THOMAS, SIMON (died 1743?), Presbyterian minister and author

Name: Simon Thomas
Date of death: 1743?
Gender: Male
Occupation: Presbyterian minister and author
Area of activity: Literature and Writing; Religion
Author: Robert Thomas Jenkins

Very little is known about him. D. Lleufer Thomas, in his article in the D.N.B. on Joshua Thomas, says that he was the latter's uncle, and that Joshua Thomas was apprenticed to him at Hereford in 1739. According to Joshua Thomas (Hanes y Bedyddwyr ymhlith y Cymry , 1st imp., xxvii), he was born at Cilgwyn, near Lampeter. It is obvious that he had had a classical education somewhere. T. Eirug Davies ('Philip Pugh a'i lafur yn y Cilgwyn ,' Cofiadur, 1937, 31) states that he was ordained at Cilgwyn as an assistant to Philip Pugh but it should be observed that Pugh himself was not ordained until October 1709, although he had been ministering to the church since 1704. What is certain is that by August 1711 Simon Thomas was established at Hereford as a silk-mercer and as minister (or one of the ministers) of the local congregation, for in that month he was one of the witnesses to the will of his senior co-minister, John Weaver (Cylchgrawn Cymdeithas Hanes y Methodistiaid Calfinaidd, 1943, 105). His first and best-known book was Hanes y Byd a'r Amseroedd , 1718, a kind of encyclopaedia with a distinct anti-Papal bias, which was very popular, being reprinted three times (1721 , 1724, 1728) in his life-time, and at least three times (1780 , 1799 , 1824) after his death. The author is called 'S.T.' on the title-page, and it was as 'S.T.' also that he published, in 1735, Histori yr Heretic Pelagius . An anonymous publication, Deonglyddyr yr Ysgruthurau, which appeared in 1741, is generally attributed to Simon Thomas; this is also anti-Pelagian; it is called part i, but there was no part ii. Ashton, furthermore, credits him with three English books. One of these is the History of the Cambri, 1746, described in the Cambrian Journal, iv, 328, by Sir Thomas Phillipps of Middle Hill as a book 'rustically printed on coarse paper,' bearing no name of author or press, but having a hand-written inscription attributing it to the 'Rev. Simon Thomas' - who is said to have had his own private press, and to have frequently printed his own works. If, indeed, he produced this book, then he was alive in 1746; but it is generally accepted that he died about 1743; Joshua Thomas (loc. cit.) does not give us the date but says that 'he died not long after' (i.e. after 1742) - see also the article on Nicholas Thomas.


Published date: 1959

Article Copyright:

The Dictionary of Welsh Biography is provided by The National Library of Wales and the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies. It is free to use and does not receive grant support. A donation would help us maintain and improve the site so that we can continue to acknowledge Welsh men and women who have made notable contributions to life in Wales and beyond.

Find out more on our sponsorship page.