Samuel, Edward (DNB00)

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SAMUEL, EDWARD (1674–1748), Welsh divine, son of Edward Samuel, was born in 1674 at Cwt y Defaid in the parish of Penmorfa, Carnarvonshire. His parents were poor, and he owed his education to the interest of Bishop Humphreys of Bangor, who was a native of the district. On 19 May 1693 he matriculated as a ‘pauper puer’ at Oriel College, Oxford. Taking orders, he became on 4 Nov. 1702 rector of Betws Gwerfyl Goch, Merionethshire, a position he exchanged on 12 Jan. 1721 for the rectory of Llangar in the same county. In 1732 the rectory of Llanddulas, Denbighshire, was also conferred upon him. He died on 8 April 1748, and was buried at Llangar. Two sons, Edward (1710–1762) and William (1713–1765), became clergymen. The latter was father of David Samwell [q. v.]

Samuel was a facile writer, both in Welsh verse and prose. His elegy to Huw Morris or Morus [q. v.] is printed in ‘Eos Ceiriog’ (i. 103–9); and ‘Blodeugerdd Cymru’ (1759) contains four carols and a lyrical piece written by him at various times from 1720 to 1744, all of which are marked by attachment to the church and the house of Hanover. Some of his Welsh poems are in Brit. Mus. MSS. Addit. 14961. He is, however, best known as a translator of religious books. He published in prose, besides sermons (1731 and 1766): 1. ‘Bucheddau'r Apostolion’ (‘Lives of the Apostles’), an original compilation, Shrewsbury, 1704. 2. ‘Gwirionedd y Grefydd Gristionogol,’ a translation of ‘De Veritate Religionis Christianæ,’ by Grotius, Shrewsbury, 1716; 2nd edit., London, n.d.; 3rd, Carmarthen, 1854. 3. ‘Holl Ddyledswydd Dyn’ (‘Whole Duty of Man’), with an appendix of prayers, Shrewsbury, 1718. 4. ‘Prif Ddledswyddau Christion,’ a translation of Beveridge's ‘Chief Duties of a Christian,’ first part in 1722, second in 1723, Shrewsbury; 2nd edit. of both, Chester, 1793. 5. ‘Athrawiaeth yr Eglwys,’ a translation of Nourse's ‘Devout Treatises,’ with Wake's ‘Family Prayers’ as a second part, Shrewsbury, 1731.

[Preface to Carmarthen edition of Gwirionedd y Grefydd Gristionogol; Alumni Oxonienses; Thomas's Hist. of the Diocese of St. Asaph; Rowlands's Cambrian Bibliography.]

J. E. L.