Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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JONES , WILLIAM ( 1755 - 1821 ), Evangelical cleric ,

one of the friends of Thomas Charles ; b. 18 Nov. 1755 at Abergavenny , son of John Jones , clockmaker . He went to Jesus College , Oxford , in 1773 or 1774 , and remained there till 1777 ( Charles was there in 1775 , and Jones was then his ‘ very intimate friend ’); Jones , as his diaries begun at Oxford show, was a tolerably good scholar. Early in 1778 , he became tutor in a Government servant's family in Jamaica , but he returned early in 1780 , took his degree, and was ordained. From 1781 till 1801 he was curate at Broxbourne and Hoddesdon , Herts. , and in 1801 became vicar there, despite his fears that his ‘ Methodism ’ would impede the promotion. He corresponded with Charles , and letters of his will be found in D. E. Jenkins 's Life of Charles . He d. at Broxbourne 12 Oct. 1821 . Twelve years before he d., he had a coffin made for himself, in the meantime fitting it with bookshelves — but when the time came the coffin was found to be too small. From 1777 till the end of his life, he kept detailed diaries; a selection was published by O. F. Christie in 1929 .


  • The diaries;
  • D. E. Jenkins , Life of Thomas Charles (Denbigh, 1908) , principally iii, 636-9, but consult index also.


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

Published date: 1959