Daniel Davies (preacher)

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Dr Daniel Davies, Swansea (1797–1876) NLW3361968

The Rev. Daniel Davies, D. D. (1797–1876) was a Welsh Baptist preacher, also known as "Y Dyn Dall" (The Blind Man).

Early life and education[edit]

Davies was born at Moelfre, Llanfair-ar-y-bryn, Carmarthenshire. His father was Joshua Davies. He was living in Dowlais, Merthyr Tydfil as a boy[1] when he became blind after surviving smallpox.[2] In 1815 he was admitted as a student at the Royal School for the Blind, Liverpool, where he not only learned manual skills such as basketry and weaving, but also learned to speak English.[3]


Davies was 19 when he started preaching in Wales, at first as a Presbyterian, but soon as a Baptist.[2] In the 1820s he had a stint preaching in Welsh Baptist congregation in London, but he was called to a position at Bethesda Welsh Baptist Chapel in Swansea in 1826, and served that church until 1855. Late in life he preached at various churches in Wales. He took a favorable position on state education and English-language education for Welsh children.[4] He was noted for his intellect and his passion for learning; one acquaintance recalled of his preaching, "He was like one of those transatlantic steamers that must be seen in deep waters to be appreciated." [2] Rev. D. T. Phillips listed him as one of the "princes of the pulpit" in Welsh history.[5] When a visiting pastor preached in English, Davies translated the message into Welsh for his congregation.[6] Noted Welsh preacher Christmas Evans died at the home of Daniel Davies in 1838, and Davies preached at his funeral.[7]

He sat for a portrait with photographer John Thomas as an old man. Rev. Dr. Davies died in 1876, age 78. His gravesite is in Swansea, in a vault at the former Bethesda Welsh Baptist Chapel.[8] He was married; his wife died before 1856.[9] They had at least one daughter who survived him, a Mrs. J. Rowlands of Llanelly.[10]


  1. ^ Charles Wilkins, The History of Merthyr Tydfil (J. Williams and Sons 1908): 335–337.
  2. ^ a b c William Cathcart, ed., The Baptist Encyclopedia (L. H. Everts 1883): 309–310.
  3. ^ Morris Brynllwyn Owen, "Daniel Davies" Dictionary of Welsh Biography (National Library of Wales 2009).
  4. ^ John Vyrnwy Morgan, The Life and Sayings of Kilsby Jones: Congregational Minister (Elliot Stock 1896): 164.
  5. ^ Rev. D. T. Phillips, "The Pulpit of Wales" The Cambrian (T. J. Griffiths 1882): 234.
  6. ^ Journal of the Life, Travels and Gospel Labors of Thomas Arnett (Publishing Association of Friends 1884): 325.
  7. ^ Christmas Evans, J. Davis, Memoir and Sermons of the Rev. Christmas Evans (J. Davis 1840) : 96.
  8. ^ "The Late Rev. Daniel Davies D. D." The Cambrian (25 February 1876): 8.
  9. ^ "Testimonial to the Rev. Daniel Davies of Swansea" Baptist Reporter and Missionary Intelligencer 30(1856): 56.
  10. ^ John Innes, Old Llanelly (1902): 170.