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MAURICE, MATHIAS (1684 - 1738), Independent minister and writer

Name: Mathias Maurice
Date of birth: 1684
Date of death: 1738
Spouse: Elizabeth Maurice
Gender: Male
Occupation: Independent minister and writer
Area of activity: Literature and Writing; Religion
Authors: Robert Thomas Jenkins, George Thomas Streather

The son of a tailor at Llanddewi-Velfrey, Pembrokeshire, and himself a tailor, according to the unkindly taunt of Jeremy Owen. He became a member of Henllan Amgoed congregation, then went to William Evans (died 1718), at Carmarthen, to prepare himself for the ministry; he would seem to have been there at the time of the first schisms (1707-9) at Henllan. In the second schism (1711) at Henllan, Maurice joined Henry Palmer and others in their migration to Rhyd-y-ceisiaid.

Early in 1713 he became minister at Olney (Buckinghamshire), but in November 1714 was called to Rothwell (Northants) to succeed Richard Davis - a natural choice, when we remember the High Calvinism and the championship of absolute congregational self-government which he had already shown at Henllan.

In 1726 he wrote a short pamphlet, Byr a chywir Hanes Eglwys Rhydyceished yn eu Nheulltuad o Henllan, trwy y Blynyddoedd 1707, 1708, 1709, which he printed in 1727 as an appendix to his book Y Wir Eglwys (it was reprinted by D. M. Lewis in the 1925 number of Y Cofiadur, 41-9); Jeremy Owen's pamphlet, Golwg ar y Beiau, etc., 1732, was a reply to it. He published a number of English books, including Monuments of Mercy (1729), A modern question affirmed and approved (1739). Maurice's works are listed in Llyfryddiaeth y Cymry, under 1711, 1720, 1727, 1733, 1734, 1759.

The most popular of his original writings was Social Religion Exemplify'd, 1759, which had gone through seven editions by 1860. An abridgement of it, by Dr. Edward Williams (1750 - 1813), was translated into Welsh in 1797 by Benjamin Evans of Dre-wen, and the whole work by Evan Evans (1804 - 1886) of Nant-y-glo in 1862; both went into more than one edition.

Maurice died at Rothwell on 1 September 1738. His widow Elizabeth died 8 October 1771, 73 years old.


Published date: 1959

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