Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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THOMAS , JENKIN (‘ Siencyn Pen-hydd ’; 1746 - 1807 ), Methodist exhorter ;

b. 16 Sept. 1746 , son of Thomas Rees of Pen-hydd Fawr , Margam, Glam. His spiritual conviction took place under the ministry of Evan Dafydd Evan (q.v.) of Tŷ'r-clai , and he came under the influence of William Davies ( 1729? - 1787 ) (q.v.) , Methodist curate of Neath . He joined the congregation at Gyfylchi chapel and began to preach to the local societies. He m. Catherine , daughter of John Lewis of Llanfihangel Ynys Afan , and went to live for a time at Aberafan , but left this place to go to Goetre , near the old chapel of Dyffryn , Tai-bach , where he spent the remainder of his life. He d. 26 Dec. 1807 , and was buried in the churchyard at Llanfihangel Ynys Afan — now known as Cwmafan . ‘ Siencyn Pen-hydd ’ was one of the most remarkable preachers of his generation and became talked of throughout the country because of his odd pulpit mannerisms, his uncouth appearance, and his harshness as a preacher . He was immortalised when Edward Matthews (q.v.) wrote his biography, which was read by generation after generation of Welsh people.

Sources:

  • J. Lewis , Marwnad am Jenkin Thomas , 1808 , 1808 ;
  • H. Bevan , Ychydig hanes neu goffadwriaeth am amryw bethau neillduol a gymmerasant le ymhlith corph y Methodistiaid Calfinaidd yn ac o'u dechreuad, sef oddiar yr amser y daeth Mr. Howel Harries i bregethu yn ei droion cyntaf i amryw barthau o Sir Forganwg a'i chyffiniau pethau na buont yn argraffedig o'r blaen, eithr wedi eu clywed o eneuau yr hen bobl ag oedd yn fyw yn yr amser hyny, ac wedi eu hysgrifenu er mwyn eu cadw mewn coffadwriaeth, ar ddymuniad rhai Brodyr , Swansea, 1838 , 17;
  • E. Matthews , Hanes Bywyd Siencyn Penhydd, neu Mr. Jenkin Thomas, o Benhydd, yn Sir Forganwg , Pontypridd, 1850 ;
  • G. Thomas , Lloffyn olaf o faes hynafiaethau Capel y Gyfylchi, ger Pontrhydyfen, Port Talbot , Treorchy, 1899? , 31, 68;
  • Y Traethodydd , 1850 , 67; [ 1953 , 35-40].

Author:

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

Published date: 1959