Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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INGRAM , JAMES (d. 1788 ), Methodist exhorter, and afterwards Independent minister ;

the date of his birth is unknown, but his home was Cwm Brith in Cefnllys parish, Rads. ( Cylch. Cymd. Hanes M.C. , xxxv, 47). As a lad, he came under Howel Harris 's influence, and in Nov. 1742 (ibid, 24), at Erwood , it was arranged that he should be Harris 's amanuensis and travelling-companion ; it was he who, after 1743 , took the minutes of the Associations , and much of his work as copyist of Harris 's letters appears among the Trevecka records. He was also an exhorter , and indeed is remembered chiefly because he was ‘pressed’ for the army in 1744 ( Tadau Meth. , i, 222-3) — a common device for persecuting Methodist exhorters , but illegal when applied to Ingram , who was under-sized; strenuous exertions by Harris , by Marmaduke Gwynne (see under Gwynne of Garth ), and by the countess of Huntingdon , procured his release and he resumed exhorting . The Trevecka letters include some forty letters by Ingram or to him, between Jan. 1743 and July 1750 . He parted company with Harris at the ‘disruption’ ( 1750 ); indeed, their correspondence becomes thin from 1747 onwards. A Moravian record at Haverfordwest ( Cymm. , xlv, 34) tells us that Ingram became an Independent , and that he d. as Independent pastor at Ludlow . This note, however, leaves a blank of fully twenty years in his career, for the pastor of Corve Street church at Ludlow in 1750 was a Jenkyn or Jenkins (he was a Welshman ), and according to the ‘Diary’ of Leominster Moravian congregation ( Traf. Cymd. Hanes Bed. , 1935 , 16) Jenkyn did not d. till 1770 ; then ( Eliot , Congregationalism in Shropshire , 102), ‘ the next pastor was Mr. Ingram of Maesgronnin , Brecon ’ — Maesyronnen, Rads. , in fact — ‘this pastor d. in 1788 , and was buried in the chapel yard. ’ But Ingram can hardly have been pastor of Maesyronnen , for the roll of pastors there is fairly continuous from 1748 to 1775 ( H. Egl. Ann. , ii, 528), and does not include his name. Possibly Ingram was a member of that (quasi-Methodist) congregation , and acted as lay-preacher there and in the surrounding countryside.


Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor

Published date: 1959