Dictionary of Welsh Biography

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

CHARLES , JAMES ( 1846 - 1920 ), Independent minister and theologian .

Born 6 Dec. 1846 at Gelli-Fach near Llanddowror , son of David and Mary Charles . Shortly after his birth the family moved to Waunmabli farm , about three miles south-west of Carmarthen , where he was brought up with a view to the ministry. From Parc-y-felfed preparatory school (at Carmarthen ) he went to the Independent college at Bala , and after four years there received a call to Llanuwchllyn . In 1883 he went to Oswestry , and in 1892 to Swan Lane , Denbigh , where he laboured assiduously for twenty-five years. He retired in 1917 and d. 20 Dec. 1920 . He was recognized as a leader in his denomination . For a short time in the course of his first ministry he acted as deputy principal of Bala Independent college ; he was chairman of the Union of Welsh Independents in 1916 and was one of the editors of Y Dysgedydd from 1918 until his death. He also took part in politics , but his main interest continued to be theology. He published Emanuel , 1890 ; Esponiad ar Lyfr Amos (a commentary), 1900 ; Esponiad ar Epistol I Ioan , 1900 ; Iawn a Thadolaeth (Atonement and Fatherhood), 1905 ; Agoriad i Ddiwinyddiaeth y Testament Newydd (an introduction to the theology of the N.T.), 1915 . In 1942 Y Cysegr Sancteiddiolaf (The Holy of Holies) was published; this was a collection of his writings with a short memoir. He sought in his books to reconcile the scientific pronouncements of his generation with orthodox doctrine, but his work was thoughtful rather than original.


  • Y Dysgedydd , xcv, 245, xcvi, 375, c, 31;
  • R. T. Jenkins , Hanes Cynulleidfa Hen Gapel Llanuwchllyn (1937) , 188;
  • 'Dictionary of Welsh Biography.' 27 vols., N.L.W. MSS. 9251–77 .


Reverend Thomas Eirug Davies, M.A., B.D. (1892-1951), Lampeter

Published date: 1959