Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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EDWARDS , JOHN ( Siôn Ceiriog ; 1747 - 1792 ), bard and orator .

Born in Glynceiriog, Denbs. He went as a young man to London and, after getting to know Owen Jones ( Owain Myfyr ) and Robert Hughes ( Robin Ddu o Fôn ) he joined the Society of Gwyneddigion . From then on until his death in Sept. 1792 he was one of the most prominent members of the society: he was secretary in 1779 , president in 1783 , and he was regarded as the bard of the society. When the Gwyneddigion offered a silver medal for an elegy on Richard Morris in 1780 , Siôn Ceiriog wrote a poem in blank verse, described as ‘pindaric’ ( B.M. Add. MS. 14993, 57-8 ). Although it was Richard Jones , Trefdraeth , who won the medal, the society maintained that Siôn Ceiriog had written the better poem and he was given what was called an ‘ honorary medal .’ Apart from this, little of his work has been preserved. It is obvious that he was a ‘ character ,’ and he also won much renown as an orator in the meetings of the Gwyneddigion and of the Society of Caradogion . He was a witty man but somewhat hot-headed and irresponsible, and his chief delight lay in ‘ragging’ his London friends. John Jones , Glan-y-gors ( 1766 - 1821 ) , says that he was an astronomer , musician , and historian , but we do not know enough to substantiate the claim.


  • Leathart , Origin and Progress of the Gwyneddigion Society of London (1831) , 16;
  • Geirlyfr Bywgraffiadol o Enwogion Cymru (1870) , 115-6;
  • The Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion , 1926-7 , 113-4;
  • T. Morgan , Enwogion Cymreig (1700-1900) (1907) .


Emeritus Professor Griffith John Williams, M.A., (1892-1963), Gwaelod-y-garth, Cardiff

Published date: 1959