Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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WINSTONE , JAMES ( 1863 - 1921 ), miners' leader in South Wales ;

b. at Risca, Mon. , 1863 , son of William and Hannah Winstone . He started to work at 8 years of age in a brick-works , and then at the Risca colliery . He had to leave owing to his trade union activities and went to Treharris . He was, however, appointed check–weighman at Risca , and in 1901 , made miners' agent for the eastern valleys district . He was one of the founders of the South Wales Miners Federation and succeeded William Brace as president in 1915 , which post he held until his death in 1921 . In 1917 he visited Canada as a representative of the British trade union movement . He unsuccessfully fought three Parliamentary elections, Monmouth boroughs in 1906 , and as Anti-Coalition candidate in the by-election in Merthyr boroughs in 1915 , and again in the same constituency in 1919 .

He was a member of the Risca and, later, the Abersychan urban district council , and in 1906 was elected to the Monmouthshire county council , of which, in 1919 , he became an alderman , and in 1920 , the chairman . He was also vice-chairman of the education committee , and a justice of the peace for Monmouthshire . He was m. at Newport in 1886 to Sarah Jane Iven . They had seven children, two of whom died in infancy. Winstone was a Baptist and was prominent in the Nonconformist and Temperance movements . He d. in London , after an operation , 27 July 1921 .


  • Information from R. Winstone , S. O. Davies , and Margaret S. Taylor (Merthyr Public Library);
  • South Wales News (1770) and Western Mail , 28 July 1921 ;
  • Who's who in Wales , 1920 .


Professor Huw Morris-Jones, D.Phil., (1912-89), Bangor

Published date: 1959