Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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SAUNDERS , DAVID ‘ II ’ ( Dafydd Glan Teifi ; 1769 - 1840 ), Baptist minister, poet, and writer ;

b. Jan. 1769 , at Undergrove , Lampeter , son of Thomas and Elinor Saunders , grandson of Evan Saunders , (q.v.) and nephew of David Saunders ‘ I (see under Saunders , Evan ), both preachers at Aberduar, Carms. He was educated at local schools, including that of Dafydd Jones , Dol-wlff , Llanwenog , and was bapt. by Timothy Thomas , Aberduar , in July 1784 . His family were well-to-do, and he is named among the first burgesses to be admitted at Lampeter after the grant of the new charter in 1814 . He began to preach at Aberduar in 1796 , was ordained co-pastor of the church 22 Oct. 1800 , moved to Zion , Merthyr Tydfil , 13 July 1815 , ‘ without our consent ,’ says Aberduar book (copy in N.L.W. MS. 10785 ) because of the great popularity he enjoyed at Aberduar , and d. at Merthyr 4 Feb. 1840 . He was buried at Zion . His ministry at Merthyr Tydfil was a great success, and he is recorded to have baptized 510 persons there in the period 1816-36 .

He m. (1), 23 June 1815 , Margaret Jenkins , a widow, of Dol-wlff , Llanwenog . Their only child, Thomas , was b. 19 Aug. 1816 . She d. April 1817 , Thomas was lost in the docks at Bristol , 12 Oct. 1837 , and Thomas 's infant daughter, Mary , was buried at Zion , 12 Sept. 1837 , aged 10 months; (2), 9 June 1829 , Catherine Joseph , also a widow, of Merthyr Tydfil (d. 1841? ). His will (dated 29 March 1838 , proved 30 March 1840 ) refers to property at Merthyr Tydfil and mentions his wife Catherine ; his brother John ; his son Thomas (‘ who is missing and reputed to be dead ’); his sisters Mary , Sarah , Elinor , and Gwen ; another sister Martha , deceased, and her children, Thomas Morgan and Mary Evans ; and his niece Elinor Lloyd .

Saunders is best remembered for his literary work. His exercises and notes in N.L.W. MS. 3260 indicate that he was versed in Welsh strict metres , and much of his poetry was published, e.g. Ychydig a Bennillion Profiadol yn cynnwys Griddfaniad Hiraethlawn Dafydd Saunders , 1815 ; Dwy Awdl: y gyntaf or Elusengarwch, … yr ail, ar Farwolaeth Syr Thomas Picton , 1820 ; Awdl ar Fordaith yr Apostol Paul … at yr hyn yr ychwanegwyd ychydig o hymnau newyddion , 1828 ; and elegies on Samuel Breeze , Newcastle Emlyn , 1812 ; Zecharias Thomas , Aberduar (2nd ed.), 1816 ; and Joseph Harris ( Gomer , 1826 ). The latter published a number of Saunders 's hymns in Casgliad o Hymnau , 1821 , and other poetical works by him are preserved in his own hand in N.L.W. MSS. 791, 7141-2 . His theological publications include three volumes of comments on infant baptism published in the period 1821-2 in reply to Thomas Powel , Brecon , another volume of comments ( Ychydig o Nodiadau ) on a treatise by R. Wright ( 1816 ), and three Welsh translations of works by Abraham Booth ( 1810 ), John Fawcett ( 1826 ), and Thomas Westlake ( 1828 ). Sermon notes by him are preserved in N.L.W. MSS. 7141-2 , a letter ( 1817 ) in N.L.W. MS. 7165 , and another letter ( 1807 ; published in Spinther , iv, 403-4) of considerable importance in Cwrtmawr MS. 818 giving an account of his Baptist mission at Deptford .

Sources:

  • John Williams , Cofiant y diweddar Barchedig Dafydd Saunders … yn nghyd a'i farwnad , Aberystwyth, 1842 , 1842 ;
  • Hanes y Bedyddwyr yn Neheubarth Cymru , 1839 , 334, 584;
  • Hanes y Bedyddwyr yn Nghymru , 1893–1907 , iv, 402-4;
  • Seren Gomer , 1840 (95), 1829 (252);
  • Greal y Bedyddwyr , 1827–37 , 1830 , 39, 52, 66;
  • G. Eyre Evans , Lampeter , 1905 , 44, 117, 176, 183;
  • NLW MSS 791, 1907, 3260, 7141-2, 7165, 8705, 9273, 10785;
  • N.L.W. Cwrtmawr Manuscript in the National Library of Wales 818;
  • Cardiff Free Libraries, Catalogue of Printed Literature in the Welsh Department , 1898 (J. H. Davies's personal copy);
  • W. A. Griffiths , Hanes Emynwyr Cymru , Caernarfon, 1907 , 220-1;
  • Williams , Enwogion Ceredigion , 1869 , 221-2;
  • Geiriadur Bywgraffyddol o Enwogion Cymru , ii, 539-41;
  • Eminent Welshmen: a short biographical dictionary of Welshmen ... from the earliest times to the present , 1908 .

Author:

Benjamin George Owens, M.A., Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959