Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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TREGELLES , SAMUEL PRIDEAUX ( 1813 - 1875 ), Biblical scholar and linguist ;

b. of Quaker parentage at ‘ Wodehouse Place ,’ near Falmouth , 30 Jan. 1813 . His father, Samuel , joined a Cornish company, which settled at the iron-works of Cwm-y-felin , Neath Abbey , Glamorgan , at the beginning of the 19th cent. , and his name appears on a deed in 1818 . Tregelles came early under the influence of J. N. Darby ( 1800 - 1882 ), one of the chief founders of the Plymouth Brethren . Although Tregelles left the Plymouth Brethren for the Church of England , he retained to the end some of their characteristic doctrines. Educated at the Rev. T. Sheepshank 's grammar school, Falmouth ( 1825-8 ), he moved, when 15 years of age, to Neath Abbey , where he was engaged in the iron-works ( 1829-35 ), probably as a clerk , but according to D. Rhys Phillips , he was there apprenticed as an engineer and assisted in lighting the morning fires for the craftsmen . He diligently applied himself to master Hebrew and Greek and also the Welsh language. In the vicinity of Neath he felt the urge to preach the Gospel, and doubtless did so in Welsh on several occasions. He was secretary of Neath Cymmrodorion c. 1833 . He moved to Falmouth in 1835 as private tutor , returned for a while to Neath , 30 July 1844 , when in a letter to Eben Fardd (q.v.) he expressed his intention of visiting him at Clynnog during his preaching tour. They frequently corresponded with each other in Welsh , the Welsh poet having taught him the rules of cynghanedd . For over thirty years he devoted himself to the study and elucidation of Hebrew and Biblical Greek , collating all manuscripts then known here and on the Continent. His chief work was on the Greek text of the New Testament ; he deviated from the ‘ Textus Receptus .’ He was known also as a poet , and the Lyra Britannica and Schaff 's Christ in Song contain poems by him. In his last years he received a civil pension of £200 a year in recognition of his work. He d. of paralysis at Plymouth , 24 April 1875 .

He published: Passages in the Old Testament connected with the Revelation , 1836 ; ‘ An account of English Versions ’ in the ‘Introduction’ to English Hexapla ( London , 1841 ); Hebrew Reading Lessons , 1845 ; Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament , 1847 (trans. of Gesenius Lex ); Heads of Hebrew Grammar , 1852 ; Interlineary Hebrew & English Psalter , 1852 . He had a large share in The Englishman's Greek Concordance to the New Testament , and The Englishman's Hebrew and Chaldee Concordance to the Old Testament , 1839-43 ; Account of the Printed Text of the New Testament , 1854 ; An Introduction to the textual criticism of the New Testament , 1856 ; The Ways of the Line (anon., 1858 ); New Testament Greek Text (in parts, 1857-72 ), besides several articles in Smith 's Dictionary of the Bible .


  • Y Traethodydd , Oct. 1883, April and July 1884 ;
  • Y Dysgedydd , March 1933 ;
  • D. Rhys Phillips , The Hist. of the Vale of Neath (Swansea, 1925) ;
  • Schaff-Herzog , The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge. Based on the third edition of the Realencyklopadie founded by J. J. Herzog (New York, London, 1908-14) ;
  • Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Handworterbuch in gemeinverstandlicher Darstellung (Tubingen, 1909-13) ;
  • [see also The National Library of Wales Journal , Winter 1952 , 344-6].


Reverend Emeritus Professor John Daniel Vernon Lewis, M.A., B.D., D.D., (1879-1970), Brecon / Aberllefenni / Machynlleth

Published date: 1959