Born at the King's Head, Beaumaris, son of John and Alice Llwyd. The father, a coast trader, d. at Warrington, of smallpox, when Richard was quite young. After nine months at the Beaumaris Free School, Llwyd entered the domestic service of a local gentleman; by 1870 he had become steward and secretary to a Mr. Griffith, Caerhun, near Conway. Later he retired to Beaumaris where he was instrumental in raising a monument to David Hughes, founder of the free school at which he had been educated; he failed in his efforts to erect a memorial to Owen Jones (Owain Myfyr). He had throughout life been interested in books, manuscripts, and records of the assistance which he gave to such writers as Sir Richard Colt Hoare, Richard Fenton, Peter Roberts, was duly acknowledged. He came to be considered an authority on Welsh heraldry and genealogy, see, e.g., N.L.W. MSS. 1561-1564; many of the Hengwrt MSS. He appears to have devoted some time to the study of the Hengwrt MSS. — on this see note p. xxi of the ‘Introduction’ to part i of N.L.W. Handlist of MSS., and see, in particular, Pen. MSS. 425 and 533. He paid a visit to London in 1808 in order to read in the B.M. Library; he was introduced on this visit to Owen Jones, William Owen Pughe, Sharon Turner, and others. Owing to his acquaintance with several members of landed and other families he was able to procure financial assistance (from the Royal Literary Fund, etc.), for such persons as David Thomas (Dafydd Ddu Eryri), Richard Robert Jones (Dic Aberdaron), and Jonathan Hughes. He came to be considered an authority on Welsh heraldry and genealogy, and had in contemplation the preparation of a ‘History and Location of the Founders of the Regal and Patrician Tribes and other Chieftains. … Also the Advena [sic], or Families founded by natives of England in its several wars with Wales.’ In May 1814 at the age of 62, he m. Ann Bingley (d. 1834), daughter of alderman Bingley, Chester; he had been living in Chester since 1807. He was elected an honorary member of the Cymmrodorion Society in 1824. One of his last acts was to place in the B.M. the ‘Branwen ferch Llŷr’ sepulchral urn discovered in 1813 on the banks of the river Alaw, Anglesey. He d. 29 Dec. 1835, and was buried in S. John's churchyard, Chester.
Beaumaris Bay, Llwyd's best known work, was published in 1800. He also published Gayton Wake, or Mary Dod (Chester 1804) and Poems, Tales, Odes, Sonnets, Translations from the British (Chester, 1804). In 1837 The Poetical Works of Richard Llwyd, The Bard of Snowdon, comprising Beaumaris Bay … with a Portrait and a Memoir of the Author was published. He knew Angharad Llwyd, which probably accounts for the fact that some of his MSS. are in her collection (see Kinmel Park Collection in N.L.W.).
Published date: 1959
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