Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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LEVI , THOMAS ( 1825 - 1916 ), Calvinistic Methodist minister, editor of Trysorfa y Plant , and author ;

b. 12 Oct. 1825 at Penrhos near Ystradgynlais , son of John and Prudence Levi . He received his early education at a school kept by an old soldier at Ystradgynlais , and later, while still a boy, worked at Ynyscedwyn iron works . About 1846 he began to preach at Cwmgïedd chapel , Ystradgynlais . He was minister of Capel yr Ynys , Ystradgynlais , about 1855-60 , of Philadelphia , Morriston , 1860-76 , and of Tabernacle , Aberystwyth , 1876-1901 . He m. (1), Elizabeth Daniel of Cwmgïedd (d. 1871 ), and (2), 1873 , Margaret , youngest daughter of Hugh and Catherine Jones of Coedmadoc , Tal-y-sarn, Caerns. He began his literary labours in 1853 and wrote thirty books. Today, the best known are: Hanes Prydain Fawr , 1862 ; Bywyd a Theithiau Livingstone , 1857 ; Gweddiau Teuluaidd , 1863 ; Hanesion y Beibl , 1870 ; Casgliad o Hen Farwnadau , 1872 ; Hanes y Beibl Cymraeg , 1876 ; Traethodau Bywgraffyddol , 1882 and after, published in a single volume entitled Cedyrn Cymru; Canmlwyddiant yr Ysgol Sabbothol , 1885 . He also translated sixty books from English into Welsh , including Yr Anianydd Cristionogol , 1859 ; Crist a Gwroniaid y Byd Paganaidd , 1887 . He co-operated with Dr. Joseph Parry in the production of ‘ Cantata yr Adar ,’ 1873 ; ‘ Cantata Joseph ,’ 1885 ; Hymnau a Thonau yr Ysgol Sabbothol , 1887 , etc. But his chief literary achievement was the starting of Trysorfa y Plant , and its regular production every month for half a century- 1862-1911 . Although this periodical was produced under the patronage of the Calvinistic Methodists , it was popular with every denomination. The circulation of Trysorfa y Plant , which ultimately reached 44,000 a month, was greater than had ever been known in Wales before. Its income was so great that it paid the entire cost of production of Y Drysorfa and Y Traethodydd . It was read by Welshmen all over the world and in it were published some of the earliest poems of Islwyn , Ceiriog , and others. Levi was moderator of the C.M. General Assembly in 1883 and of the South Wales Association in 1887 . He played a prominent part in the setting up of monuments to Daniel Rowland , Thomas Charles , Williams of Panty-celyn , and bishop Morgan . He continued to preach until 1910 and to edit Trysorfa y Plant until 1911 . He was nearly 91 when he d. 16 June 1916 . A list of his original works and of his translations of hymns was prepared at the request of the N.L.W. , and this list will be found in that Library.

Sources:

  • Personal knowledge.

Author:

Thomas Arthur Levi, M.A., B.C.L., Ll.B., (1875-1954), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959