Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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ROBERTS , ROBERT DAVID ( 1820 - 1893 ), Baptist minister .

Born 3 Nov. 1820 in a house near the old Sardis chapel , Dinorwic, Caerns. He and John Jones ( 1821 - 1879 ; see Spinther , iv, 327-9) were cousins. He received very little education as a child nor was he given any college training after he had started to preach . He was baptised at the age of 12 and began to preach in 1839 . He spent a short time as a missionary for the Caernarvonshire monthly meeting in Christmas Evans 's old territory in Llyn , but returned to Sardis where he and his cousin were ordained in 1844 . The two ministered jointly to the churches in the neighbourhood for some years. Early in 1848 R. D. Roberts went to Pontlyfni and Llanaelhaearn but, before the end of the year, had moved on to Llanfachraeth and Llanddeusant , Anglesey . He moved again, to Tabernacle , Merthyr Tydfil , in 1854 , and to Soar , Llwynhendy , Carms. , in 1862 . It was as ‘ Roberts of Llwynhendy ’ that he became celebrated, for he remained there until his retirement in 1887 . He d. 15 May 1893 . The year before his death he was president of the Union of Welsh Baptists . He was the author of a life of H. W. Jones of Carmarthen , and wrote his own memoirs in the Greal , 1889-92 . But it is as one of the country's most eloquent preachers that he will best be remembered. His name was a household word throughout Wales , and he was regarded as one of the nation's finest orators .


  • J. Rhys Morgan (Lleurwg) , Cofiant y diweddar Barch. R. D. Roberts, Llwynhendy : gyda darlun a dwy o'i brif bregethau (Llanelli, 1893) ;
  • D. Hopkin , Cofiant y Parchedig Robert David Roberts ;
  • ‘Atgofion yr Hen Gloddiwr,’ in Y Greal sef Cylchgrawn Misol at wasanaeth y Bedyddwyr , 1879 ;
  • ‘Atgofion R. D. Roberts,’ in Y Greal sef Cylchgrawn Misol at wasanaeth y Bedyddwyr , 1889-92 ;
  • Seren Gomer , July, 1893 ;
  • Y Geninen , Oct. 1893 ;
  • Cymru (O.M.E.) , vii, 141;
  • Baptist Handbook , 1894 ;
  • Hanes y Bedyddwyr yn Nghymru (1893–1907) iv, 327.


Reverend Principal Tom Ellis Jones, M.A., B.D., (1900-75), Bangor

Published date: 1959