Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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LLEWELLYN , Sir DAVID RICHARD ( 1879 - 1940 ), BARONET, coalowner ;

b. 9 Mar. 1879 at Aberdare, Glam. , the eldest s. of Rees and Elizabeth (née Llewellyn ) Llewellyn , Bwllfa House : his father was general manager of the Bwllfa & Merthyr Dare Collieries , a post afterwards held by his son, William Morgan Llewellyn . D.R. Llewellyn was educated at Aberdare and Llandovery College before following a course in mining engineering at University College , Cardiff ( 1901-03 ). He went to USA for 2 years to gain more experience and on his return he began to acquire local pits and then more widely in south Wales , pioneering the use of new coal-cutting machines which he had seen in America . In 1916 , as chairman of the Gwauncaegurwen Coalmining Company , he became associated with Henry Seymour Berry , Lord Buckland (see above under BERRY , FAMILY ) and the Cambrian Combine , and consequently he had a part in the development of the anthracite coalfield . He became a director of many enterprises in the coal trade , especially the Vale of Neath , Amalgamated Anthracite Collieries , Guest, Keen & Nettlefold , and chairman of the Welsh Associated Collieries and later vice-chairman of the United Powell Duffryn Associated Collieries (under the chairmanship of Edmund Hann ). By about 1920 it could be claimed that he owned or managed about 1/7 of the south Wales coalfield . He played an important part in the development of management methods in the coal industry and the growth of amalgamated companies . He was an influential figure in the regional Coalowners Association (especially about 1925-30 ) and he was acknowledged as a leader with moderate views. Both he and his brother W.M. Llewellyn mixed with their workers and they retained their personal and local links.

While his home was in Aberdare ( Goytre , Llewellyn St. , then Fairfield House ) he was an active member of the Town Council ( chairman 1920 ), High Constable of Miskin and a prominent Liberal and Unitarian (at Hen-dy-cwrdd , Aberdare ). He was treasurer of University College , Cardiff 1922 , and president 1924 . The baronetcy was created in 1922 and he was awarded an hon. LL.D. by the University of Wales in 1929 . He moved to The Court , St. Fagans . His chief hobbies were hunting (both he and his brother were masters of the Bwllfa hunt ) and horses. He m. Magdalene (dau. of Henry Harries , ‘ Afonwy ’, Baptist minister of Treherbert ) in 1905 and they had 4 sons and 4 daughters. (Following the death of their eldest son Rhys the baronetcy was inherited by the second s. Henry (Harry) Morton who became a leading equestrian figure). He d. at his brother's house, Tynewydd , Hirwaun, Glam. , 15 Dec. 1940 .

Sources:

  • Dictionary of Business Biography , London, 1986 ;
  • Who's who in Wales (1921) , where his companies are listed;
  • The Times , 16 Dec. 1940 ;
  • Aberdare Leader , 21 Dec. 1940 , 1, 6.

Author:

Dr Brynley Francis Roberts, Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001