Richard Tibbot, Itinerant Preacher
By GOMER M. ROBERTS,
President of the Calvinistic Methodist Historical Society
[Richard Tibbot (1719-98) was a native of Llanbryn-mair, Monts., and a member of the Independent Church where he began to preach in 1738. He came under the influence of Howel Harris of Trefeca in 1740, and soon afterwards went to Griffith Jones's school at Llanddowror, and joined the Methodists. He kept a school in the Llanddowror district, and began to 'exhort' in the Methodist societies. For Richard Tibbott, see The Dictionary of Welsh Biography
The late Richard Bennett (1860-1937) found Tibbott's diary for 1741-42 in the possession of a Mrs. Williams, Islwyn, Wrexham, and he copied it for inclusion in the Journal of the Calvinistic Methodist Historical Society,
and published in 1916-18. I have translated relevant extracts, omitting extraneous matters of no particular interest to readers of The Carmarthenshire Historian.
I have also added a few explanatory footnotes to the text. These extracts illustrate the activities of the early Methodist societies in one corner of Carmarthenshire in 1741-42.]
In the year 1741, about the 20th of July, I went to Llangeitho, where I was very dry and sleepy hearing Mr. [Daniel] Rowland on Saturday at Llangwnlle [ sic,
Nantcwnlle], text Mark x. 16, and on Sunday at LIangeitho, but had little profit in listening...
July 24. I was at Pingie,1
after being in a society the previous night whilst coming on the 23rd from Maes Gwenllian2
to Pingie... It was dry with me in the society.
July 25th. I was at Llangyndeyrn, in the fair, where I had some conversation with my Christian brethren concerning my condition; and that night I came to Jacob's house in Llanelli...
July 26. On Sunday I heard Mr. Lloyd,3
at Penrhyn, text Psalm li, 17... That afternoon I went to the society at Pen-bre, at Prysantwn; I was in bonds, so that I could not discourse but a little...
July 27, 28. I was at Pen Pont Rhys Bwdwr,4
where my soul was still in bondage....
July 28. Tuesday evening, I was meditating on Luke xv., the Prodigal Son.
July 30. I was at Pen-bre, with John Sanders,5
and that afternoon I came to Morfa Bach, to Mrs. Pugh's house,6
where I was with William Christopher7
that evening. On the 31st I came to Cil y Carw,8
where I had some measure of comfort and consolation whilst listening to Dorothy Jones9
singing hymns with the other girls before we parted; we stayed up that night with John William and his brother and Dolly Jones. The next day we went to Carmarthen, to the fair, and then I went to Llandeilo [Abercywynl, to hear Mr. Davies;10
he discoursed on Heb, iv. 1, and that evening at Rhys Hugh's house.11
The next day, Sunday 2 August, I was at Llandeilo hearing Mr. [Griffith] Jones discoursing on Luke xi. That night I came to Pont Rhys Bwdwr, and the next day to John Arnold's house, where I bound barley, and the next day to John William's house, where I bound barley. These days [4-5 August] I had some freedom to work, and more measure of love for duties.
August 5. I came from Achddu12
August 6. I came from Llandyfaelog to Gwndwn Bach,13
where I was the previous night in the society. During the afternoon, 5 August, in the field near Richard's house, I had a better view than before of the Father and the Son.... I wrote this in Jacob's house.... I am now sore afraid of speaking to men because Mr. Jones opposes exhorting.14
August 9. Sunday, I went from Jacob's house to Llangyndeyrn, and from there, with my brethren Dafydd Bowen, John of Cil Carw, and William Christopher to Llandyfaelog, to the monthly society, where I was aided to speak on the question, What is the cause of so much deadness in the society, and so much contention these days amongst the ministers? ... I was that evening with Dafydd William Dafydd.15
I was much pained in hearing 'Aunt' Siwed saying that she was sorry that she ever came to the society. This came to me as a temptation, - that Mr. Rowland and Mr. Harris and all the society were led by a spirit of error. I was convinced to be more industrious in my calling; I was in some measure of sadness that evening. The next day I went to Pont Rhys Bwdwr, and spent the day with Harry.... These days [viz. 10, 11, 12 August] I spent with Harry, my temperament was middling . . .
August 13. I came to Achddu, and was at the Pyrsantwn Society the other night.
August 14, 15, I was at Pingie, with John William, and on Thursday evening I went to the society where I had some measure of aid and gifts to discourse on John vi. . . . On Saturday I had some consolation in reading the end of Pilgrim's Progress.
