The author's branch of the Jerman family were up until present times prominent members of the Baptist community in Llanidloes and a large number of marriages, baptisms and funerals have taken place in the Baptist Chapel in Short Bridge Street. This Chapel was constructed in the 1876 along with other new chapels built in Llanidloes in this prosperous period for the town and mirrors the explosion of non-conformist worship in Wales generally from the middle of the nineteenth century.  However the roots of this had been laid centuries beforehand,: mid-Wales participated enthusiastically in the various expressions of puritanism encouraged under Cromwell’s Commonwealth following the Civil War, and this would not be given up once the monarchy was restored and the Church of England established as the only approved vehicle of worship.

Early Dissent

In earlier times we find reference to dissent from the prevailing orthodoxy of the Church of England:

"The (Jerman) family were members of the Society of Friends: we find references throughout the Gaol Files to the Llanidloes Jermans. We have referred under 1677 to the raid upon John Jerman's house in the town, when he and Griffith Jerman had their cattle seized to the value of ten pounds in money of that date. But this was no deterrent. In 1679 Griffifth Jerman of Llanidloes and John and Lewis Jerman of Llangurig were all "presented" for not attending church. In 1683, Edward Jerman of Llanifyny and John Jerman of Glyngynwydd were presented."

1677: In this year, on the 18th July, two priests, viz. Hugh Wilson, priest of Trefeglwys and Isaac Lloyd, priest of Llanidloes, gave information of a Friends' Meeting at the house of John Jerman at Llanidloes, upon which the Mayor, with constables, came thither, and committed seven of the assembly to prison and fined others, who had their cattle seized for their fines".

from "A Municipal History of Llanidloes", E Horsfall-Turner, Llanidloes 1908.


The following "Montgomeryshire Nocconformity Extracts from the Gaol Files with Notes, by R. William, F. R. Hist, S." have been selected from "Collections Historical and Archaological Relating to Montgomeryshire and its Borders," issued by the Powys Land Club for the use of its members and published at London.

1675, Att. ye Greate Sessions held att Poole ye s'd County, ye fifth day of Apr'll Anno RR x Carol' Secundi Nune Anglie et xxvij Annoque D'ni 1675.

We p'sent David Owen, of ye p;she of Llanguricke, in ye S'd county, yeom. for yt hee for ye space of hulfe a yeare and upwards last past, hath and as yett doth absent himselfe from his p'she   church to heare devine Service and Sermon.

Edward Jerman, of ye p,she of Llanguricke, in ye s'd county yeom

John Pott of ye same, yeomj

Thomas Pott of ye same, yeom. for ye likie.

Griffith Jermann of ye same yeom. for ye like

D'd Jenkij of ye same, yeom, and Jane his wife, for liike

Sarah Rees of ye same, for ye like

James Hamer, of Llangiricke aforesaid, for ye like

Besse's "Sufferings of the People Called Quakers": has the following in Volume I, at page 767.

Anno. 1677. On the 18th day of the Month called July, two Priests, vi., Hugh Wilson, Priest of Trefeglwys," Priest of Trefeglwys, and Isaac Lloyd, Priest of Llanidles, gave information of a Meeitng at the Houses of John Jaerman, at Llanidles in Montgomeryshire; upon which, the Mayer with Constables came thither, and commited seven of the Assembly to Prison, anf fined others, who had their Cattle seized for their Fines.

John Potts, one Cow and six yearling Beast worth -----L12 10 9

Griffith Jarman, five Young Beasts worth -------- 7-10-0

John Roberts, a Cow worth -------- 3-0-0

John Jarman, a Cow worth ------- 2 -10-0

David Owen, an Horse worth ---- 2-0-0

Total----------27 - 10 -9

taken from

"Men spoke of Presbyterians, Independents, Baptists and Quakers in the 1640s and 1650s; but there were no organized sects which accepted these names then. Some who were called "Presbyterians" went to churches which we should call "Independent"; some "Independents" were elders of the Presbyterian state church. ....We must never forget the fluidity of religious groupings before persecution forced organization upon what we may begin to call "sects" after 1660. In the forties and fifties you did not find buildings marked "Baptist chapel", "Congregational chapel" or "Quaker meeting-house" as you walked down the street: you found congregations of like-minded believers meeting where they could find room -- in pubs or in private houses. They would have regarded themselves as part of the church of Christ, and would have resisted any sectarian labelling. Their congregations included sermon-tasters, Seekers, attaching themselves to no fixed congregation." -- Hill, The English Bible and the Seventeenth-Century Revolution (Penguin, 1993), pp. 35-36


Newchapel Baptist Church, the first Baptist church in the area.  This is found outside Llanidloes in a rather isolated location; its geography reflects the early spiritual disassociation of its congregation. 

Photo by G Jones, 2002

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