Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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WILLIAMS , ROBERT DEWI ( 1870 - 1955 ), minister (Presb.), headmaster of Clynnog School and writer ;

b. 29 Dec. 1870 at Llwyn-du Isaf , Pandytudur, Denbs. , son of Isaac and Elizabeth Williams . He was a pupil at the local British School ( Blaenau Llangernyw School , or Pandy School ) and he had two months' education at the grammar school kept by his relative, Robert Roberts (‘ Y Sgolor Mawr ’, 1834 - 1885 , DWB , 877) , at Llanfair Talhaearn ; he subsequently attended a school at Llandudno and the preparatory school at Bala where he began to preach . After a period at the University College , Aberystwyth , he completed a four-year honours course at Jesus College , Oxford . He was ord. in 1900 , and served as minister of Cesarea , Llandwrog, Caerns. ( 1898-1904 ) and Jerusalem , Penmaen-mawr ( 1904-17 ). In 1917 he was appointed headmaster of Clynnog School , and he retained the post when the school moved to Clwyd College , Rhyl , remaining there until he retired in 1939 . He lived at Rhuddlan during the last years of his life. He was greatly respected by his students. It is clear that he was an excellent teacher with a deep knowledge of the classics and other subjects; he taught dozens of students — some of them rather unpromising — who had set their hearts on the ministry. He was a very acceptable preacher himself, and his vivid and pithy comparisons were long remembered. He was elected Moderator of the North Wales Association of the Pres. Church in 1950 . He was also a fine writer , with a natural instinct for savouring words and sayings. His long short-story, ‘ Y Clawdd terfyn ’ was published in the first issue of Y Beirniad , and later published in Clawdd terfyn, straeon a darluniadau in 1912 (2nd. ed. 1948 ); he is considered to be the pioneer of this type of story in Welsh . He also wrote for periodicals , and some of his articles in Y Drysorfa were collected under the title Dyddiau mawr mebyd in 1973 . In 1908 he m. Helena Jones Davies , and they had a son. He d. 25 Jan. 1955 at Rhuddlan .


  • Blwyddiadur y Methodistiaid Calfinaidd , 1956 , 265;
  • Y Goleuad , 9 and 16 Feb. 1955 ;
  • Y Drysorfa , 1950 , 59-62;
  • W. Morris (ed.), Ysgolion a cholegau y Methodistiaid Calfinaidd, y rhai a gaewyd (Caernarfon, 1973) (1973) , 61ff.;
  • information from Alford Pritchard , Pandytudur;
  • [ W. J. Edwards , Cerdded y clawdd terfyn cofiant R. Dewi Williams (Denbigh, 1992) (1992) ].


Reverend Gomer Morgan Roberts, M.A., (1904-93), Pont-rhyd-y-fen / St Dogmael's / Llandybïe

Published date: 2001