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How many Catholics were there in the various districts of Wales at the end of the last century ? Did the rise of dissent affect this number in any way? I should be very grateful if anyone would be kind enough to refer me to books or documents where I can get information about this point. Cardiff.
a mise was paid by the people. This inise is described in an old law lexicon as an honorary gift or customary present with which the people of Wales are wont to salute every new king or prince of Wales at their entrance into the Principality. It was anciently given in cattle, wine, and corn for the sustentation of the prince's family; but when that dominion was annexed to the English crown, the gift was changed into money.'
Would someone give the names of the Welshmen who signed the American Declaration of Independence, with as much of their history as is known? Chicago.
THE WELSII PRESS.
Its appears that Flintshire paid 2,000 marks as its share of this mise, and the payment was made thrice during the reign of James I., viz., at his accession, and at the creation of Henry and Charles successively as Prince of Wales. Cheshire was also carefully exploited by a similar tax.
It would be interesting to learn if this tax is still levied, and if it was paid last week on the occasion of the royal visit. The probabilities are that the tax has been compromised in some way or other, but I should be glad to have any information on the subject.
J. PERCIVAL DAVIES. Liverpool, July 17.
Who published and edited the first Welsh political paper ? Could anyone kindly direct me to books, English or Welsh, bearing upon the history of the Welsh Press ?
TIE STATUTE OF MERTON. Many besides myself would be glad to know what the real effects of this statute were. Had it any appreciable influence on the history of land in
Is there any good history of Merioneth, especially of the Dolgellau district ?
Would anyone give a list of the Welsh county histories, with some suggestions as to their value?
WALES AT THE BEGINNING OF THE METHODIST REVIVAL.
statistics. Mr. Jones takes a very unfavourable
HE following letter appeared
The name of
of the press. Mr. Jones questions the correctness of the statistics of the Rev. Dr. Thomas Rees in the “ History of Nonconformity in Wales.” Dr. Rees gives a very favourable view of religious activity in South Wales, before the Methodist revival, especially among the Independents. Dr. Rees took his statistics from a manuscript written by Dr. John Evans about the year 1715, but, according to Mr. J. M. Jones, he did not make a fair use of those
“ October 26th, 1742. "Rev. and dear brother, “I shall give you some
account of religion in the Principality of Wales, both North and South. To begin with North Wales.
" In the Isle of Anglesea* there are no
* It seems that the Iudependents began in Anglesea about the time of the date of this letter. William Prichard, who was an Independent, removed from Glasirynfawr, Carnarvonshire, to Plas Penmynydd, Anglesea, about November, 1742; and it seems tbat Jenkin Morgan, an Independent minister, went there about the same time. Very soon afterwards an Independe congregation was gathered at Rhos y Meirch, not far from Llangefui. H, H,
Dissenters; and it is the only county in “ In South Wales. In Radnorshire there England or Wales that wants one. In
are six congregations of Dissenters, eight Carnarvonshire there is one congregation, if we reckon the Baptists. One of our six -at Pwllheli,-of Dissenters, who are a congregations there was gathered lately, very devout and zealous people as perhaps partly by the labours of the Methodists, any in the kingdom; and three lecture and partly by the zeal of a gentlewoman, places, * all of them on that promontory or a Dissenter, -- who built a new meetingnarrow neck of land that stretches out house. In this county lived the Rev. into the sea, and is the best inhabited part Vavazor Griffith, the master of the Welsh of the county. The minister is Mr. John academy, who died lately. He was in Thomas, a humble, meek, serious man, and every respect the greatest and most who preaches well. Mr. Howell Harries
