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  Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru.
(History of the Welsh Independent Churches)

By Thomas Rees & John Thomas; 4 volumes (published 1871+)
From the CD published by Archive CD Books

Caernarfonshire section (Vol 3, pages 154 - 332 )

The umbrella project for WALES is detailed  on this Genuki page where there is a contents listing for each county/section and data on what has been extracted/translated already.
This is the complete Caernarfonshire section of Volume 3, in Welsh -  any existing translations will be itemised on the above page.
This extraction is as it is in the book, chapel names and page numbers act as separators.
Footnotes remain at the bottom of pages
Extraction by Gareth Morgan (April/May 2008)

 

Chapels below;

Proof read by Eleri Rowlands (May 2008)

 


Pages 154 - 166

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154

PWLLHELI

(Denio parish)

Mae yn sicr fod Ymneillduaeth wedi cyfodi yn foreu iawn yn y sir hon, ac mai yn Mhwllheli a'r gymydogaeth y cychwynodd, ond nid oes un cofnodiad manwl mewn na llawysgrifen nac argraff o hanes ei ddechreuad. Yr oedd traddodiad yn ardal Pwllheli tua chan' mlynedd yn ol, yn ol tystiolaeth awdwr Drych yr Amseroedd, i dri dyn ieuangc, genedigol o'r sir hon, ddychwelyd o Rydychain tua y flwyddyn 1646, neu yn fuan ar ol hyny, i bregethu fel Ymneillduwyr yma. Tebygol mai at John Williams,  Ellis Rowlands, a Henry Maurice y cyfeirid. Mae yn lled sicr i'r ddau flaenaf fod yn pregethu yma fel Ymneillduwyr cyn 1662, ond yn 1666 yr ymneillduodd y diweddaf o'r Eglwys Sefydledig. Wedi hyny ni bu neb yn fwy llafurus nag ef i gyfodi achos ymneillduaeth yn ei sir enedigol, yn gystal ag mewn siroedd eraill. Mae Mr. Morgan, yn Hanes Ymneillduaeth, yn dyweyd, ar awdurdod y diweddar Mr. D: Williams, o Saethon, fod addoldy wedi cael ei adeiladu gan yr Ymneillduwyr yn mhlwyf Pwllheli yn amser Oliver Cromwell; ond nis gallwn yn unwedd credu hyny. Gan fod yr eglwysi plwyfol yn agored i'r Ymneillduwyr i addoli ynddynt trwy holl dymor llywodraeth Cromwell, nid oedd galwad am iddynt adeiladu capeli, ac yr ydym yn sicr na chafodd un capel ei adeiladu mewn un parth o'r Dywysogaeth hyd yn mhell ar ol amser Cromwell. Mae yn ddiameu fod cynnulliadau bychain o Ymneillduwyr yn addoli mewn anedd-dai mewn ardaloedd pellenig oddiwrth yr eglwysi plwyfol yn amser y Werinlywodraeth, ond mae yn amlwg na ddarfu iddynt adeiladu un capel mewn unrhyw barth o'r wlad y pryd hwnw. Dywedir fod rhyw nifer o Ymneillduwyr wedi cael eu corpholi yn eglwys yn Mhwllheli cyn adferiad Siarl II., ac y mae hyny yn eithaf tebygol. Mewn llythyr dyddiedig Ebrill 28ain, 1657, oddiwrth y Cadfridog John Jones, un o brif swyddogion Cromwell, at Cadben Wray, ceidwad Castell Beaumaris, cawn yr ymadrodd canlynol : - " Yr wyf hefyd yn dymuno arnoch dalu pum' punt i law y Coronet Jeffrey Parry, yr hwn sydd yn byw yn agos i Bwllheli, sir Gaernarfon, y rhai sydd i gael eu rhanu ganddo ef, a'r rhai sydd yn rhodio yn nghymdeithas yr efengyl yn y sir hono, yn y fath fodd ag a fyddo yn fwyaf cefnogol i'r cyfryw i fyned a gwaith yr efengyl yn mlaen yno, naill ai er cynorthwyo y tlodion yn eu mysg, neu mewn unrhyw fodd arall."*   Profa hyn ar unwaith fod pobl yn y parth hwn y pryd hwnw " yn rhodio yn nghymdeithas yr efengyl," neu wedi ymgorpholi yn eglwys. Un o gyndadau Mr. Jones-Parry, yr aelod seneddol dros sir Gaernarfon, oedd  Jeffrey Parry. Dywedir ei fod yn bregethwr yn gystal ag yn swyddog milwrol. Cawn wneyd sylw pellach gyda golwg arno ef pan ddelom at hanes Capel-helyg.  Yr oedd Mr. Richard Edwards, Nanhoron, fel y cawn weled yn nes yn mlaen, yn perthyn i'r Ymneillduwyr yn y parth hwn, ac ymddengys fod amryw deuluoedd dylanwadol eraill. Mae yn dra sicr fod Walter Cradoc, Vavasor Powell, ac eraill o brif ddiwygwyr Cymru, wedi bod yn talu ymweliadau achlysurol a'r ardal hon. Dywedir y byddai Morgan Llwyd yn dyfod yma, ac yn cerdded trwy ystrydoedd Pwllheli a'i ddwylaw ar ei gefn, a Bibl yn ei law, ar ddydd marchnad, ac y byddai y bobl yn troi o'r neilldu i roddi ffordd iddo, fel pe buasai cerbyd a meirch

* Parry's Royal Visits, and .Progresses to Wales. Page 400.

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yn myned heibio. Mae yn ddiau i ymweliadau achlysurol y gwyr da hyn effeithio llawer o ddaioni yma, ond trwy lafur Mr. John Williams y casglwyd ac y ffurfiwyd yma eglwys. Pan adferwyd erledigaeth gydag adferiad Siarl II., cafodd y gymdeithas grefyddol yn y dref ei gwasgaru am dymor, ond nid ei diddymu. Ar gychwyniad yr erledigaeth aeth Mr. Williams, y gweinidog, i ffwrdd i Loegr, a bu am dymor yn gaplan i deulu boneddwr yn Kent. Yr oedd yno yn Rhagfyr, 1663. Mae yn debygol iddo yn mhen ychydig wedi hyny ddychwelyd adref, ond nid ymddengys iddo bregethu nemawr, os dim, cyn y flwyddyn 1672, pryd y rhoddwyd ychydig o ryddid i'r Ymneillduwyr. Er ei fod yn ddyn duwiol iawn, ac yn bregethwr galluog, mae yn ymddangos mai dyn llwfr ac ofnus iawn ydoedd. Wedi cael ychydig ryddid yn 1672, yr ydym yn cael y cofnodion canlynol o drwyddedau a gyfodwyd gan bregethwyr, ac eraill, ar anedd-dai at bregethu ynddynt yn yr ardaloedd hyn : - "Medi 5ed, 1672, trwydded i John Williams, o Ty'nycoed, (neu Tanycoed), sir Gaernarfon, i fod yn bregethwr Annibynol. Ty y dywededig J. Williams hefyd a drwyddedwyd yr un dydd at bregethu ynddo gan yr Annibynwyr."* Yr un dydd hefyd trwyddedwyd ty a elwid Bodwel at bregethu ynddo; ty William Rowlands, yn nhref Pwllheli, a thy John Rowlands, a elwid Ty'nycaerau. Hefyd cymerodd William a John Rowlands drwyddedau i fod yn bregethwyr Annibynol. Ni pharhaodd y rhyddid hwn ond ychydig gyda blwyddyn, ond gwnaeth cyfeillion crefydd eu goreu o hono cyhyd ag y parhaodd. Yr ydym yn barnu mai Mr. Henry Maurice ddarfu gymhell a chefnogi Mr. John Williams, a'r cyfeillion rhag-grybwylledig, i gymeryd y trwyddedau hyn. Daeth ef ar ymweliad i Bwllheli, Medi 3ydd, 1672, ac yn mhen dau ddiwrnod ar ol hyny, fel y gwelwn, y cyfodwyd y trwyddedau. Dengys y difyniadau canlynol, a gopiwyd genym o lawysgrifen Mr. Maurice ei hun, y fath ddyn selog ac ymroddgar i waith yr Arglwydd ydoedd: - "Medi 3ydd, 1672. Yn fy ngweddi foreuol heddyw bum yn wresog yn fy ysbryd, a chefais lawer o fwynhad. Gadawsom Benmorfa a chawsom daith gysurus i Bwllheli heddyw. Wedi cyrhaedd yno, ymneillduais i le dirgel yn nhy W. Griffith i weddio. Pregethais yno yn yr hwyr oddiwrth Dat. iii. 20, a chefais lawer o flas wrth weddio a phregethu. Cefais sail i gredu wrth weddio fod y bobl yn derbyn lleshad. Yn fy ngweddi ddirgel yn yr hwyr, cefais lawer o rwyddineb ysbryd i weddio dros y bobl a fuont yn fy ngwrandaw yn pregethu. Medi 4ydd. Gweddiais gyda fy ngwraig y boreu heddyw gyda llawer o fwynhad. Wedi hyny bum yn gweddio wrthyf fy hun. Y mae genyf lawer o obaith y bydd Duw yn rasol wrth bobl Pwllheli, gan fy mod yn profi y fath dynerwch calon wrth weddio drostynt. Gweddiais drachefn yn y nos yn y Gwynfryn gyda fy ngwraig. Medi 5ed. Bu y wraig a minau yn cydweddio y boreu hwn gyda llawer o dynerwch ysbryd a mwynhad. Gweddiais drachefn yn y dirgel yn nhy W. Griffith. Cyrhaeddasom yn ddiogel i Nanhoron yr hwyr hwn, a buom ein dau yn cydweddio gyda mwynhad mawr." Medi 6ed. Aeth ef a'i wraig i Fethlan i ymweled a'i rieni, ac amlyga ofid mawr yn ei gofnodiad y dydd hwn o herwydd anghrefyddoldeb ei berthynasau, a thrigolion y gymydogaeth yn gyffredin. " Medi 7fed. Heddyw aethum i weled fy nghefnder, John Williams, a bum yn ymddiddan yn ddifrifol ag ef gyda golwg ar ei ddistawrwydd, a'i waith yn aros cyhyd yn llonydd heb gyflawni

* State papers for 1672.

