Cardigan People 5: John Davies (Ossian Dyfed)

John Davies (Ossian Dyfed; 1852–1916)

John Davies (Ossian Dyfed) was born in Ossian House, Eben’s Lane in 1852, the son of Phoebe Davies who died in 1857 at the early age of 29 years. He began his career as a carpenter, then he worked as a printer and journalist on the Tivy-side. He began to compete in Bethsaida Eisteddfod in 1868, when he first used the name Ossian Dyfed. He won over 50 eisteddfodic prizes.

He left Cardigan to work on the Brecon Express, Y Darian and the Mellten (Merthyr Tudful). He returned to Cardigan and attended D. M. Palmer’s Academy before entering Brecon Memorial College in 1873. He was a minister with the Indpendents in Llanelli (Tabernacl), and during his ministry the membership increased to 400.

He moved to Swansea and membership increased from 60 to 230. He moved then to Tollington Park, London where the membership doubled within three years. He then moved to Richmond Hill, Bornemouth, and finally to Paddington, London, 1897–1903.

He married Elizabeth Davies, Llandeilo in 1881, and they had a son Sidney and a daughter Gwladys. His brother was the Revd. T. Eynon Davies.

He published two volumes of sermons: Old but [yet?] ever new, 1904 and The Dayspring from on High, 1907. Ossian Dyfed died on 24 September 1916 in Shortlands, Kent.

… and one other interesting fact: In 1911 the family was served by a servant maid by the name of Lisette Schmidt, from Germany.

Corner of Eben’s Lane
Ossian House, 2018

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