REES, RICE (1804 - 1839), cleric and scholar

Name: Rice Rees
Date of birth: 1804
Date of death: 1839
Parent: Sarah Rees (née Rees)
Parent: David Rees
Gender: Male
Occupation: cleric and scholar
Area of activity: Religion; Scholarship and Languages
Author: Selwyn Jones

Born 31 March 1804 at Ton near Llandovery, son of David and Sarah Rees - see the article on the Rees of Ton family. His father was apparently an Independent, and Rice Rees was christened in the Independent chapel by Peter Jenkins of Brychgoed. In 1819 he went to Lampeter grammar school, which in those days was in charge of Eliezer Williams, but his stay there was short. After that, he spent some time at home and it was during this period that this interest in Welsh was roused by John Howell, Ioan Glan Dyfroedd, who was headmaster of the British school in the town. He then went to his uncle, W. J. Rees, at Cascob to be prepared for Oxford; he was admitted to Jesus College in 1822, graduated in 1826 (B.D. 1837), and in 1828 was elected a Fellow of his college. Llewellyn Lewellin was his tutor at Oxford, and when Lewellin became principal of the newly founded S. David's College, Lampeter, Rice Rees was appointed lecturer in Welsh and librarian. He was ordained the same year; in 1832 he became rector of Llanddewi Velfrey, and in 1838 was appointed bishop's chaplain - he had already been entrusted with the responsibility of examining candidates for holy orders in Welsh. He was a scholar by nature, and his book, The Welsh Saints, is, according to the article on him by (Sir) J. E. Lloyd in the D.N.B., 'full and illuminating' and remains the standard authority on this subject; it was originally a prize essay at the Carmarthen eisteddfod (1835), but in 1836 was enlarged into a book which was published by his brother, William Rees (1808 - 1873). He edited an impression of Canwyll y Cymry , Rhys Prichard, which appeared posthumously in 1841; and he was a member of the committee appointed to produce a revised edition of the Welsh Book of Common Prayer. He had intended publishing an edition of Liber Landavensis, but died before the work was finished - it was, in fact, inadequately completed by W. J. Rees in 1853. It is clear that Rice Rees overworked; he died suddenly at Newbridge on Wye on his way from Cascob to Lampeter, 20 May 1839, and was buried at Llandingad.


Published date: 1959

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