Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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ROBERTS , WILLIAM ( 1784 - 1864 ), Calvinistic Methodist minister .

Born 19 Sept. 1784 at Aberach , Llaneilian , Anglesey . As a child he was unable to go to school and was only 10 years of age when he began work at the Parys copper mine . Later he went to work with one David Roberts of Amlwch who, in due course, sent him, now a strong and responsible young man, to Llannerch-y-medd as bailiff of some land which he owned there. The spiritual awakening he experienced under the influence, chiefly of Peter Williams and Robert Roberts of Clynnog , led him to thirst for knowledge and he went for three months to a school kept by the Rev. John Evans at Amlwch . After that he proceeded to educate himself in the most remarkable manner, being undoubtedly assisted by his friend, John Elias (q.v.) . When he was 21 years of age he was elected an elder at Amlwch , and at the age of 23 began to preach . In 1817 he opened his own shop , and the same year was ordained minister . He did not allow either his shop or anything else to interfere with his work as an evangelist and minister . The outstanding characteristic of his preaching is said to have been its earnestness. Another remarkable feature of his preaching was that, although he would start haltingly and clumsily, as he went on his spiritual ardour would clear his thoughts and fire his speech until he became truly eloquent. He was a great man and his congregations knew of no one who could compare with him except John Elias . He d. 19 July 1864 at the age of 80. His influence in Anglesey was unbounded, and he could curb even John Elias .


  • Hugh Jones , Galareb er coffadwriaeth am y Parch. John Prydderch, Talwrn, Mon; Parch. David Hughes, Llangristiolus, (gynt o Amlwch); Parch. William Roberts, Amlwch (Amlwch, 1869) , 1869 ;
  • John Pritchard , Methodistiaeth Môn (1888) , 188-92;
  • Geirlyfr Bywgraffiadol o Enwogion Cymru (1870) ;
  • Owen Thomas , Cofiant y Parchedig John Jones, Talysarn (New York, 1868) , 907 (and elsewhere).


Reverend Richard Thomas, B.A. (1872-1950), Caernarfon

Published date: 1959