Richard, Henry, 1812-1888.

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Richard, Henry, 1812-1888.

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Henry Richard (1812-1888) politician and 'Apostle of Peace', was born in Tregaron, Cardiganshire, on 3 April 1812. His father Ebenezer Richard (1781-1837), a prominent Calvinistic Methodist minister, was one of the principal organisers of his denomination and the chief supporter of the Sunday school movement in South Wales. Henry Richard received his early schooling at Llangeitho then, in 1826, was apprenticed as a draper in Carmarthen. He decided to enter the ministry and from September 1830 attended Highbury College, London. From November 1935 until June 1850 he was minister of Marlborough Congregational chapel, Old Kent Road, London. He was appointed chairman of the Congregational Union in 1877. Richard was a pacifist and was appointed secretary of the Peace Society in 1848. He organized a succession of international conferences and travelled widely throughout Europe in an effort to bring peace between nations. He was also a leading member of the Liberation Society, which opposed state interference in religion, and this led to his career in politics. In 1868 he was elected to Parliament as the Liberal MP for Merthyr Tydfil. At Westminster he defended the rights of the Welsh and of Nonconformists, becoming known as the 'Member for Wales'. He published a number of letters on the social and political condition of Wales, for the benefit of English readers. He married Matilda Augusta Farley of Kennington on 20 August 1866; there were no children from the marriage. Henry Richard died while visiting friends in Treborth, Bangor, on 20 August 1888 and was buried in London. A statue of Richard was unveiled in Tregaron in 1893.

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