Dafydd William, Llandeilo Fach: An Eighteenth-Century Glamorgan Hymn-writer* E. Wyn James It was late afternoon on Wednesday, 11 April 1877, at Tynewydd Colliery in the Rhondda Valley. Suddenly water broke through from old colliery workings nearby, flooding the mine. Fortunately most of the hundred men and boys had finished their shift. However, fourteen miners found themselves trapped underground. Of these, four were drowned, but the other ten were kept alive in two pockets of air, five in each pocket. The five miners in the air pocket nearest the shaft began praying, and then started singing a verse of a hymn that was particularly apt in their perilous situation: Yn y dyfroedd mawr a 'r tonnau, Nid oes neb a ddeilfy mhen Ondfy annwyl Briod, Iesu, A fu farw ar y pren; Cyfaill yw yn afon angau Ddeilfy mhen i uwch y don: Golwg arno wna i mi ganu Yn yr afon ddofon hon.1 The rescue-party heard them singing and succeeded in bringing four of the five out alive, and that within less than twenty-four hours of their being trapped. The other five were imprisoned further away, about half a mile from the shaft. On the second day, the rescue-party heard them banging, but it took eight days of hard work before they succeeded in reaching them and remarkably, they were still alive. The poet-preacher, Elfed (H. Elvet Lewis, 1860-1953), was a youth of seventeen at the time. Writing some twelve years later, he could say: