From humble beginnings Sir Henry Jones became a key player in the establishment of the University of Wales, finally being knighted for his services to education
Like many children in the late 19th century, Henry Jones left school at 12 and went to work. But ‘Harri Cwm’, as he was known locally, was determined to continue with his studies. He worked with his father, the village shoemaker, during the day and studied (in his own words) ‘throughout the small hours and till morning came’ and won a scholarship to train as a teacher.
Henry Jones eventually became Professor of Moral Philosophy at Glasgow University. A brilliant philosopher and teacher, his work was greatly influenced by his early life experiences in his home village and the shoemaker’s workshop. He never forgot his humble origins and worked hard to improve the system of education in Wales.
During his time as Prime Minister, Lloyd Gorge often consulted with Henry Jones on matters relating to education. In 1912 Jones was knighted, and in 1922 he was made a Companion of Honour.
Jones also received the medal of the Cymmrodorion Society for his services to Wales. A memorial fund was established following his death in 1922, and in 1934 his childhood home, Y Cwm, was opened as a museum. You can still visit the shoemaker’s workshop and the tiny kitchen and bedroom where Henry Jones and his family worked and lived. You can also find out more about the chapel, the school and life in a remote north Wales upland village – it’s well worth a visit.