Wheldon Manuscripts

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

A collection of 59 items comprising the papers of Robert Jones of Rhos-lan and his sons Samuel and Daniel, including letters from Robert Jones to Samuel, 1808-1829, and to Robert Jones from Samuel and Daniel, 1792-1825; diaries and memoranda books of Daniel Jones, 1828-1839; memoranda books of Samuel Jones, 1833-1860; and sermon notebooks of the Rev. John Jones of Wrexham (youngest son of Daniel Jones), 1829-1850.

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert Jones was a Calvinistic exhorter and author. He was born on 13 January 1745, and was the son of John and Margaret Williams of Suntur, Llanystumdwy, Caernarfonshire. His mother taught him to read, and he also attended one of Griffith Jones's circulating schools. He became a schoolteacher and persuaded Bridget Bevan to reopen the circulating schools. He taught at Llangybi (1766), Beddgelert (1767), Capel Curig (1768), Rhuddlan (1769), Brynsiencyn (1770), Llangybi (1772-1773) and Brynengan (1778). In 1768 he began to exhort among the Calvinistic Methodists and became a prominent figure in their assemblies. He preached throughout North and South Wales.

Robert Jones married Magdalen Prichard at Llanfihangel-y-Pennant, on November 2, 1772. They leased a cottage known as Tir Bach, Rhos-lan, and there Robert Jones built a building that was large enough to be used, in part, as a chapel and where he gathered around him a strong Methodist society. After the lease had expired they moved to live at Ty Bwlcyn, near Dinas, Lleyn. The history of four of their children is known. Daniel became a Liverpool draper and Methodist preacher. Mary married Richard Jones of Ty Bwlcyn and became the mother of Magdalen Jones of Waun Fawr, who wrote Rhodd Nain. Hannah married Richard Owen of Meillionen, Ceidio, whose descendants are to be found in Lleyn and the U.S.A. And finally, Samuel, who went to Liverpool where, for a very long time, he was one of the most prominent Methodist elders.

Robert Jones published many works, in 1770, Lleferydd yr Asyn, which was a defence of the Methodists against their persecutors; Drych yr Anllythrennog, 1778, which was a Welsh spelling primer; Grawnsypiau Canaan, 1795, which was a collection of hymns, and the first hymn-book used by the Calvinistic Methodists in North Wales; and finally Drych yr Amseroedd, 1820, which was a description of the Methodist Revival in Wales and its effects. This last book was his masterpiece. Robert Jones was also involved in preventing Thomas Charles from leaving Wales in 1784 and also in persuading him to agree to the ordination of Methodist preachers as ministers in 1811.

He died on 18 April 1829 and was buried in Llaniestyn churchyard.

Arrangement

No apparent system of arrangement.

Conditions Governing Access

gift

Open to all users

Acquisition Information

Presented by Sir Wyn Wheldon, hence the name of the collection. The further addenda was also presented by him in September 1956.

Other Finding Aids

A catalogue at item and series level

Separated Material

See index of National Library of Wales Handlist of Manuscripts, volumes I, II, III and IV, under Jones, Robert, and volumes I, II and IV under Jones, Daniel

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright conditions apply. Reprographics made at the discretion of the archivist.

Accruals

None expected

Related Material

Belmont Manuscripts - ms. 8. Bangor Manuscripts 538 (45), 2124 (5-7), 2430-2433, 2434 (157), 7297, 10205, 10369, 15204, 15710 (thesis), 16034, 21120, 32278-32280, 32497, 33079, 35906.

Bibliography

The Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940, under the Auspices of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, (London, 1959). Jones, Robert, 1745-1829 Gwaith Robert Jones, Rhos Lan, (Wrecsam: Hughes a'i Fab, 1898). Williams, J.E. Caerwyn, 'Robert Jones Rhos-lan: Yr Hanesydd', Transactions of the Caernarvonshire Historical Society, Volume 24 (1963), pp. 153-195. Williams, J. E. Caerwyn, 'Ychwaneg am Robert Jones, Rhos-lan a'i deulu', Transactions of the Caernarvonshire Historical Society, Volume 25 (1964), pp. 66-80. Williams, J. E. Caerwyn, 'Traethodyn gan Robert Jones, Rhos-lan', Transactions of the Caernarvonshire Historical Society, Volume 26 (1965), pp. 72-74. Access Points