Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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DAVIES , JOHN ( 1737 - 1821 ), Independent minister ;

b. in the parish of Llanllawddog, Carms. He probably received very little education. His parents were Anglican , but he joined the Independent church at Pencader when he was about 20 years of age, and began to preach . He was ordained minister of the church at Pentre Tŷ Gwyn, Carms. , in 1768 . He received a ‘call’ to the churches of Cwm Llynfell , Cwm Aman , and Allt Wen, Glam. , towards the end of the year 1770 or the beginning of 1771 . His ministry there lasted until his death on 4 Dec. 1821 , and he was generally known as ‘ Davies, Allt Wen .’ He was buried in Llangiwg churchyard.

During this period there was much discussion and some dissension in Independent churches on the question of Calvinism and Arminianism . John Davies preached vigorously and continuously against Arminianism , and he was generally referred to as ‘ Old John Calvin .’ He lacked the scholarship which was considered necessary in the pulpit of the Older Dissent, but he had a strong personality, a fervent disposition, and great natural gifts. His long ministry greatly influenced the large district which comprised his pastorate, and he was a prominent figure in the assemblies of the Independents .


  • Hanes Eglwys Cwmllynfell (1935) , 28-37;
  • Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru , ii, 163-4;
  • Geiriadur Bywgraffyddol o Enwogion Cymru , i, 115-7.


Thomas Harris Lewis, M.A., ( -1972), Cardiff

Published date: 1959