Jones family history

Revd John Jones (1781-1852) (great great grandfather)

Thomas Jones died in 1797 and his eldest son, John Jones, inherited at the age of only 15/16.   He was educated at Rotherham Academy.  His school bills (dated between Aug 14 1798 and Dec 23 1802) show that a half year's payment for board was £25 and for tuition £1.10.0.  He was ordained in the Church of England but later became a Dissenter.

His Bible (Oxford Clarendon Press, 1800), with a small plate on the inside front cover (John Jones Ross 1804), has three pages of manuscript about family births, baptisms and deaths:

John and Louisa Jones were married at Langovan June 14, 1808.
Mary Jane, Daughter of John and Louisa Jones was born at Langstone, Wednesday April 12th, 1809, & baptized by her Father May 18th 1809.
Edward Son of the said John and Louisa Jones was born at Langstone Wednesday July 11th 1810 & baptized by his Father Sunday Novr 18, 1810.
Louisa second Daughter of John and Louisa Jones was born at No 2 North Parade Bath Wednesday Septr 4th 1811 & baptized by her Father Sunday Septr 29 1811.
Our Dear Louisa died at Bath No 18 Henrietta Street on Friday May 15, 1812 and was buried by her Father in Ruxton Chapel Friday May 22 1812.
John second Son of John & Louisa Jones was born at Walton upon Trent in the County of Derby Sunday Augt 29 1813 & was baptized by his Father Tuesday Octr 12, 1813.

Our dear Anna was born at No 9 York Buildings new road London on Thursday March 23 1815.   She was baptized by her Father April 23, & died April 25, 1815. & was buried at Paddington, near the East End of the Church Friday April 28. 1815.
Matthew Henry, third Son of John & Louisa Jones, was born at Langstone, Friday March 8, 1816.   He was baptized by his Father, Sunday April 7th, 1816.
Ruth fourth Daughter of John & Louisa Jones was born at Langstone Thursday Novr 27 1817.   She was baptized by her Father, Sunday Decr 7th 1817.
Our dear Amelia was born at Langstone Friday Febry 5th 1819.   She was baptized by her Father Monday March 8th & died Apl 20th/Tuesday/1819 & was buried in her Sister Louisa's Grave in Ruxton Chapel Saturday Apl 24th 1819.

John Jones was born Septr 22, 1781.
Louisa Berry was born Decr 10th 1781.
John & Louisa Jones were married at Langovan in the County of Monmouth Tuesday June 14th 1808.
Louisa Wife of John Jones died at Langstone Sunday 16 May 1819.   Aged 37 Years.
She was buried in Ruxton Chapel on the South Side of her Children's Grave Friday May 21 1819 John Jones
Edward the eldest Son of John and Louisa Jones, died at Langstone Court Friday Decr 4th 1840.   He was buried at Llangarron Decr 12th
Matthew Henry, the youngest Son of John & Louisa Jones died the 14th day of March 1843.   He was buried at Llangarron by the side of his Brother the 23rd of the same month.

Louisa Berry was the daughter of Edward Berry, a Yorkshire silk weaver and silk merchant with important business connections in France, who had bought an estate at Llancayo, near Usk.   He also owned Court St Lawrence in the county of Monmouth. i My father was told in 1992 by the then owner of Llancayo House, who had bought it in 1957 without the farm, that Edward Berry made a fortune, lost it and made another.  Emily Elizabeth Constance Jones, my eldest great aunt, says in her “Autobiographical Ramble”, As I Remember, that Mr Berry “was very keen on horse-racing, and dropped a big fortune at Doncaster” but “by some improvement in the silk manufacture … he retrieved his fortunes and became again a wealthy man.” ii

Bradney records that the estate of Court St Lawrence was conveyed to Edward Berry of Monmouth, esq., for £4000 on 25 August 1802.   Bradney also says that “in conjunction with Robert Vaux, also from Yorkshire, [he] founded silk mills at Spitalfields, where they made a fortune.” iii Edward died in 1818 and was buried in Usk churchyard.   Robert Vaux, who was already occupying a wing of Court St Lawrence, bought it in 1819.   He died on 7 June 1838, aged 70 and there is a monument to him and other members of his family, including his son Robert Charles (see below), in St Govan's churchyard, Raglan. iv

Constance Jones also says she had been told that Louisa Berry “fell in love with my grandfather from hearing him preach in the Monmouthshire church which she attended, and while she became the wife of a country clergyman, Jane [her sister] married the only son of Arthur Young of Bradfield Hall, Suffolk, the well-known writer, traveller, and agriculturist. …  The two sisters were beautiful and well dowered.”   Constance adds that because of the business connections the family was established in or near Paris, where Jane and Louisa were educated in a convent.   They escaped the French Revolution in 1789, but their mother lost her life.

John and Louisa had eight children, but three (Louisa, Anna and Amelia) died in infancy.   Louisa also died less than a month after Amelia, aged two and a half months, in 1819.   John married Elizabeth Bath in 1820, to help look after the five children who were still alive, two of whom (Edward and Matthew Henry) also predeceased him in 1840 and 1843 respectively.   A letter from her to him dated 20 March 1820 refers to their marriage two months and two weeks hence.

