Papers of Rev. John Henry Williams, Canwy

Scope and Content

The collection consists of personal and family papers such as copies of birth certificates; genealogical material; diaries, 1899 -1957; Sabbath diaries, 1907 - 1958; photographs and a biography. There are also collections of poetry by Rev. John Henry Williams, some of which were composed for Eisteddfod competitions, 1894 - 1970. Essays, addresses, lectures and a play are also amongst his own compositions.

The letters are from various correspondents to Canwy, 1899 -1968, including a group from T. Gwyn Jones, Aberystwyth, 1918 - 1924 on subjects such as the war and Welsh grammar.

The miscellaneous material includes a summary of the history of Hermon chapel, Llanfachreth, Merionethshire; a minute book of brethren meetings at Mynydd Isaf chapel, near Mold, 1914 - 1915; a list of members married and buried by Canwy from 1913 - 1961 and a contribution book of Y Graig chapel, Penrhosgarnedd, Bangor, 1924 - 1942. Also, newspaper cuttings, 1899 - 1958 which consist mostly of his poetry.

Administrative / Biographical History

Rev. John Henry Williams, also known by his bardic name, Canwy, was a native of Llanfachreth, Merionethshire. Born in 1877, he was ordained a Calvinist Methodist minister in 1913 and his first pastorate was Mynydd Isaf near Mold, Flintshire. In 1920 he moved to Tremadoc in Merionethshire and then in 1924 to Y Graig, Bangor, Gwynedd, where he stayed until his retirement in 1944. He then moved to Ffestiniog, Merionethshire to live. He was a vegetarian, who took an interest in the worship of nature. In some respects he was a supporter of Catholicism and was sometimes critical of the Quakers. He died in 1971 at the age of 94. For further biographical information see Y Goleuad, 10 March 1971 and 31 March 1971.


The collection has been incorporated into the General Collection of Bangor Manuscripts. It has been arranged according to record type and then chronologically. The correspondence has been arranged alphabetically according to name of correspondent

Access Information

Open to all users.


Description compiled by Elen Wyn Hughes, October 2001.

Other Finding Aids

An item level catalogue is available at the Archives Department of the University of Wales Bangor. Reference numbers : General Collection of Bangor Manuscripts 23367 - 23517

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright conditions apply. Reprographics are made at the discretion of the Archivist.