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History is Written by the Victors

Mae Hanes yn cael ei Sgrifennu gan y Buddugwyr

The phrase, “history is written by the victors” is attributed to Winston Churchill, but it is a truism that has been uttered by many others since time immemorial. Merthyr Tydfil’s history is no different in that regard. And so, Heroes & Villains, a collection of illustrations of many of the individuals who have contributed to the town’s extraordinary past, will inevitably be shaped by the filter of the historical archive. Having said that, this permanent display, which starts in Cyfarthfa Café and weaves its way through the circulation spaces in our magnificent building, is deliberately ambiguous. We asked Joe England, Merthyr Tydfil’s leading chronicler of history, to choose the individuals for Heroes & Villains from the town’s past and present who he felt had made an impact on the fortunes of the town, good or bad. The short biographies that follow reflect his own views, but they are sufficiently open–ended to allow visitors to decide which camp various individuals fall into. (Fuller accounts of each of the characters in this pantheon are available shortly on the REDHOUSE website, www.redhousecymru.com). As an addition to the exhibition, we are also displaying cameos of 16 remarkable portraits that were commissioned by the reluctant industrialist, Francis Crawshay (1811–1878).

Priodolir yr ymadrodd “mae hanes yn cael ei sgrifennu gan y buddugwyr” i Winston Churchill, ond mae’n ddywediad a ynganwyd gan lawer o bobl eraill ers cyn cof. Nid yw hanes Merthyr Tudful yn eithriad yn hynny o beth. Ac felly, mae’n anorfod y bydd Heroes & Villains, casgliad o ddarluniau o lawer o unigolion a gyfrannodd at orffennol anghyffredin y dref, wedi ei liwio gan hidlen yr archif hanesyddol. Wedi dweud hynny, mae’r arddangosfa barhaol hon sy’n cychwyn yng Nghaffi Cyfarthfa ac yn gweu ei ffordd trwy’r gofodau cylchredeg yn ein hadeilad gwych, yn fwriadol amwys. Gofynwyd i Joe England, croniclwr hanes blaenllaw Merthyr Tudful, i ddewis yr unigolion ar gyfer Heroes & Villains o orffennol a phresennol y dref y credai iddynt wneud argraff ar hynt a helynt y dref, er gwell neu er gwaeth. Mae’r bywgraffiadau byr a ganlyn yn adlewyrchu ei farn, ond maent yn ddigon penagored i ganiatáu i ymwelwyr benderfynu i ba ddosbarth mae gwahanol unigolion yn perthyn. (Bydd hanesion mwy manwl y cymeriadau yn y pantheon hwn ar gael cyn hir ar wefan REDHOUSE, www.redhousecymru.com). Fel ychwanegiad at yr arddangosfa, rydym hefyd yn arddangos fersiynau bach o 16 o bortreadau hynod a gomisiynwyd gan y diwydiannwr anfodlon, Francis Crawshay (1811–1878).

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In many respects, these paintings of skilled and unskilled workers — in working clothes and with the tools of their trade — buck the conventional wisdom that only gives prominence to the powerful, the ‘great’ and the ‘good’. No other such images of industrial workers are known. And in the spirit of trying to represent the role that the working class played in the industrial development of a town like Merthyr Tydfil, these great little portraits make a worthy and honourable addition. We are grateful to Joe England for his immense knowledge and the precision with which he has written his informative texts; to the inspirational creative agency, Huw David Design for their wonderful interpretation of my wish to feature the subjects of Heroes & Villains in cartoon form; to Siaˆn Edwards who contributed the Welsh texts and helped with the editing process; and the National Museum of Wales (and effectively the estate of Miss Sylvia Crawshay who gifted the paintings) for allowing us to feature the haunting faces of the workers from the Crawshay portraits. We hope you thoroughly enjoy the portraits on display and, as this is an open– ended exhibition, we would be pleased to hear from you if you think we have not included any characters who have played some influential part in Merthyr Tydfil’s colourful and historically defining past.

Ar lawer agwedd, mae’r peintiadau hyn o weithwyr medrus ac anfedrus — yn eu dillad gwaith, gydag offer eu crefft — yn groes i’r syniad confensiynol sy’n rhoi amlygrwydd i’r pwerus, ‘y gwyˆr mawr’, yn unig. Ni wyddys am unrhyw luniau eraill tebyg o weithwyr diwydiannol. Ac yn unol â’n hymgais i geisio dangos y rhan a chwaraeodd y dosbarth gweithiol yn natblygiad diwydiannol tref fel Merthyr Tudful, mae’r portreadau bychain gwych hyn yn gaffaeliad teilwng ac anrhydeddus. Rydym yn ddiolchgar i Joe England am ei wybodaeth eang a’i gywirdeb manwl wrth lunio’i destunau addysgiadol; i’r asiantaeth greadigol ysbrydoledig, Huw David Design, am eu dehongliad bendigedig o’m hawydd i ddangos y cymeriadau yn Heroes & Villains ar ffurf cartwnau; i Siân Edwards a gyfrannodd y testun Cymraeg a helpu gyda’r broses olygu; ac i Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Cymru (ac felly, i ystad Miss Sylvia Crawshay a roes y peintiadau iddi) am ganiatáu i ni ddefnyddio wynebau teimladwy’r gweithwyr o bortreadau’r teulu Crawshay. Ein gobaith yw y byddwch yn gwir fwynhau’r portreadau a arddangosir: gan bod hon yn arddangosfa benagored, byddem wrth ein bodd i glywed gennych os credwch i ni fethu cynnwys unrhyw gymeriad sydd wedi chwarae rhyw ran ddylanwadol yng ngorffennol lliwgar a hanesyddol ddiffiniol Merthyr Tudful.

Christopher Coppock

Christopher Coppock

Old Town Hall Project Development Manager & Exhibition Curator

Rheolydd Datblygu Project Hen Neuadd y Dref a Churadur yr Arddangosfa


ST. T Y DF I L c. 400

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erthyr Tydfil is named after Tydfil the Christian Martyr. Little is actually known about Tydfil although she seems to have been a real person in the fifth century CE. Apparently she was the 23rd daughter of Brychan a half–Irish, half–Welsh chieftain of Garth Madry (Brecon), by his fourth wife. Brychan had 36 children and it is claimed that when they grew up most lived religious lives. Tydfil came to the sparsely populated Taff valley and established an early Celtic monastic community. Her aged father decided to visit Tydfil and also his third daughter, Tanglwst, at her religious community at Hafod Tanglwst, now known as Aberfan. He took with him his son Rhun. The king went on to Tydfil’s home while Rhun was still at Hafod Tanglwst. Brychan’s party was attacked by a band of marauding Picts.Rhun was killed defending a bridge across the Taff near Troedyrhiw. The name Pontyrhun comes from this. Tydfil it is said, knelt and calmly prayed, before she too was killed on the spot where a wattle and daub church stood. In the 13th century the wattle and daub church was replaced by a stone church dedicated to Saint Tydfil the Martyr. This parish church was replaced in 1807, and rebuilt again in 1894.

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nwyd Merthyr Tudful ar ôl y Santes Tudful, merthyr Cristnogol. Ychydig sy’n hysbys am Tudful er yr ymddengys ei bod yn berson go iawn o’r bumed ganrif OG. Hi oedd trydedd merch ar hugain Brychan, brenin hanner Gwyddelig Garth Madryn (newidiwyd enw’r dalaith wedi hynny i Frycheiniog). Roedd gan Brychan 36 o blant, a hawlir i’r rhan fwyaf ohonynt ddewis y bywyd crefyddol. Daeth Tudful i gwm Taf, prin ei boblogaeth, a sefydlu cymuned fynachol Geltaidd gynnar. Penderfynodd ei thad oedrannus ymweld â hi a’i drydedd merch, Tanglwst, yn ei chymuned grefyddol hithau yn Hafod Tanglwst (Aberfan heddiw). Aeth â’i fab Rhun gydag ef. Aeth y brenin ymlaen i gartref Tudful tra’r oedd Rhun yn dal i fod yn Hafod Tanglwst ond ymosodwyd ar Brychan a’i osgordd gan giwed o Bictiaid. Lladdwyd Rhun wrth iddo amddiffyn pont dros afon Taf ger Troedyrhiw, tarddiad yr enw Pontyrhun. Dywedir bod Tudful wedi penlinio a gweddïo’n dawel cyn iddi hithau gael ei lladd yn y fan lle safai eglwys o blethwaith a chlai. Yn y 13eg ganrif, adeiladwyd eglwys garreg yn lle honno, wedi ei chysegru i’r Santes Tudful, y Merthyr. Codwyd eglwys newydd yn lle’r eglwys blwyf yma yn 1807, a chafodd ei hailadeiladu eto yn 1894.

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A N T HONY B AC ON 1717–1786

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nthony Bacon, from Cumberland, played a crucial role in the industrialisation of Merthyr Tydfil and the Welsh iron industry. He became rich supplying provisions to British troops overseas, but his main wealth came from the slave trade. He was also MP for Aylesbury. In 1765 he decided to invest in south Wales and leased 4,000 acres of mineral–bearing land at Merthyr. He built a state–of–the–art iron furnace at Cyfarthfa, added a foundry, and secured lucrative contracts to supply the government with cannon. Richard Crawshay joined him as a partner. Bacon had bought the Plymouth furnace in 1766 and Hirwaun in 1780, needing the extra smelting capacity to feed the Cyfarthfa cannon foundry. A new government barred government contractors from sitting in the Commons. To retain his seat, Bacon transferred the contracts to Francis Homfray, a Staffordshire ironmaster who carried out the work at Cyfarthfa, paying rent to Bacon. When Bacon died, the Court of Chancery ruled that Cyfarthfa should be leased to Richard Crawshay. Crawshay and heirs have overshadowed Bacon, but he had a massive influence on Merthyr’s iron industry, securing the mineral rights, the bedrock of Cyfarthfa’s prosperity, and investing on a scale not seen before. It was he too who introduced Richard Crawshay and Francis Homfray to Cyfarthfa.

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hwaraeodd Anthony Bacon, o Cumberland, ran allweddol yn natblygiad Merthyr Tudful a diwydiant haearn Cymru. Gwnaeth arian mawr yn cyflenwi milwyr Prydain mewn gwledydd tramor ond o’r gaethfasnach y daeth ei brif gyfoeth. Roedd hefyd yn AS Aylesbury. Yn 1765 penderfynodd fuddsoddi yn ne Cymru, gan gymryd prydles ar 4,000 erw o dir ym Merthyr â mwynau ynddo. Adeiladodd ffwrnais gwbl fodern yng Nghyfarthfa, ychwanegu ffowndri, ac ennill cytundebau bras i gyflenwi canonau i’r llywodraeth. Daeth Richard Crawshay yn bartner iddo. Prynodd Bacon ffwrnais Plymouth yn 1766 a Hirwaun yn 1780, i gynhyrchu mwy o haearn tawdd i borthi ffowndri canonau Cyfarthfa. Gwaharddodd llywodraeth newydd gontractwyr y llywodraeth rhag eistedd yn y Senedd. Er mwyn cadw’i sedd, trosglwyddodd Bacon ei gytundebau i Francis Homfray, meistr haearn o swydd Stafford, a redai’r gwaith yng Nghyfarthfa gan dalu rhent i Bacon. Pan fu farw Bacon, dyfarnodd Llys y Canghellor y dylid rhoi prydles Cyfarthfa i Richard Crawshay. Denodd Crawshay a’i etifeddion fwy o sylw na Bacon, ond cafodd hwnnw ddylanwad anferthol ar ddiwydiant haearn Merthyr: sicrhaodd yr hawliau mwynau, sail ffyniant Cyfarthfa, a buddsoddi ar raddfa fwy nag erioed o’r blaen. Ef hefyd a ddaeth â Richard Crawshay a Francis Homfray i Gyfarthfa.


RIC HAR D C R AWS H AY 17 39 –1810

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ichard Crawshay, the first of the Crawshay ironmasters, was already rich when he arrived in Merthyr. From Yorkshire originally, he made a fortune in London importing iron, becoming the city’s leading iron merchant. Determined to be an ironmaster in his own right, he joined another London merchant, Anthony Bacon, at Cyfarthfa ironworks. When Bacon died, Richard took over management of Cyfarthfa and took out a licence to use Cort’s ‘puddling’ method for making quality wrought iron. By training local men, he hoped to undermine the authority of existing skilled workmen but the ‘puddlers’, in turn, became craftsmen of great skill and endurance (and truculence!). Perfecting Cort’s method, he vastly increased production and revolutionised the industry. In 1794, he bought the works. Richard promoted the Glamorgan Canal from Merthyr to Cardiff, sending iron from Merthyr to the world. He made Cyfarthfa the most modern works in Britain, and the largest capitalist enterprise on earth. He ruthlessly got rid of partners and quarrelled incessantly over water rights with Richard Hill (Plymouth works) who called him ‘a tyrant’ and with Samuel Homfray (Penydarren) who called him ‘a damned scoundrel’. When he died, he left an extraordinary (for those days) £1.5m. He was buried at Llandaf Cathedral.

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oedd Richard Crawshay, meistr haearn cyntaf y teulu Crawshay, eisoes yn gyfoethog pan ddaeth i Ferthyr. O swydd Efrog yn wreiddiol, gwnaeth ffortiwn yn Llundain yn mewnforio haearn, ac ef oedd marsiandwr haearn blaenllaw’r ddinas. Â’i fryd ar fod yn feistr haearn, ymunodd â marsiandwr arall o Lundain, Anthony Bacon, yng ngwaith haearn Cyfarthfa. Pan fu farw Bacon, aeth Richard yn rheolwr Cyfarthfa a chododd drwydded i ddefnyddio dull ‘pwdlo’ Cort o wneud haearn gyr o safon. Trwy hyfforddi dynion lleol, gobeithiai danseilio awdurdod y gweithwyr crefft a oedd yno eisoes, ond datblygodd y ‘pydlwyr’ hwythau’n grefftwyr hynod fedrus a dygn (a ffyrnig!). Gan berffeithio dull Cort, cynyddodd gynnyrch y gwaith haearn yn anferthol a chwyldroi’r diwydiant. Ym 1974, prynodd y gwaith. Cefnogodd Richard adeiladu Camlas Morgannwg o Ferthyr i Gaerdydd, a gludai haearn o Ferthyr i’r byd. Gwnaeth Gyfarthfa’n waith haearn mwyaf modern Prydain, a’r fenter gyfalafol fwyaf ar wyneb daear. Byddai’n cael gwared o bartneriaid yn ddidrugaredd, a bu’n cweryla beunydd ynglyˆn â hawliau dwˆr gyda Richard Hill (gwaith Plymouth) a’i galwai’n ormeswr, a gyda Samuel Homfray (Penydarren) a’i galwai’n ‘ddihiryn melltigedig’. Pan fu farw, gadawodd swm anhygoel (am y cyfnod) o £1.5m. Fe’i claddwyd yn Eglwys Gadeiriol Llandaf.

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SA MUE L HOM F R AY 1762–1822

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amuel Homfray was the son of Francis Homfray and the brother of Thomas and Jeremiah. The brothers with the help of their father set up the works at Penydarren in 1784. In 1790 Samuel became the sole manager after quarrelling with Jeremiah. Described as ‘a bull–necked snub–nosed bruiser’ he quarrelled with the Dowlais company over water, mineral rights and poaching workers, and with Richard Crawshay whom he called ‘a damned scoundrel’. He fathered three illegitimate children in Merthyr and lived in extravagant style in Penydarren House. In 1793 he married into the landed gentry Morgan family of Tredegar Park. The Penydarren works expanded rapidly under his management, employing over 900 men, women and children by 1802. He invested £40,000 in the Glamorgan canal, bought early Trevithick engines, and encouraged his locomotive experiments. He also established the Tredegar ironworks. He died 22 May 1822.

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oedd Samuel Homfray yn fab i Francis Homfray ac yn frawd i Thomas a Jeremiah. Gyda chymorth eu tad, sefydlodd y brodyr waith Penydarren in 1784. Yn 1790, aeth Samuel yn unig reolwr y gwaith ar ôl cweryla gyda Jeremiah. Fe’i disgrifiwyd fel ‘colbiwr trwynbwt, â gwddf tarw’. Cwerylodd gyda chwmni Dowlais ynglyn â dwˆr, hawliau mwynau a dwyn gweithwyr, a gyda Richard Crawshay, a alwodd yn ‘ddihyryn melltigedig’. Cafodd dri phlentyn anghyfreithlon ym Merthyr, ac roedd yn byw bywyd bras yn Nhyˆ Penydarren. Yn 1793, priododd i mewn i deulu bonheddig tirfeddiannol Morganiaid Parc Tredegar. Tyfodd gwaith Penydarren ar garlam o dan ei reolaeth, a chyflogai 900 o wyˆr, gwragedd a phlant erbyn 1802. Buddsoddodd £40,000 yng nghamlas Morgannwg, prynodd injans cynnar Trevithick, a’i annog yn ei arbrofion â locomotifau. Sefydlodd waith haearn Tredegar hefyd. Bu farw ar 22 Mai 1822.


W ILLIAM C R AWS H AY I 176 4–1834

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ichard Crawshay was succeeded by his only son William, who was equally dictatorial and obsessive. William ran the business from London, leaving the production of iron at Cyfarthfa to his son, William II. Richard had also left shares in the ironworks to his nephew Joseph Bailey and son– in–law Benjamin Hall, so William had to buy them out. He purchased the mineral–lease royalties from Anthony Bacon’s estate and bought the Hirwaun works. Dowlais, Penydarren, and Plymouth were also expanding, but did not have the vast resources of the Crawshays. By 1812 the four Merthyr works were producing one–fifth of Britain’s pig iron. Cyfarthfa was the largest iron works in existence. William was totally focused on the works, and strongly objected when his son wanted to build an elaborate house for himself. He was even more aghast at the nature and cost of Cyfarthfa Castle. He visited it only once. Although ruthless in business, William had a more enlightened attitude to trade unions than Guest, Hill, or his son. In 1831 he wrote: ‘The men have, in my opinion, as much Right to have unions as the masters’, adding, ‘I wish them success and should be happy to pay them better as soon as others do so.’

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lynwyd Richard Crawshay gan ei unig fab, William, a oedd mor ormesol a phenstiff ag yntau. Rhedai William y busnes o Lundain, gan adael y cynhyrchu haearn yng Nghyfarthfa i’w fab yntau, William II. Gadawodd Richard gyfranddaliadau yn y gwaith haearn i’w nai Joseph Bailey a’i fab–yng–nghyfraith Benjamin Hall hefyd, a bu’n rhaid i William eu prynu allan. Pwrcasodd brydles mwynau ystad Anthony Bacon a phrynodd waith Hirwaun hefyd. Roedd Dowlais, Penydarren, a Plymouth yn ehangu hefyd, ond heb adnoddau anferth y teulu Crawshay. Erbyn 1815, roedd gweithfeydd Merthyr yn cynhyrchu pumed rhan o haearn crai Prydain. Cyfarthfa oedd y gwaith haearn mwyaf yn y byd. Y gwaith haearn oedd ffocws bywyd William, a gwrthwynebai’n gryf ddymuniad ei fab i adeiladu tyˆ crand iddo’i hun. Roedd yn gwaredu mwy fyth pan welodd natur a chost Castell Cyfarthfa. Dim ond unwaith yr ymwelodd â’r lle. Er mor ddidrugaredd ydoedd mewn busnes, roedd gan William agwedd fwy goleuedig at undebau llafur na Guest, Hill, na’i fab. ‘Mae gan y dynion, tybiaf, gymaint o Hawl i undebau â’r meistri’, meddai yn 1831. ‘Dymunaf lwyddiant iddynt, a byddwn yn fodlon eu talu’n well cyn gynted ag y gwna eraill hynny.’

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RIC HAR D T R EV I T H IC K 1771–1833

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ichard Trevithick, engineer and inventor, was only briefly in Merthyr but what he did there changed the world. Born in Cornwall, son of a tin–mine ‘captain’ responsible for the steam engines that pumped water from the mine, Richard rapidly grasped how they worked and by 19 was a consulting engineer. In 1797 he modified steam engines to avoid royalties due on James Watt’s separate condenser patent. With no condenser, a smaller, lighter cylinder could be used. In 1801 he built a road locomotive which carried six passengers, the first form of steam transportation. In 1802 he installed one his high–pressure stationary engines to drive a hammer at Samuel Homfray’s Penydarren works. In the winter of 1803–4 in Penydarren, Trevithick mounted an engine on wheels, to run on rails. This was the forerunner of all locomotives. Setting out on 21 February 1804, it only made three journeys as the engine’s weight broke some of the tramroad’s cast–iron plates. Homfray decided that Trevithick’s invention was unlikely to reduce his transport costs and so the project was abandoned. Trevithick was a great inventor but no businessman, and died penniless. Trevithick Street is named after him and 21 February is Trevithick Day in Merthyr. Swansea’s National Waterfront Museum has a full–scale working reconstruction of the Penydarren locomotive.

