Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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JONES , RICHARD ( 1848 - 1915 ), itinerant bookseller ;

b. 24 August 1848 at Ty'n-y-fron , Clipiau , Aberangell, Mer. , the son of Richard Jones , farmer , and his wife Lowri (née Hughes ) . His mother hailed from Cwmtirmynach , Bala . He originally intended to follow his elder brother, Robert , into the ministry, but because of his poor health and a lack of education he had to abandon this path. He was persuaded by friends to become an itinerant bookseller . He took to this suggestion and in due course became amongst the most well-known, and possibly the last, itinerant bookseller in north Wales . A bachelor, he travelled from his lodgings in Machynlleth , and later in Cemaes , to parts of Montgomeryshire and southern Merioneth . In the course of his career he walked hundreds of miles carrying his bag full of books on his back. He was always to be seen at his stall in Dinas Mawddwy fairs. He had business dealings with Thomas Gee and Hughes and Son , Wrexham . Richard Jones always insisted on persons reading good literature, and he invariably read all the books himself first before recommending them to his customers. He distributed the popular Welsh periodicals of the day e.g. Trysorfa'r Plant , Cymru , Cymru'r Plant , biographies, theological books, etc. An appeal for a Subscription to acknowledge his service was launched in 1914 . He was an exceptionally religious-minded person. He d. 18 November 1915 and was buried in Cemaes, Monts.


  • Information from his niece, the late Mrs. Annie Lloyd, Southerndown (formerly of Aberfan);
  • Mus. of Welsh Life MSS 1755/36-37;
  • Cymru (O.M.E.) , 50 (1916) , 209-10, 62 (1922) , 97-99;
  • Journal of the Merioneth Historical and Record Society , viii (1980 ), 447-49.


Arwyn Lloyd Hughes, Llandaf

Published date: 2001