Of all Welsh denominations, the Baptists have been among the most fortunate in their historians. Beginning with Joshua Thomas and his classic Hanes y Bedyddwyr ymhlith y Cymry (1788), William Jones and his Hanes Cymmanfa y Bedyddwyr Neilltuol (1831), David Jones Carmarthen and his Hanes y Bedyddwyr yn Neheubarth Cymru (1839), and Spinther James with his four volumes Hanes y Bedyddwyr yng Nghymru (1892-1907), the Baptist declaration has been thoroughly recorded almost from the beginning. The line was continued throughout the twentieth century with W.J. Rhys and his Penodau yn Hanes y Bedyddwyr (1949), and T.M. Bassett’s standard volume, Bedyddwyr Cymru (1976), without forgetting the contributions of champion historians Dr Thomas Richards and Professor Glanmor Williams, who did so much to enrich the declaration and preserve the tradition.
The Historical Society, a product of the twentieth century, was established in 1901 to nurture memory of the denomination, and to collect, classify and interpret the history of the churches and their ministers, and investigate the significance of their activities. The main product of the Society is the Trafodion (proceedings), published annually, but more recently biennially, and which provides a focus for ongoing research in the field. As well as hosting the History Lecture, which is delivered regularly as part of the Union Conference activities, there are also additional materials available on all aspects of our lineage. There are now well over a hundred issues of the Trafodion available, and it is intended, eventually, to transfer the content to the Web so that contemporary readers can access it electronically.
Among the presidents of the Society have been historian and scholar B.G. Owens, with D. Hugh Matthews serving as long-term editor of the Trafodion. The current president is D. Densil Morgan, who is also editor of the Trafodion.
Revd D. Densil Morgan