According to his son writing in the preface to the first edition of John Walters’s English-Welsh Dictionary), he was born in Cardigan on 10 August 1672, ‘of reputable parents’ who destined him for the church and gave him good schooling.
But according to Foster (Alumni Oxon.) he was eighteen, ‘pauper puer,’ son of William Gambold of Cardigan, when he matriculated at S. Mary Hall, Oxford, 23 May 1693. He migrated to Exeter College in 1694, but there is no record of graduation.
In 1707 he was keeping a school at Llanychaer, and on 1 December 1709 he became rector of Puncheston with Llanychaer, Pembs.
At Oxford he had been a friend of Edward Lhuyd who acknowledges help given to him by Gambold in preparing his additions in Gibson’s edition of Camden’s Britannia.
A series of letters he wrote from Cardigan to Edward Lhuyd at Oxford between 1693 and 1697 appear here:
They refer to various archaeological finds at St Dogmaels and Nevern. Unfortunately there is no indication of where in Cardigan he lived.
As early as 1707, Gambold was planning a Welsh dictionary, and this became his main occupation later on, when an accident disabled him from parochial work. It was finished in 1722, but Gambold failed to get money to publish it until 1727 as A Grammar of the Welsh Language. A second edition was published in Carmarthen in 1817, an a third in Bala in 1833.
He died 13 September 1728. His will appears here:
“To [my] eldest son, John Gambold, all that whole little Burage of mine, together with each and every stable, Outhouses, Offices, Back-sides and Gardens, unto the same belonging, situate, lying and being in the Town of Cardigan…”
William Gambold left a wife Elizabeth, four sons and one daughter.