Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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THOMAS , BENJAMIN ( 1723 - 1790 ), Independent preacher and Methodist exhorter .

He originally came from the north of Pembrokeshire or the south of Cardiganshire , but in 1741 went as a circulating school teacher to North Wales , where he had to endure persecution. He began to exhort with the Methodists and was appointed a public exhorter at the Watford Association , 1743 — he is referred to in the minutes as a ‘ licensed Dissenting Minister ,’ but it is doubtful whether he had been ordained and he is not called a minister in H. Egl. Ann. In 1743 he was again in North Wales and suffered persecution in Anglesey . In the Porth-y-rhyd Association ( 1744 ), he was appointed to assist Howel Harris as superintendent of the churches in Wales Harris calls him ‘my assistant’ in his diary. He was sent to North Wales in 1748 , and in 1749 is mentioned as one of the chief Methodist missionaries in that part of the country. He went to the Llanidloes Association ( 1750 ), and when the split took place, sided with Daniel Rowland . Harris met him again at the Newcastle Emlyn Association ( 1764 ). We find the name of ‘ Benjamin Thomas near Cardigan ’ in the list of Pembrokeshire subscribers to D. Rowland ' Tair Pregeth , 1772 , but in the Pembrokeshire list of subscribers to Pum Pregeth , 1772 , his address is given as ‘near Llechryd .’ He is mentioned as one of the exhorters who attended the Llangeitho Associations ( 1778 and 1783 ). His grave adjoins that of David and Ebenezer Morris in Tredreyr churchyard, and his tombstone records that he d. 12 April 1790 at the age of 77.

Sources:

  • Cylchgrawn Cymdeithas Hanes y Methodistiaid Calfinaidd , i, 23; xi, 48, 58; xxv, 12-13, 21, 102; xxvi, 78; xxviii, 38; xxxi, 25, 28; xxxii, 72;
  • R. Bennett , Methodistiaeth Trefaldwyn Uchaf, 1738–1852 (1929) , 127, 171-2;
  • R. Owen in Er Clod Saith Bennod ar Hanes Methodistiaeth yng Nghymru , 46;
  • Robert Jones (Rhoslan) , Drych yr Amseroedd , 83;
  • Y Traethodydd , 1883 , 148-9;
  • John Pritchard , Methodistiaeth Môn (1888) , 25;
  • Methodistiaeth Cymru (1851–6) , i, 487-8; ii, 293, 304, 337;
  • Y Tadau Methodistaidd (1895) , i, 234-5;
  • J. Evans , Byr-gofiant am naw a deugain o Weinidogion Ymadawedig sir Aberteifi (1894-1913) , 111-3.

Author:

Reverend Gomer Morgan Roberts, M.A., (1904-93), Pont-rhyd-y-fen / St Dogmael's / Llandybïe

Published date: 1959