Mr. Howell Harries excellent man that ever I saw in my and some Methodists, together with Jenkyn nor is it in my power to hope that I shall Morgan, the schoolmaster, have been made ever see the like again on this side glory. instrumental to awaken and convert many Most of the congregations in this county in these parts, but were grievously perse are but small. In Cardiganshire are nine cuted ; and they have even broke the congregations of the Dissenters, and one of meeting-house, and committed strange the Anabaptist persuasion. Most of the outrages; the devil, their master, being congregations here are large ones. Here wonderfully nettled at his losing so many were lately two eminent clergymen,-Mr. souls. In Denbighshire are three congre David Jenkins, a young man lately deal, gations of Dissenters, viz., a small one in and Mr. Daviel Rowland, who had at his Denbigh town and two in Wrexham. church some time ago above 2,000 conAnd I might add one in Oswestry, which, municants. Almost all the lower part of though in Shropshire ground, the people the county is become religious since Mr. are Welsh, and" border on Denbighshire. Howell Harries and the Methodists In Flintshire is a small one. I In Merioneth laboured there. Among the Dissenting shire there is but one, not far from Bala ministers Mr. Phylip Pugh is the most town. Their minister is Mr. Lewis Rees, a noted, both for his uncommon piety, very godly man, exceeding well gifted in diligence, and success; he hath about 500 prayer, and also frequent in it. He communicants, and preaches in five or six preaches in two placess in this county, places. And beside the above-mentioned though he lives in Montgomeryshire. In congregations, the Dissenters and MethoMontgomeryshire there are five congrega dists have several lecture-places. Pemtions, two of which were lately gathered brokeshire hath been lately mightily by that excellent minister of Christ, the roused up, and abundance of people conabove-mentioned Mr. Lewis Rees, who vinced, reformed, and converted, by means preaches in five places in this county, and of the exhortations of Mr. Howell Harries in two places in Merionethshire, between and other Methodist exhorters; and, twenty and thirty miles from his habita- contrary to Cardiganshire, 'tis the upper tion. There are some very devout people part of Pembrokeshire that hath been belonging to Mr. Rees in this county, as roused and reformed, and that almost also some in Merionethshire. So far as to universally, to a
universally, to a concern about religion. North Wales.
Certainly a very great work has been
done there. Among the clergy, Mr. David * The lecture places were at Capel Helig, in the parish of Llangybi, Eifionnydd; neur Nanhorou, in Lleyn; und either at
Jones and Mr. Howell Davies are very Tydweiliog, in Lleyn, or in the town of Carnarvon. + The meeting-house at Pwl hili. Jenkyn Morgan came t)
eminent, especially the latter, who is a
mighty Boanerges, and very industrious in severely treated, especially by the clergy, the foremost among
preaching both in churches, houses, and Bangor, and the Rev. Edward Nanuey, of Llangybi.-H. H. * One belonging to the Independents, and the other belonging
fields. There are in this county six conto the Baptists.-H. H.
gregations of our Dissenters, some of them § Very probably a' Balil town and at Bron y Clydwr, not far not small; and three Anabaptist ones, one froin the town of Towyn.-H. 1.
Two of which were at Llunbrynmair and Llanfyllin ; another, of which is large. In Carmarthenshire perhaps, near Newtown; and the other two, it is very probable, in the vicinity of these pluces.
there are near a score of our Nonconform
Carnarvonshire in 1710, anit Howell llarries in 1741.
whom were the Rev. John Owen, of Llannor, the Chancellor of
At Newmarket. - II, II.
ing congregations, and two of Anabaptists, William Williams,* Mr. John Watkins, --some of which are large. Besides, they and Mr. John Davies. The Dissenters have many other lecture-places spread have above twenty different places in this almost all over the county. Among the county to preach in; and there are in ministers noted are Mr. James Lewis, Mr. it
notable good Christians. In John Harris, Mr. Owen Rees, and Mr. Glamorganshire there are near twenty Henry Palmer, an Apollos in the Scriptures, congregations of our Dissenters, and three anıl very pious. Among the clergy is the of Anabaptists, and several societies famous Mr. Griffith Jones, one of the most of Methodists. Among the Dissenting excellent preachers in Great Britain, for ministers, the most noted are Mr. James piety, good sense, diligence, moderation, Davies of Merthyr, noted both for his zeal, a mighty utterance, the like whereof industry and his gifts in preaching and I never heard; he is so catholic-spirited prayer, especially as to the latter; and his and charitable that he allows his com
congregation is large; Mr. Lewis Jones for municants to communicate with Dissente's, his seriousness, popularity, and an and they with him.
