He is said to have been born at Blaen Pennal, Cardiganshire, and to have been the brother of David Williams (1717 - 1792) of Llyswyrny; but this belief is without foundation. He was a cooper by trade and for many years kept a shop at St Athan, Glamorganshire. He is probably the ' John Williams, Carpenter,' who married Mary Voss at S. Athan, 24 June 1755; he subsequently married three other wives. He was a member of the society at Aberthyn, but left the Methodists in 1791 when Peter Williams was expelled. He was one of the leaders of the company which founded the church at ' the Briton ' and chose Thomas William as its minister. Both were friends and used to take communion at Llan-gan in David Jones's (1736 - 1810) time. He died 26 August 1806 at the age of 78, and was buried at Saint Athan. He wrote some melodious hymns, as well as other poetry. His Halsing, neu Gân Newydd ar Ddydd Natolic appeared in 1781. His well-known hymn, ' Pwy welaf o Edom yn dod,' is to be found in a little book produced by Jones of Llan-gan in 1784, and there is a note above it to the effect that the subject was suggested to him by Christopher Bassett. He wrote a number of elegies — one on the above-mentioned Bassett was published in Jones of Llan-gan's book. He also wrote a bitter poem on the occasion of Peter Williams's expulsion and published it, together with other poems, in Can Diddarfod: sef Pennillion Addysgiadol, etc., in 1793. A few of his hymns are still very popular.
Published date: 1959
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