JONES, MAURICE (1863 - 1957), priest and college principal

Name: Maurice Jones
Date of birth: 1863
Date of death: 1957
Spouse: Jennie Bell Jones (née Smith)
Spouse: Emily Jones (née Longmore)
Parent: Catherine Jones
Parent: William Jones
Gender: Male
Occupation: priest and college principal
Area of activity: Education; Eisteddfod; Religion
Author: Mary Gwendoline Ellis

Born 21 June 1863, at Trawsfynydd, Merionethshire, 2nd son of William Jones, shoemaker, and his wife Catherine. He was educated at the local school and with scholarships proceeded to Friars School, Bangor, Christ College, Brecon, where Dr. D. Lewis Lloyd was headmaster, and Jesus College, Oxford, where he graduated with 1st-class hons. in divinity, 1886. He gained the degrees of M.A. and B.D. in 1907, and D.D. in 1914. He was ordained deacon in 1886 and priested in 1887. He was curate of Caernarfon, 1886-88; assistant organising secretary of the Additional Curates Soc., 1888-89; curate of Welshpool, 1889-90. From 1890 to 1916 he served as chaplain to the Forces. During the South African war he served on the staff of Lord Roberts and Lord Kitchener. On leaving the army he accepted the benefice of Rotherfield Peppard, the gift of Jesus College, Oxford, and remained there till 1923, when he was appointed Principal of St. David's College, Lampeter. There were only 70 students there when he arrived and he worked steadfastly to increase their number. When he left in 1938 there were more than 200 students. They were mostly ordinands and the majority of them served the Church in Wales. He was made canon of St. David's in 1923, and was public examiner at Oxford 1921-22, and examiner for the B.D. degree of the University of Wales, 1922. As principal of St. David's College, Lampeter, he was a Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford. He was a member of the departmental committee which published the report Welsh in education and life in 1927. He was elected president of the Welsh National Council of the League of Nations Union, 1928.

He was a member of the Gorsedd of Bards with the bardic name of Meurig Prysor, and was treasurer of the Gorsedd from 1925 to 1938 when he was elected Gorsedd Bard. He was attendant druid from 1947 to 1957, and he narrowly missed election to the office of archdruid in 1955. In 1955 he was made a Fellow of the Eisteddfod. He was a member of the National Council of Music, and chairman of Cymdeithas Caredigion Cerdd. He was a vice-president of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion.

After he had completed his foreign service in 1908 he began to study the New Testament in depth and published his first volume, St. Paul the orator, in 1910. This was followed by The New Testament in the Twentieth Century, 1914; The Epistle to the Philippians, 1918; The Four Gospels, 1921; The Epistle of St. Paul to the Colossians, 1923. He contributed to many periodicals in Welsh and English. He was a renowned preacher. A short, slight man with red hair, he remained active and young in spirit to the end of his life. In 1940 and again in 1944 he was bombed out of his home in London. Failing to find a house, he accepted the living of Bradden, Northants, when he was 82 years of age.

He married (1), in 1894, Emily, daughter of Col. C.M. Longmore, of Gosport; (2), in 1911, Jennie Bell, daughter of Sidney Smith, of Gosport. They had 3 sons and 2 daughter. He died 7 December 1957 at his home, 27 Gravel Hill, Addington, Surrey, and was buried in the churchyard there.


Published date: 2001

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