Born 19 January 1810 at the ‘Harp’ inn, Llanfairtalhaearn, Denbighshire. He was educated at the local school and at schools at Rhuddlan and Abergele, but returned home to be taught his father's trade — that of a joiner. When he was 15 years of age he was apprenticed to an architect of the name of Ward who was at that time superintendent of lord Bagot's mansion, Pool Park, Ruthin. In 1830 he was employed by T. Penson, who was in charge of the bridges of Denbighshire and Montgomeryshire, and in 1843 as an assistant in the firm of Scott and Moffatt, ecclesiastical architects, London. In 1851 he left them to join Sir Joseph Paxton and was one of the superintendents of the building of the Crystal Palace and of the mansion of baron Meyer de Rothschild, near Menton, France. In 1855 he was again sent to France to supervise the building of baron James Rothschild's mansion, but after three years returned home to recuperate. He returned once more to his profession and supervised the building of earl Russell's mansion at Battlesden Park, Beds. As he suffered severely from arthritis he decided to retire and came back home to the ‘Harp,’ where he died by his own hand in October 1869.
His works were Awdl y Greadigaeth … 1849; Eisteddfod Genhedlaethol Abertawe, 1863, Awdl er Coffadwriaeth am y diweddar Dywysog Cydweddog ‘Albert Dda’ … 1863; Gwaith Talhaiarn, the first volume published by H. Williams, 1855, the second by T. Piper, 1862, and the third by W. J. Roberts of Llanrwst, 1869. He wrote the Welsh words for Llywelyn, a dramatic cantata, 1864, and for The Bride of Neath Valley, 1867. He also wrote lyrics for many of the airs in Welsh Melodies by John Thomas (Pencerdd Gwalia) and for songs by Brinley Richards, Blockley, Owain Alaw, and J.D. Jones.
[In London he became in 1843 a member of the Cymreigyddion Society, and president in 1849; in 1855 he printed an account of its last days. His fame rests mainly on his songs and light verse, often satirical.]
Published date: 1959
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