Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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HARRIES , ISAAC HARDING (d. c. 1868 ), Independent minister, and editor of periodicals .

The date and place of his birth are uncertain, but he began preaching at Beaufort in Brecknock , went to the Neuadd-lwyd Academy , and was minister at Tal-y-sarn, Caerns. , 1831-5 . At this period he delivered eloquent addresses on behalf of the Bible Society ; one of these was published, together with Sylwedd Pregeth under the same cover, at Caernarvon (72 pp. printed by Peter Evans ).

Early in 1836 he became minister of the Independent congregation at Mynydd-bach , near Swansea , and before the end of that year he had published Holiedydd Efengylaidd for the use of the Independent churches of the district ( Llanelly , 1837 ). But his general conduct was unsatisfactory, and went from bad to worse, till in Oct. 1839 , he and a considerable faction with him separated from the church and built a new chapel near Swansea by the name of Caersalem Newydd . His conduct went on deteriorating so that his erstwhile friends had to turn him out early in 1841 . In 1842 he is heard of at Bangor as minister to a number of Independent Wesleyans or ‘ Wesle Bach ’ at Bethel , Union Street , keeping school in the chapel as well. In Jan. 1843 , he began publishing a monthly magazine named Tŵr Gwalia , containing fierce attacks upon the practices of orthodox Wesleyanism ; in Oct. of the same year appeared (with Harries as editor ) the first number of Figaro the Second , so called to distinguish it from the Figaro in Wales , published in the same city, 1835-6 . This Figaro bore evidences of some kind of ability but it included such mordant satire and such insulting cartoons that it died between March and July in 1844 , not before the editor had to suffer whipping in the streets and to pay considerable sums in the courts for libel. Very strong words indeed are used of him in H. Egl. Ann. , and in view of his irresponsible doings and his unsavoury record, it is difficult not to agree with them. After the death of Figaro , the publication of the Drych Calfinaidd (also in 1844 ), and losing his hold on the chapel at Union Street , and failing in his efforts to become editor of a Welsh Anglican newspaper , he tried his luck in London , where he d. about 1868 .

Sources:

  • Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru , ii, 11, iii, 228;
  • Journal of the Welsh Bibliographical Society , v, 221-30;
  • details of Mynydd Bach and Caersalem episodes from the Rev. O. M. Lloyd , Holyhead;
  • Y Diwygiwr , 1840 , 379;
  • Yr Haul , 1840 , 24, 150,375;
  • Seren Gomer , 1839 , (342), 1840, (41);
  • files of the North Wales Chronicle and Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald , 1832 ff , 1843-6 .

Author:

Thomas Richards, D.Litt., (1878-1962), Bangor

Published date: 1959