EDWARDS, JOHN ('Siôn y Potiau '; 1699? - 1776); translator and poet

Name: John Edwards
Pseudonym: Siôn Y Potiau
Date of birth: 1699?
Date of death: 1776
Child: Abel Jones
Child: Cain Jones
Gender: Male
Occupation: translator and poet
Area of activity: Poetry; Scholarship and Languages
Author: Garfield Hopkin Hughes

Born at Glyn Ceiriog, Denbighshire - perhaps he is the John, son of Edward Jones, who was christened there 27 December 1699. The burial of 'John Edwards the Welsh Poet' at Llansantffraid Glyn Ceiriog, 28 December 1776, is registered, and it is said that for a time his home was near the churchyard. He is stated to have given up his craft as a weaver shortly after his marriage and to have spent seven years in London as a bookseller's assistant - this is supported by the controversy between him and Jonathan Hughes. Cain Jones, the almanac-maker, was his son and, according to Charles Ashton and others, John Edwards too was an almanac-maker. He was one of the poets who took part in the eisteddfodau of the 18th century - Bala 1738, Glyn Ceiriog 1743, Selattyn 1748, etc. - and many of his poems are characteristic of the work of the eisteddfod poets, more particularly his best-known work, the twenty-four englynion to the belfry of Llangollen church, 1749. He translated the second and 'third' parts of The Pilgrim's Progress. Judging by the translator's 'Notice' the second part was published (by Stafford Prys) probably in 1761-2 and not in 1767 as William Rowlands (Gwilym Lleyn) asserts. The third part was published 'for Dafydd Llwyd of Bala ' at Chester in 1768 - a Robert Llwyd of Bala is mentioned in the second part as one of the translator's friends. This was the earliest translation of the 'third' part into Welsh.


Published date: 1959

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