Born 7 October 1807, at New Mill (‘Melin Llwyngwair’), Nevern, Pembrokeshire, son of Caleb and Margaret Hughes. Educated at Ystrad Meurig and S. David's College, Lampeter, he graduated B.D. (Lampeter) in 1868, received the Lambeth D.D. 1870, was ordained deacon 1830, and priest 1831; two brothers of his were clergymen — John Hughes, vicar of Tregaron (died 1870), and Jacob Hughes, vicar of Llanrhian (died 1877).
Joshua Hughes served as curate of Aberystwyth, then of Carmarthen, before being appointed vicar of Abergwili, 1838. In 1845, he became vicar of Llandovery. He was a diligent and faithful pastor, a pronounced Evangelical, and a great Welsh preacher, his power springing not so much from eloquence and oratory as from intense earnestness and conviction; he laboured tirelessly to further the cause of education — Church schools, Sunday schools, and higher education. In the controversy over Lampeter he favoured moving that college to Brecon to make it a college within a university of Wales.
In 1870 he was nominated by W. E. Gladstone to the see of S. Asaph. He was first Welsh bishop of the diocese since bishop John Wynne (1667 - 1743) left in 1727. His appointment was at first criticized — Hughes not being a university man and his whole experience having been confined to Welsh parochial life. He was a great patriot, passionately devoted to Wales, her language, her people, and her spiritual well-being. He preached in Welsh at every opportunity and insisted on an adequate provision of Welsh services. The gentry were unsympathetic, for English influence had penetrated deeply.
Great progress marked his episcopate at S. Asaph. Many new Church schools were built, existing ones repaired, and their efficiency improved. New churches sprang up; provision was made for the supply and maintenance of bilingual clergy. The training of ordination candidates received close attention. The rural deaneries were increased from thirteen to sixteen. He instituted a diocesan board of education in 1870, a Church extension society in 1871, and a diocesan conference, 1878. He cultivated friendliness with Nonconformists despite the bitter religious controversy of those days, and was universally beloved. He died 21 January 1889 and was buried at S. Asaph.
He married Margaret, daughter of Sir Thomas McKenny, bart. There were seven children: T. McKenny Hughes, Joshua Pritchard Hughes, bishop of Llandaff (below), and five daughters. He published a number of visitation charges, sermons, and pamphlets.
Joshua Hughes's son, JOSHUA PRITCHARD HUGHES (1847 - 1938), bishop, was born 13 February 1847, at Llandovery vicarage, and educated at Llandovery, Shrewsbury, and Balliol College, Oxford (B.A. 1868, M.A. 1876, and D.D. by diploma 1905). He was ordained deacon at S. Asaph (for Llandaff), 1871, and priest, at Llandaff, 1872. His only curacy was at Neath, 1872-7; he was vicar of Newcastle, Bridgend, 1877-84, and afterwards vicar of Llantrisant for twenty-one years. He married Blanche, daughter of Archibald Campbell, and had five children. Nominated in his fifty-eighth year to Llandaff, he was consecrated bishop on 1 June 1905. He retired 24 February 1931, after presiding over Llandaff diocese for twenty-six years; he died 8 April 1938, and was buried at Eridge in Sussex.
His incumbency at Llantrisant (a parish which stretched from Miskin in the Vale almost as far as Pontypridd) coincided with great industrial developments which transformed the character of the parish. He built seven churches; the parish had twelve churches and eight assistant curates. His faithful ministry made him a familiar and deeply-loved figure among the expanding population. His innate Puritanism scorned the use of transport, involving labour for others, on the Lord's Day; his journeys on foot were often long and arduous. He was a convinced Evangelical and a man of deep personal piety. As bishop he commanded the respect and confidence of clergy and laity. He had little sympathy for Anglo-Catholics. A lifelong champion of temperance, he strove to discourage insobriety and gambling. To Nonconformists he showed much friendliness and understanding, and readily co-operated with them on issues of common concern.
Published date: 1959
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