Henry Jones (philosopher)

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Sir Henry Jones
Born30 November 1852
Died4 February 1922
Alma materUniversity of Glasgow
Era19th-century philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
SchoolBritish idealism
Main interests
Political philosophy

Sir Henry Jones, CH, FBA (30 November 1852 – 4 February 1922) was a Welsh philosopher and academic.


Jones was born in Llangernyw, now in Conwy County Borough, the son of a shoemaker. After working as an apprentice to his father, he studied at Bangor Normal College and became a teacher at Brynamman. Having decided to enter the Presbyterian ministry, he went to the University of Glasgow on a scholarship. After graduating, he obtained a fellowship, and went on to study at Oxford and in Germany. In 1882 he married Annie Walker, a Scotswoman, and later returned to live in Scotland.

Jones was appointed a lecturer at the University College, Aberystwyth, in 1882, before becoming a professor at the University College of North Wales, Bangor in 1884. In 1984, he became Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Glasgow, where he remained until 1922.

A Liberal and a friend of David Lloyd George, he was instrumental in the passing of the Welsh Intermediate Education Act 1889, and worked for the establishment of the University of Wales and the introduction of a penny rate for education.

He was knighted in 1912 and was appointed Companion of Honour in 1922, shortly before his death.[2]

The Sir Henry Jones Memorial Prize (for moral philosophy), founded in 1934, is awarded annually in October.[3]


Jones married Annie Walker, a Scot, in 1882; they had two daughters and four sons. A son and daughter died in youth. All their three surviving children fought in the First World War, the youngest of whom, Lieutenant Arthur Meredydd Jones, MC*, was killed on active service in France. His two other sons, Captain James Walker Jones, DSO and Lieutenant Elias Henry Jones, ICS, both spent much of their career in Burma.


Jones supported philosophical idealism.[4][5] His philosophy has been described as "essentially Caird's version of Hegelian idealism".[citation needed]


See also The Life and Letters of Sir Henry Jones by H J W Hetherington (1925) - further information online as a PDF file from Cardiff University website[permanent dead link]


  1. ^ John Anderson (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
  2. ^ "No. 32563". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1921. p. 10716.
  3. ^ "University of Glasgow :: Story :: Prizes: Sir Henry Jones Memorial Prize". www.universitystory.gla.ac.uk. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  4. ^ Rashdall, H. (1910). Reviewed Work: Idealism as a Practical Creedby Henry Jones. International Journal of Ethics 21 (1): 107-110.
  5. ^ Lindsay, A. D. (1926). The Idealism of Caird and Jones. Journal of Philosophical Studies 1 (2): 171-182.

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