Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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ELLIS , PHILIP CONSTABLE ( 1822 - 1900 ), cleric ,

second son of John Ellis of Rhyllech , Pwllheli ( J. E. Griffith , Pedigrees , 398). He went to Jesus College , Oxford (from Beaumaris grammar school ), matriculating 6 June 1840 , ‘aged 18,’ graduated in 1843 (his own statement; Foster says 1844 ), and was there powerfully influenced by the Tractarian movement , of which he became one of the earliest propagators in North Wales . Ordained in 1846 , he became in 1847 curate to Charles Williams [ 1806 - 1877 ] (q.v.) (afterwards principal of Jesus ) at Holyhead . In 1850 he was perpetual curate of Llanfaes and Penmon , but in 1862 became rector of Llanfairfechan , remaining there (though he was thrice offered a deanery in Wales ) till his death, 10 May 1900 . He showed much zeal in promoting daily services, and changes in the furnishing and ritual of churches. His uncompromising Anglo-Catholicism not only led him to refuse to co-operate in any way with Dissenters (a matter on which he came into conflict with some clergymen of an older stamp), but also involved him in a heated controversy with his bishop ( Christopher Bethell ); the bishop , though himself a High-Churchman , accused Ellis of ‘exciting a mischievous agitation,’ but had to drop an attempt to discipline him in view of support given to Ellis by a number of influential clergymen in the diocese


  • Foster , Alumni Oxonienses ;
  • Crockford's Clerical Directory ;
  • Yr Haul , 1901 , 1902 , 1903 .


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

Published date: 1959