Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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THOMAS , OWEN ( 1812 - 1891 ), Calvinistic Methodist minister and author .

Born at Holyhead , 16 Dec. 1812 , son of Owen and Mary Thomas and brother of John Thomas ( 1821 - 1892 ) (q.v.) and Josiah Thomas (see below) . The father was a stone-mason and when, in 1827 , the family went to live at Bangor he, too, followed the same trade. He began to preach in 1834 and immediately came into prominence as a preacher . He went to Bala College in 1838 and thence to Edinburgh University . In 1844 he received a call to Pen-mount church , Pwllheli , where he was ordained in Sept. of the same year. In 1846 he moved to Newtown to take charge of an English church, and at the end of 1851 received a call to be minister of Jewin Crescent , London . On 24 Jan. 1860 he m. Ellen (d. 1867 ), youngest daughter of the Rev. William Roberts of Amlwch ( 1784 - 1864 ) (q.v.) . In 1865 he moved to Liverpool , first to Netherfield Road and later, in 1871 , to Princes Road church . He was moderator of the North Wales C.M. Association in 1863 and 1882 , and of the C.M. General Assembly in 1868 and 1888 . He was in the front of the great preachers of Wales , an authority on the history and development of preaching in Wales , and a first class orator . All his life he was an indefatigable student and he made a splendid contribution to the religious literature of Wales . He was also a profound theologian and an able commentator . His library, now housed in Bala College , is proof positive of the wide field of his studies, while his own books testify to his ability, industry, and particular genius.

He d. 2 Aug. 1891 and was buried in Anfield cemetery , Liverpool . He published Cofiant y Parch. John Jones, Tal-y-sarn ( Wrexham , 1874 ), two volumes which include a review of the history of theology and preaching in Wales ; Cofiant y Parch. Henry Rees , two volumes ( Wrexham , 1890 ); Cyfieithiad o draethawd y Parch. Thomas Watson ar Sancteiddhad , and extracts from the works of other authors ( Llanrwst , 1839 ); Esboniad ar y Testament Newydd ( 1862-85 ), which is a translation of Dr. Kitto 's commentary with additional notes — the commentaries on the Hebrews and Galatians were separately published in 1889 and 1892 respectively. He was a regular contributor to the Traethodydd from its inception, and for a time was its editor , jointly with Roger Edwards (q.v.) . He also wrote articles for the Gwyddoniadur and for a number of other publications. His biography was written by J. J. Roberts ( Iolo Caernarfon , q.v.) .

Besides Owen and John Thomas , there was a third brother,

JOSIAH THOMAS ( 1830 - 1905 ) ;

b. at Bangor 7 Aug. 1830 . He went to Bala College and Edinburgh University where he graduated in 1857 . His wife was the daughter of John Hughes ( 1796 - 1860 ) (q.v.) . After being pastor of Jerusalem chapel ( Bethesda, Caerns. ) he kept a school at Bangor ( 1862-6 ) but in 1866 was appointed secretary of the Calvinistic Methodist Missionary Society , a position which he retained until 1900 . In 1896 he was moderator of the North Wales C.M. Association . He d. 21 May 1905 .


  • Eminent Welshmen: a short biographical dictionary of Welshmen ... from the earliest times to the present (1908) .


Reverend William Llewelyn Evans, M.A., (1894-1958), Abergele

Published date: 1959