Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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JONES , NATHANIEL (CYNHAFAL) , ( 1832 - 1905 ), Calvinistic Methodist minister, and poet ;

b. in the district of Gellifor , Llangynhafal, Denbs. , 19 April 1832 . At an early age he moved to Mold , to work as a tailor in the shop of Angel Jones , where Daniel Owen (q.v.) was his fellow-worker for a short time. In 1855 he moved to Holywell as travelling salesman in the employment of P. M. Evans (q.v.) , publisher . He began to preach in 1859 , and for a short time attended a private school at Holywell , before proceeding to Bala C.M. College , where he remained for four years. In 1864 he accepted a call from the church at Adwy'r Clawdd , and, in 1865 , he took charge of the C.M. Church at Penrhyndeudraeth . He moved to Llanidloes in 1875 and was there for eighteen years. He was moderator of the North Wales C.M. Association in 1892 , and edited Y Drysorfa from 1893 to 1897 . In 1892 , he lived at Rhyl without pastoral charge, but from 1895 to 1902 he held the pastorate of Engedi church , Colwyn Bay . After retiring, he lived at Abergele , and at Blaenau Ffestiniog , where he d. 14 Dec. 1905 ; he was buried at Abergele . As a poet he was often successful at eisteddfodau, and more than once he was placed second in the chief competitions at the national eisteddfod. Cynhafal and Robert Davies ( Gwyneddon , q.v.) edited Charles o'r Bala , 1859 , a Welsh fortnightly magazine for the use of Sunday schools . He published several volumes of his poems — Fy Awenydd , 1859 , Elias y Thesbiad , 1869 , Y Messiah , 1895 , Y Bibl , 1895 , Charles o'r Bala , 1898 , and he and Richard Mills wrote a Welsh biography, Buchdraeth y Parch. John Mills , 1881 . His chief literary accomplishment was the editing of the works of William Williams of Pantycelyn , Gweithiau Williams, Pantycelyn 2 vols., 1887-91 , to which he contributed a life of the author , with critical essays and explanatory notes on all the separate works.


  • Y Drysorfa , Jan. 1898, Feb. 1906 ;
  • Y Geninen (Gŵyl Dewi), 1906


Idwal Lewis, Aberystwyth

Corrections and additions:

Published date: 1959