Page:Distinguished Churchmen.djvu/27

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5
THE BISHOP OF LLANDAFF

more utter wretchedness. The mental pain and suffering which that letter caused me are known only to God and my own heart.” Mr Gladstone complied with the request for a week's consideration of the offer. Meanwhile, Divine guidance, coupled with the appeals from those in the Diocese of Llandaff to go over and help them, led the Archdeacon to the conviction that his duty in the future lay in shepherding the colliery district of South Wales, and that he must, distressing as it was to sever the ties, quit his “dear old Archdeaconry of St David's.” The decision was hailed with manifest satisfaction by Welsh folk. They were, after all, to have a Bishop after their own heart—a Welshman, speaking the Welsh tongue, habituated as much as any man to Welsh sympathies, and devoid of hankering after extreme ritual.

Welsh the new Bishop certainly was, to the finger-tips. The second son of the late Mr John Lewis, of Henllan, Pembrokeshire, and heir-presumptive to his elder brother, Mr J. L. G. P. Lewis, the then lord of Henllan, he could trace ancestry from Gwynfordd Dyfed, lord of Dyfed or Pembrokeshire, and a descendant of Meurig, the early King of Dyfed. This is tantamount to saying that the family has handed down, unsullied, some of the best Welsh traditions. Among other attributes, Gwynfordd is credited with being a poet, and a friend and contemporary of Howel Dda, who, by death, ceased to exercise an influence