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--_.------CARMARTHENSHIRE…

CONSERVATISM AT ABERYSTWITH.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.

HONOUR TO WHOM HONOUR IS DUE.

BIRDS' NESTS.

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IOUR LAUGHARNE LETTER.

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DEATH OF MH. WILLIAM SPUR…

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DEATH OF MH. WILLIAM SPUR HELL, J.P., CARMARTHEN. It is our painful duty this week to chronicle the death of our respected townsman, Mr W. Spurrell, J.P., printer, publisher, and bookseller, King- street, which took place on Easter Monday after- noon (22nd inst.), at the advanced age of 75 years. For several months past he had been confined to his bed, and was known to be gradually sinking; and within the last few days his death had been almost hourly expected. The deceased gentleman was the third son of the late Mr Richard Spnrrell, who held the post of Clerk to the County Magistrates, and other public offices in the town. He was born on the 30th of July, 1813 thus it will be seen that he was within a few months of his 7Gth birthday. At the age of seven-and-a-half he entered Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Car- marthen, the head master being the Rev. Thomas Hancocke, but who was soon succeeded by his usher, Rev. David Archard Williams, afterwards Vicar of St. David's and Arcbdeacon of Carmarthen. At 16 Mr Spurrell left school, and was appren- ticed in the following year to Mr J. P. Davies, printer, King-street, with whom he remained for a term of five years, when he removed to London. Shortly after settling in the Metropolis he became engaged to the well-known publishers, Messrs. Bradbury & Evans, where he was employed, amongst other works, upon the first editions of Dickens's" Pickwick Papers," "Nicholas Nickleby," and Disraeli s Henrietta Temple," and 11 Venotia," from the two authors' own copies. Although not a pledged teetotaller, he was a strict total abstainer during his connection with the printing office of the above firm, and distinguished himself by his constant and persistent opposition to all trade abuses and misappropriation of funds and before he left, he was the means of carrying a resolution to abolish the drinking customs of the office. We recollect hearing the deceased more than once re- marking that he witnessed the procession in con- nection with the coronation of our present sovereign, and that he stood within a few yards of the Queen as she was about entering Westminster Abbey. In 1839, at the death of his mother, Mr Spurrell returned to Carmarthen, and started business as printer and bookseller on his own account in the following year. He very soon distinguished him- self as an author, for in 1850 he issued the first edition of his English-Welsh Dictionary. Owing to the simple characters used in indicating the pro- nunciation of English words, and the excellent remarks at the beginning of the volume on The Elementary Sounds of the English Language," together with the copious supply of Welsh synonyms, the dictionary soon became popular as a book of reference; and as a result two enlarged editions have since appeared. This volume was preceded by his Welsh-English Dictionary, which was issued in 1848, of which four editions have appeared. Amongst the author's other productions may be mentioned his Welsh Grammar (1848- three editions); "Lessons in Welsh" (1881—two editions), based upon Mr Thomas Prendergast's system of learning to speak a language; English and Welsh Primer;" with several smaller books and pamphlets. But, perhaps, the work upon which he bestowed the greatest amount of labour was bis last issue of Carmarthen and its Neigh- bourhood, a book we have no hesitation in describ- ing as an excellent specimen of judicious compila- tion, accuracy, arrangement of matter, and typography. On its appearance from the press some years ago, Notes and Queries thus remarked of the compiler" The author, printer, and publisner appear to be combined in one person, and it is pleasant to say that in each capacity he has done his work admirably." Mr Spurrell also introduced from time to time translations of useful English works, amongst which are-" Y Ffermwr" (The Farmer) • Cyfarwyddwr Meddygol Teuluaidd" (The Family Doctor); Y Meddyg lhad" (Handbook of Health) Awyriad Anneddau" (Ventilation of Dwellings). An edition of 8,000 of the last was sold out in the course of a few months; and although its price was, only 2d., it was dedicated by permission to the lite Connop Thirlwall, D.D., Bishop of St. David's. Welshmen generally