Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

9 erthygl ar y dudalen hon



SOME ACCOUNT OF DR. WILLIAMS. BY GEORGE EYRE EVANS, Author of Vestiges of Protestant Dissent,' Record of Provincial Assembly of Lancashire and Cheshire,' &c. The Rev. Daniel Williams, D.D., founder of that most munificent trust, which bears his name, vras a Welshman, born at Wrex- ham, about the year 1644. Little is known of his parentage, or of the particulars of his early life, which appears to have been spent until he was nearly thirty years of age in his native place. He laboured under some disadvantages with respect to his education, but the natural vigour and strength of his mind, improved by rare diligence and application, made up the want of such assistance. He was one of the first of the rising generation who entered upon the ministry after rejection of the clergy on Bartholomew's Day, 1662. He says of himself, That from five years old he had no employment but his studies, and that by nineteen he was Tegularly admitted a preacher. He took his lot freely with Nonconformists at a time when he knew it must expose him to great difficulties, whereas could he have satisfied himself in the terms of Conformity, his distinguished abilities, and excellent char- acter would have given him a fair prospect of preferment. After preaching for some years in Den- bighshire and Shorpshire, and finding the times so discouraging to Dissenters, that he had little prospect of pursuing his ministry without great hazard, he accepted the office ef Chaplain to the Countess of Meath, and crossed over to Ireland, where, even in those times, the Government thought fit to treat men of his principles in a very different manner from their brethren in England. For some time he was also pastor to the Presbyterian congregation in Drogheda. In 1667 he received an unanimous call to the pastorate of the congregation worshipping in Wood-street, Dublin, which he accepted. He filled this office in Dublin for twenty years, with unusual acceptance and success, living in great harmony with his ministerial brethern, and respected by most hearty Protestants in Ireland. Here lie married his first wife, a lady of honourable family, distinguished wisdom and piety, and con- siderable estate. In 1687 he left Ireland, and settled in London, where he was of much service in effecting the Revolution of 1688. His great knowledge of Irish affairs rendered him very useful to King William III., by whom he was highly esteemed, and often consulted. He was the intimate friend of Hichard Baxter, whom he succeeded in the Pinners' Hall Lectureship. After preaching for some time occasionally about London, he at length settled with a numerous congrega- tion in Hand Alley, Bishopsgate-street. After the death of Queen Anne, Dr. Williams was appointed by the London Dissenters to present their Common Address to King George I., on 14 September, 1714. After losing his first wife, he was married a second time in 1701, to Jane, the widow of Mr. Francis Barkstead, also a lady of excellent character, and considerable fortune. In 1709 Dr. Calamy, the eminent biographer of the ejected ministers, being on U visit to Scotland, received a diploma of D.D. from the University of Edinburgh, and another from ^Glasgow. At the same "time a similar honour being designed for Dr. "Williams, the diploma was sent to him in London, enclosed in a silver box. This was a.n honour which lie in no way affected or desired, but wrote to Edinburgh in order, if Possible to prevent it. He was too late, and as circumstances stood he could not decently Refuse it. Aboitt seven years before his death he was seized with the first illness that made a visible inroad upon his constitution he was heard to say that from his first entrance Upon the ministry till that time, he had never been obliged wholly to omit preaching For more than five Lord's Day's. He died on the 26 Jan., 1716, in the 73rd year of his :age. His funeral sermon being preached 'by his friend and fellow-worker, Dr. John 33 vans. The greater part of his considerable estate 'Was bequeathed to charitable purposes. By his will, dated 26th June, 1711, he made bequests in favour of :—The Presbyterian Chapel in Wrexham; the Education of Dhiidrenin Wrexham the Society for the Information of Mariners the Education of Youth in Dublin the poor of tliq con- gregation in Dublin, of I,ieh he had been pastor; 'the poor of his congregation in London; Poor French Refugees, the Pro- testants who had fled to this country en the l'evocntiml of the Edict of Nrrntes; the poor of the parish where he lived numerous ministers and widows by i,ime. He devised landed estates or house property to St. Thomas's Hospital, and the workhouse in Bishopsgate-street; the