Robert Jones Derfel

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Robert Jones Derfel

Robert Jones Derfel (24 July 1824 – 17 December 1905) was a Welsh poet and political writer.

He was born Robert Jones on a farm in Merionethshire and became a travelling salesman employed by a Manchester firm. He also became a Baptist preacher. With John Ceiriog Hughes and two other Welshmen, he formed a literary society in Manchester, taking the surname "Derfel" at that time. He had already begun to write for periodicals and to win prizes for poetry at local eisteddfodau. His political views were heavily influenced by Robert Owen, and he wrote the first articles on Socialism in the Welsh language, campaigning for causes such as a university for Wales. In 1865 he bought a bookshop in Manchester, with a printing press, and afterwards produced "Derfel's School Series" on Welsh-interest topics. In his later years he wrote more in the English language, particularly on the subject of Socialism.


  • Brad y Llyfrau Gleision (The Treachery of the Blue Books) (1854)
  • Traethodau ac Areithiau (Essays and Discourses) (1864)


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