File TAA1/8 - General correspondence

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Reference code

TAA1/8

Title

General correspondence

Date(s)

  • 1898-1940 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

1 folder.

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Sir Evan Vincent Evans (1851-1934) was born in Nancaw, Llangelynnin, Merionethshire. In 1872 he left Wales for London, where he successfully pursued a career and eventually became manager of the Chancery Lane Land and Safe Deposit Company. He was a prominent member of Welsh cultural organisations and was secretary of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion and the National Eisteddfod Society, Chairman of the Royal Commission on Ancient Monuments in Wales and Monmouthshire, and a member of the Royal Commission on the Public Records, as well as being on numerous educational councils; he wrote numerous articles for Welsh newspapers and was involved with several organisations formed for the benefit of Welsh soldiers during the 1914-1918 War.

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Sir John Williams (1840-1926), royal physician, president of the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, and chief founder of the National Library of Wales, was born in Gwynfe, Carmarthenshire. His private library included important manuscripts from the estate of Peniarth, Merionethshire. It was Sir John who, amongst others, pioneered the setting up of a Welsh hospital in South Africa during the Boer War. Amongst the many honours bestowed upon him during his lifetime, he was knighted by Queen Victoria in 1894.

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J. Lloyd Williams (1854-1945) was an eminent botanist and musician. A leading expert on the alpine flora of Snowdonia and marine algae on the one hand, he was also well-known as a composer, conductor and critic, and is regarded as the foremost collector of Welsh folk songs.

He was born in Plas Isa, Llanrwst, 10 July 1854, the eldest of seven children of Robert and Jane Williams. Between 1868 and 1872 he served as a pupil teacher at the local British School, before studying at the Normal College, Bangor, 1873-1874. In 1875 he was appointed headmaster of the Board School at Garndolbenmaen. In the mid-1890s he worked with Professor John Bretland Farmer at the Royal College of Science, London, and from 1897 to 1912 was assistant lecturer in Botany at the University College of North Wales, Bangor. From 1912 to 1915 he was Adviser in Agricultural Botany to the Board of Agriculture at Bangor. He held the chair of Botany at University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, from 1915 to 1925. Much of his researches were published in the Annals of Botany and the Proceedings of the Royal Society.

Though his professional career centred on science, he was also a fine musician, a collector, composer, critic and conductor. While at Garndolbenmaen he wrote operas, the best known being Aelwyd Angharad and Cadifor with Llew Tegid (Lewis David Jones) as librettist. He was prominent in establishing the Welsh Folk-Song Society in 1906 and edited its Journal from the beginning until his death. He also edited the general music magazine Y Cerddor from 1931 to 1939 and, jointly with Arthur Somerville, compiled the two volumes of Sixteen Welsh Melodies, 1907 and 1909. To the end he continued his researches into the origins and development of Welsh music.

He published four volumes of autobiography, entitled Atgofion Tri Chwarter Canrif, and a study of three Welsh musicians, Y Tri Thelynor, which traces the careers of John Parry, Evan Williams and Edward Jones.

He was awarded the DSc degree of the University of Wales for his work on marine algae in 1908 and DMus (honoris causa) in 1936. He died 15 November 1945.

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Some ninety-eight letters, postcards and telegrams, 1898-1940, addressed to Annie J. Davies (later Ellis, later Hughes-Griffiths). The correspondents include [E.] Vincent Evans, T. Gwynn Jones (3), J. Herbert Lewis (3), David Lloyd George, Margaret Lloyd George, Lord Rendel (6), C. A. F. Rhys Davids (2), W. Llewelyn Williams and [Sir] John Williams (2).
Also included are some six miscellaneous family letters; together with a letter, 25 February 1911, from J. Lloyd Williams to Mrs Mary Davies (Mair Mynorydd) concerning the work of the Welsh Folksong Society (presumably passed on by Mary Davies to her friend Annie Ellis).

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  • English
  • Welsh

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English, Welsh.

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Mary Davies's reply to J. Lloyd Williams is NLW, Dr J. Lloyd Williams Music MSS and Papers AL1/4/72.

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