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R H Y- L.\


R H Y- L. DEATH AND FUNERAL t OF THE REV. JOHN WILLIAMS. In tim death of the Rev. John Williams- John Williams, Rhyl, as he was familiarly known— Wales has lost another of the noble band of toilers who devoted their lives to the elevation of the social and moral status of their fellow countrymen. The reverend gentleman entered into his rest on Thursday morning, after a protracted period of lingering illness. Born at Dolwen near Abergele. on the 28th of October 1815, the Rev. John Williams was in the 84th year of his age. His early years were spent in the neighbourhood of his birth, and. he received the best education a village could provide in those days. Later on, he became a boarder in the establishment of Mr. Thomas Lloyd, Abergele, then a seminary of some im- portance, Where he spent some three years, finally completing his education by a twelve months' study in the Denbigh Grammar School. At the end of his scholastic career he entered his father's business as a general shop- keeper in his native village. Nurtured in an atmosphere of a decidedly religious character, and personally endowed with devout tendencies, he very early in life showed signs of those strong religious qualities that enriched his sub. sequent career, and enabled him to serve his country and his denomination so nobly and so well. When seventeen years of age, he was admitted into the fellowship of the Calvinistic Methodist] church at Llanelian. As a member of that church he took an active part in all that tended to its welfare, and to the assistance of the service of his master. His thorough earnest ness and sincerity won for him the entire con- fidence of his fellow-communicants, and he was elected a deacon at the early age of eighteen, enjoying for many years the distinction of being the youngest member of Y Cyfarfod Misol.' About the same time he became im. bued with a strong desire to preach the Gos. pel. Feeling that his educational attainments were not sufficiently advanced to enable him to become what he thought a successful preacher should be, he devoted the whole of his leisure to the cultivation of his mind. It was his prac- tice in studying the English language to write words and sentences that presented some diffi- culty to him, on the floor of the shop, with their Welsh equivalents opposite to them, and it was his wont in after years to say It was in that College, and in that way, I learnt English.' While thus equipping himself for the higher work of a preacher, he allied himself with the temperance movement, and worked assiduously in that good cause. When twenty-one years of age, Mr. Williams removed to Rhyl, and there settled down in the business of a grocer and draper, and notwithstanding the increased responsibility of building up a new business undertaking, his enthusiastic energy in the cause of temperance and religion remained unabated. In fact, he was, in connection with the late Rev. John Jones, of Rhyl, one of the two pioneers of temperance reform in the town and district of his adoption. With that revered preacher he walked miles to lecture on the blessings of total abstinence. While yet a young man, in the year 1840 he attained his ambition of being a preacher of the Gospel. In an interesting reminiscences of his I call' he thus described the circumstances. 'When in the year 1840 I was called upon to preach, I had not made a single sermon worth calling such. I read as much as possible, and sought to under. stand the truths of the Bible; but on the first Sunday I was announced to speak, I had not even chosen a text. However I did eventually manage to deliver a sermon of some sort or another.' Regarding his connection with the ministry, he further said in the same reminis- cences. I assure you it was not the love of money that was the incentive that prompted ine to become a preacher, for I knew what the remuneration paid to pieachers was, before I became one. When at Llanelian, one shilling was the regulation payment to the preachers, though he travelled twenty miles to fulfil his engagement. But before I left Llanelian, I was the means of increasing the payment to one and sixpence,' adding in his quaint and quiet humour, which was fifty per cent more than was paid previously.' As a preacher, however, he exhibited rare abilities. His style was original, and distinctly peculiar to himself, and he soon became popular throughout the churches in North, Wales, and his services were in constant demand. He travelled miles every Sunday to fulfil his engagements, and continued to preach regularly, with great vigour and earnestness up to a very few years ago. Or- dained in 1851 he became a power in the denomination, and a valuable counsellor in its executive organisations, and in 1883, was elec- ted moderator of the North Wales Quarterly Association. As a supporter of the finances of his denomination, Mr. Williams was a most generous contributor, and up to the death of his wife, which took place some seventeen years ago, his house Iwas an open one to minis- cers of whom there are many yet alive who lemember his kindly hospitality. In 1896 he was presented by the Vale of Clwyd Monthly Meeting with an illuminated address in which a handsome tribute was paid to the services he had rendered to the denomination, and to his bright and unsullied character.' As a business