JONES, EVAN (Ieuan Gwynedd; 1820 - 1852), Independent minister, and journalist

Name: Evan Jones
Pseudonym: Ieuan Gwynedd
Date of birth: 1820
Date of death: 1852
Spouse: Rachel Jones (née Lewis)
Spouse: Catherine Jones (née Sankey)
Parent: Catherine Jones
Parent: Evan Jones
Gender: Male
Occupation: Independent minister, and journalist
Area of activity: Literature and Writing; Religion
Author: Frank Price Jones

Born at Bryn Tynoriad near Dolgelley, 5 September 1820, one of the six children of Evan and Catherine Jones. In 1824 the family moved to Ty Croes, Bontnewydd, Dolgelley. He suffered from ill-health all his life and, because of this, his attendance at various schools at Brithdir, Rhyd-y-main, Llanfachreth, and Dolgelley between 1826 and 1836 was extremely erratic. In 1836 he was given an appointment by L. Williams, the Dolgelley banker, but was soon found inefficient. Between 1836 and 1839 he tried to open schools at Brithdir, Rhyd-y-main, Llanwddyn, and Pen-y-bont. He failed in every attempt because the public would not support him. He began to preach in Sardis chapel, Llanwddyn, 18 March 1838. In May 1839 he was appointed an assistant master at the Dr. Daniel Williams school at Bangor. That lasted until October the same year when he decided to become a student at the school kept by the Rev. J. Jones at Marton, Salop. When his teacher died in November 1840, Ieuan Gwynedd took his place as minister of the local church, meanwhile continuing his studies under the Rev. T. Jones of Minsterley. In September 1841 he was admitted to Brecon College where he remained for four years. In July 1845, when his course was finished, he was ordained minister of Saron Independent chapel, Tredegar. He married Catherine, third daughter of John Sankey of Rorrington Hall, Marton, at Marton on 11 November 1845. The only child of the marriage died in infancy, and the mother also died, 25 April 1847.

Towards the end of 1847 he gave up his ministry at Tredegar owing to ill-health and, about the same time was compelled to refuse the secretaryship of the National Temperance Association for the same reason. In March 1848 he went to Cardiff to edit The Principality but had to resign in September because he and the publisher had a difference of opinion on the question of accepting Government grants for schools. The following month he was appointed to the staff of The Standard of Freedom (publisher John Cassel), London. There he was an editorial assistant on The Pathway, a young people's magazine, and edited Almanac y Cymru, 1849. In December 1848 he married Rachel, fifth daughter of the Rev. Walter Lewis of Tredwstan. In August 1849 he had to give up his post and return to Cardiff because of ill-health. There he undertook the editorship of Y Gymraes, under the patronage of lady Llanover, and the Adolygydd, a quarterly. Both efforts were financial failures, and within two years were taken over by D. Rees (1801 - 1869) of Llanelly who was prepared to let Ieuan Gwynedd continue as joint editor with him. Ieuan, however, died 23 February 1852, and was buried at Groes-wen.

He wrote verse, and on several occasions competed at the eisteddfodau, but by now his poetry is little esteemed. He joined the temperance movement in 1836, and thereafter continued to write articles and letters to various newspapers and periodicals, Welsh and English, in support of that movement. The outstanding work of his life was his defence of Welsh nonconformity against the attacks of certain clergymen, and, more particularly, against the attacks of the Education Commissioners of 1847. His articles on this vexed question are to be found in the Shrewsbury Chronicle, Yr Amserau, The Nonconformist, John Bull, and the Monmouthshire Merlin; some of them were republished in pamphlet form. His arguments, always strongly presented, were based on a careful preliminary study of the facts; see Facts, Figures, and Statements in Illustration of the Dissent and Morality of Wales: an Appeal to the English People by Evan Jones (London, 1849), and also A Vindication of the Educational and Moral Condition of Wales in reply to William Williams, Esq., Late M.P. for Coventry by Evan Jones of Tredegar (Llandovery, 1848).


Published date: 1959

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