Rees, Rice (DNB00)

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REES, RICE (1804–1839), Welsh historical scholar, son of David and Sarah Rees, was born at Ton in the parish of Llan Dingad, Carmarthenshire, on 31 March 1804. He received his early education at Lampeter, matriculated at Oxford, from Jesus College, on 15 May 1822, and graduated B.A. in 1826 and M.A. in 1828. From 1825 to 1828 he was a scholar of his college, and in the latter year was elected fellow. In March 1827 St. David's College, Lampeter, had been opened, and Rees appointed professor of Welsh, tutor, and librarian; he was ordained deacon the same year and priest in 1828. He now devoted himself assiduously to Welsh studies, and in August 1834 won the prize offered at Cardiff Eisteddfod for the best account of the early founders of Welsh churches. The prize composition was expanded into the full and luminous ‘Essay on the Welsh Saints,’ published in 1836 (London), which is still authoritative for the early history of the Welsh church. In 1837 Rees graduated B.D., and in October 1838 was appointed domestic chaplain to Bishop John Banks Jenkinson [q. v.] He died suddenly, on 20 May 1839, at Newbridge-on-Wye while travelling from Casgob to Lampeter, and was buried in Llan Dingad churchyard. At the time of his death he was engaged upon two literary tasks—the preparation of an edition of the ‘Liber Landavensis,’ which devolved upon his uncle, William Jenkins Rees [q. v.], and the issue of a new edition of Vicar Prichard's ‘Canwyll y Cymry’ [see Prichard, Rees], an enterprise completed in 1841 by his brother, William Rees, publisher, of Llandovery.

[Foster's Alumni Oxon.; Williams's Eminent Welshmen; Preface to Welsh Saints; Canwyll y Cymry, 1867 edit. p. 60 n.]

J. E. L.