MY father came from a Welsh family who settled near Winslow, in Buckinghamshire, at the end of the eighteenth century. His grandfather, William Jones, was born at Marsh Gibbon about 1791, and some years after his marriage, in 1814, to Sarah Hazzard, an Englishwoman, he came to live at Winslow. He was a prosperous farmer, innkeeper, and baker, the proprietor of the Three Pigeons Inn at Winslow.
William's son Silvanus, Henry Arthur's father, was born in 1827 at the little village of Grandborough, three miles from Winslow. Though he was born in England, Silvanus was Welsh in character and feeling, and throughout his life he remained an ardent Welshman. He was a hard-working, capable, energetic man of a most independent character. He was not at all lovable, in spite of a great sense of humour, but humour tinged very often with a streak of malice. A few months before my father died, speaking of his father, he said to his nurse, "I never met a man with more natural humour. That is where I got it all from, you know, Nanny."
My grandfather married Elizabeth Stevens, the daughter of a farmer, in January 1851. They were neither of them very ordinary folk, and, in reading their many letters to my father, I am struck with the ease and fluency with which they expressed their sentiments; both seemed to me unusually well educated for people belonging to the farming class.
Silvanus was a hard, unsympathetic man, and he was not kind to his wife. She sometimes complained to her