Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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DAVIES , GETHIN ( 1846 - 1896 ), Baptist minister and college principal .

Born at Aberdulais, Glam. , 18 Sept. 1846 , son of Joseph and Catherine Davies. When he was still a child his parents moved to Landore , where his father became a forge manager at the Landore tinplate works . He was educated at the Havod British school and there served a five years apprenticeship as pupil teacher . In 1864 he entered the Graig House Academy , Swansea , then conducted by G. P. Evans , minister of York Place Baptist chapel , going thence, in 1866 , to Bristol Baptist College . In addition to theological studies he pursued courses for the external degree of the University of London , passing the intermediate examination in 1869 . He was appointed classical tutor at the Llangollen Baptist College in 1872 . From that time he threw himself with great energy into the task of strengthening the position of the Baptist denomination in North Wales ; he was particularly active in assisting weak churches. He was also in great demand as a preacher , conductor of musical festivals , and adjudicator at eisteddfodau . He succeeded Hugh Jones ( 1831 - 1883 ) as principal of the college in 1883 .

The foundation of the University College of North Wales at Bangor in 1884 raised the question whether the Baptist College should be removed there. Gethin Davies recognized that the development of university education in Wales represented an important new departure, and warmly advocated an arrangement by which the more secular work of the denominational colleges should be taken over by the university colleges. In the face of much opposition he gained his point and the removal from Llangollen to Bangor was effected in 1892 , for he, was convinced that a Baptist college should be retained in North Wales , where so many churches largely depended on the support it could give them. He d. in London , 17 March 1896 .

As ‘ Gethin Dulais ’ he contributed verse to Welsh periodicals ; he also wrote a number of Welsh hymns .


  • North Wales Chronicle , 21 March 1896 ;
  • W. J. Rhys , Hanes Dinas Noddfa, Glandwr (1934) ;
  • E. Cefni Jones , Hanes Coleg y Bedyddwyr yng Ngogledd Cymru, 1862–1927 (1928) ;
  • D. Rhys Phillips , The Hist. of the Vale of Neath (Swansea, 1925) .


Sir James Frederick Rees, Ll.D., (1883-1967), Tenby / Cardiff

Published date: 1959