Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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JONES , OWEN ( 1825 - 1900 ), cleric and musician ;

b. in 1825 at Pontruffydd , Bodfari, Denbs. , but his parents, Joseph (d. 1865 ) and Sarah Jones , removed in his infancy to Rhyd Orddwy , Rhyl . In 1849 he went to S. Bees , and in 1851 was ordained and licensed to Altrincham , whence, in 1853 , he went to Ysgeifiog as curate to Rowland Williams the elder (q.v.) . Afterwards ( 1855-7 ) he was perpetual curate of Capel Garmon , but in 1857 became vicar of Pentrefoelas , where he remained till (in 1892 ) he was made vicar of Bodelwyddan . In 1895 he was given the prebend of Faenol , i.e. the precentorship of S. Asaph . Despite the fact that he published anthems , he held that the ‘cathedral’ type of music was unsuited to the Welsh temperament, and preferred to lay stress on congregational singing. During his stay at Pentrefoelas , he had published ( Wrexham , n.d., one in 1867 ) two collections of Christmas carols of his own composition — one of the carols is included in the Oxford Book of Carols . He had also collaborated with Shadrach Pryce (q.v. under Pryce , John ) in Hymnau Hen a Diweddar ( 1869 — twelve edns. by 1891 ), which included six hymn-tunes by Jones , the best known being ‘ Beuno .’ He was a justice of the peace (Denbs.) ; d. 13/14 Sept. 1900 , and was buried at Pentrefoelas ; his wife and three of his six children had predeceased him.

Sources:

  • Crockford's Clerical Directory ;
  • D. R. Thomas , A History of the Diocese of St. Asaph , i, 336;
  • Baner ac Amserau Cymru , 19 Sept. 1900 ;
  • Y Geninen , March 1901 , 49-51;
  • Williams , Awduron Sir Ddinbych a'u gweithiau , 1937 , 89;
  • R. D. Griffith , Hanes canu cynulleidfaol Cymru , Cardiff, 1948 , 97, 176.

Author:

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

Published date: 1959