DAVIES, JOHN (1772 - 1855), school teacher and missionary

Name: John Davies
Date of birth: 1772
Date of death: 1855
Gender: Male
Occupation: school teacher and missionary
Area of activity: Education; Religion
Author: Evan Lewis Evans

He was a school teacher under Thomas Charles of Bala at Llanwyddelan in 1800 and afterwards missionary for fifty-four years under the London Missionary Society in the South Sea Islands; born 11 July 1772 at Pendugwm, a little farm, in the parish of Llanfihangel-yng-Ngwynfa, Montgomeryshire. He was a weaver's son, and after a little education in Madam Bevan's schools he himself set up a school at Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant. He joined the Methodists and used to worship at a private house called Penllys. When a call went out for teachers for the island of Tahiti, he volunteered for the work, was accepted, and, with his wife, set sail, 5 May 1800. Elizabeth Davis records a visit which she paid him in Tahiti.

He came from the same neighbourhood as the hymnist Ann Griffiths [some of his work is included in the edition of her hymns published by Owen M. Edwards ] and wrote frequently to her brother, John. There is also still extant a great deal of correspondence addressed by him to John Hughes (1775 - 1854), of Pont Robert.

He was the author of a dictionary and grammar of the Tahitian language and translated into that language the Pilgrim's Progress, substantial portions of the New Testament and Psalms, Brown's catechism, the Westminster catechism, and a number of smaller works. His History of the Tahitian Mission, 1799-1830, ed. C.W. Newbury (Cambridge), was published in 1962.

Although he was blind for the last ten years of his life he continued his devoted labours; he died 19 August 1855 after having served abroad for an unbroken period of fifty-five years.


Published date: 1959

Article Copyright: http://rightsstatements.org/page/InC/1.0/

The Dictionary of Welsh Biography is provided by The National Library of Wales and the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies. It is free to use and does not receive grant support. A donation would help us maintain and improve the site so that we can continue to acknowledge Welsh men and women who have made notable contributions to life in Wales and beyond.

Find out more on our sponsorship page.