JONES family, of Llwyn-rhys, Cardiganshire

This family was closely associated with early Nonconformity in mid-Cardiganshire. Llwynrhys was a cruck-framed long-house built in the 15th century in the parish of Llanbadarn Odwyn ( Peate , Welsh House, 78-9). The house was licensed, as that of JOHN JONES, for Morgan Howell to preach there, 28 October 1672 (Richards, Wales under the Indulgence, 156); and about the same time an additional room was added at right angles to the house to serve, it is said, as the meeting house. Preaching continued there until 19 October 1735. The house became an irreparable ruin about 1918. John Jones (1640? - 1722) traced his descent, through his father, John ap Ieuan Lloyd, from the Clements, lords of Caron, and through his mother, Angharad, daughter of Ieuan ap Thomas, from Rhydderch of Glyn Aeron (Golden Grove book, Castell Gorfod transcript in N.L.W., xiv, L1671). His brother, JENKIN JONES, of Coed Mawr, Llanddewi-brefi (buried at Cardigan, 1705), was a prominent figure in that neighbourhood, and his distinctive signature is preserved on a large number of local documents for a period of over forty years. The DAVID JONES of Llanddewi-brefi who had a licence to preach in his own house in 1672 (Richards, loc. cit.) may have been another brother. John Jones is described as an elder-elect at Llanbadarn Odwyn in the letter which Henry Maurice wrote to Edward Terrill in 1675 (Broadmead Records, 512). In the Cilgwyn book (W. D. Jeremy's extracts) he is described as a ruling elder (‘presb. gub.’) between 1692 and 1698. In the ‘Happy Union’ review of 1690-2, he is linked with Morgan Howell (above) as two ‘ancient usefull men yt assist in ye work of the Gospell in Cardiganshire’ (Gordon, Freedom after Ejection, 146). He died aged 82 in 1722, and was buried in Llanbadarn Odwyn churchyard. His wife, Margaret, whom he married c. 1660, was probably a sister of David Edwards of Abermeurig (died 1716), one of the co-pastors of the Cilgwyn group of churches. She died 23 May 1700, in the fortieth year of her marriage, aged 69 (gravestone serving as a gatepost in Llanbadarn Odwyn churchyard). They are said to have had twelve children. Eight are named in the will of John Jones (2 March 1721): David the eldest; SAMUEL, to whom the lease of Llwyn-rhys passed after his father's death; Jenkin; EVAN; GWEN, wife of Morgan Pugh, probably a younger brother of Philip Pugh, senior (see article on his son); SARAH, a widow; Elizabeth; and ANNE, wife of Benjamin Edwards. JOHN JONES, junior, a surgeon, predeceased his father in 1714.

DAVID JONES (1660 - 1724?) was a translator and literary hack.

