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AtoZ Challenge – V: Visit to Haverfordwest by a Reverend

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is for bloggers who wish to participate, by publishing a blog post every day in April except for Sundays. Each blog post will focus on a letter of the alphabet. For example April 1 will be A, April 2 will be B, April 3 will be C,  and on it goes. By the end of April, a blog post for every letter of the alphabet will have been published.   Blog posts are usually on a theme, or you can choose to post each day with no theme at all. My theme for 2024 is “Haverfordwest in the News”. Haverfordwest is a town in the country of Pembrokeshire, Wales.

#AtoZChallenge 2024 letter V

from: The Cheltenham Mercury, Saturday 10 June, 1882, page 3

A Cardiff contemporary has received particulars of a religious scandal which has created some gossip in Cardiganshire. It appears that a few weeks ago the Rev. Seth Jones, a flautist minister in charge of Blaenwaun and Bethsida Chapels, St. Dogmaels, near Cardigan, went on a visit to Haverfordwest, where he so far forgot his sacred calling, as to enter a house of ill-fame.
While he was in the place, a half sovereign of his money, by some means got into the possession of the woman, who refused to return it. The Rev. gentleman lodged a complaint with the local police, but no proceedings were taken, and ultimately Mr. Jones returned to St. Dogmaels. The Principal of Haverfordwest Baptist College, however, heard of Mr. Jones’s conduct, and shortly after his return, wrote a letter to the deacons of the chapel, acquainting them with Mr. Jones’s conduct. A deputation (Messrs. J. Rees, Hendre, and J. M. Evans, schoolmaster) was there upon sent to Haverfordwest to enquire into the matter, and it was elicited that the allegation were no worse than the facts, and that the Rev. gentleman had, indeed, fallen into wicked ways.

A resolution was adopted that Mr. Jones was entirely excommunicated both as pastor and member, and on Sunday, the resolution was earned into effect. Much excitement has been caused in the neighbourhood, owing to the fact that the Reverend gentleman’s brother was recently similarly treated, in consequence of intemperance. The Rev. Seth Jones is a member of the village School Board, and was at one time a popular preacher. It is now alleged that charges of drunkenness and unseemly conduct would have been preferred against him before, but that he was cloaked by the congregation until the present disclosure.


from: Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners Advocate (NSW: 1876-1954), Saturday 17 July, 1897, page 5

THE Rev. Seth Jones, has been a prominent figure in Newcastle religious circles for the past 12 years, during which period he has been closely identified with the religious life of the community. Mr. Jones was born at Anglesey, North Wales, in 1848, and educated at Haverfordwest Baptist College, the principal of the institution being the Rev. D. Davies, D.D., and the classical tutor the Rev. G. H. Rouse, M.A., LL.B.

Having been fully trained for the work of the ministry, Mr. Jones was ordained in 1872, and called to the pastorate of the Baptist Church at Blaenwaun, the fifth largest church of the denomination in Wales, where he successfully ministered to the spiritual wants of the people for a period of ten years. During his pastorate, the church was materially strengthened and built up the membership, on Mr. Jones’ retirement numbering 700.

On leaving the church at Blaenwaun, Mr. Jones came to the colonies, and having spent some time in Victoria and New Zealand, finally settled in Newcastle in 1885. For five years he ministered to the Baptist congregation worshipping in the old Baptist Church in McCormack Street, from which a removal was subsequently made to the present tabernacle in Laman Street. The Laman Street Tabernacle ranks among the best of the ecclesiastical structures in the city, and was erected at a cost of £7000, of which amount £5000 has been paid. The building, which is also the best Baptist church in the colony, is a lasting tribute to the energy and perseverance of the present pastor, who personally collected £1500 toward the cost of its erection.

