PRICE, PETER (1864 - 1940), Independent minister

Name: Peter Price
Date of birth: 1864
Date of death: 1940
Gender: Male
Occupation: Independent minister
Area of activity: Religion
Author: David John Roberts

Born 11 July 1864 at Dewisbren-isaf, a smallholding about 3 miles from Dolgellau, Merionethshire, the eldest of ten children of Thomas and Jane Price. Thomas Price was the eldest son of Peter and Catherine Price, Fronolau, a prominent farmhouse on the steep road from Dolgellau to Gwanas crossroads. This is the neighbourhood of the indentured land, famous in the history of the Quakers in Merionethshire in the 17th and 18th centuries. When the Quakers departed from Tyddyn-y-Garreg and the chapel that they had erected nearby, it was Peter Price, Fronolau, who was a deacon at the Independent church at Dolgellau, under the ministry of Cadwaladr Jones (1783 - 1867), who was mainly instrumental in securing that chapel for the Independent denomination. It was rented in 1847, and bought in 1854, and named Tabor. The whole family was associated with Tabor and they claimed that they were from the same lineage as Edmwnd Prys. Peter Price, Dewisbren-isaf was heavily influenced by the Quakers.

His parents moved to Plas-y-Brithdir when Thomas Price opened a business selling flour in Dolgellau. For a short time before leaving to help his father, Peter Price was educated at Dolgellau Grammar School, the headmaster of which at the time was S.S.O. Morris, a Cambridge scholar. He began to preach at Tabor in 1881. He became a student at University College, Aberystwyth and studied philosophy under Thomas Charles Edwards. He left in 1885, but in the autumn of the same year, he was at Bangor, at the University College, where he gained his matriculation certificate and a scholarship of £10. He left the college in 1887, in the middle of his degree course, to become the minister at Ebeneser, Trefriw and he was ordained there on 14 and 15 December 1887. In 1896 he was installed as the minister at the recently founded church at Great Mersey Street, Liverpool. He was accepted at Cambridge University (without affiliation to any college) in October 1897 and within a year he had enrolled at King's College Cambridge, where he graduated with honours in philosophy in 1901. He received the degree of M.A. in 1939. He took up his ministry again in 1901. He married Letitia Williams, Tŷ Gwyn, Llanrwst in January 1902.

He moved to Bethania, Dowlais in the summer of 1904, a church with over 600 members, where the musician Harry Evans was the organist. The Revival of 1904 was exciting the country by this time. The revivalist Evan Roberts visited Bethania. Peter Price was disturbed and, in a somewhat long and pretentious letter in the Western Mail on 31 January 1905, he ventured to criticise the Revival and especially Evan Roberts's methods. Thereafter, in the religious history of Wales, Peter Price's name was associated with this protest and the agitation which followed it. In October 1910 he was installed as minister at Bethlehem, Rhosllannerchrugog. He spent 10 industrious years there organising various educational courses and addressing political meetings. One of his most zealous supporters was Dr Caradog Roberts. He went to the USA in 1913 and shortly afterwards received the honorary D.D. from the University of Washington. He moved to minister at Baker Street, Aberystwyth, in November 1920 and generations of students of the University College there were unceasing in their praise of the extent and beneficial effect of his influence on their lives. He retired in 1928, owing to the ill health of both his wife and himself. They set up home in Swansea, Llanfairfechan and Prestatyn where he died on 1 July 1940; he was buried in Prestatyn cemetery.

Peter Price was a strong man with powerful opinions and passionate feelings, who was revered by his admirers but who also made enemies easily; a powerful preacher and an influential minister; a pacifist and an original character. He published two pamphlets, Tarian yr ynfyd (Defence and delusion), 1936, Y Fuddugoliaeth ddiarf (from Y Dysgedydd), 1937,


Published date: 2001

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