Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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REES , JOHN SEYMOUR ( 1887 - 1963 ), minister (Congl.) and author ;

son of John Rees and Magdalen (née Evans ) his wife, Glasgow House , Aberaeron , baptised on 22 July 1887 . He was educated at Aberaeron ; Pencader ; The Old College School , Carmarthen ( c. 1909-10 ); and Brecon Academy ( 1911-15 ), attending a degree course under its auspices in the colleges of the University of Wales at Aberystwyth ( 1911 ) and Cardiff ( 1912 ). He was minister at Ebeneser , Cefncoedycymer ( 1915-22 ), where he was ord.; Hermon , Treorci ( 1923-27 ) and Soar , Seven Sisters ( 1927-45 ), before being appointed secretary of the Cardiff Council of Christians and Jews ( 1945-63 ). He was a very popular preacher but declined an invitation to become pastor of a church in New York , U.S.A. , c. 1922 , and in Radnor Walk , London , in 1926 . He gave his valedictory address to South Glamorgan Association in 1943 and gave many radio talks c. 1932 onwards.

He was known initially as a short-story writer . He won three crowns and 16 chairs in local and regional eisteddfodau , and first prize at the National Eisteddfod 28 times, mostly for essays and biographies, but the urge to include every detail stifled his literary skills, as in his essay on the history of the Welsh Language Society in 1952 . He contributed to the periodical press for over 50 years; see Glyn L. Jones , A bibliography of Cardiganshire 1600-1964 and the Supplement for a list of his articles in the Dysgedydd , Cymru , Genhinen , Ymofynnydd , etc. Other published work includes a one-act play, Y Canfasiwr , in Y Ford Gron , 5, no. 1, under the pseudonym J.C.M. Evans ; and The history of Ynysgau Church, Merthyr Tydfil ( c. 1958 ). He was a meticulous historian and about 50 volumes which were impeccably typed and neatly bound by him are preserved at the National Library of Wales ( NLW MSS 18628-18865; 18866 correspondence). They contain collections of hymns, biographies of hymnwriters, poets, preachers (and Congregational ministers of South Glamorgan to 1939 , in particular); and stories, history and notable figures of the Aeron valley , especially of Neuaddlwyd Academy . He also compiled indexes to Y Beirniad and the biographical dictionary of Josiah T. Jones ( 1867 ).

He m., Jan. 1924 , Annie Owen , Dyffryn , Rhydlewis, Cards. , who also gave valuable service to the church, and they had one son. He d. 17 June 1963 .

Sources:

  • Blwyddiadur y Methodistiaid Calfinaidd , (Congl.) 1910-16, and 1964 , 156;
  • and the MSS mentioned above.

Author:

Dr Mary Auronwy James, Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001