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ei weinidogaeth. Ni chefais nemawr o foddlonrwydd yn ei atebion i mi. Cefais arwyddion o ras Duw ynddo; ond y mae yn amlwg ei fod dan brofedigaeth wrth esgeuluso pregethu yr holl amser hyn." Y Sabboth, Medi 8fed, bu yn Mhwllheli. Gan i Mr. Richard Owen, y person, wrthod iddo gael myned i'r eglwys, bu raid iddo bregethu y boreu a'r hwyr yn nhy William Griffith. Ei destyn oedd Jer. xxx. 21, 22. Medi 14eg, aeth i ymweled drachefn a'i gefnder, John Williams, a bu yn ymddiddan mor ddifrifol ag ef am ei waith yn peidio pregethu yr holl amser hyn fel y wylasant ill dau. Medi 15fed. Pregethodd yn y boreu yn nhy gweddw Morris Jones, (ni ddywedir yn mha le yr oedd hi yn byw), oddiwrth 1 Petr iv. 18; yn y prydnawn ar fynwent Llanarmon, oddiar yr un testyn; (yr oedd y person wedi gomedd iddo gael myned i'r llan); ac yn yr hwyr yn Mhwllheli, oddiwrth Rhuf. v. 8. Mae yn ddiameu iddo ymweled a'r parthau hyn bob blwyddyn, neu fynychach, ar ol hyn tra bu fyw, er ei fod yn cyfaneddu yn sir Frycheiniog. O berthynas i ddechreuad yr achos Ymneillduol yn sir Gaernarfon, cawn yr hanes canlynol mewn llythyr a ysgrifenodd Mr. Maurice at Mr. Edward Ferril, o Gaerodor, yn y flwyddyn 1675: -  "Yr eglwys gyntaf, a'r unig eglwys ffurfiedig yn y sir hon, yw yr un sydd yn cyfarfod yn gyffredin yn Llanarmon a Llangybi. Cafodd ei galw trwy weinidogaeth Mr. John Williams, yr hwn a fu farw yn ddiweddar, ac efe a ffurfiodd y dychweledigion yn eglwys. .Annibynwyr o farn ydynt oll oddieithr un aelod, yr hwn sydd yn Fedyddiwr, ond y mae efe yn mhell o fod y mwyaf dinod yn eu mysg am sel a duwioldeb. Ei enw yw Thomas Williams. Bu yn byw rai blynyddau yn Llundain yn ddiweddar. Mae yr eglwys hon yn bresenol yn amddifad o weinidog; ond y mae William Rowlands yn henuriad athrawiaethol yn eu mysg, a Thomas Williams, a rhai eraill o'r brodyr, yn pregethu iddynt. "Felly gwelwn mai un eglwys oedd holl Ymneillduwyr y sir hon yn 1675, ac felly y bu am lawer o flynyddau ar ol hyny. Nis gallasai y praidd erlidiedig gyfarfod i addoli yn ddiberygl yn Mhwllheli yn amser yr erledigaeth. Dichon iddynt pan y cawsant ychydig ryddid yn 1672, gynyg adeiladu capel yn y dref, ac mai hwnw a dynwyd i lawr gan yr erlidwyr, fel y sonia Mr. Morgan yn Hanes Ymneillduaeth. Wedi i'r brenhin ganiatau rhyddid yn 1672, cyn diwedd 1673, galwodd ei ganiatad yn ol, ac ail gyneuodd tn erledigaeth mor ffyrnig ag erioed.

Yn y flwyddyn 1676, daeth Mr. James Owen, wedi hyny o Groesoswallt a'r Amwythig, yma ar gais Mr. Henry Maurice, a bu yma am yn agos i flwyddyn. Yn Bodwel yr oedd yn aros. Ond y fath oedd cynddaredd yr erlidwyr fel na feiddiodd ymddangos yn gyhoeddus trwy yr amser y bu yma, ac wrth ymadael bu raid iddo gael ei arwain allan o'r ardal gan ei gyfeillion yn nyfnder y nos, rhag i'r erlidwyr gymeryd ei fywyd. Nid ydym yn gwybod pa helynt fu ar y praidd gorthrymedig o 1677 hyd 1684.  Dichon fod Meistri Ellis Rowlands, Henry Maurice, a Hugh Owen o Fronycludwr, yn ymweled a hwy mewn modd dirgel yn achlysurol i'w porthi a bara y bywyd, ac i'w calonogi yn eu trallod. Yn y flwyddyn 1684, ymsefydlodd Mr. Daniel Phillips, (nid William Phillips fel y camddywedir yn Nrych yr Amseroedd a Hanes Ymneillduaeth gan Morgan,) yma, ac er bod mewn enbydrwydd mawr am y pedair blynedd cyntaf o'i dymor, cafodd ei fywyd ei ddiogelu, a llwyddodd ei lafur yn fawr hyd derfyn ei oes yn 1722.  Bu Mr. Phillips yn llafurus iawn yn ei oes. Cyn gynted ag y cafodd nodded Deddf y Goddefiad, cofrestrodd dy yn nhref Caernarfon at

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bregethu, a pharhaodd i fyned yno yn rheolaidd hyd derfyn ei oes. Dichon na fu un parth o Gymru mor gynddeiriog yn erbyn Ymneillduaeth ar ei chychwyniad, ac yn hir wedi hyny, a sir Gaernarfon. Yn rhyw fodd yr oedd gan y personiaid yma fwy o ddylanwad dros y werin anwybodus nag mewn nemawr o fan. Dywedir fod un gwr mawr, ac ynad heddwch, yn ardal Pwllheli wedi tyngu diofryd y mynai ddyfetha neu yru pob Ymneillduwr o'r wlad mewn ychydig amser; ond cyn iddo allu cyrhaedd ei amcan aeth yn glaf, a bu raid iddo fyned i'r Amwythig i ymgynghori a meddyg, ac yno bu farw mewn modd truenus. Nid ydym yn gwybod pa un ai cyn neu yn amser Mr. Phillips y cymerodd hyn le. Wedi marwolaeth Mr. Phillips, rhoddwyd galwad i Mr. John Thomas. Urddwyd ef yma Mehefin 21ain, 1723, ac yma, y bu hyd ei farwolaeth yn 1748. Yr oedd Mr. Thomas yn cael ei gyfrif yn ddyn da a duwiol iawn, ond yr oedd yn mhell o ddyfod i fyny a'i ragflaenydd, Mr. Phillips, mewn doniau, gwroldeb, a gweithgarwch. Ar farwolaeth Mr. Phillips, rhoddwyd i fyny y gwasanaeth yn nhref Caernarfon, ac ni chafodd ei ailgychwyn drachefn cyn amser Mr. Rees Harries. Mae yn ymddangos hefyd i'r achos yn Mhwllheli a'r canghenau yn yr ardaloedd cylchynol, wanychu yn fawr yn amser Mr. Thomas. Ond yr oedd yma rai personau gweithgar a gwresog yn ymdrechu ac yn hiraethu am ddiwygiad crefyddol. Pan glywsant am lafur, llwyddiant, ac enwogrwydd Mr. Lewis Rees yn Llanbrynmair, aeth un o honynt yr holl ffordd yno i ofyn iddo ddyfod i Bwllheli i bregethu, a llwyddodd i gael ganddo ddyfod. Dichon mai Francis Evans oedd y gwr hwnw. Yr oedd ef yn ddyn nodedig o dduwiol a llafurus gyda'r achos. Wrth ei wrandaw ef yn gweddio yn ei deulu yr argyhoeddwyd y nodedig a'r duwiol William Pritchard o Lasfrynfawr, ac efe a aeth i'r Bala i ymofyn Jenkin Morgan i Arfon. Bu dyfodiad Mr. Lewis Rees i Bwllheli yn fywyd o feirw i'r achos. Casglodd torfeydd dirfawr i'w wrandaw, ond bu hyny yn foddion i ailenyn yr hen ysbryd erlidigaethus yn yr offeiriaid a'r werin oedd dan eu dylanwad. Y waith gyntaf y bu yma, cafodd ei wysio ger bron y Cynghellydd Owen, person Llanor. Darfu i'r adyn erlidgar hwnw gymeryd cleddyf a darnio ei hugan uchaf am dano. Gan nad oedd ganddo un gyfraith i gosbi Ymneillduwr oedd a thrwydded ganddo i bregethu, bu raid iddo ei ollwng heb wneyd dim yn ychwaneg iddo na darnio ei hugan a'r cleddyf. Dro arall pan yr oedd Mr. Rees yn pregethu mewn rhyw ardal yn agos i Bwllheli, anfonwyd un Henry Roberts, yr hwn a adwaenid yn gyffredin wrth yr enw "Harri Deneu," a gwarant i'w wysio ger bron Mr. Owens, person Llaniestyn. Ymddygodd y gwr hwnw yn hynaws a boneddigaidd tuag ato, ac wedi gofyn ychydig o ofyniadau iddo, gollyngodd ef i fyned i'w ffordd. Nid oedd hyny yn foddhaol i'r erlidwyr, am hyny, mynasant warant oddiwrth ryw ynad arall, ac anfonwyd Harri Deneu drachefn i Gwynfryn, lle yr oedd Mr. Rees yn llettya. Pan oedd y teulu ar eu boreufwyd, clywsant guro wrth y drws, ac aeth Miss Phillips, merch Mr. Daniel Phillips, yr hen weinidog, ac wedi hyny gwraig Mr. Richard Thomas, i agoryd y drws, pan ddeallodd mai Harri Deneu oedd yno a gwarant i ddal Mr. Rees, ymaflodd ynddo gan roddi gwasgiad a gwthiad iddo nes iddo syrthio i'r llawr, yna cauodd y drws, a chyn gynted ag y gallodd Harri gyfodi, aeth i ffordd, ac ni chlywyd dim mwyach am dano ef na'i warant. Mr. Rees ddarfu arloesi y ffordd i Meistri Howell Harries, y diwygiwr Methodistaidd ; Jenkin Morgan, Evan Williams, Cwmllynfell, a phregethwyr tanllyd eraill, i ymweled a Phwllheli a'r

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gymydogaeth. Y canlyniad o ymweliadau y dynion bywiog hyn a'r ardal fu i lawer iawn gael eu hychwanegu at yr eglwys yn Mhwllheli. Ond bu y diwygiad yn achlysur i gyffroi cynddaredd yr erlidwyr i'r fath raddau, fel yr amgylchent y capel ar amser y gwasanaeth, ac y lluchient geryg i mewn trwy y ffenestri gyda'r fath nerth fel yr elai y ceryg a daflent i mewn trwy un ffenestr ac allan trwy y ffenestr yr ochr arall i'r capel. Erbyn y byddai y gynnulleidfa yn dyfod allan byddai torf o erlidwyr yn en disgwyl yn mhen y dref, ac anmharchent hwynt mor ddidrugaredd fel y byddai llawer o honynt yn myned i'w cartrefleoedd a'u gwaed yn llifo o'u harchollion. Parhaodd pethau yn yr agwedd dost yma am ysbaid o amser.

Wedi marwolaeth Mr. John Thomas, rhoddwyd galwad i Mr. Richard Thomas, myfyriwr o'r athrofa yn Abergavenny. Urddwyd ef yma yn Awst 1751, nid yn 1743, fel y cam-ddywed Mr. Morgan yn Hanes Ymneillduaeth. Mae awdwr Drych yr Amseroedd  hefyd yn camsynied pan ddywed i Mr. David Williams ddyfod yma ar farwolaeth Mr. John Thomas. Mae yn bosibl i Mr. David Williams, o Ddinbych, yr hwn a briododd un o ferched Mr. Daniel Phillips, fod yn cynorthwyo yma am dymor yn amser Mr. John Thomas, ond nid wedi ei farwolaeth, canys yr oedd Mr. Williams wedi marw bum' mlynedd o flaen Mr. Thomas. Yr oedd Mr. Richard Thomas lawer yn alluocach pregethwr na'i ragflaenydd Mr. John Thomas, ond ni chyfrifid ef yn ddyn mor ddifrifol a duwiol ag ef. Yr oeddid hefyd yn ameu iachusrwydd ei athrawiaeth, a chyhuddid ef o esgeuluso gwaith y weinidogaeth wrth ymdrafod gormod a negeseuon y bywyd hwn. Boddodd ar gyffiniau yr Iwerddon yn 1761, pan ar ei fordaith o Bwllheli i Gaerodor ar neges fasnachol.

