Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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THOMAS , WILLIAM (d. 1813 ), Unitarian Baptist minister ,

hailed from Llanfynydd, Carms. , was baptized there, but removed when still young to Llandyfân, Carms. , and thence to the neighbourhood of Pant Teg , Cilrhedyn, Carms. He must have begun preaching before 1795 , for in Feb. of that year ( Traf. Cymd. Hanes Bed. , 1942 , 17) we find him preaching at a quarterly meeting at Llwyndafydd, Cards. In 1796 , he and Griffith Jones were ordained co-pastors of Pant Teg — ironically enough, Thomas took part in the ordination service of Titus Lewis (q.v.) at Blaen-y-waun, Pembs. , in 1797 . In the schism of 1799 , Thomas and the Arminian party retained possession of Pant Teg chapel , which is today one of the three chapels which alone in Wales bear the designation ‘ General Baptist ’ — see under Lloyd , Evan ( 1764 - 1847 ) . In 1801 , Thomas resigned his pastorate, and in Sept. entered the General Baptist seminary in London ; but about Christmas returned to Wales in broken health ( W. T. Whitley , Minutes of the General Assembly of General Baptists , ii, under 1802 ). In 1806 (op. cit., under 1806 ,) we hear of his having ‘ purchased a house for the worship of God ’ for the General Baptists at Llangyndeyrn, Carms. His name appears some half-a-dozen times in the Monthly Repository between 1806 and 1813 ; and in 1810 ( Whitley , op. cit., under 1810 ) he reports on the state of the General Baptists in Wales , to the Assembly in London . He d. 26 Dec. 1813 ; his tombstone describes him as a ‘ Unitarian minister .’ His age is not given, but all we know about him suggests that he was still a young man — perhaps about 45. His congregation had to surrender its chapel to the Particular Baptists in 1820 , and had died out by the middle of the century.

Sources:

  • D. Jones , Hanes y Bedyddwyr yn Neheubarth Cymru , 1839 , 257, 309, 372, 479;
  • Trafodion Cymdeithas Hanes Bedyddwyr Cymru , 1930 and 1931 ;
  • and the references given above.

Author:

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

Published date: 1959