Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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JONES , JAMES RHYS (KILSBY) , ( 1813 - 1889 ), Congregational minister .

Born 4 Feb. 1813 at Pen-lan , Llandovery , son of the Rev. Rhys Jones , Ffaldybrenin . At the age of 15 he went to Neuadd-lwyd (near Aberayron) Academy , where he remained for two or three years. After a short period in a college at Blackburn he kept school at Ffaldybrenin , 1833-4 . He then went to Carmarthen Academy , 1835-8 . Afterwards he ministered at Machynlleth (for about six months), Frampton-on-Severn , 1835-9 , Kilsby, Northants. , 1840-9 , Birmingham , 1850 , Bolton , 1851-5 , Rhayader , 1857-60 , Tonbridge Chapel ( London ), 1861-6 , Rhayader (a second time), 1867 , Cae-bach ( Llandrindod ), 1868-87 , Christ Church , Llandrindod , 1878-89 . He d. 4 Feb. 1889 .

Kilsby Jones was regarded as one of the most notable men of his period — ‘famous’ in the eyes of his admirers but ‘odd’ in those of his critics. He was different from other people in his mode of life, his dress, his manner of expressing himself; his personality may also be described as most original. Rules, regulations, accepted modes, and customs — he was above all such things. In his personality bravery and gentleness were combined. He hated all deceit and hypocrisy. He wrote much to weekly and denominational journals ; he also brought out ( 1867 ) an edition of the works of William Williams of Pantycelyn .


  • J. Vyrnwy Morgan , Kilsby Jones (Wrexham, 1897) ;
  • Y Geninen , July 1889 ;
  • NLW MS 10 (328);
  • Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru , ii, 524, in, 557.


Reverend John Dyfnallt Owen, M.A., (1873-1956), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959