Taliesin Williams

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Taliesin Williams (bardic name Taliesin ab Iolo or Ab Iolo; 9 July 1787 – 16 February 1847) was a Welsh poet and author, and son of notable literary forger Iolo Morganwg.[1]

He was born in Cardiff, went to school in Cowbridge, and became an assistant teacher at a boarding school run by Reverend David Davies in Neath. He gradually took over leading the proceedings of regional Gorseddau from 1814, when he was awarded the title of Druid. He worked as a stonemason with his father in 1815. In 1816 he opened a school in Merthyr Tydfil, where he worked as a schoolmaster until the end of his life. He assisted with the publication of his father's work Cyfrinach Beirdd Ynys Prydain ("Mystery of the bards of the island of Britain") in 1829.

In 1834 he won the bardic chair at the Cardiff Eisteddfod with an awdl entitled Y Derwyddon (The Druids). In 1838 he won the bardic crown at the Abergavenny Eisteddfod for an essay on the Coelbren y Beirdd (the alleged bardic alphabet) which was published in 1840.[2]

On his father's death he was left his father's archive of manuscripts, which he believed were all genuine. After much work compiling and editing 26 volumes,[3] a selection was published in 1848 under the title of the Iolo Manuscripts by the Welsh Manuscripts Society.[4] Much of Taliesin's work was based on that of his father.

After his death in 1847 he was succeeded as Archdruid by Evan Davies (Myfyr Morganwg).


  1. ^ Charles Wilkins (of Merthyr-Tydfil.) (1903). The history of the iron, steel, tinplate and ... other trades of Wales: with descriptive sketches of the land and the people during the great industrial era under review. Joseph Williams. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  2. ^ Williams, Taliesin., (ab Iolo), Coelbren Y Beirdd; a Welsh Essay on the Bardic Alphabet, W. Rees, Llandovery, 1840.
  3. ^ Elijah Waring (1850). Recollections and anecdotes of Edward Williams the bard of Glamorgan; or, Iolo Morganwg. Charles Gilpin. pp. 4–. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  4. ^ Iolo Morganwg; Owen Jones; Society for the Publication of Ancient Welsh Manuscripts, Abergavenny (1848). Iolo manuscripts: A selection of ancient Welsh manuscripts, in prose and verse, from the collection made by the late Edward Williams, Iolo Morganwg, for the purpose of forming a continuation of the Myfyrian archaiology; and subsequently proposed as materials for a new history of Wales. W. Rees; sold by Longman and co., London. pp. 1–. Retrieved 15 October 2012.

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