Dictionary of Welsh Biography



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WILLIAMS , GWILYM ( 1839 - 1906 ), judge ; b. at Ynyscynon , Aberdare , elder son of David Williams ( Alaw Goch ) and his wife, Ann , the sister of William Morgan ( 1819 - 1878 ), poet (qq.v.). He was educated at Cowbridge grammar school , the Normal College , Swansea , and in France . He became a barrister of the Inner Temple , 1863 , and in the same year, on the death of his father, a wealthy landowner , as the proprietor of the Miskin estate with valuable mineral properties.

After an appeal in the House of Commons for bilingual judges he was appointed by the Home Secretary as stipendiary magistrate for Pontypridd and the Rhondda ( 1872 ), then a difficult area to administer, with its rapidly-growing population. It was said of him at this time that he was ‘ a terror to malefactors .’ He continued in office until 1884 when he was appointed a judge of the county courts , mid-Wales circuit , to be soon afterwards ( 1885 ) promoted to the responsible position of judge of the county courts of Glamorgan in 1885 , a post which he held until his death ( 25 March 1906 ). He was also chairman of the Glamorgan quarter sessions from 3 July 1894 until death.

Like his father he was an ardent and patriotic Welshman . A great eisteddfodwr , he often presided over enthusiastic gatherings, addressed meetings of Cymmrodorion societies , and delivered lectures (in Welsh and English ) to audiences in the industrial districts of South Wales . He was president and adjudicator at the Pontypridd national eisteddfod in 1893 and intervened to order Gwilym Cowlyd (q.v.) off the stage for refusing to agree with the two other adjudicators in deciding the winner of the chair for the best awdl ( Gen. , Oct. 1919 ). He contributed articles to Cymru (O.M.E.) and Y Geninen , and published his father's poetical works, edited by Dafydd Morganwg , 1903 , as Gwaith Barddonol Alaw Goch . He m., 1863 , Emma E. (d. 12 Aug. 1922 ), daughter of William Williams of Aberpergwm , and had three sons and a daughter.

Bibliography:

  • (Sir) Thomas Hughes , Great Welshmen of Modern Days , 1931 , 1931 ;
  • Western Mail , 16 April 1910 ;
  • Taliesin Morgan , History of Llantrisant, Glamorganshire , Cardiff, 1898 , 1898 ;
  • Eminent Welshmen: a short biographical dictionary of Welshmen ... from the earliest times to the present , 1908 ; Enwogion Aberdâr , 1910 , 1910 ;
  • John Mills , Hanes Bethania, Aberdâr ;
  • O. Morgan , History of Pontypridd and Rhondda Valleys , 1903 , 1903 ;
  • Cymru (O.M.E.) , Feb. 1921 ;
  • Y Geninen Oct. 1892, Aug. 1900, July 1906, 1907, 1909, and Oct. 1919 ;
  • J. Vyrnwy Morgan , Welsh Political and Educational Leaders in the Victorian Era , 1908 .

Author:

Watkin William Price, M.A., (1873-1967), Aberdare