are greatly indebted to Mr Spurrell for enriching their literature by the republishing of several classical books, such as "Orych y Prif Oesoedd," by Theophilus Evans; "Y Ffydd Ddiffuant," "Gwdedig Jethau y BarJd Cwsg," "Gwirionedå y Giefydd Gristionogol," by Grotius; "Gwaith Prydyddol Edward Richard," "Pregetbau Yinarferol," "Tlysau Barddoniaeth Seisoneg" (Gems of English Verse), "Llythyraeth yr Iaith Gymraeg," and a collection of popular Welsh hymns for Church of England worship. Mr Spurrell was entrusted with the printing of many other important works, amongst them being "The works of Gwallter Mechain," in three handsome volumes; "Epitome of Anglican Church History," by Miss Ellen Webiey-Parry; a posthumous volume of Bishop Thirlwall's Welsh sermons. For some years he Had been engaged upon a compre- hensive dictionary of the Welsh language, by the Rev. D. Silvan Evans. B.D. This is unquestionably the most extensive work of its kind ever printed. Some idea may be formed of the magnitude of the book when we say that the first part, embracing the letter A only, contains 420 pages of closely printed matter. This work is still proceeding. In 1857 the Haul, the oldest Welsh magazine, was transferred from Llandovery to Carmarthem, and Mr Spurrell was proprietor and printer up to 1885, when it was transferred to the present pro- prietors. The "Cyfaill Eglwysig," another Church magazine, was started by Mr Spurrell in 1862. It is beyond doubt that the cause of the Welsh Church has been greatly advanced by the publica- tion of these two magazines; For many years the Haul stood alone in defending the Church against the continual attacks made upon her by her enemies. Being a practical printer, the deceased took a lively interest in everything calculated to save compositors' time. He arranged a "plan" of the composing case, which has been adopted in several printing offices. By it the letters which the compositor picks up oftenest are placed nearest to the hand, thereby saving time. Mr Spurrell often contributed to the trade publications, and was well-known as an able correspondent upon several knotty questions in connection with the printing trade. The Printers' Register of October 6th, 1886, in prefacing his letter in that journal on the uni- formity of types, or what is more generally known as the "point system," thus speaks of him.- Mr Spurrell, of Carmarthen, is a very experienced printer, and his excellent practical suggestions for improvement in several details of the printer's art, have appeared from time to time in our pages dur- ing the last twenty years." In the preceding number he was spoken of by the editor as one of the earliest contributors to the journal. Messrs Caslon, the oldest firm of type-founders in the country, in their trade circular of this year, note that Mr Spurrell has a reputation for taking an intelligent interest in all improvements con- nected with our trade, and is the originator of many valuable changes in the printer's cases and lay of type." As an English writer, we believe that Mr Spurrell was about the most terse and condensed, yet clear writer we have known. As a proof of this we need only refer to his chief work, the History of Carmarthen." It is difficult to find anything more compact and compressed than the account of the If Restoration of Sir Rhys ap Thomas's Monument" (pp. 33-36) the execution of Edward Higgins; the account of the Rebecca Riots in 1843; or the assassination of Mr Johnes, of Dolaucothi. Mr Spurrell was a staunch Churchman, but perfectly free from all religious bigotry, for he would gladly join Nonconformists in any good cause; and in connection with temperance, his roice was heard from time to time in several N..n jonformist chapels at public meetings. In politics, e wasan unswerving Conservative, an active member jf the Primrose League, and one of the founders of the Emlyn Habitation, yet perfectly fair and liberal towards those who held opposite views. In 1875 he was appointed Justice of the Peace for the Borough of Carmarthen, and it is well-known that he was invariably attentive to the duties devolvivg upon him in that capacity. He also took a deep interest in the welfare of his native town, and always supported any movement tending to its improvement. lie was one of the founders of the Literary and Scientific Institution in King-street, and continued throughout an active member of its committee. He leaves a, widow and a large number of children to mourn his loss. The funeral takes place to-day (26th), the place of interment being St. David's Churchyard.

[No title]

------LLANELLY. -

MERTHYR, CARMARTHEN.

TENBY.