Dictionary of Welsh Biography



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DAVIES , BENJAMIN ( 1739? - 1817 ), Independent academy tutor . Born 1739 or 1740, third son of REES DAVIES of the substantial freehold of Canerw in Llanboidy parish, Carms . Rees Davies was himself a man of some note, though precise information about him is scanty; he d. c. 1788 . He was a teaching elder of Henllan Amgoed church , and (with Henry Palmer and John Davies of Glandŵr ) wrote a letter to Howel Harris ( Trevecka letter 231 ) on 22 March 1740 ; he seems to have been a strong Calvinist , and a solid if uninspiring preacher , fond of theological dialectic. If an entry in the Wilson manuscripts at Dr. Williams's library (transcript in N.L.W. MS. 373 ) is correctly worded, he was at Carmarthen Academy under Perrott , but it seems more probable that this refers rather to the grammar school attached to that Academy. A statement that he was ordained minister of Llangeler rests upon no known record, though it is true that Llangeler was in some vague way regarded as falling within the province of the pastors and elders of Henllan and Trelech . But Rees Davies was certainly pastor of Pen-y-graig from 1757 to 1784 , in succession to Milbourn Bloom — he appears to have confined himself to monthly visits. It is as ‘ Rees Davies , Penygraig ,’ that he is described in the Wilson list cited above.

Benjamin Davies acquired his rudiments at the hands of his minister Thomas Morgan ( 1720 - 1799 ) , then went to the Academy grammar school at Carmarthen c. 1754 , and finally ( 1760 ) became exhibitioner of the Academy itself. At an unrecorded date he became assistant tutor at Abergavenny Academy , and on the d. of David Jardine was appointed ( 8 Dec. 1766 ) tutor ; he was also pastor of the church there. In Sept. 1781 he became classical and mathematical tutor at Homerton Academy ; from 1783 he was also pastor of Fetter Lane . He resigned his tutorship in 1787 , and his pastorate in 1795 . He d. at Bath , 22 July 1817 . He was thrice married. Of his very few published works, the most noteworthy was Primitive Candour , a reply to Joseph Priestley .

JAMES DAVIES , the second of Rees Davies 's sons, went to Carmarthen Academy in 1758 , and became pastor of Wotton-under-Edge , and afterwards of Broad Street , Bristol .

Bibliography:

  • Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru , i, 49, iii, 348, 443-4;
  • Album Aberhonddu…o'r flwyddyn 1755 hyd 1880 , 1898 ;
  • G. D. Owen , Ysgolion a Cholegau yr Annibynwyr , 1939 , 97-100.

Author:

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