Dictionary of Welsh Biography



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SAMUEL , CHRISTMAS ( 1674 - 1764 ), Independent minister ; b. in the parish of Llanegwad, Carms. , in 1674 . He came of a fairly well-to-do family; he succeeded to the family property and thereafter resided on it for the remainder of his life. It is thought that he attended school under William Evans (q.v.) at Pencader or Carmarthen . He was received into church membership at Panteg , it was there also that he started to preach . He was 14 years old when Stephen Hughes (q.v.) died. When Thomas Bowen retired as minister of Panteg in 1707 , Samuel was recognized as unordained minister of the church. He was eminently successful in that capacity. In his report on his visitation in 1710 archdeacon Tenison called on the parishioners to arm themselves in the fight against the flourishing cause at Panteg . On 23 Sept. 1711 Samuel received a call from members residing in five parishes, to become the minister of Panteg . He was ordained the same day — the most independent Independent ordination ever heard of. His labours and his influence went on apace and he succeeded in building a powerful church in the Independent tradition. For a long period Milbourn Bloom (q.v.) was a co-worker. Samuel was a supporter of many weak churches and of every elevating influence in the social life of the district and in the church. He was a strong advocate of Griffith Jones of Llanddowror 's Circulating Schools ; he was also one of the main patrons of the men who were associated with the literary renaissance that came about in the district between the rivers Towy and Tivy at the end of the 17th cent. and the beginning of the 18th . His name is associated with Isaac Carter 's (q.v.) printing press at Trefhedyn in south Cardiganshire . He was connected, in some form or other, with the publication of such works as Gemau Doethineb , 1714 ; Llythyr at y Cyfryw o'r Byd , 1716 ; Catecism o'r Scrythur , 1719 ; Llun Agrippa , 1723 ; Golwg ar y Testament Newydd , 1729 ; Y Cyfrif Cywiraf o'r Pechod Gwreiddiol , 1730 ; etc. [The only work written by himself was Lloffion y Gwr Tywyll , 1759 .] He d. 18 June 1764 at the age of 90. He was blind for the last five years of his life.

Bibliography:

  • Y Dysgedydd , Dec. 1935, Jan., Feb., and March 1936 ;
  • Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru , iii, 457-8;
  • Panteg church book in N.L.W.

Author:

Rev. John Dyfnallt Owen, M.A., (1873-1956), Aberystwyth