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William Rees

1802-1883. Welsh Congregational minister, author, and social leader, better known by his pen name, “Gwilym Hiraethog.” Born at Llansannan, Denbighshire, Rees obtained his only formal education in a few terms at the local school. He spent his early years as a farm laborer and shepherd. This did not prevent him from acquiring a considerable amount of the literary culture that was available to him in the Welsh language. He became a Congregational minister and served at Mostyn (1831-37); Denbigh (1837-43); Tabernacle, Liverpool (1843- 53); and Salem, Liverpool, until his retirement in 1875. Rees provides the most vivid example of the way in which evangelical Christianity in its Calvinistic form inspired cultural and political activity of a radical kind in nineteenth-century Wales. He was one of the most powerful preachers of the midcentury and no mean theologian when it is recalled that he had no formal training in its study. His little catechism (Y Cyfarwyddwr, 1833) proved popular and