Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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WILLIAMS , WILLIAM RICHARD ( 1896 - 1962 ), minister (Presb.) and Principal of the United Theological College, Aberystwyth ;

b. 4 Apr. 1896 at Pwllheli, Caerns. , son of Richard and Catherine Williams , his mother of the lineage of Siarl Marc of Bryncroes ( DWB , 614) . He was educated at Penlleiniau church day-school and Pwllheli County School . He won a Mrs Clarke Scholarship , enabling him to enter University College , Aberystwyth , where he graduated with first-class honours in Greek and second class in philosophy. His father died in 1912 , and he and his mother moved to Aberystwyth , becoming members of Tabernacl church where he began to preach . He served in the army for a period during World War I . He continued his education at Lincoln College , Oxford , where he graduated with a first class in theology. He was ord. in 1921 , and served as minister of Bethel , Gowerton, Glam. ( 1921-22 ) and Argyle English Church , Swansea ( 1922-25 ). He was appointed assistant lecturer at Aberystwyth Theological College ( 1925-27 ), and then became Professor of the Philosophy of Religion ( 1927-28 ), and of Greek and N.T. exegesis ( 1928-49 ). He was principal of the college from 1949 until he d. in 1962 . In 1928 he m. Violet Irene Evans of Swansea , and they had a son. W.R. Williams d. 18 Dec. 1962 .

He was a prominent figure in his denomination . He delivered the Davies Lecture in 1939 on ‘ The Missionary Spirit in the Early Church ’, which was not published. He served as Moderator of the General Assembly ( 1960 ), and Moderator of the South Wales Association ( 1962 ). He took an interest in the Sunday school and the Foreign and Home Missions , and was president of the Forward Movement for many years. He was one of the leading promoters of the ecumenical movement in Wales ; he was the first secretary of the Council of Churches of Wales , and its president when he d. In 1961 he was elected chairman of the British committee of the Presbyterian Alliance . He was a member of the joint-committee which was appointed to prepare a new English translation of the Bible , and in 1961 he was appointed director of the committee which was established to prepare a new Welsh translation of the Bible . He contributed to the periodicals of his denomination and published three volumes of biblical commentary: Arweiniad i Efengyl Ioan ( 1930 ), Yr Epistol at yr Hebreaid ( 1932 ), and Epistol cyntaf Ioan ( 1943 ).


  • Who's who in the Free Churches? (1951) (1951) , 358;
  • Blwyddiadur y Methodistiaid Calfinaidd , 1964 , 284-5;
  • Y Drysorfa , 1960 , 114-7; 1962 , 64-7; May 1963 ;
  • information from his son, the Rev. Richard Williams ;
  • personal acquaintance.


Reverend Gomer Morgan Roberts, M.A., (1904-93), Pont-rhyd-y-fen / St Dogmael's / Llandybïe

Published date: 2001