Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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WILLIAMS , Sir CHARLES JAMES WATKIN ( 1828 - 1884 ), Member of Parliament, judge ;

b. 23 Sept. 1828 , eldest son of the Rev. Peter Williams , rector of Llansannan (later of Llangar ) and his wife Lydia Sophia , daughter of James Price , Plas yn Llysfaen, Denbs. Educated at Ruthin grammar school , he studied medicine at University College Hospital , London , where he became house surgeon . Deciding to become a lawyer , he entered S. Mary's Hall , Oxford , but did not graduate, and in 1851 became a student at the Middle Temple , being called to the Bar in 1854 . He specialised in commercial and financial cases. He took silk in 1873 . In Nov. 1868 he became Liberal Member of Parliament for the Denbigh boroughs , a seat which he held until 1880 , when he was returned for Caernarvonshire . He was regarded as an advanced Liberal and was a prominent figure in the Welsh Liberal revival . On 24 May 1870 he moved a resolution in the House of Commons in favour of the disestablishment of the Welsh Church , but was opposed by Gladstone . He became a puisne judge in 1880 , soon after his election for Caernarvonshire , and in that capacity won a reputation for care and sound legal knowledge. He d. suddenly, 17 July 1884 , and was buried at Kensal Green . He m. (1) Henrietta , daughter of William Henry Carey , and (2) Elizabeth , daughter of lord justice Lush . He wrote The Principles and Practice of Pleading in Civil Actions , The Philosophy of Evidence , and The Law of Church Rates (a pamphlet).


  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ;
  • Eminent Welshmen: a short biographical dictionary of Welshmen ... from the earliest times to the present (1908) ;
  • T. Gwynn Jones , Cofiant Thomas Gee (Denbigh, 1913)


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

Published date: 1959