Born in Llandrillo parish, Meironnydd; when about twenty-three he went to Cheshire to work as a carpenter. He joined the Wesleyan Society at Neston, and in 1756 was deeply affected by a sermon of John Wesley's. Soon after this, he removed to Bala, where there was no Wesleyan Methodism, and became an active member and exhorter in the Calvinistic Methodist Society, retaining however his affection for Wesley and Wesleyanism; the Welsh translations of Wesley's Primitive Physick and of the Rules of the United Societies, made by John Evans (1723 - 1817), are believed to have been published (1759 and 1761 respectively) at Foulkes's expense. He married three times, in each case becoming connected with families prominent in the history of Welsh Methodism. His first wife (1758) was Margaret, daughter of Humphrey Jones, a prosperous Bala draper, perhaps the chief pillar of Methodism there in its early days, and a correspondent of Howel Harris's; she died in 1759. In 1761, Foulkes married Jane, widow of David Jones; her daughter by her first marriage, Sarah, was to become (1783) the wife of Thomas Charles; Jane Foulkes died 1785. His third marriage (1787) was with Lydia, the daughter of Simon Lloyd; she was the sister of Simon Lloyd (1756 - 1836), and see the article John Foulkes Jones). Unwilling to compete in business with his step-daughter Mrs. Charles, Foulkes now set up at Machynlleth, and flourished there, continuing to exhort as a Calvinistic Methodist itinerant and to dispose liberal charity. He died at Machynlleth 15 May 1802; Thomas Charles and John Evans preached at his funeral. Only a week before his death, Owen Davies (1752 - 1830) and John Hughes (1776 - 1843) initiated the new Wesleyan mission in that town; Foulkes's death thus saved him from having to make a difficult decision.
Published date: 1959
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