Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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PRYS , OWEN ( 1857 - 1934 ), Calvinistic Methodist minister and college principal ;

b. 25 Sept. 1857 , son of Absalom and Ann Prys of the Factory , Pen-llwyn , near Aberystwyth . His educational career started at the National School , Pen-llwyn , which was kept by his uncle, after which he was for a time a pupil-teacher at the British School . In 1876 he went to the Normal College, Bangor , finishing up in the first class. Then, until 1883 , he was headmaster of the Board School , Goginan . When he was at Bangor his principal interests had been music and mathematics, but after leaving college he fell under the influence of Carlyle and Channing , and became interested in theology . In 1883 he went to Peterhouse , Cambridge , but on winning a £100 scholarship migrated to Trinity College . He graduated in 1886 with first class honours in the Moral Sciences Tripos. He stayed on for another year at Cambridge . In 1887 he was appointed lecturer at Owen's College , Manchester , as assistant to professor Adamson , and then spent a year in Germany , mostly at Leipzig . He had started preaching in 1883 and had soon come into prominence. His sermons were the fruit of a penetrating and compact intelligence and of a wide experience of life and of the gospel, and he preached with extraordinary fervour. In 1890 he was appointed a tutor at Trevecka College and the following year was ordained and appointed principal . The college was moved to Aberystwyth in 1906 , and amalgamated with Bala College in 1922 , but Prys remained its principal until he retired in 1927 . The subjects he taught were divinity, religious philosophy, and ethics. He was a quiet, reserved man, but in class the truth would kindle his imagination and in the fervour of his spirit that truth would become a blinding flame. He m. Elizabeth , eldest daughter of John Parry of Tal-y-bryn , Bwlch , Brecknock , 2 Aug. 1893 , and they had two daughters. He filled a very definite niche in his denomination. In 1904 he delivered the ‘ Davies Lecture ’ at Cardiff , his subject being ‘ The Doctrine of Man .’ He was elected moderator of the General Assembly in 1910 , and of the South Wales Association in 1917 . In 1922 he was given the degree of D.D. honoris causa by the University of Wales . He was elected moderator of the General Assembly (for the second time) for the bi-centenary celebrations of the denomination ( 1935 ), but d. 12 Dec. 1934 .


  • Personal recollections and information received from his daughters.


Reverend Principal William Richard Williams, M.A., (1896-1962), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959