Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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GOODWIN , JOHN ( 1681 - 1763 ), Quaker minister in North Wales ;

b. 1681 , possibly the son of Thomas Goodwin (formerly of Llanidloes ) who was a member of the group of Friends who worshipped at Dolobran, Mont. He joined, c. 1708 , the Friends at Llangurig, Mont. , and became an active worker, the field of his ministry extending from Llangurig to the lower slopes of Aran Benllyn , Aran Fawddwy , and Cader Idris . In his middle age he frequently visited the quarterly meetings of Friends in their centres in Wales and in England . There are numerous references to him in the diary of John Kelsall (q.v.) and tribute is paid to him in the testimonies of Friends in England and Pennsylvania . The centre of his ministry was his own home, Esgair-goch , in the parish of Trefeglwys, Mont. In 1710 he sought permission to emigrate to Pennsylvania but the Friends did not wish him to leave them because, since the death of Richard Davies ( 1635 - 1708 ) (q.v.) of Cloddiau Cochion , they looked upon him as Davies 's successor as their leader ; permission to emigrate was, therefore, refused. It is possible that he moved sometime before he died to Merioneth to look after the Quaker flock at Llwyn-du and Tyddyn-y-garreg [see Lewis of Tyddyn-y-garreg ]. At any rate it is known that his son and daughter-in-law, John and Mary Goodwin , described as ‘ Quakers ,’ had a daughter ( Sarah ) christened in Dolgelley parish church, 14 Nov. 1766 . Goodwin was buried in the Friends’ burial ground at Llwyn-du ( Llwyngwril ), 12 Dec. 1763 .


  • Piety Promoted, in a Collection of Dying Sayings of the People called Quakers , 1789 ed., iii, 185-7;
  • Dolgelley parish register;
  • Montgomeryshire quarter sessions records;
  • Bishop's Visitation, diocese of Bangor, 1749 ;
  • Y Dysgedydd , 1883 , 318-21;
  • Wales, a National Magazine for the English speaking parts of Wales (1894–7) , 1895 and 1896 .


Robert (Bob) Owen, O.B.E., M.A., (1885-1962), Croesor

Published date: 1959