Angharad James

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For the footballer, see Angharad James (footballer).

Angharad James (1677–1749) was a farmer, harpist and poet.[1]


She was born in Gelliffrydau farm at Baladeulyn in the Nantlle Valley on 16 July 1677. When still a young woman, she married William Prichard, a man far older than herself, who farmed Cwm Penamnen, a valley to the south of Dolwyddelan.[2] She lived in Parlwr, or Tai Penamnen, a house which had earlier been a home to the Wynn family of Gwydir,[3][4] for the remainder of her life, continuing to farm the valley after being widowed. The house is currently being uncovered by archaeologists.[5]

She was buried on 25 August 1749 and is buried within the church of St. Gwyddelan in Dolwyddelan.[6]


She was a skilled harpist who commanded her workers to dance to her playing as they returned from the milking.[2]

She is notable as an early Welsh female poet.[7] Due in part to the transcription work of one of James's correspondents, the poet and copyist Margaret Davies,[8] manuscripts of James's work have survived and are held at the National Library of Wales.[1] They include an elegy to her son who had died when 16 and another to her husband in the form of an imaginary dialogue.


  1. ^ a b Nia Mai Jenkins, '‘A’i Gyrfa Megis Gwerful’: Bywyd a Gwaith Angharad James', Llên Cymru Volume 24 (2001)
  2. ^ a b Owen Thomas, D. D., Cofiant Y Parchedig John Jones, Talsarn (Wrexham 1874)
  3. ^ Sir John Wynn. History of the Gwydir family and memoirs. Edited by J. Gwynfor Jones. Llandysul : Gwasg Gomer, 1990.
  4. ^ Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments in Wales and Monmouthshire – an inventory of the ancient monuments in Caernarvonshire, Volume 1 – East (1956), pp. 82,83
  5. ^ " website". Retrieved 18 October 2009. 
  6. ^ John Ellis Jones, 'Bedd Angharad James O Benamnen, Dolwyddelan', Transactions of the Caernarvonshire Historical Society, Volume 45 (1984)
  7. ^ Ceridwen Lloyd-Morgan Women and their poetry in medieval Wales in Women and Literature in Britain 1150–1500 ed. Caroline Meale (1996)
  8. ^ Chedgzoy, Kate (2007), Women's Writing in the British Atlantic World: Memory, Place and History, 1550–1700, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 70