Welsh Journals

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WALES. Vol. IV.] OCTOBER, 1897. [No. 42. THE WELSH STUDENT'S LETTER. By E. Griffith, J.P., Dolgellau. HAVE read with great pleasure the portion of a letter written by a Welsh student at Edinburgh, dated the 14th March, 1843, found at Criccieth, and which appears in the August issue of Wales. I think it very probable that the following facts may explain the mystery of its authorship. At that date the only Welsh students in Edinburgh, as far as I can ascertain, were Dr. Parry and Dr. Thomas. They both went up together in October, 1841, and left at the end of the April term, 1843. I remember that they were both full of the excitement of the times, and nothing gave them so much pleasure as to recall the circumstances of the disruption. They had left Soctland a month before the day the disruption actually took place, namely, the 18th May, 1843; but Dr. Buchanan speaks of a ten years' conflict before the disruption, and towards the end of the ten years the excitement reached boiling point. At this time the two students were up at Edinburgh, and threw themselves heart and soul into the conflict; there was very little chance of the absence of either of them at any meeting, especially if Dr. Chalmers was likely to make a speech. The elocution of Dr. Chalmers, and the warmth and charm of his speeches, had invariably the effect of compelling our two students to close their books, and throw off their studies so as to attend the meetings. These meetings undoubtedly made a lasting impression upon them. No one can say how responsible Wales is to Dr. Chalmers for the influence he had upon them in 19 raising them to aim at a high oratorial standard, especially in the case of Dr. Thomas. Mr. and Mrs. Davies, Fronheulog, Llan- dderfel, used to treat Dr. Parry and Dr. Thomas, as they treated all the students at Bala College, with great kindness, and no doubt they acted in the same manner towards them while at Edinburgh. It is therefore most likely that the letter was addressed to Mrs. Davies, and written by either Dr. Parry or Dr. Thomas, the hand¬ writing will easily prove which. In connection with the departure of the two students for Edinburgh an incident occurred which shows how the times, and also the opinions, of the Calvin istic Methodists have changed during the last fifty years. I have in my possession a notebook in which the proceedings of the Bangor Association, held in September, 1841, bave been entered by a gentleman who was present at the time. The entry states that at the two o'clock meeting, John Parry and Owen Thomas appeared and made an application to be allowed to go to Edinburgh. The Association granted the application on condition that they had some one who would support them while there; but that in the case of Owen Thomas, he must appear before his Monthly Meeting, and that in a spirit of repentance, admitting his offence,—" mewn yspryd edifeiriol, gan gydnabod ei fai." I remember reading this entry to Dr. Thomas, over which he laughed heartily ; and though the incident had gone entirely from his recollection, he had an impression that he decided rather suddenly to go up with Mr. Parry, and that there was no time to consult the Monthly Meeting before going to the Association. 217