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‘The Sweet Singer of Wales’


Celebrating William Williams Pantycelyn at the Senedd

The National Library of Wales will hold a special event at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay on 18 October to celebrate the tercentenary of the birth of Wales’ most prolific hymn writer and one of its greatest poets and writers, William Williams Pantycleyn.

This prestigious event will be supported by the Right Honourable Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales, who will also address guests during the event, which willl be sponsored by the National Assembly’s Presiding Officer, Elin Jones AM. The National Library’s staff choir will be performing several arrangements of Pantycelyn’s well-known hymns during the event and a new portrait of William Williams by the Penarth artist Ivor Davies will be unveiled. Professor Wyn James will also give a brief presentation on Pantycelyn’s life and work.

Elin Jones AM., Presiding Officer, National Assembly For Wales said:

“It is fitting that we as the Welsh Parliament recognise William Williams Pantycelyn's contribution to the life of the Nation. He was not only one of the great leaders of the Evangelical Revival of the eighteenth century but also an incomparable poet and hymn writer, worthy of national recognition”.

The Right Honourable Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister for Wales said:

“As First Minister I am very pleased to be able to join the National Library today to commemorate the life and work of one of our most gifted and brilliant people who has left to the nation a rich inheritance of hymns which are still sung across the world in many languages”.

Rhodri Glyn Thomas, President, The National Library of Wales added:

“It can easily be argued that William Williams has had the most influence on the mind-set and thinking of Welsh people since the eighteenth century, and that his hymns and literary works – and those of his reforming contemporaries - have contributed significantly to the development of Welsh radicalism which still influences our social policy in Wales today”.

Further Information

Elin-Hâf 01970 632471 or

Photos will be available following the event.


The National Library of Wales is about to complete digitising all the published works by William Williams Pantycelyn in its collections, so that they are available to everyone online for the first time. There are over 90 times, including over 4,000 pages. They will be the basis of raising awareness of the contribution of the writer and the hymn writer to the life of Wales and beyond, and a great resource for anyone studying or interested in his work.