(1760–1804), Baptist minister. Although he died at the relatively young age of 44, Rhys's career was highly eventful, and no historian would endorse his own description of himself as ‘an insignificant Welsh Baptist’. A man of enormous energy and initiative, he was fired by the ideals of the French Revolution during his period of office as Baptist minister of Pen-y-garn, near Pontypool. He resigned from the ministry in June 1791, went to London to establish a French Bible Society, and travelled to Paris to launch a crusade among the sansculottes on behalf of Protestant Bible-reading and liberty of conscience. Rhys fervently believed that the revolution in France was the fulfilment of biblical prophecies, and that the destruction of the Popish Antichrist would usher in an age governed by peace, harmony, and prosperity.
From An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945).