Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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JONES , WILLIAM ( 1806 - 1873 ), cleric and man of letters ;

b., it is said, at Newborough ( Anglesey ). He received baptism at Liverpool , 2 Sept. 1821 , at the hands of Daniel Jones ( 1788 - 1862 , q.v.) , and soon began to preach ; from 1823 till 1827 he was in the Baptist college at Bradford , and afterwards for a short time at Glasgow University . He was ordained minister at Llangefni , Christmas 1828 , but removed to Holywell in 1830 . There, he set on foot a scheme for a Baptist Academy in North Wales , but was ill-supported by his fellow- Baptists — later on, influential Baptists like R. D. Roberts of Llwynhendy . (q.v.) averred that this lukewarmness had been a serious mistake. However, Jones kept on writing in defence of his scheme and travelling to collect money for it. On such a journey, he visited Cardigan , where the minister of Bethania church , John Herring (q.v.) had just d., and at the end of 1832 was called to the pastorate by a majority of its members. But the minority, alleging among other things that Jones upheld ‘open communion,’ revolted, and were expelled — in the upshot, the Association disowned the church and excommunicated the pastor ( 1833 ). Jones now became an Anglican , and spent eighteen months at S. David's College , Lampeter ; he was ordained by the bishop of Rochester in 1835 and priested at S. Davids in 1836 . He was curate at Llandovery ( 1835-7 ) and at Llanbeulan in Anglesey ( 1837-42 ), and vicar of Nevin with Carngiwch ( 1842-62 ). At Nevin , he did not get on well — his report to the 1846-7 Commissioners on Education (see the Commission 's Report , iii, 42) drastically condemned his parishioners’ morals. In Oct. 1862 he was made rector of Llanenddwyn with Llanddwywe (i.e. Dyffryn Ardudwy, Mer. ) — and soon afterwards proclaimed that ‘the Nevin folk were angels in comparison with those of Llanddwywe .’ He d. 3 June 1873 , and was buried at Llanddwywe . Jones was an able man, but was commonly thought unwise. He published: Portrait of the True Philosopher , 1831 ; The Character of the Welsh as a Nation, in the Present Age , 1841 (with a Welsh version); The Causes of Adversity and Prosperity , 1842 ; The Present State of France , 1848 ; Patriotism of the Present Age , 1849 ; Traethawd ar Swyddogaeth Barn a Darfelydd mewn Cyfansoddiadau Rhyddieithol a Barddonol (including a pryddest on the Resurrection ) 1853 ; Pregethau 1862 .


  • Hanes y Bedyddwyr yn Nghymru (1893–1907) , iv, 57-8;
  • D. Jones , Hanes y Bedyddwyr yn Neheubarth Cymru (1839) , 95;
  • E. Cefni Jones , Hanes Coleg y Bedyddwyr yng Ngogledd Cymru, 1862–1927 (1928) , 28-31;
  • Bangor Manuscript at University College North Wales Library, Bangor 6453 in U.C.N.W. library.


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

Published date: 1959