fourth of May, 1813, chief justice of Chester, one of the barons of the exchequer in 1814, and in April, 1817, on the death of Sir A. Thomson, Lord Chief Baron, Sir R. Richards succeeded him in that high office. He died in London, on the 11th of November, 1823.
Grufydd Roberts, a learned grammarian, who was educated at the University of Sienna, in Italy, under the patronage of William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke. He printed his valuable “Welsh Grammar” at Milan, in the year 1567.
Rev. Daniel Rowlands, rector of Llangeitho, in Cardiganshire, was born in the year 1713. He was a very distinguished minister of the gospel, who, by the mighty power of his extraordinary eloquence, roused some of his countrymen from that lethargy into which the whole country had sunk as to religion. His preaching was so valued, and such the benefits derived from it, p. 109that many flocked to hear him from every part of the Principality. He continued rising in the public esteem till his death, which happened on October 10, 1790. He was reputed among the Calvinistic Methodists; but he taught particular tenets, and was the founder of a distinct sect, now pretty numerous in Wales, and denominated Rowlandists after his name.
David Samwell, an elegant poet, who was a native of Nantglyn, in Denbighshire. He was surgeon to the ship Discovery, commanded by Captain Cook, and was an eye-witness of the death of that celebrated navigator, of which melancholy event he wrote a circumstantial account in the Biographia Britannica. He died in the autumn of the year 1799.
Rhydderch Sion, a poet and grammarian, who lived from about the year 1700 to 1750. The latter part of his life he passed as a printer at Shrewsbury, where he published his “Welsh Grammar,” and a small “Welsh Vocabulary.”
Trevredyn Sion, an eminent divine among the Nonconformists, who flourished as a theological writer from about the year 1670 to 1720; and who published his opinions in a book, which is an elegant specimen of the Silurian dialect.
Prys Thomas, of Plâs Iolyn, a distinguished poet who lived from about the year 1560 to 1610. He was a gentleman of an ancient family and large property in p. 110Denbighshire; who, being of a wild and roving disposition, fitted out a privateer in which he went to try his fortune against the Spaniards. It appears also from one of his poems that he was an officer in the land service, and was at Tilbury when Queen Elizabeth reviewed the array then assembled there.
Davydd Edward o Vargam, an eminent poet of Glamorgan, who was admitted a graduate of the Gorfedd for that province in the year 1620, presided there in 1660, and died in 1690. Many of his productions are preserved, but his most important work is the “Augmentation of the Collection of the Bardic Mysteries,” formed by Llywelyn o Llangewydd.
Alderman Waithman was, indeed, “the architect of his own fortune.” He was born near Wrexham, North Wales, in 1764, of parents of virtuous character, but in humble life. His father died soon afterwards; and his mother re-marrying, Waithman, when an infant, was adopted by an uncle, a respectable linendraper, in Bath, and sent to the school of one Moore, an ingenious man, the economy of whose plan of education led all his pupils to acquire the habit of public and extemporaneous speaking. Mr. Waithman was afterwards taken into the business of his uncle; on whose death, about 1788, he obtained a situation at Reading, whence he proceeded to London, and lived with a respectable linendraper until he became of age. He then married, p. 111and opened a shop at the south end of Fleet Market, nearly on the precise site of the monument there erected to his memory. His activity and success next enabled him to remove to more extensive premises, at the corner of Bridge-street and Fleet-street, where he always honoured the high character of a London citizen and tradesman. He retired from his business about twelve years since. He appears to have commenced his political career about the year 1794; when, at a Common Hall, he submitted a series of resolutions upon the war with France, and enforcing the necessity of a reform in parliament; which resolutions were triumphantly carried, and laid the foundation of his popularity. He was next elected into the Common Council, where the speeches, resolutions, petitions and addresses, which he moved and carried, would fill a considerable volume. His friends, and his own well-directed ambition, next prompted him to seek to represent the city of London in parliament; but his efforts were unsuccessful, till, at the general election of 1818, he was returned by a great majority, having polled 4,603 votes. He next became alderman of his ward, Farringdon Without, the most considerable in the city. At the general election, in 1820, he lost his seat by 140 votes. In the same year he served as Sheriff of London and Middlesex, with activity and intelligence; as he filled the office of Lord Mayor in 1823–24. At the p. 112elections of 1826, 1830, 1831, and 1833 he was again returned for the City. He died in February, 1833, and was buried in St. Bride’s church, Fleet street. A glance at these few data of the Alderman’s useful life will bear out the proposition that he was “the architect of his own fortune.” He owed nothing to court, or even City patronage; but, even amidst the turmoil of a political life, he accumulated a respectable fortune; for, it should be remembered that he became an active politician forty years since, or within ten years after he had established himself in business. He was a man of unflinching integrity and untiring industry—qualities which make their possessor rich indeed. As an orator, he was characterized rather by fluency than finery of language: he preferred common to fine sense, and his experience in matters of the great stage of the world was very considerable.
