Sunday, 29 May 2011

Early Nonconformity

From History of Whitland by Rev'd William Thomas [1868] (translated by Ivor Griffiths)

Nonconformity started in the area with Eglwys y Palmawr (now Great Pale?) in Ciffig parish.
The chapel was formed by the venerable Stephen Hughes of Meidrim, Presbytarianism.  It is not known what year it was established.  Stephen Hughes was born in Carmarthen around 1623 and died in 1688 aged 65 years.
There is more on him in the History of Nonconformity in Wales.

Rev'd Owen Davies was a successor to Rev'd Hughes at Palmawr ad was ordained in 1688 - he was called Owen Davies of Henllan.  Rev'd Davies served at Palmawr for 8 years until 1696.
Palmawr is now a farmhouse, not far from the S.W.Railway.  "I have been told that there is a spot near the present house called 'twyn y Capel'".  (translates as 'chapel hillock'.)

Later the Palmawr congregation divided into two - one group went to Laugharne and the other to Henllan.

from Genuki - A History of Carmarthenshire
Lloyd, Sir John E., (Ed.). 2 vols., Cardiff, London Carmarthenshire Society (1935, 1939).

The Older Dissent--Expansion and Organisation
"It may be well to exemplify this process (of expansion) by giving some detail of the 'life history' of one or two of the 'mother-churches'...............No better example could be chose than the historic Presbyterian-Independent church of Henllan Amgoed. Henllan meeting house itself (1696-7) was but the metropolis of a far flung community which straggled over the whole of Carmarthenshire west of the river Cynin, and even strayed across the eastern Cleddau and the Crunwear brook into Pembrokeshire. Its members had been worshipping at private houses, duly registered in accordance with the Toleration Act; such were..................and Pal Mawr in Cyffig. The householder at Pal died, and the house ceased to be available, whereupon its congregation was diverted in part to Cefn Farchen, becoming in 1696 the Henllan congregation proper................"

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