Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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EDWARDS , THOMAS ( Cynonfardd ; 1848 - 1927 ), Independent minister and eisteddfodwr ;

b. at Glandŵr ( Landore ), Swansea , 6 Dec. 1848 . As a boy he moved to Cwm-bach , Aberdare , attending the elementary schools at both these places and subsequently becoming a pupil and assistant master at Merthyr Tydfil . He began to preach at Mynydd Seion , Cwm-bach , and from 1868 to 1870 studied at the Presbyterian College , Carmarthen . In 1870 he emigrated to the U.S.A. for the sake of his health and became minister successively of Mineral Ridge Independent chapel , Ohio , 1871-2 , the First Congregational Church , Wilkes-barre, Pa. , 1872-8 , Wilkes-barre and Edwardsville , 1878-80 , Edwardsville , 1880-91 , Ebenezer , Cardiff , 1891-3 , and Edwardsville again, 1893-1927 . In America he was one of the most successful ministers of his time, and his church was one of the largest in the States . He had a distinguished personality and a good voice which was always under perfect control; he was a fluent and popular preacher , an excellent organizer , and a leader in his denomination .

In 1913 he was invested archdruid in the U.S.A. and became a shining light in the eisteddfodic world. He won many important prizes in the field of poetry and composed many hymn-tunes but, above all, he was regarded as an eisteddfod conductor in a class by himself. Between 1891 and 1897 he conducted five of the national eisteddfodau in Wales . He was professor of elocution in Wyoming College , Kingstone, Pa. , 1880-90 . He published Darllen a Siarad , 1891 , a book which had a substantial circulation. He also published Y Mayflower a Chaniadau Eraill ( Utica , 1877 ). He d. 13 March 1927 .

Sources:

  • Memorial Volume of Welsh Congregationalists in Pennsylvania, U.S.A., 1797 to 1931 , Utica, 1934 , 214-20;
  • NLW MS 9256;
  • Oriel Coleg Caerfyrddin , 1909 , 123-4.

Author:

Reverend John Dyfnallt Owen, M.A., (1873-1956), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959