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im ond am ychydig y bu Richard Trevithick, peiriannydd a dyfeisiwr, ym Merthyr ond gwnaeth rywbeth yno a newidiodd y byd. O Gernyw, yn fab i ‘gapten’ gwaith tun a ofalai am yr injans ager a bympiai’r dwr allan, buan y daeth Richard i ddeall sut y gweithient, ac yn 19 oed, roedd yn beiriannydd ymgynghorol. Yn 1797 addasodd injans ager er mwyn osgoi’r breindal ar batent cyddwysydd James Watt. Heb gyddwysydd, gellid defnyddio silindr lai ac ysgafnach. Yn 1801 adeiladodd locomotif ffordd a gludodd chwe theithiwr, sef y cerbyd ager cyntaf. Yn 1802, gosododd un o’r injans sefydlog, pwysedd–uchel i yrru morthwyl yng ngwaith Penydarren Samuel Homfray. Yng ngaeaf 1803–4, ym Mhenydarren, gosododd Trevithick injan ar olwynion a redai ar reiliau. Dyma ragflaenydd pob locomotif. Cychwynnodd ar ei daith ar 21 Chwefror 1804, ond dim ond teirgwaith y rhedodd, gan i bwysau’r injan dorri rhai o blatiau haearn bwrw’r dramffordd. Penderfynodd Homfray nad oedd dyfais Trevithick yn debyg o leihau ei gostau cludiant, a rhoddodd y gorau i’r project. Er cystal dyfeisiwr ydoedd, doedd Trevithick ddim yn ddyn busnes a bu farw heb ddimai goch. Enwyd Stryd Trevithick ar ei ôl a Dydd Trevithick yw’r 21 Chwefror ym Merthyr. Mae model gwaith maint–llawn o locomotif Penydarren yn Amgueddfa’r Glannau yn Abertawe.


LUC Y T HOM AS 1781–1847

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he remarkable Lucy Thomas is commonly known as ‘the mother of the South Wales steam coal trade’. She may have been the mother but the father was her husband Robert. In 1824 he opened a level at Waun Wyllt (Abercanaid) to work the ‘four foot seam’ of steam coal and sold it to households in Merthyr and Cardiff rather than to ironworks for smelting iron ore. Some was sent to London where its smokeless burning qualities were appreciated and demand for it increased rapidly. Robert sank the Graig pit nearby and mined the same seam. When Robert died Lucy took over the management and her son William worked there. In 1843 Lucy and William opened the Llety–Shenkin colliery in the Cynon valley where the same coal was available. Robert and Lucy are both buried at Hen–dy–Cwrdd chapel, Cefn Coed. The fountain at the bottom of town was erected to their memory by their grand–daughter’s husband W.T. Lewis.

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dwaenir y cymeriad hynod Lucy Thomas fel ‘mam masnach lo stêm De Cymru’. Efallai mai hi oedd y fam, ond y tad oedd ei gwˆr, Robert. Yn 1824 agorodd lefel yn Waun Wyllt (Abercannaid) i weithio ‘gwythïen bedair troedfedd’ o lo stêm a’i werthu i deuluoedd ym Merthyr a Chaerdydd yn hytrach nag i weithfeydd haearn ar gyfer toddi mwyn haearn. Anfonwyd rhywfaint i Lundain lle gwerthfawrogid ei ansawdd llosgi di–fwˆg, a chynyddodd y galw amdano ar garlam. Suddodd Robert bwll y Graig gerllaw a chloddio’r un wythïen. Pan fu Robert farw, aeth Lucy’n gyfrifol am reolaeth y pwll a bu ei mab, William, yn gweithio yno. Yn 1843 agorodd Lucy a William lofa Llety–Shenkin yng nghwm Cynon lle ceid yr un glo. Claddwyd Robert a Lucy ill dau yn yr Hen Dyˆ Cwrdd, Cefn Coed. Codwyd y ffynnon bistyll ar waelod y dref er cof amdanynt gan W.T. Lewis, gwˆr eu gor–wyres.

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AN T HONY H I L L 1784–1862

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n 1844 Anthony Hill became the sole owner of the Plymouth ironworks following his father and brothers. An old–fashioned Tory he was described by Lady Charlotte Guest (who was not a Tory) as ‘a gentleman’. He took an active part in local politics and served on the Select Vestry that ran the town 1828–1835. He opposed the town having its own council and the application of the 1848 Public Health Act to Merthyr because it meant interference by central government. For ten years he resisted the provision of clean water to the inhabitants until the water for his works was guaranteed at public expense. He strongly opposed trade unions and in 1831 joined with Josiah John Guest in locking out union members. He was seen as fair and charitable toward individual workers and built between 1840 and 1852 the unusual formation of workers’ houses at Pentrebach known as the Triangle. He paid for the Church of St. John the Baptist at Pontyrhun in 1853 on condition that he would be the only person buried there. He lies in a brick–lined vault below the altar in an elm coffin encased in a lead coffin which is within an oak coffin. He endowed a church school at Pentrebach and left money in his will for scholarships.

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n 1844 daeth Anthony Hill yn unig berchen gwaith haearn Plymouth, ar ôl ei dad a’i frodyr. Tori hen–ffasiwn ydoedd, a ddisgrifiwyd gan y Fonesig Charlotte Guest (nad oedd yn Dori) fel ‘gwˆr bonheddig’. Bu’n weithgar mewn gwleidyddiaeth leol gan wasanaethu ar y Festri Ddethol a redai’r dref o 1828 i 1835. Roedd yn erbyn cael cyngor i’r dref, a gweithredu Deddf Iechyd Cyhoeddus 1848 ym Merthyr am y golygai hynny ymyrraeth gan y llywodraeth ganol. Am ddeng mlynedd, rhwystrodd ddarparu dwˆr glân i’r trigolion nes y gwarantwyd dwˆr i’w weithfeydd ar draul y cyhoedd. Gwrthwynebai undebau llafur yn gryf ac yn 1831, ymunodd â Josiah John Guest i gloi aelodau undebau allan. Roedd yn deg ac yn haelfrydig tuag at weithwyr unigol, a rhwng 1840 a 1852 adeiladodd y Triangle, clwstwr anghyffredin o dai gweithwyr, ym Mhentrebach. Talodd am Eglwys Sant Ioan Fedyddiwr ym Mhontyrhun yn 1853 ar yr amod mai ef yn unig oedd i’w gladdu yno. Mae’n gorffwys mewn siambr wedi ei leinio â brics o dan yr allor, mewn arch lwyfen, o fewn arch blwm, sydd y tu fewn i arch dderw. Talodd am ysgol eglwys ym Mhentrebach a gadael arian yn ei ewyllys i dalu am ysgoloriaethau.


JO SIAH JOH N GU ES T 1785–1852

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orn in Gellifaelog, buried in St. John’s Church, Dowlais, Josiah John Guest was the Welsh– speaking ironmaster who made the Dowlais works the greatest in the world and became Merthyr’s first MP. He had previously represented Honiton during 1826–31 and lost that seat because he favoured parliamentary reform. His grandfather John Guest had been manager of the single Dowlais furnace in 1767. Josiah John was 22 when he became manager at Dowlais. He was founding chairman of the Taff Vale Railway Company which broke the monopoly of the Glamorganshire Canal. He ran Dowlais with a paternal hand, introducing schools and a savings bank, but was firmly against trade unions. He was in favour of free trade and the secret ballot but against all other Chartist measures. He was knighted in 1838. His aristocratic wife called it ‘a paltry distinction’. He left £500,000 and a vast country estate in Dorset when he died on 26 November 1852.

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osiah John Guest, a aned yng Ngellifaelog ac a gladdwyd yn Eglwys Sant Ioan, Dowlais, oedd y meistr haearn Cymraeg ei iaith a wnaeth Dowlais yn waith haearn mwya’r byd. Ef hefyd oedd AS cyntaf Merthyr. Cyn hynny, cynrychiolodd Honiton yn 1826–31 a chollodd y sedd am ei fod o blaid diwygio’r senedd. Ei dad–cu, John Guest, oedd rheolwr gwaith un–ffwrnais Dowlais yn 1767. Roedd ei wˆ yr yn 22 pan ddaeth yn rheolwr Dowlais. Roedd yn gadeirydd a sefydlydd Cwmni Rheilffordd Taff Vale a dorrodd fonopoli Camlas Morgannwg. Rhedai’r gwaith â llaw dadol, gan gychwyn ysgolion a banc cynilo, ond roedd yn chwyrn yn erbyn undebau llafur. Roedd o blaid masnach rydd a phleidlais gyfrinachol ond yn erbyn pob mesur Siartaidd arall. Cafodd ei urddo’n farchog yn 1838, ‘anrhydedd pitw’ yn ôl ei wraig fonheddig. Gadawodd £500,000 ac ystad wledig anferth yn Dorset pan fu farw ar y 26 Tachwedd 1852.

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W ILLIAM C R AWS H AY I I 1788 –1867

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illiam Crawshay, Richard’s grandson, built Cyfarthfa Castle. Richard had lived in a house amidst the noise of the works; his grandson lived in a mock medieval edifice in acres of parkland. Like his father and grandfather he was known as ‘the Iron King’. Railway mania ruled the 1830s and 1840s and Cyfarthfa grew to its greatest – although outstripped by its great rival Dowlais (Cyfarthfa employed 5,000; Dowlais employed 7,000) – as Merthyr supplied the world’s railways. William invested in railway stocks and accumulated great wealth. Until 1831 he was a radical Liberal. In the run–up to the 1832 Reform Bill, he encouraged his men to take to the streets to agitate for reform, which he swiftly regretted. Merthyr erupted into armed insurrection, and he was blamed. As Merthyr’s most powerful man, he served on the Board of Guardians and the local Health Board. He and Anthony Hill at the Plymouth works regarded the waters of the Taff as ‘theirs’, and obstructed the provision of clean water to the people until a reservoir was specially constructed to guarantee supply to their works. Unlike Brecon, Carmarthen or Swansea, Merthyr, the largest town in Wales, had no town council. William and Hill opposed this because it would have challenged their rule.

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deiladodd William Crawshay, wˆ yr Richard, Gastell Cyfarthfa. Trigai Richard mewn tyˆ yng nghanol swˆn y gwaith; roedd ei wˆyr yn byw mewn ffug–gastell canoloesol mewn erwau o dir parc. Fel ei dad a’r dad–cu, fe’i hadwaenid fel ‘Brenin yr Haearn’. Degawdau’r rheilffordd oedd y 1830au a’r 1840au, a thyfodd Cyfarthfa i’w anterth – er bod ei brif gystadleuydd Dowlais yn fwy (cyflogai Cyfarthfa 5,000; cyflogai Dowlais 7,000) – wrth i weithfeydd Merthyr gyflenwi rheilffyrdd y byd. Buddsoddodd William mewn stociau rheilffyrdd ac ymgyfoethogi’n fawr. Tan 1831 roedd yn Rhyddfrydwr radicalaidd. Yn y cyfnod cyn Mesur Diwygio 1832 anogodd ei ddynion i fynd allan i’r strydoedd i ymgyrchu o blaid diwygio, ond difarodd wedyn. Ffrwydrodd Merthyr mewn gwrthryfel arfog, a Crawshay gafodd y bai. Fel y gwˆr mwyaf pwerus ym Merthyr, gwasanaethodd ar Fwrdd y Gwarcheidwaid a’r Bwrdd Iechyd lleol. Ystyriai ef ac Anthony Hill, gweithfeydd Plymouth, mai nhw ‘piau’ dyfroedd afon Taf, gan rwystro ymdrechion i ddarparu dwˆr glân i’r bobl nes i gronfa ddwˆr gael ei hadeiladu’n arbennig i sicrhau cyflenwad i’w gweithfeydd. Yn wahanol i Aberhonddu, Caerfyrddin neu Abertawe, doedd gan Ferthyr, tref fwyaf Cymru, ddim cyngor tref. Gwrthwynebai William a Hill, am y byddai wedi herio’u pwˆer.


A DRIAN S T E P H ENS 1795–1876

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drian Stephens born at Breage, Cornwall, is famous as the man who invented the steam whistle. It happened when he was employed as an engineer at the Dowlais Works in 1833. He realised that unless some attachment was fixed to the boilers to give warning of overheating, then a serious explosion could occur. He first used a large whistle attached to the boilers which gave off a slight hiss when the danger point had been reached. But then he cut a vent in the whistle, and the shrill and strident sound it produced assailed human ears for the first time. An early example of his invention can be seen in Cyfarthfa Museum. Stephens did not patent the device, and it was adopted by the Liverpool and Manchester Railway after it had been seen, and heard, in operation at Dowlais in 1835. It was subsequently added to every boiler, every railway engine and every steam ship around the world. He died poor.

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ae Adrian Stephens, a aned yn Breage, Cernyw, yn enwog am ddyfeisio’r chwiban ager. Digwyddodd tra’r oedd yn gweithio fel peiriannydd yng Ngwaith Dowlais yn 1833. Sylweddolodd, oni ellid gosod rhyw ddyfais ar y bwyleri i rybuddio eu bod yn gor–dwymo, y gallai arwain at ffrwydrad difrifol. Yn gyntaf, defnyddiodd chwibanogl fawr wedi ei chysylltu â’r bwyleri a fyddai’n rhyw hisian pan âi pethau’n beryglus. Ond yna, torrodd dwll awyr yn y chwibanogl, a dyma’r chwibanu treiddgar, croch yn merwino clustiau dynol am y tro cyntaf. Gellir gweld enghraifft gynnar o’i ddyfais yn Amgueddfa Cyfarthfa. Ni chododd Stephens batent ar y ddyfais, a dechreuodd Rheilffordd Lerpwl a Manceinion ei defnyddio ar ôl ei gweld, a’i chlywed, yn gweithredu yn Nowlais yn 1835. Wedi hynny, fe’i ceid ar bob bwyler, pob injan reilffordd a phob llong ager ledled y byd. Bu Stephens farw’n dlotyn.

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PE N RY WI L L I A M S 1802–1885

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enry Williams, Merthyr’s best known artist, was the son of a house–painter. He early displayed his ability and in 1822, probably sponsored by William Crawshay II, enrolled as a student at the Royal Academy. In 1826 Williams moved to Rome where he stayed until his death in 1885. Before moving to Rome he produced a series of fine watercolours of views in south Wales and England. These include 21 watercolours done for Crawshay with views of the works and of Cyfarthfa Castle. They can be seen at Cyfarthfa Museum. In Rome he mainly depicted Italian views and scenes of Roman life, and the pictures which he contributed to the Royal Academy down to 1869, painted in an attractive though conventional style, were much admired, and brought him many distinguished patrons. English tourists invariably included a visit to his studio. He died in Rome on 27 July 1885.

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ab i beintiwr tai oedd Penry Williams, artist mwyaf adnabyddus Merthyr. Amlygodd ei ddawn yn gynnar ac yn 1822, dan nawdd William Crawshay II, mae’n debyg, cofrestrodd yn fyfyriwr yn yr Academi Frenhinol. Yn 1826 symudodd i Rufain lle bu’n byw tan ei farwolaeth yn 1885. Cyn symud i Rufain, cynhyrchodd gyfres ddyfrlliw wych o olygfeydd yn ne Cymru a Lloegr. Mae’r rhain yn cynnwys 21 o luniau dyfrlliw a wnaeth ar gyfer Crawshay gyda golygfeydd o’r gwaith ac o Gastell Cyfarthfa, sydd i’w gweld yn Amgueddfa Cyfarthfa.Yn Rhufain, darluniai olygfeydd o’r Eidal a bywyd Rhufain yn bennaf, a denodd y lluniau a gyfrannodd i’r Academi Frenhinol hyd at 1869, mewn arddull atyniadol ond confensiynol, gryn edmygedd, gan ennill iddo nifer o noddwyr pwysig. Byddai twristiaid o Loegr yn sicr o ymweld â’i stiwdio. Bu farw yn Rhufain ar 27 Gorffennaf 1885.


MORG AN WI L L I A M S 1808 –1883

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organ Williams lived two lives. The only son of a Penyrheolgerrig weaver and Unitarian he was from 1853 to 1883 Merthyr’s Registrar of Marriages, a quiet public servant. But from 1834 to 1842 he was the voice of democratic rebellion, publisher of radical newspapers, and leader of Merthyr’s thousands of Chartists the largest working–class movement in Wales. In 1834 he published Y Gweithiwr/the Workman; the stipendiary magistrate thought it seditious. In 1840 he published Udgorn Cymru: the Trumpet of Wales which supported Chartism. He translated Chartist pamphlets into Welsh. In the 1841 election he beat Sir John Guest on a show of hands, but his supporters could not vote. In 1842 a warrant was issued for his arrest and he fled to Newtown. He returned in 1846, helped to found the subscription library and gave lectures there. He remained a radical, always against tyranny. He is buried in Cefn Cemetery.

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oedd Morgan Williams yn byw dau fywyd. Yn unig fab i wehydd ac Undodwr o Benyrheolgerrig, o 1853 i 1883 ef oedd Cofrestrydd Priodasau Merthyr, gwas sifil tawel. Ond o 1834 i 1842, fe oedd llais gwrthryfel democrataidd, cyhoeddwr papurau newydd radicalaidd, ac arweinydd y miloedd o Siartwyr ym Merthyr, y mudiad dosbarth–gweithiol mwyaf yng Nghymru. Yn 1834 cyhoeddodd Y Gweithiwr, anogaeth i wrthryfel ym marn yr ynad cyflogedig. Yn 1840 cyhoeddodd Udgorn Cymru a gefnogai Siartiaeth. Cyfieithodd bamffledi’r Siartwyr i’r Gymraeg. Yn etholiad 1841, trechodd Syr John Guest ar bleidlais godi dwylo, ond ni allai ei gefnogwyr ef bleidleisio. Yn 1842 cyhoeddwyd gwarant i’w restio, a ffôdd i’r Drenewydd. Dychwelodd yn 1846, helpodd i sefydlu’r llyfrgell danysgrifio a byddai’n darlithio yno. Bu’n radical ar hyd ei oes, bob amser yn erbyn gormes. Fe’i claddwyd ym Mynwent Cefn Coed.

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DIC PENDERY N 1808 –1831

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ichard Lewis (Dic Penderyn) was hanged at Cardiff gaol on 13 August 1831. He was almost certainly innocent of the charge against him, which was that he had stabbed private Donald Black outside the Castle Inn on 3 June. Black could not identify his attacker and in America in 1874 Ianto Parker made a death–bed confession to the stabbing. Lewis, an ironstone miner, was one of the delegation that spoke with the ironmasters before the attack on the inn that cost at least 16 lives that day. But he was not the leader of the insurrection. He is sometimes confused with Lewis Lewis who was born in Penderyn and did play a prominent part in that uprising against poverty and in favour of reform. Despite substantial petitions for a reprieve Dic went to the gallows. He was buried in Aberavon where he was born. He was 23. Plaques to his memory are at Merthyr library and the entrance to Cardiff Market in St. Mary Street.

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rogwyd Richard Lewis (Dic Penderyn) yng ngharchar Caerdydd ar 13 Awst 1831. Roedd bron yn sicr yn ddieuog o’r cyhuddiad o drywanu’r preifat Donald Black y tu allan i Westy’r Castell ar y 3 Mehefin. Ni allai Black ddweud pwy ymosododd arno, ac yn America yn 1874 cyffesodd Ianto Parker i’r drosedd ar ei wely angau. Roedd Lewis, mwynwyr haearn, yn y ddirprwyaeth a siaradodd â’r meistri haearn cyn yr ymosodiad ar y gwesty a gostiodd o leiaf 16 o fywydau y diwrnod hwnnw. Ond nid ef oedd arweinydd y gwrthryfel. Drysir weithiau rhyngddo ef a Lewis Lewis (Lewsyn yr Heliwr) a aned ym Mhenderyn ac a oedd yn flaenllaw yn y gwrthryfel yn erbyn tlodi ac o blaid diwygio. Er gwaethaf deisebau swmpus yn ceisio’i arbed, aeth Dic i’r crocbren. Fe’i claddwyd yn Aberafan lle’i ganed. Roedd yn 23. Ceir llechi coffa iddo ar lyfrgell Merthyr a ger mynedfa Marchnad Caerdydd yn Heol Eglwys Fair.


G EORG E T HOM AS C L A R K 1809 –1898

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lark was a surgeon, a railway engineer and author of six volumes on medieval Glamorgan. But above all he was from 1857–1897 the dominating influence upon the Dowlais Iron Company and much that happened in Merthyr. A trustee of the Dowlais works he became the man in charge when Lady Charlotte remarried and left Dowlais. He invested in steel production, increased the sale of coal from the company’s collieries and returned the works to profitability. He ruled Dowlais with a strong paternal hand, opposing trade unions. As chairman of the Merthyr Health Board he pushed forward sewerage and drainage schemes and finally resolved the problem of water supply. As chairman of the Board of Guardians he cut down on welfare payments, forcing single mothers into the workhouse. He opposed a town council for Merthyr as he thought it would be bad for Dowlais.

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oedd Clark yn feddyg, yn beiriannydd rheilffordd ac yn awdur chwe chyfrol ar Forgannwg yn y canol oesoedd. Uwchlaw’r cwbl, ef, o 1857–1897, oedd y dylanwad pennaf ar Gwmni Haearn Dowlais ac ar lawer o’r hyn a ddigwyddai ym Merthyr. Yn un o ymddiriedolwyr Dowlais, aeth yn gyfrifol am y cwmni pan ailbriododd y Fonesig Charlotte a chefnu ar Ferthyr. Buddsoddodd mewn cynhyrchu dur, cynyddodd werthiant glo o lofeydd y cwmni a gwneud y gwaith yn broffidiol unwaith eto. Rheolai Ddowlais â llaw dadol gadarn, gan wrthwynebu undebau llafur. Fel cadeirydd Bwrdd Iechyd Merthyr, hybodd gynlluniau carthffosiaeth a draenio, gan ddatrys problem y cyflenwad dwˆr o’r diwedd. Fel cadeirydd Bwrdd y Gwarcheidwaid, cwtogodd ar daliadau lles, gan orfodi mamau sengl i mewn i’r wyrcws. Gwrthwynebai gyngor tref i Ferthyr, gan gredu y gwnâi hynny niwed i Ddowlais.

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C H A RLOT T E GU E S T 1812–1895

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he daughter of the ninth Earl of Lindsey married Josiah John Guest in 1833. Highly intelligent and with a gift for languages she is known for her pioneering translation of medieval Welsh stories she called the Mabinogion. Despite giving birth to ten children she played an important supporting role in her husband’s political and industrial life. When he died she took control before remarrying in 1855. While Guest was alive she took great interest in the Dowlais company’s schools, which resulted in the opening in 1855 of the Dowlais Central Schools accommodating 650 girls and boys and 680 infants. She also set up a workman’s library and adult education classes for men and women. Her ceramics collection was bequeathed to the Victoria and Albert Museum; she also donated fans, board games and playing cards to the British Museum. Her journal, which she wrote almost daily for 70 years, is a valuable source for social history.

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riododd merch y nawfed Iarll Lindsey Josiah John Guest yn 1833. Yn hynod ddeallus, gyda dawn at ieithoedd, mae’n enwog am ei chyfieithad arloesol o straeon canoloesol y Mabinogi (neu’r Mabinogion fel y galwai hi nhw). Er magu deg o blant, chwaraeodd ran bwysig yn cefnogi ei gwˆr yn ei fywyd gwleidyddol a diwydiannol. Pan fu farw, aeth hi’n gyfrifol am y cwmni cyn ailbriodi yn 1855. Tra’r oedd Guest yn fyw, ymddiddorai Charlotte yn fawr yn ysgolion cwmni Dowlais; arweiniodd hynny at agor Ysgolion Canolog Dowlais yn 1855, ar gyfer 650 o ferched a bechgyn a 680 o fabanod. Sefydlodd lyfrgell y gweithwyr hefyd, a dosbarthiadau addysg oedolion ar gyfer dynion a menywod. Gadawodd ei chasgliad o lestri cain i Amgueddfa Victoria ac Albert; cyfrannodd ffaniau, gemau bwrdd a chardiau chwarae i’r Amgueddfa Brydeinig hefyd. Mae ei dyddiaduron, a sgrifennodd bob dydd bron am 70 mlynedd, yn ffynhonnell hanes cymdeithasol werthfawr.


HE N RY R IC H A R D 1812–1888

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enry Richard, born in Tregaron, was Merthyr’s MP from 1868–1888 and one of the best–known Welshmen of the nineteenth century. He was famous for three things. He was the first nonconformist radical in Wales to be elected by working–class votes. This was in the 1868 election when working men in Merthyr had the vote for the first time. He knocked the sitting member, Henry Bruce, to the bottom of the poll. Secondly, he was a Welsh patriot. He scathingly attacked the reports on Education in Wales published in 1847 and for many years known as Brad y Llyfrau Gleision. The reports called the Welsh people ignorant and immoral, largely because they did not speak English. His Letters and Essays on Wales published in 1866 was an important statement of Welsh self–respect and potentialities. In the Commons he was known as the Member for Wales. Third, his work for international peace in which he argued that arbitration rather than war could solve disputes between nations. He became general secretary of the Peace Society in 1848 and was known as the Apostle of Peace. He argued his case on Christian and moral grounds but also because wars wasted money and lives, causing suffering to ordinary people.

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enry Richard, yn enedigol o Dregaron, AS Merthyr 1868–1888, oedd un o Gymry mwyaf adnabyddus y 19eg ganrif. Roedd yn enwog am dri pheth. Ef oedd yr anghydffurfiwr a’r radical cyntaf yng Nghymru i’w ethol gan bleidlais y dosbarth gweithiol, yn etholiad 1868 pan gafodd gweithwyr Merthyr y bleidlais am y tro cyntaf. Bwriodd yr aelod cyfredol, Henry Bruce, i waelod y pôl. Yn ail, roedd yn wladgarwr. Ymosododd yn ffyrnig ar yr Adroddiadau ar Addysg yng Nghymru a gyhoeddwyd yn 1847, yn yr hyn y daethpwyd i’w adnabod fel Brad y Llyfrau Gleision. Galwai’r adroddiadau y Cymry yn anwybodus ac yn anfoesol, yn bennaf am nad oeddent yn medru’r Saesneg. Roedd ei Letters and Essays on Wales (1866) yn ddatganiad pwysig o hunan–barch a phosibiliadau’r Cymry. Yn Nhyˆ’r Cyffredin, fe’i hadwaenid fel yr Aelod dros Gymru. Yn drydydd, roedd yn enwog am ei waith dros heddwch rhyngwladol, lle dadleuai y gallai cyflafareiddiad yn hytrach na rhyfel ddatrys gwrthdaro rhwng cenhedloedd. Aeth yn ysgrifennydd cyffredinol y Gymdeithas Heddwch yn 1848, a chyfeirid ato fel Apostol Heddwch. Dadleuai ei achos ar sail foesol a Christnogol, ond hefyd am fod rhyfeloedd yn gwastraffu arian a bywydau, gan achosi dioddefaint i bobl gyffredin.

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JOH N H UGH ES 1814–1889

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ohn Hughes (b. Merthyr Tydfil, d. St. Petersburg) founded a city, built an industry and developed a whole region. He learnt iron–making as his father’s apprentice at the Cyfarthfa ironworks. A hard worker and innovator, he became head of Millwall Engineering in London, and won large contracts with the Royal Navy. In 1868, he was invited to build an ironworks in the wilds of southern Russia, hundreds of miles from the nearest city, but rich in coal and iron ore, water and limestone. Remembering how his home town had developed, he returned to London to raise £300,000 capital for the New Russia Coal, Iron, and Rail–Making Company. By 1874 the Iuzovka (Hughesovka) ironworks was in full production, with its own collieries, iron–ore mines and brickworks. Hughes provided a hospital and schools, and built decent houses for the 2,000 workers and a weaving shop to provide work for wives and widows. Many of those who accompanied John Hughes settled in Iuzovka and some of their descendants still live there. By 1913 the works was the largest in the Russian Empire, producing 74% of all Russian iron. Iuzovka (Donetsk today) has a population of over one million and a statue to John Hughes.

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efydlodd John Hughes (g. Merthyr Tudful, bu f. St. Petersburg) ddinas, adeiladu diwydiant a datblygu rhanbarth cyfan. Dysgodd wneud haearn yn brentis i’w dad yn ngwaith haearn Cyfarthfa. Yn weithiwr caled a dyfeisgar, aeth yn bennaeth Millwall Engineering yn Llundain, ac ennill cytundebau mawr gyda’r Llynges. Yn 1868, cafodd wahoddiad i adeiladu gwaith haearn yng ngwylltiroedd de Rwsia, gannoedd o filltiroedd o’r dref agosaf, ond â chyfoeth o lo a mwyn haearn, dwˆr a charreg galch. Gan gofio sut y datblygodd ei dref enedigol, dychwelodd i Lundain i godi £300,000 o gyfalaf ar gyfer y New Russia Coal, Iron, and Rail–Making Company. Erbyn 1874, roedd gwaith haearn Iuzovka (Hughesovka) yn ei anterth, gyda’i lofeydd, mwyngloddiau haearn a’i weithfeydd brics ei hun. Darparodd Hughes ysbyty ac ysgolion ac adeiladu tai cymwys ar gyfer y 2,000 o weithwyr, a siop wehyddu i gynnig gwaith i wragedd a gweddwon. Ymgartrefodd llawer o’r rhai ddaeth gyda John Hughes yn Iuzovka, ac mae rhai o’u disgynyddion yn dal i fyw yno. Erbyn 1913, hwn oedd y gwaith mwyaf yn yr Ymerodraeth Rwsiaidd, yn cynhyrchu 74% o holl haearn Rwsia. Mae gan Iuzovka (Donetsk heddiw) boblogaeth o fwy na miliwn a cherflun i John Hughes.


JO SE PH E DWA R D S 1814–1882

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oseph Edwards is Merthyr’s best–known sculptor. Born behind Ynysgau chapel he was the son of a stonemason. At seventeen, he saw the collection of Celtic stone crosses at Margam Abbey and decided to become a sculptor. Apprenticed to a memorial mason in Swansea he was quickly promoted, and in 1835 went to London as a pupil to William Behnes. In 1837 Behnes was appointed ‘Sculptor in Ordinary’ to Queen Victoria and Edwards became a student at the Royal Academy where he won several prizes including a silver medal for the best specimen work copied from an antique piece of sculpture. His early works include a memorial to Sir John Bernard Bosanquet. Another memorial monument, entitled Religion, was shown at an international exhibition in 1862. His work can be seen in churches throughout England and Wales and in Cyfarthfa Museum. In 1881 he was awarded a pension under the Turner bequest, but died shortly after. He is buried in Highgate Cemetery.

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oseph Edwards yw cerflunydd mwyaf adnabyddus Merthyr. Fe’i ganed yn Ynys–gau, yn fab i saer maen. Yn 17 oed, gwelodd y casgliad o groesau Celtaidd yn Abaty Margam a phenderfynodd fynd yn gerflynydd. Ar ôl bod yn brentis i saer meini coffa yn Abertawe, cafodd ei ddyrchafu’n fuan iawn, ac yn 1835 aeth i Lundain, yn ddisgybl i’r cerflunydd William Behnes. Yn 1837, penodwyd Behnes yn Gerflunydd Swyddogol i’r Frenhines Fictoria, ac aeth Edwards i astudio yn yr Academi Frenhinol lle’r enillodd nifer o wobrau, yn cynnwys medal arian am yr enghraifft orau o waith yn seiliedig ar gerflun hynafol. Mae ei weithiau cynnar yn cynnwys cofeb i Syr John Bernard Bosanquet. Cafodd cerflun coffa arall, Crefydd, ei arddangos mewn arddangosfa ryngwladol yn 1862. Gellir gweld ei waith mewn eglwysi ledled Cymru a Lloegr ac yn Amgueddfa Cyfarthfa. Yn 1881, derbyniodd bensiwn o dan y ‘Turner Bequest’, ond bu farw’n fuan wedyn a chladdwyd ef ym Mynwent Highgate.

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H E N RY AUS T E N B RUC E 1815–1895

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enry Austen Bruce, born on his family’s Duffryn estate, Aberdare, succeeded his father as Stipendiary Magistrate for Merthyr and Aberdare. He was later (following the death of Sir John Guest) MP for Merthyr Tydfil (1852–1868), a trustee of the Dowlais Works, and a Poor Law Guardian. A friend of Gladstone, he was on the interventionist wing of the Liberal Party on social questions. In the general election of 1868 he lost his seat to Henry Richard. Apart from Richard’s appeal to the new electorate, Bruce had fallen out with the Aberdare miners and was seen as being out of touch with ordinary people and as a spokesman for the masters. A seat was found for him in Renfrewshire, and Gladstone made him Home Secretary. He was responsible for two Acts of Parliament particularly relevant to Merthyr. The Licensing Act 1872 penalised public drunkenness and shortened opening hours. The Coal Mines Regulation Act 1872 banned women’s night work at mines and restricted the hours of work of children under thirteen. Lord Aberdare, as he became, chaired the committee that led to the Welsh Intermediate Education Act 1889, and was instrumental in establishing the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire (now Cardiff University).

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O

lynodd Henry Austen Bruce, a aned ar y stad deuluol, y Dyffryn, Aberdâr, ei dad yn swydd Ynad Cyflogedig Merthyr ac Aberdâr. Wedi marwolaeth Syr John Guest, aeth yn AS Merthyr Tudful (1852–1868), roedd yn un o ymddiriedolwyr Gwaith Dowlais, ac yn aelod o Fwrdd y Gwarcheidwaid. Yn gyfaill i Gladstone, roedd ar asgell ymyraethol y Blaid Ryddfrydol ar faterion cymdeithasol. Yn etholiad cyffredinol 1868 collodd ei sedd i Henry Richard. Heblaw am apêl Richard i etholwyr newydd, roedd Bruce wedi cweryla gyda glowyr Aberdâr, ac yn cael ei weld fel rhywun allan o gyffyrddiad â phobl gyffredin, yn llefarydd ar ran y meistri. Daethpwyd o hyd i sedd iddo yn swydd Renfrew, a gwnaeth Gladstone ef yn Ysgrifennydd Cartref. Roedd yn gyfrifol am ddwy Ddeddf Seneddol berthnasol i Ferthyr. Roedd Deddf Drwyddedu 1872 yn cosbi meddwdod cyhoeddus ac yn cwtogi ar oriau agor. Roedd Deddf Rheoli Pyllau Glo 1872 yn gwahardd menywod rhag gweithio’r nos yn y pwll ac yn cyfyngu ar oriau gwaith plant o dan 13. Fe’i gwnaed yn Arglwydd Aberdâr, a chadeiriodd y pwyllgor a arweiniodd at Ddeddf Addysg Ganolradd Cymru 1889. Chwaraeodd ran allweddol hefyd mewn sefydlu Coleg Prifysgol De Cymru a Mynwy (Prifysgol Caerdydd bellach).


T HOMAS JONES DY K E 1816 –1900

T

homas Dyke was born in Lower High Street, and apprenticed at 15 to the Cyfarthfa Works surgeons. He studied in London and qualified in 1838, serving as parish surgeon in Merthyr, and district surgeon to the Dowlais Iron Company. In 1848 he held a meeting on ‘the influence upon the public health of the sanitary condition of towns’. Merthyr had no sewers, drainage or public water supply and was ‘an appalling example of sanitary neglect and consequent disease’. A Board of Health was established in 1850. Dr. Dyke was appointed Medical Officer of Health in 1865 and served for 35 years. He favoured the ‘miasma’ theory that diseases are caused by foul–smelling poisonous vapours in the air. With refuse removal, clean water, and improved drainage, foul smells diminished and levels of disease fell (the result of removing bacteria, the real cause of infections). In 1855 the death rate in Merthyr was 332 per 10,000. By 1865, it was 271 per 10,000 and by 1875, following sewer and filtration works, it was 232. Deaths from TB, diarrhoea, and all infectious diseases fell markedly, but in 1885 Dr Dyke noted increasing mortality from acute lung disease due to working conditions in the ironworks and coal mines.

G

aned Thomas Dyke yn y Stryd Fawr Isaf, ac aeth yn brentis i feddygon Gwaith Cyfarthfa yn 15 oed. Astudiodd yn Llundain a graddio yn 1838, gan wasanaethu fel meddyg plwyf ym Merthyr, a meddyg ardal Cwmni Haearn Dowlais. Yn 1848 trefnodd gyfarfod ar ‘ddylanwad cyflwr glanweithiol trefi ar iechyd y cyhoedd’. Doedd dim carthffosydd, draeniau na chyflenwad dwˆr cyhoeddus ym Merthyr, enghraifft echrydus o esgeulustod glanweithiol ac afiechyd o’r herwydd. Sefydlwyd Bwrdd Iechyd yn 1850. Penodwyd Dr Dyke yn Swyddog Iechyd Meddygol yn 1865 a gwasanaethodd am 35 mlynedd. Dilynai’r theori ‘miasma’, mai achos afiechydon oedd tarth gwenwynig yn yr aer a oedd yn drewi. Gyda symud sbwriel, dwr glân a gwell carthffosiaeth, byddai llai o ddrewdod a byddai cyfraddau afiechyd yn disgyn (canlyniad cael gwared o’r bacteria, gwir achos heintiau). Yn 1855 roedd cyfradd farwolaeth Merthyr yn 332 y 10,000. Erbyn 1865 roedd yn 271 y 10,000 ac yn 1875, wedi gwaith carthffosiaeth a hidlo, yn 232. Roedd llawer llai yn marw o’r diciâu, dolur rhydd a heintiau eraill ond yn 1885, nododd Dr Dyke fod mwyfwy yn marw o afiechydon yr ysgyfaint oherwydd amodau gwaith yn y gweithfeydd haearn a’r pyllau glo.

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ROB E RT T HOM P S ON C R AWS H AY 1817–1879

I

n 1839 William Crawshay III, heir to the Crawshay fortune, drowned crossing the river Severn. Cyfarthfa passed to 22–year–old Robert Crawshay, youngest son of William II. Robert knew with the works and was popular with its workers. But he was not a good choice, lacking the strength and drive of the early Crawshays. In 1860 he suffered a severe stroke that left him stone deaf. His marriage ended in bitter estrangement. When in 1874 the workers at Cyfarthfa joined a union he refused to negotiate and closed the works. It remained closed until he died. After his death, 15,541 bottles of wines and spirits were found in the Castle’s cellars, their value double that of everything else in the house. It is a sad story, culminating in Robert’s massive gravestone of polished red granite in Vaynor churchyard engraved, at his own wish, ‘God Forgive Me’. For what? His well–known lechery, his closure of the works, or his jealous and tyrannical treatment of his daughters? He endowed churches at Cyfarthfa, Cefn and Vaynor and there was an artistic side to Robert, unlike his predecessors. He was a music lover and started the Cyfarthfa Band. After he became deaf he took up photography and won medals at several exhibitions.

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Y

n 1839 boddwyd William Crawshay III, etifedd y teulu Crawshay, wrth groesi afon Hafren. Aeth Cyfarthfa i ddwylo Robert Crawshay, mab ieuengaf William II. Roedd Robert yn gyfarwydd â’r gwaith ac yn boblogaidd ymhlith y gweithwyr. Ond doedd e ddim yn ddewis da, heb nerth ac egni ei gyndeidiau. Yn 1890, cafodd strôc ddifrifol a’i gadawodd yn fyddar bost. Daeth ei briodas i ben mewn ymddieithriad chwerw. Pan ymunodd gweithwyr Cyfarthfa ag undeb yn 1874, gwrthododd negydu â nhw a chau’r gwaith. Bu Cyfarthfa ar gau am weddill ei oes. Wedi ei farwolaeth, daethpwyd o hyd i 15,541 o boteli o win a gwirodydd yn seleri’r Castell, dwywaith mwy na gwerth popeth arall yn y tyˆ. Mae’n stori drist, yn terfynu gyda beddfaen anferth Robert o ithfaen coch gloyw ym mynwent y Faenor sy’n dwyn, trwy ei ddymuniad, y geiriau ‘Duw Faddeuo i Mi’. Am beth? Am ei odinebu, am gau’r gwaith neu am ei driniaeth eiddigeddus a gormesol o’u ferched? Talodd am eglwysi y ng Nghyfarthfa, Cefn a’r Faenor, ac roedd ochr artistig i Robert nas gwelwyd yn ei ragflaenwyr. Carai gerddoriaeth, a sefydlodd Seindorf Cyfarthfa. Wedi iddo golli ei glyw, dechreuodd ymhel â ffotograffiaeth, ac ennill medal mewn sawl arddangosfa.


T HOMAS S T E P H ENS 1821–1875

T

homas Stephens who had his chemist’s shop at 113 High Street, Merthyr, opposite St David’s Church, was a historian and literary critic of international standing. Born at Pontneddfechan into a Unitarian family, he was apprenticed to a druggist in Merthyr when he was 14, but from his youth avidly studied Wales, its history, literature and language. He is generally acknowledged as one of the finest analytical critics of the nineteenth century. His rational unbiased approach did not win him friends among those who clung to romantic myths about Welsh history and literature which he demonstrated to be false. The most famous example was at the eisteddfod in Llangollen in 1858. Asked to write an essay on ‘The Discovery of America by Madog ab Owain Gwynedd’ Stephens conclusively proved that Madog had done no such thing. The judges awarded him first prize but the eisteddfod managers withheld the prize because he had written on the non–discovery of America! His major work, The Literature of the Kymry (1849), was praised by Matthew Arnold and by French and German scholars. He was secretary of Merthyr subscription library for 25 years, a promoter of Cefn Cemetery and the Merthyr Express and served as High Constable 1858–9.

R

oedd Thomas Stephens, a gadwai fferyllfa yn 113 Y Stryd Fawr, Merthyr, gyferbyn ag Eglwys Dewi Sant, yn hanesydd a beirniad llenyddol o fri rhyngwladol. Fe’i ganed i deulu o Undodiaid ym Mhontneddfechan a chafodd ei brentisio i fferyllydd ym Merthyr yn 14 oed, ond o’i ieuenctid, bu’n astudio Cymru, ei hanes, ei llên a’i hiaith yn awchus. Fe cydnabyddir yn gyffredinol fel un o feirniaid dadansoddol gorau’r 19eg ganrif. Ni wnaeth ei ffordd resymegol, ddiduedd o fynd ati lawer o ffrindiau iddo ymhlith y rheini a lynai wrth chwedlau rhamantaidd ynghylch hanes a llenyddiaeth Cymru y profodd Stephens eu bod yn ddisail. Yr enghraifft enwocaf oedd Eisteddfod Llangollen 1858. Yn ei draethawd ar ‘The Discovery of America by Madog ab Owain Gwynedd’, profodd Stephens yn derfynol na wnaethai Madog ddarganfod America. Roedd ei draethawd yn teilyngu’r wobr gyntaf, ond ataliodd trefnwyr yr eisteddfod yn wobr am na sgrifennodd ar y testun! Cafodd ei gampwaith, The Literature of the Kymry (1849), ei ganmol gan Matthew Arnold a chan ysgolheigion o Ffrainc a’r Almaen. Bu’n ysgrifennydd llyfrgell danysgrifio Merthyr am 25 mlynedd, hyrwyddodd Fynwent Cefn Coed a’r Merthyr Express, a bu’n Uchel Gwnstabl yn 1858–9.

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RO SE MARY C R AWS H AY 1828 –1907

R

ose Mary Yeates married Robert Crawshay in 1846. She was 18, he was 29. She was energetic, clever, with literary and philosophical interests. The marriage was unhappy. As mistress of Cyfarthfa, for 33 years she provided soup for the local poor three times a week. She encouraged local women to learn dress–making, and established and paid for seven free libraries in Merthyr and Cefn Coed. After the Gethin pit explosion that killed 49 men, she visited every bereaved family. She went to London as often as possible, seeming happy to leave her daughters, toward whom she showed little affection, with Robert, despite his obsession with photographing his favourite daughter Rose Harriette in various poses. Rose Mary favoured marriage reform and became an advocate of rights for women, signing the first women’s Suffrage Petition of 1866. She did not, however, ensure that her daughters received an adequate education. She was a founder member of the Cremation Society of England, once suggesting that when she died her body should be thrown into a Cyfarthfa furnace. She supported euthanasia and also favoured decimal coinage. She mixed with the literary and scientific elite of the day including Robert Browning, Thomas Huxley, Herbert Spencer, Henry Irving, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Charles Darwin.

