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Born 17 April 1820, son of John and Mary Price of Maesycwper, near Ysgethrog, Llanhamlach, Brecknock. He began to earn his living at an early age by assisting a local farmer. Afterwards he became a page boy in the family of Clifton of Tŷ Mawr, Llanfrynach. The Clifton daughters taught him to read English. He saved £21 to pay for his own apprenticeship to Thomas Watkins, The Struet, Brecon, painter, glazier, and plumber. His parents had been members of the Established Church, but Thomas became a Baptist and was baptized in the river Usk. At the end of his apprenticeship he left for London, walking all the way, a distance of 160 miles. During his four years’ stay in London, he continued his studies.
He entered Pontypool Baptist College, 1842. After three and a half years there under principal Thomas Thomas, he accepted a call to the Aberdare Welsh Baptist chapel at Carmel, Monk Street, but better known as ‘Capel Pen-pound.’ He began his ministry there at the end of 1845, was ordained 1 January 1846, and remained there, his only pastorate, for forty-two years until his death on 29 February 1888. By his abounding energy and skill as an organizer, he was able to increase the numbers of Baptists in the Valley through opening Sunday schools and later erecting chapels. He formed an English church at Carmel, while he and the Welsh members moved to a new chapel called Calfaria.
He soon became well known in his denomination as a preacher and lecturer, and was elected to important offices; in 1865 he filled the chair of the Welsh Baptist Union.
As a writer he published an answer to the Rev. William Edwards's book, Bapto a Baptiso (1857), Jiwbili Eglwys Calfaria, Aberdar (1862), and Trem (1885-6), together with many addresses, etc. But he was better known as the co-editor of Y Gwron (1855-60), Y Gweithiwr (1859-60), and Seren Cymru (1860-76); he also served as finance secretary to Seren Gomer (1853-59), and edited Y Medelwr Ieuanc and Y Gwyliedydd.
No minister in Wales took such a prominent part as he did in furthering the work of the Friendly Societies, particularly those of the Independent Order of Oddfellows, and the ‘Ivorites.’
Dr. Price — he was given a Ph.D. by Leipzig University — took a prominent part in political and educational activities. His attacks on the Welsh Education Reports (1846-7), and on the standpoint taken by the Rev. John Griffith, vicar of Aberdare, in regard to those Reports, are well known. He took a most active part in the local government of Aberdare, and in various public movements in the town — he was the first secretary of the Aberdare British School Committee which established the first British School in the Aberdare valley in 1848, the ‘Park School,’ better known as ‘Ysgol y Comin.’ He married, 16 March 1847, Mrs. Ann Gilbert, the youngest daughter of Thomas David of Abernant-y-groes, Cwm-bach, by whom he had a son, who died in infancy, and a daughter. His wife died 1 September 1849.
Published date: 1959
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