Born at Plas-bach, Llansantffraid-glan-Conwy, 31 March 1735, third son of WILLIAM ROBERTS, a freeholder who was converted in 1748 by Peter Williams, knew John Wesley, and adhered to Howel Harris in the Disruption of 1750, so much so that he recalled his son Thomas, who was in service at Bala, from that ‘Rowlandist’ camp. In 1759 William Roberts abandoned his property at Plas-bach to his elder sons, and with his wife and younger children, migrated to Geuffordd by Talgarth, dying there in 1760. Thomas Roberts moved down to his widowed mother; in 1762 he took Chancefield on the outskirts of Talgarth, where she died in 1763. In 1773 he gave up his farm and joined the ‘Family’; his good education gained him ascendancy in the community, and later he became a trustee. His diaries (at N.L.W.), extending to 1789, are of very great interest. He died, 1804 — ‘Thomas Roberts, gent.’ — and was buried at Talgarth 23 January 1804. He was twice married. There is an account of him and of his family by Richard Bennett in Cylch. Cymd. Hanes M.C., x, 21-8.
He has sometimes (e.g. in the footnote on p. 704 of Llyfryddiaeth y Cymry) been confused with Thomas Roberts (1760 - 1811), printer. He, too, was connected with Trevecka. He does not seem to be included in the lists of the ‘Family’ by M. H. Jones, unless he is the ‘boy’ named under ‘1772’; but it is certain that he learned his trade in the Trevecka Press. Said to have been born either at Llan-rhos, Caernarfonshire, or at Eglwys-bach, Denbighshire he left Trevecka for Caernarvon in 1796, and was the first printer in that town; his first book there was printed in 1797.
Published date: 1959
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