Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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EDWARDS , GWILYM ARTHUR ( 1881 - 1963 ), minister (Presb.), principal of the Theological College, Aberystwyth, and author ;

b. 31 May 1881 at Caernarfon , son of Owen Edwards , Presb. minister , a native of Llanuwchllyn (and cousin of Sir Owen M. Edwards , DWB , 192-3) , and Mary (née Jones ) his wife. The father emigrated to Australia to regain his health, but his wife d. before she could take her family to join him in Melbourne . The three sons were brought up by her parents in Dolgellau . He was educated in the county school, Dolgellau , and began preaching when fairly young. He was prepared for the ministry at the University College , Aberystwyth (where he graduated B.A. in 1903 ), and in Jesus College , Oxford (where he graduated in 1908 ). He was ord. in 1909 , and served as minister of Zion , Carmarthen ( 1908-11 ), Oswald Rd. , Oswestry ( 1911-17 ), City Rd. , Chester ( 1917-23 ), and Tabernacl , Bangor ( 1923-28 ). In 1929 he was appointed professor at Bala College , and worked there with Principal David Phillips (see below) until 1939 . From 1939 to 1949 he was principal of the Theological College at Aberystwyth . He was awarded an honorary D.D. degree by the University of Edinburgh . In 1917 he m. Mary Nesta , daughter of Richard Hughes , a veterinary surgeon in Oswestry ; they had a son and two daughters. After retiring he returned to Oswestry , and d. there 5 Oct. 1963 ; he was buried in Llanycil graveyard.

He was a prominent member of his Connexion , being Moderator of the Association in the East in 1951 , and of the General Assembly in 1957 . He delivered the Davies Lecture in 1933 on ‘ The Kingdom of God in the light of the apocalyptic ideas of the Bible ’, [parts of which appeared in the Monthly Treasury ], and a Welsh version was published in 1935 . He wrote a great deal for Cymru , and the periodicals of his denomination. He published, among other works, two volumes of children's stories in Welsh ( 1921 and 1927 ); two volumes in Welsh on the Bible ( 1922 ; 1932 ), one on Christian doctrine ( 1953 ), a volume on the history of civilisation ( 1927 ), and Athrofa'r Bala (a history of Bala College , 1937 ). His work as a preacher , teacher , and author was characterized by order and lucidity. He took an interest in education; he edited Sunday school textbooks for his denomination for years. He was also the literary editor of the Society for Religious Education in Wales and wrote a syllabus for religious instruction in the schools of Wales ( 1945-46 ). He took an interest in the School of Social Service for Wales , and wrote one of the booklets of that movement, Hamdden yr adolesent yng Nghymru ( 1929 ). The United Nations Organisation published another pamphlet of his, on Sunday school teachers and world peace ( 1934 ). He was a scholar with a clear, analytic mind, and paid great attention to detail.


  • Who's who in Wales (1921) , 107;
  • Blwyddiadur y Methodistiaid Calfinaidd , 1964 , 276;
  • William Morris (ed.), Deg o Enwogion (1965) , 77-84;
  • personal knowledge.


Reverend Gomer Morgan Roberts, M.A., (1904-93), Pont-rhyd-y-fen / St Dogmael's / Llandybïe

Published date: 2001