William Williams Baptised (1717)

William Williams of Pantycelyn was born in1717 at Cefn-coed in the parish of Llanfair-ar-y-bryn in West Wales. His name is linked with Pantycelyn because it was the name of his mother’s farm house where he lived for most of his married life. His father was a Calvinist elder of the Cefnarthen Independent Church. The congregation believed themselves to be descended from the Puritans of the seventeenth century; striving for purity of doctrine, worship and discipline in their congregational life. Williams believed in the same things as they did, including regeneration, the covenant of grace and spiritual counselling. Three miles away from the place of his birth was the market town of Llandovery which was the birthplace of Rhys Prichard a vicar of the town in the seventeenth century who was famous for communicating Gospel truths through poetry. His poems were published under the title Canwyll y Cymry (The Welshman’s Candle.) They stirred the popular imagination with their lively, simple style and down-to-earth language. His work provided Williams with a good model for communicating the Gospel in a simple style.