Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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KELSALL , JOHN ( fl. 1683-1743 ), Quaker diarist ;

b. in London in 1683 . He came to Wales in 1702 , and kept school (he was a man of good education) at Dolobran, Mont. , while also acting as clerk in the iron-works belonging to the Lloyd family of Dolobran (q.v.) . He was in the Lloyds ' service till c. 1743 , being dispatched here and there in their industrial interests; e.g. he supervised their furnaces near Dolgelley in 1714-20 and again at intervals between 1729 and 1736 . Later on, he fell into adversity, and after wandering to Bristol and to Ireland , is last heard of at Chester . He appears in the present work in virtue of his very detailed diaries, now kept (together with a volume of verse written by him between 1702 and 1743 ) at the Friends’ House in London . They are wanting for the years 1699-1712 (yet there is an index to these missing years), but are complete from then on to May 1743 . They are an invaluable source for the chequered history of the Lloyd fortunes, for that of the North Wales iron industry, and for that of Quakerism in Wales during that period. Edward Griffith (q.v.) printed excerpts in Wales (O.M.E.) , ii — see also Trans. Caerns. Hist. Soc. , 1940 , 75-6. Kelsall published a book, The Faithful Monitor , 1726 . When he d. has not been discovered.

Sources:

  • The diaries.

Author:

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

Published date: 1959