JONES, WATKIN ('Watcyn o Feirion'; 1882 - 1967), postmaster, shopkeeper, folk poet, setter and tutor of cerdd dant

Name: Watkin Jones
Pseudonym: Watcyn O Feirion
Date of birth: 1882
Date of death: 1967
Spouse: Annie Jones (née Thomas)
Child: Elizabeth May Watkin Mrowiec (née Jones)
Child: Watkin L. Jones
Parent: Elizabeth Jones (née Watkin)
Parent: Robert Jones
Gender: Male
Occupation: postmaster, shopkeeper, folk poet, setter and tutor of cerdd dant
Area of activity: Business and Industry; Eisteddfod; Music; Poetry
Author: Aled Lloyd Davies

Born 12 June 1882 in Tŷ'r nant, Capel Celyn, Merionethshire, son of Robert Jones and Elizabeth (born Watkin). He kept a shop and Post Office in Capel Celyn and carried the post in the Capel Celyn and Arennig area for more than fifty years, walking about 15 miles every day.

In his cultured home he brought up a family of singers. He had a rich voice, and much musical creativity, and, being well versed in harmony and counterpoint, he was an external examiner of the College of Tonic Sol-fa for many years. He was also proficient in cynghanedd and had the contents of Cerdd Dafod by Sir John Morris-Jones at the tips of his fingers. He won a number of bardic chairs at local eisteddfodau. He contributed significantly to making the art of singing to the accompaniment of the harp (cerdd dant) more widely known in the 1940s and 50s, travelling far and near to hold classes in setting words to folk tunes for penillion singing. During the same period he prepared settings for numerous less experienced penillion singers. For years he was the conductor of the Cwmtirmynach cerdd dant choir which won many prizes at eisteddfodau. He also composed many airs for penillion singing, such as 'Murmur Tryweryn' and 'Y ffrwd wen', which continue to be popular with present day verse-setters. He played a prominent part in founding Cymdeithas Cerdd Dant Cymru, being one of the three conveners of the first public meeting at Bala on 10 November 1934 which led to the founding of the society. He served as treasurer from the beginning until 1950.

He married Annie Thomas on 13 April 1906 and they had seven children. Elizabeth May Watkin Jones was one of their children. He died at Bod Athro, Dinas Mawddwy, 14 February 1967.


Published date: 2001

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