Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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HUGHES , JAMES ( Iago Trichrug ; 1779 - 1844 ), Calvinistic Methodist minister, poet, and Bible commentator ;

b. 3 July 1779 , at Neuadd-ddu , Ciliau Aeron, Cards. , son of Jenkin and Ellen Hughes . He received a little elementary education in the local school and was then apprenticed to a blacksmith . In 1797 , after listening to the Rev. David Parry of Llanwrtyd , he was converted and joined the Methodists at Llangeitho . In 1799 he went to London and settled as a blacksmith at Deptford , where he took a leading part in establishing a Welsh congregation . He seceded for a time but later became a member at Wilderness Row chapel . In 1810 he began to preach and was ordained at the Llangeitho Association in 1816 . His church built a new chapel at Jewin Crescent and, in 1823 , he was invited to be its minister . He took part in some of the Methodist doctrinal discussions, e.g. in that of ‘Buying the Blessings’ and also in the controversy [ see Hughes , Hugh , 1790 - 1863 ] with regard to the emancipation of the Catholics . He d. at his home at Rotherhithe 2 Nov. 1844 and was buried in Bunhill Fields .

He was a frequent contributor to the Welsh periodicals and became known in bardic circles by the name Iago Trichrug . His hymns alone have lived, many of them being sung to this day in Wales . His ‘magnum opus’ was his commentary, Esboniad ar y Beibl , published by Evan Lloyd [ 1800 - 1879 , q.v. in App.], the printer [at Mold ] . This work was begun in 1829 but Hughes d. before it was finished. It was thought at one time that it was completed by Roger Edwards (q.v.) but it is now considered that this was done by John Jones [ 1790 - 1855 , q.v. in App.] of Liverpool . ‘ Esboniad Siâms Huws ,’ as it was called, was held in high esteem for generations by members of the Sunday schools and it is still read by many people. A memorial volume, Gyffrol Goffa , containing his poetry, sermons, etc., was published in 1911 .

Sources:

  • Y Cylchgrawn , 1868 , 124, 154, 204;
  • J. E. Davies , memorial volume;
  • Cylchgrawn Cymdeithas Hanes y Methodistiaid Calfinaidd , xii, 84; xxvi, 51, 113.

Author:

Rev. Gomer Morgan Roberts, M.A., (1904-93), Pont-rhyd-y-fen / St Dogmael's / Llandybïe

Published date: 1959