Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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THOMAS , NATHANIEL ( 1818 - 1888 ), Baptist minister at Tabernacle , Cardiff , etc.;

b. 13 April 1818 at Clydach , near Swansea . At 7 years of age he went to work in a colliery for a short time; later he assisted boatmen on the canal near his home. The family moved to Nant-y-glo in 1830 , he was baptized there (at Hermon ), began to preach in 1837 , and went to Pontypool College in Jan. 1842 . He ministered at Cilfowyr , 1846-50 , and at Penuel , Carmarthen , 1850-6 ; at the latter place he built a new chapel . He m. Laura Emily Blagdon (see below), a Churchwoman who had become a Baptist . He spent thirty years at Tabernacle , Cardiff , and was responsible for the present edifice. He served as editor of Y Bedyddiwr , was an advocate of temperance, educational and Liberal movements , and helped to succour blind and unfortunate people . He was the first president of the Welsh Baptist Union ; he also served on committees of the Baptist Union of England and Wales . He d. 2 Dec. 1888 .


  • T. Morgan , Cofiant y Parch. Nathaniel Thomas, Caerdydd (Llangollen, 1900) ;
  • Seren Gomer , 1889 ;
  • Y Geninen (Gŵyl Dewi), 1889 .


LAURA THOMAS ( née Blagdon ) ( 1822 - 1883 ),

wife of Nathaniel Thomas , deserves a short note. Born at Bodlington Manor , Cheltenham , 1 March 1822 , she early showed breadth of mind and a gift for evangelizing . This disturbed her father to such an extent that she was forced to leave her home. Her mother and the youngest child joined her and the three reached Carmarthen . There they insisted ( Jan. 1852 ) upon being baptized by Nathaniel Thomas , the minister of Penuel , Laura becoming, later, his wife. From 1856 until her death ( 1 May 1883 ) she worked assiduously in Cardiff with the band of hope, the temperance movement , the deaf and dumb, etc. She also distributed tracts, did social work in the docks and in the prison and helped unfortunate women , etc. Because she gave shelter in her home overnight to a young Jewess who wished to become a Christian , Laura Thomas and her husband were involved in litigation initiated by the Jewess 's father and although the High Court decided in their favour the expenses incurred by the two defendants amounted to about £800.


  • David Davies , Christ Magnified the life of Mrs N. Thomas, of Cardiff (London, 1884?) ;
  • T. Morgan , Cofiant y Parch. Nathaniel Thomas, Caerdydd (Llangollen, 1900) .


Reverend William Joseph Rhys, (1880-1967), Gelli, Rhondda / Treherbert

Published date: 1959