Y gweinidog nesaf yma oedd Mr. Rees Harries, o athrofa Abergavenny. Urddwyd ef yma Mai 22ain, 1765. Yr oedd Meistri D. Jardine, Abergavenny; D. Williams, Caerdydd; John Griffiths, Glandwr; Daniel Gronow, ac eraill, yn cymeryd rhan yn ngwasanaeth yr urddiad.* Yr oedd ef wedi bod yma am fwy na blwyddyn cyn ei urddiad ar brawf. Trodd allan yn weinidog gwerthfawr iawn, a bu o wasanaeth dirfawr i sir Gaernarfon a gogledd Cymru yn gyffredinol. Gan ei fod yn bregethwr rhagorol iawn, yn ddyn nodedig o dduwiol, yn foneddigaidd ryfeddol yn ei ymddygiad a'i ymddangosiad, ac yn weithiwr difefl, bu yn llwyddianus ac yn barchus iawn yma hyd derfyn ei oes yn 1788. Yn fuan wedi iddo ef ymsefydlu yn Mhwllheli, ailgychwynodd yr achos yn Nghaernarfon: Pan yr aeth i'r brawdlys tri misol yn Nghaernarfon i ofyn trwydded ar dy i bregethu ynddo yno, gofynodd un o'r ynadon iddo, pa angen oedd arno ef i gael ty yno gan fod ganddo gapel yn Mhwllheli. "Paham foneddigion," ebe yntau "nas gallaf fi gadw curad fel y gwna llawer o'r personiaid." Ar hyny distawsant, a rhoddwyd y drwydded iddo. Llafuriodd Mr. Harries yma gyda derbyniad a llwyddiant mawr, am bum'-mlynedd-ar-hugain. Yn ychwanegol at y weinidogaeth cadwai ysgol ddyddiol trwy ei oes, a bu llawer o wyr ieuaingc dan ei ofal yn parotoi at y weinidogaeth. Ni chafodd ond byr gystudd, a bu farw yn mis Mai, 1788, yn 50 oed.

Llai na blwyddyn y bu yr eglwys yma heb weinidog wedi marwolaeth Mr. Harries, oblegid cyn diwedd y flwyddyn 1789, rhoddasant alwad i Mr. Benjamin Jones, yr hwn oedd yn weinidog yn Rhosymeirch, Mon. Bu Jones yma yn barchus a chymeradwy am dymor hir, ac yr oedd dan ei ofal

* Records of the Congregational Fund Board.

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yn Mhwllheli eglwys gref a dylanwadol, ac yr oedd maes ei weinidogaeth yn cyrhaedd o'r Capel-newydd hyd Capel-helyg. .Deuai rhai personau o bob cwr o Leyn i Bwllheli bob Sabboth cymundeb, ac ar amserau eraill yn achlysurol; ond collwyd y maes eang hwnw i raddau i Annibyniaeth oblegid na wnaed ymgais mewn pryd i sefydlu achosion mewn manau y tuallan i Bwllheli. Er fod Mr. Jones yn ddyn deallgar, ac yn athrawiaethwr grymus, etto yr oedd yn ddiffygiol yn yr ysbryd cenhadol oedd yn angenrheidiol i gymeryd meddiant o'r wlad i grefydd. Bod llonai yn unig ar bregethu yn y Capel-newydd yn y boreu, ac yn Mhwllheli am dri yn y prydnawn, ac weithiau elai i Gapel-helyg yr hwyr; ond nid oedd capel Pwllheli yn cael ei agor ar y Sabboth ond yn unig i'r oedfa brydnawnol. Rhoddodd hyny fantais i'r Methodistiaid Calfinaidd i ennill y bobl atynt, oblegid agorent hwy eu capelau ar hwyr y Sabbothau, ac yr oedd nodwedd gyffrous eu gweinidogaeth yn gyfaddas hollol i agwedd y wlad yn yr adeg hono. Ond cyfrifid eglwys Pwllheli er hyny yn barchus a dylanwadol, ac yn enwedig am ei heddwch a'i chydweithrediad, ac yr oedd rhai o'r bobl fwyaf cyfrifol trwy yr holl wlad oddiamgylch yn perthyn iddi. Gan fod maes ei lafur yn rhy helaeth, rhoddodd Mr. Jones i fyny yr eglwys yn Capel-helyg yn y flwyddyn 1816, a chyn pen tair blynedd ar ol hyny teimlodd fod llesgedd a henaint wedi ei ddal, fel yr oedd angen cynorthwywr arno yn ei gylch eang. Anfonodd ef a'r eglwys at Dr. Phillips, Neuaddlwyd, i ddymuno arno anfon atynt ryw wr ieuangc a dybiai ef yn gymhwys i fod yn weinidog iddynt mewn cysylltiad a Mr. Jones. Cymeradwyodd yntau Mr. Thomas Lewis, aelod o'r Neuaddlwyd, a myfyriwr o'r athrofa dan ei ofal, iddynt fel un tebygol o ateb y lle. Hoffwyd Mr. Lewis yn fawr gan yr hen weinidog a'r eglwys, a rhoddwyd galwad iddo yn ddioed. Urddwyd ef yn mis Hydref, 1819. Yr oedd Mr. Lewis yn ddyn o weithgarwch diflino, ac yn llawn awydd am eangu terfynau yr achos. Cydlafuriodd a'r hybarch weinidog, yn y teimladau goreu, am fwy na thair-blynedd-a-haner, hyd nes y rhoddedd angau derfyn ar fywyd gweinidogaethol Mr. Jones, Chwefror 16eg, 1823, yn 66 oed. Disgynodd y gofal ar ol hyn yn gwbl ar Mr. Lewis, a pharhaodd i fyned rhagddo yn llwyddianus dros amryw flynyddoedd, ond cyn hir daeth "y gelyn i mewn fel afon," a thorwyd ar gysur a llwyddiant yr eglwys. Yr oedd Mr. Lewis wedi bod yn casglu at ddyled y capel, ac aeth trwy galedi mawr wrth deithio trwy wahanol ranau o Gymru, a Lloegr, a'r Iwerddon i hyny; ond cododd rhyw rai y cri ei fod am feddianu y capel, nes peri dychryn i ddynion gweiniaid a difarn. Dynion digrefydd oedd y rhai a flaenorent yn y cweryl, ond fod eu henafiaid wedi bod yn noddwyr caredig i'r achos, a dichon fod Mr. Lewis yn fwy anhyblyg nag y buasai dda iddo fod yn y fath amgylchiadau ar yr achos. Ond bu yr ymrafael yn ysigdod mawr i'r achos. Aeth rhai at enwadau eraill ar ol i Mr. Lewis gael ei gau allan o'r capel, ac ni ddychwelasant mwyach at yr Annibynwyr, ac aeth eraill gyda Mr. Lewis i Abererch, a pharhasant i gerdded yno bob Sabboth hyd ymadawiad Mr. Lewis i Llanfairmuallt, yn 1830, ac am dymor ar ol hyny. Bu Mr. Owen Jones yn gweinyddu yn Mhwllheli am ysbaid blwyddyn neu ychwaneg ar ol ymadawiad Mr. Lewis. Yr oedd y gwr hwn, Owen Jones, yn ddoniol a phoblogaidd iawn fel pregethwr, ond fod ei fywyd yn anwastad, a da fyddai ganddo gael lloches yn rhywle pan wedi ei droi allan i'r gwlaw. Bu ar ol hyn am flynyddoedd yn Llanuwchllyn, ac wedi i'r pleidiau hyny heddychu, aeth at y Bedyddwyr, a bu yn weinidog gyda hwy mewn gwahanol fanau,

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ac yr oedd yn fyw hyd yn ddiweddar, os nad ydyw etto. Yn nechreu y flwyddyn 1832, rhoddwyd galwad i Mr. William Jones, aelod o Landrillo, yn sir Feirionydd, a nai fab brawd i Dr. Arthur Jones, Bangor. Urddwyd ef Ebrill 26ain, 1832. Llafuriodd Mr. Jones yma am chwe' blynedd, ond ni bu ei weinidogaeth yn llwyddianus iawn, Yr oedd yr eglwys etto heb ymuniawni ar ol yr amgylchiadau blinion yr aeth drwyddynt, ac yr oedd y gwreiddyn chwerwedd yn aros. Yn nechreu y flwyddyn 1838, derbyniodd Mr. Jones alwad oddiwrth yr eglwysi yn Glynarthen a Hawen, a symudodd yno yn fuan, a bu yno yn ddefnyddiol a chymeradwy hyd derfyn ei oes. Daw ei hanes ef dan sylw yn nglyn a Glynarthen.

Yn mis Awst, 1838, rhoddodd yr eglwys yma alwad i Mr. Rees P. Griffiths, yr hwn a fuasai am rai blynyddoedd yn weinidog yn Llanberis, yn yr un sir, a dechreuodd Mr. Griffiths ei weinidogaeth yma yn ddioed. Nid oedd yma ond llai na 50 o aelodau pan yr ymsefydlodd yn y lle, ond cyn diwedd y flwyddyn bendithiwyd yr eglwys a diwygiad grymus iawn, grymusach na dim a fu yn flaenorol yn ei hanes, a pharhaodd yr achos i fyned rhagddo, fel yr oedd rhif yr eglwys erbyn dechreu y flwyddyn 1840 uwchlaw 150. Bu Mr. Griffiths yma yn barchus hyd y flwyddyn 1852, pryd y symudodd i gymeryd gofal yr eglwys yn Joppa, Caernarfon. Dros rai blynyddoedd wedi ymadawiad Mr. Griffiths ni bu yma yr un gweinidog sefydlog, hyd ddiwedd y flwyddyn 1857, pryd y rhoddwyd galwad i Mr. Price Howells, Llanfyllin. Bu Mr. Howells yma yn barchus a defnyddiol hyd y flwyddyn 1862, pryd y symudodd i Ynysgau, Merthyr Tydfil. Bu yr eglwys yma o hyny hyd y flwyddyn 1865 yn ymddibynu ar weinidogaeth achlysurol, ond yn nechreu y flwyddyn hono, rhoddasant alwad i Mr. John Henry Jones, myfyriwr o athrofa Aberhonddu, ac urddwyd ef Ebrill 20fed, yn yr un flwyddyn. Ar yr achlysur pregethwyd ar natur eglwys gan Mr. H. Oliver, B.A., Pontypridd; holwyd y gofyniadau gan Mr. W. Griffiths, Amana; dyrchafwyd yr urdd-weddi gan Mr. J. Williams, Castellnewydd; pregethwyd i'r gweinidog gan Mr. D. Roberts, Caernarfon, ac i'r eglwys gan Mr. W. Ambrose, Porthmadog. Bu Mr. Jones yma yn barchus a defnyddiol am yn agos i bum' mlynedd, hyd nes y derbyniodd alwad o Brynseion, Dowlais, a symudodd yno yn Chwefror, 1870. Mae yr eglwys er hyny heb weinidog sefydlog, ond y mae yr achos mewn gwedd obeithiol a chalonog.

