Main content

Poet and musician Twm Morys looks into the experiences of Jack Ystumllyn in North Wales in the 1770s, who overcame prejudice to become an extremely popular and respectable man

The history of the Welsh people, from the year six hundred to the present, can be traced through poetry - there has not been one generation in that time in which poets haven't kept a record. In this series of Essays, poet and musician Twm Morys brings his personal perspective to five stories looking at aspects of the history of Wales over several centuries, following the fortunes of Welsh figures both eminent and ordinary.

In his fourth essay this week, Twm looks into the experiences of an African man in North Wales in the 1770s, and the stories the community told about how he came to be there. The only black man anyone had ever come across in Cricieth at that time, it seems Jack Ystumllyn may have been an escaped slave, who overcame prejudice to become an extremely popular and respectable man.

Producer: Megan Jones for BBC Wales

Available now

14 minutes

Broadcast

The Book that Changed Me

The Book that Changed Me

Five figures from the arts and science introduce books that changed their lives and work.

Download The Essay

Download The Essay

Download all the episodes from the series and listen at your leisure.

Podcast