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P

riododd Rose Mary Yeates â Robert Crawshay yn 1846. Roedd hi’n 18, yntau’n 29. Roedd hi’n egnïol, yn glyfar, â diddordebau llenyddol ac athronyddol. Roedd hi’n briodas anhapus. Fel meistres Cyfarthfa, am 33 blynedd darparodd gawl ar gyfer tlodion lleol dair gwaith yr wythnos. Anogai fenywod lleol i ddysgu gwnïo, a sefydlodd a thalodd am saith llyfrgell rad ym Merthyr a Chefn Coed. Wedi ffrwydrad pwll Gethin a laddodd 49, ymwelodd â phob teulu mewn trallod. Âi i Lundan cyn amled ag y medrai. Ymddangosai’n hapus i adael ei merched, na ddangosai lawer o gariad atynt, gyda Robert, er gwaethaf obsesiwn hwnnw â thynnu lluniau o’i hoff ferch, Rose Harriette, mewn gwahanol ystumiau. Roedd Rose Mary o blaid diwygio priodas ac hawliau i fenywod, ac arwyddodd y ddeiseb gyntaf dros roi’r Bleidlais i Fenywod yn 1866. Ni sicrhaodd fod ei merched yn derbyn addysg deilwng, fodd bynnag. Roedd yn un o sylfaenwyr Cymdeithas Amlosgi Lloegr, ac awgrymodd un tro, pan fyddai farw, y dylid taflu’i chorff i un o ffwrneisi Cyfarthfa. Roedd o blaid ewthanasia, ac arian degol hefyd. Cymysgai â llenorion a gwyddonwyr mawr yr oes, fel Robert Browning, Thomas Huxley, Herbert Spencer, Henry Irving, Ralph Waldo Emerson, a Charles Darwin.


C H A RLE S WI L K I NS 1830–1913

C

harles Wilkins was a prolific journalist and writer. He came to Merthyr in the late 1830s when his father opened a bookshop there before becoming the town’s postmaster. Charles, in turn, was postmaster from 1871–1897, taking great pride in expanding the service to 13 sub–post offices and seeing 20,000 savings accounts opened. He began writing for newspapers at 14, contributing to The Cambrian, Merthyr Telegraph, Cardiff Times, Merthyr Express, and Western Mail. His History of Merthyr Tydfil (1867) began as a series of weekly articles. Histories of Welsh Literature, Newport, and the Coal Trade were followed by his History of the Iron, Steel and Tinplate Trades (1903). He edited the Red Dragon monthly from 1882–1885, wrote pamphlets, three novels, and a biography of the sculptor Joseph Edwards. He believed in progress and the benefits of industrialisation, but his interviews with older inhabitants illuminate their resentment and bewilderment as the ironmasters came and bought up land. His father was a Chartist but Charles deplored the 1831 riots as ‘political fanaticism’, although acknowledging the aims of the Charter as ‘a stride in the march of human thought’. An adopted son of Merthyr and of Wales, he recorded the momentous changes wrought during the 19th century and helped English–speakers identify with Wales.

R

oedd Charles Wilkins yn newyddiadurwr ac awdur toreithiog. Daeth i Ferthyr yn y 1830au hwyr pan agorodd ei dad siop lyfrau yno cyn mynd yn bostfeistr y dref. Bu Charles yntau’n bostfeistr o 1871–1897, gan ymfalchïo mewn ehangu’r gwasanaeth i 13 is–swyddfa bost a gweld 20,000 o gyfrifon cynilo newydd yn cael eu hagor. Dechreuodd sgrifennu i bapurau newydd yn 14 oed, gan gyfrannu i’r Cambrian, Merthyr Telegraph, Cardiff Times, Merthyr Express, a’r Western Mail. Gwraidd ei History of Merthyr Tydfil (1867) oedd cyfres o erthyglau wythnosol. Dilynwyd llyfrau ar hanes Llên Cymru, Casnewydd, a’r Fasnach Lo gan ei History of the Iron, Steel and Tinplate Trades (1903). Golygodd y misolyn Red Dragon o 1882–1885, a sgrifennodd bamffledi, tair nofel a chofiant i’r cerflunydd Joseph Edwards. Credai mewn cynnydd a buddiannau diwydiant, ond mae ei gyfweliadau â thrigolion hyˆn yn adlewyrchu eu dicter a’u dryswch gyda dyfodiad y meistri haearn a ddaeth yno a phrynu tiroedd. Roedd ei dad yn Siartydd ond condemniai Charles derfysgoedd 1831 fel ‘ffanaticiaeth wleidyddol’, er cydnabod amcanion y Siarter fel ‘cam yn ymdaith y meddwl dynol’. Yn fab mabwysiedig i Ferthyr a Chymru, cofnododd newidiadau tyngedfennol y 19eg ganrif, a helpodd y di–Gymraeg i uniaethu â Chymru.

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W ILLIA M T HOM AS L EWI S 1837–1914

L

ike his rival D.A. Thomas, Lewis made a fortune in the coal industry. Unlike D.A. he did not inherit wealth. Born on 5 August 1837 he was apprenticed at 13 as a mechanical engineer at the Plymouth works where his father was the engineer in charge. In 1855 he was engaged as an assistant to the chief engineer of the Bute estate. Hard work brought promotion: mineral agent to the estate in 1864, agent for the Welsh estates in 1881, and in 1887 managing director of the Bute Docks Company and in effect the Bute estate. In 1847 he bought shares in a colliery at Trehafod. Faced with a 21–week strike he imported workers from Cornwall. He went on to acquire pits in the lower Rhondda that became known as Lewis Merthyr and in 1905 acquiring Senghenydd’s Universal Colliery. He was the dominant figure in the south Wales coal trade, setting up the South Wales and Monmouthshire Coalowners’ Association, and was largely responsible for the sliding scale agreement under which wages throughout the coalfield were linked to the price of coal. He was fiercely anti–union and unscrupulous in dealing with disputes. Knighted in 1885 he became Baron Merthyr of Senghenydd in 1896 and a Freeman of the Borough in 1908.

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F

el ei gystadleuydd D.A. Thomas, gwnaeth Lewis ffortiwn yn y diwydiant glo; yn wahanol i D.A. ni etifeddodd arian. Cafodd ei brentisio’n 13 oed yn beiriannydd mecanyddol yng ngwaith Plymouth lle’r oedd ei dad yn brif beiriannydd. Yn 1855 cafodd ei gyflogi’n gynorthwydd i brif beiriannydd ystad Bute. Trwy waith caled cafodd ddyrchafiad: i asiant mwynau’r stad yn 1864, asiant ar gyfer yr ystadau Cymreig yn 1881, a chyfarwyddwr–reolwr Cwmni Dociau Bute ac, i bob pwrpas, ystad Bute yn 1887. Yn 1847 prynodd gyfranddaliadau mewn glofa yn Nhrehafod. Pan wynebodd streic 21– wythnos o hyd, daeth â gweithwyr i mewn o Gernyw. Aeth ymlaen i brynu pyllau yn y Rhondda Fach a gâi eu galw yn y man yn lofeydd Lewis Merthyr ac yn 1905 prynodd lofa’r Universal yn Senghennydd. Roedd yn tra–arglwyddiaethu ar fasnach lo de Cymru, gan sefydlu Cymdeithas Perchenogion Glofeydd De Cymru a Mynwy, ac ef oedd yn bennaf gyfrifol am y cytundeb graddfeydd–symudol a oedd yn cyplysu cyflogau ledled y maes glo â pris glo. Roedd yn ffyrnig yn erbyn undebau ac yn ddiegwyddor yn ymdrin ag anghydfod. Ar ôl ei urddo’n farchog yn 1885 fe’i gwnaed yn Farwn Merthyr o Senghennydd yn 1896. Cafodd Rhyddid y Bwrdeistref yn 1908.


JO SE PH PA R RY 1841–1903

T

he finest Welsh musician of the nineteenth century was born 21 May 1841 at Chapel Row, Georgetown and was employed at the Cyfarthfa works until his family in 1854 migrated to Danville, Pennsylvania where he worked as a puddler. His compositions won prizes at Danville eisteddfodau and then at the National Eisteddfodau at Swansea and Llandudno in 1863 and 1864. In 1865 he took the bardic name Pencerdd America. In 1868–71 he studied at the Royal Academy of Music and in 1874 became Professor of Music at Aberystwyth. He later had a school of music at Swansea and became a professor at Cardiff. He composed rapidly but was not sufficiently self–critical of its quality. Much of his enormous output is forgotten but his opera Blodwen, first performed in 1878 was a great success. His love song Myfanwy is justly famous. The hymn tune Aberystwyth is incorporated into the national anthem of South Africa. He died 17 February 1903.

G

aned cerddor gorau Cymru’r 19eg ganrif ar 21 Mai 1841 yn Chapel Row, Georgetown. Bu’n gweithio yng ngwaith Cyfarthfa nes i’w deulu ymfudo yn 1854 i Danville, Pennsylvania lle bu’n gweithio fel pwdler. Enillodd ei gyfansoddiadau wobrau yn eisteddfodau Danville ac yna yn Eisteddfodau Cenedlaethol Abertawe a Llandudno yn 1863 ac 1864. Yn 1865, cafodd ei dderbyn i’r Orsedd o dan yr enw barddol Pencerdd America. Yn 1868–71, astudiodd yn yr Academi Gerdd Frenhinol ac yn 1874 aeth yn Athro Cerddoriaeth yn Aberystwyth. Bu ganddo ysgol gerdd yn Abertawe yn ddiweddarach, ac aeth yn Athro yng Nghaerdydd. Cyfansoddai ar garlam ond nid oedd yn ddigon hunan–feirniadol o’i ansawdd. Aeth llawer o’i gynnyrch anferthol yn anghof ond roedd ei opera, Blodwen, a berfformiwyd gyntaf yn 1878, yn llwyddiant mawr. Mae ei ran–gân Myfanwy yn haeddiannol enwog. Cynhwyswyd yr emyn–dôn Aberystwyth yn anthem genedlaethol De Affrica. Bu farw 17 Chwefror 1903.

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HAR RY S OU T H EY 1842–1929

H

arry Southey, editor–proprietor of the Merthyr Express was a leading figure in the life and development of Merthyr Tydfil. He joined the Merthyr Telegraph at 18 as a clerk and was soon writing its leading articles. He later joined the new Merthyr Express, launched in opposition to the Telegraph, but the latter was a much livelier paper. The Express was about to close when directors boldly made 23–year–old Southey editor and manager (at first he was also reporter, book–keeper, cashier, publisher, and even stoked the boiler fires). Southey acquired a half share in the paper in 1869 and became sole owner in 1874, later bringing out different editions for Merthyr, Aberdare, and west Monmouthshire, making it the finest weekly in south Wales. Its success was based on hard news and lively comment, and constantly updated technology. Southey’s paper played an active part in all the great debates: sanitary improvements, calls for a town council, a public library, and advanced elementary schools in Merthyr. But he was also scrupulously even– handed. After the 1906 election, Keir Hardie wrote, thanking him: ‘I know… my actions must have jarred on a good sound Liberal like yourself, but I have never had the slightest occasion to complain of any criticism.’

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R

oedd Harry Southey, golygydd–berchennog y Merthyr Express yn flaenllaw ym mywyd a datblygiad Merthyr. Ymunodd â’r Merthyr Telegraph yn 18 fel clerc a chyn hir roedd wrthi’n sgrifennu erthyglau golygyddol. Aeth at y Merthyr Express newydd wedyn, a lansiwyd mewn gwrthwynebiad i’r Telegraph, ond roedd hwnnw’n bapur llawer mwy bywiog. Roedd yr Express ar fin cau pan fu’r cyfarwyddwyr mor ddewr â phenodi’r Southey 23– oed yn olygydd a rheolwr (a gohebydd, cyfrifydd, cyhoeddwr, a cheidwad tanau’r bwyleri hefyd, i ddechrau). Prynodd Southey hanner cyfran yn y papur yn 1869, a’r papur cyfan yn 1874, gan gynhyrchu rhifynnau ar gyfer Merthyr, Aberdâr a gorllewin Mynwy, a’i droi’n bapur wythnosol gorau de Cymru. Roedd ei lwyddiant yn seiliedig ar newyddion ‘caled’ a sylwadaeth fywiog, a’r dechnoleg ddiweddaraf. Chwaraeodd papur Southey ran egnïol yn yr holl ddadleuon mawr: gwell carthffosydd, cyngor tref i Ferthyr, llyfrgell gyhoeddus, ac ysgolion elfennol uwch. Ond roedd hefyd yn gwbl ddiduedd. Wedi etholiad 1906, sgrifennodd Keir Hardie i ddiolch iddo: ‘Gwn… mae’n siwˆr, bod rhai o’m gweithredoedd wedi cythruddo Rhyddfrydwr pybyr, da fel chi, ond ni chefais erioed yr achos lleiaf i gwyno am unrhyw feirniadaeth.’


DAV ID A LFR ED T HOM AS 1856 –1918

D

.A. – as he was always known – was a politician and businessman. His father, a Merthyr grocer who sank a pit at Ysgubor–wen, Aberdare, left him £75,000, the colliery, and a share in the Rhondda’s Cambrian Collieries. He became Liberal MP for Merthyr Boroughs and helped Keir Hardie to become a Merthyr MP in 1900. Thomas, like Hardie, was a supporter of votes for women, Home Rule for Wales, and Disestablishment of the Church in Wales. Disappointed at not being made a minister he left the Commons in 1910 to concentrate on business. His Cambrian Combine, created in 1906, controlled most of the Rhondda’s coal output. His empire also included docks, shipping, newspapers, and railways. But industrial relations in the coalfield deteriorated, leading to the 1910–11 Cambrian Combine strike. There were riots at Tonypandy, police and troops swamped the area, and D.A. was vilified. The strike lasted ten months before the men were defeated. In 1915 he returned to politics with great success when Lloyd George asked him to negotiate with the Americans on munitions supplies. Later in the war, as Food Controller, he introduced compulsory food rationing, maximum prices for basic foodstuffs and attacked profiteering. These reforms were widely praised. In 1918 he became Viscount Rhondda.

R

oedd D.A. – fel y galwai pawb ef – yn wleidydd a dyn busnes. Gan ei dad, groser o Ferthyr a suddodd bwll glo Ysguborwen, etifeddodd £75,000, y pwll glo a chyfran o Cambrian Collieries y Rhondda. Aeth yn AS Rhyddfrydol Bwrdeistrefi Merthyr, a helpodd Keir Hardie i ddod yn AS yno yn 1900. Roedd Thomas, fel Hardie, yn cefnogi’r bleidlais i fenywod, ymreolaeth i Gymru a dadgysylltiad yr Eglwys yng Nghymru. Yn siomedig am na chafodd ei wneud yn weinidog, ymadawodd â’r Senedd yn 1910 i ganolbwyntio ar fusnes. Rheolai’r Cambrian Combine, a greodd yn 1906, y rhan fwyaf o gynnyrch glo y Rhondda. Roedd D.A. yn berchen dociau, llongau, papurau newydd a rheilffyrdd hefyd. Ond gwaethygodd pethau rhwng perchenogion a glowyr, gan arwain at streic 1910–11. Bu terfysg yn Nhonypandy, llifodd heddlu a milwyr i’r ardal, a dilornwyd D.A. Parodd y streic am ddeg mis cyn y trechwyd y dynion. Yn 1915 ailgydiodd D.A. mewn gwleidyddiaeth yn llwyddiannus pan ofynnodd Lloyd George iddo negydu gydag America ynglyˆn â chyflenwi arfau. Yn hwyrach yn y rhyfel, fel Rheolydd Bwyd, cychwynnodd ddogni bwyd gorfodol, rheolodd brisiau bwydydd sylfaenol, ac ymosod ar fudr–elwa. Cafodd ganmoliaeth fawr am hyn ac yn 1918, fe’i gwnaed yn Is–Iarll Rhondda.

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K E IR H A R DI E 1856 –1915

K

eir Hardie was the first Merthyr MP who truly represented the majority of its inhabitants in the sense that he understood their lives. An illegitimate child, he started work aged 8. Later, dismissed from the pit as an ‘agitator’, he found work as a journalist. In 1892 he won West Ham South and entered the Commons as the first independent Labour member. He was defeated in the 1895 general election and did not enter Parliament again until elected one of the two Merthyr MPs in 1900. He owed his election to the private support of the successful Liberal candidate D.A. Thomas. He was not always easy to work with. He was a mass of contradictions, and undoubtedly vain. But more than anyone he created the Labour Party. He campaigned for ideals of fraternity, justice and equality, against poverty and unemployment, for a living wage, home rule, women’s rights, opposition to racial discrimination, republicanism and world peace. This last dream was shattered when Britain went to war in August 1914. Hardie spoke at Aberdare to explain his opposition. His speech was drowned out by the singing of Rule Britannia. He was crushed and never really recovered. He died on 26 September 1915 aged 59, worn out and prematurely aged.

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K

eir Hardie oedd yr AS cyntaf dros Ferthyr a wir gynrychiolai fwyafrif ei thrigolion, am ei fod yn deall ei bywydau. Yn fab llwyn a pherth, dechreuodd weithio yn 8 oed. Ar ôl cael ei ddiswyddo o’r pwll am fod yn ‘gynhyrfwr’, cafodd waith fel newyddiadurwr. Yn 1892 fe’i hetholwyd i’r Senedd yn West Ham South fel yr aelod Llafur annibynnol cyntaf. Collodd yn etholiad cyffredinol 1895, ac ni ddychwelodd i’r Senedd tan ei ethol yn un o ddau AS Merthyr yn 1900. Fe’i etholwyd diolch i gefnogaeth breifat yr ymgeisydd Rhyddfrydol llwyddiannus, D.A. Thomas. Doedd e ddim bob amser yn un hawdd i weithio gydag e, yn bentwr o groesdyniadau ac yn falch. Ond ef, yn anad neb arall, a greodd y Blaid Lafur. Ymgyrchai dros ddelfrydau brawdoliaeth, cyfiawnder a chydraddoldeb, yn erbyn tlodi a diweithdra, dros gyflog byw, ymreolaeth, hawliau menywod, gwrth–hiliaeth, gweriniaeth a heddwch byd–eang. Chwalwyd y freuddwyd olaf hon pan aeth Prydain i ryfel yn Awst 1914. Siaradodd Hardie yn Aberdâr i egluro’i wrthwynebiad. Boddwyd ei araith gan bobl yn canu Rule Britannia. Fe’i llethwyd ac ni wellodd yn iawn. Bu farw ar y 26 Medi 1915 yn 59, wedi ymlâdd ac yn hen cyn ei amser.


E NO C H MOR R EL L 1861–1934

E

noch Morrell was Merthyr’s first Mayor. After a 70–year campaign to get a town council and against the opposition of the local coal and steel employers, Merthyr was finally granted a town charter in 1905. Morrell was one who argued for the charter pointing out that opposition ‘came from those who were not residents, and whose business in life was simply to make dividends, and not to seek the welfare of the people.’ In the election to the new corporation he received the highest percentage of votes in the Borough. He was born in Troedyrhiw and began work underground aged 10 at Hills Plymouth colliery. Later he worked at Nixon’s colliery, Merthyr Vale, where in 1892 he was appointed the checkweigher. As chairman of Merthyr’s education committee in 1910 he faced down opposition to having a new secondary school in Cyfarthfa Castle and insisted that its education should be free, including free text books. In addition to his local government work he was active in the miners’ union. He was elected miners’ Agent for the Taff and Cynon District in 1908 and President of the South Wales Miners’ Federation 1924–34. On 6 February 1930 he received the Freedom of the Borough. A housing close in Troedyrhiw is named after him.

E

noch Morrell oedd Maer cyntaf Merthyr. Ar ôl ymgyrch 70–mlynedd i gael cyngor tref, ac yn erbyn gwrthwynebiad y cyflogwyr glo a dur lleol, cafodd Merthyr siarter drefol o’r diwedd yn 1905. Roedd Morrell yn un o’r rhai a ddadleuodd o blaid siarter, gan nodi bod y gwrthwynebwyr ‘yn rhai nad ydynt yn byw yma, ac y mae a wnelo’u busnes mewn bywyd â gwneud difidendau, nid ceisio lles y bobl.’ Yn yr etholiad i’r gorfforaeth newydd, derbyniodd y ganran uchaf o bleidleisiau yn y Bwrdeistref. Fe’i ganed yn Nhroedyrhiw a dechreuodd weithio dan ddaear yn 10 oed yng nglofa Plymouth Hills. Yn ddiweddarach, gweithiodd yng nglofa Nixon’s, Ynysowen lle cafodd ei benodi’n atalbwyswr (checkweigher) yn 1892. Fel cadeirydd pwyllgor addysg Merthyr yn 1910, trechodd y gwrthwynebiad i leoli ysgol uwchradd newydd yng Nghastell Cyfarthfa, a mynodd bod ei haddysg yn rhad ac am ddim, yn cynnwys y gwerslyfrau. Yn ogystal â’i waith mewn llywodraeth leol, roedd yn weithgar yn undeb y glowyr. Fe’i hetholwyd yn Asiant y Glowyr ar gyfer Ardal Taf a Chynon yn 1908 ac yn Llywydd Ffederasiwn Glowyr De Cymru 1924–34. Derbyniodd Ryddid y Bwrdeistref yn 1930, ac enwyd clos o dai yn Nhroedyrhiw ar ei ôl.

