Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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REES , RICE ( 1804 - 1839 ), cleric and scholar ;

b. 31 March 1804 at Ton near Llandovery , son of David and Sarah Rees — see the article on the Rees of Ton family . His father was apparently an Independent , and Rice Rees was christened in the Independent chapel by Peter Jenkins of Brychgoed . In 1819 he went to Lampeter grammar school , which in those days was in charge of Eliezer Williams (q.v.) , but his stay there was short. After that, he spent some time at home and it was during this period that this interest in Welsh was roused by John Howell , Ioan Glan Dyfroedd (q.v.) , who was headmaster of the British school in the town. He then went to his uncle, W. J. Rees (q.v.) , at Cascob to be prepared for Oxford ; he was admitted to Jesus College in 1822 , graduated in 1826 ( B.D. 1837 ), and in 1828 was elected a Fellow of his college . Llewellyn Lewellin (q.v.) was his tutor at Oxford , and when Lewellin became principal of the newly founded S. David's College , Lampeter , Rice Rees was appointed lecturer in Welsh and librarian . He was ordained the same year; in 1832 he became rector of Llanddewi Velfrey , and in 1838 was appointed bishop's chaplain — he had already been entrusted with the responsibility of examining candidates for holy orders in Welsh . He was a scholar by nature, and his book, The Welsh Saints , is, according to the article on him by ( Sir ) J. E. Lloyd in the D.N.B. , ‘full and illuminating’ and remains the standard authority on this subject; it was originally a prize essay at the Carmarthen eisteddfod ( 1835 ), but in 1836 was enlarged into a book which was published by his brother, William Rees ( 1808 - 1873 ) (q.v.) . He edited an impression of Canwyll y Cymry ( Rhys Prichard , q.v. ), which appeared ( 1841 ) posthumously; and he was a member of the committee appointed to produce a revised edition of the Welsh Book of Common Prayer . He had intended publishing an edition of Liber Landavensis , but d. before the work was finished — it was, in fact, inadequately completed by W. J. Rees in 1853 . It is clear that Rice Rees overworked; he d. suddenly at Newbridge on Wye on his way from Cascob to Lampeter , 20 May 1839 , and was buried at Llandingad .


  • M.A. dissertation by T. Lloyd Bowen .


Selwyn Jones, Mus.Bac., (1906-81), Hirwaun

Published date: 1959