THOMAS, JOHN (Eifionydd; 1848 - 1922), founder and editor of Y Geninen

Name: John Thomas
Pseudonym: Eifionydd
Date of birth: 1848
Date of death: 1922
Gender: Male
Occupation: founder and editor of Y Geninen
Area of activity: Literature and Writing; Poetry; Printing and Publishing
Author: Robert (Bob) Owen

Born 6 August 1848 in a cottage near Clenennau in the parish of Penmorfa, Caernarfonshire. He lost his father when he was very young, received no formal schooling, and at 9 years of age, before he had learnt to read script, he was apprenticed in the printing office of Robert Isaac Jones (Alltud Eifion), Tremadoc, where the literary periodical known as Y Brython was being printed and published. He became an abnormally rapid compositor and afterwards worked at his trade at Pwllheli, Rhyl, and Machynlleth. In the meantime he had developed a keen interest in literature, particularly Welsh poetry. He had also begun to preach with the Congregationalists, and spent a period (1872-4) in the Congregational College at Brecon. Having slept in a damp bed on one of his preaching journeys he went to London to be under the charge of a physician; at the same time he worked for the firm of Eyre and Spottiswoode. From London he went to Caernarvon to the offices of Y Genedl Gymreig - at first as a compositor, afterwards in the business and clerical side of that office, eventually becoming the editor of that newspaper and of another newspaper, Y Werin. In 1881-2 he published, in two parts, Pigion Englynion fy Ngwlad. In 1881 Eifionydd founded Y Geninen, a literary journal which he edited until the time of his death.

This journal brought him into touch, particularly by correspondence, with a very large number of writers and poets. Another side of his work for Welsh cultural activities was due to his association with the ' Gorsedd of the Bards,' of which he became recorder. He was one of the founders of the ' Cymdeithas Gorsedd y Beirdd ', rules for which he formulated; he also played a very prominent part in regard to the examinations for the various 'grades' of the 'Gorsedd.' He was himself a competitor in eisteddfodau, winning several prizes for poems. He died at Caernarvon, 19 November 1922 and was buried there.


Published date: 1959

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