Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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WILLIAMS , Sir TREVOR ( c. 1623 - 1692 ), of Llangibby, Mon. , politician ,

descended from the marriage of Howel Gam ap David ( fl. 1300 ) to a daughter of the Scudamore family . The surname was first adopted by his grandfather, Roger Williams (d. 1583 ), who was sheriff of Monmouthshire in 1562 and was succeeded in the office in 1627 by his son, Sir Charles Williams ; the latter, Sir Trevor 's father, knighted in 1621 , also represented the county in Parliament that year, but ill-health made him ineffective, and he d. in the course of the session ( Mar. 1642 ). His son, Trevor , made a commissioner of array for Monmouthshire at the outbreak of the Civil War and a baronet on 14 Sept. 1642 , was captured by the Roundheads at Highnam on 25 Mar. 1643 , and after his release garrisoned the ancient but long disused castle of Llangibby for the king with sixty men, and took part in the operations of 1644 round Monmouth . But as a tenant of the earls of Pembroke (qq.v.) he shared the hereditary feud with the house of Somerset (q.v.) and resented royal favours to a popish family, especially the earl of Glamorgan 's commission to bring Irish forces over to Wales , which had become public by June 1645 ; hence he resisted the recruiting activities of Sir Jacob Astley for the king in South Wales the following Aug., and was arrested on Charles 's order at Abergavenny ( 11 Sept. ), but subsequently released on bail, whereupon he seized and held Monmouth castle against the king ( 24 Oct. ), and helped in the siege of Raglan next year. In the second Civil War , alarmed at the ascendancy of Cromwell and the Commons ’ decision ( 7 Mar. 1648 ) to reward him with the Somerset manors in Glamorgan and Monmouthshire , some of which (especially Chepstow ) he coveted for himself, he helped Sir Nicholas Kemys to seize and hold Chepstow castle for the king in Mar. 1648 , until it was recovered for Cromwell by storm on 25 May . Despite this he was put on the local militia committee on 12 May , but was excluded from the General Composition Act for South Wales ( 23 Feb. 1649 ). The sequestration of his estate was, however, reversed on appeal to the barons of the Exchequer , and he himself bought sequestered Royalist lands in Cardiff and S. Mellons in 1650 , and was reconciled to the Protectorate even to the extent of abandoning for a time his title of baronet ( 1657 ); but he bore no public office till, on the eve of the Restoration , he sat on the county assessment and militia committees ( Jan. and Mar. 1660 ), and represented Monmouth boroughs in the Convention in April.

After the Restoration , he took out a pardon under the great seal and won the county seat at a contested by-election in Nov. 1667 , caused by the succession of the heir of Raglan to the marquisate of Worcester . He sat for the boroughs in the Parliament of 1679 and again for the county in those of 1680 and 1681 . His support of the country party led to his removal from the county bench in Feb. 1680 ; this he avenged the following Jan. by joining John Arnold (q.v.) in demanding the removal of Worcester (whom he accused of garrisoning Chepstow with Papists ) from the royal court and council, while Worcester (now duke of Beaufort ) replied by procuring against him, in Nov. 1683 , a verdict of ‘scandalum magnatum,’ with a crippling fine, which ended his political career. On his death in 1692 , the title (and the representation of Monmouthshire from 1698-1708 ) passed successively to his two surviving sons by his wife Elizabeth , heiress of Thomas Morgan of Machen (his fellow-member for the county), but it lapsed on the death of his great-nephew, Sir Leonard Williams , in 1758 ; the estates passed by marriage to the present family of Addams-Williams of Llangibby .


  • Bradney , A History of Monmouthshire , iii, 96-104;
  • The National Library of Wales Journal , i, 47-9, vi, 255, and sources therein cited;
  • The Journals of the House of Commons , ii, 162, 489; v, 482, 566; ix, 531-609;
  • Thomas Carlyle , Oliver Cromwell's letters and speeches with elucidations (New York, 1849) (ed. Lomas ), i, 294, 315-7; ii, 253;
  • Reports of the Historical Manuscripts Commission , 7 th R. , 498; 9 th R., ii, 85-6, 112, 115-67; 12 th R. , ix, 68, 74, 99, 104, 114;
  • Calendar of the Committee for Compounding with Delinquents, etc., 1643–1660 , i, 533; iii, 2304; iv, 2947;
  • Firth and Rait , Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642–1660 (1911) , i, 970, 1087, 1136; ii, 15, 1374, 1437;
  • A Full Relation of the Desperate Design for the betraying of Monmouth (1645) , 1645 ;
  • Two Letters from Colonell Morgan. Governor of Gloucester, … relating the summons, answer and the manner of taking the Town and Castle of Monmouth … Likewise two letters [signed, K. R.] from an officer in Monmouth, concerning the free comming in of the country to block up Hereford, etc (London, 1645) , 1645 ;
  • Three Victories in Wales … and a coppy of the articles for the surrender of Rother castle to maior generall Mitton, etc. Certified by severall letters, etc (London, 1646) , 1646 ;
  • The Gallant Siege of the Parliament's Forces before Ragland Castle maintained by Colonel Morgan, etc. [Two letters, signed M. P.] (London, 1646) , 1646 ;
  • W. R. Williams , The History of the Parliamentary Representation of Wales (1895) , 126, 136.


Emeritus Professor Arthur Herbert Dodd, M.A., (1891-1975), Bangor

Published date: 1959