Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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ROBERTS , ROBERT (SILYN) ( Rhosyr ; 1871 - 1930 ), Calvinistic Methodist minister, poet, social reformer, tutor ;

b. at Bryn Llidiart , Llanllyfni , 28 March 1871 . Starting as a slate quarryman , he was educated at Bangor University College ( B.A. 1899 , M.A. 1901 ) and at Bala Theological College . He became minister of Lewisham (Welsh) Calvinistic Methodist church , 1901-5 , and Tanygrisiau , Blaenau Ffestiniog , 1905-12 . He was crown bard at the national eisteddfod, 1902 , for a poem on ‘ Trystan and Esyllt .’ He published, with W. J. Gruffydd , in 1900 , Telynegion , which marks the beginning of a new lyrical period in Welsh poetry. He published Trystan ac Esyllt a Chaniadau Eraill in 1904 . Other poems were published later, some under the pseudonym ‘ Rhosyr ,’ but they have not been collected with the exception of a short memorial selection, Cofarwydd , 1930 . He published a pamphlet on the I.L.P. : Y Blaid Lafur Anibynnol, ei Hanes a'i Hamcan , 1908 , and was elected Labour member on the Merioneth county council . He lectured in the United States and Canada on the Welsh campaign against tuberculosis . In 1912 he was appointed first secretary of the Welsh Appointments Board of the University of Wales . On the outbreak of the war in 1914 , he was active and energetic in seeking commissions for Welshmen in the armed forces , and was appointed by the Government , 1918-22 , commissioner for Wales to organise training for disabled ex-service men . From 1922 he was tutor of extra-mural classes under the University College of North Wales , and in 1925 he established the North Wales District of the Workers’ Educational Association . He travelled extensively in Europe and America , and wrote much for Y Glorian , Y Dinesydd Cymreig , The Welsh Outlook , etc. He published Gwyntoedd Croesion , 1924 (a translation of J. O. Francis 's drama, Cross Currents ), Bugail Geifr Lorraine , 1925 (a translation of Souvestre 's novel), and in 1945 , a romance, Llio Plas y Nos . He m., in 1905 , Mary Parry , of London , and had two sons and one daughter. He d. at Bangor 15 Aug. 1930 .

Sources:

  • Y Traethodydd , April 1942 ;
  • The Liverpool Daily Post , 18 Aug. 1930 ;
  • Y Goleuad , 3 and 17 Sept. 1930 ;
  • Cambria , Winter 1930 ;
  • Papur Pawb (Caernarfon, 1893-1916) , 2 April 1904 ;
  • Yr Ymwelydd Misol (Wrexham, 1903-14) , Aug. 1912 ;
  • and his own works.
  • [Authorised biography, Silyn (Robert Silyn Roberts) 1871-1930) (Liverpool, 1956) , by David Thomas ( Liverpool, 1956).]

Author:

David Thomas, O.B.E., M.A., (1880-1967), Bangor

Published date: 1959