Corfanydd Papers

Scope and Content

A collection of 441 items, which includes papers and commonplace books; some of 'Corfanydd's' various attempts to translate Milton's Paradise Lost into Welsh blank verse are included in the collection; Cofanydd's reminiscences of, and notes on, notable Liverpool Welshmen (among whom John Gibson the sculptor attracts much of his attention); and his recollections of some of the city's Welsh chapels, Rose Place, Bedford Street, Stanhope Street and Clarence Street, and Everton; a few papers relating to his life and activities in Ireland.

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert Herbert Williams, otherwise known as 'Corfanydd' was a musician. He was born in the parish of Bangor, Caernarvonshire in 1805. His parents moved to Liverpool when he was quite young. He was brought up as a clothier and he established a business in Basnett Street, Williamson Square. When he was 17 he composed one of his best-known hymns, Dymuniad, which appeared first in Y Drysorfa, January 1835. It was later published in Casgliad o Donau (J. Ambrose Lloyd), 1843. He composed several hymn tunes and published a small collection in 1848 under the title of Alawydd Trefriw. He was also devoted to propagating an interest in metrics and particularly blank verse.

For some years Corfanydd lived at Drogheda, Ireland. He returned to Liverpool for a while and then, owing to ill health, went to live in a house called Corfandy in Menai Bridge, Anglesey. He died 20 November, 1876.


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Parch. R. Hughes y valley, Enwogion Mn, (1850-1912), (Dolgellau: E.W. Evans, Swyddfa'r "Goleuad", 1913)

M.O.Jones, Bywgraffiaeth Cerddorion Cymreig, (Caerdydd, 1890).

J.Roberts (Ieuan Gwyllt) (ed), Y Cerddor Cymreig, (Merthyr: published by J. Roberts, 1861 - 1873).