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T HOMAS P RY T H E R C H 186 4–1926

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om Prytherch born in Dowlais was, like Penry Williams and Joseph Edwards, a working– class boy who succeeded in earning a living as an artist. He began work aged ten in the Dowlais works but some of his pencil sketches were noticed by Lady Wimborne and she arranged that he be apprenticed as a draughtsman in the drawing office. During the 1888 General Election in Merthyr he drew a number of caricatures of Pritchard Morgan, the successful candidate. Morgan was impressed by his talent and arranged for him to study at the Slade School of Art, London. Dowlais people also helped to pay his expenses. After completing his studies he lived with an aunt at Wroxeter near Shrewsbury and gained various commissions to paint in oils and watercolours. His watercolour Interior, Wroxeter Church was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1901. He specialised in landscape painting but also illustrated a number of books relating to Wales. His local scenes include An Evening View of Cyfarthfa Iron Works From Cefn Bridge (1896) and Pontsarn Viaduct (1897). Cyfarthfa Museum has an extensive collection of his works. He died in Cefn Coed on 11 April 1926.

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oedd Tom Prytherch, a aned yn Nowlais, } yn fachgen dosbarth–gweithiol a lwyddodd, fel Penry Williams a Joseph Edwards, i ennill bywoliaeth fel artist. Aeth i weithio yn 10 oed i waith Dowlais, ond sylwodd y Fonesig Wimborne ar rai o’i frasluniau pensel, a threfnu iddo gael ei brentisio fel drafftsmon yn y swyddfa luniadu. Yn ystod etholiad cyffredinol 1888 ym Merthyr, tynnodd nifer o wawdluniau o Pritchard Morgan, yr ymgeisydd llwyddiannus. Gwnaeth ei ddawn argraff ar Morgan, a drefnodd iddo fynd i astudio yn Ysgol Gelf Slade, Llundain. Helpodd pobl Dowlais i dalu ei gostau hefyd. Ar ôl cwblhau ei astudiaethau, bu’n byw gyda modryb iddo yng Nghaerwrygion ger Amwythig, ac enillodd nifer o gomisiynau am luniau olew a dyfrlliw. Cafodd ei lun dyfrlliw, Interior, Wroxeter Church, ei arddangos gan yr Academi Frenhinol yn 1901. Arbenigai mewn peintio tirlun, ond darluniodd nifer o lyfrau’n ymwneud â Chymru hefyd. Mae ei olygfeydd lleol yn cynnwys An Evening View of Cyfarthfa Iron Works From Cefn Bridge (1896) a Pontsarn Viaduct (1897). Mae gan Amgueddfa Cyfarthfa gasgliad helaeth o’i weithiau. Bu farw yng Nghefn Coed yn 1926.


E DW IN A RT H U R JOH NS ON 1855–1914

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.A. Johnson, as he was known, was the architect of Merthyr’s former Town Hall, now REDHOUSE The Old Town Hall. Born in Leicester, the son of a master stone mason, he was articled to architects in Leicester, Stockton–on–Tees, Croydon and Cardiff. Newly qualified, he set up practice in Abergavenny. An important early commission was a Masonic Hall in Merthyr, which is now the Conservative Club. At the peak of his career he had offices in both Abergavenny and Merthyr and in both towns designed public buildings or extended existing ones. He was the architect for the Dowlais library and for extensions to the workhouse (later St. Tydfil’s Hospital), and St. John’s Church, Dowlais. But his major achievement was the Town Hall for which he won a design competition organised by the Local Government Board in 1886. He was personally involved at every stage of the work until it was finished twelve years later in 1898 for the new Urban District Council. The original design included a row of shops facing onto High Street (an idea abandoned after opposition from local traders) and a concert hall with seating for 1,200. The front hall mosaic of the Red Dragon with its legend Y Ddraig Goch a ddyry cychwyn (the Red Dragon inspires action) was his design.

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.A. Johnson, fel y gelwid ef, oedd pensaer cyn–Neuadd y Dref ym Merthyr, REDHOUSE Hen Neuadd y Dref bellach. Fe’i ganed yng Nghaerlyˆr, yn fab i saer maen, a gwnaeth ei erthyglau gyda phenseiri yng Nghaerlyˆr, Stockton–on–Tees, Croydon a Chaerdydd. Ar ôl ennill ei gymwysterau, agorodd swyddfa yn y Fenni. Un o’i gomisiynau pwysig cynnar oedd Neuadd Seiri Rhyddion ym Merthyr, Clwb y Ceidwadwyr heddiw. Yn anterth ei yrfa, roedd ganddo swyddfeydd yn y Fenni a Merthyr, a dyluniodd adeiladau cyhoeddus neu estyniadau iddynt yn y ddwy dref. Ef oedd pensaer llyfrgell Dowlais, estyniadau i’r wyrcws (Ysbyty’r Santes Tudful yn ddiweddarach) ac Eglwys Sant Ioan, Dowlais. Ond ei orchestwaith oedd Neuadd y Dref, yr enillodd gystadleuaeth ar ei chyfer a drefnwyd gan y Bwrdd Llywodraeth Leol yn 1886. Chwaraeodd ran bersonol ym mhob cam o’r gwaith nes ei gwblhau ddeuddeg mlynedd yn ddiweddarach, ar gyfer y Cyngor Dosbarth Trefol newydd. Roedd y cynllun gwreiddiol yn cynnwys rhes o siopau’n wynebu’r Stryd Fawr (rhoddwyd y gorau i’r syniad wedi gwrthwynebiad masnachwyr lleol) a neuadd gyngerdd yn dal 1,200. Ei ddyluniad ef yw mosaig y Ddraig Goch ar lawr y cyntedd â’i arysgrif, Y Ddraig Goch a ddyry cychwyn.

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H E N RY SEY MOU R B E R RY 1877–1928

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enry Seymour Berry, eldest son of a Merthyr auctioneer and estate agent, went to work for D.A. Thomas of the Cambrian Combine in 1915. When Lloyd George became Prime Minister, Thomas (now Baron Rhondda) joined the government. Seymour looked after his financial affairs and after Rhondda’s death, continued in business with his daughter. Seymour (later Baron Buckland) became a very rich man. A gambler on the stock exchange, he used to say that until he arrived at his office in the morning he would not know whether he was a pauper or a millionaire! In 1919 he bought the 500–acre Gurnos Farm and in 1922 the Buckland estate at Bwlch. He received the Freedom of the Borough for charitable work which included buying the Carlton Workmen’s Hotel for an ex–servicemen’s club, raising £60,000 for Merthyr Housing Bonds, financing Gwaunfarren baths, money for a new wing at Merthyr General Hospital and land for building the Sandbrook sanatorium at Pontsarn. In 1926 he and friends purchased Plymouth Collieries from the receiver, guaranteeing twelve months work for 1,500 miners. On 23 May 1928, on his usual early morning gallop, he crashed into a telegraph pole and was killed instantly. A statue of him by Goscombe John stands outside Merthyr Library.

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A

eth Henry Seymour Berry, mab hynaf arwerthwr a gwerthwr tai o Ferthyr, i weithio i D.A. Thomas, y Cambrian Combine, yn 1915. Pan aeth Lloyd George yn Brif Weinidog, ymunodd Thomas (y Barwn Rhondda) â’r llywodraeth. Seymour a ofalai am ei faterion ariannol ac wedi marwolaeth Rhondda, parhaodd yn y busnes gyda’i ferch. Aeth Seymour yn wˆr cyfoethog iawn. Byddai’n mentro arian ar y gyfnewidfa stoc, gan ddweud na wyddai nes cyrraedd ei swyddfa yn y bore ai tlotyn ai miliwnydd a fyddai! Ym 1919 prynodd fferm 500–erw y Gurnos ac ym 1922, ystâd Buckland, y Bwlch (fe’i gwnaed yn Arglwydd Buckland wedyn). Cafodd Ryddid y Bwrdeistref am ei waith elusennol, yn cynnwys prynu Gwesty’r Carlton fel clwb i gyn–aelodau’r lluoedd arfog, codi £600,000 ar gyfer Bondiau Tai Merthyr, talu am bwll nofio Gwaunfarren, arian ar gyfer adain newydd Ysbyty Cyffredinol Merthyr, a thir ar gyfer adeiladu Sanatoriwm Sandbrook ym Mhontsarn. Ym mis Tachwedd 1926 prynodd ef a ffrindiau Lofeydd Plymouth gan y derbynnydd, gan warantu 12 mis o waith i 1,500 o lowyr. Ar y 23 Mai 1928, ar ei garlam boreol arferol, tarodd bolyn telegraff a chael ei ladd yn syth. Saif cerflun ohono gan Goscombe John y tu allan i Lyfrgell Merthyr.


W ILLIA M EWERT B E R RY 1879 –1954

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he fortunes of Seymour Berry’s two brothers are closely intertwined. William joined the Merthyr Times aged 14 and, at 22, launched his own paper, Advertising World, with Gomer joining him. In 1909 they sold up and began to publish periodicals. Boxing, reflecting one of Merthyr’s and William’s passions, was selling more than 250,000 copies a week by 1914. By 1929, the brothers controlled 26 papers and almost 100 periodicals. In 1937 they divided their empire, William taking the Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, and the magazines, Gomer the Sunday Times, Sunday Chronicle, Sunday Graphic, Empire News, Daily Sketch and the provincial papers. By 1947, William had developed the Telegraph into a million–selling paper renowned for straight news. Gomer more than trebled the circulation of the Sunday Times, and also started a training scheme for journalists in Cardiff. William (later Lord Camrose) and Gomer (Lord Kemsley) did not forget Merthyr, and contributed funds for the relief of the poor of the Borough. They (along with Lady Buckland) presented the town with a £40,000 extension to Merthyr General Hospital, and the brothers provided a new clock tower for the parish church. In 2010, plaques commemorating them were placed outside Merthyr Library.

M

ae gyrfaoedd brodyr Seymour Berry ynghlwm. Cychwynnodd William ar y Merthyr Times yn 14 oed ac, yn 22, lansiodd ei bapur ei hun, Advertising World, gyda Gomer yn ymuno ag ef. Yn 1909, gwerthasant hwnnw a dechrau cyhoeddi cylchgronau. Roedd Boxing, pwnc o ddiddordeb angerddol i Ferthyr ac i William, yn gwerthu mwy na 250,000 yr wythnos erbyn 1914. Erbyn 1929 roedd gan y brodyr 26 o bapurau a bron 100 o gylchgronau. Yn 1937, dyma rannu’r ymerodraeth, gyda William yn cael y Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, a’r cylchgronau, a Gomer y Sunday Times, Sunday Chronicle, Sunday Graphic, Empire News, Daily Sketch a’r papurau taleithiol. Erbyn 1947, roedd William wedi datblygu’r Telegraph yn bapur yn gwerthu miliwn o gopïau, yn adnabyddus am safon ei newyddion. Treblodd Gomer gylchrediad y Sunday Times, a chychwyn cynllun hyfforddi ar gyfer newyddiadurwyr yng Nghaerdydd hefyd. Wnaeth William (yr Arglwydd Camrose wedyn) a Gomer (yr Arglwydd Kemsley) ddim anghofio Merthyr, gan gyfrannu at ymgeleddu tlodion y Bwrdeistref, a chyflwyno (ar y cyd â’r Arglwyddes Buckland) estyniad gwerth £40,000 i Ysbyty Cyffredinol Merthyr. Darparodd y brodyr dwˆr cloc newydd i eglwys y plwyf hefyd. In 2010, gosodwyd llechi coffa iddynt tu allan i Lyfrgell Merthyr.

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JA ME S G OM ER B ER RY 1883–1968

T

he fortunes of Seymour Berry’s two brothers are closely intertwined. William joined the Merthyr Times aged 14 and, at 22, launched his own paper, Advertising World, with Gomer joining him. In 1909 they sold up and began to publish periodicals. Boxing, reflecting one of Merthyr’s and William’s passions, was selling more than 250,000 copies a week by 1914. By 1929, the brothers controlled 26 papers and almost 100 periodicals. In 1937 they divided their empire, William taking the Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, and the magazines, Gomer the Sunday Times, Sunday Chronicle, Sunday Graphic, Empire News, Daily Sketch and the provincial papers. By 1947, William had developed the Telegraph into a million–selling paper renowned for straight news. Gomer more than trebled the circulation of the Sunday Times, and also started a training scheme for journalists in Cardiff. William (later Lord Camrose) and Gomer (Lord Kemsley) did not forget Merthyr, and contributed funds for the relief of the poor of the Borough. They (along with Lady Buckland) presented the town with a £40,000 extension to Merthyr General Hospital, and the brothers provided a new clock tower for the parish church. In 2010, plaques commemorating them were placed outside Merthyr Library.

40

M

ae gyrfaoedd brodyr Seymour Berry ynghlwm. Cychwynnodd William ar y Merthyr Times yn 14 oed ac, yn 22, lansiodd ei bapur ei hun, Advertising World, gyda Gomer yn ymuno ag ef. Yn 1909, gwerthasant hwnnw a dechrau cyhoeddi cylchgronau. Roedd Boxing, pwnc o ddiddordeb angerddol i Ferthyr ac i William, yn gwerthu mwy na 250,000 yr wythnos erbyn 1914. Erbyn 1929 roedd gan y brodyr 26 o bapurau a bron 100 o gylchgronau. Yn 1937, dyma rannu’r ymerodraeth, gyda William yn cael y Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, a’r cylchgronau, a Gomer y Sunday Times, Sunday Chronicle, Sunday Graphic, Empire News, Daily Sketch a’r papurau taleithiol. Erbyn 1947, roedd William wedi datblygu’r Telegraph yn bapur yn gwerthu miliwn o gopïau, yn adnabyddus am safon ei newyddion. Treblodd Gomer gylchrediad y Sunday Times, a chychwyn cynllun hyfforddi ar gyfer newyddiadurwyr yng Nghaerdydd hefyd. Wnaeth William (yr Arglwydd Camrose wedyn) a Gomer (yr Arglwydd Kemsley) ddim anghofio Merthyr, gan gyfrannu at ymgeleddu tlodion y Bwrdeistref, a chyflwyno (ar y cyd â’r Arglwyddes Buckland) estyniad gwerth £40,000 i Ysbyty Cyffredinol Merthyr. Darparodd y brodyr dwˆr cloc newydd i eglwys y plwyf hefyd. In 2010, gosodwyd llechi coffa iddynt tu allan i Lyfrgell Merthyr.


ST E PHE N OWE N DAV I ES 1883–1972

S

.O. as he was known, was MP for Merthyr for 38 years. Born in Abercwmboi he went down Cwmpennar pit at 12, became Miners’ Agent for the Dowlais District of the Miners’ Federation in 1918, Chief Organiser for the Union in 1924 and also Vice–President. They were the hard years of the General Strike, the seven–month lockout of 1926–27, and the Great Depression. Elected to Merthyr Council in 1931, he won the Merthyr parliamentary seat for Labour in 1934. Always on the left of the Labour Party, he supported Home Rule for Wales and the Welsh language. He argued for better compensation for miners affected by dust disease, and for the bereaved in Aberfan. Well into his eighties, he was deselected by his Constituency Party in 1970 on grounds of old age. He stood as an Independent Socialist and won the seat with a majority of 7,500. He died on 27 February 1972.

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u S.O. fel roedd pawb yn ei alw, yn AS Merthyr am 38 mlynedd. Fe’i ganed yn Abercwmboi ac aeth dan ddaear ym mhwll Cwmpennar yn 12 oed. Daeth yn Asiant Glowyr Ardal Dowlais o Ffederasiwn y Glowyr yn 1918, yn Brif Drefnydd yr Undeb yn 1924 a hefyd yn Is–lywydd. Y rhain oedd blynyddoedd caled y Streic Gyffredinol, y cloi–allan saith mis o hyd yn 1926–27, a’r Dirwasgiad Mawr. Ar ôl ei ethol i Gyngor Merthyr yn 1931, enillodd sedd seneddol Merthyr i’r blaid Lafur yn 1934. Roedd ar asgell chwith y Blaid Lafur erioed, a chefnogai ymreolaeth a’r iaith Gymraeg. Dadleuodd o blaid gwell iawndal i lowyr yn dioddef o’r llwch, ac i deuluoedd galarus Aberfan. Ymhell dros ei bedwar ugain, cafodd ei ddad– ddethol gan y blaid etholaethol yn 1970 ar sail oedran. Safodd fel Sosialydd Annibynnol ac ennill y sedd â mwyafrif o 7,500. Bu farw ar y 27 Chwefror 1972.

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JAC K JONES 1884–1970

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orn 24 November 1884 at Tai–Harri–Blawdd he was a collier, a soldier, a freelance journalist, a trade union official, a labourer, a cinema manager, a door–to–door salesman, and public speaker. He was a member of the Communist Party, the Labour Party, the Liberal Party, and spoke for Mosley’s New Party and for the Conservative Party. Above all he was a novelist. He tells the story of south Wales and of Merthyr better than anyone. He was 50 when his first novel Rhondda Roundabout appeared in 1934. In 1935 Black Parade appeared, compulsory reading if you want to know about Merthyr Tydfil. In 1937 came a play, Land of my Fathers and an autobiography, Unfinished Journey. Other novels include Bidden to the Feast (1938), Off To Philadelphia in the Morning (1947), Some Trust in Chariots (1948) and River Out of Eden (1951). He received the CBE in 1948. He died 7 May 1970.

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B

u Jack Jones, a aned ar y 24 Tachwedd 1884 yn Nhai–Harri–Blawdd, yn löwr, milwr, newyddiadurwr, swyddog undeb, labrwr, rheolwr sinema, gwerthwr drws–i–ddrws a siaradwr cyhoeddus. Bu’n aelod o’r Blaid Gomiwnyddol, y Blaid Lafur, a’r Blaid Ryddfrydol, a siaradodd ar ran Plaid Newydd Mosley a’r Blaid Geidwadol. Uwchlaw’r cwbl, roedd yn nofelydd. Mae’n adrodd hanes de Cymru a Merthyr yn well na neb. Roedd yn 50 pan gyhoeddwyd ei nofel gyntaf, Rhondda Roundabout, yn 1934. Yn 1935 ymddangosodd Black Parade, darllen gorfodol i’r neb sydd am wybod am Ferthyr Tudful. Yn 1937 daeth drama, Land of my Fathers, a hunangofiant, Unfinished Journey. Mae ei nofelau eraill yn cynnwys Bidden to the Feast (1938), Off To Philadelphia in the Morning (1947), Some Trust in Chariots (1948) a River Out of Eden (1951). Cafodd CBE yn 1948. Bu farw ar 7 Mai 1970.


JIMMY WI L DE 1892–1969

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immy Wilde was born in Quakers’ Yard and was 12 when his parents moved to Tylorstown, Rhondda, where he started work in the colliery. At 15 he was fighting in fairground boxing booths, amazing crowds with his punching. Several accounts say he had 864 fights. The official record shows 137 wins, four losses (two avenged), two draws and eight no–decisions, with 100 wins by knock–out. His extraordinary year was 1916. He won 16 fights one after another by knockouts, won the British flyweight title, and on 18 December became the first undisputed world flyweight champion defeating Young Zulu Kid of the USA. In addition, on 13 May he had beaten two opponents on the same day, winning both by knockout. ‘The ghost with a hammer in his fists’ is acknowledged as the greatest flyweight ever, due to his defensive skill and extraordinary punching power. He died 10 March 1969.

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aned Jimmy Wilde ym Mynwent y Crynwyr. Roedd yn 12 pan fudodd ei rieni i Tylorstown, y Rhondda, lle’r aeth i weithio yn y pwll glo. Yn 15, roedd yn ymladd mewn ffeiriau, gan syfrdanu’r torfeydd â’i ddyrnu. Dywedir iddo ymladd 864 o ornestau. Y cofnod swyddogol yw ennill 137, colli pedair (gan ennill dwy yr eildro), dwy gyfartal, ac wyth heb ddyfarniad, gan ennill 100 trwy lorio’i wrthwynebydd. Ei flwyddyn anhygoel oedd 1916. Enillodd 16 gornest o’r bron trwy lorio’i wrthwynebwyr, enillodd goron pwysau–pryf Prydain ac, ar y 18 Rhagfyr, aeth yn bencampwr pwysau–pryf cydnabyddedig cyntaf y byd trwy drechu Young Zulu Kid o UDA. Ar y 13 Mai, lloriodd ddau wrthwynebydd yr un dydd. Cydnabyddir mai’r ‘ysbryd â morthwyl yn ei ddyrnau’ oedd y bocsiwr pwysau–pryf gorau erioed, o achos ei fedr amddiffynnol a’i ddyrnu anhygoel o bwerus. Bu farw 10 Mawrth 1969.

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ART H UR HOR NER 1894–1968

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orn on 5 April 1894 at 4 Bridge Street, Georgetown, Merthyr, the eldest surviving son of a family of seventeen children, Arthur Horner was an outstanding trade union leader in the first half of the twentieth century. His stubborn membership of the Communist Party, of which he was a founder member in 1921, prevented wider appreciation of his achievements. After a period as a boy preacher he became industrially and politically active, especially during the 1926 seven–month lockout of coalminers. In 1936 Horner was elected President of the South Wales Miners’ Federation and in August 1946 elected General Secretary of the unified National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). He directed the union's strategy on nationalisation and post–war reconstruction. When he retired in 1959, the NUM had secured some of the best terms and conditions of employment in British industry. In 1959 he was made a Freeman of Merthyr Tydfil.

