preaching and missionary tours

A number of preachers kept records of their tours around Wales, but in most cases, they were preoccupied with their thoughts on religion, rather than on the people they met and the places they visited.

Some Quaker women toured Wales during the 17th and early 18th century, suffering short terms of imprisonment when local magistrates and others considered their activities unacceptable.

Charles Wesley and John Wesley travelled thousands of miles around Britain, including Wales, preaching in English to crowds, often of monoglot Welsh people.

Quakers whose accounts of their tours survive include:

George Fox

The Derby Family (of Coalbrookdale)

Hannah Darby and an American Friend, Phoebe Dodge (1753)

Abiah Darby (1716-1793), daughter of Samuel and Rachel Maude and wife of Abraham Darby II, visited Wales many times from 1747

Deborah Darby (1754-1810) visited Wales many times between 1780 and 1808

Adelaid Darby (1817-1899) visited Wales several times

For the Darby’s tours, see:

Ironbridge Gorge Museum Library and Archives, Lab/MTD/7/4

Labouchere, Rachel, (ed), Abiah Darby : 1716-1793 : of Coalbrookdale : wife of Abraham Darby II (York, 1988), p. 59

Deborah Darby of Coalbrookdale, 1754-1810: Her Visits to America, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England and the Channel Islands, Quaker History 84.1 (1995): 63-64 (review)

Labouchere, Rachel, (transcriber), Thomas, Emyr, (ed.), Adelaide Darby of Coalbrookdale : her private journal from 1833-1861, especially pp. 153-154

John Player (1753)

Jabez Maud Fisher, (1776)

Morgan, K., (ed), An American Quaker in the British Isles, The travel Journals of Jabez Maud Fisher, 1775-1779 (1992)

John Grubb, (1793)

John Kelsall lived at Dolobran near Welshpool between 1701-1740 and kept a daily diary.

For Quakers, see Rees, T. Mardy, The Quakers in Wales, (1925)


In addition, Elizabeth Gurney (later Elizabeth Fry) toured Wales with her family in 1798

Timpson, Thomas, Memoirs of Mrs. Elizabeth Fry (London :  1847, second edition)

Fry, Katherine. Memoir of the Life of Elizabeth Fry. 1847, (Second edition, 1848)

Non-conformist preachers included:

John Wesley visited Wales 12 times between 1739 and 1781. Charles Wesley visited Wales at least 15 times between 1739 and 1769. Both kept journals of their tours.

Evan Lewis and E[lias] Jacob, June-July, 1840

Henry Richard stayed at Fronheulog with friends in 1847, then toured the area, preaching in both Welsh and English at churches and chapels. His journal includes some comments on the landscape.

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