b. 31 Mar. 1773, the eldest of the thirteen children of Thomas and Lowri Jones, Dolgellau, Mer. Thomas Jones was a businessman and financier, founder of the first bank in Dolgellau, and a relative of David Richards, ‘Dafydd Ionawr’. John Jones was educated in Dolgellau, Ruthin Grammar School and Jesus College, Oxford where he graduated B.A. in 1796 (M.A. in 1800). He was curate in Tremeirchion, 1797-99, and then in Llanyblodwel near Oswestry. While he was there he met Walter Davies, ‘Gwallter Mechain’, John Jenkins, ‘Ifor Ceri’ and others of the circle of ‘literary parsons’ and thereafter he became one of the circle. From Llanyblodwel he went to Wrexham as a curate but in 1811 he was ordained vicar of Llansilin parish. In 1819 he was appointed secretary of the Cambrian Society of the province of Powys but because of his move to the vicarage of Rhuddlan in 1820, he declined the post. But from then on he was prominent as a patron and adjudicator in the provincial eisteddfodau. In 1819 he m. Margaret Morris, heiress of Plas and Llanrhaeadr-yng-Nghinmeirch estate, Denbs. From Rhuddlan he moved to Llandderfel rectory in 1828 and remained there until 1840 when he moved once more to Llanaber parish, Mer. He retired in 1843 and went to live in Borthwnog near Pemaenpool where he spent the rest of his life. He died 6 Apr. 1853 and was buried in Llanelltud churchyard.
He was a wealthy and generous person and was the Maecenas of the literary clergy. He also gave financial support and encouragement to Evan Evans, ‘Ieuan Glan Geirionydd’ and John Blackwell, ‘Alun’ at the commencement of their careers. He was a scholar and in 1834 he published the second edition of British Antiquities Revived by Robert Vaughan, Hengwrt (1662). Occasional references in his letters reveal that he was also quite critical of the scholarship of John Williams, ‘Ab Ithel’ affected by its Iolo mania and druidism. He paid for the monument to ‘Dafydd Ionawr’ in Dolgellau old churchyard and the 1851 edition of Gwaith Dafydd Ionawr was dedicated to him.
Published date: 2001
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