Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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WILLIAMS , BENJAMIN THOMAS ( 1832 - 1890 ), barrister and educationist ;

b. 19 Nov. 1832 , eldest son of Thomas Rayson Williams , Independent minister , Merryvale , Narberth, Pembs. , and Mira , his wife. From 1846 to 1851 he was a student at the Presbyterian College , Carmarthen , where he adopted the Unitarian faith. Proceeding as a Dr. Williams scholar to Glasgow University in 1851 , he graduated B.A. in 1853 and M.A. in 1854 , and was also senior logic prizeman and silver medallist in metaphysics . He officiated as supply for a short while at Leeds and Plymouth , but entered Gray's Inn 7 April 1856 , and was called to the Bar 26 Jan. 1859 . He joined the South Wales Circuit and became its leader , was admitted a barrister of the Middle Temple 22 April 1875 , and was appointed Queen's Counsel 25 June 1875 . Elected recorder of Carmarthen in Oct. 1872 , he resigned this office in May 1878 when he was elected Member of Parliament for Carmarthen boroughs ; he sat for this constituency until his appointment as judge of county courts for circuit number 30 (part of the counties of Glamorgan and Brecon ), 13 Dec. 1881 . He retired from the bench in June 1885 because of ill-health. He was also justice of the peace for the counties of Brecon , Glamorgan , and Pembroke , council-member of the University Colleges of Aberystwyth and Cardiff , and one of the two honorary secretaries of Aberystwyth College till he resigned in May 1885 . For some time he edited The Law Magazine and The Commercial Compendium . His publications include The Desirableness of a University for Wales , 1853 ; Arthur Vaughan , a novel, 1856 , a pamphlet on the Jamaica riots , 1866 ; and a biography of Thomas Stephens prefixed to the second edition of The Literature of the Kymry , 1876 . In 1857 , he m. Margaret , only daughter of T. John , of Dole-main . He d. 21 March 1890 .

Sources:

  • Eminent Welshmen: a short biographical dictionary of Welshmen ... from the earliest times to the present , 1908 ;
  • E. P. Jones , Oriel Coleg Caerfyrddin , 1909 , 68-9;
  • W. R. Williams , The History of the Parliamentary Representation of Wales , 1895 , 57;
  • Foster , Men at the Bar a biographical handlist of the members of the various inns of court, including Her Majesty's Judges , 1881 , 507:
  • Yr Ymofynnydd , 1878 , 98;
  • Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru , iii, 142;
  • NLW MSS 9276 (237); 10330 (228-9).

Author:

Hywel David Emanuel, M.A., (1921-70), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959