Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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STEPHEN , DAVID RHYS ( Gwyddonwyson ; 1807 - 1852 ), Baptist minister and author ;

b. at Merthyr Tydfil , 23 April 1807 . Originally a Calvinistic Methodist , he was baptized by J. P. Davies (q.v.) , Tredegar , 3 July 1825 , and started to preach at about the same time. He was admitted to Abergavenny Baptist Academy in 1828 , and was ordained at Mount Pleasant , Swansea , 25 April 1831 , subsequently moving to Newport ( 1840 ), Manchester ( 1845 ), and Abercarn ( 1849 ). He d. at Sketty , 24 April 1852 . He m. (1), 17 Nov. 1835 , Hannah ( 3 Sept. 1814 - 2 Aug. 1842 ), fourth child of Joseph Harris ( Gomer , q.v.) ; (2), 6 Dec. 1843 , Mary Wilson , daughter of David Morgan , Swansea .

Stephen was a prominent preacher , but is best remembered for his literary and theological works. He published (1) Dwyfoliaeth … Iesu Grist … Pregeth , 1834 ; (2) Ffurf Priodas Ymneillduwyr , 1838 (with D. Rees , Llanelly ); (3) Cofiant … John Williams, gweinidog y Bedyddwyr yn Nhrosnant, Pontypwl , 1841 (with W. Jones ( Bleddyn ) and David D. Evans ; (4) On the True Church of Jesus Christ: an essay , 1842 ; (5) Luther, Milton, and Pascal: three lectures , 1845 ; (6) Memoirs of Christmas Evans , 1847 ; and (7) Pwka'r Trwyn, the celebrated Mynyddyslwyn Sprite , 1851 . An advertised work by him in 1851 entitled ‘ A Lecture on the Amalgamation of the Welsh and English Elements in the Formation of Character in the mineral districts of South Wales ’ does not appear to have been published. He also edited the literary works of J. P. Davies , Tredegar , 1834 ; Joseph Harris ( Gomer ) , 1839 ; and Ebenezer Rowland Jones , Liverpool , 1840 ; and the 6th ed., 1845 , of Joseph Harris 's collection of Welsh hymns. He founded Morgan Llewelyn's Journal at Newport and edited the few numbers which appeared between 1 May and 31 July 1841 . Elegies were composed on him by (1) W. Downing Evans ( The Gwyddonwyson Wreath , 1853 ); (2) William Thomas ( Islwyn ) , W. Ambrose ( Emrys ) , and Edward Roberts ( Iorwerth Glan Aled ) . His library was bequeathed to his executors James Rowe and David Lloyd Isaac (q.v.) . A number of letters by him to William Roberts ( Nefydd ) are preserved in N.L.W. MSS. 7177, 7779 .

Sources:

  • NLW MS 9273;
  • Eminent Welshmen: a short biographical dictionary of Welshmen ... from the earliest times to the present , 1908 , 499;
  • Notable Welshmen (1700–1900) , 1908 ;
  • Geiriadur Bywgraffyddol o Enwogion Cymru , ii, 550-1;
  • Hanes y Bedyddwyr yn Neheubarth Cymru , 1839 , 527, 738;
  • E. Thomas , Crybwyllion Hanesiol am Eglwys Silo, Tredegar , Tredegar, 1857; republished, 1858 (2nd ed., 1858 ), 24-6;
  • Cymdeithas Bedyddwyr Neillduol Morgannwg , memorial volume, 1933 , memorial volume, 1933 , 63;
  • Greal y Bedyddwyr , 1827–37 , 1831 (217), 1835 (380), 1836 (16, 164);
  • Y Greal sef Cylchgrawn Misol at wasanaeth y Bedyddwyr , 1852 , 164;
  • Seren Gomer , 1835 (376), 1836 (371), 1841 (159), 1843 (129), 1844 (29), 1849 (24), 1852 (286, 324), 1853 (145, 157);
  • Evans , Ieuan Ddu o Lan Tawy , 1923 , 1923 , 14-15;
  • Ifano Jones , A history of printing and printers in Wales to 1810, and of successive and related printers to 1923 , 1925 , 248-9.

Author:

Benjamin George Owens, M.A., Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959