Dictionary of Welsh Biography



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DAVIES , HUGH ( 1739 - 1821 ), cleric and author of Welsh Botanology ; christened 5 April 1739 , son of Lewis Davies , incumbent of Llandyfrydog , Anglesey ; at 17 he went to Peter-house , Cambridge , where he graduated. He held the living of Llandegfan , Anglesey , 1778-87 , and moved to that of Aber , Caerns. , 1787 .

Davies is remembered for his Welsh Botanology … A Systematic Catalogue of the Native Plants of Anglesey, in Latin, English, and Welsh … ( London , 1813 ). He explains in his preface that ‘a constitutional nervous sensibility ’ having rendered him unequal to the duties of his profession, he retired to Beaumaris and devoted himself to the production of this book. (For the bishop of Bangor 's licence, 1810 , to absent himself from his rectory at Aber for two years, see N.L.W. MS. 6666 .) He had assisted Thomas Pennant (q.v.) with his Indian Zoology , published in 1790 , the year in which Davies had been made a Fellow of the newly-formed Linnaean Society . He also assisted several other naturalists , among them his friend William Hudson , author of Flora Anglica , whom he visited in London in 1792 , Sir James E. Smith ( Flora Britannica ), and James Sowerby ( English Botany ). Letters to Davies from Smith , Sowerby , Sir Joseph Banks , William Bingley , Lewis Weston Dillwyn , Samuel Goodenough , and many others, including William Owen Pughe and David Thomas ( Dafydd Ddu Eryri ) , are preserved in N.L.W. MS. 6665 , whilst in N.L.W. MSS. 2594, 13221-4, and 14350 , are to be found letters from Davies to Thomas Pennant , John Williams ( Treffos , Anglesey ) , and William Owen Pughe . He sent a note (‘ Four British Lichens ’) to the second volume of the Transactions of the Linnaean Society , and material found in Welsh Botanology is quoted by Alphonse de Candolle in Geographic botanique raisonnée ( Paris , 1855 ). In 1801 he published a pamphlet, Cyngor Difrif Periglor i'w Blwyfolion , against the Methodists ; a reply by Thomas Charles appeared in 1802 .

Davies d. at Beaumaris 16 Feb. 1821 ; his herbarium was sent to the British Museum .

Bibliography:

  • Transactions of the Anglesey Antiquarian Society and Field Club , 1930 and 1931 , passim ;
  • Venn , Alumni Cantabrigienses ;
  • A. Ivor Pryce , Diocese of Bangor During Three Centuries, seventeenth to nineteenth century inclusive being a digest of the registers of the bishops , 1929 ;
  • The Letters of Lewis, Richard, William, and John Morris, of Anglesey, (Morrisiaid Môn) 1728-1765 , 1907–9 , I, xxii, 98 n.;
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ;
  • National Library of Wales Manuscripts 2594, 6665-6, 13221-4, 14350;
  • D. E. Jenkins , Life of Thomas Charles , Denbigh, 1908 , chapter 38;
  • Eminent Welshmen: a short biographical dictionary of Welshmen ... from the earliest times to the present , 1908 .

Author:

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