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STEPHEN, DAVID RHYS (Gwyddonwyson; 1807 - 1852), Baptist minister and author

Name: David Rhys Stephen
Pseudonym: Gwyddonwyson
Date of birth: 1807
Date of death: 1852
Gender: Male
Occupation: Baptist minister and author
Area of activity: Literature and Writing; Religion
Author: Benjamin George Owens

Born at Merthyr Tydfil, 23 April 1807. Originally a Calvinistic Methodist, he was baptized by J. P. Davies, Tredegar, 3 July 1825, and started to preach at about the same time. He was admitted to Abergavenny Baptist Academy in 1828, and was ordained at Mount Pleasant, Swansea, 25 April 1831, subsequently moving to Newport (1840), Manchester (1845), and Abercarn (1849). He died at Sketty, 24 April 1852. He married (1), 17 November 1835, Hannah (3 September 1814 - 2 August 1842), fourth child of Joseph Harris (Gomer); (2), 6 December 1843, Mary Wilson, daughter of David Morgan, Swansea.

Stephen was a prominent preacher, but is best remembered for his literary and theological works. He published (1) Dwyfoliaeth … Iesu Grist … Pregeth, 1834; (2) Ffurf Priodas Ymneillduwyr, 1838 (with D. Rees, Llanelly); (3) Cofiant … John Williams, gweinidog y Bedyddwyr yn Nhrosnant, Pontypwl, 1841 (with W. Jones (Bleddyn) and David D. Evans; (4) On the True Church of Jesus Christ: an essay, 1842; (5) Luther, Milton, and Pascal: three lectures, 1845; (6) Memoirs of Christmas Evans, 1847; and (7) Pwka'r Trwyn, the celebrated Mynyddyslwyn Sprite, 1851. An advertised work by him in 1851 entitled 'A Lecture on the Amalgamation of the Welsh and English Elements in the Formation of Character in the mineral districts of South Wales' does not appear to have been published. He also edited the literary works of J. P. Davies, Tredegar, 1834; Joseph Harris (Gomer), 1839; and Ebenezer Rowland Jones, Liverpool, 1840; and the 6th ed., 1845, of Joseph Harris's collection of Welsh hymns. He founded Morgan Llewelyn's Journal at Newport and edited the few numbers which appeared between 1 May and 31 July 1841. Elegies were composed on him by (1) W. Downing Evans (The Gwyddonwyson Wreath, 1853); (2) William Thomas (Islwyn), W. Ambrose (Emrys), and Edward Roberts (Iorwerth Glan Aled). His library was bequeathed to his executors James Rowe and David Lloyd Isaac. A number of letters by him to William Roberts (Nefydd) are preserved in NLW MS 7177D , NLW MS 7779E .


Published date: 1959

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