Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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REES , OWEN ( 1717 - 1768 ), Independent minister ;

b. in 1717 in the Cefn-arthen district, near Llandovery . When Cefn-arthen congregation was rent by theological differences, the Calvinistic party formed a church (incorporated by Edmund Jones (q.v.) in 1740 ) at Clun-pentan ; Owen Rees was one of its members. He went to school at Pen-twyn under Samuel Jones ( fl. 1715-64 ) (q.v.) — in his last months there he was joined by Thomas Morgan ( 1720 - 1799 ) (q.v.) . It is fairly clear that he had been invited to take charge of Clun-pentan in 1741 , for a letter of 7 Aug. ( T.L. 362 ) from Edward Jones to Howel Harris names Rees as a Dissenting minister favourable to Methodism ; but he was not ordained till March 1742 ; 9 March says Thomas Morgan 's diary (regretting his inability to attend ‘my dear friend's ordination’) and the Cilgwyn church book ( Cofiadur , 1923 , 30), but 11 March according to H. Egl. Ann. During his pastorate, the congregation built a meeting-house at Pentre-ty-gwyn . In 1756 he left, to become pastor at Aberdare . His predecessor there had been a Calvinist , and as far as is known Rees , too, was a Calvinist at that time; but it is clear that he and his church afterwards became Arminian ; Edmund Jones (q.v.) in 1789 speaks of Rees 's ‘backsliding’. He d. 14 March 1768 , and was buried in the old Aberdare churchyard; two acrostic verses by his eventual successor in the pastorate, Edward Evan (q.v.) appear on his tombstone. His widow, Mary , married again, and lived to be 100 — see her obituary in the Monthly Repository , 1818 , 143. Josiah Rees (q.v.) was their son.

Sources:

  • Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru , iii, 583, 588-9;
  • The Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion , 1946-7 , 125-6, 145;
  • and the other references given above.

Author:

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

Published date: 1959