Born at Cynfal, in the parish of Maentwrog, Merioneth. During 1634-5 he was in school at Wrexham, and was for some time later at Brampton Bryan, Llanfair Waterdine, Shropshire, noted home of learning. He had an experience of ‘conversion’ under the ministry of Walter Cradoc, who was at the time a curate at Wrexham. He followed him to South Wales and became identified with the group that founded the first Dissenting church in Wales, at Llanfaches, Monmouth. He served with the Parliamentary forces during the first and second Civil Wars, and was deeply influenced by the tenets of the fifth monarchy men. In 1647 he settled at Wrexham, with his home at Bryn-y-ffynnon, and ministered to the ‘gathered church’ of that town. He was appointed an ‘Approver’ under the 1650 Act for the Propagation … of the Gospel in Wales, and laboured extensively as an itinerant preacher.
He wrote a considerable amount of poetry, including many of the Psalms and portions of the Canticles in metre, and books in English and Welsh, which include the famous classic, Llyfr y Tri Aderyn . His extant works were issued in two volumes by the University of Wales, the first in 1899 and the second in 1908. Later discoveries, amounting to another volume (in N.L.W.), await publication. He fore-ran the Quakers in Wales, interpreting their teachings even in his earliest writings. He also translated, from the English, some of the works of Jacob Boehme, the German mystic, disseminating his tenets among the Welsh. He took a prominent part in the political affairs of the Commonwealth period. His intense dislike of Cromwell's acceptance of the title ‘Lord Protector’ being known, his name was included or the protest known as A Word for God, but he definitely denies having any part in this document. In 1656, he was approved by the ‘Triers’ as a minister settled in Wrexham, and the Trustees for Maintenance are requested to pay him £100 per annum.
He died in June 1659 and his remains were buried at the Rhos-ddu Dissenting burial-ground, Wrexham, where a monument was unveiled in 1912.
Published date: 1959
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