Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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JONES , DAVID ( 1741 - 1792 ), Baptist minister ;

b. at Ynys-domlyd , Cwmaman, Carms. , he worked as a tailor in Monmouthshire . Converted by Howel Harris , he was throughout his life a Methodist in temperament, though he joined the Baptists at Pen-y-garn , where he began to preach and was in 1773 ordained as assistant to Miles Harry (q.v.) — he is indeed generally referred to as ‘ David Jones of Pontypool .’ He had published in 1758 Pererindod Ysprydol, o'r Aipht i Ganaan , and in 1777 he published an elegy on Miles Harry . He was twice married; his second wife was Hannah Jones , a widow, who had a farm and a malt-house at Dol-goch , Newcastle Emlyn ; and in 1785 or 1786 he went to live there. He now joined Graig church at Newcastle[emlyn] , becoming co-pastor . His new church suited him well, for it was a quasi- Methodist , revivalistic, church which had hived off in 1775 from the older and ‘drier’ church at Pant Teg . And his closest friends in the neighbourhood were Methodists David Morris ( 1744 - 1791 ) (q.v.) and Peter Williams ( 1723 - 1796 ) (q.v.) . In Sept. 1786 , Jones conceived the idea of a Welsh edition of the ‘ pocket Bible ’ (with notes) of John Canne (d. 1667? ), which in its English form had been widely sold by Howel Harris and Miles Harry . He induced Peter Williams to join him — this was the direct cause of Williams 's expulsion by the Methodists ( 1791 ), but the Baptist Association in 1787 and in 1788 officially commended the book. Publication began in 1788 , and was completed in 1790 ; Jones himself acted as travelling salesman . He d. 24 Jan. 1792 , and was buried at Troed-yr-aur ; elegies upon him were written by Morgan John Rhys (q.v.) and others. His widow became very poor (owing to losses in her own business rather than to losses on the ‘ little Bible ’), and is said to have died a pauper at some time after 1839 .


  • M. J. Rhys in Y Cylchgrawn Cyn-mraeg , May 1793 ;
  • Joshua Thomas , Hanes y Bedyddwyr ymhlith y Cymry , 497, 573;
  • D. Jones , Hanes y Bedyddwyr yn Neheubarth Cymru (1839) , 694;
  • Cambrian Bibliography (Llanidloes, 1869) ;
  • Gomer M. Roberts , Bywyd a Gwaith Peter Williams (Cardiff, 1943) , chapters 6 and 8.


Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor

Published date: 1959