He hath set up cellent utterance, even much resembling movable Welsh free schools in every Mr. Griffith Jones; and Mr. Henry Davies county in South Wales, and in some for devoutness and affectionate piety.counties in North Wales, to teach the And so far as to South Wales. poorer sort to read Welsh, and hath “ In Monmouthshire, which is
the thereby done unspeakable good. In county I was born and live in, we have Brecknockshire there are eight congrega seven congregations and about twenty tions of our Dissenters, two of whom I places to preach in; and six Anabaptist have had the favour, upon the late congregations; and most of these meetings reformation, to gather and set up, and are are in the western side of the county. yet chiefly under my care. Besides this, Here are also several societies of Methodists, there are two or three Anabaptist con who cleave to the Church of England, gregations, and about twenty societies of among whom are some very pious and Methodists, who reckoned to be devout souls. Among the clergy are Mr. converted, and were set up by the labours John Powel and Mr. Thomas Jones, of Mr. Howell Harries, who was born and especially the latter. Besides this, there is lives in this county. Among the clergy, a congregation in the Welsh part of Mr. William Williams* and Mr. Thomas Herefordshire, whose minister is Mr. Lewis are notable, as is also Mr. Penry William Jenkins.” Baillie ; and among the Dissenters Mr.
. The eminent W. Williams of Pantycelyn.
* W. Williams, of Tredwstan, a place close to Trevecca,
SONNET TO AN APRIL SHOWER .
To yield the fatness of her fruitful soil,
Doth reel beneath the heat and constant toil,
With gentler touch than healing balm or oil,
And richer treasures than a inonarch's spoil, And earth, refreshed and filled, looks glad again.
Even so my soul, when panting in the quest
Of truth and knowledge that are seldom ours, Doth cry to heaven for a potion blest
To slake its thirst and keep its failing powers ; Then softly falls upon my fainting breast
A nameless joy of sweet life-giving showers.
R. A. GRIFFITII.
A GLORIOUS PRIVILEGE.
have an immortality of renown or of HEN the nine- infamy; we are so placed in the course of teenth century, the development of our national life that so important for
one of two things must be said of us, its revival of
either that we helped the future, or that national feeling
we wronged it. We hear patriotic speeches in Wales and
at every meeting, we hear a patriotic song elsewhere, is
wherever we turn; but the time has come drawing towards
for sacrifice, and for patriotic deeds. its close, we are
Schools are to be built,—the new spirit is given the glorious willing to take the education we
privilege of pleased to give it. building colleges and schools for the It will be the greatest misfortune of our Welsh generations of the future. The country if we let its spirit of patriotism awakened desire for higher
for higher things, — run wild. We delight in the growth of for knowledge, for technical skill, for culture and of efficiency among the Welsh power for good,—we have beheld with peasantry, we praise it and we sing wonder and hailed with delight. What rapturously about it.
“Let us get up once Welshmen toiled for and yearned for early to the vineyards, let us see whether in vain, we have seen. We have seen the the vine hath budded and its blossom be rise of a mighty spirit of inquiry, of open,
open, and the pomegranates be in flower,” national awakening and unrest; it is now let us do all that with our poets, but what asking what all its fetters mean, and what will Wales gain from our sensuous delight ? work it is to do. If anyone feels that Some are prevented by indolence from there is anything worth keeping in the serving their country; others, perhaps a religion of the past; if anyone feels that whole class, are prevented by an ignorant the awakened spirit,—always, like a child, prejudice. Bitter indeed, as this class will prone to destruction, - needs guidance ; if find, will be the fruit of the vine they anyone feels that he would like to influence refused to dress the future, the opportunity is now offered.
