Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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DAVIS (DAVIES) , RICHARD ( 1658 - 1714 ), Independent minister .

A Cardiganshire man [from Llechryd , as some have it], he was at first a schoolmaster in London , but in 1689 was ordained minister of the Congregational church at Rothwell (‘ Rowell ’), Northants. His ministry there provoked much controversy among Dissenters : (1) he was accused of teaching Antinomian doctrines; (2) his use of ‘revivalistic’ methods in preaching and his extensive employment of lay itinerants , were repugnant to the more academic of his fellow- ministers ; (3) his insistence on ‘congregational’ church-government and his hostility to ‘a Presbyterian classis’ greatly influenced English Congregationalists in their decision to abandon the ‘ Union ’ of 1690 between Presbyterians and Independents . Daniel Williams was one of Davis 's chief critics. In 1692 the Common Fund stopped its grant to Davis , and thus expelled him from the ‘ Union .’ He d. 10 September 1714 . [On his gravestone at Rothwell parish church he is said to have died on 11 Sept. , aged 56.] His successor at Rothwell was Mathias Maurice .

Sources:

  • R. W. Dale , History of English Congregationalism , London, 1907 , 479-80;
  • Manuscript (the property of the Presbyterian Board) published by Alexander Gordon under the title Freedom after Ejection. A Review (1690–1692) of Presbyterian and Congregational Nonconformity in England and Wales, 1917 , 184-7;
  • D. M. Lewis in Y Cofiadur , 1925 , 31-4;
  • Transactions of the Congregational Historical Society , 1901 ff , ii, 128, vii, 224, and more especially vi, 389;
  • Jeremy Owen , Golwg ar y Beiau y sydd yn yr hanes a brintiwyd ynghylch pedair neu bum mlynedd i nawr, ym mherthynas i'r rhwygiad a wnaethbwyd yn Eglwys Henllan … 1707, 1708, 1709 , Carmarthen, 1732-3 (Univ. of Wales reprint, 1950 ).

Author:

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

Published date: 1959