Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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JONES , JOHN ( 1801 - 1856 ), Independent minister, and controversialist ;

b. 10 April 1801 at Tan-yr-ogof near Abergele . He worked as a miner and collier until he went to Llangollen as Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn 's clerk . He first came into prominence as a lecturer on temperance , and it was he who was the secretary of the great temperance meeting held at Caernarvon in 1837 . In 1839 he moved to Rhosllannerchrugog where he joined the Independents and began to preach . He then came forward as a writer and debater on baptism ; on this subject there was a public debate between him and the minister of Rhymney , which came to be known as the ‘ Great Debate of Rhymney .’ In Oct. 1842 he was ordained minister of the churches of Rhyd-y-bont , Capel Nonni , and Bryn-teg, Carms. His ministry was a failure for he had no gift for this kind of work. He then started publishing books at Rhyd-y-bont , moving thence to Merthyr Tydfil and later to Mountain Ash , where he carried on the same business; in the latter place he began to build a chapel for his few followers, but in 1854 , before it was ready, fled to the U.S.A. , leaving them to face the music. He d. at Cincinnati 19 Nov. 1856 , after a varied and stormy career — a man of undoubted ability but exceedingly unreliable. He could shape a good lyric, and his song ‘ Deio Bach ’ became very well known. Among his works will be found: Y Bedyddiwr , 1842 ; Adroddiad o'r Ddadl ar Fedydd yn Rhymni rhwng T. G. Jones a J. Jones o Langollen … 1841 ; Brad y Drôch , 1841 ; Catecism Bedydd , 1842 ; Adroddiad Dadl Llantrisant , 1842 ; Testament yr Ysgol Sabothol , 1849 ; Y Seren Foreu , 1846 . [ Daniel Jones , 1811 - 1861 (q.v.) , the Mormon , was his brother.]

Sources:

  • Cymru (O.M.E.) , ii, 6, 86, 136, xl, 287, li, 109;
  • Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru , iii, 548-50.

Author:

Reverend Richard Griffith Owen, M.A., (1890-1973), Bangor

Published date: 1959