Dictionary of Welsh Biography



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ELLIS , DAVID ( 1736 - 1795 ), cleric, poet, translator, and transcriber of manuscripts ; b. 31 Aug. 1736 , son of Ellis and Elizabeth David , Hafody-meirch , Dolgelley . He received his early education at Ystrad Meurig , and matriculated 14 Nov. 1763 . He proceeded to Jesus College , Oxford , 12 March 1764 , but for some unknown reason he left on 30 June in that same year. He was ordained deacon at Bangor on 22 July 1764 , and priest a year later. Ellis held curacies at Llanberis (Caerns.) , Llangeinwen (Anglesey) , Derwen (Denbs.) , and Amlwch (Anglesey) , before he was appointed vicar of Llanberis , 9 Oct. 1788 . He became vicar of Criccieth on 19 July 1789 , and there he remained until his death. He was buried at Criccieth , 11 May 1795 .

A versatile poet , Ellis wrote elegies on Evan Evans ( Ieuan Brydydd Hir ) and on his old schoolmaster Edward Richard (qq.v.) . Probably his greatest service to his contemporaries was to translate the following English works into Welsh : The knowledge and practice of Christianity by Thomas Wilson ( London , 1774 ); A short manual of prayers for common occasions , by James Merrick ( London , 1774 and 1805 ); and The History of the Holy Jesus , by William Smith ( Trefriw , 1776 ). He translated into Welsh a poem by Evan Evans ( Ieuan Brydydd Hir ) , entitled The Penitent Shepherd: a sacred poem , which was published in Blodau Dyfed , an anthology compiled by J. Howell ( Carmarthen , 1824 ) [p. 55]. He also copied a large number of Welsh manuscripts which today are included among such well-known collections as Peniarth , Cwrtmawr , and N.L.W. , in the National Library of Wales ; Gwyneddon in the library of the U.C.N.W. , Bangor , and Cardiff City Free Library . He also made a transcript of Mona Antiqua Restaurata , by Henry Rowlands ( 1655 - 1723 ) (q.v.) , which he presented to the library of his old school at Ystrad Meurig .

Bibliography:

  • Diocese of Bangor records in N.L.W.;
  • Foster , Alumni Oxonienses .

Author:

Dr David Jenkins, C.B.E., M.A., D.Litt., (1912-2002), Penrhyn-coch, Aberystwyth