PARRY, WILLIAM JOHN (1842 - 1927), Labour leader, and author

Name: William John Parry
Date of birth: 1842
Date of death: 1927
Gender: Male
Occupation: Labour leader, and author
Area of activity: Business and Industry; Literature and Writing; Politics, Government and Political Movements
Author: David Thomas

Born at Bethesda, Caernarfonshire, 28 September 1842. He was active in politics throughout his life, and took a leading part in the famous 1868 election. At the national eisteddfod of 1882 he read a paper to the Cymmrodorion Society on ' Local, Provincial, and Imperial Government,' but it was not published in the Society's Transactions until 1917-8, because it was regarded at the time as being too revolutionary. He proposed in it the reorganization of local government, the reform of the House of Lords, and the establishment of provincial councils for Wales, Scotland, etc. He was a member of the first Caernarvonshire county council in 1889, and its chairman in 1892-3. He presented very many books and papers to the National Library of Wales and to the library of the University College of North Wales.

Parry took a prominent part in the creation of the North Wales Quarrymen's Union in 1874; he was its first secretary, and afterwards ts president for some years. In 1879 he visited slate quarries in the United States at the Union's request. He published several books dealing with the quarrymen's affairs : Caebraichycafn; yr Ymdrafodaeth, 1875; Chwareli a Chwarelwyr, 1896; The Penrhyn Lock-out, 1900-01 - Statement and Appeal, 1901; The Cry of the People, 1906; and edited, with W. J. Williams, the Welsh translation of the evidence on slate quarries and quarrymen submitted to the royal commission on labour (1893).

He wrote much to Yr Herald Cymraeg, Y Genedl Gymreig, the Caernarvon and Denbigh Herald, and the North Wales Observer, on labour problems, leaseholds, Crown lands, Home Rule, county councils, arbitration, etc. He was one of the founders of the newspaper called Y Werin, in 1885, and its first editor for three years. He also wrote for other periodicals - Y Dysgedydd, Y Cronicl, Y Geninen, Cymru (O.M.E.), etc. He published Cofiant Tanymarian, 1886; Cyfrol Jiwbili Capel Bethesda, 1900; Telyn Sankey, 1901; Cofiant Hwfa Môn, 1907; The English Hymnal, 1907; and numerous pamphlets. He died 1 September 1927, at Bethesda.


Published date: 1959

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