According to Fosters Alumni Oxonienses the Rev. Thomas Arthur Jones was son of the Rev. John Jones of Bampton, co. Oxford, but no confirmation of this statement has yet been found; he matriculated at Jesus College, Oxford, on 22 June 1811, and was then aged 20. He was ordained Deacon on Sunday, 14 December 1817, by George, Bishop of Lincoln; before this, however, he married Elizabeth, daughter of Lusius OBrien of Tixover, co. Northampton, second surviving son of Donatus OBrien of Blatherwick* in the same county, and on this occasion various presents were sent by the OBriens of Blatherwick, accompanied by the following quaint lines:
May headache and heartache and pain in the bones,
Ever be strangers to Tom and Bet Jones.
Unfortunately nothing has yet come to light regarding the Jones family, as Mr. Jones would never introduce his wife to any members of his family, although he had brothers, and he volunteered no information on the subject.
On 31 May 1820 Mr. Jones was presented to the living of Vere, Jamaica, but he appears to have been curate of that parish for some time before his presentation. The original document, to which is attached a very fine impression of the Great Seal of the Island, is in the possession of the writer, and a copy of it is given to shew the form used in such presentations:
Jamaica Ss. George the Fourth by the Grace of God of the United kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland King and of Jamaica Lord Defender of the Faith, and so forth.
To all whom these presents shall come, Greeting.
Know ye that We being Well satisfied of the Integrity Piety and Learning of the Reverend Thomas Arthur Jones and of the Testimonials which he hath received of being lawfully Ordained both in Deacon and Priest Orders, according to the Canons of the Church of England, which said Testimonials are recorded in the Secretarys Office, according to the Law of this Island in such Case made and provided We have therefore thought fit and do by these Presents, present the said Thomas Arthur Jones to be Minister and Rector of the Parish of Vere in the Island aforesaid and We do induct and lawfully invest the said Thomas Arthur Jones as Minister of the said Parish of Vere and We do hereby enable and Empower the said Thomas Arthur Jones to execute the said Office and function and to have all rights and Emoluments that now do, or shall at any time hereafter belong to the said Benefice or Rectory, and to be from henceforth Esteemed and deemed lawful and rightful Minister of the said Parish In Testimony whereof We have caused the Great Seal of our Island to be hereunto affixed.
Witness His Grace William Duke of Manchester Captain General and Governor in Chief of this His Majestys Island of Jamaica and the Territories thereon depending in America Chancellor and Vice Admiral of the same at Saint Jago de la Vega this Thirty first day of May Anno Domini One Thousand Eight hundred and Twenty.
By His Graces Command
. . . . (?)
Mr. Jones died six months later, and was buried in the churchyard of Vere, where his grave is to be seen under the small cotton tree on the left-hand side of the picture of Vere Rectory, the inscription on which is as follows:
to the memory of
the Revd. T. A. JONES
late Rector of this Parish
The 17th day of October 1820
in the 30th Year
of his Age.
A portrait of Mr. Jones was painted in Jamaica by a travelling artist.
Very soon after the death of her husband, Mrs. Jones returned to England with her four children in the Lady Popham, of which there is a large painting by the captain, with the following inscription on the back of the canvas:
Lady Popham off Port Royal.
This view of Port Royal, Kingston, and the distant land of Jamaica taken from the painting of the ship Standard, Captain Lotherington, London, June 1820, by Huggins.
The picture measures 35 inches by 24 inches.
The widow was admitted into Bromley College, Kent, where she remained until her death. Her portrait. . . was painted on a silhouette, and the cap and shawl she is seen wearing was made by her youngest daughter. She was buried in Bromley Churchyard, where the following inscription appears to her memory, and that of a granddaughter:
to the memory of
Relict of the late
Revd. THOMAS ARTHUR JONES,
Rector of Vere, Jamaica,
who departed this life
6th February 1862
aged 77 years,
ANNIE EDWINA BURTON
granddaughter of the above
who departed this life
6th September 1842
aged 15 months.
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