Hughes, Dr John
1842-1902; e.m. 1868

Welsh WM minister, born on 15 April 1842 at Cnwch Coch, near Aberystwyth and known by his bardic name 'Glanystwyth'. He worked on farms and in lead and slate mines from the age of 12. Beginning to preach in his early twenties, he became renowned in both South and North Wales as a gifted preacher, author and poet. He edited Y Winllan 1874-76 and Yr Eurgrawn 1897-1902, and was chiefly responsible for establishing Y Gwyliedydd in 1877-78. He was Book Steward for the last five years of his ministry, 1897-1902. Belonging to the radical Welsh Liberal tradition, he was an outspoken and eloquent advocate of Nonconformity, Disestablishment, Board Schools and Land Law Reform and an opponent of the Boer War and the amalgamation of English and Welsh WM in Wales. He was instrumental in establishing the Welsh Assembly in 1899 and in the creation of two Districts in North Wales in 1903.

His voluminous publications include works on the life of Christ (1891) and on the early ages of the world (1892), both attempts to help Christians come to terms with Darwinism and Biblical Criticism, a biography of the Rev. Isaac Jones and a commentary on Colossians (1900). An acknowledged national poet and literary adjudicator, he was the chief editor of the 1900 Welsh WM hymn-book and some of his hymns are still in common use. He died at Isfryn, Bangor on 24 February 1902. He was the father of Dr. H. Maldwyn Hughes.

  • D.G. Jones and H.M. Hughes, Cofiant Glanystwyth: sef bywyd y diweddar Barch (1904)
  • H. Trevor Hughes, A Progress of Pilgrims (1979) pp.42-56
  • Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd, 94 pp.161-94
  • Dictionary of Welsh Biography
  • Oxford DNB