Llanllyfni (1813-1840)

1813 Ty Mawr, Lleyn, and other places:

Letter from R-----t J----s, T------n, September 15, 1813.

The Lord has done something wonderful in our country in less than a year, there have been added to the church, between the two chapels of Clynog, over 130.—and in Llanllyfni about 90.—between Pen y graig and Ty Mawr, about 100, and as many in other places in the country. The Sabbath schools abound with scholars, and schoolmasters, many of which are diligent and faithful.’ [Robert Jones, Rhoslan (Ty Bwlcyn at the time), letter 15/9/1813 in Trysorfa ii, pp.520-1, cf. LTC iii. 488]

‘1813 . . . There was great success to the work this year in our land; many were added to the Churches in various districts, particularly Llanllyfni, Clynog, Penygraig, Tymawr, Llanengan, Garn, Pwllheli, &c. About 30 were added to us in Penymount, and till now they are still keeping at it. December 25th, 1813.’ [Jones, Cofiant Michael Roberts, p.26] ‘There was a young man’ he says, ‘under twenty years of age, called Richard Hughes, a cobbler by calling, who was faithful unto death, which took place in Pwllheli some years ago, united to the religious cause, and very zealous for the school. He lived at Frondeg, with Evan Griffith, and Ellin his wife; and he took up the task when the old man was failing. There were no believers, apart from himself, who came to the school – he himself began and ended the school, and all the old believers stood at a distance. He had persuaded a few of the irreligious men who were able to read a little to become teachers; but not so much as one of them made a profession of religion except he himself! He began to keep teachers’ meetings with them. Having dealt with the circumstantial things concerning school, he would shortly begin to turn the conversation around to what they had read and the sermons they had listened to, so that their hearts burned within them, and the Spirit of the Lord worked together; and it was soon understood that there had been a great change in their manner of hearing and behaviour. The teachers’ meeting soon came to be thought of as a sort of private experience meeting, and for a long while afterwards they were considered as a sort of first step to religious profession, and no one of immoral life was suffered to be a teacher, and a member of these meetings. Up to this time there was nothing evident to be seen, only more of a spirit of hearing, and a greater earnestness in the appearance of the people: no one had newly sought for a place in the church. Thus were things for some time; but on a certain Sabbath at two o’clock, Mr Richard Williams, Brynengan, was preaching, and such a powerful influence fell, that the whole congregation melted: strong men as if they had let themselves go, sighing and weeping, though there was no breaking out rejoicing; and indeed, they could not, because they were under Sinai, in sight of the smoke and fire. Never was there more proof of the ‘excellency of the power of God’ [text?] and not of the instrument than on this occasion. There was nothing in the talents of the preacher at that time to draw attention, though he was a faithful, useful, godly man according to his attainments; yet he was rather despised. But id men despised the meanness of the instrument, not so his great Master; and so it appeared on that occasion in an especial manner, that his mission was known by he himself [?]. The next week a large congregation came to seek a place in Zion, and the majority of them men of age. The fellowship would be held at eleven o’clock in the morning on a day in the middle of the week, and not often would any be absent, though many of them came from miles distant. Soon afterwards great rejoicing broke out, which continued for many months; and the fellowship increased each week. Whole evenings were spent in the chapel, and along the roads, rejoicing, singing hymns, and indeed occasionally a sister would fair leap like the lame man at the gate of the temple after he was healed. When some of the congregation would leave, at the head of a path or at a crossroads prayer meetings would be held – the first at Rhyd-y-cynwr, another at Sarn-fellteyrn and one or two others before the furthest ones left on their way to Tre-faesydd; and others in the same manner on the crossroad, towards Bryncroes, y Rhiw, and Rhoshirwaun. Sometimes the preacher would scarce read his text, as it was with the late Rev. Thomas Jones of Llanpumpsaint. His companion had quiet before/preceding him; but as soon as Mr Jones arose and began to make some sweet and striking observations by way of introduction, a great shout broke out and he sat down without trying to say anything more; and there was rejoicing for hours. Sometimes it would clean continue from one meeting to another, or from one chapel to another. I remember that my father was once at it from Tymawr all the way home – about two miles away – and at home a long time at his supper, sometimes eating something, and sometimes rejoicing; and not stopping having gone to bed. O happy/dear days!! They were almost all adults/men of age – not children. There were only two boys among them – the writer, who at the time was nine years of age, and one other. Sometimes completely ungodly men were convicted by themselves, at their work in the middle of the fields. One ungodly youth, a servant in a farm, was breaking a load of gorse to grind it for the horses, as was the custom in that country, and he came to the house without the load of gorse, crying out for mercy, so that his cry was heard across the whole countryside, though he had given no consideration to religious things before. Those whose houses were far away would come to the school in the morning with food in their pockets in order to stay for the afternoon sermon, or to the sermon to stay for the prayer meeting in the evening. The time was used in each reading a verse and explaining it as best they could, or to read out loud Gurnall’s book, which book was always on the table in the loft or vestry, which had been given by some benefactors for the service of the chapel so to use. Almost all the inhabitants of Bryncroes and Mellteyrn, and part of the parishes of Penllech, Llangwnadl, Llaniestyn, and Rhiw, went to Tymawr at that time. Doubtless not everything at that time is to be praised; yea, there were many things connected with that revival that made many a one say ‘They are full of new wine’; but I have not seen, and I have seen many things too, one so free of the sad things that attributed to them in religious revivals as that revival in Tymawr, in 1811. It effects were more enduring, and fewer turned back, as a fruit of the revival was behind the Methodist cause in Tymawr for years afterwards. They are almost all gone now – only a few remain that have not been removed by death, and the Lord of the vineyard hurry its like again!’ [Parch. W Rowlands, Y Geiniogwerth, Ionawr 1851, pp.6-11 (NB Rowlands gives date of Ty Mawr revival as 1811. RJ & MR are united in 1813 being the date)]