man, Mr. Williams enjoyed the "■ confidence of all who came in contact with him, and all his dealings were characterised by that straightforwardness that commands respect. He built a considerable amount of business and residential property in Rhyl, and was in fact one of the pioneers in the conversion of that once primitive fishing village to a fashionable sea-side resort. For years he carried on a flourishing business as an ironmonger and draper, and about 35 years ago bought up the Rhuddlan Foundry, which lie largely developed, and he became one of the best-known makers of agricultural implements in the Principality. When Rhyl was formed into an Improvement District in 1852, the Rev. John Williams be. came one of its first Improvement Commis- sioners, and continued for a lengthened period to lend his counsel and aid to the development and government of the town. Ten years ago he was again elected after a long period of re- tirement, and on the severance of his last term of office, he was presented with an address signed by his colleagues, bearing testimony to his valuable and long services to the town. He was also made a county alderman on the first formation of the Flint County Council, a posi- tion he filled for six years In politics Mr. Williams was a stalwart of the stalwart Liberals that North Wales can boast of, and was tor years she leader of his party in his own district. Always in the thick of political fights he was a familiar figure in all the meetings of his party, and his profound oratory carried all before it. Though be re- garded the Church of Englandl with consldsrable reverence as a religious organisation, he hated its connection with the Siate with perfect hatred; and he stood in the front rank of Libaiationists. During the school board agita. tion in Rhyl, 4 Mr. Williams was most pro- minent in his efforts to place the manageniant of the schools of the town in the hands of the people. Now he has gone to his rest, and i his place knows him no more. THE FUNERAL. The interment took place at the Old Ceme- tery, Rhyl, on Monday afternoon, when a large concourse of people assembled to pay a tribute of respect to the memory of the rev. gentleman. At a quarter to two, a memorial service was held in Clwyd Street Chapel, which was largely attended. The Rev. H. Barrow Williams, Llandudno, having read a portion of Serifture, and en- gaged in prayer, The Rev. S. T. Jones (resident minister) an- nounced that as he intended delivering a funeral sermon on Sunday week, he would abstain from saying anything about their departed friend that day, and would call upon other friends to speak. The Rev. Benjamin Hughes, St. Asaph, re- marked that they were mourning that day the low of an old minister, an old townsman, an old citizen, and an old Christian. Yet, though they were mourning his loss, they had reason to thank God that he was all these things. The Rev. John Williams was a man who had started with small things. He had commenced at the bottom rung of the ladder. He became a mem- ber of the Society, and an useful member joined the Sunday school, and did excellent work as a teacher. Gradually he became a preacher, then hj was ordained; and so step by step he went up until he became Moderator of the Quarterly Association. That is how he (the speaker) liked young men to be-to rise gradually, and not to expect to become preach- ers all at once. The Rev. John Williams was the ninth minister belonging to the Calvinistic Methodists who had died at Rhyl. The first was the Rev. John Jones, as good a preacher as a man's soul could desire. He would not men- tion all of them. There were five from Clwyd Street, one from Vale Road, one from the English chapel, and two from Warren Road. Many other eminent ministers not connected with their denomination have passed away. They were the Rev. Thomas Aubrey, the Rev. Aaron Francis, Ieuan Glan Geirionydd, the author of Ar lan'r lorddonen ddofn,' and Dy Ewyllys Di a wneler,' the favourite hymn of their departed friend. The Rev. John Williams was the last of the barons." He and Mr. Gee were the connecting link between the present day ministers and the ministers of the past generation. And now they had gone. Their Friend was 'the last of the barons.' He re- membered, when a boy, hearing Mr. John Williams preaching as a young man in Holy- well. He first remembered him preaching, and the spirit of preaching endured to the end-he was filled with the spirit of preaching to the last. The Rev. Francis Jones, Abergele, felt that it was difficult to speak that day. The sermon and the address were in the coffin. Mr. Hughes had referred to some of Mr. Williams' noble I attributes, and he felt that one of the most prominent traits in their friend's character was his humanity and lovableness. Even a stranger would not be long in his company without discovering his beautiful humanity. He was a man possessed of a strong humanity, and lovable nature. His history as a resident of Rhyl, proved that, and many of them had enjoyed the hospitality of Mr. Williams, and his beloved wife. He was possessed of an ex tremely noble humanity. He wa3 a gentleman and a man. His humanity was strong, com- plete, and beautiful—humanity beautified by grace and salvation. He was one of three or four men in the Vale of Clwyd who, but for business responsibilities, would have been a greater power in the ministry; and whose