Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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WILLIAMS , MOSES (d. 1819 ), General (but Trinitarian) Baptist minister, and blacksmith ;

a native of Llanfynydd (Carms.) , but it was at Llandyfân that he was baptized, and it was there that he began to preach — probably before 1792 . He did not agree with Calvinism , nor with the Methodist tendencies of most of his fellow- Baptists ; in 1794 , and again in 1796 ( Traf. Cymd. Hanes Bed. , 1930 , 39 and 40) we find him siding in the Quarterly Meetings with the left wing, and maintaining (as John Richard Jones of Ramoth [q.v.] did) that ‘faith’ was nothing more than simple belief. In 1797 he was ordained minister of Llandyfân , and in 1798 started another church in Pontbren-araeth in the parish of Llangadog . In the 1799 schism, he and his two churches broke away from the Particular Baptists , although they continued to be Trinitarians ; Williams welcomed the advent of the Wesleyan mission to those parts, and we find him in 1806 ( Hist. Carms. , ii, 253) preaching in the Wesleyan chapel at Carmarthen . He preached in the Assembly of the General Baptists at Newcastle Emlyn in May 1807 ( Monthly Repository , 1807 , 333), but it is obvious that by 1809 (ibid., 1809 , 695) it was a ‘ John Griffiths ’ who had taken the lead at Llandyfân — for further information about this and other matters relating to this church (which by this time was Unitarian ) see T. Oswald Williams in Yr Ymofynnydd , 1930 , 41-6. Griffiths 's vigorous proselytising was a thorn in Williams 's side, and his horror of Unitarianism proved stronger than the reasons which had previously led him to leave the Calvinistic Baptists . He was received back into his old denomination at the Quarterly Meeting held at Easter, 1814 , at Felin-foel ; and he was followed ( 1815 ) by most of his congregation at Llandyfân . He seems to have given up preaching (certainly, he was no longer a minister ); he resumed his work as a blacksmith near Swansea . He d. Dec. 1819 ; he was highly spoken of as a ‘ sober, conscientious, and godly ’ man.


  • D. Jones , Hanes y Bedyddwyr yn Neheubarth Cymru (1839) , 346, 362-3;
  • and the other references given above.


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

Published date: 1959