Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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REES , HENRY ( 1798 - 1869 ), the most famous minister among the Calvinistic Methodists in his day .

Born 15 Feb. 1798 at Chwibren Isaf , Llansannan, Denbs. , eldest son of David and Ann Rees ; a younger brother was William Rees ( Gwilym Hiraethog , q.v.) . He attended school at Llansannan for three years, and was in service at Syrior Farm , which belonged to Thomas Jones ( 1756 - 1820 ) (q.v.) , Denbigh . He visited Bala in 1814 to seek the Geiriadur Ysgrythyrol from Thomas Charles , and met John Elias (q.v.) in Thomas Charles 's house — this was the only occasion on which these three great leaders of Calvinistic Methodism met.

Henry Rees started to preach about the end of 1818 . He gave evidence of remarkable powers in the pulpit — listening to him caused John Jones , Tal-y-sarn , to give himself to the ministry. He was at school under T. Lloyd , Abergele , 1819-21 . He was licensed as preacher , 1820 . In 1821 he went to Shrewsbury to learn bookbinding . He served the Welsh C.M. church there on Sundays, having food, clothes, and lodging for remuneration. He attended school at Dorrington in order to become more proficient in English . He blossomed forth as a most earnest, able, and effective preacher and was in great demand throughout Wales ; he preached at the Association at Bala in 1822 and thenceforth regularly with but few exceptions at Association meetings to the end of his life. He made an intense study of the work of Puritan divines , especially Dr. John Owen . He was ordained at Bala in June 1827 . He m. Mary Roberts , of Shrewsbury , 20 Oct. 1830 , and had four children of whom three died in infancy; the fourth, Ann , grew up and m. Richard Davies ( 1818 - 1896 ) (q.v.) . He moved to Liverpool at Christmas 1836 and ministered there to the Calvinistic Methodist community which had a number of churches; he later became more closely identified with the church in Chatham Street . He visited America in 1839 . He took a leading part in opposition in Wales to the Education Bill of 1843 . He attended a meeting of the Evangelical Congress in Berlin in 1857 . Long recognized as the foremost leader of the Calvinistic Methodists in Wales , he was appointed moderator of the North Wales C.M. Association in 1855-6 and again in 1867 , and became the first moderator of the General Assembly in 1864 . He was regarded by many in his day as the most saintly minister and the most perfect preacher they had known. He wrote many articles to Y Traethodydd and other periodicals. Two volumes of his sermons were published. He d. at Benarth , near Conway , 18 Feb. 1869 , and was buried at Llantysilio , Anglesey .


  • Owen Thomas , Cofiant y Parchedig Henry Rees yn cynnwys casgliad helaeth o'i lythyrau (Wrexham, 1891) ;
  • id., Cofiant y Parchedig John Jones, Talysarn (New York, 1868) , 922-38;
  • Y Gwyddoniadur Cymreig (1889-96) , viii, 735-42;
  • J. Hughes , Methodistiaeth Cymru (1851–6) ;
  • A. M. Davies , Life and Letters of Henry Rees (Bangor, 1904) ;
  • Eminent Welshmen: a short biographical dictionary of Welshmen ... from the earliest times to the present (1908) ;
  • Roger Edwards in Y Drysorfa , April 1869 ;
  • W. Rees in Y Traethodydd , July 1856 ;
  • id., Atgofion Mebyd a Ieuenctid ;
  • id., Rhyddweithiau Hiraethog sef, casgliad o weithiau llenyddol (Liverpool, 1872) , ii, 131-45;
  • id., Cathlau Henaint yn cynwys can o'r gwely a'r gongl, neu awdl foliant y bardd yn ei gystudd; yn nghyda'r goffaon hiraethlon am ei ddiweddar frawd, y Parch. Henry Rees, Liverpool, (yr olaf yn Saesoneg,) a chaniadau eraill (Dolgellau, 1878) , etc.


Reverend Griffith Wynne Griffith, B.D., (1883-1967), Marian Glas / Llanfair P.G., Anglesey

Published date: 1959