Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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JONES , OWEN ( Meudwy Môn ; 1806 - 1889 ), Calvinistic Methodist minister, and man of letters ;

b. at Gaerwen-bach , Llanfihangel Ysgeifiog , Anglesey , 15 July 1806 . His parents died when he was very small, and he was brought up by his aunt Elizabeth , wife of Morgan Williams , tanner , of Llangefni . When he was 6 years of age he was sent to the village school. Rice Roberts of Plas Llangefni , noticing his rapid progress, paid for his education at Thomas Jones 's school, Llangefni , whence he was moved to the National school when the latter was opened. The local gentry intended paying for his further education in order that he might become a clergyman , but his aunt declined their assistance and shortly afterwards he was withdrawn from the school. He then became a carpenter's apprentice , a farm labourer , a private tutor in various families, and a schoolmaster at Llanddona , Llangoed , and Penygarnedd . In 1827 he began to preach in the C.M. chapels . He also addressed meetings on behalf of the Bible Society , of which he became an assistant superintendent , a post he held for over forty years. He m. Ellen , daughter of Richard Rowlands of Bryn Mawr , Llangoed.

He left Anglesey in 1833 and went to Mold as proof-reader in the publishing firm of John and Evan ( 1800 - 1879 , q.v. in Appendix) Lloyd. The following year he was appointed cashier at the Plas-yr-argoed colliery . He and Roger Edwards (q.v.) were ordained at the Bala Association , 8 June 1842 , and both of them acted as ministers at Mold . There Meudwy Môn began to take an interest in the temperance movement , of which he was one of the pioneers in North Wales . In 1844 he received a call from the C.M. churches in Manchester , but in 1856 resigned owing to differences of opinion, and became the North Wales superintendent of the United Kingdom Alliance . He continued to live at Manchester until 1866 when he went to Llandudno as pastor . However, he gave up his pastorate, 1868-9 , as it took up so much of his time and the pay was so small that he could not live without writing. From this time on he depended mainly on his literary activities for his living, although he continued to work for the temperance movement and the Bible Society . In 1866 he was given a testimonial of £50 collected by public subscription. He d. 11 Oct. 1889 and was buried in S. Tudno churchyard.

He edited four short-lived monthlies — Y Cynniweirydd , 1834 , which later became Y Newyddiadur Hanesyddol , 1835 ; Y Cymedrolwr , 1835 ; Y Cerbyd Dirwestol , 1837-8 ; and Y Bugail , 1859 . He published a number of books and articles and edited two large works — Cymru, yn Hanesyddol, Parthedegol, a Bywgraphyddol , 1875 , and Ceinion Llenyddiaeth Gymreig , 1875 . But he did very little original work — he translated, collected, and adapted , without ever expressing an opinion of his own or showing much discrimination. His prosiness and prolixity are typical of the pompous Anglicized style of the 19th cent. at its worst.

Sources:

  • Eminent Welshmen: a short biographical dictionary of Welshmen ... from the earliest times to the present , 1908 ;
  • Bye–Gones, relating to Wales and the Border Counties , 1889 , 240;
  • Cymru (O.M.E.) , iii, 9;
  • Y Geninen , 1890 , 243, (Gŵyl Dewi), 33;
  • Y Traethodydd , 1893 (28), 1901 (401), 1902 (161), 1907 (373).

Author:

Dr Enid Pierce Roberts, M.A., D.Litt., Bangor

Published date: 1959