I went that evening to see William Christopher at Morfa Bach, and I slept with Harry. The next day, Sunday, William Christopher and myself heard Mr. Samuel Jones16
preaching on Math. xvi. 31. . . . In the afternoon I was near Llwyn y Bustach discoursing on 2 Con v. 17 instead of Mr. Davies,17
who was ill. I came that evening to Jacob's house. The next day, Monday, I was as unconcerned as a pagan .. . full of carnal thoughts . . . may God keep me safe from my spiritual enemies.
August 18. I was at Jacob's house the previous night. That evening I came to the society at Llandyfaelog, where I discoursed on Luke v. 27.
August 20. I came this night with William Christopher to Morfa Bach. The next day I was at Pingie, where I discoursed on Luke v. 27. The next day I went to Carmarthen, to see the iron works (?) . . . On Saturday night I was with John Gryffyth at Pen y Sarn, and I was that night with Jane of Water Street, [Carmarthen]. . . . I wrote this whilst going from Carmarthen to Llanddowror, 22 August.
August 23. On the Sabbath day I was at Llanddowror hearing Mr. [Griffith] Jones preaching on the text Luke xii. 4....
August 24, 25. I was working with Mr. Jones. . . . On Monday evening I had some consolation in my soul whilst meditating in the fields above Llanddowror. Tuesday night I was at Bola Haul.18
The next day I came to Carmarthen. It was sore with me that night with thoughts of carnal love; I was strongly constrained to go a-courting to Cydweli, — may God keep me eternally in His hand and under His wings . . .
August 26. I came to the society at Llandyfaelog, where I found it very hard. The next day I went to Pen-bre, to the society at Pingie. That night I was at John William's house. On Friday I was at Pen-bre, and I came that evening to Maes Gwenllian, where I conversed with the few who came together; I encouraged them to re-establish the society, which they purposed to do on Thursday evening. The next day I went from Maes Gwenllian to Llandeilo [Abercywyn], through Carmarthen, where in the fair I chanced to meet Mr. Jenkin,19
who came with me to Llandeilo. I went that evening to hear Mr. Jones of Llanddewi20
preaching on Acts iii, 19.
The next afternoon I went to hear Mr. Jenkin at Llandeilo, and came that evening to Harry's house at Pont Rhys Bwdwr. During these days I was in much bondage to corruption and guilt . . . . May God be good unto my Soul. This was written at Pont Rhys Bwdwr, August 31.
September 1. I was at Llandeilo Pen-y-bont [_recte_ Tal-y-bont] hearing Mr. Jenkins preach on this text, 1 Peter . . . This was written [at] John Evan['s house], Llan-non.
Sept. 2. I was at Llanlluan21
hearing Mr. [Daniel] Rowland, text Acts xii. 11. He had much unction. That evening I heard him conversing at Mr. Jones',22
. . . The next day I went to John Evan Rees's house, where a few neighbours had come together. My 'gift' was middling that evening. I could not agree with the spirit of the woman [of the house?]; I fear she is led by a spirit of error ... This day, 3 September, I was sorely troubled, but I had some consolation on the Great Mountain [Y Mynydd Mawr]. The next day I came to Dafydd Daniel's house, to my brother Richard... . This was written at Dafydd Daniel's house September 4.
September 5. I came from Cil y Carw to Llandyfaelog, and from there to Jacob's house to go towards Llandeilo. The next day, the Sabbath, I heard Mr. Jenkin at Llandeilo Tal-y-bont preaching on this text, 2, Cor. xiii. 5. He held Assurance with much power. I relished the sermon. That evening I went to Llandafen,23
and was in the society with them discoursing on 1 John i. . . . I have room to believe that the Methodists will succeed. I see a great cause for praying on behalf of the ministers of the word. This was written at Llandafen, 7 September.
September 8. I was at Jacob's house, and the previous night I discoursed a little there. . . . This was written at Jacob's house, 8 September.
September 9. I was during the morning at Cil y Carw, after being the previous evening in a private society of brethren, where we opened our hearts to one another in the barn. . . . The next day I went from Cil y Carw to Llandyfaelog, and from there to Pen-bre, to the Prysantwn24
society. That night I was at John Sanders's house.... This was written at Pont Rhys Bydwr, 10 September.
September 10. I came to Llandyfaelog, where I helped my brethren to repair a society house. That night I was at Coed Lleine. The next afternoon William Christopher, Dorothy [Jones], and my-self went to Llangeitho, but on the way it came to rain, and we turned back to Carmarthen, where we were that night. . . . This was written at Carmarthen on September 11.
