Admiral Sir Erasmus Gower (1742-1814)

Associated People I - J

Listed alphabetically by Surname

Jones, John (1737-1800).

Soldier, Dissenting Church Minister. Born into mean circumstances of dissenting parents in Wales, it is doubtful if Jones had anything more than a meagre education. In 1757 he joined the Royal Regiment of Artillery and in 1765 he was posted to St John’s, Newfoundland, where he served until 1773. Returning to England he joined the Dissenting Church and returned to Newfoundland in 1775. Now a Sergeant-major, he began holding prayer meetings and preaching sermons, to a small group of mostly army personnel, firstly in the Court House and then, after being banned from there by Governor Montagu, in his home. He returned to England in 1778 but his small 'congregation' petitioned him to return and he did, the next year, after being ordained by a dissenting clergyman. Still unable to preach openly at first, he persisted until Governor Campbell, in 1780, issued a proclamation granting full liberty of conscience and freedom of worship in Newfoundland. Jones managed to form a small school and applied to Governor Elliot (qv) in 1786 for land to erect a Meeting House. It was this land that Gower surveyed on behalf of the Governor 1 See Bates, Champion of the Quarterdeck: Admiral Sir Erasmus Gower (1742-1814), Chapter - Flag Captain in Newfoundland. and the meeting house was erected in 1789. John Jones died of a stroke in 1800. He had never married and he left his worldly goods to his charity school.