Born 12 September 1762, son of Robert Thomas and Catherine Jones, Y Ffridd, Baladeulyn, Caernarfonshire. He was still a boy when he went to work in Cilgwyn quarry. Although his family attended church and Sunday school Robert, was a bit of a wastrel; but when he was about 16 years of age he was taken by his brother John (John Roberts, 1753 - 1834) to listen to David Jones of Llan-gan at Bryn'rodyn chapel, and from that time changed his company and his way of life. He also left the quarry and after being employed for some time at Cefn Pencoed farm moved to Coed-cae-du, the home of Richard Jones of Y Wern (1772? - 1833). The break-down of his health came as a bitter blow to this strong young man, for it is true to say that his constitution was permanently undermined by agonising rheumatism, and it was as a weak and bent cripple that he faced the congregations of Wales. As he could no longer work at Coed-cae-du, he attended, for a short time, the school kept by Evan Richardson, probably at Brynengan, and after his marriage went to live at a place called Ynys Galed. When a wave of religious revival swept through the district of Brynengan he was inspired to preach, and for some time kept school in various places in Eifionydd. He soon realised, however, that his strength was unequal to discharging the duties of both vocations, and he accepted an invitation to serve the congregation at Capel Uchaf, Clynnog, where he lived in the chapel-house. Robert Roberts became one of the brightest stars of the Welsh pulpit. In spite of his physical weakness he had a musical and attractive speaking voice, and an extraordinary gift of oratory. He died 28 November 1802.
Published date: 1959
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