Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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THOMAS , LAWRENCE ( 1889 - 1960 ), archdeacon ;

b. 19 Aug. 1889 , s. of David and Elizabeth Thomas , Gelli-gaer, Glam. He was educated at Lewis' School , Pengam , St. David's College , Lampeter , where he gained B.A. (2nd-cl. hons.) Divinity 1911 ; St. Michael's College , Llandaff , and was ord. in 1912 and served as curate of St. John's , Canton . He was ord. priest in 1913 . In 1914 he served as curate of Headington Quarry , near Oxford , and was also a student at St. John's College Oxford , where he gained B.A. (3rd-cl. hons.) Divinity 1916 , M.A. 1920 . From 1916-24 he served as curate of St. John's , Cardiff . He obtained the living of Briton Ferry in 1924 where he remained until 1942 , continuing his studies. He gained B. Litt. at Oxford in 1926 ; B.D. Trinity College Dublin in 1929 and D.D. 1930 . In 1930 he published his standard work, The Reformation in the old diocese of Llandaff . In the same year he published The life of Griffith Jones, Llanddowror , a pamphlet prepared by the Llandaff Diocesan Sunday School Council to commemorate the bicentenary of the starting of the circulating schools in 1731 .

He obtained the living of Bargoed in 1942 and was appointed canon of Llandaff cathedral in 1944 . He moved to Aberavon in 1946 and when the archdeaconry of Margam was formed in 1948 he was selected to be the first archdeacon . An able administrator , he fulfilled his duties effectively. He resigned the vicarage in 1958 . He m. in 1923 , Beatrice Lilian Williams of Crickhowel and they had one dau. He d. 19 Oct. 1960 and was buried at Gelli-gaer .

He was an authority on the impact of the industrial revolution on the church in south-east Wales , but because of his onerous duties he was unable to find time to write a book on the subject. His main interests were in historical and antiquarian subjects . He contributed articles to the DWB . He was known for his forthright and unconventional induction charges to congregations. A distinguished character, he was well-loved by his people.


  • Who was who? ;
  • Official Handbook of the Church in Wales (Cardiff) , 1959 ;
  • Y Llan , 11 Nov. 1960 ;
  • The Church Times , 28 Oct. 1960 .


Mary Gwendoline Ellis, M.A., Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001