Edward Williams, master of Rotherham Academy, was born November the 14th, 1750, at Glancllwyd near Denbigh. The rudiments of his education he received at various schools in the neighbourhood, but having at the age of twenty, decided on entering the Christian ministry, he was placed under private tuition. If a few years time he was sent to prosecute his studies at the Dissenting Academy of Abergavenny. His first settlement in the ministry was at Ross, in Herefordshire, where he was ordained in 1776. A few years after p. 113this, Mr. Williams was requested to direct the concerns of the seminary at Abergavenny, but as he declined that proposal, the academy was removed from Abergavenny to Oswestry, where Mr. Williams now commenced the delivery of a course of college lectures, which he continued for about ten years, when he transferred the academy to other hands, and removed to Birmingham in 1792. After spending three years at the latter place, he received an invitation to superintend the concerns of the Independent Academy at Rotherham, in Yorkshire, to which station he removed in 1795, and that station he continued to occupy to the period of his death, March 9, 1813. A diploma from Edinburgh constituting him Doctor of Divinity, was received in 1792. Among the numerous productions of his pen are a reply to Mr. Abraham Booth on the “Baptismal Controversy,” two volumes, duodecimo, an “Abridgement of Dr. Owen’s Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews,” four volumes, octavo, an “Essay on the Equity of Divine Government, and the Sovereignty of the Divine Grace.”
Peter Williams, A.M., an eminent divine among the Calvinists in Wales, who died August 4th, 1796, in his seventy-seventh year. He published a large quarto Welsh Bible in 1770, with copious notes, which has gone through two subsequent editions. He also printed a small edition with notes, also a Concordance, and several religious tracts.
p. 114Rev. William Williams, an eminent preacher among the Methodists, and who was a poet of considerable genius. He published a great many tracts, and Welsh hymns for the use of his society; the principal of which is a work called “Golwg ar Deyrnas Crist,” published in 1761. He died about the year 1776.
Rev. Morris Williams, a celebrated Welsh antiquary, was born on the 2nd of March, 1685, in the parish of Cellan, Cardiganshire, and was the son of the Rev. Samuel Williams, vicar of Llandifriog. The elementary part of his classical education he received at the Caermarthen Grammar-school, whence he removed to Oxford, and matriculated at University College, May 31, 1705. Here he took his first degree in arts in 1708; he was afterwards incorporated in the same degree at Cambridge, and proceeded master of arts in that University in 1718. He was ordained deacon by Dr. Fromnel, Bishop of Norwich, a priest by Dr. Ottley, Bishop of St. David’s. Dr. Ottley presented him to the living of Llanwenog, in the above county, in 1715; and in 1717 he was inducted to the vicarage of Devynock, in Brecknockshire, where, in 1718 he married Margaret Davies, of that parish. In 1724 he exchanged this living for the rectory of Chetton Trinity, and the vicarage of St. Mary’s, Bridgewater, Somersetshire. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1732. His chief reputation as a Welsh scholar and antiquary rests on the valuable p. 115assistance he gave Dr. Wotton in preparing for publication his edition of the Laws of Hywel Dda, the glossary to which, a very able and learned performance, was principally compiled by Mr. Williams. His other works comprise various theological treatises, now little known. He also drew up a manuscript catalogue of books in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, and a manuscript life of himself, deposited in that library. His books and manuscripts he bequeathed to Lord Macclesfield.
Cynwal Williams, an eminent poet of Penmacno, Caernarvonshire, who lived from about the year 1560 to 1600. The most interesting part of his works is his poetical controversy with Edmund Prys, the archdeacon of Meirionethshire; a contest that was carried on with so much feeling as ultimately to cause Cynwal Williams to fall a martyr to the poignancy of one of the replications of his antagonist.
William Wyn, A.M., an eminent poet and divine, of the family of Rhaged, in Meirionethshire, who lived from about the year 1740 to 1760, in which last year he died. He was the rector of Llangyhaval and Manavon, in Denbighshire. Some beautiful compositions by him are printed in Dewisol Ganiadau.
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