Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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HUGHES , JOHN ( 1775 - 1854 ), Calvinistic Methodist minister, author, and hymn-writer ;

b. at Penyfigin , Llanfihangel yng Ngwynfa, Mont. , 22 Feb. 1775 . He was a weaver by trade but, after hearing Thomas Jones of Llanwnnog preach and after joining the Methodist Society at Penllys , he came to the notice of Thomas Charles of Bala and was appointed a teacher in his circulating schools. He lodged at one time at Dolwar Fach and it is known that in 1800 he was on friendly terms with Ann Griffiths (q.v.) ; he corresponded a great deal with her from that time until 1805 . He began to preach in 1802 , was ordained at the Bala Association , 1814 , and made his home at Pontrobert chapel house . In 1805 he m. Ruth Evans , who was a maid at Dolwar , and it was he and his wife who saved for the nation the hymns and letters of Ann Griffiths . Uncouth in appearance and laboured in speech, he yet had a remarkable personality, and his piety was never in doubt. He was a regular contributor to the periodicals of his day , and published memoirs, collections of hymns, and sermons . His most celebrated memoir is that of Ann Griffiths , which appeared in Y Traethodydd , 1846 , and in book form in 1854 . He also published Cofiant Owen Jones o'r Gelli , 1830 ; Cofiant William Jones, Dol-y-fonddu, ac E. Griffiths, Meifod , 1841 ; and Cofiant Abraham Jones, Aber-rhaiadr, a John Price, Trefeglwys , 1841 . His hymns are to be found in Cyfansoddiad Prydyddawl ar Lyfr Caniad Solomon , 1821 , and Hymnau i'w canu yn yr Ysgolion Sabbothol , 1821 ; while several hymns for the young are included at the end of Cofiant John Bebb ( W. Owen , 1829 ). His best hymns appeared in the contemporary periodicals and are still held in high esteem. In 1836 and 1838 he published four volumes of sermons. One of his boyhood companions was John Davies the missionary ( 1772 - 1855 ) (q.v.) , this fact led him to publish Hanes Mordaith John Davies , 1827 , and to edit Trefn Eglwysig Ynysoedd Mory Dehau (n.d.) — a series of letters addressed to him by his friend. He d. 3 Aug. 1854 and was buried at Pontrobert . His daughter, Jane Hughes , is separately noticed.

Sources:

  • Y Traethodydd , 1890 , 364-75;
  • O. M. Edwards , Gwaith John Hughes (‘Cyfres y Fil’);
  • J. Thickens , Emynau a’u Hawduriaid , 1945 , 104-6.

Author:

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

Published date: 1959