SHADRACH, AZARIAH (1774 - 1844), schoolmaster, Independent minister, and author

Name: Azariah Shadrach
Date of birth: 1774
Date of death: 1844
Gender: Male
Occupation: schoolmaster, Independent minister, and author
Area of activity: Education; Literature and Writing; Religion
Author: Evan David Jones

Born 24 June 1774 at Garndeifo-fach in the parish of Llanfair Nant y Gôf, Pembrokeshire, the fifth son of Henry and Ann Shadrach. When he was 7 years old the family migrated to Burton in the English part of the county. He was there for only three years, returning to an aunt at Moylgrove, where under the influence of the Rev. John Phillips he became a member of the Independent church. He received some formal education from John Young, sexton of Nevern, but he was mainly self-taught. He entered the service of the Rev. John Richards, minister at Treffgarne, Rhodiad, and Rhosycaerau, as a farm-servant upon condition that he should be allowed to read in his library during hours of leisure. He began to preach at Rhosycaerau, making preaching itineraries in South Wales in 1797, and in North Wales in 1798. Dr. George Lewis, Llanuwchllyn, persuaded him to settle in the North. He kept school at Hirnant, Pennal, Derwen-las, and Trefriw, and preached wherever he had the opportunity. In 1802 he was ordained minister at Llanrwst, moving in 1806 to take charge of the churches at Tal-y-bont and Llanbadarn-fawr, Cardiganshire. He set up regular preaching for Independents at Aberystwyth in 1816, and on 30 May 1819 he incorporated an Independent church there. He relinquished his charges at Tal-y-bont and Llanbadarn to establish the new church. He accepted the responsibility of collecting funds for the erection of Zion chapel, Penmaes-glas, Aberystwyth, in 1821. The chapel was opened in 1823 and remained the meeting-place of the church until its migration to Baker Street in 1878. He travelled widely in England and Wales to collect the money. In 1830 his son, Eliakim, became joint pastor with him, but left for Dursley in 1834. In 1835 he resigned his pastorate, but continued to preach until his death, 18 January 1844. He was buried in S. Michael's churchyard, Aberystwyth, where his tombstone bears a stanza from an elegy by a local bard styling him the Bunyan of Wales.

Shadrach published a large number of popular books of a homiletic nature bearing long and allegorical titles - (1) Allwedd Myfyrdod, 1801; (2) Breuddwyd … un o drigolion Bethsemes, 1802-3?; (3) Drws i'r Meddwl Segur, 1804; (4) A Looking-glass, 1807; (5) Perlau Calfaria, 1808; (6) Clorianau Aur, 1809; (7) Blodau Paradwys, 1810; (8) Trysorau'r Groes, 1811; (9) Goleuni Caersalem, 1812; (10) Rhosyn Saron, 1816; (11) Udgorn y Jubili, 1819; (12) Cerbyd Aur, 1820; (13) Tabernacl Newydd, 1821; (14) Myfyrdodau Ysbrydol, 1821; (15) Glyn Angeu, 1821?; (16) Dyfroedd Siloam, 1827; (17) Gwallt Sampson, 1831; (18) Cangen o rawn camphir, 1833; (19) Myrr Dyferol, 1833; (20) Meditations on Jewels, 1833; (21) Tlysau Aur, 1837; (22) Blodau y Ffigysbren, 1837; (23) Cerbyd o Coed Libanus, 1840. No. 4 was translated into English by Edward S. Byam and published as The Backslider's Mirror, London, 1845.


Published date: 1959

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