Rees, William Jenkins (DNB00)

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REES, WILLIAM JENKINS (1772–1855), Welsh antiquary, son of Rees Rees of Llan Dingad, Carmarthenshire, was born in that parish in 1772. He was educated at Carmarthen grammar school, and on 12 April 1791 matriculated at Oxford from Wadham College. He graduated B.A. in 1795 and M.A. in 1797. Taking orders, he first obtained the curacy of Stoke-Edith and Westhide, Herefordshire, and in 1807 the rectory of Casgob, Radnorshire, where he spent the rest of his life. In 1820 he was made a prebendary of Brecon, and in 1840 a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. In 1803 he published ‘A Short and Practical Account of the Principal Doctrines of Christianity,’ in 1809 an essay on ‘Clerical Elocution,’ and in 1811 a tract on pastoral work. He is best known, however, for the work he did as one of the editors of the Welsh MSS. Society. The preparation of the society's edition of the ‘Liber Landavensis,’ at first entrusted to his nephew, Rice Rees [q. v.], was placed in his hands in 1839, and the book appeared in 1840. In 1853 Rees also edited for the society their collection of ‘Lives of the Cambro-British Saints’ (text and English translation). In neither case was the work, in the judgment of modern scholars, executed with due care and intelligence (Rhys, Welsh Philology, 2nd edit. p. 425; pref. to Evans and Rhys's edit. of Lib. Landav.; Archæologia Cambrensis, 3rd ser. xiv. 311–28; Cymrodor, vii. 104 n.) Rees died on 18 Jan. 1855.

[Foster's Alumni Oxon.; Enwogion Cymrus (Liverpool, 1870).]

J. E. L.