Presbyterian Chapel at Burn ham; the University of Glasgow, for the education of students for the ministry from South Britain; the Society in Scotland for Propagating Chris- tian Kno\Vled £ re; the Society for New England for several purposes, to wit (a) For the support of itinerant preachers in the English plantations in the West Indies for the good of whart pagans or blacks lie neg- f lected there-; (b) for the work of convert- ing the Indians in New England (c) for the College of Cambridge in New England, to enable it "to get constantly some learned Professor out of Europe to sende there." lie gave the residue of his estates to a body -()f 23 Trustees in London (known as Dr. Williams' Trustees) for the following pur- poses :— The further assistance of Students from ^outh Britain at the P.nivrrMty of Glasgow, 'Preparing for the Christian, ministry; the tdueation of Children in various places in "Wales and Essex; The assistance of Welsh 40d,ents at the Presbyterian Academy at Carmarthen, underthe Rev. William Evans :t.nd :his successors; the reprinting of the Testutor's works at intervals, to he given to students and others; the distribution of good, practical books in English und Welsh from year to year the assistance of Preach- ers of the Word in England and Wales; the belief of Ministers' widows in England and Wales the apprenticing of boys euch as should haw been educated on his founda- tions in Wales; the further education of students fco-r the ministry, who should have already speiit three years at a University, to enable them to proceed to foreign univer- sities or elsewhere; the assistance of such educated persons of sound judgment and sober principles," as the Trustees should dominate to preach in North and South "Wales; the support of an itinerant Pro- testant preacher in Ireland, skilful in the Irish tongue. And lastly, the Testator dir- ected that his books should be deposited in a convenient place, in a freehold building, to be purchased or erected for that purpose to a public library whereto" (to use tes- tator's own words) 4 such as my ti-ustcex appoint shall have access for the perusal of any books in the place where they are lodged." THE SCIIOOLS. J The School Endowments were transferable from place to place at the discretion of the Trustees. The following places had the benefit of them for various periods :-font- gomery, Newtown, Llanbrynmair, Llanuwch- llyn, Bala, Pwllheli, Carnarvon, Cerrig- ceinwen, Holyhead, Bangor,Abergele, Holy- well, Denbigh, and Wrexham and Spring- field and Chelmsford in Essex. The masters were generally Independent ministers, until about the year 1850, when the endowments were transferred to British Schools, much to the advantage of both. The Elementary Education Act made a further change necessary. It was clear that, wherever a Board School was established, any endow- ment for the instruction of the poor would henceforth operate merely in aid of the rates. The Educational Endowments of this noble Trust were, therefore, consolidated into one fund under the Endowed Schools Act, and applied to the establishment of a Middle Class School for girls at Dolgelley, under a scheme which was approved by Her j Majesty in Council on 28th June, 1875. A handsome building was erected in a healthy and delightful situation half a mile from the town, at a cost of S3,000, raised by volun- tary subscriptions. The school was opened in 1878. The building has since been con- siderably enlarged and improved. At the time of the consolidation in 1875, certain fixed annuities given by the Founder's will, or authorized by Orders of the Court of Chancery, were paid by the Trustees for the education of children at Wrexham, Llanbrynmair, Holywell,Denbigh, Pont Dolgadfan, Holyhead, and Llanuwch- llyn in Wales, and at Chelmsford in Essex, together with variable periodical sums for books for learners, and for apprenticing some of them to useful trades. The scheme provides that religious opinions shall not in any way affect the qualification of any person for being a Trustee, or for being a Governor of the School, and contains analagous provisions in regard to the Scholars. The foundation stone was laid in Septem- ber, 1876, by Mrs. Holland, of Caerdeon, and the ceremony was concluded with a special prayer by the Rev. Canon Lewis, Rector of Denbigh, and afterwards Dean of Bangor. To say that the present Head Mistress is the talented and graceful Miss Diana Thomas, B.A., means, like the belief in the finding of white heather, that good luck is sure to be the part of the School, and that in her com- petent hands its welfare is assured, in the manner which would assuredly approve itself to Dr. Williams.






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