Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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JONES , THOMAS ( 1810 - 1849 ), the first Calvinistic Methodist missionary on the Khasia Hills ( Assam );

b. 24 Jan. 1810 to Edward and Mary Jones , Tan-y-ffridd , Llangynyw, Mont. Originally a wheelwright , he became miller at Llifior , Berriw . About 1835 he began preaching ; he was one of the first of Lewis Edwards 's students at Bala ( 1837 ). Desiring to become a missionary , he offered himself to the London Missionary Society , which however refused to send him to India , thinking that his health was not reliable. On the other hand, he in his turn refused to go to S. Africa . This disagreement was the direct cause of the founding of the C.M. mission in Khasia ( 1840 ); Jones was ordained, underwent a short medical training at Glasgow , sailed for India in November, and reached Calcutta in April 1841 ; in the middle of that year he settled at Cherrapunjee . He learned the Khasi tongue, was the first (as far as is known) to reduce it to writing, translated S. Matthew's Gospel and printed some catechisms . His wife d. in 1845 , and he m. again without the approval of the C.M. Missions Committee ; further, he could not get on with the missionaries who had been sent out in the meantime. Things went on from bad to worse, and in 1847 he resigned and took to farming ; but health and success rapidly forsook him. He d. at Calcutta , 16 Sept. 1849 , and was buried in the Scottish burial ground there.


  • J. Hughes Morris , Hanes Cenhadaeth Dramor y Methodistiaid Califinaidd Cymreig hyd ddiwedd y flwyddyn 1904 (Caernarfon, 1907)


Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor

Published date: 1959