Welsh historian John Davies dies aged 76

Monday, February 16, 2015

Davies in 2013.
Image: .

John Davies, highly regarded Welsh historian, has died at the age of 76. Davies worked closely with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) during his career, often as a commentator on BBC Wales. As well as his work as a broadcaster he was also an author and a teacher at several universities across Wales.

As an author he won the Glyndwr Award, an award that recognizes an outstanding contribution to the arts in Wales, and the Wales Book of the Year in 2010. He won the later award for his work Cymru: Y 100 Lle I'w Gweld Cyn Marw (Wales: 100 Places to See Before Dying). He also wrote A History of Wales, a book regarded, according to the BBC, by many as definitive on Welsh history.

Tributes have been paid to Davies from many people including politicians and broadcasters. Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones said "He'll be remembered as one of our great historians [...] of Wales' past which he gladly and passionately shared through his teaching, writing and broadcasting."

Current BBC presenter Huw Edwards said "He had an extraordinary way of sharing his message in an engaging and lively way — in both languages — and that was incontrovertibly proved in his excellent and comprehensive work A History of Wales[...] He was a colourful character and great company." Another BBC tribute came from Rhodri Talfan Davies, the director of BBC Cymru Wales. He said "He didn't just bring the story of Wales and its people to life — he did so in technicolor."

Davies, who lived in Grangetown, Cardiff, would go on to share his knowledge of Welsh history by teaching at both Swansea and Aberystwyth universities. He also held the position of warden at Aberystwyth, monitoring a student residence hall.

He is survived by his wife Janet and four children.