JONES, DAVID (1708? - 1785), ‘of Trefriw’, poet, collector of manuscripts, publisher, and printer

Name: David Jones
Date of birth: 1708?
Date of death: 1785
Spouse: Gwen ferch Richard ap Rhys
Child: Ismael Davies
Parent: Jane ferch Elizabeth
Parent: Sion ap Dafydd
Gender: Male
Occupation: poet, collector of manuscripts, publisher, and printer
Place: Trefriw
Area of activity: History and Culture; Literature and Writing; Poetry; Printing and Publishing
Author: Griffith Milwyn Griffiths

Little is known about his birth and early years. His father's name is given as Siôn ap Dafydd in N.L.W. MSS. 476 and 3107, and his mother's as Jane ferch Elizabeth Rowland in B.M. Add. MS. 14888, and Jane ferch Dafydd ap Sion in N.L.W. MS. 3107. He m. Gwen ferch Richard ap Rhys (N.L.W. MS. 3107), but the date of his marriage is uncertain; Trefriw parish records note a marriage between a David Jones and Gwenna Prichard, 27 January 1734/5.

David Jones wrote a considerable amount of verse, but did not attain great eminence as a poet. He is best known in this respect as editor of an anthology of poems entitled Blodeu Gerdd Cymry, sef Casgliad o Caniadau Cymreig gan amryw Awdwyr o'r oes ddiwaethaf, 1759. He also edited such works as Histori Nicodemus, 1745, an old Welsh translation of the ‘Gospel of Nicodemus,’ Egluryn Rhyfedd, 1750, and Cydymaith Diddan, 1766, the last two being miscellaneous collections of prose and verse. He was also extremely active as a collector of old Welsh manuscripts, and the fruits of his labour can be found amongst the manuscript collections of the B.M. and the N.L.W. Later in life he acquired a printing press, and set up as a printer at Trefriw. The first output of this press appeared in 1776, the first major work being Histori yr Iesu Sanctaidd in 1776, a Welsh translation of the ‘History of the Holy Jesus,’ by William Smith. He continued to print until his death on 20 Oct. 1785. His uncle, John Davies (Siôn Dafydd Las, died 1694), is separately noticed.

Author

Published date: 1959

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