Williams, Edward

(1747-1826)
   Welsh bard, known as "Iolo Morgannwg" (Welsh for "Ned of Glamorgan") was born at Penon, Glamorganshire, the son of a stone mason. Poor health limited his education but with his mother's help he made up for his lack of schooling, and from 1770 to 1781 he was journeyman stone mason. On returning to Wales he married and took to land surveying, living at Flemingston in the vale of Glamorgan. From there he made long expeditions, always on foot, in search of manuscripts relating to Welsh history. He died at Flemingston and was buried there. He founded the first Gorsedd (community of bards) in 1792, at Primrose Hill, London. He also authored fairly substantial works (most of which are now considered forgeries) claiming that the ancient druidic tradition had survived intact in Wales, despite persecution from the Romans, Christianity, and Elizabeth Tudor. Among his writings was Cyfrinach Beirdd Ynys Prydain, or The Mystery of the Bards of the Isle of Britain (1829), a treatise on Welsh metrics. Some of his poems: "In the Welsh Manner," "My Pet Goldfish," "Stanzas Written in London in 1773," "The Happy Farmer," "The Poet's Arbour in the Birchwood."
   Sources: Anglo-Welsh Poetry, 1480-1980. Raymond Garlick and Roland Mathias, eds. Poetry Wales Press, 1984. Anglo-Welsh Poetry, 1480-1990. Raymond Garlick and Roland Mathias, eds. Poetry Wales Press, 1993. Biography of Edward Williams. http://www.maryjones.us/jce/iolo.html). Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Druid's Prayer (English translation) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Druid% 27s_Prayer). In the Welsh Manner by Edward William (http://www.sonnets.org/williams.htm). Pet Poems. Robert Fisher, ed. Faber and Faber, 1989. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia).

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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