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National Library of Wales
Jones, Thomas, Dr, CH, papers

Reference code(s): GB 0210 TOMJONES

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Dr Thomas Jones CH Papers

Short Title: Jones, Thomas, Dr, CH, papers

Creation date(s): 1855-1987 (accumulated [1895]-1987)

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 3.87 cubic metres (311 vols, 69 boxes)

Name of creator(s): Dr Thomas Jones


Administrative/Biographical history: Dr Thomas Jones (1870-1955), a native of Rhymney, was a prominent civil servant, administrator and author who was Deputy Secretary to the cabinet from 1916 until 1930. In this capacity he served four Prime Ministers: Lloyd George, Bonar Law, Stanley Baldwin and J. Ramsay MacDonald. He was on especially cordial terms with the first three. He was educated at Rhymney Board School and Lewis School, Pengam, before beginning work as a timekeeper-clerk at the Rhymney Iron Company. In 1890 he entered the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, moved to Glasgow University in 1895 where he came heavily under the influence of Henry Jones, the Professor of Moral Philosophy, and where he graduated with First Class Honours in economic science in 1901. He had in 1895 joined the Independent Labour Party and the Fabian Society and devoted much time to an intensive study of the problems of poverty, living and working at social settlements at Glasgow and Cardiff. From 1900 until 1909 Thomas Jones earned his living as a Glasgow University lecturer in political economy, and he was appointed Professor of Economics at Belfast University in 1909. Within a year, however, he returned to Wales on his appointment as secretary of the King Edward VII Welsh National Memorial Association. In 1912 he became secretary of the National Health Insurance Commission (Wales). He became prominent in the public life of Wales, held an array of public offices and was one of the founders of the Welsh Outlook in 1914. By this time Thomas Jones was well known to David Lloyd George who appointed him firstly as assistant secretary (later Deputy Secretary) to the Cabinet in December 1916. He was consequently much involved in the negotiations which led to the celebrated Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921 and the industrial troubles of the 1920s which culminated in the General Strike of May 1926. He accompanied Lloyd George on his famous visit to Hitler in 1936. As recreation, Jones immersed himself in an array of charitable and philanthropic works. He was one of the founders of the Gregynog Press in 1923 and was one of the principal founders of Coleg Harlech in 1927. From 1930 until 1945 he was the first secretary of the Pilgrim Trust. During the severe inter-war depression in the South Wales coalfield he was closely associated with voluntary efforts to alleviate the worst ravages of the downturn in trade and industry. In October 1944 Thomas Jones was elected president of the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth and he lived at Bryn Hir, Penglais Road, Aberystwyth, from 1945 until ill health overtook him in 1954. Among his many published works were Rhymney Memories (1938), Leeks and Daffodils (1942), Welsh Broth (1951), and A Diary with Letters, 1931-1950 (1954). His biography of Lloyd George, which he published in 1951, was generally well received. His political diaries were published in three volumes under the title Whitehall Diary between 1969 and 1971. He received a large number of distinctions and honorary doctorates. In 1902 Thomas Jones had married Theodora Jones (died 1935). Their elder son Tristan became managing director of the Observer newspaper. Their only daughter Mrs Eirene White served as Labour MP for Flintshire from 1950 until 1970, and subsequently entered the House of Lords as Baroness White of Rhymney. The younger son Elphin Lloyd was killed in a motoring accident in 1928. Thomas Jones himself died in London on 15 October 1955.


Scope and content/abstract: Group 1 comprises a substantial corpus of correspondence and papers relating to Prime Ministers, government and society, education, foreign affairs, imperial affairs, Ireland, Wales, Coleg Harlech and the Gregynog Press. There are also classes concerning the Astor family, Abraham Flexner, Violet Markham, Sir Henry Jones and Sir Percy Watkins. There are also papers relating to Thomas's Jones publications and his diaries, privately printed in Switzerland, and a substantial group of press cuttings arranged by subject. -- Subsequent accruals of the papers of Dr Thomas Jones include correspondence and papers, 1855-1955, including letters to and from Dr Thomas Jones; pocket diaries, an account book and pocket notebooks kept by Dr Jones, 1916-[1955]; correspondence and papers, 1933 and 1948-1955, relating to the administration of the Pilgrim Trust; papers, 1955-1961, relating to Thomas Jones's death in October 1955, sympathy letters received, and material concerning arrangements for the memorial service and the administration of the Thomas Jones Memorial Fund; correspondence, 1962-1987, deriving from the use of the Thomas Jones Papers in the custody of the National Library of Wales; and press cuttings, 1912-1955.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement: Arranged at NLW into four sections: the main collection (group 1)was deposited by Lady White and Mr Tristan Jones at the NLW shortly after their father's death in 1955 and subsequently converted into a donation by them in 1984; a second group (group 2) of Thomas Jones's papers was deposited at NLW by Lady White and Mr Tristan Jones after the main collection had been catalogued; a third group (group 3)had been accumulated by Dr Thomas Jones during the course of his lifetime and were subsequently retained and augmented by his daughter Lady White. Following Lady White's death in December 1999, the papers came into the possession of her niece Mrs Mala Murton, West Sussex, who donated them to the NLW in April 2003; Group 4 comprises an uncatalogued residue of papers donated by Lady White and Tristan Jones in 1984.

Conditions governing access: Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to sign the 'Modern papers - data protection' form.

Conditions governing reproduction: Copyright in the Thomas Jones and Eirene White Papers is held by the National Library. Otherwise usual copyright rules apply.

Finding aids: Hard copies of all four volumes are available at NLW.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All papers donated to the National Library have been retained.

Accruals: Additional papers are unlikely.

Archival history: The papers were accumulated by Dr Thomas Jones during the course of his lifetime and subsequently retained and augmented by his daughter Lady White. Following Lady White's death in December 1999, the papers in group 4 came into the possession of her niece Mrs Mala Murton who donated them to the Library in April 2003.

Immediate source of acquisition: The papers of Dr Thomas Jones, groups 1,2 and 4, were deposited at the NLW by his children Lady White and Mr Tristan Jones, shortly after his death in 1955 and were subsequently converted into a donation by them in 1984. The papers transferred to NLW in April 2003, now group 3, were donated by Mrs Mala Murton, West Sussex, a grand-daughter to Dr Thomas Jones. $e 0200003651 (2003 donation).


Related material: The papers of Lady White are also in the custody of NLW.

Publication note: E. L. Ellis, T.J. : A Life of Doctor Thomas Jones, CH (Cardiff, 1992).


Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds. Some of the papers post-dating Dr Thomas Jones's death in 1955 included in this collection were retained and preserved by his daughter Baroness Eirene White.

Archivist's note: Compiled by J. Graham Jones.
The following source was used in the compilation of this description: Dictionary of National Biography, 1951-1960 (London, 1971).

Rules or conventions: This description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) Second Edition; AACR2; and LCSH.

Date(s) of descriptions: December 2003 and September 2012.

Great Britain | Politics and government | 20th century
Jones, Thomas, | 1870-1955 | Archives

Personal names
Flexner , Abraham , 1866-1959
Jones , Thomas , 1870-1955

Corporate names


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