Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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WILLIAMS , EDWARD ( 1826 - 1886 ), iron-master ;

b. 10 Feb. 1826 at Merthyr Tydfil , the eldest son of Taliesin Williams (q.v.) , the son of Iolo Morganwg (q.v.) . He was educated at his father's school, where he afterwards became an assistant master . In 1842 he forsook teaching for industry and obtained a post as clerk in the office of the Dowlais iron-works . He acquired a sound knowledge of iron-working and in 1864 he left Merthyr to take up an appointment as manager of the Dowlais Company 's London house. He then came into close contact with the leading iron-masters of the country, and in the following year, 1865 , he was made general manager of the Bolckow Vaughan iron-works , Middlesbrough , a limited company with a capital of £3,410,000. Under his direction, the company extended the scope of its operations, acquiring more collieries in Durham and iron-mining rights in Spain . In 1879 he purchased the Linthorpe iron-works , Middlesbrough , and became an iron-master on his own account. In 1868 he was elected president of the North of England Iron-Masters’ Association . He was one of the founders and subsequently president of the Iron and Steel Institute of Great Britain , and in May 1886 he received the Bessemer medal of the institute. He played a prominent part in the public life of Middlesbrough . He was a justice of the peace and a member of the town council . In 1872 he was elected mayor , the second in the history of the town. He was a member of the School Board from its formation, as well as of other public bodies. He was the prime mover in the developments which gave to Middlesbrough greatly increased dock accommodation.

He retained close associations with South Wales throughout his life. In 1857 he took an active part in founding the South Wales Institute of Engineers , occupying the post of secretary from its inception till his removal to London in 1864 ; he was president , 1881-3 . He assisted in planning the steel works at Cyfarthfa , Merthyr Tydfil . The industry benefited greatly from his wise guidance in the transitional period, when iron was yielding place to steel.

He d. at his home, Cleveland Lodge , Middlesbrough , 9 June 1886 . His second son,



ANEURIN WILLIAMS ( 1859 - 1924 ), was Liberal Member of Parliament

for Plymouth , N.W. Durham , and Consett . He was a well-known publicist and an authority on profit-sharing and co-partnership .

Sources:

  • The Times , 12 and 15 June 1886 ;
  • Proceedings of the South Wales Institute of Engineers , 1857 ff , xv, 3-6;
  • C. Wilkins , The history of Merthyr Tydfil , Merthyr Tydfil, 1867 , 386-9, 482-3;
  • Who was who? , 1916-1928.

Author:

Walter Thomas Morgan (1912-90), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959