Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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JONES , EVAN ( 1836 - 1915 ), Calvinistic Methodist minister, and publicist ;

b. 27 Oct. 1836 , at Esgair Goch , Pennal, Mer. , son of John Jones of Maestirau , Darowen , and his wife, Catherine Jervis , of Llanbryn-mair ; his maternal grandmother was a sister to Abraham Wood , a preacher in lady Huntingdon 's connexion. His early education was soon over, and in 1849 he was apprenticed to Adam Evans , a Machynlleth printer . He subsequently worked as a printer at Bethesda, Caerns. ( 1855 ); at the Herald Cymraeg office, Caernarvon ( 1856 ); at Holyhead ( 1857 ), where he was in partnership with Lewis Jones ( 1836 - 1904 ) (q.v.) , one of the founders of the Welsh settlement in Patagonia . From their office was published Y Pwnch Cymraeg , a satirical paper; Evan Jones 's connection with it was brief but it was long remembered. In 1859 he set up for himself as printer in Machynlleth , where he began to preach , entering Bala C.M. College in 1863 . In 1867 he became pastor of the churches at Corris and Aberllefeni and was ordained in 1869 ; in 1872 he accepted a call to Dyffryn Ardudwy (succeeding Edward Morgan ( 1817 - 1871 ) (q.v.) ); and in 1875 he became pastor of the church at Moriah , Caernarvon , where he remained until his retirement in 1906 . He d. at Caernarvon , 29 Sept. 1915 , and was buried at Machynlleth . He m., while he was at Corris , Jane Elizabeth , daughter of Robert Jones , Bala ; they had two daughters and a son. His wife predeceased him. He was a leader in his connexion , moderator of the North Wales Methodist Association in 1897 , and moderator of the General Assembly in 1898-9 . He was practically the founder of the Calvinistic Methodist Bookroom , and was general editor of the connexion's publications for many years. He was president of the National Free Church Council in 1909 . As a publicist he was known as a strong advocate of disestablishment ; his debate with the then vicar of Corris , canon Evans , first brought him into general notice in this connection, when he was a minister at Corris . As a controversialist, particularly on the platform, he was satirical and ruthless and he was regarded as a dangerous opponent. He was an active journalist all his life. While at Corris he contributed a weekly Welsh article to the Cambrian News ; a selection of these was published in two small books, with the general title Ysgrifau Byrion . In 1872 he became editor of Y Goleuad , a position which he retained for four years; in his latter years he wrote a weekly article for that paper. He wrote leaders for the Genedl Gymreig for some years, and in 1882 he established his own paper , Yr Amseroedd , at Caernarvon . He was both owner and editor until, towards the end of 1884 , he transferred the paper to another proprietor. From 1900 to 1905 he edited Y Drysorfa . He wrote his reminiscences for Y Genedl in 1912-13 . A dominant personality, he was usually thought of as a controversialist and an ecclesiastical statesman, which indeed he was. But he was also a careful and devoted pastor , and in Puleston Jones 's opinion he was ‘ a great preacher, a very great preacher .’

Sources:

  • Blwyddiadur y Methodistiaid Calfinaidd , 1917 ;
  • Y Geninen (Gŵyl Dewi), 1916 , 5, 49, April, 117, Oct., 246, 1917, Oct., 234;
  • Y Goleuad , 8 Oct. 1915 ;
  • [see also the late author's chapter on Evan Jones in Gwyr Enwog Gynt argraffiadau ac atgofion personol , Aberystwyth , vol. i].

Author:

Edward Morgan Humphreys, O.B.E., M.A., (1882-1955), Caernarfon

Published date: 1959