Ap Vychan Papers

Scope and Content

The collection consists of diaries 1841 - 1843, 1849 which contain references to religious meetings and political material, and which are also made up of a great number of sermons. There are letters written to Ap Vychan by various correspondents; his adjudications on various competitions; notes; essays and sermon notebooks. An item, received at a later date, records the history of Ap Vychan's childhood in the form of manuscripts, newspaper cuttings, letters and programmes, 1878 - 1937.

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert Thomas was born in Llanuwchllyn, Merionethshire in 1809 and was educated at home by his father, Dafydd Thomas. In 1826, he received the bequest of Dr Daniel Williams for poor children and became a blacksmith's apprentice. He moved to South Wales in 1829 and worked at Dowlais, Merthyr Tudful for a while before returning home. Finally, he received the calling from Dinas Mawddwy, Merionethshire and was ordained minister in 1840. He again moved - to Salem chapel, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool and then to Rhosllannerchrugog, Denbighshire. In 1855 he came to Bangor as the successor of Dr Arthur Jones, minister of the Congregational chapel, Ebenezer and was appointed Principal of the Bala College in 1873. He died in 1880.

Robert Thomas was also a bard and writer and won the chair at the National Eisteddfod twice, in 1864 and 1866. After 1864, he was known as Ap Vychan which was the pseudonym he had used at the Eisteddfod.


The papers have been incorporated into the General Collection of Bangor Manuscripts and arranged according to record type and then chronologically where possible.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to all users.

Acquisition Information

The source of acquisition of the whole collection is unknown, but one item is stated to have been presented by Mr David E. Hughes of Llandudno.


Description compiled by Elen Wyn Hughes

Other Finding Aids

An item level typescript catalogue is available at the Department of Manuscripts of the University of Wales Bangor. Reference numbers : General Collection of Bangor Manuscripts : 5754 - 5769, 27458

Conditions Governing Use

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

Related Material

The Department of Manuscripts of the University of Wales also holds some related material, in particular, the biography of Ap Vychan in his own hand can be found amongst the Bodiwan Papers, General Collection of Bangor Manuscripts 11473.