Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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WILLIAMS , LLYWELYN ( 1911 - 1965 ), minister (Congl.) and politician ;

b. in Llanelli , 22 July 1911 one of the four children of William Williams and his wife Jessie (née Phillips ) . The father was a collier until he lost his health which caused him to spend the rest of his life as an insurance collector . The children were reared in a cultured home at 63 Marble Road . They were imbued with the principles of religion and education, a love of Wales and a commitment to social freedom. Olwen Williams , former headmistress of the Welsh school at Llanelli , was Llywelyn 's sister. The children were heavily influenced by the society at Capel Als (Congl.) and undoubtedly the fine preaching of the minister , Daniel John Davies (see above) , led two of them into the ministry. Llywelyn was educated at Stebonheath primary school and the boys' grammar school Llanelli . He went to the University College of Swansea with a scholarship and graduated in Welsh and philosophy in 1933 . After a theological course at the Presbyterian College in Carmarthen , he was ordained minister in Bethesda, Caerns. , in 1936 . He left in 1943 for the Tabernacl , Abertillery , and within three years was called to succeed Howell Elvet Lewis (see above) at Tabernacl , King's Cross , London . In 1950 he was elected M.P. for Abertillery in a by-election following the death of George Daggar (see above) . He won every election thereafter with a majority of over 20,000 votes. He had an opportunity in the House of Commons to channel his zeal for social justice and world peace in a wider con text. His commitment to developing welfare in Wales continued as steadfastly as ever, and his brilliant speeches made a deep impression on his fellow-members. He represented Britain at the Council of Europe in Strasburg in 1954 . He went on a lecture tour to America in 1955 and spoke on a variety of subjects including the campaign against famine , the Colombo Plan , the Welfare State in Britain , and the Council of Europe . In 1957 he argued for inviting Mao Tse Tung and Chou En-lai to Britain , and in 1958 he was one of the twelve M.P. s who toured the U.S.A. He was president of the Association of Old Age Pensioners in Wales in 1963 , and was chairman of the Labour Group of Welsh M.P.s . Despite leading a busy life he contributed to the Welsh press — ‘ Y Wers Gydwladol ’ in Y Cyfarwyddwr , 1941-42 , a tribute to Hugh Gaitskell in Barn in 1963 , and ‘ Newyddion o'r Senedd ’ to Y Cymro in 1964-65 . He was the author of Hanes eglwys y Tabernacl, King's Cross, 1847-1947 ( 1947 ). He suffered a number of heart attacks from 1960 onwards.

He m. Elsie , daughter of Lord Macdonald of Gwaenysgor (see above) on 17 Aug. 1938 in Ashton-in-Makerfield ; they had a son and daughter. He d. 4 Feb. 1965 after bequeathing his body to the Medical School , Cardiff for research; his remains were buried in the cemetery of Thornhill crematorium , Cardiff .

Sources:

  • Blwyddiadur yr Annibynwyr Cymraeg , 1966 , 153-4;
  • Who was who? ;
  • The Times , 6 Feb. 1965 ;
  • information from his sister, Olwen.

Author:

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

Published date: 2001