Born 1 March 1796 at Tan-y-castell, Dolwyddelan, Caernarfonshire, son of John and Elen Jones, and brother of David Jones of Treborth (1805 - 1868). He lost his father when he was 12 years of age. He worked, first of all, on the new main road between Capel Curig and lake Ogwen and then in a quarry at Trefriw. Under the influence of the Beddgelert revival (1819) he joined the congregation at Llangernyw and in 1821 he began to preach. He never had any formal schooling, but when he was at Trefriw he was to some extent taught by Evan Evans (Ieuan Glan Geirionydd). In 1822, at Bala, he was admitted to membership of the Merioneth Monthly Meeting. In 1823 he worked in the Tal-y-sarn and Llanllyfni quarry, and at the age of 27 married Fanny Edwards; in 1824 he left the quarry for his wife's shop. Before the end of his life, i.e. in 1850-2, he and others had bought the ‘Dorothea’ quarry in the Tal-y-sarn neighbourhood. In 1824 he was admitted a member of the North Wales C.M. Association, and in 1829 was ordained; thereafter, he was in the field for twenty-eight years, one of the most powerful preachers ever known in Wales. He is said to have introduced a new style of preaching — a style which laid emphasis on the practical rather than on the doctrinal side of religion. In the pulpit he radiated power — power of intellect, power in delivery, power of conviction and dedication. In spite of the fact that he had not had a day's schooling, he had acquired a great deal of knowledge; he was an excellent musician, and his melodious voice and handsome appearance were a great help to him in his ministry. He died 16 August 1857, and was buried at Llanllyfni, where his grave is marked by a monument.
See also the article on his great-grandmother Angharad James.
Published date: 1959
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