Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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BOWEN , THOMAS ( 1756 - 1827 ), Independent minister .

Born 1756 in the Capel Isaac neighbourhood, of humble parents. He was compelled to earn his living from a very early age, but the farmer for whom he worked encouraged him to get lessons from John Griffiths (1731 - 1811) of Glandŵr , and in 1777 he went to the Abergavenny Academy . In 1781 he was called to Maes-yr-onnen where he was responsible for a considerable increase in the vitality of the church. His sphere of influence extended, and he was fined by the magistrates at Brecon for preaching in a house in Llansantffraid parish without a licence. He established new churches in the neighbourhood.

In 1795 he moved to Maes-yr-haf chapel , Neath . While there he founded the churches at Melin-cwrt and Aberavon , as well as the first Sunday school in the district. In consequence of a doctrinal dispute many members left Maes-yr-haf and started a Unitarian church in the town. He d. 27 Feb. 1827 .


  • Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru , i, 528, ii, 104-6;
  • Josiah Thomas Jones, Geiriadur Bywgraffyddol o Enwogion Cymru , i, 31;
  • T. Morgan, Enwogion Cymreig (1700-1900) (1907) ; 30;
  • T. Stephens, Album Aberhonddu … o'r flwyddyn 1755 hyd 1880 (1898) .


Reverend Richard Griffith Owen, M.A., (1890-1973), Bangor

Published date: 1959