Yr ydym wedi rhedeg yn frysiog dros brif ddigwyddiadau yr eglwys yma o'r dechreuad hyd yr awr hon, ond y mae yn sicr genym fod llawer o bethau yn ei hanes wedi myned ar ddifancoll, y rhai pe buasent ar gof a chadw y buasai yn ddyddorol eu cofnodi. Nid oes genym sicrwydd. pa bryd y codwyd y capel cyntaf yma, ond y mae yn amlwg na wnaed hyny cyn y flwyddyn 1689, pryd y cafwyd cysgod o dan Ddeddf Goddefiad. Yr oedd y gynnulleidfa yma, fel y gwelsom, ychydig cyn hyny yn addoli mewn tai trwyddedig. Mae traddodiad yn y dref, a'r wlad oddiamgylch, fod y capel cyntaf wedi ei dynu i lawr gan yr erlidwyr, ac wedi ei ailadeiladu ar draul y llywodraeth. Y mae hyny yn ddigon posibl, er nad oes dim, hyd y gwyddom, mewn argraff na llawysgrif yn cadarnhau hyny. Tynodd y werin afreolus gapel Llanfyllin i lawr yn 1712, ac yn 1717, ailadeiladwyd ef ar draul y llywodraeth, wedi dyrchafiad y Whigiaid i awdurdod yn y wladwriaeth; a gallasai capel Pwllheli fod wedi ei dynu i lawr a'i ailadeiladu dan gyffelyb amgylchiadau. Yn y flwyddyn 1786, rhoddwyd ychydig o dir gan Mrs. Edwards, Nanhoron, i fod yn feddiant i'r

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eglwys, a'u hardreth i fod at gynaliaeth y weinidogaeth; a gwnaed gweithred y pryd hwnw yn cyflwyno yr holl eiddo i ymddiriedolwyr. Dywedir fod gweithred arall wedi ei gwneyd er's yn agos i gan' mlynedd cyn hyny, yr hyn sydd yn dwyn adeiladaeth y capel cyntaf yn agos i'r amser a nodir genym. Mae y weithred gyntaf ar goll. Yn y flwyddyn 1821, gwnaed ymddiriedolwyr newyddion, a chan fod enwau y rhai hyny genym, rhoddwn hwy ar lawr yma: - Benjamin Jones, Caeaugwynion, a Thomas Lewis, y ddau weinidog; Thomas Harris, Gwynfryn; Griffith Griffiths, Blowty; David Williams, Saethon; Humphrey Griffiths, Ironmonger; William Francis, a John Francis, Rhydhir; Evan Parry, a Griffith Griffiths. Ailadeiladwyd y capel yn y flwyddyn 1814, a gwnaed ef yn dY helaeth a hardd yn ol y syniad yn y dyddiau hyny. Costiodd swm mawr, a thuag at dalu ei ddyled y bu Mr. Lewis oddicartref yn casglu. Gwnaed cyfnewidiadau mewnol yn y capel, ac adgyweiriwyd ef, yn y flwyddyn 1841, ac yn y flwyddyn 1864, tynwyd yr hen gapel i lawr, ac adeiladwyd y capel helaeth a chyfleus sydd yma yn awr. Costiodd 1250p.

Mae yma lawer o bersonau a theuluoedd o hynodrwydd wedi bod yn nglyn a'r achos yma o oes i oes. Teulu y Gwynfryn oedd yn mysg ei noddwyr mwyaf caredig am dymor hir, a chodwyd o hono lawer o rai yn gwir ofalu am yr achos. Walter Williams, hen daid Mrs. Ambrose, Porthmadog, oedd un o ffyddloniaid yr achos yma mewn cyfnod helbulus. Preswyliai yn Ty Llewelyn, Penrhos. Bu yn hir yn chwilio y wlad am Fibl. Cafodd un German Text o'r diwedd. (Bibl Dr. Morgan, mae yn debyg). Efe oedd y cyntaf yn sir Gaernarfon a gladdwyd mewn tir a gyfrifid yn annghysegredig, ac y mae ei fedd yn weladwy hyd y dydd hwn. Mab iddo ef oedd Owen Walter, yr hwn a fu yn ddiacon ffyddlon am flynyddau yn Penlan. Bu Mrs. Edwards, Nanhoron, yn famaeth dyner i'r achos yma am flynyddau, ac yr oedd cysylltiad boneddiges fel hi a'r lle yn peri i lawer o'r werin anwybodus i'w barchu gyda llawer o urddas. Yr oedd David Williams, Saethon, yn wr deallgar a dylanwadol, ac yn cael ei gyfrif yn oracl yn y wlad. Dygodd deulu lluosog o blant i fyny, a rhoddodd iddynt addysg o radd uwch nag a roddid i odid neb o blant y wlad yn y dyddiau hyny. Merch iddo ef ydyw Mrs. Breese, gweddw y diweddar Mr. John Breese, o Gaerfyrddin; a mab iddo ef oedd y diweddar David Williams, Ysw., o Gastelldeudraeth, yr aelod seneddol dros sir Feirionydd. Bu William a John Francis, Rhydhir, a'u chwiorydd, yn ffyddlon i'r achos yn ei brofedigaethau. Gyda hwy y llettyai Mr. Lewis dros ysbaid ei arosiad yn y lle. Coffeir mewn amseroedd diweddarach am enwau llawer o ffyddloniaid, ond gan nad oes genym restr gyflawn o honynt, ymataliwn rhag crybwyll yr ychydig enwau a wyddom.

Buasai yn dda genym allu rhoddi enwau yr holl rai a godwyd i bregethu yma o'r dechreuad, ond nis gallwn. Y rhai canlynol yw yr unig rai y mae genym sicrwydd am danynt :-

*History of Nonconformity in Cheshire. Page 452. Horne's Introduction. Vol. II. Page 326.

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Bu yma amryw bregethwyr eraill yn aros yma am dymor, ond dyna yr oll y gallasom gael allan ddarfod iddynt ddechreu pregethu yma.

COFNODION BYWGRAPHYDDOL

JOHN WILLIAMS. Y mae amser a lle ei enedigaeth ef yn anhysbys, ond mae yn amlwg iddo gael ei eni yn rhywle yn Lleyn neu Eifionydd, ac heb fod yn mhell o Bwllheli. Mae yn debyg hefyd mai  yn mhrif athrofa Rhydychain y gorphenodd ei addysg. Yr oedd yn pregethu rai  blynyddau cyn adferiad Siarl II. Yn amser Cromwell yr oedd at ei ryddid i bregethu  mewn unrhyw Eglwys blwyfol. Nid yw yn sicr yn mha eglwys yr oedd yn pregethu yn fwyaf cyson yn amser adferiad y brenhin, ond yn ol ei dystiolaeth ef ei hun, ni ddarfu iddo bregethu mewn unrhyw le yn Nghymru rhwng haf y flwyddyn 1660 a Rhagfyr 1663. Mae yn ymddangos fod y blaid esgobol yn dra dylanwadol yn sir Gaernarfon, ac mor ffyrnig o elynol

* Monthly Magazine, for July, 1800.                    + Dysgedydd, 1833. Tu dal. 357.

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i'r Ymneillduwyr, fel y bu raid i Mr. Williams, yr hwn, fel yr ymddengys, oedd yr unig weinidog Ymneillduol yn y sir, ffoi am ei einioes cyn gynted ag y daeth yr esgobion i awdurdod. Wedi ei ymadawiad o Gymru, ymsefydlodd yn nhy boneddwr o'r enw Mr. Hart yn Nghent, a bu am ysbaid o amser yn gweinyddu fel caplan teuluaidd yn nheulu y boneddwr hwnw.

Yn mysg amrywiol fesurau melldigedig eraill a fabwysiadwyd i boeni yr Ymneillduwyr, yn mlynyddoedd cyntaf teyrnasiad Siarl II., gosodwyd ysbiwyr yn mhob llythyrdy i agor pob llythyr fuasai wedi cael ei gyfeirio at unrhyw berson a ddrwg-dybid o fod yn ffafriol i Ymneillduaeth, mewn trefn i gael rhyw esgus dros ddal yr ysgrifenwyr a'r rhai yr ysgrifenid atynt. Ac i ychwanegu at y creulondeb, os na fuasai dim yn y llythyrau i ddwyn yr ysgrifenwyr a'u cyfeillion i afael y gyfraith, buasid yn fynych yn efelychu y copi gwreiddiol, gan ychwanegu ychydig o frawddegau dirmygus yn erbyn y brenin, y llywodraeth, a'r eglwys. Yna dinystrid y gwreiddiol, a thyngid mai yr efelychiad ydoedd, er mwyn dwyn yr hwn a gyhuddid o'i ysgrifenu, a'r hwn y cyfeirid ef ato, i afael cosb fel troseddwyr yn y wladwriaeth. Cafodd llawer o ddynion diniwed eu carcharu a'u cosbi yn ddidrugaredd trwy ddichellion iselwael o'r fath hyn. Yn mysg eraill,  bu Mr. Williams, a'i gyfaill, Mr. Richard Edwards, Nanhoron, yn ddyoddefwyr trwy y fath ddyfais  felldigedig. Pan yr oedd Mr. Williams yn byw gyda Mr. Hart yn Nghent, ysgrifenodd at Mr. Richard Edwards i ofyn am dyddyn i'w fam, yr hon oedd yn wraig weddw. Pan ddaeth y llythyr i lythyrdy  Caernarfon, agorwyd ef gan ysbiwr y llywodraeth. Er nad oedd yn y gwir lythyr ddim anghyfreithlon, etto y fath oedd syched y gwaedgwn am waed, fel y gwnaed llythyr o ddarnau o lythyr Mr. Williams, gydag ychwanegiadau, er cael esgus i ddal Mr. Edwards a Mr. Williams. Anfonodd Israglawon sir Gaernarfon gopi, o'r hyn a alwent y llythyr a ysgrifenasai Mr. Williams at Mr. Edwards, i Lundain i Arglwydd Arlington, a rhoddodd ei arglwyddiaeth ddwy warant allan i ddal y ddau. Nid ydym yn gwybod pa fodd yr ymdarawodd Mr. Edwards, ond am Mr. Williams, cafodd ef ei roddi yn ngharchar am ddeng wythnos cyn cael ei alw i sefyll ei brawf. Yn Ionawr, 1664, bu ar ei brawf. Gwadai yn bendant nad efe a ysgrifenodd y llythyr a ddangosid yn y llys; ond iddo ysgrifenu llythyr at .Mr. Edwards yn nghylch tyddyn i'w fam yr haf blaenorol. Wedi methu profi dim yn ei erbyn, gollyngwyd ef yn rhydd, ond costiodd y carchariad a'r prawf iddo tuag un-bunt-ar-bymtheg-ar-hugain. A. ganlyn sydd gyfieithiad o'r llythyr y cyhuddid ef o'i ysgrifenu. Mae yn dra sicr mai ychwanegiadau y copiwyr yn Nghaernarfon yw y llinellau a osodasom mewn llythyrenau italaidd, ac i'r hyn a ddywedid am y tyddyn, yn y llythyr gwreiddiol, gael ei adael allan :-

" Anwyl Gyfaill,

"Y mae llawer o'ch cyfeillion chwi, a'ch cyd-ddyoddefwyr gwerthfawr yn meddwl yn fynych am eich caethiwed, ac yn gweddio beunydd ar yr Arglwydd am eich gollyngdod o ddwylaw gelynion creulon, 'canys aml ddrygau a gaiff y cyflawn, ond yr Arglwydd a'i gwared ef oddiwrthynt oll, canys felly yr erlidiasant hwy y prophwydi a fu o'ch blaen chwi;' felly, amynedd yw y rhinwedd fwyaf angenrheidiol yn awr. Yr wyf fi yn bresenol allan o Lundain, ond yn cael cyfleusdra i anfon y llythyr hwn, i'w bostio yn Nghaerlleon, yn llaw y cyfaill a ddygodd i mi hanes eich dyoddefiadau chwi a'r cyfeillion eraill. Cyfeiriais y llythyr i'w anfon o Gaerlleon i ofal ein hanwyl gyfaill, Thomas Lawrence. Buom yn coleddu gobeithion melus trwy drugaredd Duw, y cawsai y cleddyf unwaith drachefn ei osod yn nwylaw y rhai sydd yn ofni ei enw ef; ond ni welodd yr Arglwydd yn dda farnu hyny yn briodol

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i ni etto. Yr oeddym ni ychydig yn rhy frysiog. Nis gall oediad yr Arglwydd lai na mwyhau eu pechodau hwy, fel y byddo i'n cleddyfau ni dori yn llymach, ac fel y syrthio deg o flaen un, a deng mil o flaen deg, ac na byddont mwyach i'w gweled ond fel s o flaen y gwynt, ac angel yr Arglwydd yn eu hymlid. O gyfaill anwyl, diddenwch y brodyr gweiniaid, fel y byddo iddynt sefyll yn ddiysgog ac yn gadarn yn y ffydd. Bydded eich cynlluniadau yn yr Arglwydd yn aml, ac nac ofnwch y rhai a allent ladd y corph, eithr yn hytrach ofnwch yr hwn a all fwrw corph ac enaid i uffern. Yr Arglwydd daionus a'i fawr drugaredd a'ch cadwo oll er mawl i'w ogoniant ef. Yr wyf yn dymnno arnoch gyflwyno fy serch anwylaf i Mr. Jeffrey Parry, Mr. Morris Griffith, Mr. Mark Lloyd, a'i wraig ragorol, ac at y lleill oll o'm hanwyl gyfeillion yn yr Arglwydd. Yr Arglwydd a'ch cynalio ac a'ch cadwo oll. Amen. Gras ein Harglwydd Iesu Grist fyddo gyda chwi oll. Amen.'

