Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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JONES , DAVID (‘ Welsh Freeholder ’; 1765 - 1816 ), barrister and author ;

b. near Llandovery , son of a freeholder . He was educated at Pencader , Abergavenny , and Homerton Academy ( 1783 ). Adopting Unitarian views, he removed to Hackney College , where he later became lecturer in Experimental Philosophy . In Oct. 1792 he succeeded Priestley as pastor of the New Meeting House , Birmingham . In May 1795 he was admitted a student of Lincoln's Inn ; he was called to the Bar , and practised in London and on the Oxford and South Wales circuits. In 1800 he graduated from Caius College , Cambridge ( M.A. in 1803 ). Under the pseudonym of ‘ Welsh Freeholder ’ he championed the cause of freedom against the attacks of Samuel Horsley , bishop of S. Davids , in a series of pamphlets: (1) A Letter to the Right Rev. Samuel, Lord Bishop of St. David's , 1791 , (2) Thoughts on the Riots at Birmingham , 1791 , (3) The Welsh Freeholder's Vindication , 1791 , (4) Reasons for Unitarianism , 1792 , (5) The Welsh Freeholder's Farewell Epistles , 1794 . He d. in 1816 . A Whig in principle, he believed ‘ in obeying government in civil matters, and asserting the supremacy and independence of the mind .’

Sources:

  • Rutt , The Theological and Miscellaneous Works, of Joseph Priestley. Vol 13. Containing Notes on the New Testament (1831) , ii, 176, 177;
  • Eminent Welshmen: a short biographical dictionary of Welshmen ... from the earliest times to the present (1908) ;
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Author:

John James Evans, M.A., (1894-1965), St Davids

Published date: 1959