Any student of Welsh history can It can safely be said that, for the prophesy that the awakened spirit of number of years it has been in existence, Wales, now in its infancy, will soon be a no institution has served Wales better than mighty power. Any class that places its its first University College at Aberysprivileges or prejudices in the way of its twyth. More than anything else, it is at infant growth will be called sternly to the same time the expression and the guide account in the day of its power. Any of our
And, for beauty of institution that refuses it 'shelter and position and appearance, it is one of the guidance will find its own empty walls few buildings we can point out to a useless before long. It is slowly, but stranger without an apology for ugliness surely, uniting Wales into one supreme or poverty. The timely grant of ten effort for her own good and for the good of thousand pounds out of the Treasury will the world, and those who regard it with enable its friends to clear it of all debt, hatred or suspicion will find that no and to offer to the daughters of Wales an privilege or power can exist unless based education that is not surpassed by that on service to one's country and to man offered in any country. The remainder of kind.
the debt is only five thousand pounds, It is our glorious privilege to educate a less than the yearly income of many a mighty spirit and to determine what the Welshman,-and, though the effort to pay future is to be. Our time is destined to it will come from an exhausted country,
the thought that one of our colleges is free entirely for the purpose of understanding from debt will be a great impulse towards abstract political economy, where the giving the others worthy buildings. Let wealth produced from the recesses of us not forget that, while doing such price- yonder mountain, or from the crops of less service, two of our university colleges those broad acres, is going to. Why, in are under great disadvantages because spite of all this wealth, is the intermediate their permanent buildings have not yet school so poverty-stricken? The squire is been given them.
now given an opportunity of perpetuating
the praise of his family, and of showing, I should be the last to accuse Wales of
as the eighteenth century travellers put it want of liberality. In many districts that
“what an inestimable blessing a resident I know well, the efforts of the peasants to
country gentleman is.” He has been in contribute their mite towards a school or a
the habit of thinking that the peasant's college are simply pathetic. I know people
study of theology has lamentably warped who denied themselves the necessaries of
his political judgment, and he would not life,—not the luxuries of life, in order to
be surprised to hear that a philosopher contribute towards a theological college;
had proved that bad harvests were the and they did it again for a university
direct result of preaching meetings. Now college. I know farmers whose contribu
he is offered the opportunity of helping to tion towards a school is as carefully
develop agriculture and technical skill. thought of as their rent or their taxes.
And does he not admire a good farmer, But there are classes and districts in Wales
a good carpenter, and a good black
smith ? that have not learnt to sacrifice, and these classes and districts are not the least
There is an important class in Wales of enlightened in their own opinion. I know
men of leisure, men who have retired from men who can show that the religion of
business life after making a competence. Wales is sheer cant, and that its morality
They are generally Nonconformists, but is sheer hypocrisy,—and they have never
they have a fellow feeling with the squire given a red half-penny towards a school or
when they read those wild leaders in the a college. I know men who say publicly
local papers, and when they hear what that the Welsh peasantry are blindly
absurd things that political agitator is grasping, and that the basis of politics in
saying. I know one of them, at least. He Wales is selfishness,—and they have never
adorns the set fawr on a Sunday, and is raised a finger to help Welsh education,
very pleased when the preacher praises the neither have they taken the trouble to
virtues of times gone by, — the most inquire who is working while they are
cowardly way of condemning the present. idly condemning. It is our privilege to
He attends the seiat regularly, and his live in an age which requires work from
utterances are models of grave wisdom. us not criticism When the force of the He gives the most excellent advice, which Welsh national spirit is spent, then the
generally means the knocking of all plans time for weaklings to criticise will come.
on the head. No man ever lost a penny if But it is not their day now. It is not the
he consulted him before investing. He is time for Welshmen to sulk in corners now,
the soul of integrity and of method, and or to rail. It is the time for work, if there
his success in life is thoroughly deserved. ever was such a time.
And still people are beginning to think what a very respectable funeral they will
give him when his lamented departure There is more than one class in Wales to from this life will take place. They think which a glorious privilege is now being that his life is tying up a hoard of golden offered. It will make many a country treasure which, if set free, would benefit squire very angry, I know, if I tell him the world. The most ignorant in the that people are beginning to ask what he parish, the man who sits in the pew next is good for. But such is, undoubtedly, the the door, and who has not a penny in the case. People are beginning to ask, not bank, is wiser than the wise man in some