Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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THOMAS , LEWIS (d. March 1704 ), one of the chief leaders of the Particular Baptists

after the migration of John Miles (q.v.) to America ; a native of Margam . He was baptized at Ilston in Nov. 1650 , and figured prominently in the complicated circuit arrangements made by Miles in 1657 . Later he made his home at the Mŵr by Newton Nottage , and in 1669 he is reported as preaching illegally in the company of Richard Cradock the Independent (q.v.) at Cradock ' house. Under the Declaration of 1672 he received a licence to preach at the house of William Dykes in Swansea . He suffered severely from the ‘ Clarendon Code ’ and the writs of sheriffs. When Toleration came it was seen that his area of activity stretched from Carmarthen to Bridgend , supervising the ‘church of Swansea ,’ though there are plenty of references to his preaching as far east as Hengoed and Blaenau Gwent . His name appears on the records of the London Assemblies of 1689 and 1692 , and much to the forefront in the Welsh Association from 1700 onwards. He was at the Llanwenarth meeting in 1703 ; at the Swansea Association of 1704 , a short but eloquent note was made of his death. A few years before that a special tribute was paid him — he was the first to preach at the new Rhydwilym meeting-house in 1701 , the first chapel to be built by the Baptists in western Wales .

Sources:

  • Joshua Thomas , Hanes y Bedyddwyr ymhlith y Cymry ( 1885 ed.), 92-3, 100-4;
  • Lambeth MS. 639 (187b);
  • Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series , Record Publication , Charles II, 251, 260;
  • Entry Book 38A;
  • Trafodion Cymdeithas Hanes Bedyddwyr Cymru , 1928 , 87, 101; 1938 , 94-5.

Author:

Thomas Richards, D.Litt., (1878-1962), Bangor

Published date: 1959