September 12. I was at Carmarthen the previous night, and from there, on Saturday, I went to Llanddowror, where I was on the following Sunday hearing Mr. [Howel] Davies preaching, Text 1 Peter iii. 18. . . . I was on Sunday evening at Pen-hyl.25
The next day, Monday, I came through Cydweli, where I conversed a little with Catrin Morris. That night I came to Harry's house at Pen-y-bont.26
That evening there was a very high tide, and I was caught on the bridge, on going there to watch. The next day I came through Pen-bre to Llandafen to seek a Welsh School,27
but I did not get an account of any. . . . This was written on the way from Llandafen to Llan-non, 6 September.
September 19. I came to Llandafen, and that evening sought a school. The next day I was at Llanelli, in the fair, and that evening came to Owen's house.... The next day, Sunday, I went to Felin-foel to hear David Owen28
preaching, Text, Rev. i. 3. That night I was at Anthony's house on the mountain, where I discoursed a little on Heb. xii. I received a little help. . . . This was written at Pen-bre Mountain, 21 September.
September 23. I came from Maes Gwenllian to Llandyfaelog, and from there to Llanarthne to the society at Richard Powel's house. The previous evening I bathed in the sea beneath Y Tywyn....
September 23. I came from Richard Powel's to John Evan Rees's house, where I was that evening. It is pretty quiet with me these days, but carnal love induced me that evening to court the servant maid; by this I saw that I had no strength within to with-stand any temptation. . . . I was pained in my soul on hearing that John Arnold had thoughts of not attending his society. This was written at John Evan's house, 23 September.
September 24. I came from John Evan's house to the Wern,29
where I stayed that night. The next day I went to Llan-y-crwys, where Providence arranged for me to stay that night. A poor old man invited me to stay in his house that night; his wife said she had no victuals30
in the house. But I was welcomed to stay there if I wished. The next day I went to Llanddewibrefi, where I heard Mr. [Daniel] Rowland preaching. . . . The next day, a Sunday, Mr. [David] Jenkin and Mr. Rowland preached there. On Saturday evening Jenkin Morgan31
exhorted at the society at Llanddewi. On Monday I came to Llansawel, to Maes-y-llan, where Mr. Rowland and Mr. Jenkin discoursed — thundering threatenings mostly. The next morning we were in houses at Llansawel, conversing, and from there we came to Abergorlech,32
where Mr. Jenkin preached. ... That evening I came to Llangathen, to a society in Morys's house. The next day Morris and myself went to Capel Ifan,33
and from there to Edward Manri's house, at Llan-non, where Jenkin and my-self discoursed a little. The next day to Llandeilo Tal-y-bont: John Powe134
had been there hearing Mr. Rowland, whom he highly praised. I am much pleased with John Powel. That evening we went to Llandre-môr,35
where Mr. Jenkin and Mr. Rowland discoursed. Mr. Rowland had much unction that night. Dorothy Jones and others with her were on their feet all night. The next day Jenkin preached at Llan Newydd chapel,36
I came that night with Dai Bowil [or Bowen] to Llandafen. The next day I went to Llandyfaelog, and I stayed the night there in Richard's house. The next day I went to Felin-foel to hear John Powel, he preached on John xii. That night, together with the people of Felin-foel, we went to hear him at Llanelli. At the end [of the service] I conversed until midnight, with much pleasure. The next day I came to Capel Llan Newydd to keep a school instead of Evan John of Glamorgan, and stayed that night in Richard Arten's (?) house, where this was written 18 October.
I kept the school at Capel Llan Newydd37
. . . I went from the Chapel to hear John Powel. To Llandafen 12th of October.
October 13. I was at Llandafen, The previous evening John Powel discoursed there on the Song of Solomon iii, . . . He discoursed on Arminianism, against Thomas Howper. I was pained because John Powel was so derisive in his discourse; ... This was written at Llandafen 13 October. During these days I heard Mr. Powel at Pant, text 1 Tim. i. 15.
About October 15th I heard Mr. Powel discoursing near Jacob's house on John iii. 3. He was unwell, so he did not thunder much, but discoursed evangelically. I went that evening to Cil y Carw, and discoursed on Mark xiii. 26, &c.
The following Friday I was at Jacob's house, and now I am keeping a school at Gwndwn Bach instead of William Dafydd.... This was written at Gwndwn Bach, 20 October.