Born 28 August 1796 at Trawsafon, Betws-y-coed, the fifth of nine children born to Thomas Thomas, stonemason, and to Elizabeth (Williams), his wife. He was a farmer' boy for a time, but later took to his father's trade. He had been to some small schools, and was a voracious reader; he wrote verse at an early age and was very friendly with Ieuan Glan Geirionydd (Evan Evans, 1795 - 1856). He began preaching in 1820. In 1823 he spent some months in John Hughes's school at Wrexham. After that, he himself kept a school at Bodfari and Trelogan, while continuing to work as a stone-mason. In 1826 he married Sara Roberts of Cae'r-lion, Llanycil, and they lived for two years at Bala where, for part of the time, he kept a school. From 1828 to 1834 he farmed Ty-nant in Llanycil, and from 1834 to 1840 rented his father-in-law's small holding; but his farming venture was a complete failure, and he moved to Ffestiniog to work at his trade - from 1844 to 1853 he was living at Peniel chapel-house - and there, in 1849, he published a book of verse, Lloffion o Foes Boaz. In 1853 Sara Thomas opened a shop at Llidiardau (Llanycil), the village she came from, while he continued to work at his trade while spasmodically keeping a school at Llidiardau chapel - at the same time preaching the length and breadth of Wales, for he was in great demand if only for his oddity; he was never ordained. He died 16 December 1866. He was throughout his life an impractical, odd, clumsy (but witty), and impulsive man whose frequent fits of melancholy made him almost a 'borderline case.' Indeed, the above summary of his career will be of little value unless supplemented by reading that very entertaining biography, Hanes Bywyd Robert Tomos Llidiardau, by Owen Jones, 1869, in which will be found many of his sayings.
Published date: 1959
Article Copyright: http://rightsstatements.org/page/InC/1.0/
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.