Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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JONES , JOHN ISLAN ( 1874 - 1968 ), minister (U) and author ;

b. 17 Feb. 1874 , son of Evan and Mary Jones , Tynewydd (later of Cornant and Melin Llys-faen ), Cribyn, Cards. He went to schools in Cribyn and Llanwnnen (under David Thomas , ‘ Dewi Hefin ’, DWB , 942) until he was about ten years old. After being a farm servant and a stonemason with his father he attended the school of David Evans , minister (U) at Cribyn , ( 1896-98 ). He won a scholarship to Jesus College , Oxford , where he graduated in 1901 before proceeding to Manchester College , Oxford to prepare for the ministry. He won a Hibbert Scholarship which enabled him to go to the Universities of Marburg and Jena in Germany in 1904 , but ill health caused him to return home before completing a Ph.D. degree course; he gained an M.A. degree in 1909 . He spent the prime of his life as a minister (U) in England : Accrington ( 1906-09 ), Bolton ( 1909-17 ) and Hindley ( 1917-39 ), before retiring to his native district. He was at an advanced age when he was invited to be principal of Carmarthen Presbyterian College in 1945 ; he remained there for 3 yrs., ministering to Parcyfelfed (U) church at the same time. He was a man of strong convictions, proficient in the cynganeddion and a choirmaster . He published A brief history of the Unitarian Church, Accrington ( 1909 ), Egwyddorion yr Undodiaid ( 1948 ), and his reminiscences, Yr hen amser gynt ( 1958 ), which won him a prize offered by Ceredigion Education Committee . There are articles written by him in the Ymofynydd ( 1905-59 ), Cymru , and Trans. Unitarian Historical Society (see Glyn Lewis Jones , A Bibliography of Cardiganshire, 1600-1964 ). He d. a bachelor, 28 May 1968 .


  • Yr Ymofynnydd , 1901 , 189; 1904 , 192; 1906 , 165; 1968 , 81-7.


Dr Mary Auronwy James, Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001