JONES, RICHARD (1787 - 1855?), printer and publisher

Name: Richard Jones
Date of birth: 1787
Date of death: 1855?
Gender: Male
Occupation: printer and publisher
Area of activity: Printing and Publishing
Author: William Llewelyn Davies

Printer and publisher with presses at Dolgelley, Pontypool, Merthyr Tydfil, Machynlleth, and Llanfyllin. Born 26 May 1787 at Bryntirion, Bont-ddu, Meironnydd, the son of William Jones and Catherine (Evans).

Numerous details concerning the career of this important Welsh printer and publisher are given by Ifano Jones in his History of Printing and Printers in Wales, 1925; a summary must, therefore, suffice here. Richard Jones was apprenticed in the printing office of Thomas Williams, Dolgelley (for him also see Ifano Jones, op. cit.); he became his former master's partner in 1807, and, in 1808, when Williams retired, sole owner of the business. He. married Catherine Evans at Dolgelley on 7 May 1809.

Richard Jones was the first printer of Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd, a journal which began its career in January 1809; he printed it until 1811 and afterwards from 1819 until 1824. He printed the following journals also: (a) Cylchgrawn Cymru, (b) Y Dysgedydd Crefyddol, (c) Pethau Newydd a Hen, (d) Trysor i Blentyn, (e) Yr Athraw, (f) Trysorfa Rhyfeddodau, (g) Y Dirwestwr. The Dolgelley office was also capable of undertaking the printing of larger works, such as a reissue of John Walters ' English-Welsh Dictionary, 1815 the complete works of Josephus in Welsh, 1819, a reprint of bishop William Morgan's Welsh Bible of 1588, 1821, and seventeen parts of the Welsh translation of Matthew Henry's Commentary. The printer was in some trouble in 1824 over the paper tax; he sold his press to the Wesleyan Methodists, but he had another press at work in 1825. In 1827 he established a press at Pontypool, Monmouth, but kept the Dolgelley press going also; in 1828 he began to print at Merthyr Tydfil, at first with John Jenkins (1779 - 1853) and Thomas Williams (1778 - 1835), as partners, but shortly afterwards (1828) the press was his own; see Thomas Williams (1778 - 1835) Ifano Jones, op. cit., for the titles of some of the works printed at Pontypool and Merthyr Tydfil. He severed the connection with Merthyr Tydfil in 1829. In the meantime, as already stated, the Dolgelley press continued to function, being named ' Gomerian Press,' ' Gomer-Wasg,' or ' Y Wasg Omeraidd.' The printer was a Wesleyan local preacher; he also acted as an auctioneer.

In 1842 Richard Jones left the ' Gomerian Press ' in charge of members of his family and established another press at Machynlleth - in charge of his son, ISAAC FRANCIS JONES, who sold it, in 1849, to Adam Evans, emigrated to the U.S.A., and died there shortly afterwards, viz. on 3 November 1850. The year in which the Machynlleth press was sold was also the year in which Richard Jones settled another son, also RICHARD JONES, as a printer in Llanfyllin, Montgomeryshire; the son sold the press ten years later. Richard Jones (senior) died c. 1855, but the Dolgelley business was continued by his widow until 1858.

Richard Jones brought up four sons as printers - Isaac Francis, Richard, JABEZ, and ABRAHAM. His brother, LEWIS EVAN JONES (died 1860), also learned the art of printing at Dolgelley; he started to work on his own account at Caernarvon in 1814.


Published date: 1959

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