RICHARD, HENRY (1812 - 1888), politician

Name: Henry Richard
Date of birth: 1812
Date of death: 1888
Spouse: Matilda Augusta Richard (née Farley)
Parent: Mary Richard (née Williams)
Parent: Ebenezer Richard
Gender: Male
Occupation: politician
Area of activity: Politics, Government and Political Movements
Author: Thomas Iorwerth Ellis

Born 3 April 1812, at Tŷ Gwyn, Tregaron, second son of Ebenezer Richard and Mary his wife (daughter of William Williams of Tregaron). After his birth the family moved to Prospect House, Tregaron. He was at school at Llangeitho, and in 1826 was apprenticed to a draper at Carmarthen. Later he decided to enter the Christian ministry, and went to Highbury College, London; on 11 November 1835, he was ordained minister of Marlborough Congregational chapel in the Old Kent Road, London, and remained there till he retired from the ministry in June 1850.

Richard began, early in his career, to take an interest in the peace question. In 1848 he was appointed secretary of the Peace Society, and went to Brussels to an international peace conference. In the succeeding years, he was active in the promotion of such conferences and the oversight of some of the Society's publications. He sought, too, to interpret Wales to the English; he wrote to the English press to explain the Rebecca Riots, and in 1866 published a series of letters upon the social and political condition of Wales. In 1865 he had come out as a Liberal candidate for Cardiganshire, but withdrew; in 1868 he was elected, by a large majority, Member of Parliament for Merthyr Tydfil. He was, in Parliament, a firm upholder of Welsh and Nonconformist rights. In July 1873, too, he succeeded in carrying a motion in favour of international arbitration.

He was closely associated with the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, and in 1880 was appointed a member of the departmental committee which was to enquire into the condition of intermediate and higher education in Wales and Monmouthshire. He was a strong opponent of State interference in religious matters. In August 1866 he married Matilda Augusta Farley, but they had no children. He died at Treborth, near Bangor, 20 August 1888, and was buried in Abney Park cemetery, London. There is a monument to him there, and a statue on the square at Tregaron.


Published date: 1959

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