Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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ROBERTS , EMMANUEL BERWYN ( 1869 - 1951 ), minister (Meth.) ;

b. 31 July 1869 in Y Nant , Rhewl , in the parish of Llantysilio , Llangollen, Denbs. , one of the eleven children of Morris and Jemima Roberts . The family moved to Carrog , where Emmanuel was an apprentice shoemaker , but his mother died when he was 12 and the impoverished family left for Penygroes , where he and his father found work in Coedmadog , clearing rubble in a clay pit . There, he began to preach , and he went to assist the Welsh Wesleyan minister in Hanley, Staffs. , and worked in the steelworks and the coal mine there. In 1891 he went to the Corwen circuit as a lay-agent , living in Tŷ Nant , and then to a similar post in Dinas Mawddwy . In 1893 , he went to Richmond College , and from there as a probationer-minister to Pen-y-cae , Ebbw Vale , in 1895 , and to Treharris in 1896 . In 1897 , he was appointed assistant to the Revd. John Evans , Eglwys-Bach , Pontypridd , ( DWB , 245) and it was he who insisted on giving him the middle name ‘ Berwyn ’, because he thought that no-one should be called ‘ Emmanuel ’. From that time, he was always known by his new name. When John Evans died, he went to Pont-rhyd-y-groes , and in 1899 , he was ordained in the first Conference of the Wesleyans in Machynlleth . He went to Corris in 1900 , and there m. Annie Roberts , adopted daughter of David and Ellen Roberts , Waterloo House , Caernarfon . They had four children, 2 girls, who married Wesleyan ministers , and two sons, who became local preachers .

He served twelve circuits; he was secretary to the Second Province of North Wales from 1914 to 1933 , Chairman of the Province from 1933 to 1936 , and President of the Welsh Cymanfa in 1930 . He came to early eminence as an expositor , and that was the chief characteristic of his preaching. His Commentary on Ephesians was published in 1902 , that on the Epistles of Peter in 1904 , and two volumes on the Gospel according to St. John in 1931 . He d. in Colwyn Bay on 26 Jan. 1951 .


  • Information supplied by his son, Selyf Roberts .


Gwilym Richard Tilsley, (1911-97), Prestatyn

Published date: 2001