ELLIS, DAVID (1736 - 1795), cleric, poet, translator, and transcriber of manuscripts

Name: David Ellis
Date of birth: 1736
Date of death: 1795
Parent: Elizabeth David
Parent: Ellis David
Gender: Male
Occupation: cleric, poet, translator, and transcriber of manuscripts
Area of activity: History and Culture; Literature and Writing; Poetry; Religion; Scholarship and Languages
Author: David Jenkins

Born 31 August 1736, son of Ellis and Elizabeth David, Hafod-y-meirch, Dolgelley. He received his early education at Ystrad Meurig, and matriculated 14 November 1763. He proceeded to Jesus College, Oxford, 12 March 1764, but for some unknown reason he left on 30 June in that same year. He was ordained deacon at Bangor on 22 July 1764, and priest a year later. Ellis held curacies at Llanberis, Caernarfonshire, Llangeinwen, Anglesey, Derwen, Denbighshire, and Amlwch, Anglesey, before he was appointed vicar of Llanberis, 9 October 1788. He became vicar of Criccieth on 19 July 1789, and there he remained until his death. He was buried at Criccieth, 11 May 1795.

A versatile poet, Ellis wrote elegies on Evan Evans (Ieuan Brydydd Hir) and on his old schoolmaster Edward Richard. Probably his greatest service to his contemporaries was to translate the following English works into Welsh : The knowledge and practice of Christianity by Thomas Wilson (London, 1774); A short manual of prayers for common occasions, by James Merrick (London, 1774 and 1805); and The History of the Holy Jesus, by William Smith (Trefriw, 1776). He translated into Welsh a poem by Evan Evans (Ieuan Brydydd Hir), entitled The Penitent Shepherd: a sacred poem, which was published in Blodau Dyfed, an anthology compiled by J. Howell (Carmarthen, 1824) [p. 55]. He also copied a large number of Welsh manuscripts which today are included among such well-known collections as Peniarth , Cwrtmawr , and N.L.W., in the National Library of Wales; Gwyneddon in the library of the U.C.N.W., Bangor, and Cardiff City Free Library. He also made a transcript of Mona Antiqua Restaurata, by Henry Rowlands (1655 - 1723), which he presented to the library of his old school at Ystrad Meurig.


Published date: 1959

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