Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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HOWELL , THOMAS FRANCIS ( 1864 - 1953 ), businessman and barrister ;

b. in London 22 Oct. 1864 son of James Howell and Fanny (née Davies Logan ) , later of Cardiff . He was educated at Cardiff , and at St. John's College , Cambridge ( 1883-87 ), where he obtained degrees in classics and law. Music , however, was one of his greatest interests at an early age, and he studied the piano, cello, singing and elocution at the Guildhall School of Music with the view of making this his career. The law triumphed, however, and he was called to the Bar at Inner Temple ( 1889 ) and practised for a time on the South Wales Circuit . On the death of his father in 1909 , he took over management and control of the family business and Cardiff store founded by James Howell , and under his direction the store developed and became well known throughout south Wales , and beyond. He established himself as one of Wales ’ most prominent and successful businessmen in the first half of the twentieth century and retired in 1950 . In 1913 he was admitted to the Livery of the Drapers’ Company and became its Master in 1940 . During World War I he was attached to the Contracts Department of the Admiralty and was its representative in Cardiff in 1918 . A Justice of the Peace for Cardiff from 1935 he also undertook many other outside interests, including a governorship of Howell's School in Denbigh , and trusteeship of the Whitechapel Art Gallery . He continued to be active in musical circles , serving on many of the committees of the London national eisteddfod in 1909 , and on various committees of the Cardiff Triennial Music Festival . He m., 1904 , Edith Mary Millard and there were three children of the marriage. He d. in a Cardiff nursing home, 16 Nov. 1953 .


  • Who's who in Wales (1933) ;
  • Western Mail , 17 Nov. 1953 .


David Glanville Rosser, M.B.E., (1915-2001), Caernarfon

Published date: 2001