Born at Penstâr, Rhyd-argaeau, Carmarthenshire, 16 June 1849. His family removed in 1858 to Treforest, Glamorganshire, where he became a pupil-teacher in a national school but was dismissed for refusing to attend Anglican services - this proved a source of life-long antagonism to the Establishment. In 1866 he went to Bristol Baptist College, and in 1872 became pastor of Mount Stuart Square church at Cardiff, but removed in 1877 to Weston-super-mare, where he published (1883) Echoes from the Welsh Hills. This book brought him the personal friendship of C. H. Spurgeon, and in 1884 he became pastor of Regent's Park church. Domestic bereavement and ill health compelled him to leave London in 1887 for Brighton, where he ministered for twenty-one years - but he frequently deputized for Spurgeon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle. At Brighton, he suffered much tribulation, in spite of which he produced a flow of books and pamphlets and a more substantial work, Vavasor Powell, 1896. Returning to Wales in 1908 as pastor of Crane Street, Pontypool, he finally (1909) settled down to his last pastorate, at Penarth, with which his name is commonly associated. He threw himself vigorously into the campaign for disestablishment, but his personal relations with bishop John Owen (1854 - 1926) became most friendly. At 62, he became a frequent competitor at the national eisteddfod, and won several essay prizes (one of the essays submitted by him was The Influence of the French Revolution on Welsh Life and Literature, published in 1926). An effect of this competing was to make him a caustic critic of what he regarded as the imperfections of the eisteddfod, and a zealous advocate of 'eisteddfod reform.' He died 13 November 1926.
Published date: 1959
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