W. Watkin Williams “Watcyn Wyn” 1844-1906

A Congregational minister and poet, was born of humble parentage, at Brynamman, South Wales, being the son of Mr Hezekiah Williams, and laboured in a coal mine until he was 27 years of age. He then studied at a preparatory school at Merthyr Tydfil, and, at the age of 31, entered the Presbyterian College, Carmarthen. For some years afterwards he assisted in the management of a ministerial school at Llangadock, and subsequently opened the Gwynfryn Academy at Ammanford. He was a hymn-writer and bard of great distinction; he won the chair at the Aberdare national gathering in 1885, also at Festiniog in 1891, and two years later he won the crown at the World’s Fair at Chicago, for a poem on “Washington”
He was a strong advocate of the introduction of the harp into Welsh homes, and won great fame as a lecturer and adjudicator. He was co-editor of the Diwygiwr. His “Can a Thelyn” (stanzas for song and harp, with instructions for penillion singing, &c.) was one of the most popular of his later books. His volume of “Caneuon” or songs, published in 1873, went into a second edition, and contains, perhaps, his most characteristic rhymes.