Hugh Hughes Beauties of Cambria 1823

Hughes 1790-1863 (who may also have been called Howell Hughes) was born at Pwll-y-gwichiad, Llandudno (christened 20 February 1790), son of Thomas and Jane Hughes, and educated in a school kept by his grandfather Hugh Williams at Meddiant, Llansant 􀃠 raid-Glan-Conwy. His mother died in 1802, and his father shortly afterwards at Liverpool, where Hugh Hughes learned wood-engraving and oil-painting; the first known work of his is the portrait of John Evans , Bala (1723 - 1817), which was printed in Y Drysorfa, 1812. He toured Wales in 1819-21, making sketches; the English portions (1819-20) of his journals describing his tour were printed in Wales (O.M.E.), iii, and the Welsh (1820-1) in Cymru (O.M.E.), viii. In 1823, he published his best-known work, The Beauties of Cambria , sixty plates. The work was got together at Meddiant, but Hughes had already formed an acquaintance with David Charles (1762 - 1834) at Carmarthen, and now began to publish books and magazines at that town; Yr Hynafion Cymreig, 1823-4; Yr Addysgydd, 1823-4; and Brut y Cymry, 1824, (one number only). On 20 February 1827 he married Charles's daughter Sarah, and they went to live in London (Soho). But in 1828 a storm broke over Hughes's head. He had signed (with Thomas Edwards, 1779-1858, and others) a petition in favour of Catholic emancipation. John Elias ordered Jewin Calvinistic Methodist church to excommunicate the petitioners who were among its members and the expulsion was confirmed by the two Calvinistic Methodist associations. Hughes was already a Liberal, but he now became an out-and-out Radical. He joined the Independents (later on he became a Plymouth Brother), and published in Seren Gomer, 1828, a scathing attack upon the Calvinistic Methodist authorities and particularly upon John Elias; the articles were re-issued in pamphlet form, Y Trefnyddion a'r Pabyddion. Later (in Seren Gomer, 1830-2), under the pen-name ‘Cristion,’ he battled with Evan Evans , Ieuan Glan Geirionydd (1795 - 1856) on tithe, church rate and Church establishment in general. He continued for a while to live in London (a lecture of his to the Cymreigyddion Society is printed in Seren Gomer, 1831), but by 1835 he was living at Caernarvon, assisting William Williams (Caledfryn, 1801-1869) in bringing out Y Seren Ogleddol, and issuing the short-lived Papur Newydd Cymraeg, 1836. After that, he lived at Chester (1839), Barmouth (1841), Aberystwyth, and finally Malvern, where he died 11 March 1863. His quite numerous publications during his later career included an edition (with memoir) of his father-in-law David Charles's sermons, and many pictures and caricatures, notably caricatures dealing with the Welsh Education Commission of 1846-7. (Prof.R.T.Jenkins)

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