Bom on the Glamorgan-Monmouth border into a family of small freeholders who were members of the old Baptist cause of Hengoed, a characteristic stronghold of Welsh Cromwellian Dissent in its new liberal persona, Morgan John opened a school in the district at the age of twenty and taught for two years. The Priestley riots in Birmingham the previous year had been a warning. The pivot of the journal’s ideology was science married to a correct reading of the signs of the times. Rhys promised full exposition of Isaac Newton on prophecy, the revelation of Daniel, the prophecies of John. The eisteddfod was propagated; there was plenty of verse, quizzes on theology and science, ‘calculations’, titbits of useful knowledge — an essay on the orang-utang. The impact of repression in 1794 was harsh; it banished reformers, and the popular movement in particular, into a half-world of semilegality.