Letter: Enlightenment in France and Wales

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The Independent Online
Sir: At last radical thinkers and campaigners of the 18th century are given due credit ('French Enlightenment 'took its ideas from the English' ', 7 July).

It has been said that 'the French Revolution started with a sermon', preached by one of the most distinguished political writers and radicals of the time, whose ideas stimulated the peoples of France, and indeed America, to reach for their freedom.

This preacher was Dr Richard Price, a Welshman from Tynton in Glamorgan, who had been educated in the Nonconformist academy of Pentwyn, Llannon, near Llanelli.

Honoured by France and America, a close friend of Thomas Jefferson (of Welsh extraction), George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and David Hume, he has always been largely overlooked by republican-minded people in Britain, more particularly by the Welsh ourselves. Perhaps his influence with other radicals such as Edward Williams (Iolo Morgannwg) in founding a still-thriving Unitarian Church has always undermined the greatness of their international achievements.

Yours faithfully,

CHRISTOPHER OWEN

Trebanos, West Glamorgan

7 July

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