EDWARDS, ALFRED GEORGE (1848 - 1937), first archbishop of Wales

Name: Alfred George Edwards
Date of birth: 1848
Date of death: 1937
Spouse: Margaret Edwards (née Armistead)
Spouse: Mary Edwards (née Garland)
Spouse: Caroline Edwards (née Edwards)
Parent: Louisa Edwards
Parent: William Edwards
Gender: Male
Occupation: first archbishop of Wales
Area of activity: Religion
Author: Thomas Iorwerth Ellis

son of William Edwards and Louisa his wife, and brother of H. T. Edwards, was born at Llan-ym-Mawddwy rectory, Mer., 2 November 1848. After a year at the Welsh Educational Institution, Llandovery, and private tuition, he matriculated at Jesus College, Oxford, in January 1870, and graduated with honours in classics in 1874, M.A. 1876. He became successively assistant master and (in 1875) warden of Llandovery College, was ordained deacon in 1874 and priest in 1875; in 1885 he was preferred to the vicarage of S. Peter, Carmarthen, becoming at the same time private secretary to bishop William Basil Jones of S. Davids. In February 1889 he was nominated bishop of S. Asaph, and was consecrated in Westminster Abbey on 25 March. On 1 June 1920 he was enthroned first archbishop of Wales at S. Asaph cathedral, and resigned in June 1934. Throughout his life he was an outspoken champion of the rights of the Established Church; he was a bitter opponent of the Welsh Church Bill which became law in 1914, but his astute diplomacy did much to ensure the mitigations which are found in the Amending Act of 1919. He was the author of Landmarks in the History of the Welsh Church, 1912, and Memories, 1927, which give an interesting picture of Welsh rural life in the 19th cent., and received the honorary degrees of LL.D. (Wales), D.C.L. (Oxon.), and LL.D. (Cantab.), besides being made an honorary Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, in 1920. He m., first, in 1875, Caroline (d. 1884), daughter of Edward Edwards, Llangollen, by whom he had two sons and three daughters; second, in 1886, Mary Laidley (d. 1912), daughter of W. J. Garland of Lisbon, by whom he had one son and one daughter; and third, in 1917, Margaret, daughter of canon John Richard Armistead, vicar of Sandbach, who survived him. He died 22 July 1937, and was buried at S. Asaph.

Author

Published date: 1959

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