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DAVIES, THOMAS RHYS (1790 - 1859), Baptist minister

Name: Thomas Rhys Davies
Date of birth: 1790
Date of death: 1859
Spouse: Ann Davies (née Foulks)
Parent: Dafydd Dafis
Gender: Male
Occupation: Baptist minister
Area of activity: Religion
Author: Lewis Edward Valentine

Born at Penwenallt, Kilgerran, Pembrokeshire, 19 May 1790, son of Dafydd Davis, Tre-fawr, Llanfyrnach. He was educated by Dafydd Stephen at the 'Capel Bach,' Llechryd; by Walters, son of the parish priest of Llanfihangel-pen-bedw; and at the school kept at Cardigan by Evan Jones (1777 - 1819). He was baptized in the river Morgeneu in 1806 and began to preach in December the same year. In 1811 he visited North Wales, where he preached at the Amlwch assembly. In 1812, at the earnest request of Christmas Evans, he came to Llansantffraid Glan Conway and Rowen, but it was in his mother church at Cilfowyr, Pembrokeshire, that he was ordained in 1814. At that time there were only two churches in his circuit in North Wales. The total membership was thirty-five, scattered over twelve parishes, 'but,' he writes in a scrap of autobiography, 'I used to preach in the houses of many of the farmers and common people, all doors being open to me, so that for some years I scarcely slept in the same bed two nights running, being engaged in constant labour. … And I have been in every lake and river and stream from Conway to Llansannan, from Llanrwst to Bontnewydd, from the sea at Llandudno to the mountain at Berwyn, consecrating their waters.' In 1814 he married Ann Foulks of Peniarth, Llandrillo-yn-Rhos, who was the daughter of wealthy parents, and, as a result of this marriage, he was able to advance money to a host of little churches founded by him in Flintshire and west Denbighshire to enable them to build chapels. In 1818, following a quarrel with the church at Glanwydden (not far from Llandudno) about some property, he severed his connection with the Baptists and joined the Wesleyans, but he returned to his old denomination in 1826. He was at Glynceiriog (1827-9), Stanhope Road, Liverpool, where he erected a chapel (1829-35), and Kilgerran (1835-43). In 1843 he returned to North Wales and settled at Glanwydden. He was now able to devote himself to his favourite role of itinerant preacher, and it was while he was engaged in this capacity that he died at Swansea, 26 June 1859; here he was buried in the same grave as Christmas Evans. He preached 13,145 times.


Published date: 1959

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