Born at 38, King Street, Carmarthen, 15 September 1777, the son of Thomas Jones, solicitor, of Job's Well and Capel Dewi, and the grandson of Thomas Jones, R.N. Educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, he was called to the Bar from Lincoln's Inn in 1803 and became the leading counsel on the South Wales circuit and recorder of Kidwelly. He unsuccessfully contested Carmarthen borough against the Cawdor interest in 1812 but, on the death of general Picton in 1815, became member for the Pembroke boroughs, a seat which he held until 1818. In that year he again unsuccessfully contested Carmarthen borough but, when his opponent in this election succeeded to the earldom of Cawdor in 1821, he won the seat against the Whig candidate, Sir William Paxton, and was re-elected in 1826 and 1830. He led the opposition in the Commons in 1830 to lord Cawdor's measure for the abolition of the Courts of Great Sessions. In the election in April 1831 he was injured in the rioting at Carmarthen, and no return was made, but he was again returned in August of the same year. On 22 October following, he fought a duel at Tavernspite with R. F. Greville, the unsuccessful candidate for Pembrokeshire. Contrary to general expectation he voted for the Reform Bill, but he was defeated by a Whig opponent in 1832 and, in 1835, he unsuccessfully contested the county seat. He was returned as county member in 1837 and retained his seat in 1841. He died 12 November 1842. He was unmarried. He was Welsh -speaking and was very popular, being known locally as ' Jones yr Halen ' because of his efforts to abolish the salt tax. He was described as 'a Tory in politics but in private life a Liberal.' There is a memorial to him in S. Peter's church, Carmarthen. The idea that the Carmarthen suburb, Johnstown, is named after him is erroneous.
Published date: 1959
Article Copyright: http://rightsstatements.org/page/InC-RUU/1.0/
The Dictionary of Welsh Biography is provided by The National Library of Wales and the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies. It is free to use and does not receive grant support. A donation would help us maintain and improve the site so that we can continue to acknowledge Welsh men and women who have made notable contributions to life in Wales and beyond.
Find out more on our sponsorship page.