Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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RICHARDSON , EVAN ( 1759 - 1824 ), Calvinistic Methodist minister, and schoolmaster ;

b. in 1759 at Bryngwyn-bach , Llanfihangel-genau'r-glyn, Cards. , son of a mason named Rhisiart Morys Huw Richardson himself is often styled ‘Richards’, not only in popular parlance but in Thomas Charles 's letters and in contemporary Calvinistic Methodist records. Lewis Edwards (q.v.) on one occasion claimed to be a ‘nephew’ (qu. cousin-german) of Richardson 's. He was destined for holy orders, and was at Ystradmeurig under Edward Richard (q.v.) , but came under the spell of Daniel Rowland , parted with his Anglican career (and, in consequence, with his own family), and opened a school near Llanddewi-brefi . While accompanying an itinerant exhorter to North Wales , he himself began preaching , in 1781 . On the advice of Robert Jones of Rhoslan ( 1745 - 1829 ) (q.v.) , he opened a school at Brynengan ( 1782 ), removing it afterwards to Pwllheli , thence to Llangybi in Eifionydd , and finally ( 1787 ), owing to trouble at Llangybi , to Caernarvon . This school is historic as a place of education for young Calvinistic Methodist exhorters , and the biographies of Calvinistic Methodist worthies of Richardson 's time abound in references to the school — e.g. the two most famous of its alumni in its Caernarvon days were John Elias and Sir Hugh Owen , Richardson gave up the school when in 1817 his health began to fail, and was succeeded by William Lloyd ( 1771 - 1841 ) (q.v.) . Evan Richardson was also practically the founder of the Calvinistic Methodist cause at Caernarvon ; the first Calvinistic Methodist sermon there had been delivered in 1786 by David Jones of Llangan , and in 1787 (while still living at Llangybi ) Richardson and John Roberts ( 1752 - 1834 ) (q.v.) preached, by permission of George Lewis (q.v.) , outside Pen-dref Independent chapel . Soon after that, Richardson hired an upper room at Tan-yr-allt (on the Bethel road) for holding services, and in 1793 opened the first Calvinistic Methodist chapel in the town, on ‘ Mount Pleasant ’ — it is today (since 1826 ) represented by Moriah chapel . Richardson was ordained at the first Calvinistic Methodist ordination at Bala , 1811 . In 1817 his health deteriorated; he was stricken by paralysis , and thenceforth had to limit his preaching activities. He d. 29 March 1824 , and was buried in Llanbeblig churchyard. He had been twice married.

Sources:

  • Y Gwyddoniadur Cymreig (1889-96) (2nd ed.), ix, 488;
  • Owen Thomas , Cofiant y Parchedig John Jones, Talysarn (New York, 1868) , 829-34 (on Richardson's preaching);
  • D. E. Jenkins , Life of Thomas Charles (Denbigh, 1908) , ii, 322-4;
  • D. Hoskins , Canmlwyddiant Capel Moriah, Caernarfon. Hanes yr Eglwys o'i chychwyniad yn y lloft yn Tanrallt, hyd adeg canmlwyddiant y capel presenol yn Hydref 1926 (Caernarfon, 1926) , 19-49.

Author:

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

Published date: 1959