Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Edwards, Thomas (1779-1858)

EDWARDS, THOMAS (Caerfallwch), (1779–1858), Welsh author, born in 1779 at Northop in Flintshire, was apprenticed at fourteen to a saddler named Birch, and in this family he cultivated his taste for Welsh literature. He married in 1801 or 1802, and by this means was enabled to improve his condition very materially. He removed to London and became a secretary to one Bell first of all, and afterwards to Nathaniel M. Rothschild. In 1838 he was selected with five others, in connection with the Abergavenny Eisteddfod, to improve the Welsh Orthography. Nothing, however, came from the united action of these men; but in 1845 Edwards published his 'Analysis of Welsh Orthography.' He was for many years a member of the 'Cymmrodorion' and delivered many of their lectures; that on 'Currency' was afterwards published. But his great work was his 'English and Welsh Dictionary,' published by Evans (Holywell), 1850, second edition 1864. Another edition was published in the United States of America. This is considered by some authorities the best dictionary in the language. He was a frequent contributor to the Welsh magazines of the day. He was married three times. He died at 10 Cloudesley Square, London, 4 June 1858, and was interred in Highgate cemetery.

[Foulkes's Geirlyfr Bywgraffiadol.]

R. J. J.

EDWARDS, WILLIAM (1719–1789), bridge-builder, youngest son of a farmer of the same name, was born in 1719 at