THE ‘RESIDENT’ OF ST JOHN’S CHURCH, TROEDYRHIW

Anthony Hill (1784 – 1862) was the head of the Plymouth ironworks which, in the 1830’s, had the largest blast furnace in the world. A local magistrate, he played a leading role on the side of law and order during the Merthyr riots in 1831 and, as a monoglot English speaker, he must certainly have felt uncomfortable in the midst of the local population, the vast majority of whom spoke Welsh as their mother tongue. He once observed, with some regret, that:

the Welsh people will not be driven and they are strongly attached to their language. The efforts being made to promote the greater spread of the native Welsh language are a great bar to the improvement of the people.

In 1852 he built a parish church in Troedyrhiw, stipulating that only he should ever be buried there. Following his death ten years later, no fewer than three coffins were placed in the specially prepared vault under the alter. The inner, elm coffin, lined with Welsh flannel, contained his body; this was placed in a lead casket which, in turn, was enclosed in an outer oak coffin.

From  Discovering Welsh Graves by Alun Roberts, UWP 2002

 

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About davidjcollier

Originally from South Wales I have lived in Nottinghamshire for over forty years. I am married and have three grown up children and two grandchildren. Having worked in education for 43 years I will retire in July 2012. My interests include history (general, local and family), rugby union, swimming, photography, bird watching and gardening. For the benefit of anyone who may actually read this (extremely unlikely, I admit) please do not confuse 'interests' with knowledge or skill. My involvement in a community project which aims to rescue a graveyard from the effects of almost 30 years of neglect. also keeps me quite busy. View all posts by davidjcollier

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