JONES, THOMAS (1810 - 1849), the first Calvinistic Methodist missionary on the Khasia Hills (Assam);

Name: Thomas Jones
Date of birth: 1810
Date of death: 1849
Parent: Mary Jones
Parent: Edward Jones
Gender: Male
Occupation: Calvinistic Methodist missionary
Area of activity: Religion; Travel and Exploration
Author: Robert Thomas Jenkins

Born 24 January 1810 to Edward and Mary Jones, Tan-y-ffridd, Llangynyw, Montgomeryshire. Originally a wheelwright, he became miller at Llifior, Berriw. About 1835 he began preaching; he was one of the first of Lewis Edwards's students at Bala (1837).

Desiring to become a missionary, he offered himself to the London Missionary Society, which however refused to send him to India, thinking that his health was not reliable. On the other hand, he in his turn refused to go to South Africa. This disagreement was the direct cause of the founding of the C.M. mission in Khasia (1840); Jones was ordained, underwent a short medical training at Glasgow, sailed for India in November, and reached Calcutta in April 1841; in the middle of that year he settled at Cherrapunjee. He learned the Khasi tongue, was the first (as far as is known) to reduce it to writing, translated S. Matthew's Gospel and printed some catechisms.

His wife died in 1845, and he married again without the approval of the C.M. Missions Committee; further, he could not get on with the missionaries who had been sent out in the meantime. Things went on from bad to worse, and in 1847 he resigned and took to farming; but health and success rapidly forsook him.

He died at Calcutta, 16 September 1849, and was buried in the Scottish burial ground there.


Published date: 1959

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