Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Rhydderch, John

RHYDDERCH, RODERICK, or ROGERS, JOHN (d. 1735), printer, was the son of Rhydderch Dafydd ap Gruffydd of Cwm Du, near Newcastle Emlyn. In 1708 he settled as a printer in Shrewsbury, and from that year until 1728 printed, according to Rowlands's ‘Cambrian Bibliography,’ eighteen books connected with Wales. He was himself an author, publishing translations of English religious tracts in 1716 and 1720, and ballads in 1717 and 1722. From 1716 until his death he edited a Welsh almanac, for which he occasionally wrote verse; there are poems by him also in ‘Carolau a Dyriau Duwiol,’ 1720, and in ‘Blodeugerdd Cymru,’ 1759. His most important work was, however, the ‘English and Welsh Dictionary’ published by him in 1725 (2nd edit. 1731, 3rd edit. 1737), which was the first undertaking of the kind. This was followed in 1728 by a Welsh grammar (in Welsh), abridged for the most part from that of Dr. John David Rhys [q. v.] Soon after this Rhydderch, as we learn from a letter he wrote to Lewis Morris [q. v.] in December 1729, gave up his business and moved to London. His last days were spent at Cattalhaiarn in the parish of Cemais, Montgomeryshire, where he died in November 1735.

[Rowlands's Cambrian Bibliography; Ashton's Hanes Llenyddiaeth Gymreig, pp. 198–206, 715–718.]

J. E. L.