Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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ELLIS , ROBERT ( 1808 - 1881 ), Calvinistic Methodist minister ;

b. 12 Dec. 1808 at Celyn Isaf , Llanddeiniolen, Caerns. , son of Ellis Evans and his wife Jane Williams . The father had to decamp to Merthyr Tydfil in consequence of the ‘ enclosure riots ’ at Llanddeiniolen in 1809 , but returned to live at Garnedd , a squatter's cottage which he had erected on the common. At 18, Robert Ellis went to work at Cae-braichy-cafn quarry , but when about 20 he removed to Dinorwig quarry , and in 1829 became a chapel-member at Ysgoldy . In 1832 , after five months’ schooling under John Hughes ( 1796 - 1860 ) (q.v.) at Wrexham , he sought work at Liverpool , in vain, and walked home. He began preaching in 1834 , and in 1837 opened a shop at Clwt-y-bont . In 1842 he was ordained, and in the same year m. Jane Evans of Harlech ; they had six children. Apart from occasional itineraries elsewhere, his ministerial activity was confined to Caernarvonshire . In 1868 he gave up his shop (which had only barely paid its way), and he and his wife went to live in the house attached to Ysgoldy chapel (he is best known as ‘ Robert Ellis of Ysgoldy ’); from that date till 1879 he was the settled pastor of Ysgoldy and Bryn'refail . He d. 24 Sept. 1881 ; buried at Clwt-y-bont . He had an historical turn of mind, and recorded much information about the history of Calvinistic Methodism in Caernarvonshire . Some of his work was printed with his biography (below), but much of it survives only in manuscript form.

Sources:

  • J. Owen Jones , Cofiant a Gweithiau Robert Ellis, Ysgoldy, Arfon , Caernarfon, 1883 , 1883 .

Author:

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

Published date: 1959