Jones, William Henry Rich (DNB00)

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JONES, WILLIAM HENRY RICH (1817–1885), antiquary, eldest son of William Jones, chief secretary of the Religious Tract Society, was born in the parish of Christchurch, Blackfriars, on 31 Aug. 1817. He was educated at a private school at Totteridge, Hertfordshire, at King's College, London, and at Magdalen Hall (now Hertford College), Oxford. At Oxford he won the Boden scholarship for proficiency in Sanskrit in 1837, and graduated B.A. 1840, and M.A. in 1844. In 1841 he became curate of St. Andrew, Holborn, in the following year rector of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, in 1845 incumbent of St. James's, Curtain Road, Shoreditch, and in 1851 vicar of Bradford-on-Avon in Wiltshire. From 1861 to 1873 he acted as rural dean of Potterne. In 1872 he was appointed surrogate of the diocese of Salisbury and canon of Salisbury. He died suddenly at the vicarage, Bradford-on-Avon, on 28 Oct. 1885. He was twice married, and left a widow, one son, and three daughters. In 1883 he prefixed his wife's maiden name (Rich) to his surname.

Jones was an active parish priest and a scholarly archæologist. He was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1849. He carefully restored the Anglo-Saxon church at Bradford-on-Avon. He also had a thorough knowledge of Sanskrit. He made the following valuable contributions to ecclesiological and antiquarian literature:

  1. ‘Memorials of W. Jones of the Religious Tract Society,’ 1857.
  2. ‘Domesday Book for Wiltshire (translated and edited with notes),’ Bath, 1865.
  3. ‘Diocesan Conferences,’ 1868.
  4. ‘Early Annals of the Episcopate in Wilts and Dorset,’ 1871.
  5. ‘The Life and Times of St. Aldhelm, first Bishop of Sherborne (A.D. 705–9),’ Bath, 1874.
  6. ‘On the Names of Places in Wiltshire’ (n.d.)
  7. ‘An Account of the Saxon Church of St. Laurence, Bradford-on-Avon,’ Bath, 1878.
  8. ‘Canon or Prebendary: a Plea for the Non-Residentiary Members of Chapters’ (a letter to the Dean of Salisbury), 1878.
  9. ‘Fasti Ecclesiæ Sarusberiensis: a History of the Cathedral Body at Sarum,’ 4to, Salisbury, 1879.
  10. ‘Annals of the Church of Salisbury, a Diocesan History,’ 16mo, S.P.C.K., 1880.

In conjunction with Canon Dayman, Jones edited the ‘Statutes of Salisbury Cathedral’ (1882). He also edited the ‘Registers of St. Osmund’ for the Rolls series, vol. i. 1883, vol. ii. 1884. At the time of his death he had collected for the Rolls series the ancient documents relating to the diocese and city of Salisbury. He wrote many articles in the ‘Magazine of the Wiltshire Archæological Society,’ of which he was elected vice-president in 1882.

[Oxford Graduates; Oxford Calendars; Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 31 Oct. 1885; Guardian, 4 Nov. 1885; Crockford's Clerical Directory, 1885.]

W. C. S.