b. in London 22 June 1656, son of John Nelson, a wealthy Turkey merchant, and his wife Delicia, daughter of Lewis Roberts the writer on commerce. Robert Nelson was, therefore half Welsh, and it was appropriate that one of his works, A Companion for the Festivals and Fasts of the Church of England (1704 — reprinted at least thirty-six times), should have been translated into Welsh in 1712 by Thomas Williams (1658 - 1726), rector of Denbigh, under the title Cydymaith i Ddyddiau Gwylion ac Ymprydiau Eglwys Loegr. Nelson's career is fully described by Leslie Stephen in the D.N.B. Though his wife was a Roman Catholic, he was a zealous Protestant, yet sufficiently High-Church to refuse the oath of loyalty to the Revolution Settlement. He was prominent in the religious society movement, in the S.P.C.K., the S.P.G. Dr. Bray's library scheme, and the charity-school movement. He wrote at least a dozen religious books and pamphlets, including a life of George Bull (bishop of S. Davids from 1705 till 1710). He died 16 January 1714/5 in the house of his cousin, the daughter of Sir Gabriel Roberts (see under Lewis Roberts), leaving large sums to various good causes.
Published date: 1959
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