The Mills family 6
The Rev. John Mills

by Ronald E. Morris


The Rev. JOHN Mills (6), born 1812 - the youngest son of Edward Mills - was perhaps the most gifted and versatile of this family. He left the small dame school in the town when he was 13 to work with his father in one of the town’s factories. Here he devised a kind of frame to support a book in order to study whilst working his loom. Like the rest of his family he was very musical and in his turn travelled in North and Mid-Wales to lecture to local choral societies. When 26 years old he wrote Gramadeg Cerddoriaeth "A Grammar of Music", the first of its kind in the Welsh language. It aimed to instruct the ordinary person in the rudiments of music and had a wide circulation.
Rev. John Mills (right) and the title page of his Gramadeg Cerddoriaeth Title page  Rev John Mills
  Missionary work
Self-taught in Latin, Hebrew and Greek, John Mills entered the Methodist ministry and eventually settled in London where he became a missionary to the Jews. He visited Palestine twice in the 1850's and spent many months there and in Egypt. He came well known to leading Jewish scholars and produced Palestina, a historical geography, and British Jews during that decade. There followed some 7 books on music and a geography of the Bible lands. In addition he wrote numerous articles to learned journals such as the Welsh language Traethodydd, the Journal of Sacred Literature and the Imperial Bible Dictionary. He died in London in 1873 aged 61, his life work a great achievement in spite of many difficulties and lack of early opportunity.
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