descended from the marriage of Howel Gam ap David (fl. 1300) to a daughter of the Scudamore family. The surname was first adopted by his grandfather, Roger Williams (died 1583), who was sheriff of Monmouthshire in 1562 and was succeeded in the office in 1627 by his son, Sir Charles Williams; the latter, Sir Trevor's father, knighted in 1621, also represented the county in Parliament that year, but ill-health made him ineffective, and he died in the course of the session (March 1642). His son, Trevor, made a commissioner of array for Monmouthshire at the outbreak of the Civil War and a baronet on 14 September 1642, was captured by the Roundheads at Highnam on 25 March 1643, and after his release garrisoned the ancient but long disused castle of Llangibby for the king with sixty men, and took part in the operations of 1644 round Monmouth. But as a tenant of the earls of Pembroke he shared the hereditary feud with the house of Somerset and resented royal favours to a popish family, especially the earl of Glamorgan's commission to bring Irish forces over to Wales, which had become public by June 1645; hence he resisted the recruiting activities of Sir Jacob Astley for the king in South Wales the following August, and was arrested on Charles's order at Abergavenny (11 September), but subsequently released on bail, whereupon he seized and held Monmouth castle against the king (24 October), and helped in the siege of Raglan next year. In the second Civil War, alarmed at the ascendancy of Cromwell and the Commons ' decision (7 March 1648) to reward him with the Somerset manors in Glamorgan and Monmouthshire, some of which (especially Chepstow) he coveted for himself, he helped Sir Nicholas Kemys to seize and hold Chepstow castle for the king in March 1648, until it was recovered for Cromwell by storm on 25 May. Despite this he was put on the local militia committee on 12 May, but was excluded from the General Composition Act for South Wales (23 February 1649). The sequestration of his estate was, however, reversed on appeal to the barons of the Exchequer, and he himself bought sequestered Royalist lands in Cardiff and S. Mellons in 1650, and was reconciled to the Protectorate even to the extent of abandoning for a time his title of baronet (1657); but he bore no public office till, on the eve of the Restoration, he sat on the county assessment and militia committees (January and March 1660), and represented Monmouth boroughs in the Convention in April.
After the Restoration, he took out a pardon under the great seal and won the county seat at a contested by-election in November 1667, caused by the succession of the heir of Raglan to the marquisate of Worcester. He sat for the boroughs in the Parliament of 1679 and again for the county in those of 1680 and 1681. His support of the country party led to his removal from the county bench in February 1680; this he avenged the following January by joining John Arnold in demanding the removal of Worcester (whom he accused of garrisoning Chepstow with Papists) from the royal court and council, while Worcester (now duke of Beaufort) replied by procuring against him, in November 1683, a verdict of 'scandalum magnatum,' with a crippling fine, which ended his political career. On his death in 1692, the title (and the representation of Monmouthshire from 1698-1708) passed successively to his two surviving sons by his wife Elizabeth, heiress of Thomas Morgan of Machen (his fellow-member for the county), but it lapsed on the death of his great-nephew, Sir Leonard Williams, in 1758; the estates passed by marriage to the present family of Addams-Williams of Llangibby.
Published date: 1959
Article Copyright: http://rightsstatements.org/page/InC/1.0/
The Dictionary of Welsh Biography is provided by The National Library of Wales and the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies. It is free to use and does not receive grant support. A donation would help us maintain and improve the site so that we can continue to acknowledge Welsh men and women who have made notable contributions to life in Wales and beyond.
Find out more on our sponsorship page.