1813 Salem, Llanllyfni, Caernarfonshire. ‘I do not understand that many notable things happened after this [1796 & establishing of the Sabbath school] until the year 1814 when a very powerful revival broke out, and the additions to the church (which was about 60) brought the number to 220. By this time the chapel . . . had become too small to hold the church comfortably. In the meantime a new chapel was being built, (namely the present one) and when the revival had come to its full power the new chapel had been made ready.

W. Williams of Buarthau had some revelation of that revival before it came, a few months before his death. And he said to some of his companions that a very powerful revival was coming to Llanllyfni. “But,” he said, “I will die before it comes.” [Y Drysorfa i. (1831), pp.367-8; HMA i. 116]

1831 Cwmcoryn ‘In the month of November, in that year, 1832 [1831], the most powerful revival that was seen in the last sixty years broke out... The revival broke out in Cwmcoryn when we were not expecting it. Thomas Pritchard, y Nant, had been announced as preaching there one evening. He was not known as a remarkable revivalist. But he never came to fulfill the engagement, and therefore a prayer meeting was held, when something so powerful descended which resulted in rejoicing throughout the place, the majority of whom were old members and some who were not members. And Hugh Jones, Corsyceiliau, was one of this last class— a young man about 18 years old. And though he had little knowledge or care for the gospel, he was so pricked in his heart that he cried out several times, which cries went to the heart of all in the place. He was like a wild bull caught in a net, and for a while he was like one half out of his mind. He turned out a good Christian and was chosen when he was only a very young man as an elder in Cwmcoryn, which office he served faithfully whilst he was there, and subsequently in Babell. There was another young man, about the same age as the previous, who was also a hard young man, who rarely went to the Sunday School. One time Cadwaladr Owen was preaching there at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, one week-day, from the words “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” The young man listened and was sat opposite him, and in the middle he began to blush, and shortly afterwards gave a piercing cry as if he had been stabbed in the heart. Had he experienced the powers of the world to come? The following week he went to the seiat, and related his experience, trembling and repentant. And by the efforts of the friends there, he was led to the only place of rest for the soul, that is Jesus Christ. He began to learn the Bible and treasure it in his memory, and buy good books to read, so that he grew in grace beyond the expectation of all. He would pray with consistency and feeling, and tell his experience more often than usual, and that with zest and effect. He was not content to let a prayer meeting or church meeting go by without taking part in it... He continued like this for about two years, when there came a whisper that the lad was not keeping his path as he should. That turned out too true, and to the disappointment of us all, he gave himself up to base practices, and perform every sin with greediness. After two years he returned, and with seven spirits worse than himself. The conviction of the two lads were so alike, and yet they turned out so unalike in their lives. This will remain unexplained until the day God judges the secrets of men. The little church grew from 17 to 60 in a few weeks. The despised became a great nation in comparison. About half the new converts would rejoice, and the other half would be sober and quiet. Not as much was thought of these at the time, as of the others, yet they went on rooting themselves in the faith, while many of the others fell away and backslid, so that it could be said, “the last shall be first, and first shall be last.” Many times I desired to experience these heavenly feelings myself, which produced the rejoicing, but not even once was my request granted.’ ([Robert Hughes], Hunan-Gofiant ynghyda Phregethau a Barddoniaeth y Diweddar Barch. Robert Hughes, (Robin Goch), Uwchlaw’rffynon, Pwllheli, 1893, pp.33-5; NB errors with respect to dates, see DCC p.334)

