Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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ROBERTS , RICHARD ( 1823 - 1909 ), Wesleyan minister ;

b. 30 May 1823 at Machynlleth . As a young boy he went to live with an aunt in Manchester where he was educated in a school in Oldham Street . From 1837 to 1843 he was employed in a shop in the city. He was received into the Welsh Wesleyan church in Hardman Street and began to preach in 1839 . In 1846 , after three years at Didsbury College , Manchester , he entered the ministry. His circuits were as follows: Brecon ( 1846 ), Gloucester ( 1849 ), King Street , Bristol ( 1852 ), Wesley , Leeds ( 1855 ), Great Queen Street , London ( 1858 ), Queen Street , Huddersfield ( 1861 ), City Road , London ( 1864 ), St. John's Wood , London ( 1867 ), Ealing ( 1870 ), Spitalfields ( 1873 ), Great Queen Street , London ( 1876 ), Wesley , Liverpool ( 1879 ), City Road , London ( 1882 ), and Lambeth ( 1885 ). He retired in 1885 and settled in South Hampstead , London , where he d. 28 Nov. 1909 . He m. (1) S. Sophia Neville Broom of Llanelly , by whom he had children, and (2) Hannah Elsworth of London . Roberts was, above all, a fluent and vehement preacher , and was regarded as one of the most popular pulpit orators of his time. Throughout his working life his services were constantly in demand at all the great festivals of his church, and he travelled thousands of miles all over the United Kingdom to meet this demand. Many were the people he succeeded in converting in the course of his life. Lord Shaftesbury , in the course of a speech in the House of Lords , referred to the extraordinary impression made on the congregation by one of his sermons preached in a London theatre on New Year's Day, 1860 . His evangelical style of preaching was characterized by profound theology and by a wealth of exposition. It is said that the lilt of the Welsh hwyl was noticeable in his English preaching. He was elected to the Legal Hundred of his denomination in 1874 and he was minister of Wesley's chapel , London — the ‘cathedral of Methodism’ — when he was elected president of the Conference in 1885 ; he was the first Welsh -speaking Welshman to sit in John Wesley 's chair. He published the following volumes of sermons: My Later Ministry ( 1887 ), The Living One ( 1892 ), The Man of Peace ( 1894 ), and My Jewels ( 1903 ).

Sources:

  • Dinsdale T. Young , Richard Roberts, a Memoir , London, 1910 ( 1910 );
  • Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd , Dolgellau , Feb. 1886 , Aug. 1909 , Jan-Feb. 1910 , Feb. 1911 ;
  • Y Winllan , Feb. 1885 ;
  • Hill 's An Alphabetical Arrangement of All the Wesleyan-Methodist Ministers, and Preachers on Trial, in Connection with the British and Irish Conferences showing the circuits and stations to which they have been appointed from the commencement of their itinerancy to the conference of 1887 , 1878 .

Author:

Rev. Hywel Meilir Pennant Lewis, B.D., (1919-97), Bangor

Published date: 1959