Jones, David (1735-1810) (DNB00)

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JONES, DAVID (1735–1810), Welsh revivalist, born in 1735 at Abergeiliog in the parish of Llanllwni, Carmarthenshire, was educated at Carmarthen. He was ordained in 1758, and was curate, first of Llanafan Fawr, Brecknockshire, and then of Tydweiliog, Carnarvonshire, removing in 1760 to the curacy of Trefethin and Caldicott, Monmouthshire, where he first manifested his religious fervour. He subsequently held a curacy near Bristol and another in Wiltshire, where he made the acquaintance of Selina Hastings, countess of Huntingdon [q. v.], through whose recommendation he was, in 1768, made vicar of Llangan, Glamorganshire. In 1794 he removed to Maenornawan in Pembrokeshire, where he remained till his death in August 1810.

Soon after he was settled at Llangan, Jones threw in his lot with the evangelical party in South Wales, of which Daniel Rowlands of Llangeitho might be said to be the leader, and became a regular attendant at the Welsh Methodist ‘Association,’ which had been founded with Whitefield's aid in 1742. He frequently visited Lady Huntingdon's college at Trevecca, and was a constant preacher at her chapels, particularly at that in Spa Fields, where on her death in 1791 he preached a funeral sermon (London, 1791, 8vo). Many complaints were made against him to Dr. Barrington and Dr. Watson, successive bishops of Llandaff, for his irregularity in preaching, both outside the limits of his own parish and in unconsecrated places; but he was not deprived of his living, like Rowlands and other clergymen, even though he became the virtual leader of the movement after Rowlands's death in 1790. He was strongly opposed to the separation of the methodists from the church of England, and succeeded in defeating a proposal to that effect at a meeting of the ‘Association’ over which he presided at Llangeitho in 1809, but after his death during the following year the separation was effected.

Jones occupied a unique position among the Welsh preachers of his day; his amiable and cheerful countenance, his sweet and musical voice soothed hearers who had often been driven nearly frantic by the violent oratory of other revivalists. Only two of his sermons were published—‘The Funeral Sermon of the Countess of Huntingdon’ (vide supra) and ‘A Sermon preached at the Second Annual Meeting of the London Missionary Society’ in May 1796. The latter was included in the first volume of ‘Missionary Sermons’ (London, 1796, 8vo), published by the London Missionary Society, of which Jones was an original supporter; a Welsh translation of it appeared in ‘Lleuad yr Oes,’ ii. 87 sqq. He was the author of several popular hymns in Welsh, some of which were published in ‘Y Drysorfa’ for 1862 (pp. 300 sq.)

[J. T. Jones's Geiriadur Bywgraffyddol, i. 650; Foulkes's Enwogion Cymru, pp. 575–9; Hughes's Hanes Methodistiaeth Cymru, pp. 359, 446, 451–4; Cofiant John Jones, Talysarn, pp. 809–13; Life of the Countess of Huntingdon, ii. 118, 501, 504.]

D. Ll. T.