Best Kept Community Village 2019
The Welsh Poet
John Jones [1788 - 1858]
spinner, sailor and poet
His father was a poor farmer in Llanasa. As an 8 year old he worked in a cotton-mill at Holywell. Around 1804 he went to sea and served in the Royal Navy between1805 and 1814. He read much while at sea. He returned to the Holywell mill but moved to a factory at Stalybridge in 1820. He eeked out a scanty wage by printing edifying verse (in English), such as metrical paraphrases of Aesop, and sold his works on the market. In 1856, he published a small book: "Poems by John Jones".
He died 19th June 1858. 8000 mourners attended his funeral.
This poem tells of the cruelty experienced by the orphans who worked at the cotton mill in Holywell.
Well I remember how in early years
I toiled therein, with unavailing tears;
Condemned to suffer what I could not shun,
Till Sol seven times his annual course had run!
No bondage state - no inquisition cell,
Nor scenes yet dearer to the Prince of Hell,
Could greater acts of cruelty display
Than yon tall factories on a former day:
E'en neighbouring forests frowned with angry nods
To see oppression! thy demand for rods!
Rods, doomed to bruise in barbarous dens of noise
The tender form of orphan girls and boys!
Whose cries - which mercy in no instance found,
Were by the din of whirling engines drowned.
But all is past, and may Treffynnon see
No more of fell Prestonian tyranny".
In 1871 the census shines a light on the functioning of our village. It tells us that Mary Hughes was the baker, there was Peter the tailor, Robert was the schoolmaster. William Griffiths was the boot and shoemaker. Diane Blythin was the dress maker. Ann Cartwright farmed 60 acres and was the village postmistress. She also ran The Red Lion Inn.
Benjamin Roberts was a book marker....
A village tried to provide most needs without people having to travel far. [Sounds like Amazon shopping!].