Born at Ty-nant in the parish of Llanycil, Meironnydd, son of Ellis and Jane William. His wife's name was Ellen and in 1780 they were living in the township of Ismynydd; between 1780 and 1790 they had four children. He died December 1810 and was buried at Llanycil. It was for his benefit that Ychydig o Hymnau, etc. (undated), written by Edward Parry (1723 - 1786) of Llansannan, William Evans (1735 - 1805) of Bala, and others, was published - 'for a poor man called William Ellis.' A number of his own hymns are to be found in the second part of the book. It is thought that he is the ' Gwilym ab Elis ' who, in 1786, published a hymn-book, Ychydig o Hymnau a Chaniadau Newyddion, etc., at Trevecka. There are twenty-five hymns in this collection, one of them being very well known. The collection includes a 'carol' and a secular poem; two ballads, c. 1790, are attributed to him in J. H. Davies's list.
Published date: 1959
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