Born at Ty'n-y-gwernannau, parish of Llangwm, Denbighshire. His christening is recorded as follows: 'Baptized November 8. 1760, John, twin brother of Jane; Parents names, William and Jane Ellis, Ty'n-y-gwernannau; David Lloyd, Rector.' He showed an interest in music when quite young and learnt to play the flute. He was apprenticed to a saddler and after he had served his apprenticeship and had married he opened a shop in Scotland Street, Llanrwst. In 1800 he joined the Calvinistic Methodists and he was appointed travelling teacher of congregational singing. He published, 1816, Mawl yr Arglwydd - this being the first book of hymn-tunes which the Welsh nation was given. After publishing this book he moved to Llanfyllin and thence to Liverpool c. 1822, where he became precentor in Pall Mall chapel. In 1827 he became a member of Bedford Street chapel, where again he was made precentor. He composed several anthems - ' Molwch yr Arglwydd,' ' Duw yn ddiau a glybu,' and ' Cân Moses ' are included in Y Gyfres Gerddorol, arranged by Owain Alaw. His hymn-tune ' Eliot,' 9.8, appeared under the title ' Hill Street ' in Y Dysgedydd, January 1822, and continues to be popular. At Liverpool he became a coal-merchant, but prospered little in the material sense. He died 31 January 1839 and was buried in the English Wesleyans ' burial ground in Stanhope Street, Liverpool.
Published date: 1959
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