Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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BEAUMONT , JAMES (d. 1750 ), early C.M. exhorter .

A Radnorshire man, known to us only during the last ten years of his life. He was a member of the Independent congregation at Gore (near Old Radnor ), but became attracted by Howel Harris , and began preaching . We find him in 1741 at Dilwyn ( Herefords. ), preaching under the aegis of a Mrs. Marlow who lived there; and in 1741-4 he extended his activities to Leominster . At the Watford Methodist Association of Jan. 1743 he was officially recognized as ‘ Public [i.e. itinerant] Exhorter ,’ and a little later he was superintendent of the Radnorshire Methodist Societies , under Harris ; a correspondent writing to Harris in 1744 describes the brutal treatment meted out to Beaumont by the mob — it was rumoured that he was fatally stoned.

A letter from Beaumont to Harris in April 1745 (no. 1310 in the official inventory) reveals theological differences between them; and by Dec. 1748 ( Trevecka letter 1836 ) it would seem that Beaumont had not only veered into Antinomianism but was preaching other heterodox doctrines, in association with his disciple Thomas Sheen — these fluctuations of opinion were characteristic of the confusion which led to the Methodist cleavage of 1750-62 . But Beaumont , like his old leader Harris , was also attracted to Moravianism . In 1750 , he went down to Pembrokeshire ‘for his health,’ according to a Moravian record, and preached there. He d. at Haverfordwest , 22 June 1750 , and was buried at Prendergast . There was Moravian preaching at the Gore from 1751 on, and there were Radnorshire members of the Leominster Moravian congregation .

Sources:

  • Y Tadau Methodistaidd , 1895 , i, 222-6;
  • M. H. Jones , The Trevecka Letters, or the unpublished MSS. correspondence of Howell Harris and his contemporaries , 1932 ;
  • Trafodion Cymdeithas Hanes Bedyddwyr Cymru , 1935 ;
  • Y Cymmrodor , 1938 , 36.

Author:

Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor

Published date: 1959