Even before his election was confirmed, Davies had alarmed his predecessor by his ‘hasty proceedings’: some sixteen livings changed hands before the end of 1562 , and wholesale changes on a smaller scale took place in 1564 , 1566 , and 1570 . Most of the presentees were Welsh and some were men of learning, the most outstanding being David Powel , instituted to Ruabon in 1576 ; but a high proportion were sinecurists or pluralists. In Nov. 1561 Davies issued at a diocesan council orders which included provision for reading the catechism , the epistle , and the gospel in Welsh , for educating the children of the diocese and ensuring the literacy of such incumbents as were not full graduates, and for purging the churches of ‘fayned reliques and other superstycyons.’ By 1570 he was satisfied that he had reduced the diocese to ‘better order,’ but asked Cecil (without effect) for an ecclesiastical commission to complete the work. Some of his own sinecures he had now resigned, but on representations from archbishop Parker he was allowed to keep those of Llanbedr , Caerhun , and his ‘portion’ of Llandinam , in consideration of the poverty of the see, a poverty he is alleged to have accentuated by improvident leases of Church lands, though the charge of nepotism does not seem to be borne out by diocesan records. He was active in the national settlement of the Church, being one of the original signatories of the Thirty-nine Articles drawn up by the convocation of 1563 (at which he was present) and of the letter from the bishops to Elizabeth in 1566 urging her to speed through the Lords the passage of the Bill embodying them. He also signed the disciplinary canons of 1571 . In 1565 he was made a commissioner for the suppression of piracy on the Flintshire coast, and he was assiduous in his attendance at Parliament , especially his last (that of 1572 ), where he never missed a sitting; he was a member, with his fellow bishops of S. Davids , Hereford , and Chester , of the Lords’ committee on the Bill for keeping records in the twelve shires of Wales ( 1567 ).
By temper and training he belongs to the class of Church lawyers and administrators rather than of theologians or spiritual leaders . Although one of the five bishops to whom the Act of 1563 entrusted the translation of the Bible into Welsh , he is not known to have taken any part in the work. His interest in education does, however, appear in his government of his own diocese, his legacy of books from bishop Arthur Bulkeley of Bangor , and his own bequests to Queens’ College , Cambridge , and to Friars School , Bangor . He also left money for the furnishing of the bishop's palace . His will (dated 19 April 1570 , with codicil 16 Oct. 1573 ) divides the estate between his wife Margaret , his daughter Catherine (wife of William Holland of Abergele — see Holland families , 10), her children ( Piers , William , and Edward ), and his brothers Hugh , Griffith , and Owen . He d. immediately after completing his will, on 16 Oct. 1573 , and was buried at Abergele .
Emeritus Professor Arthur Herbert Dodd, M.A., (1891-1975), Bangor
Published date: 1959