Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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JAMES , CHARLES HERBERT ( 1817 - 1890 ), M.P. ;

b. 16 June 1817 , youngest son of William James , maltster , of Merthyr Tydfil , who was a brother of Christopher James (see James , Sir William Milbourne ). He was educated at Taliesin Williams 's school at Merthyr and at Goulstone's boarding school , Bristol ( 1830-2 ). On leaving school he was articled to William Perkins (afterwards his partner) and admitted solicitor in 1838 . He m. Sarah , daughter of Thomas Thomas , founder of the firm of Christopher Thomas , soap manufacturers , Bristol . He played an active part in the civic life of Merthyr , was chairman of the Science and Art Committee , and an enthusiastic supporter of the town library . Brought up a Wesleyan , he later became a Unitarian , and president of the Unitarian Association . He was one of the chief sponsors of Henry Richard (q.v.) in 1868 and in 1880 joined him in the representation of the Merthyr Boroughs . In 1888 he retired in favour of D. A. Thomas , afterwards lord Rhondda (q.v.) . He d. at Merthyr , 3 Oct. 1890 . In 1892 were published three slight volumes by him entitled Seven Lectures on Various Subjects ; Letters … giving a Description of the Customs and Rules of the House of Commons ; and What I remember about myself and old Merthyr .


  • South Wales Daily News , 4 Oct. 1890 ;
  • Charles Herbert James , What I remember about myself and Old Merthyr (1892) ;
  • C. Wilkins , The history of Merthyr Tydfil (Merthyr Tydfil, 1867) , 451-2.


Walter Thomas Morgan (1912-90), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959