Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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DAVIES , DAVID ( 1849 - 1926 ), Baptist minister and author ;

b. at Penstâr , Rhyd-argaeau, Carms. , 16 June 1849 . His family removed in 1858 to Treforest, Glam. , where he became a pupil-teacher in a national school but was dismissed for refusing to attend Anglican services — this proved a source of life-long antagonism to the Establishment. In 1866 he went to Bristol Baptist College , and in 1872 became pastor of Mount Stuart Square church at Cardiff , but removed in 1877 to Weston-super-mare , where he published ( 1883 ) Echoes from the Welsh Hills . This book brought him the personal friendship of C. H. Spurgeon , and in 1884 he became pastor of Regent's Park church. Domestic bereavement and ill health compelled him to leave London in 1887 for Brighton , where he ministered for twenty-one years — but he frequently deputized for Spurgeon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle . At Brighton , he suffered much tribulation, in spite of which he produced a flow of books and pamphlets and a more substantial work, Vavasor Powell , 1896 . Returning to Wales in 1908 as pastor of Crane Street , Pontypool , he finally ( 1909 ) settled down to his last pastorate, at Penarth , with which his name is commonly associated. He threw himself vigorously into the campaign for disestablishment, but his personal relations with bishop John Owen ( 1854 - 1926 ) (q.v.) became most friendly. At 62, he became a frequent competitor at the national eisteddfod , and won several essay prizes (one of the essays submitted by him was The Influence of the French Revolution on Welsh Life and Literature , published in 1926 ). An effect of this competing was to make him a caustic critic of what he regarded as the imperfections of the eisteddfod, and a zealous advocate of ‘eisteddfod reform.’ He d. 13 Nov. 1926 .


  • Baptist Handbook , 1927 ;
  • Baptist Times , 23 Dec. 1926 ;
  • personal knowledge.


Reverend Principal John Williams Hughes, M.A., B.D., (1888-1979), Bangor

Published date: 1959