EDWARDS, JOHN DAVID (1805-1885), cleric and musician.

Name: John David Edwards
Date of birth: 1805
Date of death: 1885
Parent: John Edwards
Gender: Male
Occupation: cleric and musician
Area of activity: Art and Architecture; Music; Performing Arts; Religion
Author: Robert David Griffith

Born 19 December 1805 in Penderlwyngoch, Gwnnws, Cards., son of John Edwards. He was educated at Ystrad Meurig school and Jesus College, Oxford (B.A. 1830, proceeding M.A. later). Ordained deacon in 1832 and priested in 1833, he served as curate at Llansantffraid Glyndyfrdwy, Denbs., and Aberdovey, before he was given by Sir Watkin Williams Wynn (in 1843) the living of Rhosymedre, Denbs., where he spent the remainder of his life. He was taught music by Dafydd Siencyn Morgan, he studied the musical grammars of Tans'ur, Calcott, etc., and became a good musician. In 1836 he published Original Sacred Music, the first book of hymn-tunes for the use of Anglican congregations in Wales; in 1843 a second series appeared. He wrote a large number of hymn-tunes, amongst the most popular being ‘Rhosymedre’ (also called ‘Lovely’ — Vaughan Williams's Choral Prelude on the Welsh Tune ‘Lovely,’ based on ‘Rhosymedre,’ was played on the organ at the Church musical festival held in the Crystal Palace, London, 21 July 1933). Edwards was considered one of the best music adjudicators in Wales in his time; it was he, together with Edward Stephen (Tanymarian), who awarded the first prize to ‘Teyrnasoedd y Ddaear,’ the anthem composed by J. Ambrose Lloyd at the Bethesda eisteddfod of 1852. He was also a good preacher and an acceptable parish priest. He died 24 November 1885 at Llanddoget rectory, the home of his nephew, and was buried in Tal-y-llyn.

His brother RICHARD OWEN EDWARDS, b. 31 July 1808, was also a pupil of Dafydd Siencyn Morgan, and went to Ystrad Meurig school. He taught music in the surrounding villages, and for many years conducted a choir at Ystrad Meurig, and a band, in which he played the clarinet. He composed several hymn-tunes, which appeared in Y Ceinion (Hafrenydd), Caniadau Seion, Yr Atodiad (Richard Mills), and Haleliwia Drachefn (Griffith Harries). The date of his death has not been discovered, but he was alive in April 1886 (April 1887 according to M. O. Jones).

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Published date: 1959

Article Copyright: http://rightsstatements.org/page/InC-RUU/1.0/