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oedd Arthur Horner, a aned ar y 5 Ebrill 1894 yn 4 Bridge Street, Georgetown, Merthyr, y mab hynaf i oroesi o ddau ar bymtheg o blant, yn arweinydd undeb llafur eithriadol yn hanner cyntaf yr ugeinfed ganrif. Roedd y ffaith iddo lynu’n ystyfnig wrth ei aelodaeth o’r Blaid Gomiwnyddol, yr helpodd i’w sefydlu yn 1921, yn rhwystr i werthfawrogiad ehangach o’r hyn a gyflawnodd. Ar ôl cyfnod fel cyw–bregethwr, aeth yn weithredwr diwydiannol a gwleidyddol, yn enwedig yn ystod y saith mis y cafodd y glowyr eu cloi allan yn 1926. Yn 1936 etholwyd Horner yn Llywydd Ffederasiwn Glowyr De Cymru ac, yn 1946, yn Ysgrifennydd Cyffredinol Undeb unedig y Glowyr (NUM). Cyfarwyddodd strategaeth yr undeb ar wladoli ac ailadeiladu wedi’r rhyfel. Pan ymddeolodd yn 1959, roedd yr NUM wedi sicrhau rhai o’r telerau ac amodau cyflogaeth gorau mewn diwydiant ym Mhrydain. Yn 1959 derbyniodd Ryddid Merthyr Tudful.


G LY N JONE S 1905–1995

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lyn Jones, author and critic, was brought up in a Welsh–speaking home but wrote in English. He knew all the significant Anglo–Welsh authors of the twentieth century. His Christian belief and love of Merthyr and Wales are in all his work. Born at 16 Clare Street, he attended Cyfarthfa School and trained as a teacher. During the Second World War he became a conscientious objector and was dismissed from his teaching post. He eventually returned to teaching, becoming Head of English at Glantaf County School, Cardiff. He began writing as a young teacher and, prompted by his friend Dylan Thomas, published a short–story collection, The Blue Bed in 1937. His first book of verse appeared in 1939, his second in 1944, and he published regularly, including three novels and his best–known work, The Dragon Has Two Tongues: Essays on Anglo-Welsh writers and writing (1968). He was a radio broadcaster, wrote the libretto for Alun Hoddinott’s opera, The Beach of Falesa (1974), and translated many Welsh–language works into English. His commitment to writing in English, whilst at the same time respecting the Welsh language, made him an important figure in Welsh literary circles. He was elected President of the Welsh Academy and received into the Gorsedd of Bards.

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agwyd y llenor a’r beirniad Glyn Jones ar aelwyd Gymraeg, ond yn Saesneg y sgrifennai. Roedd yn adnabod holl brif awduron Eingl–Gymreig yr ugeinfed ganrif. Amlygir ei gred Gristnogol a’i gariad at Ferthyr a Chymru yn ei holl waith. Fe’i ganed yn 16 Clare Street, mynychodd Ysgol Cyfarthfa a hyfforddi fel athro. Cofrestrodd fel gwrthwynebydd cydwybodol yn ystod yr Ail Ryfel Byd a cholli ei swydd o ganlyniad. Dychwelodd i ddysgu wedi hynny, gan fynd yn Bennaeth yr Adran Saesneg yn Ysgol Sir Glantaf, Caerdydd. Dechreuodd sgrifennu yn athro ifanc, ac ar anogaeth ei gyfaill, Dylan Thomas, cyhoeddodd gasgliad o straeon byrion, The Blue Bed, yn 1937. Ymddangosodd ei gasgliad cyntaf o gerddi yn 1939 a’r ail yn 1944, ac aeth ymlaen i gyhoeddi’r gyson, yn cynnwys tair nofel a’i gyfrol fwyaf adnabyddus, The Dragon Has Two Tongues: Essays on Anglo-Welsh writers and writing (1968). Roedd yn ddarlledwr, cyfansoddodd libretto opera Alun Hoddinott, The Beach of Falesa (1974), a chyfieithodd nifer o weithiau Cymraeg i’r Saesneg. Golygai ei ymrwymiad i sgrifennu yn Saesneg, tra’n parchu’r Gymraeg ar yr un pryd, ei fod yn berson pwysig mewn cylchoedd llenyddol yng Nghymru. Fe’i hetholwyd yn Llywydd yr Academi Gymreig a chafodd ei dderbyn i Orsedd y Beirdd.

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AUB REY JONE S 1911–2003

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ubrey Jones, probably the first working–class person to enter a Tory Cabinet and certainly the first from Merthyr, was born in Williams Street, Penydarren. A star pupil at Cyfarthfa School, he won a scholarship to the LSE and seemed set for a high–flying academic career. Instead, after brief service with the ILO in Geneva, he joined the Times. During the war he worked in military intelligence. Initially left–wing, he published The Pendulum of Politics in 1946, declaring his conversion to Christianity and Conservatism. He entered Parliament in 1950. Harold Macmillan later made him Minister of Supply, but abolished the ministry after the 1959 election. Aubrey was offered other posts but chose the back benches. He believed that government should hold the balance between competing economic forces and enlist their aid in guiding the economy. He therefore accepted Harold Wilson’s invitation in 1965 to become chairman of the newly formed Prices and Incomes Board. When Labour lost in 1970 he returned to business. He was out of sympathy with Thatcherite free–market policies and joined the SDP–Liberal Alliance party in 1981. As he once observed: ‘My Welsh heritage has given me an independence of spirit – unlike most of my old Etonian cabinet colleagues, I had my own ideas.’

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aned Aubrey Jones, yr aelod dosbarth– gweithiol cyntaf, mae’n debyg, o Gabinét Torïaidd, a’n sicr y cyntaf o Ferthyr, yn Williams Street, Penydarren. Gan ragori yn Ysgol Cyfarthfa, enillodd ysgoloriaeth i’r LSE, a’r gred oedd bod gyrfa academaidd ddisglair o’i flaen. Yn hytrach, wedi cyfnod byr gyda’r ILO yn Genefa, ymunodd â’r Times. Gweithiodd mewn cudd–wybodaeth filwrol adeg y rhyfel. Ar yr asgell chwith yn wreiddiol, cyhoeddodd The Pendulum of Politics yn 1946, gan ddatgan ei fod wedi troi’n Gristion ac yn Geidwadwr. Aeth i’r Senedd yn 1950. Gwnaeth Macmillan ef yn Weinidog Cyflenwad yn ddiweddarach ond dilewyd y weinyddiaeth wedi etholiad 1959. Cafodd gynnig swyddi eraill, ond dewisodd y meinciau cefn. Credai y dylai’r llywodraeth gadw’r cydbwysedd rhwng grymoedd economaidd cystadleuol a cheisio’u cymorth wrth lywio’r economi. Gan hynny, derbyniodd wahoddiad Wilson yn 1965 i fynd yn gadeirydd y Bwrdd Prisiau ac Incwm newydd–ei–sefydlu. Pan gollodd Llafur yn 1970, dychwelodd i fyd busnes. Ni chtunai â pholisïau marchnad–rydd Thatcher, ac ymunodd â phlaid y Gynghrair yn 1981. Dywedodd un tro: ‘Rhoes fy nhreftadaeth Gymreig annibyniaeth ysbryd i mi – yn wahanol i’r mwyafrif o’m cyd–aelodau cabinet o hen Etoniaid, roedd gennyf fy syniadau fy hun.’


STA N T HOM AS 1917–

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n 1946 Stan bought a bakery in Merthyr and in 1954 launched a pie–making business, Thomas’ Pies. In 1956 he was joined by his son Stanley. In 1964 Stan’s other son Peter joined the business and on 1 January 1965 Thomas’ Pies and Stan Thomas Ltd were sold to the Avana Group for £175,000. In 1970 Stanley junior founded Peter’s Savoury Products and brought his father, sister and brother into the enterprise. They employed 1,300 people at Bedwas, near Caerphilly, and sold the business in 1988 for more than £75 million. The brothers became property developers and in 2004 sold the airport company TBI for £550 million. Stan senior was made a Freeman of the Borough in 1992, as was Stan junior in 2000. Peter is chairman of the Cardiff Blues rugby club. In 2011 he received the CBE. Stanley junior is chairman of NSPCC (Wales). In 1994 he was awarded the OBE and in 2006 he was knighted.

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n 1946 prynodd Stan bopty ym Merthyr ac yn 1954, lansiodd fusnes gwneud pasteiod, Thomas’ Pies. Ymunodd ei fab Stanley ag ef yn 1956. Yn 1964, ymunodd mab arall Stan, Peter, â’r busnes ac ar 1 Ionawr 1965 gwerthwyd Thomas’ Pies a Stan Thomas Ltd i Grwˆp Avana am £175,000. Yn 1970, sefydlodd Stanley’r ieuaf Peter’s Savoury Products a dod â’i dad, ei chwaer a’i frawd i mewn i’r busnes. Cyflogai’r cwmni 1,300 o bobl ym Medwas, ger Caerffili, a gwerthwyd y busnes yn 1988 am fwy na £75 miliwn. Aeth y brodyr yn ddatblygwyr eiddo ac yn 2004, gwerthasant y cwmni maes awyr TBI am £550 miliwn. Rhoddwyd Rhyddid y Bwrdeistref i Stan yr hynaf yn 1992, ac i Stan yr ieuaf yn 2000. Peter yw cadeirydd clwb rygbi Gleision Caerdydd. Yn 2011 derbyniodd y CBE. Stanley yr ieuaf yw cadeirydd NSPCC (Cymru). Cafodd OBE yn 1994 ac yn 2006, cafodd ei urddo’n farchog.

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G LA N MOR WI L L I A M S 1920–2005

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lanmor Williams, ‘a little boy from Dowlais’ was an internationally recognised scholar. The son and grandson of Dowlais colliers, Glanmor went to Cyfarthfa School and UCW Aberystwyth, and became Professor of History at UCW Swansea in 1957. Under his leadership, Welsh history became an established subject. His own output was prodigious, and he wrote lucidly and elegantly in both languages. His major work, The Welsh Church from Conquest to Reformation (1962), was followed by five further books, mainly dealing with religion and nationality in 16th and 17th–century Wales. He founded and edited Morgannwg, journal of the Glamorgan History Society and, in 1960, the Welsh History Review. In the same year he became general editor of the massive Glamorgan County History. In 1966 he edited the seminal Merthyr Politics: the Making of a Working Class Tradition; a 1970s project on the labour and social history of the south Wales coalfield gave birth to the Miners’ Library at Swansea with its oral and written archives. He was knighted ‘for services to the history, culture and heritage of Wales’ in 1995 and made a Freeman of Merthyr in 2002. A housing development in Dowlais was named ‘Glanmor Gardens’ in his memory in 2010.

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oedd Glanmor Williams, ‘bachgen bach o Ddowlais’, yn ysgolhaig o fri rhyngwladol. Yn fab ac yn wˆyr i lowyr o Ddowlais, aeth Glanmor i Ysgol Cyfarthfa a CPC Aberystwyth. Daeth yn Athro Hanes yn Abertawe yn 1957. O dan ei arweiniad, enillodd hanes Cymru ei blwyf fel pwnc. Roedd yn awdur toreithiog, a sgrifennai’n glir ac yn gain yn y ddwy iaith. Dilynwyd ei gampwaith, The Welsh Church from Conquest to Reformation (1962), gan bum cyfrol arall, yn ymdrin yn bennaf â chrefydd a chenedligrwydd yng Nghymru’r 16eg a’r 17eg ganrif. Sefydlodd a golygodd Morgannwg, cylchgrawn Cymdeithas Hanes Morgannwg ac, yn 1960, Welsh History Review. Yr un flwyddyn, daeth yn olygydd cyffredinol ar yr anferthol Glamorgan County History. Yn 1966, golygodd y casgliad arloesol Merthyr Politics: the Making of a Working Class Tradition; esgorodd project yn y 1970au ar hanes llafur a chymdeithasol maes glo de Cymru ar Lyfrgell y Glowyr yn Abertawe, a’i harchifau llafar ac ysgrifenedig. Cafodd ei urddo’n farchog yn 1995 ‘am wasanaeth i hanes, diwylliant a threftadaeth Cymru’ a derbyniodd Ryddid Merthyr yn 2002. Yn 2010, enwyd datblygiad tai yn Nowlais yn ‘Glanmor Gardens’ er cof amdano.


H A RR I WE B B 1920–1994

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arri Webb, prolific journalist, poet, wit, pamphleteer, born in Swansea, educated at Oxford, and from 1954 to 1964 the librarian at Dowlais. After serving as an interpreter in the Navy during the Second World War, he worked with Keidrych Rhys at the Druid Press in Carmarthen and while in Merthyr was associated with Meic Stephens in launching Poetry Wales. His early poems appeared in Triad (1963). His work was ‘unrepentantly nationalistic’. A one–time member of the Welsh Republican Movement and editor of its newspaper he was active from 1960 on behalf of Plaid Cymru and stood as its candidate at Pontypool in 1970. His biting wit is displayed to good effect in the much–quoted poems ‘Our Budgie’, ‘Synopsis of the Great Welsh Novel’ and ‘Ode to the Severn Bridge’. His first collection of poems, The Green Desert, appeared in 1969 and the second, A Crown for Branwen in 1974. One of his poems begins: ‘There’s a town called Merthyr Tydfil, Where no–one gives a damn, There are seven hundred pubs there, But the best one is The Lamb’. He could often be found there. Since Harri’s death in 1974 Meic Stephens has edited his Collected Poems and also selections from his political and literary journalism.

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afodd Harri Webb, gohebydd, bardd, ffraethebwr a phamffledwr toreithiog, ei eni yn Abertawe a’i addysgu yn Rhydychen, ac o 1954 i 1964, bu’n llyfrgellydd Dowlais. Ar ôl gwasanaethu’n gyfieithydd yn y Llynges yn yr Ail Ryfel Byd, gweithiodd gyda Keidrych Rhys yn y Druid Press, Caerfyrddin a thra’r oedd ym Merthyr, gyda Meic Stephens ar lansio Poetry Wales. Ymddangosodd ei gerddi cynnar yn Triad (1963). Roedd ei waith yn ‘ddiedifar o genedlaetholgar’. Yn aelod o Fudiad Gweriniaethol Cymru ar un adeg, ac yn olygydd ei bapur newydd, bu’n weithgar gyda Phlaid Cymru o 1960 ymlaen, a safodd drosti ym Mhont–y–pwˆl yn 1970. Gwelir ei ffraethineb crafog ar ei fwyaf effeithiol yn y cerddi ‘Our Budgie’, ‘Synopsis of the Great Welsh Novel’ ac ‘Ode to the Severn Bridge’ a ddyfynnir yn aml. Ymddangosodd ei gasgliad cyntaf o gerddi, The Green Desert, yn 1969 a’r ail, A Crown for Branwen, yn 1974. Meddai un o’i gerddi: ‘There’s a town called Merthyr Tydfil, Where no–one gives a damn, There are seven hundred pubs there, But the best one is The Lamb’, ac yno y gwelid yntau yn aml. Ers marwolaeth Harri yn 1974, mae Meic Stephens wedi golygu ei Collected Poems a detholiadau o’i newyddiaduraeth wleidyddol a llenyddol.

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LE SLIE NOR R I S 1921–2006

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eslie Norris, poet and short–story writer, was born in Cyfarthfa Row, Georgetown, and brought up in the Depression. Invalided out of the RAF during the war, he later became a teacher, headmaster, and then a lecturer. He wrote poetry as a Cyfarthfa schoolboy but his first collection, Finding Gold, wasn’t published until 1967. Several of his poems refer to Merthyr: ‘The Ballad of Billy Rose’ remembers the blinded boxer; and ‘Elegy for David Beynon’ is for his schoolfriend, a teacher who died at his desk trying to protect four children in the school at Aberfan. In 1973 he was visiting professor at the University of Washington, Seattle. The following year he resigned his academic post to become a full–time writer. Visits to America continued and he was invited to teach at Brigham Young University, Utah, where he was appointed Poet–in–Residence and later Professor of Creative Writing. He lived there until his death. He wrote a dozen volumes of poetry, numerous short stories and essays and also two books for children. His Selected Poems appeared in 1986 and his Collected Poems and Collected Stories in 1996. His deceptively simple poetry, accessible to all, has considerable emotional power. A plaque in Merthyr Central Library commemorates him.

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aned Leslie Norris, bardd ac awdur straeon byrion, yn Cyfarthfa Row, Georgetown, a thyfodd i fyny yn y Dirwasgiad. Fe’i rhyddhawyd o’r Awyrlu yn ystod y rhyfel oherwydd salwch. Bu’n athro, yn brifathro ac yna’n ddarlithydd. Buasai’n barddoni yn fachgen yn Ysgol Cyfarthfa, ond ni chyhoeddwyd ei gasgliad cyntaf, Finding Gold, tan 1967. Mae rhai o’r cerddi’n sôn am Ferthyr: mae ‘The Ballad of Billy Rose’ yn cofio’r bocsiwr dall, ac mae ‘Elegy for David Beynon’ yn coffáu ei gyfaill, athro a fu farw wrth ei ddesg yn ceisio cysgodi pedwar o blant yn ysgol Aberfan. Ym 1973, bu’n athro gwadd ym Mhrifysgol Washington, Seattle. Y flwyddyn ganlynol, rhoes y gorau i’w swydd academaidd i fynd yn awdur llawn–amser. Parhaodd i ymweld ag America a chafodd wahoddiad i ddysgu ym Mhrifysgol Brigham Young, Utah, a’i penododd yn Fardd Preswyl ac yna’n Athro Sgrifennu Creadigol. Bu’n byw yno weddill ei oes. Sgrifennodd ddwsin o gyfrolau o gerddi, llu o straeon byrion ac ysgrifau, a dau lyfr plant hefyd. Ymddangosodd ei Selected Poems yn 1986 a’r Collected Poems a’r Collected Stories yn 1996. Mae i’w farddoniaeth gamarweiniol o syml, sy’n ddealladwy i bawb, gryn rym emosiynol. Mae llechen yn ei goffáu yn Llyfrgell Merthyr.


RONA LD V IV IA N EC C L E S TONE 1923–1954

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orn and brought up in Woodlands Place, Twynyrodyn, Ron Ecclestone was only 31 when he was killed. But into that short time he had packed a life of adventure and courage, achieving distinction as a pilot in three different spheres. He was the first RAF pilot to fly faster than the speed of sound, commemorated by a plaque his parents presented to Cyfarthfa School, where he had been a pupil. In World War II, he served as an RAF pilot with 218 Squadron where he mainly flew heavy bombers, Stirlings and Lancasters, but could also fly Hurricanes and Spitfires. He flew many combat missions and was awarded the DFC for bravery in 1945. In the 1949 he was engaged in development flying for the RAF at Marham, Boscombe Down and Farnborough aerodromes, which was when he broke the sound barrier. He was awarded the Air Force Cross in 1953. In April 1954 he joined Handley Page Ltd as the company’s deputy chief test pilot, and less than three months later, he died while testing a prototype Handley Page ‘Victor’ aircraft at Cranfield when the aircraft broke up over the airfield. None of the crew of four escaped.

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im ond 31 oedd Ron Ecclestone, a aned ac a fagwyd yn Woodlands Place, Twynyrodyn, pan gafodd ei ladd. Ond roedd ei fywyd byr yn llawn antur a dewrder. Enillodd glod fel peilot mewn tri maes gwahanol. Ef oedd y peilot RAF cyntaf i hedfan yn gyflymach na chyflymder sain, a chyflwynodd ei rieni lechen yn coffáu hyn i Ysgol Cyfarthfa, lle buasai’n ddisgybl. Yn yr Ail Ryfel Byd, bu’n beilot gyda 218 Squadron lle bu’n hedfan awyrennau bomio trwm Stirling a Lancaster yn bennaf, ond gallai hedfan Hurricanes a Spitfires hefyd. Hedfanodd gyrch ar ôl cyrch, a derbyn y DFC am ddewrder yn 1945. Yn 1949, bu’n hedfan awyrennau datblygu i’r Awyrlu o feysydd awyr Marham, Boscombe Down a Farnborough, a dyna pryd y torrodd y terfyn sain. Dyfarnwyd Croes yr Awyrlu iddo yn 1953. Ym mis Ebrill 1954 ymunodd â Handley Page fel dirprwy–brif beilot prawf y cwmni. Lai na thri mis yn ddiweddarach, bu farw tra’n hedfan awyren Handley Page ‘Victor’ arbrofol yn Cranfield. Chwalodd yr awyren uwchben y maes awyr. Ddihangodd neb o’r criw o bedwar.

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LAUR A AS H L EY 1925–1985

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othing is more English than Laura Ashley designs. Yet she was born at her grandmother's home, 31 Station Terrace, Dowlais, and holidays were always spent there. In 1949 she married Bernard Ashley. He worked for a small investment company, she as a secretary. So how come they created an international multi���million business? In 1952 Laura saw an exhibition of home crafts at the V&A. In 1953, while hunting for patchwork fabrics, she couldn’t find designs she liked, and decided to print her own. Bernard built a textile printing screen, dyes and linen were bought, tablemats and scarves produced. A week later Bernard sold six linen tablemats; John Lewis took two dozen silk scarves. In 1961 they set up a shop and a factory in Machynlleth. By the mid–sixties ‘the Laura Ashley Look’ had arrived: by 1975 there were 40 shops, three factories and the range included home furnishing, wallpapers and interior design. From working on the kitchen table and living frugally they enjoyed a French chateau, a Brussels house, and a Bahamas villa. But in 1985, Laura fell down stairs and died 10 days later. She is buried in Carno; the Dowlais Male Voice Choir sang at her funeral.

