Born at Ty'nypwll, Mallwyd, Merioneth, and christened 27 March 1779, son of Richard Williams and Catherine his wife. He went to a school held in Mallwyd church, then as a private pupil to Peter Williams, vicar of Betws-yn-Rhos, Abergele, then to Ruthin grammar school. He matriculated at Oxford from Jesus College, 24 May 1798, took his B.A. in 1802 and his M.A. in 1805. Ordained deacon in 1802 by bishop Randolph of Oxford, he went as usher to Friars School, Bangor, in 1803, being licensed also to the curacy of Llandygài. He soon made a deep impression on the district. In 1807 he was appointed vicar of Cilcain, near Mold; in 1809 to Halkyn; in 1819 to Meifod, Montgomeryshire. In 1836 he returned to Flintshire, to Ysgeifiog, and remained there till his death on 28 December 1854. He was buried at Ysgeifiog, and there is a memorial window to him at the west end of S. Asaph cathedral. He married Jane Wynne Jones of Tre-iorwerth, near Bodedern, Anglesey, and they had three sons and five daughters. One of his sons was Rowland Williams (1817 - 1870).
Rowland Williams began to take an interest in Welsh literary matters from the time he went to Bangor, and in 1805 was appointed secretary of the Bangor Tract Society. He was one of the ‘literary clergy’ who were very active during the ‘twenties and ‘thirties of the 19th century, and he was considered an authority on Welsh. He was one of the four men appointed to revise the Welsh Book of Common Prayer (their work was published in 1841). He was a firm believer in the possibilities of the Welsh Church Press, and did much to further the publication of various magazines. He wrote at some length himself to these magazines, and also published some sermons. He, like his son, took an active part in the struggle (1843-6) to prevent the union of the sees of S. Asaph and Bangor in order to provide for the new diocese of Manchester.
Published date: 1959
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