WILLIAMS, ROBERT ARTHUR (Berw; 1854 - 1926), cleric and poet

Name: Robert Arthur Williams
Pseudonym: Berw
Date of birth: 1854
Date of death: 1926
Spouse: Margaret Williams (née Jenkins)
Parent: John Williams
Gender: Male
Occupation: cleric and poet
Area of activity: Eisteddfod; Poetry; Religion
Author: Thomas Iorwerth Ellis

Born 8 April 1854 at Caernarvon, son of John Williams, sailor. His mother died when he was but 3 years old, and he was brought up by his aunt at Pentre Berw, near Holland Arms, Anglesey. He was apprenticed in a shop at Gaerwen, and began to take an interest in poetry. Moving to Bangor to work, he came under the influence of dean H. T. Edwards, and went to S. Aidan's College, Birkenhead, to prepare for holy orders. He was ordained deacon by bishop Campbell of Bangor, 4 June 1882, and licensed to the curacy of Llanfihangel-y-pennant, Merioneth, where Thomas Edwards (Gwynedd) was rector. He was ordained priest, 8 March 1884, and, in November 1888, went as rector to Llanfihangel-y-pennant, Caernarfonshire. From there, in May 1891, he was appointed by bishop D. L. Lloyd vicar of Betws Garmon and perpetual curate of Waun Fawr. He remained there till his death, 16 April 1926, and was buried at Betws Garmon. He married Margaret, daughter of the Rev. John Jenkins, Llan-ym-Mawddwy, and had one daughter. Berw often competed in eisteddfodau, and in 1887 he won the chair at the London national eisteddfod for an awdl on queen Victoria. He was a skilful writer in cynghanedd and possessed no little descriptive power, even if his productions were not of outstanding merit. His services were frequently in demand as an adjudicator at eisteddfodau; he acted in this capacity in respect of the chair poems at the national eisteddfod on over twenty occasions. He was a frequent contributor to Welsh periodicals.


Published date: 1959

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