WILLIAM, DAVID (1720 - 1794), hymn-writer

Name: David William
Date of birth: 1720
Date of death: 1794
Child: Israel William
Gender: Male
Occupation: hymn-writer
Area of activity: Poetry; Religion
Author: Gomer Morgan Roberts

Born in the parish of Llanedi, Carmarthenshire. He is possibly the David William, 'exhorter in Llanfynydd' who became a schoolmaster, according to the report made by James Williams to the Methodist Association in 1743. He is known to have been an exhorter, but it is easy to mix him up with David Williams (1717-1792) of Llyswyrny. He lived at 'Llandeilo fach in the county of Glamorgan' when his first book was published in 1760 but, on the title-page of a book published by him in 1777 'being of the age of 56 and three Months,' he refers to himself as 'formerly of Llandeilo Tal-y-bont.' He was a peripatetic schoolmaster for some years. His wife came from Nant-y-moel farm, Llangyfelach (he had a son, Israel William, living at Llangyfelach) and, according to all accounts, was a vicious scold. It is said that it was because of her he had to leave the Methodists. He joined the Baptists and was baptized near Peterston bridge, Glamorganshire, 29 June 1777. He was one of the founders of the Croes-y-parc Baptist church, at which he used to preach. He died 1 October 1794, and was buried at Croes-y-parc.

His hymns (such as 'Yn y dyfroedd mawr a'r tonnau,' etc.) still enjoy great popularity. His first publication was Golwg y Ffyddloniaid ar Degwch a Gogoniant Jesu Crist (Carmarthen, 1760). He then published a celebrated series with the title Gorfoledd ym Mhebyll Seion (c. 1760-2, Carmarthen; 1777, Carmarthen; 1778, Brecon; and 1778, Brecon). The various parts were published in a single volume with the same title in 1782 (Brecon), and a third edition with additions in 1786 (Carmarthen). In 1779 there was an English edition of this book, Joy in the Tents of Zion (Brecon). Other booklets by him were: Diferion o Ffynnon Iechydwriaeth (Carmarthen, 1777), Hymnau Priod-ferch y Brenin Alpha (Carmarthen, undated), Gwin i'r Diffygiol (Carmarthen, undated), and Myfyrdod y Pererin (Carmarthen, undated). He also published some poems as well as a number of elegies.


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.