Davies, William ('Davies Affrica')
1784-1851; e.m. 1807

WM missionary to Sierra Leone, known as 'Davies Affrica', he was born at Croes Yfa in the Vale of Clwyd. In partnership with Edward Jones he established Welsh-speaking Aberystwyth and Llandeilo Circuits in 1807 and 1808. Responding to an appeal for overseas service, in 1815 he and his wife arrived in Sierra Leone, where he worked in close co-operation with the CMS missionaries, despite repeated bouts of malarial fever. The Governor of the colony appointed him an Alderman and later Mayor of Freetown. His wife died after only ten months and he himself was forced to return home after three years. He became Chairman of the Welsh District (1821-26) and Secretary of the South Wales Welsh-language District on its formation in 1829. But subject to repeated bouts of malaria, he eventually succumbed to mental illness which after his retirement in 1841 led to his exclusion from full connexion and to his death in tragic circumstances at Kidwelly on 9 February 1851. Among his published work was a diary of his ministry in Africa. His pioneering work in Wales and Sierra Leone were given belated recognition by the Conference of 1999, which restored his ministerial status.

  • Dictionary of Welsh Biography
  • Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd, 1909 pp.210-15
  • H.Jones, Hanes Wesleyaeth Gymreig (Bangor, 1911-13) 2 pp.712-16
  • Methodist Recorder, 7 September 2012