Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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ELLIS , RICHARD ( 1865 - 1928 ), librarian and bibliographer ;

b. 14 Oct. 1869 , son of John Ellis , lime merchant , of Aberystwyth . He spent some time in a school kept by David Samuel (q.v.) and at the University College of Aberystwyth , before proceeding to Jesus College , Oxford , where he graduated in 1901 , later getting a research fellowship which enabled him to start his life's work — the collection of all the available materials relating to the life and work of Edward Lhuyd (q.v.) . He published the first-fruits of his research in Trans. Cymm. , 1906-7 , under the title ‘ Some incidents in the life of Edward Lhuyd ’; but he did not finish his work of arranging his materials for the publication of a standard work on the life and times of Lhuyd , and left them in his will to the University College library , Aberystwyth . His work on Lhuyd made him a specialist in the history of many other Welshmen who were connected with Oxford . He published ( a ) Facsimiles of Letters of Oxford Welshmen ( Henry Vaughan the Silurist , Sir Leoline Jenkins , Edward Lhuyd , Ellis Wynne , Edward Samuel , Moses Williams ), and ( b ) An Elizabethan Broadside in the Welsh Language, being a Brief granted in 1591 to Sion Salusburi of Gwyddelwern, Merionethshire . The first of these two is not dated, but the second was published in 1904 .

Towards the end of 1907 Ellis took charge of the Welsh library at Aberystwyth College , and within a year was elected principal assistant to ( Sir ) John Ballinger (q.v.) , the first librarian of the National Library of Wales . He did not, however, remain long in his new post but returned to Oxford to try to finish his research. He d. 6 Sept. 1928 at Oxford and was buried at Aberystwyth .


  • The Welsh Gazette , 13 Sept. 1928 ;
  • The Cambrian News , 14 Sept. 1928 ;
  • T. Gwynn Jones , Cymeriadau (Wrecsam, 1933) , 105-16.


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

Corrections and additions:

ELLIS , RICHARD ( 1865 - 1928 ), librarian and bibliophile ( DWB , 210-1) ;

see the article, Trans. Cymm. , 1977 , on Ellis 's career and his work on Edward Lhuyd ( DWB , 565) which corrects and supplements the original entry. Ellis was born on 27 Dec. 1865 . He was educated, probably, at a private grammar school in Aberystwyth run by David Samuel ( DWB , 903) before he entered the University College at Aberystwyth in 1889 . He was awarded a scholarship to Jesus College Oxford in 1893 but, for family reasons, he did not enter the college until 1898 . He was again awarded a scholarship, on the recommendation of R.L. Poole , in 1899 . He graduated B.A. in 1902 and M.A. in 1908 . At Oxford , he began to work on the manuscripts and letters of Edward Lhuyd with the intention of publishing these papers. In 1908 , he was appointed, in succession to J. Glyn Davies , the Welsh Librarian at the University College , Aberystwyth and he moved to the National Library when it opened in 1909 . But he was not happy there and he returned to Oxford with a research scholarship in 1912 . From 1916 to the end of World War I , he was the only assistant librarian at the Codrington Library in All Souls College . Early in the 1920s , Ellis returned to Aberystwyth . He spent a few weeks during 1927 in Dublin where he pursued his research on Lhuyd . For the same reason, he went to Oxford in July 1928 and there he died. In 1903 , Ellis published his Facsimiles of Letters of Oxford Welshmen on Whatman paper . In addition to the facsimile ‘broadside’ published in 1904 , he published another facsimile in 1907Carol o gyngor yn galennig i'r Cymru 1658 Mathew Owen . A selection of his English verse is published in the article cited above.


Evan David Jones, F.S.A., (1903-87), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959