Born in Bedwellty parish, Monmouth, of good yeoman family, on 1 January 1700. He was baptized at Blaenau Gwent in 1724 and ordained there in 1729; in 1731 he was appointed assistant to his brother, JOHN HARRY, minister of the church. In 1732 he became the first minister of Pen-y-garn, Pontypool, and he held the charge until his death on 1 November 1776; there too he was buried.
Miles Harry was probably the outstanding Welsh Baptist minister of his time, and a man of note in public life. His strong personality, vigorous mind and tireless energy made him widely influential. Religion was his primary concern, and for its propagation he spent his strength and substance. A popular preacher and powerful Baptist apologist, he was a liberal, independent thinker in theology, treading a middle path between High Calvinism and Arminianism. He established several new churches; helped to found and to supervise the Trosnant Baptist Academy; promoted the setting-up at Pontypool (1740-2) by Samuel and Felix Farley, Bristol, of the first printing press in Monmouthshire; wrote countless letters to London and elsewhere in the Baptist interest. It was chiefly through his efforts that Howel Harris, when charged with causing a riot at Pontypool, was acquitted at the Monmouth Assizes in August 1739. He collaborated with his brother John Harry and with John Phillips in a Welsh version (1725) of Alleine's Some Discoveries. He has had no biographer, but his successor at Pen-y-garn, David Jones (1741 - 1792), wrote an elegy: ' Marwnad y Parchedig Mr. Miles Harries o Drosnant ' (Carmarthen, 1777).
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.