" Eich cyfaill cywir, a'ch cydweithiwr yn yr Arglwydd,             

                                                                                                       "J. W.

" O'm cartref ansefydlog, Hydref 20fed, 1663.

" I'm hanwyl gyfaill Mr. Richard Edwards, Nanhoron, i'w adael yn nhy Mr. Thomas Lawrance yn Nghaernarfon."

Ar gefn y llythyr y mae y geiriau, " Copi cywir. Tystion, Thos. Bulkley, John Owen, Thos. Vaughan, Will.Griffith, Lleyn, Israglawiaid sir Gaernarfon."*

Gan mai yn Llundain yr oedd yr achos yn cael ei brofi, mae y gofyniad yn ymgodi yn naturiol, Paham mai copi a anfonwyd yno yn lle y llythyr gwreiddiol? a phaham hefyd y rhyddhawyd y cyhuddedig gan y llys? Mae yn amlwg mai dyfais faleisus i aflonyddu dynion da oedd y cwbl. Dyna nodwedd eglwyswyr sir Gaernarfon yn 1663.

Yn mhen ychydig amser wedi yr helynt hyn, dychwelodd Mr. Williams i sir Gaernarfon, ac yno y bu hyd ei farwolaeth, yr hyn a gymerodd le ryw amser yn ystod y flwyddyn 1674.

Yr oedd John Williams yn ddyn dysgedig a duwiol iawn, ond i raddau yn amddifad o'r gwroldeb a'r penderfyniad gofynol mewn oes o fath ei oes ef. Beuid ef, fel y gwelsom, gan ei gefnder Mr. Henry Maurice, am esgeuluso pregethu am gymaint o amser, a chyfaddefai yntau ei fai. Mae yn rhaid i ddyn wrth ras merthyr i wneyd gwaith, a myned trwy ddyoddefiadau merthyr. Nid ydym yn gwybod yn mha le y claddwyd ef.

O.Y. - Ar ol ysgrifenu yr uchod, buom yn y Record Office yn Llundain yn chwilio yn mhellach i'r amgylchiad, a daethom o hyd i'r ffeithiau canlynol: -  Anfonwyd copi o'r llythyr yr haerid i Mr. Williams ei ysgrifenu at Mr. Edwards, gan Israglawiaid (Deputy Lieutenants) sir Gaernarfon, i Syr Henry Bennett, ysgrifenydd y llywodraeth, yr hwn ar ei dderbyniad a anfonodd allan warant i ddal Mr. Williams a Mr. Edwards. Yr oedd Mr. Edwards ar y pryd yn Llundain, yn dwyn yn mlaen gynghaws cyfreithiol yn nghylch tir rhyw wr mawr o sir Gaernarfon; a Mr. Williams yn Nghent, heb fod yn mhell o Lundain. Daliwyd y ddau, a gwadai Mr. Williams yn bendant mai nid efe a ysgrifenasai y llythyr y cyhuddesid ef o ysgrifenu. Mewn trefn i gymharu ei lawysgrifen a'r llythyr gwreiddiol, yr hwn oedd etto yn meddiant Israglawiaid sir Gaernarfon, gwnaeth Syr Henry Bennett iddo ysgrifenu papyr yn y llys, yr hwn a anfonwyd ganddo i Gaernarfon i'w gymharu a'r hyn yr haerid mai y llythyr gwreiddiol ydoedd. Pan yn methu cael y ddwy lawysgrifen i ateb i'w gilydd, haerai

* State papers Charles II.'s reign. Vol. LXXXV. Page 18.

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yr Israglawiaid mai dyeithrio ei law a wnaeth wrth ysgrifenu at Mr. Edwards, ac anfonasant lythyr maith at Syr Henry Bennett yn taeru mai nid llunio llythyr a cheisio efelychu llaw Mr. Williams a wnaethant hwy oddiar falais tuag ato ef a Mr. Edwards. Mae yn eithaf amlwg mai felly y bu, oblegid cafodd y ddau, ar ol chwilio yr achos i'w waelod, eu gollwng yn rhydd, ond buont yn garcharorion am tua deng wythnos, tra buwyd yn ysgrifenu yn ol ac yn mlaen o Lundain i Gaernarfon ar yr achos, a chostiodd y prawf dros ddeg-punt-ar-hugain yr un iddynt. Mae yn ymddangos fod Syr Henry Bennett, tra yn awyddus am gosbi pob Annghydffurfiwr y gallesid profi ei fod yn droseddwr o'r gyfraith, yn ddigon o foneddwr i beidio cosbi neb nas gallesid profi ei euogrwydd yn eglur. Gan hyny, gorfodwyd Israglawiaid sir Gaernarfon i ddangos y llythyr y cyhuddent Mr. Williams o'i ysgrifenu i ddynion adnabyddus o'i lawysgrifen, ac anfon tystiolaeth y cyfryw iddo ef. Felly bu raid iddynt, yn ddiau yn groes i'w hewyllys, alw y boneddigion canlynol, y rhai a arferent ohebu a Mr. Williams, i gymharu ei law ysgrifen wreiddiol ef a'r llythyr y mynid ei gosbi o'i herwydd, a chymerasant eu llw nad oeddynt yn credu mai efe a'i hysgrifenodd. A ganlyn yw eu tystiolaeth : - " Yr wyf fi, Maurice Griffith, boneddwr, wedi cael fy holi ar fy llw gan yr Israglawiaid yn Nghaernarfon, Rhagfyr 29ain, 1663, yn tystio nad wyf fi yn adnabod y llawysgrifen hon, ac nad wyf yn credu mai llawysgrifen Mr. John Williams, Ty'nycoed, ydyw. Llawysgrifen arferedig pa un sydd yn adnabyddus i mi. - Maurice Griffith."

" Yr wyf fi, Jeffrey Parry, wedi cael fy holi ar fy llw o berthynas i'r llawysgrifen hon, yn tystio nad wyf fi yn ei hadnabod, ac nad wyf yn credu mai llawysgrifen Mr. John Williams ydyw. - Jeffrey Parry."

"Yr wyf fi, Mark Lloyd, boneddwr, wedi cael fy holi ar fy llw gan Israglawiaid y sir hon, yn tystio nad wyf yn credu mai llawysgrifen Mr. John Williams yw y llawysgrifen hon, gan nad oes ynddi nemawr o debygolrwydd i'w lawysgrifen arferol ef, a'r hon yr wyf yn gyfarwydd. -  Mark Lloyd."*

Yn wyneb y tystiolaethau hyn, nid oedd gan Syr Henry Bennett ddim i'w wneyd ond gollwng ei garcharorion yn rhyddion, a gadael Israglawiaid sir Gaernarfon dan y gwarth o lunio llythyr maleisus er ceisio dwyn dau Ymneillduwr diddrwg i ofid. Yr Israglawiaid gwaradwyddus hyn oeddynt Syr Thomas Bulkley, John Owen, a William Griffith, o Leyn.

Yr oedd Meistri Maurice Griffith, Jeffrey Parry, Mark Lloyd, a Richard Edwards yn Annghydffurfwyr yn yr oes erlidgar hono, ac yn foneddigion o ran eu hamgylchiadau bydol yn gystal ag o ran cymeriadau. Mae yn flin genym nad ydym yn alluog i roddi hanes eu bywydau ger bron ein darllenwyr.

DANIEL PHILLIPS. Yr oedd ef yn disgyn o un o ganghenau ieuengaf teulu pendefigaidd Picton Castle, sir Benfro. Nid ydym yn gwybod yn mha le yr oedd ei rieni yn byw, na pha bryd y ganwyd ef. Mae yn lled debyg mai rhyw fan yn y cwr isaf o sir Gaerfyrddin, neu y rhan uchaf o sir Benfro oedd lle ei enedigaeth. Rhoddir yr hanes canlynol am ei droedigaeth yn Nrych yr Amseroedd: - " Cafodd ddysgeidiaeth dda, ond troes allan yn ei ieuengctyd yn ddyn gwag ac anystyriol. Yr oedd ganddo un cyfaill mwy neillduol nag eraill oedd yn cydredeg gydag ef i bob gwagedd. Ar ryw Sabboth gofynodd un i'r llall,

* State papers, Charles II, Vol. LXXXV. Page 121-2. Vol. LXXXVI. Page 83.

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I ba le y cawn fyned heddyw?  A gawn ni fyned i wrandaw ar y gwr a'r gwr yn pregethu ? ac felly y bu. Wedi dyfod allan, dywedodd ei gyfaill wrtho, Wel, bellach ni a awn i'r lle a'r lle, i'n gwneyd ein hunain yn llawen gyda rhyw ddigrifwch. Dywedodd Mr. Phillips wrtho, Fy nghyfaill, y mae yn rhyfedd genyf eich clywed. Oni chlywsoch chwi fel yr oedd y pregethwr yn dywedyd am bechod, a'r gosb ddychrynllyd ddyledus o'i herwydd ? gan hyny, pa fodd y gallwn wneuthur y mawr ddrwg hwn, a phechu yn erbyn Duw ? O hyny allan gadawodd ei hen gyfeillion ofer, a'i ffyrdd pechadurus, ac ymroddodd i geisio yr Arglwydd a'i holl galon. Daeth yn mlaen ar gynydd mewn gras a gwybodaeth iachusol a doniau helaeth." Yn fuan wedi iddo wneyd proffes gyhoeddus o grefydd, aeth i athrofa Mr. Samuel Jones, Brynllwarch, i dderbyn addysg ar gyfer y weinidogaeth. Wedi gorphen ei amser yno, aeth, ar gais cyfeillion yr achos, i Bwllheli yn y flwyddyn 1684. Ond o herwydd angerdd yr erledigaeth, ni chafodd ei urddo cyn 1688. Dywedir i ryw erlidiwr saethu ato unwaith, pryd yr oedd yn y pulpud yn pregethu, ond trefnodd Rhagluniaeth i'r belen fyned heibio iddo i'r pared. Wrth ganfod ei waredigaeth ragluniaethol, dywedodd, "Yn nghysgod dy law y'm cuddiaist," ac aeth rhagddo yn ei bregeth yn ddifraw.

Yn fuan wedi iddo fyned i Bwllheli, priododd weddw yr enwog Henry Maurice, yr hon oedd berchenog y Gwynfryn, ac aeth yno i fyw. Yn y lle hwnw y bu gweinidogion Pwllheli yn byw yn olynol am fwy na chant-a-deg-ar-hugain o flynyddau. Yr oedd Mrs. Maurice, fel yr ymddengys, amryw flynyddau yn hyn na Mr. Phillips. Priododd ef wedi iddo ei chladdu hi, ac ymddengys mai ei ail wraig oedd mam ei blant. Cafodd chwech o blant - dau fab a phedair merch. Bu ei ddau fab, fel y nodasom, yn weinidogion enwog yn eu dydd, a bu tair o'i ferched yn wragedd gweinidogion, sef Mr. David Williams, Dinbych; Richard Thomas, Pwllheli, a Thomas Morgan, Henllan. Bu amryw o'i wyrion a'i orwyrion, a phlant y rhai hyny, yn weinidogion ac yn wragedd gweinidogion. Wyres iddo oedd gwraig Mr. Rees Harries, Pwllheli, a merch iddi hithau oedd gwraig Mr. E. Davies, Hanover, Mynwy. Y mae lluaws o ddisgynyddion Mr. Phillips, yn awr yn y seithfed a'r wythfed genhedlaeth, yn wasgaredig ar hyd Cymru a Lloegr, a'r rhan fwyaf o honynt a adwaenom ni yn bobl foneddigaidd a chrefyddol.

