Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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ROBERTS , JOHN ( Minimus ; 1808 - 1880 ), Calvinistic Methodist minister, and author ;

second son of Richard Roberts , a ship's chandler , of Liverpool . He became elder ( 1827? ) of Bedford Street C.M. church , began to preach in 1830 , and was ordained in 1857 at the Dolgellau Association . He m., in 1849 , Elizabeth Milnes , of Oswestry (d. 1865 ). His youngest sister, Ann , became the second wife of the Rev. David Charles ( 1803 - 1880 ) (q.v.) . While continuing in the employ of sail shipping company , he became, in 1840 , the unpaid secretary of the newly-formed C.M. Foreign Missions Society (see Jones , Thomas , 1810 - 1849 ); from 1861 till his wife's death he lived near Mold . In 1866 his connection with the C.M. Missions was severed, and he removed to Edinburgh , as secretary of the ‘ Scottish Sabbath Observance Society ’. He d. there 6 Jan 1880 , and was buried in S. James's cemetery , Liverpool . A daughter survived him. Minimus wrote much for the C.M. periodicals , e.g. Y Traethodydd and Y Drysorfa — he edited the latter in 1846 , and afterwards, jointly with Roger Edwards (q.v.) , till 1852 . With Richard Williams ( 1802 - 1842 ) (q.v.) he edited Y Pregethwr , 1835-8 . He collaborated with John Jones ( 1790 - 1855 ) (q.v. in App.) in a biography of John Elias , and wrote two other biographies; he also wrote hymns , one of which, beginning ‘ Bywha dy waith … ’ which first appeared in Y Drysorfa in 1840 , is still sung.

Sources:

  • Y Drysorfa , 1840 and 1880 ;
  • Y Goleuad , 17 Jan. 1880 ;
  • J. Hughes Morris , Hanes Methodistiaeth Liverpool , Liverpool, 1929-1932 , i, and The history of the Welsh Calvinistic Methodists' foreign mission to the end of the year 1904 , 1910 ;
  • John Roberts , Lizzi Milnes; a Memoir of a Beloved Wife, with selections from her letters , Edinburgh, 1876 (Edinburgh, 1876 );
  • J. Thickens , Emynau a’u Hawduriaid , 1945 ( 1945 ).

Author:

Derwyn Jones, M.A., Bangor / Colwyn Bay

Published date: 1959