Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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JONES , RICHARD ( 1771? - 1833 ), Calvinistic Methodist minister and writer ;

[christened 11 Jan. 1772 ]; only son of John and Margaret Prichard of Coed-cae-du , in the parish of Llanystumdwy . He went for a few short terms to the school kept by Robert Jones of Rhos-lan ( 1745 - 1829 ) at Brynengan and afterwards to that kept by John Roberts ( 1753 - 1834 ) (qq.v.). He also spent two terms as the pupil of Evan Richardson (q.v.) at Llangybi and Brynengan . When he was 14 years of age he had to become a farmer's boy but two years later he experienced an intellectual awakening and, thereafter, his story is one of reading, cultivating his mind, and extending his sphere of knowledge. His reading was catholic — history , antiquities , and poetry (as is shown by his attending the classes held by Dafydd Ddu Eryri (q.v.) at Llanystumdwy ), as well as the political and social topics of the day. Although he is said to have been given the opportunity of becoming a lawyer , he began to preach ( 1794 ). He and his family continued to live at Coed-cae-du until 1816 — the year of his ordination — and after living for some three years at Llwynimpia , Clynnog , a move was made to Wern , Llanfrothen ; he is always known as ‘ Richard Jones of Wern .'

Richard Jones believed in the Sunday school and the open Bible rather than in any man-made dogma, and composed two catechisms on the Bible , one elementary and one advanced. Several of his articles are to be found in Seren Gomer , Goleuad Cymru , and Y Drysorfa , under the pseudonym ‘ Cymro Gwyllt .’ About 1815 , when the painful controversy about Redemption and Atonement was at its height, and when his old friend, John Elias (q.v.) , was walking very near the edge of the precipice, Richard Jones manfully held his ground — a fairly full account of this controversy will be found in Cofiant John Jones, Tal-y-sarn , by Owen Thomas , vol. ii, 560-77. Although he was not an eloquent preacher , he always found a ready hearing, for his message was satisfying and fresh. In 1829 his Drych y Dadleuwr was published. In the introduction he writes: ‘ My intention… is not to argue… but to demonstrate the folly into which (dialectic) bigotry can lead men .’ In 1835 a collection of his hymns was published under the title Hymnau a Chaneuon Ysbrydol a Duwiol under the editorship of John Elias . He d. 26 Feb. 1833 . [In politics, Richard Jones was regarded as progressive; he withstood John Elias when Elias opposed the Reform Bill .]


  • D. D. Williams , Cylchgrawn Cymdeithas Hanes y Methodistiaid Calfinaidd , xviii, 46-59;
  • John Jones (Tremadog), Cofiant y diweddar Barch Richard Jones, gynt o Wern Llanfrothen, Swydd Feirionydd yr hwn oedd yn weinidog yr Efengyl ynghyfundeb y Trefnyddion Calfinaidd. Bu farw Chwefror 26, 1833, un 60 oed (Caerleon, 1834) , 1834 ;
  • ‘Glaslyn’ in Cymru (O.M.E.) , vii, 41-6;
  • ‘Glaslyn’ in Y Traethodydd , 1906 , 223-9;
  • J. Thickens , Emynau a'u Hawduriaid (1945) , 163;
  • Geiriadur Bywgraffyddol o Enwogion Cymru , i, 655-8;
  • Eminent Welshmen: a short biographical dictionary of Welshmen ... from the earliest times to the present (1908) ; Geirlyfr Bywgraffiadol o Enwogion Cymru (1870) , 629;
  • Y Gwyddoniadur Cymreig (1889-96) ;
  • [ J. Jones (‘Myrddin Fardd’) , Enwogion Sir Gaernarfon (1922) ].


Reverend Richard Thomas, B.A. (1872-1950), Caernarfon

Published date: 1959