Wedi llafurio yn Mhwllheli, Caernarfon, a'r cylchoedd, gyda diwydrwydd a llwyddiant mawr yn wyneb llawer o wrthwynebiadau a pheryglon am ddeunaw-mlynedd-ar-hugain, bu farw y gweinidog enwog hwn yn y flwyddyn 1722. Gan na ddarfu i neb o'i gydoeswyr adael nemawr o ddim o'i hanes mewn na llawysgrif nac argraff, yr ydym yn analluog i roddi nemawr o fanylion o'i hanes. Fel engraifft o ddylanwad ei gymeriad ar y rhai oedd a mwyaf o gyfleusdra i'w adnabod, cymerwn y ffaith ganlynol o Ddrych yr Amseroedd:-" O herwydd gelyniaeth cyffredinolrwydd y trigolion at Ymneillduaeth, ni chai na gwas na morwyn, ond rhyw rai na chymerai neb arall mo honynt. Cafodd o'r diwedd ryw greadur annosbarthus ac ymladdgar yn forwyn, a byddai hono yn rhegi ac yn melldithio fel pe buasai o ddyben yn ei boeni. Sylwai hon y byddai ei meistr yn cilio i'r parlwr yn fynych wrtho ei hun. Un tro dywedodd hithau wrthi ei hun, 'Beth y mae yr hen gythraul yn ei wneyd acw ?' Edrychodd trwy dwll y clo, a chanfu y gwr duwiol ar ei luniau, a'r dagrau yn llifo ar hyd ei ruddiau; a thrwy hyny, fel moddion dechreuol, ennillwyd y creadur ysgeler

CONTINUED

Translation by Eleri Rowlands (June 2013)

It is certain that non-conformity arose very early in this county, and that it was in Pwllheli and its community that it started, but there isn't one detailed record in any document or impression of the history of that beginning. There was a tradition in the Pwllheli area about a hundred years ago, according to the testimony of the author of Drych yr Amseroedd, that three young men, born in this county, returned from Oxford around 1646, or soon after this, to preach as non-conformists here. It is likely that the men were John Williams, Ellis Rowlands, and Henry Maurice. It is quite certain that the former two had preached here as non-conformists before 1662, but in 1666 the latter departed from the established church. After that no-one was more hard working than him in trying to raise the profile of the non-conformist cause in the county of his birth, as well as in other counties. Mr. Morgan, in 'Hanes Ymneillduaeth' (the History of Non-Conformity), says, on the authority of the late Mr. D: Williams, of Saethon, that a house of worship had been built by the non-conformists in the parish of Pwllheli in the time of Oliver Cromwell; but we cannot believe that. Since the parish churches were open for Non-Conformists to worship throughout Cromwell's parliament, there was no call for them to build chapels, and we are certain that no chapel was built in any part of the Principality until long after Cromwell's time. Undoubtedly there were small assemblies of non-conformists worshipping in dwelling houses in far corners away from the parish church in the time of the Commonwealth, but it is clear that they did not build one chapel in any part of the land during that time. It is said that some non-conformists had been embodied into a church in Pwllheli before the restoration of Charles ll and that is quite likely. In a letter dated April 28th, 1657, from Colonel John Jones, one of Cromwell's high officials, to Cadben Wray, the keeper of Beaumaris castle, we see the following words: - "I also wish you to pay five pounds to the hand of Coronet Jeffrey Parry, who lives close to Pwllheli, Caernarfonshire, which will be distributed by him, and the ones who walk in the community of the gospel in that county, in such a way that will be most supportive to them in taking the work of the gospel forward there, either to assist the poor in their midst, or in any other way."* This proves immediately that the people in that area at this time " were walking in the community of the gospel," or had been embodied into a church. One of Mr. Jones-Parry's ancestors, he who was the MP for Caernarfonshire, was Jeffrey Parry. It is said that he was a preacher as well as a military official. We will make another note of him when we come to the history of Capel-helyg. Mr. Richard Edwards, Nanhoron, as we shall see later on, belonged to the non-conformists in this district, and it appears there were several other influential families. It is certain that Walter Cradoc, Vavasor Powell, and others from the group of Welsh reformers, had been visiting this area occasionally. It is said that Morgan Llwyd came here, and walked through the streets of Pwllheli with his hands behind his back, and a Bible in his hand, on a market day, and the people would make way for him, as if a horse and cart

* Parry's Royal Visits, and Progresses to Wales. Page 400.

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was passing by. It is evident that the occasional visits of these good men had a major effect for good here, but it was through the labour of Mr. John Williams that a church collected and was formed here. When persecution was restored along with the restoration of Charles ll, the religious community in the town was scattered for a while, but was not wiped out. When persecution started Mr. Williams, the minister, went away to England, and he was for a while a chaplain to a wealthy gentleman's family in Kent. He was there in December, 1663. It is likely that he returned home a little after that, but it does not appear that he did much preaching, if any, before1672, when a certain amount of freedom was given to non-conformists. Even though he was a very godly man, and an able preacher, it appears that he was idle and very fearful. Having had a little freedom in 1672, we have found the following records of licenses that preachers and others applied for, on dwelling houses for the purposes of preaching in these areas: - "September 5th, 1672, a license for John Williams, of Ty'nycoed, (or Tanycoed), Caernarfonshire, to be an Independent preacher. Also to be licensed, the house of J. Williams, the same day towards preaching by the Independents."* The same day also a house called Bodwel towards preaching; the house of William Rowlands, in Pwllheli, and the house of John Rowlands, called Ty'nycaerau. William and John Rowlands also took out licenses to be Independent preachers. This freedom did not last long, about a year, but the religious friends made the best of it as long as it lasted. We feel that it was Mr. Henry Maurice that inspired and supported Mr. John Williams, and the aforementioned friends to take out these licenses. He came to visit Pwllheli, on September 3rd, 1672, and within two days, the licenses were applied for. The following quotations that we copied from a document by Mr. Maurice himself, show what a zealous, dedicated man he was to the work of the Lord: - "September 3rd, 1672. In my morning prayers today I felt a warmth in my spirit, and I had so much pleasure. We left Penmorfa and had a comfortable journey to Pwllheli today. Once we had arrived there, I set aside a private place in W. Griffith's house for me to pray. I preached there in the evening from Rev. iii. 20, and I had great pleasure in praying and preaching. I had reason to believe that the people were receiving healing. In my private prayers in the evening, I felt a lot of spiritual freedom to pray for the people who had been listening to my sermon. September 4th. I prayed with my wife this morning. It was very pleasurable. After that I prayed on my own. I am very hopeful that God will be gracious to the people of Pwllheli, as I am experiencing such tenderness of heart while praying for them. I prayed again in the evening in Gwynfryn with my wife. September 5th. My wife and I prayed together this morning with much tenderness of heart and pleasure. I prayed again in private in W. Griffith's house. We reached Nanhoron this evening, and we prayed together with much pleasure." September 6th. He and his wife went to Bethlan to visit their parents, and he expressed a great sorrow in his notes that day because of the lack of religious fervour in his relatives, and the people living in the community in general. " September 7th. Today we went to see my cousin, John Williams, and I discussed matters of great seriousness with him, focusing on his silence, and his work, waiting for so long without completing

* State papers for 1672.

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his ministry. I did not have much satisfaction in his answers to me. I found signs of God's grace in him; but it is clear that he had been under a great deal of trouble to have avoided preaching for so long." On a Sunday, on September 8th, he was in Pwllheli. Since Mr. Richard Owen, the parson, had refused to allow him to go to the church, he had to preach that morning and evening in William Griffith's house. His text was from Jer. xxx. 21, 22. September 14th, he visited his cousin John Williams again, and he discussed as seriously as him, his work and the fact that he had not been preaching for so long, so much so that they both cried. September 15th. He preached in the morning in Morris Jones' widow's house, (we are not told where she lived), from 1 Peter iv. 18; in the afternoon in Llanarmon churchyard, from the same text; (the parson had not allowed him to go to the church); and in the evening in Pwllheli, from Romans. v. 8. It is certain that he visited these areas every year, or even more often, after this for the rest of his life, even though he lived in Breconshire. Regarding the beginning of the non-conformist cause in Caernarfonshire, we have this story in a letter that Mr. Maurice wrote to Mr. Edward Ferril, from Caerodor, in 1675: - "The first church, and the only formed church in this county, is the one which meets generally in Llanarmon and Llangybi. It was formed through the ministry of Mr. John Williams, who died recently, and he formed the returnees into a church. They are all Independents of judgement apart from one member, who is a Baptist, but he is far from being the most insignificant amongst them for his zeal and godliness. His name is Thomas Williams. He lived for some years in London recently. This church is, at present, devoid of a minister; but William Rowlands is a doctrinal elder amongst them, and Thomas Williams, and others of the brotherhood, preach to them. "So we understand that all the non-conformists in this county in 1675 were as one church, and this continued for many years after this. The persecuted flock was unable to meet to worship without being in danger in Pwllheli during the time of the persecution. Probably, when they had a little freedom in 1672, they would have built a chapel in the town, and that would have been the one that was demolished by the persecutors, as told by Mr. Morgan in 'Hanes Ymneillduaeth' ( the History of Non-Conformity). When the king granted freedom in 1672, before the end of 1673, he recalled his permission, and the fire of persecution reignited as fiercely as ever.

In 1676, Mr. James Owen, later from Oswestry and Shrewsbury, came here , at the request of Mr. Henry Maurice, and he stayed here for nearly a year. He stayed in Bodwel. But such was the rage of the persecutors that he didn't dare appear in public throughout the time he was here, and when he left he had to be lead out of the area by his friends at the dead of night, in case the persecutors took his life. We do not know what happened to the oppressed flock between 1677 and 1684. Perhaps Messrs Ellis Rowlands, Henry Maurice, and Hugh Owen from Fronycludwr, visited them in a secret occasionally to feed them with the bread of life, and to hearten them in their distress. In 1684, Mr. Daniel Phillips, (not William Phillips as was mistakenly reported in 'Drych yr Amseroedd' and 'Hanes Ymneillduaeth' by Morgan,) settled here, and even though he was in great distress for the first four years of his time here, his life was secured, and his labour succeeded greatly till the end of his life in 1722. Mr. Phillips worked very diligently during his life. As soon as he received the protection of the Act of Tolerance, he obtained a house in Caernarfon town

