Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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SOUTHALL , JOHN EDWARD ( 1855 - 1928 ), printer, publisher, author; a member of the Society of Friends ;

b. at Leominster , Herefords. , the son of John Tertius Southall and Elizabeth ( Trusted ) . He was educated at Weston-super-Mare and at the Society of Friends’ school at Bootham , Yorks. He started to learn Welsh when he was quite young and became fairly proficient in the use of the language. He settled as a printer at Newport, Mon. , in 1879 , and continued to print and publish books there until about the beginning of the third decade of the 20th cent. Many of his publications were textbooks for use in the schools of Wales and England . He wrote much about the Quaker way of life, e.g. Quakerism as a Factor in the World's History , Quakerism as a Universal Religion , etc. He made a special study, both as individual and publisher, of the problem of the teaching of the Welsh language in both Welsh -speaking and English -speaking districts of the Principality, starting by submitting a memorandum on this subject (‘ Bilingual teaching in Welsh elementary schools … ’) to a royal commission which sat in 1886 and 1887 . Amongst his publications of Welsh interest are Wales and her Language considered from a historical, educational, and social standpoint , 1892 (2nd ed. 1893 ); The Welsh Language Census of 1891 … and remarks on the future of the language , 1895 ; Preserving and teaching the Welsh Language in English speaking districts , 1899 ; The Welsh Language Census of 1901 , 1904 ; he also published a series of bilingual readers for use in schools in Wales . He retired from business c. 1924 and d. in Caswell Terrace , Leominster , 13 Nov. 1928 . His wife was Ann Berry .


  • Celia Southall , Records of the Southall Family (London, 1932) (privately printed 1932? ), — see the pedigree table and the section showing the connection of the Southalls with a Welsh family named Prichaid;
  • Who's who in Wales , 1921 ;
  • The Times , 11 March 1929 (details of his will);
  • personal knowledge.


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

Published date: 1959