William West Jones

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File:William West Jones 001.jpg
William West Jones from Church Bells (1875)

William West Jones (11 May 1838 – 21 May 1908) was the second Bishop and first Archbishop of Cape Town.[1]


West-Jones was born in South Hackney, London, the son of Edward Henry Jones, wine merchant of Mark Lane, London, and his wife, Mary Emma Collier.

He was educated at Merchant Taylors’ School (1845–1856), and at St John's College, Oxford (matriculated, 30 June 1856; Foundation Scholar; second class, moderations, 1858; Fellow, 1859–1879; honorary fourth class, literae humaniores and mathematics, and BA, 1860; MA, 1863 [Crockford’s] or 1864 [Foster]; BD, 1869; DD, honoris causa, 12 May 1874; honorary Fellow, 1893).

He was ordained Deacon on Michaelmas Day, 29 September 1861, and Priest on St. Matthew’s Day, 21 September 1862, by the Bishop of Oxford. Between 1861-1864 he served as Assistant Curate of St. Matthew’s Church, City Road, in the city and diocese of London. He returned to Oxford in 1864 to take up the appointment of Dean of Arts of St. John's College, and Vicar of the parish of Summertown. In 1871 he was appointed Diocesan Inspector of Schools and Rural Dean of Oxford. He became Vice-President of St. John's College in 1872.

He was chosen as second Bishop of Cape Town and ipso facto Metropolitan of the Church of the Province of South Africa, and consecrated as such in Westminster Abbey on 17 May 1874 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, assisted by the Bishops of London, Winchester, Oxford, Ely, Edinburgh, and Goulburn, and Bishop Claughton. He arrived in Table Bay aboard the Anglian on 31 August, and was enthroned by the Dean of Cape Town, the Very Revd. C. W. Barnett Clarke on 26 November 1874.

He attended the Lambeth Conferences of 1878, 1888, and 1897 and adopted the additional title of Archbishop of Cape Town on 28 July 1897, after the Lambeth Conference had resolved to entitle certain of the Metropolitans of the Anglican communion as Archbishops.

He returned to England to attend the Pan-Anglican Congress and Lambeth Conference in 1908, and died in Housel Bay in Cornwall, on 21 May 1908. He was buried in Oxford.

West Jones was married in St. Peter’s Church, Eaton Square in London, by the Bishop of Ely, on 16 January 1879, to Emily Frances Allen, the daughter of John Allen, of Oldfield Hall, Altrincham. Mrs. Jones died on 9 November 1930.

West Jones “won a great reputation for pastoral gentleness, generosity and kindliness. His simplicity of character, courtesy, business aptitude and commanding presence gained the friendship of all who had dealings with him” (Dictionary of South African Biography).


  1. "Obituary: William West Jones" (May 28, 1908) The Oxford Magazine Vol.26 No.21 p.340


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