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oes dim byd yn fwy Seisnig na dyluniadau Laura Ashley. Ac eto, fe’i ganed yn 31 Station Terrace, Dowlais, tyˆ ei mam–gu, lle treuliai bob gwyliau. Ym 1949 priododd Bernard Ashley, a weithiai i gwmni buddsoddi bychan. Roedd hithau’n ysgrifenyddes. Fel sut y bu iddynt greu busnes rhyngwladol gwerth miliynau? Yn 1952 gwelodd Laura sioe grefftau cartref yn Amgueddfa’r V&A. Yn 1953, tra’n edrych am ddefnydd clytwaith, a heb weld dim roedd yn eu hoffi, dyma benderfynu printio’i rhai ei hun. Gwnaeth Bernard sgrîn brintio, prynwyd llifynnau a lliain, a gwnaed matiau bwrdd a sgarffiau. Yr wythnos wedyn, gwerthodd Bernard chwe mat lliain, a chymerodd siop John Lewis 24 o sgarffiau sidan. Yn 1961, sefydlwyd siop a ffatri ym Machynlleth. Erbyn canol y chwedegau roedd ‘Golwg Laura Ashley’ wedi cyrraedd: erbyn 1975, ceid 40 o siopau, tair ffatri, a nwyddau’n cynnwys ffabrig dodrefnu, papur–wal ac addurno mewnol. O weithio ar fwrdd y gegin a byw’n gynnil, roedd ganddynt bellach chateau yn Ffrainc, tyˆ ym Mrwsel, a fila yn y Bahamas. Ond yn 1985, cwympodd Laura lawr staer a marw 10 diwrnod yn ddiweddarach. Fe’i claddwyd yng Ngharno; canodd Côr Meibion Dowlais yn ei hangladd.


GW Y N A LF R E D WI L L I A M S 1925–1995

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ll who heard Gwyn Alf lecture agree he was incomparable: the energy, the wit, the torrent of information and vivid insights, the sudden hesitation as he fought a stammer – then the rush to a dazzling conclusion. Born in Dowlais, he won a scholarship to Aberystwyth but joined the army in 1943, and took part in the Normandy landings and entered Paris. Later Professor in History at York University, he returned to Wales in 1974 as Professor of Welsh History at Cardiff. He wrote and lectured prolifically, and was a left–wing activist with the Communist party, the Labour Party, and Plaid Cymru. His books included Artisans and Sans-culottes (1968), Goya and the Impossible Revolution (1976), The Merthyr Rising (1978), and When Was Wales? (1985). In 1985, the riveting television series The Dragon has Two Tongues had Gwyn the Marxist and broadcaster Wynford Vaughan Thomas debating opposing views of Welsh history. Many other televison films followed, on Mary Shelley, Sylvia Pankhurst, Pushkin, Iolo Morganwg, apartheid, John Hughes, Dowlais, and the lives of Russian coalminers, by the ‘people’s remembrancer’. He was passionate about the history and future of Wales and Merthyr. No–one in the academic world did more to illuminate the significance of our history and heritage.

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ae pawb a glywodd Gwyn Alf yn darlithio yn cytuno ei fod yn ddigymar: yr ynni, y ffraethineb, y bwrlwm o wybodaeth a chraffter byw, y saib sydyn wrth iddo frwydro’i atal dweud – yna’r rhuthr i ddiweddglo disglair. Yn enedigol o Ddowlais, enillodd ysgoloriaeth i Aberystwyth ond ymunodd â’r fyddin yn 1943, gan lanio yn Normandi, a chyrraedd Paris. Ar ôl bod yn Athro Hanes ym Mhrifysgol Efrog, dychwelodd i Gymru yn 1974 fel Athro Hanes Cymru ym Mhrifysgol Caerdydd. Roedd yn awdur a darlithydd toreithiog, ac yn ymgyrchydd asgell– chwith gyda’r blaid Gomiwnyddol, y Blaid Lafur, a Phlaid Cymru. Roedd ei lyfrau’n cynnwys Artisans and Sans-culottes (1968), Goya and the Impossible Revolution (1976), The Merthyr Rising (1978), and When Was Wales? (1985).Yn 1985 aeth Gwyn y Marcsydd benben â’r darlledwr Wynford Vaughan Thomas i ddadlau am hanes Cymru yn y gyfres deledu gyfareddol, The Dragon has Two Tongues. Dilynodd llu o raglenni teledu eraill, ar Mary Shelley, Sylvia Pankhurst, Pushkin, Iolo Morganwg, apartheid, John Hughes, Dowlais, a bywydau glowyr yn Rwsia, gan ‘gofiadur y bobl’. Ni phallodd ei angerdd am hanes a dyfodol Cymru a Merthyr. Wnaeth neb yn y byd academaidd fwy i oleuo pwysigrwydd ein hanes a’n treftadaeth.

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E DDIE T HOM AS 1925–1997

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hampion boxer, miner, businessman, local councillor; Eddie Thomas was all these, but it was in his handling of other fighters that he excelled. Raised at 11 Upper Colliers Row, near Heolgerrig, he went underground at 14. He started boxing at the ex–servicemen’s club and had 135 amateur fights. He was still working underground when he won the British welterweight title in 1949, followed by the Empire and European titles in 1951. But before the year was out he had lost all three. He retired in 1952, buying a drift mine with his earnings. He combined mining with a career as a boxing trainer, manager, and legendary ‘cuts’ man. He guided two of the best post–war British boxers – Howard Winstone from Merthyr and the Scot Ken Buchanan – to world titles. He also trained and managed British, European and Commonwealth welterweight champion Colin Jones, from Gorseinon. On that October morning in Aberfan in 1966 he was among the first at the scene, using his mining expertise to organize rescue attempts and bringing out many of the children's bodies. He received the MBE in 1984 and the Freedom of the Borough in 1992. Hugh McIlvanney wrote: ‘To say Eddie’s proud to be from Merthyr is like suggesting the Pope doesn’t mind being a Catholic’.

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u Eddie Thomas yn bencampwr bocsio, glöwr, dyn busnes, ac yn gynghorydd lleol, ond hyfforddi ymladdwyr eraill oedd ei wir orchest. Fe’i magwyd yn Upper Colliers Row, ger Heolgerrig, ac aeth o dan ddaear yn 14 oed. Dechreuodd focsio yng nghlwb cyn–aelodau’r lluoedd a chafodd 135 gornest fel amatur. Roedd yn dal i weithio dan ddaear pan enillodd goron pwysau welter Prydain yn 1949, ac ef oedd pencampwr yr Ymerodraeth ac Ewrop yn 1951. Ond cyn diwedd y flwyddyn collodd y tri theitl. Ymddeolodd yn 1952 gan brynu pwll glo drifft â’i enillion. Cyfunodd y pwll glo â gyrfa fel hyfforddwr, rheolwr a ‘dyn cwte’ diarhebol. Llywiodd ddau o ymladdwyr gorau Prydain wedi’r rhyfel – Howard Winstone o Ferthyr a’r Albanwr Ken Buchanan – at bencampwriaethau’r byd. Ef hefyd oedd hyfforddwr a rheolwr Colin Jones, o Gorseinon, pencampwr pwysau welter Prydain, Ewrop a’r Gymanwlad. Y bore hwnnw o Hydref yn Aberfan yn 1966, roedd gyda’r cyntaf i gyrraedd, gan ddefnyddio’i brofiad glofaol i drefnu’r ymdrechion achub a dod â llawer o gyrff y plant allan. Derbyniodd MBE yn 1984 a chafodd Ryddid y Bwrdeistref yn 1992. Chwedl Hugh McIlvanney: ‘Mae dweud bod Eddie’n falch o fod o Ferthyr fel awgrymu nad yw’r Pab yn meindio bod yn Babydd.’


ART H UR MO S T Y N EVA NS 1925–2002

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t is surely unique for one area – Merthyr Tydfil – to have produced the leaders of the two largest trade unions of their day: Arthur Horner (NUM) and Moss Evans (TGWU). The family, from Cefn Coed, was driven by poverty, like thousands of others, to seek work in the Midlands. In 1950 Moss joined the TGWU and his life changed dramatically. He made his name as a tough negotiator with a ready smile. He became a shop steward in 1951, a full–time officer in 1956 and moved up through the ranks to succeed Jack Jones as General Secretary in 1978. It was the worst time to get the job. Jones had been defeated in conference when he defended pay restraint. When the government imposed a ceiling on wage increases, strikes broke out, with TGWU members to the fore. The 1978–79 ‘Winter of Discontent’ ended in defeat for Labour and Mrs Thatcher’s election. In 1980 Moss was diagnosed with cancer. He retired in 1985 on health grounds. His period as General Secretary was disappointing to him, but not even Jack Jones could have stopped Thatcher’s onslaught on the unions. To his great credit Moss held the union together, turned around its finances and brought it out of debt.

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ae’n siwr ei bod hi’n unigryw bod un ardal – Merthyr Tudful – wedi cynhyrchu arweinwyr dau undeb llafur mwya’r oes: Arthur Horner (NUM) a Moss Evans (TGWU). Cafodd y teulu, o Gefn Coed, ei yrru gan dlodi, fel miloedd o rai eraill, i geisio gwaith yng nghanolbarth Lloegr. Ym 1950, ymunodd Moss â’r TGWU a newidiodd ei fywyd yn llwyr. Gwnaeth enw iddo’i hun fel negydwr caled â gwên barod. Aeth yn siop–stiward yn 1951, yn swyddog llawn–amser yn 1956, a chodi trwy’r rhengoedd i olynu Jack Jones fel Ysgrifennydd Cyffredinol yn 1978. Dyna’r adeg waethaf i fod wedi cael y swydd. Cawsai Jones ei drechu yn y gynhadledd am amddiffyn ffrwyno cyflogau. Pan osododd y llywodraeth derfyn ar godiadau cyflog, dechreuodd streiciau, gydag aelodau’r TGWU ar flaen y gad. Daeth gaeaf 1978–79 i ben gyda Llafur yn colli, ac ethol Mrs Thatcher. Yn 1980 darganfu Moss bod cancr arno. Ymddeolodd ar sail iechyd in 1985. Siom fu ei gyfnod fel Ysgrifennydd Cyffredinol iddo ond ni allai hyd yn oed Jack Jones fod wedi atal cyrch Thatcher ar yr undebau. Er clod iddo, cadwodd Moss yr undeb yn unedig, chwyldroi ei sefyllfa ariannol a’i ryddhau o ddyled.

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PHILIP M A D O C 1934–2012

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hilip Jones of Twynyrodyn, a classics and modern languages graduate, speaker of seven languages, the first foreigner to gain the Diploma of the University of Vienna’s Interpreters’ Institute, interpreter at international conferences, was Merthyr’s best–known voice and face in the late twentieth century. But not for being a linguist. At 24 Philip Jones gave up interpreting and applied to RADA. As Philip Madoc, he joined the RSC straight from RADA. His leading Shakespearian roles included Iago in Othello, Anthony in Anthony and Cleopatra, Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, and Macbeth. He made his television debut in 1961 as a German officer in the BBC’s Cross of Iron. In 1981 he triumphed in the title role in Elaine Morgan’s Life and Times of Lloyd George. There were episodes in many British television series, including The Avengers, The Sweeney, Porridge, and Midsomer Murders. He starred as DCI Noel Bain in A Mind to Kill (also broadcast on S4C as Noson yr Heliwr). His distinctive rich, sonorous voice was heard on many audio–books and on BBC radio. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and received an honorary degree from the University of Glamorgan.

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hilip Jones o Dwynyrodyn, a raddiodd mewn clasuron ac ieithoedd modern, siaradwr saith iaith, y tramorwr cyntaf i ennill Diploma Sefydliad Cyfeithwyr Prifysgol Fienna, cyfieithydd mewn cynadleddau rhyngwladol, oedd llais ac wyneb enwocaf Merthyr yn ail hanner yr ugeinfed ganrif. Ond nid am fod yn ieithydd. Yn 24, rhoes Philip Jones y gorau i gyfieithu ac ymgeisio i RADA. Fel Philip Madoc, ymunodd â’r RSC yn syth o RADA. Roedd ei rannau blaenllaw’n cynnwys Iago yn Othello, Anthony yn Anthony and Cleopatra, Falstaff yn The Merry Wives of Windsor, Shylock yn The Merchant of Venice, a Macbeth. Ymddanosodd ar y teledu am y tro cyntaf yn 1961 fel swyddog Almaenig yn Cross of Iron y BBC. In 1981 cafodd lwyddiant ysgubol yn y brif ran yn Life and Times of Lloyd George Elaine Morgan. Cafodd benodau mewn llu o gyfresi teledu, yn cynnwys The Avengers, The Sweeney, Porridge, a Midsomer Murders. Fel y Prif Arolygydd Noel Bain, fe oedd seren Noson yr Heliwr ar S4C. Clywyd ei lais cyfoethog, soniarus ar lawer o lyfrau sain ac ar y radio. Fe’i gwnaed yn Gymrawd gan Goleg Brenhinol Cerdd a Drama Cymru a derbyniodd radd er anrhydedd gan Brifysgol Morgannwg.


HOWAR D WI NS TONE 1939 –2000

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oward Winstone from Penydarren was one of the best British boxers ever. In 1958 he was ABA bantamweight champion, won gold for Wales in the Commonwealth Games, and was BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year. He turned professional under Eddie Thomas. Howard had won his amatur bouts despite having lost three fingertips on his right hand in an accident. He relied on strength, work–rate and an outstanding left jab, and became British featherweight champion in 1961. After 34 straight wins he was unexpectedly beaten in 1962 by Leroy Jeffery, but in January 1963, he defended his British title for the third time, and in July, won the European crown. Three times Howard Winstone fought world champion Vincente Saldivar, losing each time, the last on a technical knock–out in the twelfth round. They were savage fights, and afterwards, Saldivar announced his retirement. In January 1968, Winstone won the WBC world featherweight title but was past his peak. In July he lost his world title and retired, at 29. Immensely popular, courageous, modest and respected, he had lost just six of 67 paid contests. He was awarded the MBE in 1968, made, made a Freeman of the Borough and, in 2001, his statue was unveiled in St. Tydfil’s Square shopping centre.

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oward Winstone o Benydarren oedd un o focswyr gorau Prydain erioed. Yn 1958 roedd yn bencampwr pwysau bantam yr ABA, enillodd aur i Gymru yn Chwaraeon y Gymanwlad, a fe oedd Personoliaeth Chwaraeon y Flwyddyn BBC Cymru. Aeth yn broffesiynol o dan Eddie Thomas. Enillasai Howard ei ornestau amatur er gwaethaf colli tri blaen bys ei law dde mewn damwain. Dibynnai ar gryfder, gwaith caled a dwrn chwith eithriadol. Daeth yn bencampwr pwysau–plu Prydain ym Mai 1961. Ar ôl 34 buddugoliaeth, collodd yn annisgwyl i Leroy Jeffery, ond amddiffynnodd ei goron Brydeinig am y drydedd waith yn Ionawr 1963; yng Ngorffennaf, enillodd goron Ewrop. Ymladdodd Howard Winstone bencampwr y byd, Vincente Saldivar, deirgwaith a cholli bob tro, yr olaf ar loriad technegol yn y 12fed rownd. Roeddent yn ornestau milain, ac ar eu hôl, cyhoeddodd Saldivar ei ymddeoliad. Yn Ionawr 1968, enillodd Winstone goron pwysau–plu'r byd ond roedd hebio’i orau. Collodd ei deitl ym mis Gorffennaf, ac ymddeol yn 29. Yn ddyn hynod boblogaidd, dewr, gwylaidd, a mawr ei barch, dim ond chwe gornest broffesiynol a gollodd o 67. Cafodd MBE yn 1968 a Rhyddid y Bwrdeistref. Yn 2001, codwyd cerflun iddo yng nghanolfan siopa Sgwâr Sant Tudful.

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T E D R OWL A ND S 1940–

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dward (Ted) Rowlands was MP for Merthyr Tydfil from 1972 to 2001. Born 23 January 1940 he attended grammar schools in the Rhondda and Wirral and then King’s College, London, where he graduated in history. After a period as a lecturer he became Labour MP for Cardiff North at the 1966 election but lost his seat in 1970. In 1972 he won the by–election at Merthyr caused by the death of S.O. Davies. For the 1983 general election the constituency boundaries were redrawn and renamed Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney. While representing Cardiff North he had served as Parliamentary Under–Secretary in the Welsh Office from 1969–70. When Labour again formed a government in 1974, Harold Wilson appointed him junior minister in the Foreign Office. In 1976, under Callaghan, he was appointed Minister of State at the Foreign Office until Labour lost the 1979 election. He sat on the Richard Commission which reported in March 2004 as to whether the National Assembly should have legislative powers. He is the author of ‘Something Must Be Done’: South Wales v Whitehall 1921-1951 (2000). He was appointed CBE in 2002, made Baron Rowlands in 2004, and received the Freedom of the Borough in 2006.

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dward (Ted) Rowlands oedd AS Merthyr Tudful o 1972 i 2001. Mynychodd ysgolion gramadeg yn y Rhondda a’r Wirral cyn mynd i King’s College, Llundain, lle graddiodd mewn hanes. Ar ôl cyfnod fel darlithydd, fe’i hetholwyd yn AS Llafur Gogledd Caerdydd yn etholiad 1966 ond collodd ei sedd yn 1970. Yn 1972 enillodd yr is–etholiad ym Merthyr a achoswyd gan farwolaeth S.O. Davies. Ailwampiwyd ffiniau’r etholaeth ar gyfer etholiad cyffredinol 1983, a’i hail–enwi���n Ferthyr Tudful a Rhymni. Tra’n AS Gogledd Caerdydd, buasai’n Is–ysgrifennydd Seneddol yn y Swyddfa Gymreig o 1969–70. Pan ddaeth Llafur i rym eto yn 1974, penododd Harold Wilson ef yn Is–weinidog yn y Swyddfa Dramor. Yn 1976, o dan James Callaghan, fe’i penodwyd yn Weinidog Gwladol yn y Swyddfa Dramor, nes i Lafur golli etholiad 1979. Roedd yn aelod o Gomisiwn Richard a adroddodd ym mis March 2004, parthed a ddylai’r Cynulliad Cenedlaethol fod â phwerau deddfu. Ef yw awdur ‘Something Must Be Done’: South Wales v Whitehall 1921-1951 (2000). Cafodd CBE yn 2002, fe’i gwnaed yn Farwn Rowlands yn 2004, a derbyniodd Ryddid y Bwrdeistref yn 2006.


MA N SE L AY LWA R D 1942–

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ansel Aylward, born Merthyr 1942, was educated at Cyfarthfa School and the London Hospital Medical College, and returned to Merthyr as a GP. In 1974 he founded Simbec Research Ltd. at Pentrebach, which won the 1979 BBC Company of the Year award and the 1980 European Small Company Award. He joined the Civil Service in 1985, becoming ultimately Chief Scientist at the DHSS. He was also Chief Medical Adviser at the MoD, developing and evaluating medical assessment for incapacity, and involved in developing the ‘Pathways to Work’ initiative for vocational rehabilitation. He chaired the Wales Centre for Health from 2005–2009 and was appointed first chairman of Public Health Wales in 2009. He has published widely on social issues, familiar to the south Wales valleys, arising from health inequalities, economic inactivity, rehabilitation, and social exclusion. He is Director of Cardiff’s Psychosocial and Disability Research Centre, which seeks to identify barriers and obstacles to recovery from illness and assesses influences leading to longer–term illness and disability. Its emphasis upon psychological and cultural – rather rather than physical – influences on the ability to return to work has drawn some criticism. He was knighted in 2010 and made a Freeman of Merthyr in 2013. He lives in Cefn Coed.

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afodd Mansel Aylward, a aned ym Merthyr, ei addysg yn Ysgol Cyfarthfa a Choleg Meddygol Ysbyty Llundain, a dychwelodd i Ferthyr fel meddyg teulu. Ym 1974 sefydlodd Simbec Research Cyf., Pentrebach, a enillodd Wobr Cwmni’r Flwyddyn 1979 y BBC a Gwobr Cwmni Bach Ewrop 1980. Ymunodd â’r Gwasanaeth Sifil ym 1985, gan fynd yn Brif Wyddonydd yr AINC yn y pen draw. Roedd hefyd yn Brif Gynghorydd Meddygol yn y WA, wrthi’n datblygu a gwerthuso dulliau asesu anallu, a chwaraeodd ran yn y cynllun ‘Llwybrau at Waith’ ar gyfer adfer galwedigaethol. Cadeiriodd Ganolfan Iechyd Cymru o 2005 i 2009, ac fe’i penodwyd yn gadeirydd cyntaf Iechyd Cyhoeddus Cymru yn 2009. Cyhoeddodd yn eang ar broblemau cymdeithasol, hen gyfarwydd i’r cymoedd, yn deillio o anghydraddoldeb iechyd, segurdod economaidd, adfer, ac eithrio cymdeithasol. Mae’n Gyfarwyddwr Canolfan Ymchwil Seico–gymdeithasol ac Anabledd Prifysgol Caerdydd sy’n ceisio darganfod beth sy’n rhwystro gwellhad o salwch, ac asesu dylanwadau sy’n arwain at salwch tymor–hwy ac anabledd. Mae ei phwyslais ar ddylanwadau seicolegol a diwylliannol – yn hytrach na chorfforol – ar y gallu i ddychwelyd i’r gwaith wedi ennyn beirniadaeth. Fe’i hurddwyd yn farchog yn 2010 a chafodd Ryddid Merthyr Tudful yn 2013. Mae’n byw yng Nghefn Coed.

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UR SULA M AS S ON 1945–2008

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rsula was one of a small band of historians who began to uncover the lives and significance of Welsh women. She was a founder of the Women’s Archive of Wales and the Centre for the Study of Gender in Wales. Born in Penydarren, she spent three years in Australia working on the Sydney Morning Herald before gaining an MA in Keele University for her study of The Development of the Irish and Roman Catholic Communities of Merthyr Tydfil and Dowlais in the Nineteenth Century. In the 1980s, she became involved in film– making with the Swansea Women’s History Group whose film, Smiling and Splendid Women, compares women’s lives in 1926 with what was happening in the 1984–85 miners’ strike. She taught political history at the University of Glamorgan, and researched women’s role in early party politics, particularly in Wales. Having received a doctorate in 2007, she was revising her thesis for publication, when she died from breast cancer. For Women, For Wales and for Liberalism: Women in Liberal Politics in Wales, 1880-1914 was published in 2010. She was a trustee of the Women’s Jazz Archive, Swansea, whose members played at her funeral. The annual Ursula Masson Memorial Lecture is given at the University of South Wales.

