Watkin Hezekiah Williams

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Watkin Hezekiah Williams (1844–1905), known as Watcyn Wyn, was a Welsh schoolmaster and poet.

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Early life

Born on 7 March 1844 at his mother's home at Ddolgam, in the Llynfell valley, Carmarthenshire, was the son of Hezekiah and Ann Williams. He was brought up, the second of a family of ten, on his father's farm of Cwmgarw Ganol, near Brynaman. At an early age he found employment in the coal mines then being opened up in the district, and he worked, chiefly as a collier, with occasional periods of attendance at local schools, until the age of 27. [1]

Carmarthenshire an local government area in Wales

Carmarthenshire is a unitary authority in southwest Wales, and one of the historic counties of Wales. The three largest towns are Llanelli, Carmarthen and Ammanford. Carmarthen is the county town and administrative centre.

Teacher

In 1870 Williams married Mary Jones of Trap, Carreg Cennen; the death of his wife in less than a year led him to leave his home and occupation. In January 1872 he entered the school of his relative, Evan Williams of Merthyr. He was soon assisting Evan Williams and his successor, J. J. Copeland. In 1874 he decided to qualify for the independent ministry; he returned home, began to preach at Gibea Chapel, and, after a preliminary training, was admitted to the Presbyterian College at Carmarthen in 1875. On the conclusion of his course in 1879 he married Anne Davies of Carmarthen. [1]

Instead of a pastorate, Williams took a post as teacher of a private school at Llangadock. Differences among the staff led to his moving, with the Rev. D. E. Williams, to Ammanford in 1880, where they founded the Hope Academy. In 1884 Watkin took sole charge, and in 1888 he adapted for school purposes a building to which he gave the name of "Gwynfryn". Until his death he ran the institution as a preparatory school, for those about to enter the dissenting ministry or other professions. He was ordained an independent minister in 1894, but held no pastoral charge. [1]

Ammanford town and community in the county of Carmarthenshire, Wales

Ammanford is a town and community in Carmarthenshire, Wales, with a population of 5,411 at the 2011 census. It is a former coal mining town.

Death

Williams died on 19 November 1905, and was buried at Ammanford. [1]

Works

As "Watcyn Wyn", Williams had a wide reputation as a Welsh poet, dating from 1875, when he divided a prize with Islwyn at Pwllheli. Both the silver crown and the bardic chair, the two chief poetic prizes of the eisteddfod, were won by him, the former at Merthyr in 1881 for a poem in free metre on "Life", and the latter at Aberdare in 1885 for an ode in the strict metres on the subject "The Truth against the World". He was also the winner of the crown at the World's Fair eisteddfod of 1893 at Chicago, the subject being "George Washington". He published: [1]

William Thomas (Islwyn) 19th-century Welsh clergyman and poet (bardic name Islwyn)

William Thomas, bardic name Islwyn, was a Welsh language poet and Christian clergyman. His best known poems were both called Yr Ystorm ['The Storm'], and were written in response to the sudden death of his fiancee.

Pwllheli town in Wales

Pwllheli is a community and the main market town of the Llŷn Peninsula in Gwynedd, north-western Wales. It had a population of 4,076 in 2011 of whom a large proportion, 81%, are Welsh speaking. Pwllheli is the place where Plaid Cymru was founded. It is the birthplace of the Welsh poet Sir Albert Evans-Jones.

Eisteddfod type of Welsh festival of literature, music and performance

In Welsh culture, an eisteddfod is a Welsh festival of literature, music and performance. The tradition of such a meeting of Welsh artists dates back to at least the 12th century, when a festival of poetry and music was held by Rhys ap Gruffydd of Deheubarth at his court in Cardigan in 1176, but the decline of the bardic tradition made it fall into abeyance. The current format owes much to an 18th-century revival arising out of a number of informal eisteddfodau. The closest English equivalent to eisteddfod is "session"; the word is formed from two Welsh morphemes: eistedd, meaning "sit", and bod, meaning "be". In some countries, the term eisteddfod is used for certain types of performing arts competitions that have nothing to do with Welsh culture.

His autobiography Adgofion Watcyn Wyn, edited by John Jenkins (Gwili), appeared, with portrait, in 1907 (Merthyr).

John Jenkins, known by his bardic name of Gwili, was a Welsh poet and theologian who served as Archdruid of the National Eisteddfod of Wales from 1932 to 1936.

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Lee, Sidney, ed. (1912). "Williams, Watkin Hezekiah"  . Dictionary of National Biography (2nd supplement). 3. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
Attribution

Wikisource-logo.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain :  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1912). "Williams, Watkin Hezekiah". Dictionary of National Biography (2nd supplement). 3. London: Smith, Elder & Co.

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