Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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JONES , THOMAS ( Glan Alun ; 1811 - 1866 ), Calvinistic Methodist minister and man of letters ;

b. 11 March 1811 at ‘ Cefn-y-gadair shop ,’ Mold, Flints. , son of John Jones [formerly of Cefn-y-gadair in Llanelidan , and before that of Hendre , Derwen, Denbs. , who was son of JOSEPH JONES , of Y Seinad near Ruthin . ‘ Joseff y Seinad ,’ an Antinomian , was one of the sectaries who found a following after the Methodist disruption of 1750 — see on him J. H. Morris , Methodistiaeth Liverpool , i, 226, and Cymm. , 1938 , 68-9, and references there]. He had good schooling, and even as a boy was of a literary turn. As an apothecary's apprentice at Chester , he wrote on Welsh orthography in Goleuad Cymru ; after a period in London , he opened a shop at Wrexham , where, 1835-6 , he brought out a short-lived periodical, Y Wenynen , written mostly by himself. He began preaching with the C.M. His father d. in 1841 , and he removed to Mold , where he m. in 1843 and was ordained in 1850 . He was a bad manager; his affairs became involved; he fell a prey to intemperance and was excommunicated by his connexion . His wife d. in 1856 , leaving him with six small children, and things became worse still; but after trying his hand at various employments (such as candle-making ) he eventually ‘made good’ as a commercial traveller ; he resumed preaching and public speaking , and was a zealous eisteddfodwr . He m. again in 1865 ; he d. 29 March 1866 . In addition to numerous articles in Y Drysorfa and other periodicals, he published Fy Chwaer , 1844 , Ehediadau Byrion , 1862 , and two volumes of Welsh versions of Aesop's Fables . As a poet , he kept to the free metres. His sermons, political speeches , and verse, flowed without effort. Daniel Owen in Y Geninen , 1886 , describes him as hasty and busy, dabbling in everything, but kindly and simple; Ceiriog commemorated him in Y Drysorfa , 1868 ; and Gwalchmai in Y Dysgedydd , 1879 . It may be remarked that few have won tributes from three such men of letters as these.

One of his daughters m. the missionary John Roberts ( 1842 - 1908 ) , and another m. John Puleston Jones . A son, JOHN THOMAS ALUN JONES , b. 23 Aug. 1851 , d. 1 May 1929 , became a C.M. minister and was for many years librarian and registrar of the C.M. College at Bala . A reclusive man, of fastidious literary tastes, he was deeply read in the older Puritans and in the mystics, and wrote well concerning them in periodicals. In 1908 he published a small book, Duwinyddiaeth Emynau .

Sources:

  • Y Gwyddoniadur Cymreig , 1889-96 ;
  • Information from the family;
  • personal acquaintance.

Author:

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

Published date: 1959