Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Jones, Edward (1777-1837)

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JONES, EDWARD (1777–1837), founder of Welsh Wesleyan methodism, was the eldest son of Edward and Jane Jones of Bathafarn, near Ruthin, Denbighshire, where he was born 9 May 1777. He was educated at Ruthin grammar school, and when about seventeen years of age entered a cotton warehouse at Manchester. In 1796 he joined the Wesleyan congregation in Oldham Street, where the Rev. George Marsden was minister. Returning to Wales in December 1799, and resolving to introduce the Wesleyan organisation into his native country, he invited ministers from the Chester circuit to preach at Ruthin in a long room which he engaged for the purpose. The ministrations were at first conducted in English, but it was afterwards arranged to conduct them in Welsh, and Jones and one John Bryan, a native of Llanfyllin, who had removed to Chester, undertook the services on alternate Sundays. The movement spread rapidly; the Wesleyan conference for 1800 constituted Ruthin into a circuit, and decided on the establishment of a Welsh mission. After two years' probation as a local preacher Jones was ordained in 1802, and for the following fourteen years he was chiefly instrumental in promoting a religious revival in Wales and the establishment of Wesleyan churches. In 1816 he was removed to England, where he remained, stationed at different centres, till his death at Leek in Staffordshire, 26 Aug. 1837.

[Methodist Mag. for September 1838; Enwogion y Ffydd, iv. 274–83; Cofiant John Jones, Talsarn, by Dr. Owen Thomas, pp. 276–81.]

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