Elizabeth Bath, born in 1775, came from a Quaker family in Somerset which was part of a very cultivated circle, including Hannah More (who had connections with Wilberforce and the Clapham Sect: significant to me as I spent my first seven years of ordained ministry at Holy Trinity, Clapham, which was their church).   Constance records that Elizabeth was “a most accomplished worker, not only at plain sewing and exquisite wool work, which she designed herself, but also at such things as models.”   She made hearthrugs and bell-ropes and a model of Langstone which is still here. v She died in 1850 and was buried in Llangarron churchyard on 12 December.

The eldest child, Mary Jane, married Robert Charles Vaux, son of Robert Vaux (Edward Berry's partner – see above) on 5 May 1830.   He died on 29 August 1837, aged 38. vi Jane married again to a Mr Collins.   There were no children.   She lived at Newton Lodge, Welsh Newton Common. vii She died on 11 January 1884 and was buried at Llangarron on 16 January.

Edward, the eldest son, was a scholar at Brasenose College, Oxford.   He died on 4 December 1840, aged 30, and was buried at Llangarron.   His father arranged the extension of the north aisle of Llangarron church in 1841, now developed into the Garron Centre, in his memory.   A plaque on the north wall of the aisle, in the typically pious language of the time, says:
Edward Jones Esqr eldest son of The Revd John Jones, of Langstone Court, in this Parish, was born July 11th 1810 and died in the Faith and Hope of the Gospel, December 4th 1840.  “The memory of the Just is Blessed.”   Inhabitants of Llangarron, Remember, You owe it to his pious exertions while living, And earnest wish expressed when dying, That, in the year of our Lord 1841, This Aisle was enlarged; and more than One Hundred additional free Sittings were provided For the Poor. Deo sit Gloria in Aeternum

Ruth, seventh child, married Revd William Marston at Llangarron on 16 June 1840.   They lived at Woodfield, Llangarron and had five children: Elizabeth Louisa, baptized on 28 March 1841; William Henry, baptized on 23 February 1843; Ruth, baptized on 3 November 1844; a son born in 1846 and buried at Llangarron; and John James, born in 1847.   She was buried at Llangarron on 20 August 1856.

John added to his father's estates.   A leather-bound, hand-drawn book entitled Maps and Terrier of Estates in the Counties of Hereford Monmouth and Gloucester Belonging to the Rev. John Jones Surveyed by Wm. Jones 1827 lists a total of 1,333 acres.   The tenements included: Ruxton & Lancraugh (parishes of Whitchurch, Llangarren and Marstow, 340 acres); Stonfield (parish of Bicknor, 207 acres); Lancayo (parishes of Usk and Llanbadock, 348 acres); Langstone Court (parish of Llangarren, 282 acres); Langstone Mill & Lands (parish of Llangarren, 14 acres); Part of Langstone Court (parish of Tretire, 33 acres); Little Bernithan (parish of Llangarren, 109 acres).   The Country Life article says “it was well timbered and the sale of trees was a profitable source of revenue: in 1818, 80 maiden oaks fetched £870, 84 more £915, 101 oaks and 23 elms £825.”   Presumably that helped to fund the extension and alteration of Langstone in 1825.

A copy of a receipt from the Ross and Archenfield Bank, in the possession of the Ross-on-Wye & District Civic Society since 2008, shows a deposit of £180 by John Jones of Langston on 17 February 1829.   It's described as a considerable sum at that time.   So £2,610 from the sale of trees was a very large sum of money.

John completed the building of Ruxton Chapel while still a minister in the Church of England, “but gradually, under the influence of some of the preachers at Ruxton, he became more serious minded and more evangelical in his views, until he finally retired from the Anglican Church and took up the pastorship of Ruxton Chapel.   There he continued to make use of the Book of Common Prayer, but without being, as the record says, 'slavishly confined to it'”. viii

In about 1840 he built a Preaching-Room next to Llangrove Cottage (itself built in 1824), which he had acquired as a residence.   He conducted morning services in Ruxton and evening worship in the new room in Llangrove.   Shortly before he died in 1852, the two congregations in Ruxton and Llangrove, which had had no denominational attachment, were formed into a Congregational church and in 1880 united with the church at Doward Chapel.   Services at Ruxton Chapel, which is now converted to a private house, appear to have finished in about 1935.   The Preaching-Room in Llangrove was used as a Congregational chapel until about 1960. ix

I don't have the date of his death in 1852 or his place of burial. But an inscription above the gate from the walled garden into the front court may give a clue: J.J. June 18th. 1852.

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     i     Walford, E., The County Families of the United Kingdom, 2nd edition, 1864, page 559   (return to text)
     ii    Jones, E.E.C., As I Remember, A. & C. Black Ltd, London,1922, pages 62-63   (return to text)
     iii   Bradney, J.A., A History of Monmouthshire, Vol 2 Part 2, The Hundred of Trelech, Academy Books Limited, London, 1992, page 200   (return to text)
     iv  (return to text)
     v    Jones, 1922, page 66   (return to text)
     vi  (return to text)
     vii   Jones, 1922, page 49   (return to text)
     viii   Andere, M., Homes and Houses in Herefordshire, Express Logic, Hereford, 1977, page 46  (return to text)
     ix    Royal Commission on the Monuments of Historical England, Herefordshire, Worcestershire & Warwickshire, Extracted from An Inventory of Nonconformist Chapels and Meeting-houses in Central England, HMSO, 1986, pages 112-13   (return to text)