ROWLAND, JOHN (fl. 1760-1764, printer at Bodedern, Anglesey, and Bala, Merionethshire

Name: John Rowland
Gender: Male
Occupation: printer
Area of activity: Printing and Publishing
Author: William Llewelyn Davies

It used to be thought by some bibliographers that John Rowland was in some way or other connected with the Anglesey printing press of Lewis Morris. Ifano Jones (Hist. of Printing and Printers in Wales) has, however, shown conclusively that no connection existed. John Rowland started to print at Bodedern in 1760. His stay there, however, was short, as next year he is found printing at Bala. Under the year 1741 in his Cambrian Bibliography William Rowlands records Ym Ddiddan rhwng Rhobin Criwso a Bardd y Cwsg amy blynyddau dros byth, and adds that it was a kind of almanack for the year 1741. He also quotes part of a line from a stanza - 'A'i brintio ym Môn ' ('printed in Anglesey') which suggested to him (Rowlands) that the work had been printed at the Bodedern Press. The printing is so badly done, as indeed was most of John Rowland's work, that one is led to the conclusion that the printer was Rowland. Ifano Jones suggests, however, that the book was wrongly entered by Rowlands under 1741, instead of 1761, and so it was a Bala publication. Rowlands errs also in recording Pedwar o Gywyddau … (' Argraffwyd gan J. Rowland Bala Tros Richard Reinallt Siopwr ') under 1748; this could not have been printed before 1761, any more than Dyfyrwch ir Cymru neu Ddewisol Ganiadau (Rowlands, op. cit., under 1750) could have been printed in Dublin; the reference to Dublin in the imprint is probably fictitious; possibly the Dyfyrwch was a product of the Bodedern press in 1760 - it forms 'part one' of Pedwar o Gywyddau, a Bala production. At least four books issued from the Bodedern press (Ifano Jones, op. cit., 59, and Rowlands, op. cit.); possibly also, as already suggested, the Dyfyrwch forms a fifth. In addition, at least three ballads (Y Traethodydd, 1880, 220) came from this press.

Amongst the books printed by John Rowland at Bala, where his press was at work from 1761 to 1764, was Cynhwysiad byr o feddyliau'r eglwys a ymgorpholodd o dan y drefn hon yn Sir Fonwy: Pa un sy'n ymgyfarfod yn bennaf yn y Neuadd yn y Pant-têg gerllaw Pont y Pool [see under Lewis, M. J. ]. Some ballads were also printed at the Bala press during the period 1761-4.


Published date: 1959

Article Copyright:

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.