Evan Williams, Morfa Nefyn started preaching in this revival (sources???; see DCC p.335) John Jones, the jumper, Staylittle, Montgomeryshire (Sources???; see DCC p.342-3) Ioan Jones, Rhuthyn converted in this revival (sources???; see DCC p.343) John Jones, Talsarn traveling & preaching during the revival (CJJ pp.214-221) Other information (DCC p.334-5)




We were supplied with the following account by a friend, who had gathered it together on his journey through that region, at the end of March 1832.

The following Revivals are mostly in Lleyn and Eifionydd.

Llanystundwy.—The Revival started in this place on the day of the Sabbath School Jubilee, October 14, 1831. To the private society who profess godliness in this place were added . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Pentreuchaf.—The Revival started here thus: A young girl, by contemplating on her bed, began to vex herself because she judged that she had quenched the Holy Spirit, and disregarded the word of God. These considerations spread like wildfire through the whole region. There were added to the church . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Llanystundwy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Y GyfyngPennant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Garn Dolbenmaen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Bron y Gadair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Bwlch Derwen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Pencoed. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Four Crosses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Yr Efail newydd 3—Bodruan 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Llithfaen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

Cwn Corin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Dydweiliog 30—Garnfadren 20 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Rhyd bach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Clynog Uchaf 25—Isaf 20 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Dinas 12, and many children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12


The total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 513

Edeyrn, scores of children-Nefin, 100 children.

Many additions in Pwllhely, Capel y Nant, Ty mawr, Llanllyfni, &c. from the places no account was obtained. This makes more than six hundred.

In Pont y Cim, there was there a boy especially wicked, and very hard. When the family were going to the church meeting, one of them had to remain home, in order to be with him constantly and mind him. But when the Revival began among the children, no one stayed home with him, and so he had to go to the chapel as well. He went there and sat by the door; and when the children started singing and rejoicing, he hung his head and wept. Then he was heard beginning to give thanks that it was not too late to save an old sinner like him. Then he began singing: Ar Galfaria, rhwng y lladron, On Calvary, between the thieves,

Y gorphenwyd agor ffynnon, An open fountain was finished,

I olchi’n llwyr y rhai aflana’: To wash completely the uncleanest:

Pwy a wyr na olchir finna’. Who knows that I may not be washed also.’

(translated from Y Drysorfa ii. (1832), pp.140-41)

1839-43 Finney’s Revival. Thomas Rees’s account:

‘SIR,—In your remarks on the general dearth of revivals of religion in the United Kingdom, on the wrapper of the WITNESS for this month, you intimate that no such thing as a revival has been heard of even in Wales during the last twelve years. It affords me the highest gratification to be now able to inform you that powerful awakenings were felt in North Wales in the years 1839 and 1840, and in South Wales in 1841, 1842, and 1843. The circulation of a translation of Mr Finney’s “Lectures,” by Mr Griffiths, of Swansea, was eminently instrumental, in the hand of God, in promoting that ever memorable revival.’ (The Christian Witness, vii (1850), p.315, reprinted in Thomas Rees, Miscellaneous Papers Relating to Wales, pp.?)

‘In 1839 the churches in North Wales and the Welsh churches in Liverpool were favoured with a large measure of revival, which in the ensuing three years reached almost every part of South Wales. This differed from all the former revivals in Wales in it's not being accompanied by the usual excitement and noisy manifestation of feeling. That difference led some elderly professors, of a naturally excitable tempera­ment, to question its genuineness. The means also by which it was chiefly promoted the reading and study of “Finney’s Lectures on Revivals,” which gave a less evangelical tone to the ministry, and led the preachers to dwell more on the sins and duties of professors than on such melting themes as the love of God, the death of Christ, and the privileges of believers, caused some good people to suspect that there was more of man than of God in the movement. But the good and lasting effects which have followed it prove beyond question that the hand of the Lord was in the work. The converts amounted to many thousands, but we are not able to state the exact number.’ (HPNW pp.429-30)

Lewis Morris’s quote: ‘great additions to the churches in Meirionethshire in the years 1839-40’ (source ????, see DCC p.348)

Revival was reported at Salem 1840

This information was kindly provided by Geraint Jones

Additional Information

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