Running from the Mob

by Grant Vaughn

The Saron Independent Welsh Chapel

On Sunday, 1st October 1854, Elders David Jeremy and Daniel Thomas walked to preach in Llangeler Parish, Carmarthenshire. The weather was good, and the missionaries complied with their previous invitation to preach by conducting an outdoor meeting. However, their preaching was interrupted by people from the Saron Independent Welsh Chapel who were leaving their own meeting. Some of the new listeners began to call out at the Elders- and then began to throw stones and clods of dirt.

The attacks were mostly directed at Elder Daniel Thomas. The crowd was led by John Davies, a farmer who also ran a small tavern. Davies shouted boasts of cruelty louder than the missionaries could speak. The stones came harder, hitting Daniel so that blood began to flow down his face.

David Jeremy recalled hearing the words, “Away with them!” With Daniel’s injury, they turned to walk away not expecting the crowd to follow. But the stones and yelling continued with them along the road. David estimated that there were thirty to forty people coming after them, still throwing stones, some of which hit their marks—the elders began to stumble.

Daniel Thomas
Daniel Thomas

After running for some time “like foxes before the hounds,” David realised that the crowd were still calling Daniel’s name. Believing that Daniel was the main target, David stopped and turned to reason with the crowd, which allowed enough time for Daniel to escape into the brambles and bogs along the streams flowing north to the Afon Teifi. Several of the mob broke off to follow him. But Daniel was able to lose them and made it home to have his wounds attended.

The remainder of the mob then turned its fury on David Jeremy. Someone hit his head with a large rock causing a wound to the skull about two inches long. Falling to the ground, David felt the mobbers kick him as someone called out, “Now you’ve finally killed him, his skull is broken!”

Just then, a man who went by the name Dafydd, probably a local and respected farmer named David Evans, stood against the mob to protest. He shouted, “You’ll not kill him before killing me! Leave him alone!” Dafydd drove off the crowd and helped David Jeremy stumble to Treolmawr¹, the house of Mr H Howells.


Mr Howells cared for David and bound his wounds. David rested there that night. The next day, Mr Howells lent him one of his own horses, and David was able to make his way home to Brechfa.

In 1855, both elders emigrated from Britain to the United States. They travelled by wagon to Utah. Daniel subsequently raised a large family. He died in 1890 and is buried in Ogden, Utah. David also married but had no children. He suffered from epileptic fits for the rest of his life, believed to be caused by the injury to his skull on the run from Saron Chapel. On 3rd April 1885, he died in Salt Lake City of such a fit.

1. The name of the house is also spelled “Trialmawr,” “Tryolmawr,” “Tryalmawr,” and “Trualmawr” in different records, but is currently spelled “Triolmawr.” The house is just under four miles to the southeast from Saron Chapel which indicates that the chase may have gone some distance.