WILLIAMS, ROBERT (1782 - 1818), composer of the hymn-tune ‘Llanfair’

Name: Robert Williams
Date of birth: 1782
Date of death: 1818
Parent: Mary Williams (née Davies)
Parent: Owen Williams
Gender: Male
Occupation: composer of the hymn-tune ‘Llanfair’
Area of activity: Music; Religion
Authors: Robert Thomas Jenkins, Huw Williams

which appears in all Welsh congregational tune-books and in Songs of Praise and other English hymn-books; Dr. R. Vaughan Williams has composed variations upon it.

Robert Williams was born at Mynydd Ithel farm, Llanfechell, Anglesey, son of Owen Williams and Mary (née Davies). He was baptised at Llanfechell on 27 October 1782. He was blind from birth and earned his living by basket-making, but was also a musician of great repute.

The tune which we now call ‘Llanfair’ was at first called ‘Bethel’; it is so called in Robert Williams's manuscript book, and is there dated 14 July 1817. It was first printed (again named ‘Bethel’) as harmonized by John Roberts (1807 - 1876) of Henllan, in the Peroriaeth Hyfryd (1837) of John Parry (1775 - 1846)

His burial is recorded in Llanfechell parish register under the name Robert Owen, 15 July 1818, though he is said to have been buried in Llanrhwydrys churchyard.

Authors

Published date: 1959

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