Thomas - Myfyr Emlyn.
He died on November
20th 1893 at the age of 57 years. Ruchacre was his home for a
long time, on the outskirt of the village of Narberth, but by
the time of his death he probably had moved to live in Narberth.
He had been a minister of Bethesda Church since 1875. His bardic
name was Myfyr Emlyn.
The famous Myfyr Emlyn was one of Bethabara's sons, he was born
in October,1836 in a small cottage called Tyrhos, in the parish
of Whitechurch, Pembrokeshire, in an area known locally as 'Rhos
Glynmaen'. Near Tyrhos there is a small river where Myfyr played
as a child, to which he wrote the poem that includes the following
“Ond ni ddiffoddir byth mo’r tan Gyneu’sant
hwy ar rôs Glynmaen.”
‘The fire [The Cause] that was started on Rhos Glynmaen
will never be extinguished’
There are not many that were raised in the area that has not heard
the words above.
Myfyr Emlyn's father was Dafydd Thomas, a stonemason and farmer,
he was one of the founders of the Baptist cause in the area who
helped with the building of the first chapel at Bethabara.
Benjamin's mother, Elizabeth Thomas was an exceptionally gifted
Educating their children was important to them, and at Tyrhos
in 1823, the first Sunday School in the area was held.
Dafydd Thomas was born in the parish of Llanfair Nantgwyn c.1797,
and Elizabeth in Llandissilio c.1793.
They had eight children - Thomas b1823; Owen b1825;
Daniel b1827; Martha b1830; Stephen b1832;
Mary b1834; Benjamin b1836; Hannah b1840.
Benjamin Thomas received his elementary education at Penygroes
school, which was under the care of Rev.Simon Evans, Hebron.
After the family moved from Tyrhos to Pantygarn, on the outskirt
of Eglwyswrw in 1849, Benjamin went to the daily school at Elim,
the Baptist chapel in the village. While at Eglwyswrw he learned
to be a stonemason like his father. He was about fifteen or sixteen
when he went away to Tredegar to find work and there at Siloh
he was baptized by the Rev. J. Rowe, Risca, in August, 1852.
He came back
to west Wales and began to preach. In 1856 he went to a Grammar
School in Fishguard, and from there he went to Haverfordwest College.
In 1858 he went to a College in Bristol.
H e was ordained the minister of Capel y Graig, Newcastle Emlyn,
and Drefach in October, 1860.
He married Margaret
George on May 28, 1861, the daughter of Baili Farm, Llandygwydd
they had five children children, - Elizabeth b1865; Ieuan.G.
b1866, d1936; William.O. b1870; Margaret.
E. (Martha) b1873, d1911, one child died young.
In 1873 he went to the English Baptist church of Tabernacl in
Penarth, and in 1875 he became Minister of Bethesda Baptist church,
Narberth, and he was there until his death.
Tabarnacl, Penarth was rebuilt in 1874, at the time of his ministry
and also Bethesda Narberth was rebuilt in 1889 when he was the
Margaret his wife died on November 28th, 1878 at the age of 41,
the youngest child was only five years old at the time. To her
memory Myfyr Emlyn wrote the verses 'Y Ferch o Lanau Teifi'. Benjamin’s
second wife of was the widow of David Lewis (Cynfyn), David Lewis
had been a corn merchant in Carmarthen.
Myfyr Emlyn died on November 20th 1893, aged 57 years he was interred
in the cemetery of Bethesda, Narberth.
His funeral was one of the biggest held in the county of Pembrokeshire.
According to his obituary around 16 people had participated in
the funeral service, mostly preachers, there were a total of fifty
or more preachers present. His son Dr Ieuan Thomas, [Doctor of
Works] Hirwaun failed to be at the funeral because of a leg injury.
Another son, William was present, William was a pharmacist / chemist
in France, he later went to America.
Benjamin Thomas’ gravestone stands just behind the chapel
The magnificent memorial “Erected by The Church, Family
and Friends” exemplifies the respect in which he was held.
Thomas. Myfyr Emlyn
A Baptist Minister.
He ministered in the Following Chapels
Capel y Graig,
Newcastle Emlyn and Drefach. 1860 – 1873.
Tabernacl Penarth. 1873 - 1875. (English).
Bethesda, Narberth. 1875 - 1893. (English).
He was also a
Poet, Lecturer, and Author.
Editor - SEREN
Member of Haverfordwest
The only Welshman
invited to contribute to the 'Pulpit Commentary', (English).
"Dafydd Evans, Ffynonhenry." was a book of his work
that was very popular, re-printed several times of which there
are many editions available still.