ministry, notwithstanding their business con- nections, had a far reaching influence. One of the most striking instances in the life of Mr. Williams was the facfa§hat he was a deacon be- fore reaching the eighteenth year of his age. He commenced to preach not so very long af- terwards, and in spite of business responsibi- lities, he was prominent among the brethren and he was no ordinary man to remain so to the last. No one was more respected during his life. Three years ago, at Rhuddlan, he was presented with a testimonial by the brethren who had been his fellow-workers, though they had come after him, as a mark of their respect to him on the attainment of his 80th year. That feeling of respect prevailed to the last. He was no ordinary man in grace to retain that respect to the end, and they glorified God in him. They thanked God for him, and for maintaining him. He retained the spirit of the ministry to the end. Notwithstanding the calls of business, he read a great deal. He was up to his shoulders in responsibilities for over 60 years but he read, studied, and pre- pared new sermons through all. He was a man that could leave his cares on one side, and per- severe in His works. Dr. Cynhafal Jones, in the course of a few further remarks, said that he did not believe that any part of Wales had been blessed with better three men to be teachers of religion than the Vale of Clwyd. They were Emrys Evans, Thomas Gee, and John Williams. Mr. Williams was the last, and he had a profound regard for the ministry. His whole soul en- joyed the Gospel, and his memory would prove a blessing to generations yet unborn. The Rev. Robert Owen, Mold, havin- offered prayer, The service closed with the playing of The Dead March' (From Saul), by Mr. Arthur Roberts, Hyfrydle, the vast congregation standing meanwhile. At three o'clock, the funeral procession left Bodeuron for the cemetery, after the Rev. S. T. Jones had read a portion of the Scripture, and the Rev. Verrier Jones had offered prayer. Heading the cortege were the ministers of various denominations, among whom we noticed The Revs. Dr. Cynhafal Jones, Ben- jamin Hughes, Francis Jones, Robert Owen (Mold), H. Barrow Williams, Lewis Ellis, Joseph Evans (Denbigh), J. Owen (Mold), Jonathan Jonea (St. Asaph), R. Ambrose Jones (Trefnano), Stephens (Ruthin), W. E. Evans (Pensarn), R. Richards (Rhyl), R. Rowlands (Ty Slates), T. Shankland (B.) (Rhyl), D. Lewis (I.), D. G. Lewis (B.), Morris Williams (Pres- tatyn), R. Rowlands (W.), W. H. Evans (W.) (Rhyl), R. W. Jones (W.) (Prestatyn), D. R. Griffith (Rhyl), and Evan Jones (Denbigh). Following, came the deacons, including Messrs. Owen Williams (Glanclwyd), R. Morris (Hendre), J. T. Jones, Jacob Jones (Rhyl), W. G. Jones (St. Asaph), Thomas Lloyd (Ber- thewig), W. P. Jones (Denbigh), E. P. Jones (Rhyl), John Roberts (Foxhall), Robert Evans, Edward Morgan, G. T. Evans, R. Price, Robert Jones, T. D. Jones (Rhyl), Peter Roberts, J.P. (St. Asaph), D. Evans (Town Missioner), Hugh Edwards (1.), 0. R. Williams (B.). W. M. Wil- liams (W.), J. T. Griffith (W.) (Rhyl), &c., &c. Next came the members and officials of the Rhyl Urban District Council, followed by the choir of Clwyd Street immediately in front of the bier bearing the coffin, carried by woikmen from Lhe Rhuddlan Foundry, and followed by the chief mourners in the following order — Mr. and Mrs. John Bridge Williams, Mold. Mr. W. Bridge Williams, Rhyl. Mrs. Francis, Wrexham. Mrs. Edwin Jones, Rhyl. Mrs. Samuel Roberts, Llandudno. Mrs. M. D. Jones, Wrexham. Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Francis, Wrexham. Mr. and Mrs. J. Herbert Francis, Wrexham. Miss Francis, Wrexham. Master Howel Francis, Wrexham. Master Harold Francis (great-grand-son), Wrexham. Dr. and Mrs. Edwin Jones, Manchester. Mr. J. W. Jones, Liverpool. Mr. R H. Jones, London. Mr. and Mrs. Owen Roberts, Llandudno. Mr. and Mis. J. W. Roberts, Llandudno. Miss Roberts, Llandudno. Misses Euice and Bella Roberts, Lland udno. Mr. and Mrs. Parry, Mold. Mr. J. A. Williams, Mold. Miss Hettie Williams, Mold. Mr. and Mrs. John Frimston, Rhyl. Miss Jones, Mostyn. t Mr. and Mrs. William Roberts, Mostyn. The Rev. William Foulkes, Llangollen. Miss Foulkes, Chester. Mr. and Mrs. John Thomas, Liverpool. The Rev. Isaac Jones, Nantglyn. Miss Jones, Nantglyn. Mr. William Thomas. J.P., Ysceifiog. Mr. John Bagshaw. Whitford. Mr. John Morris, J.P., Liverpool. Mrs. Owen, Llanrwst. Miss Jones, Stamp Office, Llanrwst. Mr. William Hughes, Groes. Mr. Griffiths, Carnarvon. Mr. James Francis, Carnarvon. Mrs. Humphreys, Moss. Mr. C. D. Jones, Wrexham. Mrs. Pryce Jones, Abergele. Mr. and Mrs. Jones. Pendarad. Mr. John Morris, Wrexham. Mi s. Roberts, L!ys Aled, Rhyl. Mr. and Mrs. J. T. Jones, Aled House, Rhyl. Mr. R. Williams, B.A., Bala. Mrs. Thomas, Princes Street. Mrs. Thomas Williams, Holywell. Mr. and Miss Hughes, Henllys, Llanfair. Mr. Hughes, Penmaenmawr. A large and representative gathering of the j general public brought up the rear of thefpro. cesfiioo. 1 En route to the cemetery, the choir sang Mae nghyfeillion adre'n myned.' At the graveside the Rev. J. Pryse Davies, Chester, and the Rev. W. H. Evans (W.), Rhyl; officia- ted; the former reading, and the latter engag- ing in prayer. 'Bydd myrdd o ryfeddodau' was then efi'ectually sung, and the sorrowful assembly dispersed.



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