JONES, ARTHUR (1776 - 1860), Independent minister

Name: Arthur Jones
Date of birth: 1776
Date of death: 1860
Child: Eleazer Jones
Gender: Male
Occupation: Independent minister
Area of activity: Religion
Author: Richard Griffith Owen

Born 12 February 1776 at Llanrwst, his mother being descended from bishop William Morgan's family. After living for some time in Liverpool he became a schoolmaster at Capel Garmon where he began to preach. He married as his first wife a daughter of Twm o'r Nant and they lived for a time at Denbigh. He had hitherto been a Calvinistic Methodist, but he now joined the Independents and received a call to Ebenezer chapel, Bangor, where he was ordained, January 1810. In 1815 he moved to London to take charge of the churches at Woolwich and Deptford, but in 1823 returned to Bangor where he remained until 1854 when he retired and went to live at Chester. He died February 1860 and was buried in Bethlehem burial-ground, Tal-y-bont, near Bangor.

He was a D.D. of Giessen University. From 1823 to 1854 he kept one of the Dr. Williams charity-schools which, on the death of Benjamin Jones (1756 - 1823), had been transferred from Pwllheli to Bangor. He published Pynciau Athrawiaethol, 1838, and Rhetoric, neu Areithyddiaeth Ysgrythyrol, 1810. Early in his ministry he took a prominent part in the theological controversies of the day, and was one of the first in Wales to preach the ideas of Edward Williams of Rotherham (1750 - 1813). He was regarded as a moderate Calvinist but was called to account by his fellow ministers for some of his tenets.

It was the problem of church government which brought him into the greatest prominence - that great controversy known as the ' controversy of the county Associations,' a controversy rooted in the development of Independency in Wales. The charge was brought against him that in his capacity as minister he had assumed dictatorial powers, and that he was a law to himself in the matter of admitting new church-members and aspirants to the pulpit. He insisted on allowing a doubtful character like Robert Parry (Robin Ddu Eryri) to preach, which caused the conference of Caernarvonshire churches held at Conway in 1838 (under the presidency of Caledfryn) to excommunicate him and his church and to set up another church, Bethel, at Bangor. The controversy caused disgust and did much harm to Independency in the county; but, in spite of Caledfryn's opposition, Arthur Jones refused to budge.


Published date: 1959

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