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Josiah Thomas Jones

Josiah Thomas Jones, an Independent minister, was one of the pioneers of the press in Aberdare. He arrived there in 1854 from Carmarthen where 2 years previously he had established Y Gwron Cymreig [The Welsh Hero] which appeared fortnightly. He moved his paper to Aberdare, which was developing as a busy centre in the south Wales coalfield. It contained foreign and home news and parliamentary reports, and its tone was noticeably anti-Tory and anti-Established Church. It consistently supported the workers rather than the coal and iron masters.

In 1858 the 1st issue of Y Gwladgarwr [The Patriot] appeared, a weekly paper published by a group of the town's most prominent citizens, including Dafydd Williams ('Alaw Goch') a local mine owner. Though Y Gwladgarwr also upheld the workers it was more light hearted than Y Gwron. It became well known chiefly as a literary paper giving the new poets and writers of the south Wales valleys an opportunity to publish their works, from serialised novels to poetry.

Josiah Thomas Jones established 2 other newspapers in the town, namely Y Gweithiwr [The Worker] in 1858, which later amalgamated with Y Gwron and an English paper, The Aberdare times, published in 1861. Y Gweithiwr Cymreig [The Welsh Worker] appeared in 1885, but probably the most important of all these papers was Tarian y Gweithiwr [The Worker's Shield] (1875-1934). This was a Liberal-Labour weekly, appealing chiefly to the miners and tin workers of south Wales, providing a mixture of local and national news.

Merthyr Tudful

Nearby in Merthyr Tudful several newspapers were published including:

  • The Cardiff and Merthyr guardian (1845-74)
  • The Merthyr star (1859-81)
  • Y Fellten [The Lightning Flash] (1868-76)

1873 saw the establishment there of The Workman's advocate: Amddiffynydd y gweithiwr, a bilingual radical newspaper which continued the tradition begun by Y Gweithiwr: The Workman, and Udgorn Cymru: The Trumpet of Wales, 2 papers allied to the Chartist movement which were published in the town between 1834 and 1842.