John Richard Jones, (c. 1886- c. 1946 ) lived at 5 Birdin Terrace, Felinfoel, Llanelli in 1924. He was a graduate of Cambridge University and taught at the Stationers’ Company’s School, Hornsey, London.
He left 16 foolscap size bound volumes with his notes on Welsh costume; prints of Welsh costume and their printers; interviews with weavers in Wales and people associated with the Llanover estate; items relating to Welsh costume in the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, Cardiff and Swansea Libraries, the British Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum; dyes; Welsh hats and hat making. There are also notes and lists on a variety of other subjects including attempts at compiling biographies of Welsh people. 1922-1932
1 Costume Research 1
2 Costume Research 2
3 Welsh military costumes
4 Welsh Costumes 1
5 Welsh Costumes 2
6 Welsh Costumes [little] & Biography 3
7 Welsh Biography 4 [list of names from Enwogion Cymru, Robert Williams, 1852)
8 Welsh Biography 5 [mostly blank]
9 Herberts, etc, [French history], Welsh costumes
10 Llanelli, Fleur-de-lys, Ich Dein, old Welsh chapels in London, St David’s Day, Sandby [many blank pages]
11 Llyfr Du Caerfyrddin
12 Libraries etc [mostly blank pages]
13 Owen, etc, [very little on] Welsh costumes and prints relating to Wales
14 Onwhyn 1– Frederick, Joseph and Thomas Onwhyn (died 1886), mostly the latter.
15 Onwhyn 2
16 Onwhyn 3
National Library of Wales (uncatalogued), donated in about 1977 by Rev J R Bowen, Hampton, Middlesex.
National Library of Wales, Annual report, 1977-78, (1978), p. 40
The note books contain brief notes and lists from books and other sources, but very few conclusions (and a few errors) of his own. The notes are very well organised with headings in capital letters or underlined and with a few stars to indicate where he needed to follow up a source. The lists are very well structured, in rows and columns.
Most of the notes are in English, but he was obviously fluent in Welsh and made a few notes in Welsh.
He was probably planning a book on Welsh Costume (see vol. 1, p. 41 Model Book and vol. 15, p. 31 advice in planning a book for publication.)
It appears that he was collecting examples of fabric and he planned how he would record information about them (vol. 1, p. 75). He also collected prints of costumes. The present location of the samples and prints is unknown.
He attended National Eisteddfodau (Pontypool, 1924; Pwllheli, 1925; Holyhead, 1927; Treorchy 1928; Liverpool 1929; Bangor, 1932 and visited mills and other relevant locations near some of them, and commented on the costumes worn by members of the Gorsedd and by children who took part in Gorsedd ceremonies.
He was interested in early costumes (including Druids) as represented in imagined illustrations and effigies of famous Welsh people. He was also interested in academic costume (cloaks and hoods).
He listed many woollen mills in Wales (from a directory), and visited some, recording a few notes on them.
He recorded a little on Welsh terminology for spinning, weaving, Welsh costume and woven patterns. He used the term Betcwn rather than Betgwn (for bedgown).
The transcribed Lady Greenly‘s essay for the Gwent and Dyfed Eisteddfod, 1834
He met Caradoc Rowland, (Angorfa, St David’s Road, Caernarfon) the son of the artist and publisher of popular prints of Welsh costume, John Cambrian Rowland (1819-1890, born at Penbryn, Lledrod)
He interviewed the following people and made brief notes on what he remembered (the numbering is his):
(i) Mrs Richards, Ty’r Eglws, Llanover, daughter of Gruffydd, harpist to Prince of Wales (Ed VII)
(ii) Mr John Jones, Gwenffrwd Factory, Llanover (Interview at Abergavenny Market)
(iii) Miss Harris of M.F. & S.G. Harris, The Abergavenny Wool shop, 22 Cross Street, Abergavenny, daughter of Samuel Harris (Harri Ddu), weaver of Gwenffrwd Mill, Llanover
(iv) Miss Williams of High Meadow, Abercarn [formerly of Llanover?]
Mrs Mary Ann Roberts Mun-y-Nant, Llangollen who attended 50 Eisteddfodau
Mr Jones and his aged mother Mrs Jones of the woollen mills at Pandy Llywenan (Valley, Anglesey)
Mr Williams (age 20), of Trefriw factory near Llanrwst
Hannah Jones and Sons, Penmachno Factory, Penmachno, Bettws y coed
Jacob Jones and Son, Moelwyn Mills, Blaenau Ffestiniog