Born 13 April 1831 at Llofft-y-tŷ-llaeth, Park, Llanfrothen, Meironnydd, son of John and Elizabeth Owen. His early education was of the scantiest. After a period as a boy-servant at Ynysfor, he found work at the age of 14, in the slate-quarries of Ffestiniog. He married Elin Jones of Beddgelert, and they made their home at Beddgelert, where two sons were born to them. Glaslyn continued his connection with the slate-quarries, and in 1869 he was manager of a small slate-quarry in Duffryn Ardudwy. In 1877 the Owen s removed to the village of Bryntirion, Nantmor, and shortly afterwards to a cottage called Pen-y-groes, near Aberglaslyn Bridge. On 17 May 1902 Glaslyn suffered the loss of his wife. Thereupon he entered ' Llys Ednyfed,' Penrhyndeudraeth, where he died on 13 March 1909 at the age of 78; he was buried at Beddgelert on 19 March. Glaslyn's literary output in poetry and prose was considerable, and his contributions to Cymru, Y Genedl Gymreig, and other periodicals were particularly numerous. He also published his ' Adgofion ' ('Reminiscences') of his friend, Owen Wynne Jones (Glasynys), whose poetical and prose-works he edited in Yr Wyddfa. An unsuccessful effort was made to obtain for Glaslyn a Government pension as a reward for his services to literature. N.L.W. MS. 2856 contains an example of his work.
His son was JOHN OWEN (Ap Glaslyn; 1857 - 1934), preacher, poet, and musician; born at Beddgelert 6 May 1857. He was educated at the local school, became a pupil teacher and later worked in the slate quarries at Ffestiniog and Llanberis. In his youth he was successful as an elocutionist and actor. He identified himself with the Welsh drama movement and acted in one of the first drama companies to perform in the vernacular. His prowess as a singer was also known throughout Wales. His work in connection with the temperance movement will be remembered, as well as his activities in connection with the Good Templars during the religious revival of 1904-5. After this Ap Glaslyn devoted himself to preaching and in 1919 was ordained as minister with the Calvinistic Methodists, being prominently associated with the Forward Movement in South Wales at Gelli, Rhondda, and later at Llanbradach, where he remained until his death, 16 April 1934. He contributed frequently to Welsh periodicals and in 1876 published a book Y Llenor Ieuanc, which was favourably received in the Welsh literary world. He was responsible for the words and music of many religious songs which he sang and made popular during the 1904-5 revival. He married Elizabeth Trefor, daughter of William and Jane Trefor, of Llanberis; there were six children of the marriage.
Published date: 1959
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