Born at Tyddyn Iolyn, Pentrefelin, near Portmadoc. On his mother's side he claimed descent from the family of Roberts of Isallt, Eifionydd, renowned as physicians, and he also claimed special gifts as a physician and veterinary surgeon. He was educated in his home neighbourhood, and about 1831 was apprenticed to a pharmacist at Pwllheli; he was afterwards at Caernarvon and London. At Tremadoc in 1838 he opened a business as a pharmacist which he called the ' Cambrian Pill Depôt,' and he became famous as the proprietor of the celebrated ' Tremadoc Pills ' which claimed to cure all manner of ailments.
He also started a printing-press at Tremadoc, where he printed various publications, and a number of Welsh books. In November 1858 he began publishing Y Brython, a weekly newspaper, but at the beginning of 1859 it became a monthly magazine; Daniel Silvan Evans was co-editor till 1860, but owing to lack of support publication ceased in 1863.
He was a keen eisteddfodwr, and wrote a good deal of verse, but did not excel. He published and edited Gwaith Barddonol Sion Wyn o Eifion, 1861; Cyff Beuno (Eben Fardd), 1863; Cell Meudwy (Ellis Owen), 1877; John Ystumllyn, 1888; Yr Emynydd Cristionogol, 1889; Y Gestiana, sef, Hanes Tre'r Gest, 1892.
He left the Methodists and became a faithful member of the Anglican church at Tremadoc, and started a Sunday school in the town hall. He also edited and published Baner y Groes, a Church monthly magazine, and he contributed articles to Yr Haul, Y Llan, and Cymru. He died 7 March 1905, and was buried at Ynyscynhaearn.
Published date: 1959
Article Copyright: http://rightsstatements.org/page/InC/1.0/
The Dictionary of Welsh Biography is provided by The National Library of Wales and the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies. It is free to use and does not receive grant support. A donation would help us maintain and improve the site so that we can continue to acknowledge Welsh men and women who have made notable contributions to life in Wales and beyond.
Find out more on our sponsorship page.