Thomas Jones, like many other artists, left behind written as well as visual material. Although no extensive personal archive exists, three major manuscripts of his have survived: a volume of Memoirs and two account books. The Memoirs and one account book were generously bequeathed to the National Library of Wales in July 2000 by the late Mrs Jane Evan-Thomas, whilst the so-called 'Italian account book' is still in a private collection. Related material is preserved in other collections at the National Library, notably among the Pencerrig estate papers, including the artist's burlesque autobiographical account of a 'Trip to Calais' of 1767, mentioned in his Memoirs (ff. 23-4).
The manuscripts presented here provide valuable biographical information, often in an idiosyncratic and engaging fashion. The Memoirs documents his stay in Italy between 1776 and 1783, as well as providing information about his life after his return to Pencerrig, where he lived the life of a country squire until his death. This volume is complemented by the Italian account book (1776-1783) and The Day Book (1788-97).