Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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GREY , THOMAS ( 1733 - 1810 ), Independent minister .

Son of William Grey of Llangyfelach, Glam. , and christened there 26 Dec. 1733 . He began life as a collier . It is said that he experienced conversion when a number of his mates were killed in a colliery accident on a day upon which he had been sent on an errand to Neath . This was probably in 1754 , for five men were buried at Llangyfelach on 11 Oct. of that year, one bearing the name of John Grey . He became a member of the Congregational church at Tir Dwncyn or Mynydd-bach , Llangyfelach , and was encouraged to prepare for the ministry. On 3 Oct. 1757 he entered the Academy kept by David Jardine at Abergavenny . Grants were made to him from the Congregational fund in Jan. 1758 and 1759 . He was granted a licence as a nonconformist preacher by the Cardiganshire court of quarter sessions on 30 July 1762 . Upon the death of Philip Pugh in 1762 he was called to be pastor of the Independent churches at Llwynpiod and Abermeurig, Cards. He m. Letitia ( née Jenkins ) , widow of Theophilus Jones of Blaenplwyf , Llanfihangel Ystrad , a local squire upon whose death in 1758 William Williams , Pantycelyn , wrote an elegy. They settled at Sychbant , Nantcwnlle , a farm on the Blaenplwyf estate . Their only daughter Letitia was born about 1767 . She m. John Hughes ( 1760 - 1813 ), vicar of Nantcwnlle and Llanddeiniol ; William Gray Hughes , vicar of Mathry , a young clergyman of great promise who d. aged thirty-two, in 1824 was one of their children. Thomas Grey co-operated with Daniel Rowland , Llangeitho , and preached regularly at Llangeitho and at other Calvinistic Methodist chapels and Associations. He established Nonconformist churches at New Quay , Llanarth , Ffos-y-ffin , and Llanddewi Aberarth . Upon his death, 2 June 1810 , his churches joined the Calvinistic Methodist presbytery , and the nucleus of the older nonconformity in the upper reaches of the Ayron valley was lost. Grey is said to have been remarkable for his wisdom, and to have been of great service to the Calvinistic Methodists in their organization. He is described as a man of great stature, rough mien, and a majestic figure in his large Puritan wig. Though he is generally styled ‘ Gray ’ he himself used the surname ‘ Grey .’ Elegies upon his death, by H. Harries and Joseph Richard , were printed at Aberystwyth 1810 .

Sources:

  • Griffith Jones (Glan Menai) , Enwogion Ceredigion , 1869 , 55-6;
  • J. Evans , Byr-gofiant am naw a deugain o Weinidogion Ymadawedig sir Aberteifi , 1894-1913; , 60-3;
  • Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru , ii, 16;
  • Minutes of the Congregational Fund Board;
  • Mynydd-bach church book;
  • Llangyfelach register;
  • tombstones at Nantcwnlle;
  • NLW MS 6405.

Author:

Evan David Jones, F.S.A., (1903-87), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959