Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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DONNE , JAMES ( 1764 - 1844 ), cleric and schoolmaster ;

b. 14 Feb. 1764 at Kingston, Rads. He appears to have been a pupil of David Lloyd , Llanbister ( 1752 - 1838 ) (q.v.) — see N.L.W. MS. 4954 . Admitted to S. John's College , Cambridge , 21 May 1784 , he graduated B.A. 1788 , afterwards proceeding to M.A. 1792 and D.D. 1825 . He became a master at Dr. Thomson's school in Kensington , 1788 , was ordained deacon , at Hereford , 30 May 1790 , became curate of Kington, Herefords. , 1790 , and was priested 19 June 1791 ; he became second master at the King's School , Chester , in 1794 , and also curate of Eccleston , Cheshire . Becoming a minor canon of Chester cathedral in 1794 and shortly afterwards headmaster of Oswestry grammar school , he was given the vicarage of Llan-y-blodwel in 1798 . His first wife, whom he m. in 1793 , was Caroline , daughter of John Thomson , an Edinburgh merchant ; his second wife ( 1798 ) was Alice , daughter of John Croxon , Oswestry . ‘While master of Oswestry he recovered for the School … 26 acres of land which had been lost through the remissness of former Masters.’ He resigned the headship of Oswestry in 1833 and returned to Llan-y-blodwel , where he d. 23 Jan. 1844 . Two sons, James and Stephen , became clergymen , the latter succeeded his father as headmaster at Oswestry .

Donne corresponded with a group of Welshmen who were interested in cultural matters, among these being Walter Davies ( Gwallter Mechain ) , W. J. Rees of Cascob , Hugh Davies ( author of Welsh Botanology ), Rowland Williams , Ysgeifiog , John Jenkins ( Ifor Ceri ) (qq.v.), and others.

Sources:

  • Venn , Alumni Cantabrigienses ;
  • The Gentleman's Magazine , 1844 , i, 327;
  • Bye–Gones, relating to Wales and the Border Counties , 1874-5, 102, 1880-1, 252 ;
  • NLW MSS 1804 , 1889, 4954, 6664, 7938.

Author:

Sir William Llewelyn Davies, M.A., LL.D., F.S.A. (1887-1952), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959