Dictionary of Welsh Biography



A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z



DAVIES , OWEN HUMPHREY ( Eos Llechid ; 1828 - 1898 ), quarryman, musician, and cleric . Born Sept. 1828 at Caerffynnon , Llanllechid, Caerns. , son of David Humphreys and Sarah Davies . While still very young he began to study books on music, learned to read it, and had acquired a sufficient knowledge of harmony to compose an anthem at the age of 17. In 1845 he went to work at the Penrhyn quarries , where he remained for seventeen years.

In 1848 he was appointed precentor of the Llanllechid church choir . In 1859 he became conductor of the choral society which included the church choirs of Llanllechid , Llandegai , Glanogwen , and S. Anne 's. This society gave renderings of Handel 's ‘ Messiah ’ and other classical pieces. In 1862 he was chosen to be the conductor at the church choral festival at Llandaff , and he also conducted at the 1864 , 1867 , and 1871 festivals. In addition he conducted at the music festival of the archdeaconries of Carmarthen and Swansea in 1867 . In 1869 he was licensed as a lay reader to Ysgoldy , Maes-y-groes , by bishop Campbell of Bangor . In 1870 he was appointed tutor in music at the North Wales Normal College , Caernarvon , an appointment which he continued to hold for eight years.

He composed the cantata ‘ Gwarchae Harlech ’ and a number of excellent anthems. He won prizes for composition at the Bethesda eisteddfod in 1851 , 1852 , and 1853 . His anthems were published in Y Cerddor , Greal y Corau , and the Cyfres Cerddorol . He composed and arranged a large number of airs , wrote valuable articles for the music magazines from 1861 until his death, and from 1886 to 1895 produced a series of biographies of Welsh musicians for the Haul . He was a keen adjudicator and his services were in great demand at literary meetings and eisteddfodau.

Dean H. T. Edwards persuaded him to take orders, and he became curate of S. Anne 's in 1877 , Llanberis in 1878 , and Pen-tir , 1888 . Later in 1888 he became rector of Rhiw in Llŷn . In 1895 he accepted the living of Llechcynfarwy , Anglesey , where he d., 11 Aug. 1898 . He was buried at Llanberis .

Bibliography:

  • M. O. Jones , Bywgraffiaeth Cerddorion Cymreig , National Eisteddfod Association publication, 1890 ;
  • Rhestr gyda nodiadau byrion, o Enwogion Cymreig o 1700 i 1900 , National Eisteddfod Association, 1908 ;
  • Y Geninen , 1886 , 52, 1894, 162;
  • Y Cerddor , Aug. 1901, Sept. 1905 ;
  • Greal y Corau cynnwysa geiriadur a grammadeg cerddorol, gwersi ar gynghanedd, ynghyd a darnau detholedig etc. etc. etc. , Denbigh , 1861 ;
  • Brown and Stratton , British Musical Biography: a dictionary of musical artists, authors and composers, born in Britain and its colonies , Birmingham, 1897 .

Author:

Robert David Griffith, M.A., (1877-1958), Old Colwyn