Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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NICHOLSON , WILLIAM ( 1844 - 1885 ), Independent minister ;

b. at Holyhead in April 1844 . He was educated by his minister , William Griffith ( 1801 - 1881 ) (q.v.) . In due course, he went to the Normal College , Bangor , to be trained as a school teacher . In 1862 , at the end of his course, he became a teacher at Llwydcoed , Aberdare , and began to preach in Horeb chapel . He then moved to Llanengan school in the Llŷn peninsula , received a call to take charge of the Rhos-lan and Llanystymdwy churches, and was ordained, 20 Aug. 1867 . He stayed there some two years and then moved to Treflys church , Bethesda . In 1872 he received a call from the celebrated Groes-wen church (Glam.) , where he remained until 1876 when he succeeded Gwilym Hiraethog ( William Rees ) at Grove Street , Liverpool . Here he d., July 1885 , at the age of 41, he was buried in Toxteth Park cemetery . Although he only spent eighteen years in the ministry, the freshness of his genius made him one of the most popular preachers in his denomination. ‘ One rarely heard a preacher with a greater gift for sustaining the interest of his congregation ,’ says Dr. John Thomas . The prominent part he played in the ‘ battle of the constitutions ’ (see under M. D. Jones ) displeased several people in the church; they left and started another church at Kensington in 1878 . Nicholson was an excellent writer and poet . In 1381 he published Cennad Hedd , a monthly circulating principally among the Independents , which he continued to edit until his death. In 1876 he published a book entitled Y Dyferion , comprising extracts from his sermons and a number of englynion , cywyddau , and other poems.


  • Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru , ii, 342, 378; iii, 203, 295; v, 406-13;
  • Y Dysgedydd , 1867 , 397;
  • Bangor Normal College for the training of teachers for British schools in Wales Report (Bangor) , 1906 ;
  • O. L. Roberts , Lloffion Grawnwin sef cyfrol-goffa y Parchedigion William Roberts, William Nicholson, D.M. Jenkins, Hugh Jones, David John, H. Parry Thomas, o gyfundeb Anibynwyr Cymreig Lerpwl, Manchester, a'r amgylchoedd (Liverpool, 1907) , 35.


Reverend Richard Griffith Owen, M.A., (1890-1973), Bangor

Published date: 1959