Welsh Journals

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THE BATHAFARN FAMILY By Mr. ROLANT HUGHES, M.A., Ruthin. MR. A. H. WILLIAMS in his Welsh Wesleyan Meth- odism has sought to put in its proper perspective the part played by Edward Jones, Bathafarn, in estab- lishing Welsh Wesleyan Methodism in Wales, and in so doing has demonstrated the claims of others to some share in the credit hitherto assigned to Edward Jones. Neverthe- less, this in no way detracts from the fact that for nearly a century and a half Edward Jones, Bathafarn, was accepted as the founder, under God, of Welsh Wesleyan Methodism. It is therefore all the more surprising that during the whole of this period no worthy life of Edward Jones has appeared, and that Welsh Wesleyans have been content to remain in ignorance of many of the simplest facts concerning the life and work of the founder of their part of the Methodist Church. For instance, the memorial tablet in Bathafarn Chapel, Ruthin, says he was born at Bathafarn, near Ruthin; Rhuddenfab states that he was one of four children; William Evans, his biographer, alleges that he was one of five, and that he had a sister Anne; Dr. Hugh Jones says that he was the eldest of fìve. Each of these statements is wrong. It is my object in this article to elucidate some of the facts con- cerning the Bathafarn family, and especially Edward Jones' brothers and sisters. I am aware that much of this account is scrappy and incomplete. Much that I would like to state as fact must be left as surmise. Indeed, my only excuse for publishing at all at this stage in my researches is that I have been pressed to do so by the Editor. May I add that some of the ground of this article has already been covered in Williams' Welsh Wesìcyan Methodism? I have reproduced it here, however, so that this account of the Bathafarn family may be as comprehensive as possible. The head of the family was Edward Jones, senior, who was born in 1737 and died at the age of 701 in 18072. It is not known who his parents were, nor whether he was a native of Ruthin, but in the latter half of the iSth century 1 See the inscription on his tomb in Llanrhydd Church. 2 Llanrhydd Register of Burials, Book 2. Jan 27th, 1807, and Chester Chronicle, Jan. 30th, 1807.