Born at Caernarvon, 17 September 1817, son of David Humphreys, hatter, a native of Tre'r Ddôl, Cards. Apprenticed when he was 12 years old with Peter Evans, printer, Castle Street, Caernarvon, Hugh Humphreys began business as a printer on his own account at Tan-y-bont in Caernarvon, in 1837. He had courage and enterprise, and the small printing business soon developed into a large concern which included printing, bookselling and photography amongst its activities. His first apprentice was Griffith Parry. Hugh Humphreys became a pioneer of cheap books in Wales with his series of penny books, on the lines of Chambers's Miscellany, and he also published a series of sixpenny books. Amongst the most important books which he issued were the edition (1883) of Pennant's Tours in Wales, which John Rhys, afterwards principal of Jesus College, Oxford, edited for him; a new edition (1864), edited by Cynddelw, of Gorchestion Beirdd Cymru; a translation by Eben Fardd, of Chambers's Information for the People (1856), a translation of Josephus (1882), and editions of the poetical works of Dewi Wyn, Cawrdaf, Ieuan Brydydd Hir, and Cynddelw. In 1855 he began to publish a weekly newspaper, Y Telegraph, which does not appear to have lived for more than a few weeks. In September 1862 appeared the first number of a monthly magazine, Golud yr Oes, but this was also given up in December 1864, the publisher, who was also the editor, stating that it stood in the way of other publishing ventures which he had at heart. As his business grew he built Paternoster Buildings at the corner of Castle Square. He took a prominent part in the life of the town and was mayor in 1876-7. He was a local preacher among the Wesleyans. Politically he was a Conservative. He married 5 June 1845, a Cornishwoman, Mary Crane Davy, daughter of captain Davy, Llandudno, an engineer; d. 2 May 1896, and was buried at Llanbeblig.
Published date: 1959
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