Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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JONES , ROBERT ISAAC ( Alltud Eifion ; 1813 - 1905 ), pharmacist, littérateur, and printer .

Born at Tyddyn Iolyn , Pentrefelin , near Portmadoc . On his mother's side he claimed descent from the family of Roberts of Isallt , Eifionydd , renowned as physicians , and he also claimed special gifts as a physician and veterinary surgeon . He was educated in his home neighbourhood, and about 1831 was apprenticed to a pharmacist at Pwllheli ; he was afterwards at Caernarvon and London . At Tremadoc in 1838 he opened a business as a pharmacist which he called the ‘ Cambrian Pill Depôt ,’ and he became famous as the proprietor of the celebrated ‘ Tremadoc Pills ’ which claimed to cure all manner of ailments.

He also started a printing-press at Tremadoc , where he printed various publications, and a number of Welsh books. In Nov. 1858 he began publishing Y Brython , a weekly newspaper, but at the beginning of 1859 it became a monthly magazine; Daniel Silvan Evans was co-editor till 1860 , but owing to lack of support publication ceased in 1863 .

He was a keen eisteddfodwr , and wrote a good deal of verse , but did not excel. He published and edited Gwaith Barddonol Sion Wyn o Eifion , 1861 ; Cyff Beuno ( Eben Fardd ), 1863 ; Cell Meudwy ( Ellis Owen ), 1877 ; John Ystumllyn , 1888 ; Yr Emynydd Cristionogol , 1889 ; Y Gestiana, sef, Hanes Tre'r Gest , 1892 .

He left the Methodists and became a faithful member of the Anglican church at Tremadoc , and started a Sunday school in the town hall. He also edited and published Baner y Groes , a Church monthly magazine, and he contributed articles to Yr Haul , Y Llan , and Cymru . He d. 7 March 1905 , and was buried at Ynyscynhaearn .

Sources:

  • Hanes Porthmadog , 1913 , 140-1;
  • Enwogion Sir Gaernarfon , 1922 , 205-6;
  • Llenyddiaeth fy Ngwlad , 1893 , 119;
  • Y Gestiana , Tremadog, 1892 ;
  • Cymru (O.M.E.) , lvi, 47;
  • Y Llan , 29 Dec. 1893 ;
  • Eminent Welshmen: a short biographical dictionary of Welshmen ... from the earliest times to the present , 1908 ;
  • Y Geninen , March 1907 , 35, 54;
  • for his family connections see J. E. Griffith , Pedigrees of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire Families , 1914 , 359.

Author:

William Rowlands, M.A., Porthmadog

Published date: 1959