Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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SHADRACH , AZARIAH ( 1774 - 1844 ), schoolmaster, Independent minister, and author ;

b. 24 June 1774 at Garndeifo-fach in the parish of Llanfair Nant y Gôf, Pembs. , the fifth son of Henry and Ann Shadrach . When he was 7 years old the family migrated to Burton in the English part of the county. He was there for only three years, returning to an aunt at Moylgrove , where under the influence of the Rev. John Phillips he became a member of the Independent church . He received some formal education from John Young , sexton of Nevern , but he was mainly self-taught. He entered the service of the Rev. John Richards , minister at Treffgarne , Rhodiad , and Rhosycaerau , as a farm-servant upon condition that he should be allowed to read in his library during hours of leisure. He began to preach at Rhosycaerau , making preaching itineraries in South Wales in 1797 , and in North Wales in 1798 . Dr. George Lewis (q.v.) , Llanuwchllyn , persuaded him to settle in the North. He kept school at Hirnant , Pennal , Derwen-las , and Trefriw , and preached wherever he had the opportunity. In 1802 he was ordained minister at Llanrwst , moving in 1806 to take charge of the churches at Tal-y-bont and Llanbadarn-fawr, Cards. He set up regular preaching for Independents at Aberystwyth in 1816 , and on 30 May 1819 he incorporated an Independent church there. He relinquished his charges at Tal-y-bont and Llanbadarn to establish the new church . He accepted the responsibility of collecting funds for the erection of Zion chapel , Penmaes-glas , Aberystwyth , in 1821 . The chapel was opened in 1823 and remained the meeting-place of the church until its migration to Baker Street in 1878 . He travelled widely in England and Wales to collect the money. In 1830 his son, Eliakim , became joint pastor with him, but left for Dursley in 1834 . In 1835 he resigned his pastorate, but continued to preach until his death, 18 Jan. 1844 . He was buried in S. Michael's churchyard , Aberystwyth , where his tombstone bears a stanza from an elegy by a local bard styling him the Bunyan of Wales .

Shadrach published a large number of popular books of a homiletic nature bearing long and allegorical titles — (1) Allwedd Myfyrdod , 1801 ; (2) Breuddwyd … un o drigolion Bethsemes , 1802-3? ; (3) Drws i'r Meddwl Segur , 1804 ; (4) A Looking-glass , 1807 ; (5) Perlau Calfaria , 1808 ; (6) Clorianau Aur , 1809 ; (7) Blodau Paradwys , 1810 ; (8) Trysorau'r Groes , 1811 ; (9) Goleuni Caersalem , 1812 ; (10) Rhosyn Saron , 1816 ; (11) Udgorn y Jubili , 1819 ; (12) Cerbyd Aur , 1820 ; (13) Tabernacl Newydd , 1821 ; (14) Myfyrdodau Ysbrydol , 1821 ; (15) Glyn Angeu , 1821? ; (16) Dyfroedd Siloam , 1827 ; (17) Gwallt Sampson , 1831 ; (18) Cangen o rawn camphir , 1833 ; (19) Myrr Dyferol , 1833 ; (20) Meditations on Jewels , 1833 ; (21) Tlysau Aur , 1837 ; (22) Blodau y Ffigysbren , 1837 ; (23) Cerbyd o Coed Libanus , 1840 . No. 4 was translated into English by Edward S. Byam and published as The Backslider's Mirror , London , 1845 .

Sources:

  • An autobiography in Cerbyd o Goed Libanus, neu, Sylwadau a myfyrdodau ar lawer o adnodau ac ar amryw faterion pwysig cynnwysedig yn yr Ysgrythyrau Santaidd … yn nghyd ag hymnau yn canlyn yr holl fyfyrdodau; at yr hyn y chwanegwyd hanes byr o fywyd yr awdwr , Aberystwyth, 1840 , 1840 ;
  • Josiah Jones , Bywyd a gweithiau Azariah Shadrach , Machynlleth, 1863 , 1863 ;
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ;
  • Journal of the Welsh Bibliographical Society , July 1944 .

Author:

Evan David Jones, F.S.A., (1903-87), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959