Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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PARRY , WILLIAM JOHN ( 1842 - 1927 ), Labour leader, and author ;

b. at Bethesda, Caerns. , 28 Sept. 1842 . He was active in politics throughout his life, and took a leading part in the famous 1868 election. At the national eisteddfod of 1882 he read a paper to the Cymmrodorion Society on ‘ Local, Provincial, and Imperial Government ,’ but it was not published in the Society's Transactions until 1917-8 , because it was regarded at the time as being too revolutionary. He proposed in it the reorganization of local government, the reform of the House of Lords , and the establishment of provincial councils for Wales , Scotland , etc. He was a member of the first Caernarvonshire county council in 1889 , and its chairman in 1892-3 . He presented very many books and papers to the National Library of Wales and to the library of the University College of North Wales .

Parry took a prominent part in the creation of the North Wales Quarrymen's Union in 1874 ; he was its first secretary , and afterwards ts president for some years. In 1879 he visited slate quarries in the United States at the Union's request. He published several books dealing with the quarrymen's affairs : Caebraichycafn ; yr Ymdrafodaeth , 1875 ; Chwareli a Chwarelwyr , 1896 ; The Penrhyn Lock-out, 1900-01 — Statement and Appeal , 1901 ; The Cry of the People , 1906 ; and edited, with W. J. Williams , the Welsh translation of the evidence on slate quarries and quarrymen submitted to the royal commission on labour ( 1893 ).

He wrote much to Yr Herald Cymraeg , Y Genedl Gymreig , the Caernarvon and Denbigh Herald , and the North Wales Observer , on labour problems, leaseholds, Crown lands, Home Rule, county councils, arbitration, etc. He was one of the founders of the newspaper called Y Werin , in 1885 , and its first editor for three years. He also wrote for other periodicals — Y Dysgedydd , Y Cronicl , Y Geninen , Cymru (O.M.E.) , etc. He published Cofiant Tanymarian , 1886 ; Cyfrol Jiwbili Capel Bethesda , 1900 ; Telyn Sankey , 1901 ; Cofiant Hwfa Môn , 1907 ; The English Hymnal , 1907 ; and numerous pamphlets. He d. 1 Sept. 1927 , at Bethesda .

Sources:

  • ‘Hanes fy Mywyd a'm Gwaith’ in Y Cronicl , 1908-10 , and Cymru (O.M.E.) , 1912-4 ;
  • Who's who in Wales , 1920 ;
  • Y Genedl , 7 Feb. and 5 Sept. 1927.

Author:

David Thomas, O.B.E., M.A., (1880-1967), Bangor

Published date: 1959