Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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BIDWELL , MORRIS , Puritan preacher, under the Commonwealth .

He was named as one of the twenty-five approvers to examine and recommend preachers under the Act for the Propagation of the Gospel in Wales ( 1650-2 ); there is contemporary evidence that he received for this work £138 for 1650 (and part of 1649 ), £75 for 1651 , and two payments of £50 for 1652 ; there is evidence that he took great interest in the new Puritan school at Swansea . That Act not being renewed in 1653 , he was appointed to do definite pastoral work at S. Mary 's in Swansea . There in 1658 happened the fierce altercation with the Quaker John ap John who asked whether Bidwell was a true minister of Christ , and was struck in the face instead of getting an answer. He d. before 1660 , but a Royalist named Richard Seys had such an objection to his bones resting in the chancel of S. Mary's that he drew his sword to prevent the burial; however, we are told he was forced away by the ‘fanaticks’ and put in prison.

Sources:

  • John Walker manuscripts in Bodleian Library, Oxford , c. 13, ff. 17, 20, 22, 22b;
  • Lambeth MS. 972 (366);
  • John Walker manuscripts in Bodleian Library, Oxford , c. 4 (72);
  • Besse , A collection of the sufferings of the people called Quakers for the testimony of a good conscience from the time of their being first distinguished by that name in the year 1650 to the time of the act commonly called the Act of toleration granted to Protestant dissenters in the first year of the reign of King William the Third and Queen Mary in the year 1689 , 1753 , i 735;
  • Publications of the Friends' Historical Society , Supp. 6 (12).

Author:

Thomas Richards, D.Litt., (1878-1962), Bangor

Published date: 1959