DAVIES, MORRIS (1796 - 1876), author, hymnologist, and musician

Name: Morris Davies
Date of birth: 1796
Date of death: 1876
Gender: Male
Occupation: author, hymnologist, and musician
Area of activity: Literature and Writing; Music; Performing Arts; Poetry; Religion
Author: Robert Thomas Jenkins

Born October 1796 (christened 19 October) at Pennant-igi Uchaf ('Pennant Igillt ' in a record of 1761), Mallwyd parish, Meironnydd; his father, a farmer, was of Ffestiniog origin. His earliest education was in short-lived schools at Dinas Mawddwy and Mallwyd, together with the Sunday school. Disliking farm work, he decided to become a schoolmaster and went in 1819 to a school kept by William Owen (Gwilym Glan Hafren, 1788 - 1838) at Welshpool. After six months there, he kept school, at Pont Robert, Llanfyllin, Syston, Leicestershire, Llanfair Caereinion, and Llanfyllin again, till 1836. The parson of Syston was Edward Morgan (1784 - 1869), who was at the time engaged on his Life of Thomas Charles, and it was Davies who copied for him the 150 letters by Charles used in that book. In 1836 he became clerk to a legal firm at Llanfyllin with which David Williams (1799 - 1869 was connected, and he followed the firm when it moved to Portmadoc and then to Pwllheli. He was schoolmaster at Portmadoc, 1844-9, but in 1849 removed to Bangor to become a clerk, and died there 10 September 1876. Remembering his scrappy education and his constant shiftings for half a century, one cannot but be astonished at the amount and high quality of literary and musical work accomplished by Morris Davies. He translated religious booklets; he was a diligent writer to the periodicals, notably to Y Traethodydd, in which some forty articles by him appeared: he contributed many articles to Y Gwyddoniadur and similar dictionaries; he published a biography, 1865, of Ann Griffiths and an edition, 1876, of the works of Daniel Rowland of Llangeitho with a biography. He wrote many hymns, was a specialist in hymnology (many of the Traethodydd articles are upon this subject), and edited four collections of hymns. He was also a good musician, and in 1860 published (under the title Jeduthun) a collection of hymn-tunes, ten of which were of his own composition - on this see R. D. Griffith, Hanes Canu Cynulleidfaol Cymru, 1948, 170-1.


Published date: 1959

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