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Reference: NLW MS 11431B

Who was Morgan Llwyd?

Morgan Llwyd was born in Cynfal-fawr, Maentwrog, Gwynedd in 1619. He went to Wrexham in 1629 to be a pupil in the grammar school. There in 1635 he had a religious conversion when listening to a sermon by Walter Cradock (1610?-59) the Puritanical theologian. He joined Cradock in Llanfair Waterdine, Shropshire, and later travelled with him to Llanfaches where the first Welsh Congregationalist church was established in 1639. When the Civil War started in 1642 Llwyd joined the Parliamentarian army as a chaplain.

In 1644 he was sent by Parliament as a travelling preacher to north Wales and he settled in Wrexham. From 1650 until 1653 he was a Tester under the Spreading the Gospel Act in Wales, and he was responsible for finding appropriate ministers to replace the ones who had been dismissed in the parishes. In 1659 he was made minister of Wrexham parish church but died later that year.

He published eleven works, eight in Welsh and three in English. The best known of these are Llythyr i'r Cymry cariadus, Gwaedd ynghymru yn wyneb pob cydwybod and Llyfr y Tri Aderyn. His deep spiritual conviction fills his work and the influence of the Lutheran mysticism of Jacob Böhme (1575-1624) is obvious in several of his works. Through the medium of a rhetorical style, replete with symbolism, he attempts to persuade his fellow Welshmen to prepare themselves for the return of Christ to earth.

Further reading

  • Morgan Llwyd. Ysgrifeniadau byrion Morgan Llwyd, Caerdydd : Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru, 1985.
  • Goronwy Wyn Owen. Morgan Llwyd, Caernarfon : Gwasg Pantycelyn, 1992.
  • M. Wynn Thomas. Morgan Llwyd, University of Wales Press on behalf of the Welsh Arts Council, 1984.