Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Rees, David

REES, DAVID (1801–1869), independent minister and editor, son of Bernard and Anna Rees, was born on 14 Nov. 1801 at Gelli Lwyd in the parish of Trelech, Carmarthenshire. Having resolved to enter the independent ministry, he attended for a short time the grammar schools at Haverfordwest, Carmarthen, and Welshpool, and in 1825 was admitted to the independent college at the latter place. On 15 July 1829 he was ordained minister of Capel Als, Llanelly, in his native county, a position he held until his death. In 1835 the independent ministers of South Wales, dissatisfied with the political tone of the ‘Efengylydd,’ a monthly journal circulating largely among them, started the ‘Diwygiwr’ (‘Reformer’), with Rees as its editor. In this position he wielded great influence in South Wales for thirty years, advocating with vigour the abolition of church rates, the repeal of the corn laws, electoral reform, and disestablishment. Unlike many of his fellow-ministers, he was an advocate also of state aid for elementary instruction, and did much to reconcile the dissenters of South Wales to the principle. He took a prominent part in the public life of Llanelly, and founded three independent churches in the town. In 1865 he resigned his editorship, and died on 31 March 1869. He married, first, Miss Sarah Roberts of Llanelly, who died in 1857; and, secondly, Mrs. Phillips of Fountain Hall, who survived him. In 1871 a volume of his sermons and addresses, with a memoir by Rev. T. Davies, Llandeilo (prefixed), was published at Llanelly.

[Bywyd ac Ysgrifeniadau D. Rees, Llanelly 1871.]

J. E. L.