Sometimes called 'the morning star of the Methodist revival in Wales'. He was born in Carmarthenshire of Nonconformist stock, but ordained into the Anglican priesthood in 1708. His future brother-in-law Sir John Philipps presented him to the living of Llanddowror in 1716, which he held until his death 45 years later. His preaching tours throughout South Wales, especially at the time of the Easter and Whitsuntide Wakes, made him the outstanding preacher of his day. One of his converts wasDaniel Rowland and Howell Harris held him in high regard. Initially with the support of the SPCK, he threw himself into organizing charity schools for both adults and children and raised funds to provide teachers of 'circulating schools' in the Welsh language, thus contributing both to increased literacy and to the spread of Methodism in Wales. By the time of his death it was computed that he had established over 3,300 schools in Wales. He died at Laugharne on 8 April 1761 and was buried in Lladdowror church.