Dictionary of Welsh Biography

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

THOMAS , WILLIAM ( 1734 - 1799 ), cleric and antiquary ;

son of Lewis and Eleanor Thomas , Eglwys Nynnid , near Margam, Glam. (he was christened 26 Aug. 1734 ). He received his early education at Cowbridge under Dr. Durell , and then proceeded to Jesus College , Oxford , where he matriculated, 24 Oct. 1751 . He graduated B.A. from Oriel College in 1755 and M.A. in 1758 . He was ordained deacon by the bishop of S. Davids on 13 Aug. 1758 , and priest by the bishop of Oxford on 23 Sept. 1759 . On 28 April 1760 , he was instituted into the living of Aberavon with Baglan and Briton Ferry on the presentation of lord Vernon of Briton Ferry . On 30 Dec. 1763 , he was presented by the same patron to Llangynwyd with Baiden , and, on 7 Jan. 1764 , nominated to the curacy of Llangeinor by lord Mansel . But for some years after 1760 he lived chiefly in Oxford where he was a Fellow and tutor of Pembroke College . He was collated to the chancellorship of Llandaff cathedral on 10 Jan. 1777 , and appears to have resigned his living of Aberavon with Baglan and Briton Ferry in 1786 , and of Llangynwyd with Llangeinor in 1789 . He was also rector of Tortworth, Glos. He d. 3 Sept. 1799 . After leaving Oxford , Thomas became chaplain to lord Vernon , and was also on the most intimate terms of friendship with the duke of Beaufort . He was a good Celtic scholar and was well-versed in Oriental languages . He is said to have been a friend of Evan Evans ( Ieuan Brydydd Hir , q.v.) , and to have been responsible in some measure for inducing the latter to proceed with and complete his Dissertatio de Bardis .


  • The Gentleman's Magazine , 1799 , ii, 820; 1800 , i, 489;
  • Eminent Welshmen: a short biographical dictionary of Welshmen ... from the earliest times to the present (1908) ;
  • Foster , Alumni Oxonienses ;
  • Le Neve and Hardy , Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae (1854) , ii, 264;
  • The Records of the Church in Wales at the National Library of Wales (in N.L.W.).


Hywel David Emanuel, M.A., (1921-70), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959