Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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WILLIAMS , JOHN ( Glanmor ; 1811 - 1891 ), cleric, poet, and antiquary ;

b. at Foryd , near Rhyl , 11 Aug. 1811 , son of William and Elizabeth King Williams . He started his career as a schoolmaster . In 1849 he was appointed master at the National school , Llangernyw, Denbs. In 1852 he moved to the Blue Coat school at Denbigh , where he remained until 1859 . From Denbigh he went to the National school at Gwersyllt , where he remained until 1864 when he became a student at S. Bees theological college . Two years later he was ordained deacon and in 1867 priest . He was curate at Whitehaven ( 1866-Dec. 1868 ), Amlwch ( 1868-71 ), and Ebbw Vale ( 1871-83 ). In 1883 he was appointed rector of Llanallgo cum Llaneugrad , Anglesey , where he remained until his death, 12 April 1891 . He was buried at Llanagllo . He m. 1854 , Elizabeth (d. 1890 ), daughter of William Deer of Birmingham , by whom he had a son and three daughters. He competed frequently at the eisteddfodau and wrote awdlau on ‘ Y Gwanwyn ,’ ‘ Yr Eira ,’ and ‘ Diwedd y Cynhauaf ,’ as well as a cywydd (which won the prize at the Bangor eisteddfod ) on ‘ Nineveh ’. He was also an eisteddfod adjudicator . In Welsh , he wrote Hanes yr Eglwys yng Nghymru, ynghyd a Tharddiad ac Amldaeniad Anghydffurfiaeth ( Rhyl , J. Morris, 1877 ) and Awstralia a'r Cloddfeydd Aur ( Denbigh , T. Gee, 1852 ). He edited Carolau gan Brif Feirdd Cymru a'i Phrydyddion ( Wrexham , Hughes and Son , 1865 ), and the same company published a volume of his works in 1865 . But Glanmor 's greatest achievement was his publication of the history of the town and lordship of Denbigh in two volumes: Ancient and Modern Denbigh ( Denbigh , 1856 ) and The Records of Denbigh and its Lordship ( Wrexham , 1860 ). To-day, we realise that the arrangement of the two volumes leaves much to be desired and that some of the ‘facts’ incorrect, but at that time they were regarded as an important contribution to the history of Wales in the middle ages. So far, nothing has appeared to supplant Ancient and Modern Denbigh , but the Survey of the Honour of Denbigh, 1334 (ed. P. Vinogradoff and F. Morgan, British Academy , London , 1914 ) is an improvement on the early chapters of The Records of Denbigh and its Lordship . This last-named work, however, has extracts from the borough registers and lists of the officials and sheriffs which are not available elsewhere.


  • Eminent Welshmen: a short biographical dictionary of Welshmen ... from the earliest times to the present (1908) ;
  • Y Geninen , 1898 , 132;
  • Yr Haul , 1891 , 194.


Frank Price Jones, (1920-75), Bangor

Published date: 1959