Emrys Ap Iwan
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Emrys Ap Iwan

Emrys ap Iwan (24 March 1848 – 6 January 1906) was born Robert Ambrose Jones in Abergele, Conwy (then in Denbighshire). He was a literary critic and writer on politics and religion. He is often seen as one of the most important forerunners of modern Welsh nationalism.

Emrys was the son of a gardener who was employed on a nearby estate. After working in a shop in Liverpool for a time he trained at Bala Theological College. In 1874 he went to Lausanne in Switzerland to teach English in a private school and to study languages, developing a love of the French language and literature which had a great influence on his later writings. He later went to Germany to teach English in Bonn and Gießen.

On his return to Wales the Calvinistic Methodist church refused to ordain him a minister because of his opposition to the policy of building English-language chapels in mainly Welsh-speaking areas of Wales. He was eventually ordained a minister in 1884 and then served as a pastor to several churches in Denbighshire, including Rhewl and Ruthin, for the rest of his life.

Emrys ap Iwan was a fervent advocate of the Welsh language and of Welsh nationalism and believed in self-government for Wales within a federal system of government. He was a prolific writer of newspaper articles in Welsh, three volumes of which were later published, as were two volumes of his sermons. He was a significant influence on the development of 20th century Welsh political nationalism; a new generation became aware of his life and work through T. Gwynn Jones's biography, first published in 1912.

A Secondary School in Abergele is named Ysgol Emrys Ap Iwan in his honour.


  • D. Myrddin Lloyd (1979) Emrys ap Iwan (Writers of Wales series). University of Wales Press.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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