Cymdeithas Hanes Resolfen History Society

A web log for the Resolven History Society which publishes articles and stories related to Resolven and the immediate surroundings.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Noel Thomas Lecture 2006

From left : John Rees, Rhydian Thomas, Dr Elin Jones, Linda Thomas and daughter Rhiannon.

A Report on the December Meeting of Resolfen History Society

This month’s speaker was well known historian and broadcaster Dr Elin Jones, who gave the Annual Noel Thomas memorial Lecture. Dr Jones is originally from the Rhymney Valley and she took Morgan John Rhys, a native of her valley as her topic.

Rhys, who was born in 1760, at Graddfa Farm, Ystradmynach, could hardly be described as one of life’s successes. A fully paid up member of the awkward squad he failed at several ventures including Baptist Minister, schoolmaster and shipping clerk. In the 1790s he went to France to savour the revolution there and with his usual radical fervour decided to preach from a French version of the Bible, unfortunately since he could not speak French this proved rather difficult for him. On return to Wales he launched a radical Welsh news-sheet “Y Cylchgrawn Cymraeg” which proved so radical that his benefactors in Trefecca described him as “a nightmare” and promptly sacked him after three editions. Rhys then turned his attention to the USA where he campaigned against the slave trade, and tried to establish a Welsh colony – “Cambria”. He ended his life at the early age of forty four years.

Dr Jones concluded her lecture by stating that Morgan John Rhys had actually been successful in that most of his aims had been reached. Slavery had been abolished, a Welsh medium press and education sector now existed and he had simply been born before his time.

Mr Phylip Jones thanked Dr Jones for her talk on behalf of the large audience, who finished the evening with minced pies and mulled wine.

Next month’s speaker is the President of the Society, Mr Phylip Jones.

Trefor Jones


Anonymous Helen said...

Rwyf wrth fy modd gyda'r wefan hon, a byddaf yn dod yn ôl yn gyson i ddarllen y diweddaraf!

Helen Smith (merch y diweddar Walford Smith)

6:52 pm  
Blogger Brenda Oakes said...


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7:58 pm  

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