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John Jones (astronomer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Jones (1818–1898) of Bangor with his largest telescope, an 8-inch aperture reflector.

John Jones (1818 – 1898), also known as Ioan Bryngwyn Bach and Y Seryddwr (The Astronomer), was a Welsh amateur astronomer.[1]

He was born at Bryngwyn Bach, Dwyran, Anglesey, and received only an elementary education. From the age of twelve, he worked as a farm labourer. He later worked as a counter of cargoes of slate as they were loaded on to ships in Bangor, in modern Gwynedd. Unusually for someone of his background, he was not only a musician and a poet but proficient in several languages. He is noted mainly for his interest in astronomy: he constructed his own telescopes – including "Jumbo", reputed to be the first silver-on-glass reflecting telescope in Wales.[2]

He died at Bangor in 1898.[2][3]



Jones was praised by Samuel Smiles in his 1884 book Men of Invention and Industry. In 2004, he was voted No. 94 in a poll of 100 Welsh Heroes organised by the BBC.[3] A plaque in his honour has been erected by Ynys Môn County Council at Brynsiencyn.


  1. ^ Thomas, David (1959), "Jones, John (Ioan Bryngwyn Bach; 1818–1898)", in Lloyd, J. E.; Jenkins, R. T.; Davies, W. Ll.; Davies, M. B. (eds.), Dictionary of Welsh Biography Down to 1940, London: Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, pp. 481–482
  2. ^ a b Jones, Bryn (2008). "John Jones, Y Seryddwr (1818–1898)". Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  3. ^ a b "John Jones (Jones Y Seryddwr)". 100welshheroes.com. Archived from the original on 1 November 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2015.