Ellis, Robert, 1812-1875

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Ellis, Robert, 1812-1875

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  • Ellis, R. (Robert), Cynddelw, 1812-1875
  • Cynddelw, 1812-1875

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Robert Ellis ('Cynddelw'), Baptist minister, poet, antiquary and commentator, was born in 1812 near Penybontfawr, Montgomeryshire. He worked as a farm hand from 1822 to 1835 whilst also cultivating an early love of literary, poetic and antiquarian matters learnt from his mother and from such literary figures as Richard Morris, Pentrefelin and the Unionist preacher Humphrey Bromley. He joined the Baptist chapel at Gefailrhyd in 1832 and began to preach in 1834. The following year he gained some schooling under the Baptist minister and writer John Williams, Llansilin. Thereafter, he was to minister at Llanelian and Llanddulas (1836-1838), Glynceiriog (1838-1842), Sirhowy (1847-1862) and Caernarfon (1862-1875). A multi-talented individual, 'Cynddelw' was an eloquent preacher, speaker and lecturer, a fine poet and eisteddfodic adjudicator and a prolific author. He edited several poetical works, including Gorchestion Beirdd Cymru (Caernarfon, [?1864]) and Geiriadur y Bardd (Caernarfon, [?1874]). He produced Geiriadur Cymreig Cymraeg (Caernarfon, 1868), a dictionary of Welsh words explained in Welsh. His antiquarian publications include Manion Hynafiaethol (Treherbert, 1873) and a contribution of eighteen chapters to 'Gweirydd ap Rhys's Hanes y Brytaniaid a'r Cymry (Llundain, 1872-1874). His attachment to his Baptist denomination remained strong; he was editor of Y Tyst Apostolaidd from 1846 to 1850, Y Tyst in 1851 and Y Greal from 1852 to 1853, and wrote biographical works on the Baptist ministers John Williams, Rhosllanerchrugog and Ellis Evans, Cefn Mawr. 'Cynddelw' died at his old home, Gartheryr, between Oswestry and Llanrhaeadr, whilst on a preaching and lecturing tour in 1875. A collection of his poetical works, Barddoniaeth Cynddelw, was published in 1877.


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