Dictionary of Welsh Biography



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DAVIES , JAMES ( 1765 - 1849 ), ‘the schoolmaster of Devauden ’; b. 23 Aug. 1765 at Blaen Trothy in Grosmont parish (Mon.) , he was a son of Edward Davies , farmer , and his wife Judith . After his schooldays at Llangattock-Lingoed , and a short period in a lawyer's office , he was for fifteen years a weaver . His marriage ( 1796 ) was unhappy, and he became a pedlar ; after his wife's death he lived at Usk , where he kept a small shop till 1812 ; in that year he became schoolmaster at Usk , but in 1815 opened a school at Devauden . He was at all times completely unworldly; his removal to Devauden meant exchanging a guaranteed stipend for a precarious livelihood, but throughout his long residence there he was a generous giver , subscribed to religious and educational societies , and freely distributed Bibles and other books at his own expense . His ideas of education were those of his day, and being a hot-tempered man he was a stern disciplinarian. His main interests, indeed, seem to have been religious rather than educational in the strict sense, and his school-house eventually became a chapel-of-ease, of which he was clerk ; a new school was built, which bore the name ‘ The James Davies School .’ In 1848 he returned ‘to Llangattock-Lingoed , and took over the school there, though he was then 83 years of age. He d. at Llangattock 2 Oct. 1849 .

Bibliography:

Author:

Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor