THE TREGARON OF HENRY RICHARD* When Ebenezer Richard, Methodist preacher and sometime schoolmaster, of Dinas in Pembrokeshire, married Mary Williams in the parish church of Caron on 1 November 1809, and moved in to live with her and her aged parents in Tygwyn House, the town was scarcely more that a largish village. To most visitors it was a nondescript huddle, grouped around a church of surprisingly noble proportions and a very large churchyard, a square of houses which looked more like a triangle, and a straggle of decrepit cottages on the banks of the river and strung along the roads into and out of the place. Not that it would have mattered to Ebenezer Richard that it was less of a town than Cardigan, or Aberystwyth or even of New Quay, for his purpose in moving to Tregaron was to be with the woman he had patiently courted for nine years. In any case, its appearance belied its commercial importance and was irrelevant to his main purpose, which was to take the Gospel into these remote and neglected parts of the county. Twenty five years earlier his older contemporary, the Reverend Thomas Charles had settled in the unlikely town of Bala for the same set of reasons. For both, a happy marriage was an essential part of, if not the condition for, the success of their careers. At least the little town was strategically placed for the main purpose he had in mind. Situated in the valley of the Teifi between the slopes of Mynydd Bach and the range of Pumlumon to the east, it lay on the ancient high roads from the towns and villages in the north of the county with their industrialized hinterlands, and from the heartland of mid-Wales in the east down the valley to Lampeter and so to south Wales and the west. It was and, of course, still is a very beautiful and intriguing landscape. Looked at from whatever vantage-point, whether from the high point of the road as it begins its descent from above Lledrod to Swyddffynnon and Ystradmeurig, or from the slopes of Blaenpennal or Deri-garon, the view looking down and across the Teifi is breathtakingly lovely, especially on an autumnal day when the declining sun transforms Cors Caron into a lake of copper and gold, and the long ridge of Pumlumon opposite turns a deep purple and black against the eastern sky. It is, of course, these contrasting landscapes which lend enchantment to the view, but it was these landforms and landscapes that shaped and *This paper was delivered before the Society at a meeting in Tregaron on 19 November 1988, to mark the centenary of the death of Henry Richard. I am extremely grateful to Mr Alan Griffiths, Dol-llan, Llandysul, for making available to me typescript copies of letters and other materials relating to Henry Richard in his possession.