WILLIAMS, HUGH (1843 - 1911), Calvinistic Methodist minister, and church historian

Name: Hugh Williams
Date of birth: 1843
Date of death: 1911
Spouse: Mary Williams (née Bromley)
Gender: Male
Occupation: Calvinistic Methodist minister, and church historian
Area of activity: History and Culture; Literature and Writing; Religion
Author: John Edward Hughes

Born 17 September 1843 at Menai Bridge, son of a small-holder. He received his elementary education at Menai Bridge and Bangor. After leaving school he worked for a few years as a stonemason, while at the same time he read and studied every book within his reach. He commenced preaching in 1863 and in 1864 he entered Bala C.M. College; he was assistant tutor there, 1867-9. He was B.A. (London) in 1870 and M.A. in 1871. From 1872-5 he kept a grammar school at Menai Bridge. In 1875, after spending some time in Germany, he was appointed tutor in Greek and mathematics at Bala C.M. College, and when (1891) that institution was converted into a theological college, he was made professor of church history. On 31 December 1884 he married Mary, daughter of Urias Bromley, Chester. In 1903-4 he was moderator of the North Wales Calvinistic Methodist Association. In 1904 he received the degree of D.D. from Glasgow University. He died 11 May 1911, and was buried at Llanycil, near Bala.

His works include an edition of Gildas with an English translation and notes ('Cymmrodorion Record Series,' 1899 and 1901); various articles in Y Gwyddoniadur Cymreig, Hastings, Encycl. of Religion and Ethics, Zeitschrift f. Celtische Philologie, The Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, Y Traethodydd; and commentaries on the Epistles to the Galatians and Colossians. But his chief work was his Christianity in Early Britain, issued posthumously by the Clarendon Press in 1912. This work, which shows a thorough research into the original sources, brought him great repute not only in Britain but also in France and Germany; it will remain the basis of future studies in this field. He possessed an immense store of accurate knowledge, a retentive memory, a robust intellect, and an unyielding determination. Refusing all second-hand conclusions, he always went to the fountain-head for his facts. As a teacher (and preacher) he was slow and deliberate in his speech, but he left upon his students a deep impression of an extensive knowledge of the works of the historians and theologians of the early Church, fair and balanced judgement, absolute impartiality, with a profound conviction of the greatness and importance of the matter in hand. He had a conscience for facts. His motto for himself and for his students was exactness of scholarship.


Published date: 1959

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