Jones, John (1767-1821) (DNB00)

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JONES, JOHN (1767–1821), Welsh comic and satirical song-writer, is better known as Siôn Glanygors, from his birthplace, Glan y Gors, near Cerrig y Druidion. He was baptised at Cerrig, 10 Nov. 1767. While still young he settled in London, where, with one interval, he spent the remainder of his days, becoming in later life proprietor of the King's Head Inn, Ludgate Hill. He was an active member of the Gwyneddigion, the well-known literary society of the London Welshmen, which met at his tavern, and he filled the office of vice-president, secretary, and bard at different times, though he could never be induced to accept the presidency. His best-known poems are: ‘Sessiwn yng Nghymru,’ a satire on the system of administering law in Wales in the English language; ‘Dic Shon Dafydd,’ a caricature of a Welshman who affects ignorance of his native tongue (originally published in a collection of poems edited by Robert Davies of Nantglyn, London, 1803, p. 87); and ‘Offeiriad yn Sir Aberteifi,’ in which the typical Welsh clergyman of his time is held up to ridicule for his irregularities. These and other humorous pieces have been published in a collected form in ‘Yr Awen Fywiog,’ Llanrwst, 1858. His sympathy with the French revolution, and his advocacy of republican principles in a tract called ‘Seren tan Gwmmwl,’ London, 1795, 8vo, necessitated his withdrawal for a time into Wales to avoid arrest. In the first number of the ‘Geirgrawn’ (January 1796) Jones's work and himself were violently attacked by a correspondent signing himself ‘Antagonist’ (supposed to be the Rev. Walter Davies [q. v.], Gwallter Mechain), and Jones ably defended himself in the September number in a letter which was reprinted in ‘Y Geninen’ for October 1883. He subsequently published another work of a like nature, dealing with the rights of man and entitled ‘Toriad y Dydd ( = Break of Day); neu Sylw Byr ar Hen Gyfreithieu ac Arferion Llywodraethol ynghyd a chrybwylliad am Freintiau Dyn,’ London, 1797. He died at the King's Head inn 21 May 1821.

[Rowlands's Llyfryddiaeth y Cymry, pp. 595, 704; Leathart's Origin and Progress of the Gwyneddigion Society, p. 61; Y Cymmrodor, x. 56–8; Seren Gomer, 1821; note from the rector of Cerrig-y-Druidion, and from the Rev. R. Jenkin Jones of Aberdare.]

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