Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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EDWARDS , PETER (PERCY) ; (‘ Pedr Alaw ’, 1854 - 1934 ; DWB , 193).

His degree Mus.Bac. (Toronto) was received before 1906 . After emigrating and taking holy orders he entered the ministry and served the churches of Westminster and Ideal , South Dakota , Monango and Lisbon , North Dakota , Malta and Roundup , Montana , and was assistant priest at the cathedral, Helena , Montana . He composed church music and conducted choral groups . Three of his sons were known in Wisconsin as ‘the Welsh boy singers’. Among his friends were Daniel Protheroe ( DWB , 801-2) and Bransby Williams . Some of his work is in the British Library and the National Library of Wales . His Beatitudes ( 1906 ), a sacred cantata, was dedicated to his friend, John Owen , Bishop of St. David's ( DWB , 714-5) . By this time he had adopted the name Percy Edwards .


  • Information from his son, Merlin D. Edwards, Minneapolis , and Huw Williams .


Evan David Jones, F.S.A., (1903-87), Aberystwyth

Corrections and additions:

EDWARDS , PETER ( Pedr Alaw ; 1854 - 1934 ), musician ;

b. at Castle Cottage , Rhuddlan, Flints. , son of John and Elizabeth Edwards . Educated at the Rhuddlan national school , he showed when quite young a fondness for music and learnt the tonic sol-fa system when he was a member of the choir of his chapel . After leaving school he worked in the office of a timber merchant at Rhyl , proceeding thence to similar work in Liverpool ; there, at Bootle , he conducted a children's choir . An anthem which he composed for a Liverpool eisteddfod was awarded the prize by Owain Alaw ( John Owen , 1821 - 1883 , q.v.) . After five years in Liverpool he worked at Barrow-in-Furness , removing in 1877 to London as a shorthand writer to a firm of timber merchants . He attended music classes at Birkbeck College and at Trinity College of Music under Turpin and Karn . He conducted choirs and children's musical festivals , and wrote notes on music to the London Kelt . He composed cantatas: ‘ Gareth ac Eiluned ,’ ‘ Cantawd y Blodau ’; published Anthemydd y Cysegr ; and wrote several hymn-tunes and chants (see his Llyfr o 300 o Salm-donau ). In 1912 he emigrated to the U.S.A. ; he subsequently graduated Mus. Bac. ( Toronto ). Entering the Anglican ministry , he was appointed assistant priest at the cathedral church of Lisbon , North Dakota . In 1932 he became assistant priest in the church of S. Luke , Chicago . He d. 23 July 1934 and was buried in Graceland cemetery , Chicago .


  • Cerddor y Cymry , Sept. 1891 ;
  • Y Cerddor , Oct. 1921 ;
  • Y Drych newyddiadur cenedlaethol Cymry America , 1934 .


Robert David Griffith, M.A., (1877-1958), Old Colwyn

Published date: 2001