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with a view to preaching in it, and he continued to go there regularly till the end of his life. Perhaps there was no area in Wales as vehemently against non-conformity at the beginning, and for quite a while after that, than Caernarfonshire. Somehow these people had more influence over the common people than in many places. It is said of one great man, a Justice of the Peace, in the Pwllheli area had sworn a curse that he would destroy or drive every non-conformist from the country in no time; but before he achieved his aim he became ill, and he had to go to Shrewsbury to consult a doctor, and he died there in a very pitiful way. We aren't sure whether this happened during or before the time of Mr. Phillips. After Mr. Phillips died, a call was sent to Mr. John Thomas. He was ordained here on June 21st, 1723, and he stayed here until his death in 1748. Mr. Thomas was considered a good and godly man, but he was far from the standard of his predecessor, Mr. Phillips, in gifts, courage, and hard work. At the death of Mr. Phillips, the service in Caernarfon town was given up, and wasn't restarted until the time of Mr. Rees Harries. It appears also that the cause in Pwllheli and the branches in the circuit weakened greatly during the time of Mr. Thomas. But there were here some people who were hard working and warm of heart who longed for a religious revival. When they heard about the labour, success and fame of Mr. Lewis Rees in Llanbrynmair, one of them went all the way there to ask him to come to Pwllheli to preach, and he succeeded in getting him to come. Perhaps that man was Francis Evans. He was an extraordinarily godly man and worked hard for the cause. While listening to him praying with his family the notably godly William Pritchard from Lasfrynfawr received conviction, and he went to Bala to fetch Jenkin Morgan to go to Arfon. The arrival of Mr. Lewis Rees in Pwllheli gave life to the cause. Great crowds collected to listen to him, but that was a means of rekindling the old spirit of persecution in the priests and the common people under their influence. The first time he came here, he was brought before Chancellor Owen, the Llanor parson. That persecuting scoundrel took a sword and tore the upper hood on his clothes. As he had no law to punish a non- conformist who had a license to preach, he had to allow him to go without punishment and did nothing more than tear the hood with a sword. Another time when Mr. Rees was preaching in an area close to Pwllheli, one Henry Roberts was sent. He was known generally as "Harri Deneu," (thin Harry) with a warrant to bring him before Mr. Owens, the parson of Llaniestyn. That man behaved as a polite gentleman towards him, and then asked a few questions of him, and allowed him to go on his way. That was not acceptable to the persecutors, so, they demanded a warrant from some other justice, and Harri Deneu was again sent to Gwynfryn, where Mr. Rees was lodging. When the family was having breakfast, they heard knocking at the door, and Miss Phillips, the daughter of Mr. Daniel Phillips, the previous minister, and after that the wife of Mr. Richard Thomas, went to open the door, when she realised that it was Harri Deneu that was there with a warrant to catch Mr. Rees, she caught hold of him and squeezed him pushing him until he fell to the floor, then she shut the door, and as soon as Harri was able to get up, he went away, and no-one heard any more from him or his warrant. It was Mr. Rees that paved the way for Messrs Howell Harries, the Methodist revivalist; Jenkin Morgan, Evan Williams, Cwmllynfell, and other fiery preachers, to visit Pwllheli and

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the area. The result of the visits of these lively men to the area was that many were added to the church in Pwllheli. But the revival was an occasion to excite the fury of the persecutors to such an extent that, as they circled the chapel at the time of the service, they threw stones through the windows with such a force that the stones they threw went through one window and out through the window at the other side of the chapel. By the time the congregation came out of the chapel there would be a crowd of persecutors waiting for them at the end of the town, and they were abused so mercilessly that many of them went home with blood pouring from their wounds. This pitiful attitude continued for a while.

After the death of Mr. John Thomas, a call was sent to Mr. Richard Thomas, a student from the college in Abergavenny. He was ordained in August 1751, not in 1743, as was erroneously said by Mr. Morgan in 'Hanes Ymneillduaeth' (the History of Non-Conformity). The author of 'Drych yr Amseroedd' ( the Mirror of the Times) also made a mistake when he said that Mr. David Williams came here on the death of Mr. John Thomas. It is possible that Mr. David Williams ,from Denbigh, who married one of the daughters of Mr. Daniel Phillips, had been assisting here for a while during the time of Mr. John Thomas, but it was not after his death, as Mr. Williams had died five years before Mr. Thomas. Mr. Richard Thomas was a much more able preacher than his predecessor Mr. John Thomas, but he was not considered to be as sincere and godly as him. They also doubted the purity of his teaching, and he was accused of neglecting the ministry work while discussing the messages of this life too much. He drowned close to Ireland in 1761, while on a voyage from Pwllheli to Bristol on a trade mission.

The next minister here was Mr. Rees Harries, from Abergavenny college. He was ordained here on May 22nd, 1765. Messrs D. Jardine, Abergavenny; D. Williams, Cardiff; John Griffiths, Glandwr; Daniel Gronow, and others, took part in the ordination service.* He had been here for more than a year on trial before his ordination. He turned out to be very valuable, and he gave enormous service to Caernarfonshire and north Wales in general. Since he was an excellent preacher, a notably godly man, a gentleman in his manner and his appearance, and a flawless worker, he was successful and very respected here to the end of his life in1788. Soon after he settled in Pwllheli, the cause restarted in Caernarfon: when he went to the three monthly assizes in Caernarfon to ask for a license on a house in which to preach there, one of the justices asked him, what reason did he have in asking for a house when he had a chapel in Pwllheli. "Why gentlemen," he said "can't I keep a curate as many parsons do." At that they were silenced, and he got his license. Mr. Harries laboured here with great success and much acceptance, for twenty five years. In addition to the ministry he kept a day school all his life, and many young men under his care prepared for the ministry. He had a short illness, and he died in May, 1788, at the age of 50.

The church was without a minister for less than a year after the death of Mr. Harries, as before the end of 1789, a call was sent to Mr. Benjamin Jones, who was a minister in Rhosymeirch, Anglesey. Mr Jones was here with full respect and acceptance for a long time , and under his care

* Records of the Congregational Fund Board.

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in Pwllheli there was a strong and influential church, and the field of his ministry reached from Capel-newydd to Capel-helyg. Some people would come from every corner of Lleyn to Pwllheli every communion Sabboth, and at other times occasionally; but that wide field was lost to some degree to Independence because no effort was made in time to establish a cause in areas outside Pwllheli. Even though Mr. Jones was a prudent man, and a powerful doctrinal man, yet he lacked the missionary spirit that was essential in order to take possession of the country for religion. He delighted in preaching in Capel-newydd in the morning, and in Pwllheli at three in the afternoon, and sometimes he went to Capel-helyg in the evening; but Pwllheli chapel was opened just for the afternoon service on a Sabbath. That gave the Calvinist Methodists an advantage in winning people, as they opened their chapels on the Sabbath evenings, and the ministry presented an exciting feature that was completely compatible with the attitude in the country at that time. But Pwllheli chapel was considered to be respectable and influential, especially for its peace and co-operation, and some of the most responsible people in the whole country belonged to it. Since his field of labour was too wide, Mr. Jones gave up the church in Capel-helyg in 1816, and within three years he felt that fatigue and old age had caught up with him, so he needed assistants in his wide circuit. He and the church sent a letter to Dr. Phillips, Neuaddlwyd, asking him to send a young man he considered to be qualified to be a minister to them, to assist Mr. Jones. He recommended Mr. Thomas Lewis, a member of Neuaddlwyd, and a student from the college under his care, to them as one who was likely to answer their problems. The minister and the church liked Mr. Lewis a lot, and he was given a call immediately. He was ordained in October, 1819. Mr. Lewis was a man of tireless hard work, and was eager to widen the boundaries of the cause. He worked alongside the venerable minister, on the best terms, for more than three and a half years, until death put an end to Mr Jones' ministry, on February 16th, 1823, at the age of 66 years. The care of the church then fell completely on the shoulders of Mr Lewis, and he continued to succeed over several years, but before long the "enemy came in like a river," and the comfort and success of the church was broken. Mr. Lewis had been collecting towards the chapel debt, and he went through great difficulty while travelling through different areas of Wales, and England, and Ireland in order to do this; but some people claimed that he wanted to possess the chapel, until it all frightened weak, unbiased men. It was the unreligious men who were the leaders in the quarrel, but it was their ancestors who had been the kind sponsors for the cause, and perhaps Mr. Lewis had been more inflexible than he should have been in the circumstances. But the friction was a sickness in the cause. Some went to other denominations after Mr. Lewis had been shut out of his chapel, and they did not return again to the Independents, and others went with Mr. Lewis to Abererch, and they continued to walk there every Sabbath until Mr. Lewis moved to Llanfairymuallt,(Builth) in 1830, and for a while after that. Mr. Owen Jones officiated in Pwllheli for a year or so after Mr. Lewis left. This man, Owen Jones, was funny and very popular as a preacher, but his life was fickle, and it would have been good if he could have found a haven somewhere when he had been turned out in the rain. He spent years after that in Llanuwchllyn, and once those factions had become more peaceful, he went to the Baptists, and he continued as a minister with them in different places,

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and he was still alive until recently, he may even still be alive. At the beginning of 1832, a call was sent to Mr. William Jones, a member from Llandrillo, in Merionethshire, and a nephew of the son of the brother of Dr. Arthur Jones, Bangor. He was ordained on April 26th, 1832. Mr. Jones laboured here for six years, but his ministry wasn't very successful. The church had not yet united properly after the difficult circumstances they had been through, and the source of bitterness still lingered. At the beginning of 1838, Mr. Jones accepted a call from the churches in Glynarthen and Hawen, and he moved there quickly, and he stayed there usefully and with approval to the end of his life. We note his story under the history of Glynarthen.

In August, 1838, this church sent a call to Mr. Rees P. Griffiths, who was for some years a minister in Llanberis, in the same county, and Mr. Griffiths started his ministry here immediately. There were fewer than 50 members here when he settled in the place, but before the end of the year the church was blessed with a powerful revival, more powerful than any one before in its history, and the cause continued moving forward, so that the number of members by the beginning of 1840 was more than 150. Mr. Griffiths stayed here with respect until 1852, when he moved to take the care of the church in Joppa, Caernarfon. Over the years after Mr. Griffiths left there was no settled minister here, until the end of 1857, when a call was sent to Mr. Price Howells, Llanfyllin. Mr. Howells stayed here usefully and with respect until 1862, when he moved to Ynysgau, Merthyr Tydfil. The church stayed here from that time until 1865 depending on occasional ministry, but at the beginning of that year, a call was sent to Mr. John Henry Jones, a student from Brecon college, and he was ordained on April 20th, that same year. At the occasion Mr. H. Oliver, B.A., Pontypridd preached on the nature of the church; the questions were asked by Mr. W. Griffiths, Amana; the ordination prayer was given by Mr. J. Williams, Castellnewydd; Mr. D. Roberts, Caernarfon, preached to the minister and Mr. W. Ambrose, Porthmadog to the church. Mr. Jones stayed here usefully and with respect for close to five years, until he accepted a call from Brynseion, Dowlais, and he moved there in February 1870. Since then the church has had no settled minister, but the cause has a hearty, hopeful appearance.

We have hurried over the main events in this church from the beginning till now, but we are sure that many things in its history have been lost, things that had they been still in the memory it would be interesting to note. We are not sure when the first chapel was built here, but it is obvious that it wasn't before 1689, when there was the shadow of the Act of Tolerance. The congregation here, as we saw, a little before that, were worshipping in licensed houses. A tradition in the town and the area around says that the first chapel was demolished by the persecutors, and had been rebuilt at the expense of the government. That is quite possible, even though there is nothing, that we know of, written down to prove that. The disorderly common people demolished Llanfyllin chapel in 1712, and in 1717, it was rebuilt at the expense of the government, after the Whigs came to power; and Pwllheli chapel could have been pulled down and been rebuilt in similar circumstances. In 1786, Mrs. Edwards, Nanhoron, gave a little land to be in the ownership

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of the church, with the rental to be used to support a minister; and a document was signed at that time which presented all the possessions to trustees. It is said that another document had been signed around a hundred years before this, which stated that the first chapel had been built around the time we noted. The first document has been lost. In 1821, new trustees were appointed, and since we have those names, we note them here: - Benjamin Jones, Caeaugwynion, and Thomas Lewis, the two ministers; Thomas Harris, Gwynfryn; Griffith Griffiths, Blowty; David Williams, Saethon; Humphrey Griffiths, Ironmonger; William Francis, and John Francis, Rhydhir; Evan Parry, and Griffith Griffiths. The chapel was built in 1814, and it became a fine large building, as was popular in those days. It cost a great deal of money, and Mr. Lewis was away from home a lot collecting money towards the debt. Internal changes were made in the chapel, and it was renovated, in 1841, and in 1864, the old chapel was demolished, and the large, convenient chapel which now stands was built. It cost 1250.

