Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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ROBERTS , JOHN HERBERT , BARON CLWYD of ABERGELE ( 1863 - 1955 ), politician ;

b. at 61 Hope Street , Liverpool , 8 Aug. 1863 , the son of John Roberts , Liverpool and Bryngwenallt , Abergele ( M.P. for the Flint Borough , 1878-92 ), and his wife Catherine Tudor , daughter of John Hughes ( 1796 - 1860 , DWB , 382) minister (CM) , Liverpool . He was educated at Trinity College , Cambridge , where he graduated B.A. in 1884 and M.A. in 1888 . He published A world tour after spending a year ( 1884-85 ) travelling the world, Ymweliad a Bryniau Kasia (second ed. 1888 ), and ‘ Tro yn yr Aifft ’ appeared in Y Drysorfa , 1896 . He settled in Abergele and was an elder at Mynydd Seion chapel (CM) for sixty-eight years, but kept his connection with Liverpool for a while as a director of David Roberts , a company of builders and timber merchants which his grandfather had established.

As M.P. (Lib.) for Denbighshire West ( 1892-1918 ) he was one of a band of able young Welshmen like T.E. Ellis ( DWB , 214) and David Lloyd George (see Lloyd George , David above) . He took a particular interest in Indian affairs and the temperance movement . He was a member of the National Congress of India , and chairman of its British committee . He was president of the North Wales Temperance Association for many years, and a member of the Royal Commission on the Licensing Laws , 1896-99 . It was his father who had presented the bill to close public houses in Wales on Sundays, and he attempted to add different legislation for Wales to strengthen the law. He supported measures for disestablishement and was a commissioner for the property of the Church in Wales from 1914 . He was secretary of the Welsh Liberal Party and chairman , 1912-18 . In 1922 he was a member of the Commission on voluntary hospitals in Wales . He was created a baronet in 1908 and elevated Baron Clwyd of Abergele in 1919 . He journeyed regularly from Abergele to the House of Lords until he was over ninety years old. He did great service in public life of which the public was largely unaware.

He m. in Clapham chapel (Congl.) , on 1 Aug. 1893 , Hanna Rushton , daughter of William Sproston Caine , M.P. who had a great influence on him. They had three sons. He d. 19 Dec. 1955 at Tan-yr-allt , Abergele .


  • North Wales Times , 31 Dec. 1955 ;
  • The Complete Peerage (1910–40) .


Evan David Jones, F.S.A., (1903-87), Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001