Born about 1853, the exact date and place not known. He was the adopted son of Robert and Beti Rowland, who lived in the village of Tyn-y-cefn, near Corwen. After some schooling he was for a time a stable-boy at Aber Artro, near Llanbedr, Meironnydd, and afterwards apprenticed to a tailor. Not much is known about this period in his life; he seems to have worked at his trade in Shrewsbury and Rhosymedre, and probably in other places, but he went to Holt Academy when he was about twenty, and began to preach in 1873, entering Bala College the following year. During his time in Bala he was for a short period a teacher at the local school, and in 1877 he published his first book of verse, Y Blodeuglwm. He did not proceed to a pastoral charge at once, but entered journalism in Caernarfon, first on the staff of Yr Herald Cymraeg, and afterwards of Y Genedl Gymreig, being editor of the latter paper from 1881 and 1884. He also assisted Evan Jones, Caernarfon, with the weekly Amseroedd. Ordained in 1887 he became the pastor of Beulah (CM) church, Caernarfon, in 1890, retiring in 1933. In 1912 he succeeded Rev. Thomas Levi as editor of Trysorfa'r Plant, resigning in 1932 when his services to Welsh literature were recognised by the grant of a civil list pension. He was a good preacher, but confined himself almost entirely to preaching in the smaller country churches. As a writer and poet he was known wherever the Welsh language was spoken; he had more than twenty books to his credit - collections of essays on books, people, and nature, some poetry and stories. His best works are Y Pentref Gwyn, early reminiscences, and Y Ffenestri Aur, a collection of essays. He was a regular contributor to many Welsh papers and magazines. From 1904 until 1914 he had written a weekly literary column for Baner and, despite his great age, was contributing a weekly article to the Herald up to the time of his death. As a prose writer he was descriptive, humorous and, when he chose to be so, incisive. As a poet he allowed sentiment to obscure a true lyrical gift. He was one of the wittiest men in Wales, and some of his sayings were long remembered. He died at his home in Caernarfon, 21 November 1944, and was buried in the town cemetery. He was twice married, but had no children.
Published date: 2001
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