Owen, William (Prysgol)
b Bangor, Gwynedd (Caernarvonshire) 1813, d Caernarvon 1893. Following his father into work at the stone quarries at the age of 10, he soon began to study music, and the quarry cliffs would echo to his fine singing voice. At 18 he wrote a new hymn tune to well-known words, and was told that the real need was for new words to favourite tunes. Notwithstanding this, his numerous anthems and hymn tunes were published in a single collection in 1886; his most enduring tune, included here, was much valued and used by R Vaughan Williams qv. He spent most of his life at Prysgol nr Caeathraw in Caernarvonshire, becoming precentor of its Calvinistic Methodist Chapel. A strong supporter of the temperance movement, he conducted choirs and led many festivals (some at Caernarvon Castle) in the cause of the alcohol-free life-style. (An earlier Wm Owen, 1788–1838, was a schoolteacher-musician whose writing is very mixed.) No.666.