John Davies (christened 23 Oct. 1781 ) succeeded to much of his father's wealth and also to his leadership in his connexion; but unlike his father he clung to the conservative theology of John Elias (q.v.) , and was his leading lay supporter — so much so that the irate Michael Roberts ( 1780 - 1849 ) (q.v.) , of Pwllheli , styling Elias the ‘pope’ of the connexion, referred to Davies as his ‘cardinal.’ With Elias , he was one of the three architects of the ‘ Constitutional Deed ’ ( 1826 ) of the C.M. connexion — the third was the Glamorgan lawyer and elder , Elias Bassett (see under Bassett , Richard ), and the draughtsman was John Wilks of London , whose father, Matthew Wilks , had been one of Whitefield 's exhorters and one of Thomas Charles 's collaborators in the Bible Society , but whose son, also named John , is tersely described in the D.N.B. as ‘ swindler .’
John Davies m., in 1813 , Jonnet , daughter of John Jones of Ty'n-ddôl , Llandderfel , and about 1815 built the mansion of Fronheulog , enclosing and developing surrounding land into an estate. In 1816 he became sheriff of Merioneth . His appointment, in 1822 , to the bench of magistrates provoked a storm; both as a nonconformist and as a ‘mere tradesman,’ Davies was unacceptable to his fellow-justices on the Bala bench, and for some years they refused to sit with him in petty sessions, so that when Davies 's turn on the rota came round, Samuel Holland (q.v.) had to come over from Ffestiniog to make a quorum — it seems odd to find T. J. Hogg , the friend of Shelley , upholding the behaviour of the recalcitrants.
Davies d. 12 June 1848 . A letter by Wordsworth praises him (along with Thomas Charles and John Elias ) for his loyalty to Church and State, and also for his landscape-improvements. The papers of the Fronheulog estate are now in N.L.W.
Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor
Published date: 1959