Hughes, John, 'of Brecon'
1776-1843; e.m. 1796

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Born on 18 May 1776, he received a good education, his father being a well-to-do tradesman. Despite his Anglican background, h e joined the English WM society and after hearing John Wesley preach decided to become a local preacher; then entered the ministry at the cost of his worldly prospects. In 1800 he was sent by his fellow-Breconian Thomas Coke as colleague to Owen Davies in the new North Wales mission. His sacrificial efforts resulted in the formation of many Welsh-speaking societies despite his limited fluency in Welsh, the difference of background and education between him and his colleagues (whose preaching often seemed to him like the 'outpourings of ranters'), and the difficulty of accepting the authority of Owen Davies. Seeing the danger of division, Coke removed him to the English work for most of his remaining ministry. His interest in the Welsh mission, however, continued and he strove hard to provide it with religious literature. He produced a Welsh hymn-book which included a number of his own compositions. He died at Knutsford on 15 May 1843.

  • WM Magazine, 1847 pp.209-21
  • W. Rowlands in Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd, 40 (1848). 41 (1849) passim
  • William Moister, Missionary Worthies, 1782-1885 (1885) pp.18-19
  • A.H. Williams, Welsh Wesleyan Methodism (Bangor, 1935) pp.69-146
  • Bathafarn 5 (1950) pp.6-22; 11 (1956) pp.5-53; 12 (1957) pp.5-22
  • Dictionary of Welsh Biography
  • Oxford DNB