Born at Ynys-domlyd, Cwmaman, Carmarthenshire, he worked as a tailor in Monmouthshire. Converted by Howel Harris, he was throughout his life a Methodist in temperament, though he joined the Baptists at Pen-y-garn, where he began to preach and was in 1773 ordained as assistant to Miles Harry — he is indeed generally referred to as ‘David Jones of Pontypool.’ He had published in 1758 Pererindod Ysprydol, o'r Aipht i Ganaan, and in 1777 he published an elegy on Miles Harry. He was twice married; his second wife was Hannah Jones, a widow, who had a farm and a malt-house at Dol-goch, Newcastle Emlyn; and in 1785 or 1786 he went to live there. He now joined Graig church at Newcastle[emlyn], becoming co-pastor. His new church suited him well, for it was a quasi- Methodist, revivalistic, church which had hived off in 1775 from the older and ‘drier’ church at Pant Teg. And his closest friends in the neighbourhood were Methodists — David Morris (1744 - 1791) and Peter Williams (1723 - 1796). In September 1786, Jones conceived the idea of a Welsh edition of the ‘pocket Bible’ (with notes) of John Canne (died 1667?), which in its English form had been widely sold by Howel Harris and Miles Harry. He induced Peter Williams to join him — this was the direct cause of Williams's expulsion by the Methodists (1791), but the Baptist Association in 1787 and in 1788 officially commended the book. Publication began in 1788, and was completed in 1790; Jones himself acted as travelling salesman. He died 24 January 1792, and was buried at Troed-yr-aur; elegies upon him were written by Morgan John Rhys and others. His widow became very poor (owing to losses in her own business rather than to losses on the ‘little Bible’), and is said to have died a pauper at some time after 1839.
Published date: 1959
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