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Daniel Williams
Daniel Williams.jpg
Daniel Williams
Religion Christianity (Presbyterianism)
Personal
Born 1643
Wrexham, Denbighshire
Died 26 January 1716
Hoxton, London
Senior posting
Based in Ireland, England and Wales
For others of this name, see Daniel Williams (disambiguation).

The Revd. Dr. Daniel Williams (c.1643 – 26 January 1716) was a Welsh Presbyterian benefactor, minister and theologian.

Contents

Life

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Early ministry

Williams was born in Wrexham, Denbighshire, and was a cousin of Stephen Davies (minister at Banbury). Williams became a preacher by the age of 19 (details of his education are unknown, though it was probably cut short by his refusing to conform to Anglicanism on the Restoration) and ministered in Ireland from 1664 to 1687. This posting was a result of his accepting an invitation from the countess of Meath to be her chaplain, and during it he was a regular preacher to Drogheda's joint Presbyterian–Independent congregation (1664-67) then as Samuel Marsden's colleague at the congregation at Wood Street, Dublin (1667-87). He acted as a peacemaker amongst the Scottish Presbyterians, fiercely opposed Catholicism and helped to maintain the Presbyterians' union with the other Dissenting congregations in Ireland, as well as exorcising a house by prayer in 1678 (as recounted by Richard Baxter).

London

On a new outbreak of the Troubles and after being abandoned by Gilbert Rule (a Scottish exile, and Williams' assistant since 1682), Williams left for London in September 1687. There he became an influential Dissenter, becoming friends with the leading ministers Richard Baxter and John Howe and twice being invited to preach before London's Lord Mayor, the Independent Sir John Shorter. At a meeting at Howe's house in May 1688 as to the making an address of thanks to James II for his Declaration of Indulgence, Williams opposed any such address since (in his words) "it were better for [the Dissenters] to be reduc'd to their former Hardships, than declare for Measures destructive of the Liberties of their Country" and likely to cause an open split with the Church of England[1]. He refused to be convinced to return to Ireland by the Dublin congregation, and spent the rest of his career in London, where he advised William III on Irish matters.

He died in Hoxton, possibly from asthma, and he was buried in a vault at Bunhill Fields. He left almost his whole estate of £50,000 to charity. His legacies included funds to establish a library from his book collection (now known as the Dr Williams Library), as well as the foundation of seven charity schools in North Wales and of scholarships to Glasgow University for candidates to the ministry in the Nonconformist church.

Marriages and issue

He married Thomas Juxon's daughter Elizabeth in Ireland in 1675 - she died in 1698, and they had had no children. By his second wife Jane Guill (daughter of a refugee Huguenot merchant), who he married in 1701, he had one son and two daughters.

External links

References

  1. ^ J. Evans, A funeral sermon occasion'd by the much lamented death of the late Reverend Daniel Williams, D.D. who deceas'd January the 26th 1715/6 (1716) · ‘Some account of the life of Dr Williams’, D. Williams, Practical discourses on several important subjects … by the late Reverend Daniel Williams, D.D. Published singly by himself, and now collected by the appointment of his will (1738), page 43

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