Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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WILLIAMS , Sir THOMAS MARCHANT ( 1845 - 1914 ), barrister and writer ;

b. at Gadlys , Aberdare , the son of a coal-miner . His first school was ‘ Ysgol y Comin ,’ Aberdare , where Dan Isaac Davies (q.v.) was headmaster , and where he became a pupil teacher . In 1864 he entered the Bangor Normal College ; after taking his teacher's certificate he was headmaster of the Amlwch school and afterwards of the Garth school at Bangor . He was also, for a time, on the staff of a school in Yorkshire . On his return to Wales he became one of the first students of the University College of Wales , Aberystwyth , and took the University of London B.A. degree in 1874 . He was appointed an inspector of schools under the London School Board , but decided to study law and was called to the Bar in 1885 , joining the South Wales circuit . In 1900 he was appointed stipendiary magistrate at Merthyr Tydfil , a position which he held till his death. While living in London he took an active part in the revival of the Cymmrodorion Society and the establishment of the National Eisteddfod Association . At the time of his death he was chairman of the Council of the Association . He was also keenly interested in Welsh education. A prolific and caustic writer , he was the author of, amongst other things, The Land of my Fathers ; The Welsh Members of Parliament , 1894 (critical sketches of the Welsh members, with caricatures by Will Morgan ); and Odlau Serch a Bywyd , 1907 , a volume of verse. He will be best remembered as the founder and editor , in 1907 , of The Nationalist , a monthly magazine in which he gave his critical and controversial abilities full play. He was married in 1883 , and knighted in 1904 . He d. at his home, Rhyd-y-felin , near Builth , 27 Oct. 1914 , and was buried in S. John's churchyard, near Builth .

Sources:

  • Sir Vincent Evans , in Y Geninen (Gŵyl Dewi), 1915 .

Author:

Edward Morgan Humphreys, O.B.E., M.A., (1882-1955), Caernarfon

Published date: 1959