Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Morris, Richard

1338223Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 39 — Morris, Richard1894John Edward Lloyd

MORRIS or MORYS, RICHARD (d. 1779), Welsh scholar, was a brother of Lewis Morris [q. v.], and, like him, combined a love of Welsh poetry and history with much business capacity. While still young he left Anglesey for London, and there obtained a position in the navy office, where he ultimately became chief clerk of foreign accounts. After a long term of service he was superannuated, and died in the Tower in 1779. The chief service he rendered to Wales was his careful supervision of the editions of the Welsh Bible printed in 1746 and 1752. These were issued by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, in answer to the appeal of Griffith Jones of Llanddowror, Carmarthenshire, for a supply of bibles for his travelling free schools. 'Rhisiart Morys' not only supervised the orthography, but added tables of Jewish weights and measures. He also issued an illustrated translation into Welsh of the Book of Common Prayer. He was a leading figure among London Welshmen, and on the establishment of the original Cymmrodorion Society in September 1751 became its president. Among other Welshmen of talent whom his position enabled him to befriend, Goronwy Owain [q. v.] received much assistance from him, being employed to translate the rules of the society into Welsh.

[Diddanwch Teuluaidd, edit. 1817; Rowlands's Cambrian Bibliography; Life of Goronwy Owain, by Rev. Robert Jones, 1876.]

J. E. L.