Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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THOMAS , JOHN ( fl. 1689-1712 ), early minister of the Tivy-side Independents .

He lived at Llwyn-y-grawys , Llangoedmor , near Cardigan ; nothing is known of his family, and little of his career; unsupported tradition makes him a university man. He was a member of a mixed ( Independent and Baptist ) congregation on Tivy-side ; one of the houses at which it gathered for worship was Rhosgilwern ( Kilgerran ), which is thought to have been the home of Jenkin Jones (d. 1689 ) . As John Thomas 's signature is the first of those attesting Jenkin Jones 's will, it is possible that he was already co-pastor with him. But by that time, the question of infant Baptism was disquieting local Dissenters , and a public debate on that subject was arranged ( 1691 or 1692 ) between John Thomas and John Jenkins ( 1656? - 1733 ) of Rhydwilym . The upshot was that the Baptist members of the mixed congregation left it and became members at Rhydwilym . In 1709 , Thomas localised his congregation in a new meeting-house at Llechryd . He was a member of the ‘synods’ which met in an attempt to compose the famous controversy at Henllan Amgoed ( Carms. — see under Owen , Jeremy ); it is clear that his influence was great, for the leaders of both parties speak of him with great respect. His name does not appear in John Evans 's list of ministers ( c. 1715 ), and a deed resolving the property of his widow gives the date of his death as December 1712.


  • Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru , iv, 154-5, 158;
  • Geiriadur Bywgraffyddol o Enwogion Cymru , ii, 585;
  • Mathias Maurice , ‘Byr a Chywir Hanes,’in Y Cofiadur , 1925 , 45;
  • Jeremy Owen , Golwg ar y Beiau y sydd yn yr hanes a brintiwyd ynghylch pedair neu bum mlynedd i nawr, ym mherthynas i'r rhwygiad a wnaethbwyd yn Eglwys Henllan … 1707, 1708, 1709 (Carmarthen, 1732-3) , pp. 43, 45-7 in the Univ. of Wales reprint;
  • NLW Clynfiew deeds, Box 6, 463 (information from James Lloyd).


Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor

Published date: 1959