WILLIAMS, GWILYM (1839 - 1906), judge

Name: Gwilym Williams
Date of birth: 1839
Date of death: 1906
Spouse: Emma E. Williams (née Williams)
Child: Rhys
Parent: Ann Williams (née Morgan)
Parent: David Williams
Gender: Male
Occupation: judge
Area of activity: Law
Author: Watkin William Price

Born at Ynyscynon, Aberdare, elder son of David Williams (Alaw Goch) and his wife, Ann, the sister of William Morgan (1819 - 1878), poet. He was educated at Cowbridge grammar school, the Normal College, Swansea, and in France. He became a barrister of the Inner Temple, 1863, and in the same year, on the death of his father, a wealthy landowner, as the proprietor of the Miskin estate with valuable mineral properties.

After an appeal in the House of Commons for bilingual judges he was appointed by the Home Secretary as stipendiary magistrate for Pontypridd and the Rhondda (1872), then a difficult area to administer, with its rapidly-growing population. It was said of him at this time that he was ' a terror to malefactors.' He continued in office until 1884 when he was appointed a judge of the county courts, mid-Wales circuit, to be soon afterwards (1885) promoted to the responsible position of judge of the county courts of Glamorgan in 1885, a post which he held until his death (25 March 1906). He was also chairman of the Glamorgan quarter sessions from 3 July 1894 until death.

Like his father he was an ardent and patriotic Welshman. A great eisteddfodwr, he often presided over enthusiastic gatherings, addressed meetings of Cymmrodorion societies, and delivered lectures (in Welsh and English) to audiences in the industrial districts of South Wales. He was president and adjudicator at the Pontypridd national eisteddfod in 1893 and intervened to order Gwilym Cowlyd off the stage for refusing to agree with the two other adjudicators in deciding the winner of the chair for the best awdl (Gen., October 1919). He contributed articles to Cymru (O.M.E.) and Y Geninen, and published his father's poetical works, edited by Dafydd Morganwg, 1903, as Gwaith Barddonol Alaw Goch. He married, 1863, Emma E. (died 12 August 1922), daughter of William Williams of Aberpergwm, and had three sons and a daughter.


Published date: 1959

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