Some Prominent South Wales Weeklies

Aberdare and Merthyr Tydfil in the south developed as important centres for newspaper publishing.

Josiah Thomas Jones

Josiah Thomas Jones, an Independent minister, was one of the pioneers of the press in Aberdare. He arrived there in 1854 from Carmarthen where 2 years previously he had establishedY Gwron Cymreig [The Welsh Hero] which appeared fortnightly. He moved his paper to Aberdare, which was developing as a busy centre in the south Wales coalfield. It contained foreign and home news and parliamentary reports, and its tone was noticeably anti-Tory and anti-Established Church. It consistently supported the workers rather than the coal and iron masters.

In 1858 the 1st issue of Y Gwladgarwr [The Patriot] appeared, a weekly paper published by a group of the town's most prominent citizens, including Dafydd Williams ('Alaw Goch') a local mine owner. Though Y Gwladgarwr also upheld the workers it was more light hearted than Y Gwron. It became well known chiefly as a literary paper giving the new poets and writers of the south Wales valleys an opportunity to publish their works, from serialised novels to poetry.

Josiah Thomas Jones established 2 other newspapers in the town, namely Y Gweithiwr[The Worker] in 1858, which later amalgamated with Y Gwron and an English paper, The Aberdare times, published in 1861. Y Gweithiwr Cymreig[The Welsh Worker] appeared in 1885, but probably the most important of all these papers was Tarian y Gweithiwr[The Worker's Shield] (1875-1934). This was a Liberal-Labour weekly, appealing chiefly to the miners and tin workers of south Wales, providing a mixture of local and national news.

Merthyr Tudful

Nearby in Merthyr Tudful several newspapers were published including:

  • The Cardiff and Merthyr guardian(1845-74)
  • The Merthyr star(1859-81)
  • Y Fellten [The Lightning Flash] (1868-76)

1873 saw the establishment there of The Workman's advocate: Amddiffynydd y gweithiwr, a bilingual radical newspaper which continued the tradition begun by Y Gweithiwr: The Workman, and Udgorn Cymru: The Trumpet of Wales, 2 papers allied to the Chartist movement which were published in the town between 1834 and 1842.