There have been many remarkable people and families connected to the cause here from generation to generation. The family of Gwynfryn were amongst their most caring donors for a long time, and from that arose many others who truly cared for the cause. Walter Williams, the great grandfather of Mrs. Ambrose, Porthmadog, was one of the faithful of the cause in troubled times. He lived in Ty Llewelyn, Penrhos. He spent a long time combing the country for a Bible. He found one German Text at last. (Dr. Morgan's Bible, it appears). He was the first in Caernarfonshire to be buried in what was considered unconsecrated ground, and his grave is visible today. His son was Owen Walter, who was a faithful deacon for years in Penlan. Mrs. Edwards, Nanhoron, was a tender nurse to the cause here for years, and the connection of a lady like her with the place caused many of the ignorant peasantry to give the church a great deal of dignity. David Williams, Saethon, was an intelligent and influential man, and was considered an oracle in the country. He raised a very large family of children, and gave them a better education than was given to almost any of the country's children those days. His daughter is Mrs. Breese, the widow of the late Mr. John Breese, of Carmarthen; and his son was the late David Williams, Esq., of Castelldeudraeth, the M.P. for Merioneth. William and John Francis, Rhydhir, and their sisters, were faithful to the cause during their bereavements. Mr. Lewis lodged with them for a while before he settled in the place. The names of many other faithful people in later times are remembered, but we do not have a full list of them, so we will refrain from mentioning the few names we do know.

It would be good if we could have given the names of all the ones raised to preach here from the beginning, but we cannot. The following are the only ones we are certain of:-

JOHN PHILLIPS, the son of Mr. Daniel Phillips, the minister. He was ordained in Kingsley, Caerlleon, in 1738. He died on January 18th, 1761, at the age of 48. He published an able and authoritative explanation on the epistles to the Thessalonians. He had intended writing about the other epistles, but died before he was able to do so.*

*History of Nonconformity in Cheshire. Page 452. Horne's Introduction. Vol. II. Page 326.

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DANIEL PHILLIPS, another son of Mr. Phillips, the minister. He was educated in Carmarthen college, and after that in Dr Latham's college, in Fernburn, near Derby. He was ordained in Ripley, and settled after that for while in Eastwood, and for more than forty years in Sowerby, near Halifax, and for the last twelve years of his life in Hopton, where he died in February, 1800, at the age of 84. His son was the late Dr. Nathaniel Phillips, a minister with the Unitarians in Sheffield.*

WILLIAM HUGHES. We have already written his story in connection with Dinasmawddwy, where he spent most of his life.

THOMAS HARRIES, the son of Mr. Rees Harries, the minister. He was accepted to Oswestry college on February 8th, 1790, but before he completed his time there, he lost his reputation. We do not know the details of his history after this, but from some gossip, we tend to think that he gave up every thought of the ministry, and that he spent his life in Birmingham.

GRIFFITH HUMPHREY GRIFFITH. He was a brother of Mrs. Ambrose, Porthmadog, and his parents and ancestors, as we saw, were amongst the main supporters of the cause. We cannot find out when exactly he started preaching; but in 1825, he went over to America. He laboured in Somers, in New York state, and was connected with the home missionary, until1832. In order to improve his health, he moved to Michigan state, but he was overtaken by death on August 13th, 1832, at the age of 36 years. He had won a good name and great respect for himself as a Christian and a preacher amongst all who knew him. His sermons were remarkably clear and logical, he was serious in appearance, and his practical tone was obvious to everyone through it all. He died in complete joy of the consolation of the gospel. +

ROBERT WILLIAMS. His story will appear under Mold.

EDWARD WILLIAMS, the son of Mr. Robert Williams. We have already mentioned him under the history of Maentwrog, where he was when he died. There is an old connection between this family and the cause in Pwllheli and some of them continue to be faithful there.

WILLIAM DAVIES. He started preaching, and went to Bala college, but he did not stay there long. He was struck down by consumption, and went home to die.

There were many other preachers here for a while, but all we know is that they started preaching here.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES (Summarised)

JOHN WILLIAMS. It is not known when and where he was born, but it is clear that he was born somewhere in Lleyn or Eifionydd, and not far from Pwllheli. It's apparent also that he finished his education in Oxford college. He was preaching some years before the restoration of Charles II. In the time of Cromwell he was free to preach in any parish church.

He did not preach in any place in Wales between the summer of 1660 and December 1663.

* Monthly Magazine, for July, 1800.              + Dysgedydd, 1833. Page. 357.

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After he left Wales, he settled in the house of a gentleman by the name of Mr. Hart in Kent, and for a while he was a family chaplain.

Amongst the other various cursed measures adopted to trouble the Non-conformists, in the early years of Charles 1's reign was that spies were placed in every post office to open every letter that may be addressed to any person that was suspected of favouring Non-conformity, in effect, hoping to have some excuse for catching the writer and those to whom he wrote. Many were jailed and punished in this underhanded way. Amongst others Mr. Williams, and his friend, Mr. Richard Edwards, Nanhoron were punished. He stood trial in January, 1664. He was allowed to go free when they failed to prove anything against him.

Soon after this Mr. Williams returned to Caernarfonshire and he stayed there till his death, which took place in1674. We do not know where he is buried.

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DANIEL PHILLIPS. He is descended from one of the younger branches of the noble family of Picton Castle, Pembrokeshire. We do not know where his parents lived, nor when he was born. He is described in 'Drych yr Amseroedd': - " he received a good education, but he turned out in his youth to be an unnatural, empty man.

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Soon after he went to Pwllheli, he married the widow of the well known Henry Maurice, who owned Gwynfryn, and he went to live there. After that the ministers of Pwllheli lived there for more than a hundred and thirty years. Mrs. Maurice, was apparently some years older than Mr. Phillips. After her death he married again and his second wife was the mother of his children. They had six children. His two sons became well known ministers, and three of his daughters became ministers' wives.

CONTINUED

JOHN THOMAS. He was born in the south, but we don't know where, nor do we know the year he was born. He was educated in Carmarthen college. He was ordained as we saw in Pwllheli, on June 21st, 1723. Soon after he was ordained he married the widow of his predecessor. Mr. Phillips, and he went to live in Gwynfryn, and he stayed there until his death in 1748. Even though he was a man pure of character and religious spirit, he did not possess the liveliness and hard work that his predecessor, Mr. Phillips had. The cause lost ground rather than gaining ground in his time there, until Mr. Lewis Rees, and other reformers, started visiting the place.

RICHARD THOMAS. He was born in the South, but we do not know from which area, nor in which year he was born. He was educated in Carmarthen at the expense of the Congregational Board. He was accepted to the college on April 7th, 1748, and since he settled in Pwllheli in Awst 1751, he spent only three years and a few years in the college. Quite soon after his ordination, he married one of Mr. Daniel Phillips, the previous minister's daughters, and he went to live in Gwynfryn, where his predecessor lived before him. He was an able preacher, better than Mr. John Thomas. He concerned himself in commerce and travelled to Bristol on business and it was

* Dr. John Evans, Walter Wilson, and Josiah Thompson's MSS., and the Records of the Presbyterian Board.

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while on business, travelling by ship in 1761, he drowned near Ireland.*

REES HARRIES. He was born in Rhydfro, in Llanguwg parish, Glamorganshire, in 1738. His parents were members in Gellionen, and were notably religious people; but his father died when he was only twelve years old, and those circumstances affected him very deeply, and especially his father's last words to his family before he died. Those circumstances went out of Rees Harries' mind very soon when he starting mixing with the bad habits of his peers, but before he was eighteen years old, the Lord visited him in grace, and he was accepted as a church member in Gellionen under the care of Mr. Joseph Simmons. Rees Harries started preaching soon after becoming a member, and before long he was encouraged to go to the college in Abergavenny, where he spent some years under Mr. D. Jardine's influence. Around the end of his time in the college, the members in Pwllheli sent a letter to his professor asking for a recommendation of a young student to be a minister to them. Mr. Harries was recommended. Mr. Harries was a respected and responsible minister. The number of ministers in North Wales was so few that it was obvious if one was absent. He enjoyed good health throughout his life, but very suddenly he was struck down by a bad illness on one Tuesday.

*Thompson's MSS.

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He did not live more than a fortnight after his illness started. He fell asleep in Jesus on May 26th, 1788, at the age of 50. He was buried in the cemetery of Penlan chapel, Pwllheli.

BENJAMIN JONES. He was born in Trecyrnfawr, in Llanwinio parish, Carmarthenshire, on September 29th, 1756. He was brought up to believe he was destined for the ministry in the Established church. But he started to lean towards non-conformist views. He was accepted in Abergavenny college, in January, 1775. He accepted a call from Pencader, Carmarthenshire, and he was ordained there on May 25th, 1779. He married Miss Mary Evans, Cwrt, Llangeler, and soon after he left Pencader. In

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1784, he started his ministry in Rhosymeirch, Anglesey, where he laboured successfully for five years.* In 1789, he moved to take over the care of Pwllheli and the branches, and that is where he laboured till the end of his life.

He wasn't notable for his gifts as a preacher, but he excelled mainly in doctrinal ways, and his sermons were markedly doctrinal. He was often asked to preach in the Assemblies in the South and the North on some of the great subjects of divinity and in doing so he was one of the masters of the congregation.

* note that what is said above about the time that Mr. Jones laboured in Rhosymeirch is not consistent with what was said in the history of that church. Vol. II. Page. 455; but we are fairly sure that the above report is correct. It was in 1789, and not 1791 that Mr. Jones moved to Pwllheli.

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Mr. Jones continued preaching till the end. He was ill just two Sundays, and he died unshakeably trusting the Lord on February 17th, 1823, at the age of 66, and he was buried in the Pwllheli chapel churchyard.

REES P. GRIFFITHS. He was born in the parish of Llanedi, in Carmarthenshire, in 1804. He was encouraged by his church and their minister, Mr. Samuel Price, to start preaching, and having preached for a while in Llanedi, he went to Neuaddlwyd, where he gained his education under Dr. Phillips. He wasn't as popular a preacher as some of his co-students but in purity of character and devotion to learning, and an eagerness for knowledge, he was ahead of the others. In 1832, Mr. Roberts, Denbigh, wrote to Dr. Phillips, Neuaddlwyd, asking for a recommended student to become a minister to them in Rhiw and Llansanan and to assist him in Denbigh. Mr. R. P. Griffiths was recommended as the most qualified he could think of, and asked Mr. Griffiths to visit the place. He moved to Llanberis, where a new chapel had opened, and he started keeping a day school and preached, and he soon accepted a call from the small church there. He was ordained on May 15th, 1834. He stayed here and became one of the first to embrace the new principle of abstinence and became an advocate for the cause. He and Mr. Owen Thomas, Bangor, (Liverpool, now,) one of the Calvinist Methodist ministers, were appointed by Gwynedd Temperance Assembly, to go on a journey through the towns and villages of the south in support of temperance principles. This gave him an opportunity to become more well-known and popular. In August, 1838, he accepted a call

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from Pwllheli and he soon moved there, and he stayed there successfully for fourteen years. In 1852, he accepted a call from the church in Joppa, Caernarfon, and he moved there that year, and laboured there until he was struck by paralysis which completely prevented him from doing anything with the ministry for the last fourteen years of his life.

He died on April 22nd, 1872, at the age of 68, and he was buried in Llanbeblig cemetery.

 

CONTINUED


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