THOMAS, ROBERT (1796 - 1866), Calvinistic Methodist preacher, a 'character'

Name: Robert Thomas
Date of birth: 1796
Date of death: 1866
Spouse: Sara Thomas (née Roberts)
Parent: Elizabeth Thomas (née Williams)
Parent: Thomas Thomas
Gender: Male
Occupation: Calvinistic Methodist preacher, a 'character'
Area of activity: Religion
Author: Robert Thomas Jenkins

Born 28 August 1796 at Trawsafon, Betws-y-coed, the fifth of nine children born to Thomas Thomas, stonemason, and to Elizabeth (Williams), his wife. He was a farmer' boy for a time, but later took to his father's trade. He had been to some small schools, and was a voracious reader; he wrote verse at an early age and was very friendly with Ieuan Glan Geirionydd (Evan Evans, 1795 - 1856). He began preaching in 1820. In 1823 he spent some months in John Hughes's school at Wrexham. After that, he himself kept a school at Bodfari and Trelogan, while continuing to work as a stone-mason. In 1826 he married Sara Roberts of Cae'r-lion, Llanycil, and they lived for two years at Bala where, for part of the time, he kept a school. From 1828 to 1834 he farmed Ty-nant in Llanycil, and from 1834 to 1840 rented his father-in-law's small holding; but his farming venture was a complete failure, and he moved to Ffestiniog to work at his trade - from 1844 to 1853 he was living at Peniel chapel-house - and there, in 1849, he published a book of verse, Lloffion o Foes Boaz. In 1853 Sara Thomas opened a shop at Llidiardau (Llanycil), the village she came from, while he continued to work at his trade while spasmodically keeping a school at Llidiardau chapel - at the same time preaching the length and breadth of Wales, for he was in great demand if only for his oddity; he was never ordained. He died 16 December 1866. He was throughout his life an impractical, odd, clumsy (but witty), and impulsive man whose frequent fits of melancholy made him almost a 'borderline case.' Indeed, the above summary of his career will be of little value unless supplemented by reading that very entertaining biography, Hanes Bywyd Robert Tomos, Llidiardau , by Owen Jones, 1869, in which will be found many of his sayings.


Published date: 1959

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