Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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AUBREY , THOMAS ( 1808 - 1867 ), Welsh Wesleyan Methodist minister .

Born 13 May 1808 at Cefncoedcymer , the eldest child of Thomas and Anne Aubrey . He began to preach before attaining the age of 15, and in 1826 was accepted into the Wesleyan Methodist ministry . He ‘travelled’ extensively on North Wales circuits, in London , Liverpool , and Merthyr Tydfil between 1826 and 1865 , when he became a supernumerary. From 1854 to 1865 he was chairman of the North Wales district meeting . On 6 April 1831 he m. Elizabeth , daughter of Robert and Gwen Williams of Ruthin . He d. at Rhyl on 16 Nov. 1867 .

Thomas Aubrey is one of the outstanding figures in Welsh Wesleyan Methodist history. He was first and foremost an eloquent and successful preacher , but he was hardly less successful as an administrator , despite the slight interest he had taken in circuit administration before 1854 . He was instrumental in organizing meetings of officials of adjacent circuits to discuss the spiritual condition of the churches ; in instituting revival meetings ; in establishing the home mission fund of the North Wales district ; in stimulating the erection of circuit manses ; and, above all, in creating the North Wales district chapel fund — probably the greatest single act of statesmanship in the history of the denomination in the 19th cent. He also played an important part in defending the polity and doctrines of Welsh Wesleyan Methodism; he was staunch Protestant , though he took no active part in politics; and he was one of the first popular lecturers in Wales . He was not free from the criticism of some of his colleagues and church members for his inattention to correspondence, his indifference to punctuality, his limitations as a pastor , and his rather autocratic methods, but his great gifts as a preacher and as an administrator ensure him a high place among the leading figures of his denomination.

Sources:

  • Samuel Davies , Cofiant y Parch. Thomas Aubrey , Bangor, 1887 ;
  • A. H. Williams , Welsh Wesleyan Methodism, 1800-1858 its origins, growth and secessions , 1935 ;
  • City Road Magazine , 1871 .

Author:

Albert Hughes Williams, M.A., (1907-96), Cardiff

Published date: 1959