Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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JONES , LEWIS ( 1836 - 1904 ), pioneer in Patagonia, and writer .

Born at Caernarvon . He moved to Holyhead where, in conjunction with his fellow- printer Evan Jones (afterwards of Caernarvon ) ( 1836 - 1915 ) he edited the Pwnsh Cymraeg . He then went to Liverpool where he became one of the leaders of the Welsh Colony movement .

In 1862 he was sent with Capt. T. Love Jones-Parry to explore Patagonia , and returned with a report so highly coloured as to be misleading. The result was that he persuaded Welsh emigrants to undertake the venture, and he and Edwin Cynrig Roberts were sent to prepare the way for the first contingent. The emigrants were disappointed, there was a quarrel, and after three months Jones left for Buenos Aires where he spent the next eighteen months working as a printer .

In 1867 , however, when he heard that the Welsh colonists were proposing to leave Patagonia , he returned to that country and, by the exercise of his unusual gift of oratory, persuaded them to stay there. He was for a short time governor of Patagonia — the only Welshman ever to have been appointed by the government of Argentina to this post. But he was also on occasion thrown into prison for attempting to uphold the rights of the Welsh . He imported his own printing press and started two newspapersEin Breiniad , 1878 , and Y Dravod , 1891 ; the latter is still being published. A lecture given before the Cymmrodorion in 1885 , when he was visiting Wales , was subsequently published, and his book Y Wladfa Gymreig was published in 1898 .

He had two daughters — Eluned Morgan and another who married Llwyd ap Iwan , son of Michael D. Jones . Lewis Jones was a gallant leader in the Colony for thirty-five years, but he was heart-broken when the land was ravaged by the great floods of 1899 . He died 24 Nov. 1904 at the age of 68.

Sources:

  • R. Bryn Williams , Cymry Patagonia (Aberystwyth, 1942) , 13, 20-31, 43-6, 53, 61-4
  • R. Bryn Williams , Straeon Patagonia (Aberystwyth, 1946)
  • R. Bryn Williams , Rhyddiaith y Wladfa (Denbigh, 1949) .

Author:

Reverend Richard Bryn Williams, M.A., (1902-81), Rhuthyn / Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959