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oedd Ursula’n rhan o grwˆp bach o haneswyr a aeth ati i ddatgelu bywydau a phwysigrwydd menywod Cymru. Roedd yn un o sylfaenwyr Archif Menywod Cymru a’r Ganolfan Astudio Rhywedd yng Nghymru. Yn enedigol o Benydarren, treuliodd dair blynedd yn Awstralia yn gweithio i’r Sydney Morning Herald cyn ennill gradd MA ym Mhrifysgol Keele am ei hastudiaeth o The Development of the Irish and Roman Catholic Communities of Merthyr Tydfil and Dowlais in the Nineteenth Century. Yn y 1980au, bu’n gwneud ffilmiau gyda Grwˆp Hanes Menywod Abertawe; mae eu ffilm Smiling and Splendid Women yn cymharu bywydau menywod yn 1926 â beth oedd yn digwydd yn streic y glowyr 1984–85. Bu’n dysgu hanes gwleidyddol ym Mhrifysgol Morgannwg wedi hynny ac yn ymchwilio i ran menywod mewn gwleidyddiaeth bleidiol gynnar, yn enwedig yng Nghymru. Derbyniodd ddoethuriaeth yn 2007 ac roedd wrthi’n diwygio’i thraethawd i’w gyhoeddi pan fu farw o gancr y fron. Cyhoeddwyd For Women, For Wales and for Liberalism: Women in Liberal Politics in Wales, 1880–1914 yn 2010. Roedd yn un o ymddiriedolwyr Archif Jazz Menywod Abertawe, a chwaraeodd aelodau yn ei hangladd. Traddodir Darlith Goffa Ursula Masson bob blwyddyn ym Mhrifysgol De Cymru.


G ORD ON DAV I ES 1955–

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ordon Davies is the only first–class professional footballer to have scored a hat trick both for and against Chelsea in league games. Brought up in Twynrodyn he played professional football for Fulham, Chelsea, and Manchester City. He won 16 international caps for Wales between 1979 and 1986. After leaving school he trained to be a teacher and then taught in Gwernllwyn Junior school, Dowlais. He played for Merthyr Tydfil FC and scored 30 goals in his first season. A natural goal–scorer with the priceless knack of being in the right place at the right time, his talent was soon spotted. He joined Fulham in 1978 and was there for six years, had a year with Chelsea, and then went to Manchester City for £100,000, a large sum in those days. In October 1986 he returned to Fulham where he became the club’s record goal–scorer with 159 league goals in 394 appearances and, taking into account cup and other games, 178 goals in 450 appearances.

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ordon Davies yw’r unig bêl–droediwr proffesiynol adran–uchaf sydd wedi taro tair dros Chelsea, ac yn eu herbyn, mewn gêm gynghrair. Fe’i magwyd yn Nhwynyrodyn, a bu’n chwarae’n broffesiynol i Fulham, Chelsea, a Manchester City. Enillodd 16 cap rhyngwladol dros Gymru rhwng 1979 a 1986. Ar ôl ymadael â’r ysgol, hyfforddodd fel athro a bu’n dysgu yn ysgol gynradd Gwernllwyn, Dowlais. Chwaraeodd i glwb pêl–droed Merthyr Tudful a sgorio 30 gôl yn ei dymor cyntaf. Roedd yn sgoriwr naturiol, â’r ddawn o fod yn y lle iawn ar yr adeg iawn, a buan y sylwyd ar ei ddawn. Ymunodd â Fulham yn 1978 a bu yno am chwe blynedd, cafodd flwyddyn gyda Chelsea, ac yna aeth i Manchester City am £100,000, swm mawr yn y dyddiau hynny. Ym mis Hydref 1986 dychwelodd i Fulham lle y daeth yn sgoriwr uchaf y clwb, gyda 159 gôl yn y gynghrair mewn 394 o ymddangosiadau, neu, o gyfrif gemau cwpan ac ati, 178 gôl mewn 450 ymddangosiad.

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JOH N NY OWE N 1956 –1980

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ohnny Owen, another Merthyr champion, died aged 24 in a world title fight in Los Angeles. Merthyr people the world over were stunned with grief and thousands lined the streets at his funeral. John Richard Owens (he later dropped the ‘s’) was a quiet, shy boy who represented Wales 17 times as an amateur, and won 106 fights out of a career total of 124. People were amazed that such a frail–looking ‘Matchstick Man’ (his nickname) could fight so strongly. He won the Welsh Bantamweight title in 1976 and by 1979 he was British, European and Commonwealth champion. In September 1980 Johnny travelled to Los Angeles to fight the world champion, Lupe Pintor. Pintor, a heavy puncher, knocked him down in the ninth; after a mandatory eight count, and obviously hurt, he courageously carried on. In the last round he went down again, took a count of eight, and was then knocked out by a ferocious right hook. Johnny never regained consciousness, went into a deep coma, and was pronounced dead on 4 November. Twenty years later a memorial to Johnny Owen was unveiled in Merthyr’s shopping centre. At the request of Johnny’s father, the statue was unveiled by Lupe Pintor.

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u farw Johnny Owen, un arall o bencampwyr Merthyr, yn 24 oed mewn gornest bencampwriaeth y byd yn Los Angeles. Syfrdanwyd pobl o Ferthyr ym mhobman, a daeth miloedd allan ar y strydoedd i’w gynhebrwng. Roedd John Richard Owens (gollyngodd yr ‘s’ yn ddiweddarach) yn fachgen tawel, swil a gynrychiolodd Gymru 17 gwaith fel amatur, ac ennill 106 gornest o gyfanswm o 124. Rhyfeddai pobl y gallai un mor fregus yr olwg (y ‘Dyn Coes Matsien’ oedd ei lysenw) ymladd mor gryf. Enillodd deitl Pwysau Bantam Cymru ym 1976, ac erbyn 1979, roedd yn bencampwr Prydain, Ewrop a’r Gymanwlad. Ym mis Medi 1980, teithiodd i Los Angeles i ymladd pencampwr y byd, Lupe Pintor. Roedd Pintor yn ddyrnwr cryf, a thrawodd Johnny i’r llawr yn y nawfed rownd; ar ôl cyfrif wyth gorfodol, yn amlwg wedi ei anafu, brwydrodd ymlaen yn ddewr. Yn y rownd olaf, disgynodd eto, cafodd gyfrif wyth, ac yna fe’i lloriwyd gan ddyrnod law–dde ffyrnig. Ni ddadebrodd Johnny, llithrodd i goma dwfn a chyhoeddwyd ei fod wedi marw ar 4 Tachwedd. Ugain mlynedd yn ddiweddarach dadorchuddiwyd cofeb i Johnny yng nghanolfan siopa Merthyr. Ar gais tad Johnny, dadorchuddiwyd y cerflun gan Lupe Pintor.


JULIE W I L L I A M S 1957–

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rofessor Julie Williams from Cefn Coed is Chief Scientific Adviser to the First Minister in Wales and one of the UK's leading figures in Alzheimer's research. She attended Vaynor and Penderyn School and Cardiff University where her first degree was in Psychology. This led her to research developmental dyslexia, schizophrenia and then Alzheimer’s disease. In 2009 Time Magazine reported her discovery of susceptibility genes for Alzheimer’s as one of the top 10 medical breakthroughs of the year. She is a professor of neuropsychological genetics and dean of research at Cardiff University’s school of medicine. Julie’s task in providing independent scientific advice to the First Minister is to support decision and policy making and expand scientific excellence in Wales. She has said, ‘One aspect of my role which is particularly close to my heart is the need to ensure every child in Wales knows the great opportunities which exist for them within the field of science and that science can be great fun’. A role model for women in science, her contacts with national and international scientists will be crucial in opening doors for Welsh science. She will continue the research into the genetic causes of Alzheimers Disease with her team at Cardiff University.

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ae’r Athro Julie Williams o Gefn Coed, Prif Gynghorydd Gwyddonol Prif Weinidog Cymru, yn un o brif ymchwilwyr Prydain ym maes clefyd Alzheimer. Aeth i Ysgol y Faenor a Phenderyn ac i Brifysgol Caerdydd lle gwnaeth ei gradd gyntaf mewn Seicoleg. Arweiniodd hynny at ymchwil i ddyslecsia datblygiadol, sgitsoffrenia, a chlefyd Alzheimer. Yn 2009, yn ôl Time Magazine, ei darganfyddiad o enynnau sy’n cynyddu’r risg o ddatblygu clefyd Alzheimer oedd un o 10 darganfyddiad meddygol pennaf y flwyddyn. Mae’n Athro Geneteg Niwroseicolegol ac yn Ddeon Ymchwil yn Ysgol Feddygaeth Prifysgol Caerdydd. Gwaith Julie, trwy ddarparu cyngor gwyddonol annibynnol i’r Prif Weinidog, yw cefnogi’r broses benderfynu a chreu polisi ac ehangu rhagoriaeth wyddonol yng Nghymru. ‘Un agwedd ar fy ngwaith sy’n bwysig iawn i mi’, meddai, ‘yw sicrhau bod pob plentyn yng Nghymru yn gwybod bod cyfleoedd gwych ar gael ym maes gwyddoniaeth, a bod gwyddoniaeth yn hwyl.’ Yn rôl–fodel i fenywod mewn gwyddoniaeth, bydd ei chysylltiadau â gwyddonwyr Prydeinig a rhyngwladol yn agor drysau i wyddoniaeth Cymru. Mae’n parhau â’i hymchwil i achosion genynnol clefyd Alzheimer gyda’i thîm ym Mhrifysgol Caerdydd.

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JULIE N M AC D ONA L D 1971–

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ulien Macdonald, fashion designer and television personality studied at Brighton Art College and the Royal College of Art (RCA). After graduating from the RCA in 1996 with a master’s degree he was recruited as head designer of knitwear for Chanel and for Karl Lagerfeld. In 1998 he launched his own label and in 2001, aged 29, was appointed creative director at the Paris haute couture fashion house of Givenchy. That year he was named British Fashion Designer of the Year. Since 2004 he has concentrated on his own label. His creations are worn by the rich and famous all over the world. He also redesigned the uniforms worn worldwide by all sales and operations staff at British Airways and for the Queen’s Coronation Festival he designed the costumes for the English National Ballet’s performance of Tempus. In recent years he has often been seen on television as a judge on the programme Britain’s Next Top Model. In 2006 he was awarded an OBE for services to the fashion industry.

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studiodd Julien Macdonald, dylunydd ffasiwn a phersonoliaeth deledu, yng Ngholeg Celf Brighton a’r Coleg Celf Brenhinol (RCA). Ar ôl graddio o’r RCA in 1996 â gradd meistr, cafodd ei recriwtio’n brif ddylunydd dillad gweu ar gyfer Chanel ac ar gyfer Karl Lagerfeld. Yn 1998 lansiodd ei label ei hun ac yn 2001, yn 29 oed, fe’i penodwyd yn gyfarwyddwr creadigol gyda chwmni ffasiwn haute–couture Givenchy, Paris. Y flwyddyn hono, fe’i henwyd yn Ddylunydd Ffasiwn Prydeinig y Flwyddyn. Ers 2004 mae wedi canolbwyntio ar ei label ei hun. Gwisgir ei greadigaethau gan gyfoethogion ac enwogion ym mhedwar ban y byd. Ail–ddyluniodd lifrai holl staff gwerthu a gweithredu British Airways ledled y byd. Dyluniodd y gwisgoedd ar gyfer perfformiad English National Ballet o Tempus yng Ngwˆyl y Coroni. Yn y blynyddoedd diwethaf, fe’i gwelwyd yn aml ar y teledu yn feirniad ar y rhaglen Britain’s Next Top Model. Yn 2006, derbyniodd OBE am wasanaeth i’r diwydiant ffasiwn.


R IC HAR D H A R R I NGTON 1975–

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ne of Wales’ best–known contemporary actors in both languages, Richard was born on 12 March 1975 and raised on the Gurnos, and in Dowlais and Heolgerrig, Merthyr Tydfil. From an English–speaking family, he attended Ysgol Santes Tudful Welsh–medium primary school, Merthyr and Ysgol Gyfun Rhydfelen, Pontypridd. It was the drama department at Rhydfelen bilingual comprehensive that sparked his interest in acting. He won Best Actor at the 1995 BAFTA Cymru Awards for his role in the BBC film Dafydd. In 1999 he played Owen Williams, Janice Battersby’s young boyfriend from Rhyl, in ITV’s Coronation Street. His lengthy list of credits include Spooks (2004), Bleak House (2005) Holby Blue (2007–2008), S4C’s epic Pen Talar (2010), and the hugely popular Lark Rise to Candleford (2011). After five years in London, he and his young family returned to Wales in 2010. In 2013, he starred as DCI Tom Mathias in the ambitious and well received ‘Celtic Noir’ detective series Y Gwyll/ Hinterland, shown in Welsh on S4C and in English on BBC Wales. Richard performed the opening ceremony of REDHOUSE Old Town Hall • Hen Neuadd Y Dref on St. David’s Day 2014. With the restarting of the building’s clock, dormant for over 25 years, the Old Town Hall was launched into its new role as an arts and creative industries centre.

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aned Richard, un o actorion cyfoes mwyaf adnabyddus Cymru yn y ddwy iaith, ar y 12 Mawrth 1975 ac fe’i magwyd yn y Gurnos, yn Nowlais ac yn Heolgerrig, Merthyr Tudful. O deulu di–Gymraeg, aeth i Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Santes Tudful, Merthyr ac Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Rhydfelen, Pontypridd. Adran ddrama Rhydfelen a daniodd ei ddiddordeb mewn actio. Enillodd wobr yr Actor Gorau yng Ngwobrau BAFTA Cymru 1995 am ei ran yn ffilm BBC Cymru, Dafydd. Yn 1999, fe oedd Owen Williams, cariad ifanc Janice Battersby o’r Rhyl, yn Coronation Street ITV. Mae ei restr faith o rannau yn cynnwys Spooks (2004), Bleak House (2005) Holby Blue (2007–2008), cyfres epig S4C, Pen Talar (2010), a’r hynod boblogaidd Lark Rise to Candleford (2011). Ar ôl pum mlynedd yn Llundain, dychwelodd ef a’i deulu ifanc i Gymru yn 2010. Yn 2013, chwaraeodd ran DCI Tom Mathias, seren y gyfres dditectif uchelgeisiol ‘Celtic Noir’ Y Gwyll/ Hinterland, a ddangoswyd yn Gymraeg ar S4C ac yn Saesneg ar BBC Wales, a gafodd gryn glod. Perfformiodd Richard seremoni agoriadol REDHOUSE Hen Neuadd Y Dref • Old Town Hall ar Ddydd Gwˆyl Dewi 2014. Gydag ail–gychwyn cloc yr adeilad, a fu’n segur ers mwy na 25 mlynedd, cafodd Hen Neuadd y Dref ei lansio ar ei newydd wedd fel canolfan i’r celfyddydau a’r diwydiannau creadigol.

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IN DE X – MY NEGA I A

H

R

Laura Ashley – 52 Mansel Aylward – 59

Keir Hardie – 34 Richard Harrington – 65 Anthony Hill – 12 Samuel Homfray – 08 Arthur Horner – 44 John Hughes – 22

Henry Richard – 21 Ted Rowlands – 58

B Anthony Bacon – 06 Henry Seymour Berry – 38 William Ewert Berry – 39 James Gomer Berry – 40 Henry Austen Bruce – 24

C George Thomas Clark – 19 Richard Crawshay – 07 Robert Thompson Crawshay – 26 Rose Mary Crawshay – 28 William Crawshay I – 09 William Crawshay II – 14

D Stephen Owen Davies – 41 Gordon Davies – 61 Thomas Jones Dyke – 25

E Ronald Vivian Ecclestone – 51 Joseph Edwards – 23 Arthur Mostyn Evans – 55

G Josiah John Guest – 13 Charlotte Guest – 20

J Edwin Arthur Johnson – 37 Jack Jones – 42 Glyn Jones – 45 Aubrey Jones – 46

S Harry Southey – 32 Adrian Stephens – 15 Thomas Stephens – 27

T

William Thomas Lewis – 30

Lucy Thomas – 11 David Alfred Thomas – 33 Stan Thomas – 47 Eddie Thomas – 54 Richard Trevithick – 10 St. Tydfil – 05

M

W

Julien Macdonald – 64 Philip Madoc – 56 Ursula Masson – 60 Enoch Morrell – 35

Harri Webb – 49 Jimmy Wilde – 43 Charles Wilkins – 29 Penry Williams – 16 Morgan Williams – 17 Glanmor Williams – 48 Gwyn Alfred Williams – 53 Julie Williams – 63 Howard Winstone – 57

L

N Leslie Norris – 50

O Johnny Owen – 62

P Joseph Parry – 31 Dic Penderyn – 18 Thomas Prytherch – 36

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Heroes & Villains is published on the occasion of the opening of REDHOUSE Old Town Hall · Hen Neuadd y Dref, a new arts complex in the heart of Merthyr Tydfil – St. David’s Day 2014.

Cyhoeddir Heroes & Villains ar achlysur agor REDHOUSE Hen Neuadd y Dref · Old Town Hall, canolfan gelfyddydau newydd yng nghalon Merthyr Tudful – Dydd Gwˆyl Dewi 2014.

Published by REDHOUSE Cymru Books.

Cyhoeddwyd gan Lyfrau REDHOUSE Cymru.

REDHOUSE, Old Town Hall, High Street, Merthyr Tydfil, cf47 8ea. www.redhousecymru.com

REDHOUSE, Hen Neuadd y Dref, Y Stryd Fawr, Merthyr Tudful, cf47 8ea. www.redhousecymru.com

Texts © Joe England 2014.

Testunau © Joe England 2014.

Notes on the author: Joe England was educated at Cyfarthfa Grammar School and Nottingham University. He has been a newspaper editor, a full–time lecturer for the Workers’ Educational Association, a senior lecturer at the University of Hong Kong, a Research Fellow in Industrial Relations at Warwick University and the Principal and Chief Executive of Coleg Harlech. He has written many articles on social and labour issues, and written and edited books about Chinese trade unions, the Wales TUC, adult education in Wales and Cyfarthfa School. He is chair of the Merthyr Tydfil Heritage Forum and an Honorary Research Fellow at Swansea University. He is currently writing a history of nineteenth century Merthyr Tydfil.

Nodyn am yr awdur: Addysgwyd Joe England yn Ysgol Ramadeg Cyfarthfa a Phrifysgol Nottingham. Bu’n olygydd papur newydd, yn ddarlithydd llawn– amser gyda Chymdeithas Addysg y Gweithwyr, yn uwch– ddarlithydd ym Mhrifysgol Hong Kong, yn Gymrodor Ymchwil mewn Cysylltiadau Diwydiannol ym Mhrifysgol Warwick, ac yn Bennaeth a Phrif Weithredydd Coleg Harlech. Lluniodd lu o erthyglau ar faterion cymdeithasol a llafur, a sgrifennu a golygu llyfrau am undebau llafur Tsineaidd, TUC Cymru, addysg oedolion yng Nghymru, ac Ysgol Cyfarthfa. Mae’n gadeirydd Fforwm Treftadaeth Merthyr Tudful ac yn Gymrodor Ymchwil Anrhydeddus ym Mhrifysgol Abertawe. Mae wrthi’n sgrifennu hanes Merthyr Tudful yn y bedwaredd ganrif ar bymtheg.

All rights reserved. Except for brief quotations in a review, this book, or any part thereof, may not be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without permission of the publisher.

Cedwir pob hawl. Ac eithrio dyfyniadau byr mewn adolygiad, ni chaniateir atgynhyrchu’r llyfr hwn neu unrhyw ran ohono, na’i gadw na’i osod mewn cyfundrefn adferadwy, na’i drosglwyddo mewn unrhyw ddull na thrwy unrhyw gyfrwng, electronig, mecanyddol, ffotogopïo, recordio nac fel arall, heb ganiatâd y cyhoeddwyr.

Design: Huw David Design, Malthouse Court, Heol Las, Llantrisant, cf72 8eg.

Dylunio: Huw David Design, Malthouse Court, Heol Las, Llantrisant, cf72 8eg.

Print: MWL Print Group, Pontyfelin Industrial Estate, New Inn, Pontypool, np4 0dq.

Argraffu: MWL Print Group, Ystad Ddiwydiannol Pontyfelin, New Inn, Pont–y–pwˆl, np4 0dq.

Cover printed on 300gsm uncoated stock. Text printed on 150gsm uncoated stock. Published in an edition of 1,000, February 2014.

Argraffwyd y clawr ar stoc anhaenog 300gsm. Argraffwyd y testun ar stoc anhaenog 150gsm. Cyhoeddwyd mewn argraffiad o 1,000, Chwefror 2014.

The publication of Heroes & Villains has been made possible through the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund who have also extensively funded the Old Town Hall Heritage Interpretation Programme.

Gwnaed cyhoeddi Heroes & Villains yn bosibl trwy gymorth hael Cronfa Dreftadaeth y Loteri, a gyfrannodd yn helaeth hefyd at Raglen Ddehongli Treftadaeth' Hen Neuadd y Dref.

REDHOUSE Old Town Hall · Hen Neuadd y Dref is a Merthyr Tydfil Housing Association Community Regeneration Initiative.

Menter Adfywio Gymunedol gan Gymdeithas Tai Merthyr Tudful yw REDHOUSE Hen Neuadd y Dref · Old Town Hall.

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REDHOUSE Heroes & Villains Booklet