Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Jones, John (1796-1857)

JONES, JOHN (Talsarn) (1796–1857), called ‘the people's preacher,’ the eldest of nine children of a small farmer, was born at Tanycastell, Dolyddelen, Carnarvonshire, on 1 March 1796. His father's pedigree is traced to Hedd Molwynog, head of one of the fifteen tribes of Wales, and that of his mother to Einion Efell, lord of Cynllaeth. His father died in John's boyhood. The direction of the small farm thereupon fell upon him, but he afterwards worked as a quarryman. He attracted the notice of the Rev. Evan Evans (Glan Geirionydd, 1795–1856), who advised him and lent him books. He began to preach about 1820, but was not ordained till 1829. He made rapid progress as a preacher, and was for many years looked upon as one of the greatest of Welsh preachers. He was also a composer, forty tunes of his being published in a ‘Collection of Congregational Tunes, Psalms, and Hymns,’ bearing the name Jeduthrum (ed. Morris Davies, Bangor). He died on Sunday, 17 Aug. 1857, aged 61, and was buried at Llanllyfni. A volume containing fifty-three of his sermons with a portrait (‘Pregethau y Parch. John Jones’) was published posthumously at Denbigh. A requiem was composed by the Rev. E. Stephen.

[Cofiant y Parch. John Jones, Talsarn (Wrexham), a memoir by the Rev. Owen Thomas, D.D., of Liverpool; Bywgraffiaeth Cerddorion Cymreig, 1890; Foulkes's Geirlyfr Bywgraffiadol.]

R. J. J.