Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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DAVIES , SAMUEL ( 1788 - 1854 ), Wesleyan Methodist minister ,

known as ‘ Samuel Davies , 1st ’; b. 9 June 1788 at Maes-y-groes , Cilcain, Flints. Converted to religion at the age of 13, he joined the Wesleyan Methodists at Maeshafn , near Mold . In Jan. 1807 he was sent by Owen Davies ( 1752 - 1830 ) (q.v.) as an itinerant preacher to Cardiganshire , and for the next thirty-nine years he ‘travelled’ on various circuits in Wales as well as in Liverpool and Manchester . In Feb. 1814 he m. Mary Twiston of Denbigh , and there were eight children of the marriage, five sons and three daughters. During his stay at Manchester ( 1838-41 ), and within a period of four months, he lost his wife and his youngest son and daughter, and this, coupled with over-work, caused a breakdown in health from which he never completely recovered. He became a supernumerary in 1846 , and, after protracted weakness, d. at Denbigh 7 May 1854 .

A voracious reader within a limited field (despite the little education he had received), impressionable, superstitious, and somewhat extreme in his views, Samuel Davies was a man of strong and sometimes unruly feelings. Though he was hardly a good administrator, he was a diligent and successful pastor, and he drew crowds, not so much by the force of his eloquence (for his voice was harsh and his delivery heavy) as by the strength of his convictions and his gift of elucidating theological doctrines. He fills an important niche in the early history of Welsh Wesleyan Methodism as an ardent and uncompromising champion of Arminianism in the pulpit and through the press.

Sources:

  • S. Davies , Y Parch. Samuel Davies, Iaf, a'i Amserau yn cynnwys hanes ei fywyd, cofnodion o'i lafur fel gweinidog, ac o'i weithiau fel awdwr , Bangor, 1866? .

Author:

Albert Hughes Williams, M.A., (1907-96), Cardiff

Published date: 1959