JONES, JOHN (EMLYN) (Ioan Emlyn; 1818 - 1873), Baptist minister, poet, and man of letters

Name: John (Emlyn) Jones
Pseudonym: Ioan Emlyn
Date of birth: 1818
Date of death: 1873
Gender: Male
Occupation: Baptist minister, poet, and man of letters
Area of activity: Eisteddfod; Literature and Writing; Poetry; Religion; Scholarship and Languages
Author: Robert Thomas Jenkins

Born at Newcastle Emlyn. He was apprenticed to a watchmaker at Crickhowell (a town of which he sketched the history in Golud yr Oes, 1863), and while there was one of the ' Cymreigyddion ' of Abergavenny (1838) and of Llangynidr. From Crickhowell he moved to Cardiff, to the staff of The Principality - there he translated parts of Gill's Biblical commentaries.

It is not known when he began preaching - indeed, precise dates of his career are in general hard to come by; but he ministered successively at Pontypridd, Ebbw Vale, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, and Llandudno, returning finally to Ebbw Vale, where he died in January 1873, aged 55. His literary activity was considerable: he was editor of Y Bedyddiwr and of Seren Cymru at different times, brought out an enlarged edition of Hanes Prydain Fawr (by Titus Lewis), published Tiriad y Ffrancodym Mhencaer in 1856 and Gramadeg Cerddorol in 1860, not to speak of other books. He undertook the resumption of Y Parthsyllydd, a large-scale treatise on geography which had been begun by John Jenkins of Hengoed and Thomas Williams (Gwilym Morgannwg), but failed to complete it (it was completed in 1875 by J. Spinther James).

Two bardic chairs fell to him - at Denbigh National Eisteddfod (1860) and at a regional eisteddfod in Anglesey (1871) - and he published in 1871 a collection of awdlau submitted unsuccessfully at other eisteddfodau. But his name lives today solely on account of his poem ' Bedd y Dyn Tylawd ' ('the Poor Man's Grave'). He was given the honorary degree of LL.D. by Glasgow University in 1863.


Published date: 1959

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