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DAVIES, JAMES, Iago ap Dewi (1800-1869), printer and poet

Name: James Davies
Pseudonym: Iago ap Dewi
Date of birth: 1800
Date of death: 1869
Child: David Davies
Gender: Male
Occupation: printer and poet
Area of activity: Eisteddfod; Poetry; Printing and Publishing
Author: Watkin William Price

Born near Pencader, Carmarthenshire, he received no educational advantages when a child, and spent his youth as a farm labourer. He joined the Pencader Congregational church. At about 20, he forsook farming, and became an apprentice with John Evans, printer, Carmarthen, of the Seren Gomer office. Here he met kindred spirits with a love for the muse, e.g. W. E. Jones (Gwilym Cawrdaf) and William Thomas (Gwilym Mai, 1807 - 1872), and together they developed their knowledge of cynghanedd and of the free metres. About 1840 Davies left Carmarthen to join Josiah Thomas Jones's printing office at Cowbridge, and for the rest of his life remained a faithful and trustworthy printer with J. T. Jones, removing with him to Carmarthen in 1842, and to Aberdare in 1854.

He was a constant competitor in poetical subjects at the local eisteddfodau, but does not seem to have had much success in capturing prizes; the nearest occasion was when he came second with his awdl on 'Caethiwed' (Slavery in the West Indies) at the Carmarthen Cymreigyddion eisteddfod. He published numerous poems in Welsh denominational magazines, e.g. Seren Gomer, Yr Efangylydd (Llandovery), Y Drysorfa Gynulleidfaol (Carmarthen), Y Gwron under its various names (Cowbridge, Carmarthen, and Aberdare), etc. His poem 'Llinellau ar y Gwlaw Dymunol a Gafwyd ar ôl Hir Sychder, Gorffenaf 6, 7, 8, 1826,' was published in Seren Gomer for August 1826, and republished on a similar occasion in 1844. He published his poems under the title Myfyrdodau Barddonol in 1858. One of his hymns was included in Y Caniedydd Cynulleidfaol, 1895. He died 16 April 1869.

His son DAVID DAVIES ('Dewi ab Iago'), who died in 1913, was a great help to Rhys Evans and to religious music in Siloa chapel, Aberdare.



Published date: 1959

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