Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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BENNETT , RICHARD ( 1860 - 1937 ), Calvinistic Methodist historian .

Born 21 Sept. 1860 , at Hendre , Cwm Pennant , Llanbrynmair , son of Edward Bennett , farmer , and his wife Jane ( Richards ) , who was of the same stock as Richard Lumley . He had only a primary education, and lived on his native farm till 1914 , when he retired (owing to deafness) to Bangor , and afterwards to Caersws , where he d. 13 Aug. 1937 , unmarried.

Bennett had early shown a taste for historical inquiry, and had copied the parish registers of his district . In 1899 , he began writing in the Traethodydd . In 1905 he visited Trevecka to examine the manuscripts there, and thenceforth he spent his winters at Trevecka , returning to his farm with each spring. It was he who made the copies of the Trevecka letters for printing in the supplements of the C.M. Historical Journal ; to the same journal he contributed numerous articles. He published the following books: Blynyddoedd Cyntaf Methodistiaeth ( Caernarvon , 1909 ), Methodistiaeth Trefaldwyn Uchaf ( Bala , 1929 ), Methodistiaeth Trefeglwys ( Llanidloes , 1933 ), Methodistiaeth Cemaes ( Llanidloes , 1934 ), Methodistiaeth Caersws ( Llanidloes , 1938 ). After his death, some of his addresses were published, with a short memoir, in Cyfrol Goffa Richard Bennett ( Bala , 1940 ).

Bennett was a researcher and historian of unusual distinction, especially when his total lack of training is remembered. Not only was his detailed knowledge of the Trevecka MSS. well-nigh miraculous, but he had a very wide perspective of Methodist history. No one was more deserving than he of the honorary degree of M.A. conferred upon him by the University of Wales in 1932 .

Sources:

  • Cyfrol Goffa Richard Bennett, M.A., 1860-1937 : hanesydd, llenor a sant , Bala, 1940 and further references therein;
  • Y Llenor , Winter number, 1939 .

Author:

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

Published date: 1959