Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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WILLIAMS , DAVID ( 1779 - 1874 ), Congregational minister ;

b. 27 Jan. 1779 at Nantydderwen in the parish of Llanwrtyd , Brecknock . He came of a well-known local stock; on his mother's side he was related to the family of John Penry (q.v.) . He was nurtured in a religious home and for a time attended a school kept by the incumbent of Llanwrtyd . He was received into church membership at Llanwrtyd by Isaac Price (q.v.) . After being apprenticed as shoemaker he went to Llandovery in 1796 and to Merthyr Tydfil in 1797 ; he took part in the founding of a Congregational church at Merthyr . Returning home, he began to preach at Llanwrtyd in 1799 . He preached for four years before he was ordained; in 1800 he undertook a preaching tour in North Wales . He was ordained minister of Llanwrtyd and Troedrhiwdalar on 8 Aug. 1803 , the Presbyterian Board making him a grant of five pounds on that occasion. He founded causes at Bethel , Cynghordy (in the valley of the Towy ), Ebenezer (on the eastern slope of Mynydd Epynt ), Abergwesyn , Beulah , and Olewydd ; he also succoured weak churches in the hundred of Builth . He witnessed periods of religious revival and several hundred new members were added to his churches, particularly in his jubilee year — 1853 . That jubilee was celebrated on an extensive scale and an oil-portrait of him was presented to Brecon College . He continued to preach to the end of his days. He d. 20 Aug. 1874 . A man of strong physique, he had a clear and bell-like voice, and his mode of delivery was easy and popular. He had warmth as an evangelist — he followed in the tradition of Howel Harris and other religious leaders of the 18th century.


  • Cofiant David Williams, Troedrhiwdalar (1877) , 1877 ;
  • Y Tyst , 28 Aug. 1874 ;
  • The Congregational Year Book , 1874 ;
  • Y Dysgedydd , Sept. 1874 .


Reverend John Dyfnallt Owen, M.A., (1873-1956), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959