Information on Jenny Jones of Talyllyn
I have managed to find quite a lot of information about Jenny Jones so I thought it appropiate
to put it all together in this area of my web pages.
The following is an English copy of a document found by Mrs Jarman in the
Dolgelly Archives Record Office in a typed manuscript by John Arther Williams written in 1961
, the translation is by Mrs Jennie Willams ( nee Griffiths ). This document provide a great
deal of imformation about Jenny Jones.
Jennie (Jane) Jones ( nee Griffiths ) 1789 - 1884
Early at the beginning of the last century, when Britain was going through a difficult
period, trying to subdue arch - warmongers, such as Napoleon Bonaparte, the king made a
plea for more troops.
One such call was made to Talyllyn Parish, asking for one conscript. The selection was
made by ballot, and the man selected was totally unsuitable to become a soldier. He broke
down and cried, seeing the fellow so upset one Lewis Gruffydd ( Lewis Griffith )
volunteered to go instead, so Lewis Y Pentre as he was called willingly took the poor man's
He went to Dolgellau, so as to join others at Wrexham. From there he went to Dublin to
train as a soldier. One Sunday morning whilst on Church Parade, watched by many
admirers, he saw a young girl her name was Jenny Brown, born in Scotland June 1789. She
went into church for the service and sat across the aisle from the lad from Tal y llyn.
From then on they became very friendly, she was far above Lewis in social standing being
born to a wealthy family and was well educated whilst Lewis was poor and illiterate, love
overcame the differences and finally they were married. There was great opposiion from
both families and her family cut off all relationship with her despite this Jenny followed
Lewis to the battlefields in France, Spain, & Belgium the last time at Waterloo on the 18th
The following morning a roll call was made of all the troops, but Lewis did not answer to
his name, Jenny feared the worst she searched all the tents where the wounded lay, with her
young child in her arms suddenly, the child called out " Daddy " Daddy " to Jenny's joy she
found Lewis he had been shot in the shoulder.
After the war they returned to Britain. They did not know where to go or turn to. It was
no use appealing to her family, as they had disowned her. They decided to return to Tal y
llyn to Lewis' home, the village of Dol Amarch.
Lewis found work at one of the quarries at Corris and rented a house at Tal y llyn namely
Cildydd. They did not farm the land but just lived in the house.
Sadly in 1837, when only 45 years of age Lewis was killed in an accident at the Quarry,
with the result that Jenny had to leave Cildydd. She moved nearer the two hotels situated
at the further end of Talyllyn Lake (known as Lake Margngel).
One hotel was called Pant y Dwr and the other Tyr Gwen. Here she was able to get work
to maintain herself and the two children. For a time she was a school teacher, most likely
at Maes Pandy School. She had the rare gift of distributing knowledge.
After being a widow for a time, she married a John Jones. It was not a happy marriage, as
John was lazy and had no concern for others.
Instead of easing her burden, the marriage meant hardship and poverty for the rest of her
life and by this time she could only speak of her first husband. She still did not get in touch
with her own family which created discord between her children, and distressed her very
Jenny died at Talyllyn on the 11th April 1884, at the great age of 94.
Through the kindness of a gentleman who used to visit Taly y llyn a plaque was placed
above her grave, with a brief Synopsis of her life. It is a pity no mention was made of
Lewis, her true love. She never stopped loving him. Who was this mystery man who came
to stay occasionally at Tyn y Cornel. Maybe one of the family ?
The brief Synopsis of her life reads:
I will never leave you nor forsake thee. This cross was placed here by a friend.
Sacred to the memory of Jenny Jones Born in Scotland 1784.
She was with her husband of the 23rd Royal Welch Fusiliers at the battle of
Waterloo and was on the field three days.
In one of the accounts of Jenny Jones published in the Gwynedd Family History Society magazine,
we read that Jenny assisted in the local school, thought to be the Maes Pandy School and that
she conversed with French Prisioners of War in their mother tongue. The French story appears
quite likely bearing in mind the time she and Lewis spent in mainland Europe
I have no further evidence of this but would also mention that when she married John Jones
in 1852 she did not sign her name but placed an X on the Church register.
This would seem strange as if she was an educated lady, unless she did not wish to upstage her new
husband I would have expected her to sign her name, John also signed the register with a X.
In another of the accounts, also from the journal of the Gwynedd Family History Society, we read :
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