Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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JONES , JOHN EDWARD ( Iorwerth Twrog ; 1886 - 1934 ), schoolmaster, poet, and penillion -singer .

He was b. in the old School House , Maentwrog, Mer. , 12 May 1886 , the son of John Ellis and Kate Jones . His father was a capable musician who, for fifty years, had been organist at Maentwrog church . ‘ J.E. ,’ as he was known throughout Wales , was educated at Maentwrog school where he became a pupil teacher . In 1905 he moved to Corris , and thence to Aber-carn, Mon. He went for training at the Normal College , Bristol , after which he worked as a schoolmaster at Caernarvon , Llantwit Fardre (Glam.) , Llanwddyn , Arddleen , and Oakley Park , Llanidloes, Mont. He joined the army in the 1914-19 war, and on demobilisation went to Bont , Llanbryn-mair . In due course, he was transferred to Pennal, Mer. , and went to live at Tŷ Coch , Aberdovey , where he spent the last six years of his life. He was an admirable teacher , a good writer , and a poet of distinction. He won the chair at the Dinas Mawddwy eisteddfod , Good Friday 1934 , and simultaneously the Llanuwchlyn and Pont-rhyd-y-groes chairs. He became famous for his ability as a singer of penillion , and was versed in all the subtleties of that distinctive form of singing . He had good taste, a good voice, and clear enunciation, and his easy, natural, and unforced manner won over his audience, heart and soul, and gave an added grace to the art. He won many prizes in the national eisteddfod , and officiated as one of its adjudicators . In 1922 , he wrote for Y Winllan a series of twelve excellent lessons on penillion -singing. These were subsequently published in book form by the Merionethshire Union of Teachers under the title Swn y Tannau . The book included settings by J. E. Jones , together with notes by J. Breese Davies (q.v.) and a short biography by the Rev. Evan Roberts . He d. in Towyn (Mer.) hospital 13 Aug. 1934 , and was buried in Maentwrog churchyard.


  • Meirionnydd Teachers' Services, no.4(1936) ;
  • Y Cerddor , Sept. and Oct. 1934 .


Robert David Griffith, M.A., (1877-1958), Old Colwyn

Published date: 1959