Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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WILLIAMS , Sir EVAN ( 1871 - 1959 ), BARONET and colliery owner ;

b. 2 July 1871 , son of Thomas Williams , colliery owner , of Llwyn Gwern , Pontarddulais, Glam. Educated at Christ College , Brecon , and Clare College , Cambridge , he returned to Carmarthenshire in 1892 to assist in his father's colliery company . His election in 1913 as chairman of the Monmouthshire and South Wales Coalowners Association marked the beginning of a long period of prominence for him in the coal industry both in south Wales and in Britain in general. Serving on the ‘Sankey’ Coal Industry Commission in 1919 , he was a key figure during the troubled years of 1919-21 and of 1925-26 , principally because of his position as president of the Mining Association of Great Britain , a post to which he was elected in 1919 and which he was to hold for the record period of twenty-five years. He was a determined negotiator who was successful in securing district-based wages and hours of work instead of the national wage agreement canvassed by the Miners' Federation of Great Britain .

He remained in active control of his family business , Thomas Williams and Sons (Llangennech), Ltd. , until the mid-1940s and became a director of some large industrial and commercial concerns such as Powell Duffryn , Rhymney Iron and Coal , Welsh Associated Collieries , Great Western Railway and Lloyd's Bank . He was also a vice-president of the Federation of British Industries and served on a number of official or technical organisations connected with the coal industry .

He m. in 1903 Charlotte Mary , daughter of David Lackie , J.P. of Montrose . There were no children. In 1922-23 he was High Sheriff of Carmarthenshire and subsequently he was Deputy Lieutenant and a J.P. for the county. He was created a baronet in 1935 and d. 3 Feb. 1959 .


  • Dictionary of Business Biography (London, 1986) , vol. 5;
  • Mon. & S. Wales Coalowners' Assocn. Minute Books (at N.L.W.) MG12 et seq. ;
  • Julian Symons , The General Strike a historical portrait (1957) ;
  • Colliery Guardian , 197 (1959) , 208.


Graeme Holmes, Llandaf

Published date: 2001