PRYDDERCH, RHYS (1620? - 1699), Independent minister and schoolmaster

Name: Rhys Prydderch
Date of birth: 1620?
Date of death: 1699
Gender: Male
Occupation: Independent minister and schoolmaster
Area of activity: Education; Religion
Author: John Dyfnallt Owen

Born at Ystradwallter, near Llandovery, Carmarthenshire. It is known that he had children in 1650 and it may be surmized that he was born c.1620. Ystradwallter was the homestead of his ancestors, and it was there that he began his well-known school, which was kept up for forty years. It is not known where he was educated.

On 4 December 1662 he was fined in the archdeacon's court at Carmarthen for refusing to attend his parish church. Thenceforward until the end of his days he was a staunch Independent. In spite of many tempting offers he refused to give up his new faith. Although he was not then ordained, he looked after small Independent congregations on the lower slopes of the Epynt. The main centre of those congregations was at Castell Craig y Wyddon. He travelled much to preach - from Llywel to Llanwrtyd and from Llandovery to the borders of Radnorshire.

He moved shortly after the death of Henry Maurice (1634 - 1682), in 1682, to Aber-llyfni, Brecknock. He and seven others were licensed at the same quarter sessions to preach and teach in Brecknock. He had already been ordained - on 25 January 1688. Thereafter he was the chief minister in charge of the Brecknockshire churches. His pupils at the Aberllyfni school numbered between 80 and 100, and he was given a grant of £6 a year from the Common Fund of the 'Happy Union' (1690-2). He became very well known as teacher and preceptor. Among his many pupils was William Evans, Pencader, the first head of the Carmarthen Academy. He published Gemmeu Doethineb , a valuable collection of proverbs and proverbial lore. He died 25 January 1699.


Published date: 1959

Article Copyright:

The Dictionary of Welsh Biography is provided by The National Library of Wales and the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies. It is free to use and does not receive grant support. A donation would help us maintain and improve the site so that we can continue to acknowledge Welsh men and women who have made notable contributions to life in Wales and beyond.

Find out more on our sponsorship page.