Family tradition makes him a captain in the first regiment of Dragoons soon after its formation, a friend of James II and of William III, with whom he had fought at the battle of the Boyne. He managed, however, to keep his name out of the public records. He is also credited with having secured, through his influence at Court, a special licence for his father to preach in his own house. This is an echo of the 1672 licence, granted when he could hardly have been more than 12 years old. According to the biographical dictionaries he was educated at a school conducted by his elder brother, Samuel, near Richmond, Middlesex. We know that he was his father's eldest son, and that he had a brother, possibly Evan, but certainly not Samuel, in London in 1714. Some of the pedigree books (e.g. the Golden Grove group), by making Samuel the husband of a [ Judith ] Weaver (1681? - 1719) [see Godwin, Judith ], betray confusion with Samuel Jones (1681? - 1719), schoolmaster at Gloucester and Tewkesbury. The only known contemporary reference to David Jones is by the bookseller John Dunton (Life and Errors, i, 181), who says that he was ‘designed for the ministry but began to teach school and from that employment turned Author and corrector for the press.’ According to the D.N.B. he went to France in 1675, and became secretary-interpreter to the marquis of Louvois. This statement is based on a misunderstanding of David Jones's title-page and preface to the Secret History of White Hall. What he says is that the author of the letters which he claimed to have arranged for publication, a kind of secret agent in the employment of an English nobleman, secured a position as English interpreter to Belou, clerk of dispatches to Louvois. Little reliance can be placed on the authenticity of this correspondence, and it is hardly sound to infer from it that David Jones was in France as early as 1675. His knowledge of French does suggest residence there. James Crossley (Notes and Queries, 3rd ser., x, 349) printed anonymous contemporary ‘Lines on two Turkish Historians’ (1702?) which imply that he was well known as a bookseller's hack. Dunton describes him as ‘honest and good-natured,’ and adds that it was he who got him introduced to Roger Coke, grandson of Sir Edward Coke. He was living in Clerkenwell in 1696. It is difficult to compile a full bibliography of his writings, as he sometimes wrote anonymously, but his literary activity between 1697 and 1720 can be summarized thus: (1) The Secret History of White-Hall from the Restoration to the abdication of … King James, 1697; (2) A continuation of the Secret History … to 1696 … together with the Tragical History of the Stuarts, 1697, and 1717 (note that D. J. distinguishes between the Secret History and the Tragical History, acknowledging the latter as his own work); (3) The Wars and Causes of them between England and France … with a treatise of the Salique Law by D.J. and revised by R.C., 1698, reprinted in Harl. Misc., i, 297, 1808 ed., where it is dated 1697. S.T.C. (Wing) gives A Theatre of War between England and France …, 1698 (? the same work); (4) A compleat History of Europe … from … 1676 to 1697 …, 1698 (2nd ed., 1699); (5) A Compleat History of the Turks from … 705 to 1701 … with a Life of Mahomet (ded. to John, lord Cutts), two vols., 1701; (6) A Compleat History of Europe …, 1702; (7) The Life of James II …, 1702; (8) The Life of William III …, 1703 (3rd ed., 1705); (9) A Compleat History of Europe … from 1600 …, eighteen vols., 1705-20 (vol. vi a reprint of no. 4 above; a dedicatory epistle by D. J. in vol. xvi); (10) a translation of P. Paul-Yves Pezron, Antiquité de la nation et de la langue des Celtes, 1703, under the title Antiquities of Nations (ded. to Charles, lord Halifax), 1706; (11) The History of the … House of Brunswick-Lunenburgh … 1715 (2nd ed., 1716). He also published in 1699 Letters written by Sir William Temple during his being Ambassador at the Hague, and a French edition published at the Hague in 1700. In his preface to the Tragical History he states that he was entrusted with the revisal of Roger Coke's Detection of the Court and State of England. Coke was dead when Jones wrote the preface in 1697, and the latter may have revised the second edition of 1696. He certainly edited the fourth edition in 1719, bringing the narrative down to the death of queen Anne. On the authority of James Crossley, Gwynionydd, ascribes to David Jones biographies of Sir Stephen Fox, Dr. South, lord Halifax, and Dr. Radcliff. His literary activities seem to have ceased in 1720, and it is unlikely that he lived long after his father's death.

JENKIN JONES (died 1725)

was ordained one of the co-pastors of the Cilgwyn church in 1709. He lived at Glyn near Llangeitho. Little is known of him. His uncle and co-pastor, David Edwards, left him books by his will, 1716, and in the following year he appears as a trustee of the marriage settlement of his cousin, Peter Edwards, and Diana, daughter of David Thomas, Llanrhian, Pembrokeshire. He died 1725 (will proved 20 July). He left his Greek and Latin books to his nephew Timothy Davis (see under Davis, David, ad fin.). By his wife Mary (died on the road near Cellan church when going to visit her daughter Mary in her new home at Blaenau, Cellan, 21 July 1740) he had five daughters — ELIZABETH, MAGDALEN, MARY, SARAH, and RACHEL. Magdalen (died 20 March 1755, aged 36) married Peter Davies of Caerllugest and Glyn (died 30 August 1766, aged 41, at Cefn-y-bedd, Brecknock, on his way home from the harvest in Herefordshire). It was he who gave land for building a chapel for the use of Daniel Rowland, who was m. to his sister Eleanor. Mary m., at Llangeitho, 19 June 1740, her cousin Timothy Davis (above), one of the pastors of the Cilgwyn flock, and Sarah m. (1747) David Jones, Derry Ormond, high sheriff of Cardiganshire, 1773.



Published date: 1959

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