Born in 1760 at Tai'n-y-nant, Ruabon, Denbighshire. His father, JOHN ROBERTS, son of a freeholder at Ruabon, attained considerable fame as a clock-maker;. his name appears in the list of subscribers to Dewisol Ganiadau, published in 1759 by Huw Jones of Llangwm. John Roberts lived at Wrexham from 1764 till after 1771 and made a clock for Izaak Walton ( Peate , Clock and Watch Makers of Wales, 60-1).
Peter Roberts was educated first at Wrexham grammar school, and afterwards (from about 1775) at S. Asaph grammar school; He then became private tutor to the Irish pupils at the school; this led to his matriculation (as a sizar) at Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated M.A. Afterwards he continued his studies in Hebrew and astronomy, and had some hope (which, however, was not realised) of succeeding Henry Ussher in the chair of astronomy at Trinity College, Dublin. As his health was poor he had, in 1789, to go to reside in the Barèges valley in the south of France to recuperate. Returning to Ireland he became family tutor, later accompanying two of his pupils to Eton; at the end of the boys’ sojourn at Eton (where Peter Roberts had finished a Harmony of the Epistles, published at the expense of the University of Cambridge in 1800) he was assigned a pension by two of his pupils. He returned to Wales and worked upon the study of Welsh antiquities. In 1810 he was appointed vicar of Llanarmon, in the vale of Ceiriog; he resided, however, at Oswestry and there wrote a history of the town (published anonymously in 1815). About 1814 he became vicar of Madeley, Salop, and in 1818 was given the rectory of Halkin, Flintshire, where ill-health and indifferent preaching outweighed his geniality and abundant charity. He died on Sunday 30 May 1819 (21 May according to D.N.B. and Geiriadur Bywgraffyddol o Enwogion Cymru - the ‘1839’ suggested in Archæologia Cambrensis, 1863, is obviously a misprint). In addition to the works mentioned above, and to other books (theological and astronomical), he published A Sketch of the Early History of the Cymry (700 B.C.-A.D. 500), 1803; The Chronicles of the Kings of Britain, 1811; and his well-known Cambrian Popular Antiquities, 1815 (with coloured plates), a Welsh version was published at Carmarthen in 1823, with illustrations by Hugh Hughes (1790 - 1863).
Published date: 1959
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