The spiritual work of the church has progressed under Mr. Jones’ care, the fellowship having increased during recent years, whilst the Sabbath school is also in a robust condition. As a preacher he is forceful and vigorous, his earnest and outspoken addresses being much appreciated by his hearers, while he is equally popular with his brother clergymen, whose efforts he is at all times willing to assist in the performance of any public duty. Within the denomination Mr. Jones is regarded as a strong man, a fact which has been recognised by his election to the position of president of the Baptist Union of New South Wales.

from: The Daily Telegraph, (Sydney NSW: 1883-1930), Monday 28 September, 1930 page 4


The Rev. Seth Jones is the new chairman of the Baptist Union, a position he also held in 1896-7. As minister of the Baptist congregation at Newcastle for the past I5 years, he has displayed exceptional ability, and under his guidance the Church has made great progress. When he took charge, shortly after his arrival from Wales, the Baptist community in the coal city, worshipped in a little weatherboard chapel in McCormack Street.

“The gentleman who lives beyond the wall which fronts the other side of this street, had a better house for his horses, than you have for your God.” he told his congregation. and he set out with a firm resolve to build a new church. In 1890, the present Laman Street tabernacle was erected at a cost of £6000, of which Mr. Jones contributed £2100, out of his own pocket, and by means of subscriptions, personally obtained.

Mr. Jones, who was born in 1848, comes from an old Welsh Baptist family. At an early age, he showed great promise, and his first charge was at Blaenwaun, one of the largest Baptist churches in Wales. His health, however, broke down, and he was compelled to come to Australia. His gifts as a preacher, and his geniality and kindliness of disposition, have gained him many friends in Newcastle, including members of all denominations.

Rev. Seth Jones, President of The Baptist Union.
(From a photograph by Cowic and McClan, Newcastle.)

from: Swindon Advertiser, Saturday 23 July, 1904, page 3

A cablegram was received at Portmadoc, on Friday, from Newcastle, New South Wales, announcing the death of the Rev. Seth Jones, a well known Baptist Minister, from peritonitis. A native of Festiniog, he was ordained at Blaenwaun, Glamorganshire, in 1872.

He went to Australia, twenty years ago, and was last year President of The Baptist Union of Australia. He visited Wales in 1901, and attended the Welsh Baptist Union annual meeting at Bangor, where he delivered a memorable address on missionary work.

He was the brother of the Rev. T.T. Jones, Salem Baptist Church, Cardiff, and of the Rev. Evan Mona Jones, Baptist Minister of Pittsburgh.

Photo Credit: newcastlebaptist.com


Please note: Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading.

1882, MINISTERIAL SCANDAL IN WALES, The Cheltenham Mercury, Saturday 10 June 1882, page 3. Retrieved on 28 November  from britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk
1897, REV. SETH JONES, Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners Advocate (NSW: 1876-1954), Saturday 17 July 1897, page 5. Retrieved 28 November 2023 from trove.nla.gov.au
1904, DEATH OF REV. SETH JONES, Swindon Advertiser, Saturday 23 July, 1904, page 3. Retrieved on 28 November 2023, from britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk
1903, REV. SETH JONES, The Daily Telegraph, (Sydney NSW: 1883-1930), Monday 28 September, 1903, page 4. Retrieved on 28 November 2023, from trove.nla.gov.au


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8 thoughts on “AtoZ Challenge – V: Visit to Haverfordwest by a Reverend”

  1. I was surprised to find him in Australia, but he did seem to have done good work here. As you say, probably he had a wake up call.

  2. I thought of you when I saw he showed up in Newcastle Jill. It hadn’t occurred to me that the Tabernacle would still be there

  3. Good old Seth did well for himself. I should share this post with fellow members of the Newcastle Family History Society.

    I have never been inside the Laman Street Tabernacle which is in the same street as three buildings I visit – Newcastle’s Library, Art Gallery and Conservatorium. I have seen it several times and report that it is still appears in very good order.

    I should get around to taking a photo one day.

  4. Excuse me ma’am I have mislaid my half-sovereign – harumph – amazing he went to the police over the matter.
    However I am glad he survived the scandal and reinvented himself in the colonies.
    Is he a relative or is the Jones name a coincidence?

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