Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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JONES , THOMAS ( c. 1622 - 1682 ), Protestant controversialist ,

was b. at Oswestry , the son of John Williams (son of William ap Meredith of Pwllheli ), and probably nephew of Henry Williams , town clerk of Oswestry in 1623 . His studies at Jesus College , Oxford , interrupted by the Civil War , were resumed in 1646 , when on taking the covenant he was awarded a Fellowship at University College by the parliamentary visitors before graduating ( B.A. 23 Feb. 1650 , M.A. 20 Feb. 1651 ). On 4 Sept. 1654 he was certified by the ‘ Triers ’ as fit to hold a living in the Cromwellian Church , and was presented to the rectory of Castell Caereinion, Mont. , where he learnt enough Welsh to carry out his duties. Although he claimed to have received episcopal ordination in 1654 , he was ejected at the Restoration in favour of the dispossessed incumbent Rice Wyn , but was made chaplain at Ludlow to Richard , earl Carbery (q.v. under Vaughan of Golden Grove ), the president of the revived Council of Wales , and in 1663 domestic and naval chaplain to the duke of York . On 11 Nov. 1665 his patron's influence secured him presentation by the Crown to the rectory of Llandyrnog, Denbs. , during an interregnum in the see of Bangor , to which the living had formerly been annexed; and when in 1666 he lost his chaplaincy through the hostility of the bishop of Winchester , whom he had denounced as a lukewarm Protestant , it was to the Anglesey rectory that he retired. In 1670 the continued hostility of the bishop of Winchester brought on his head a prosecution and fine in the king's Bench for scandalum magnatum arising from his denunciations of Popery at court, while insubordination to his own bishop ( Robert Morgan , q.v. ), who was bent on reannexing the rectory, led to sequestration from his living, which however he later recovered. Towards the violent anti-Popish propaganda of Titus Oates he contributed several tracts (listed in D.N.B. ; there is an additional title in Cal. S.P. Dom. , 1680-1 , 319), defending the Church of England against Rome and himself against his supposed persecutors. The allegations that he refused the bishopric of Bangor in 1665 and solicited it through his old patron the duke of York on a false rumour of bishop Humphrey Lloyd 's death in 1681 both rest on insufficient evidence. He d. on 8 Oct. 1682 at Totteridge, Hants. , where he was the guest of Richard Baxter 's brother-in-law Francis Charleton . Anthony Wood asserts that he was ‘ troubled with a rambling and sometimes crazy'd pate .’

Sources:

  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and sources therein cited;
  • T. Richards , Religious Developments in Wales, 1654–1662 , 1923 and in Archaeologia Cambrensis , 1925 , 32-40;
  • Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series , Record Publication , 1680-1 , 319-20.

Author:

Emeritus Professor Arthur Herbert Dodd, M.A., (1891-1975), Bangor

Corrections and additions:

JONES , THOMAS ( c. 1622 - 1682 ; DWB , 514).

At the end of the article read Charlton (not ‘Charleton’).

Author:

Published date: 1959