A native of Argoed, Bedwellty, Monmouth. He became a master-collier at Blaina, and (as it was usual for persons in his occupation to pay their men in public houses) he kept the Royal Oak Inn of that place. He was a free-thinker in religion, and ably defended his standpoint in A Letter to Benjamin Williams, 1831. The local Working Men's Association met at his house, and he became an active Chartist leader. When it was decided to march on Newport on the night of 3 November 1839, Williams was entrusted with the leadership of the contingent of Chartists which met near Nant-y-glo. After the riot he was arrested on board ship at Cardiff, 23 November, tried and condemned to death, but had his sentence commuted to transportation for life. In Tasmania he made attempts to escape, but eventually obtained a ticket of leave. He then discovered coal on the island, and in time made a considerable fortune. His wife, Joan, and his daughter, Rhoda, joined him in Tasmania in 1854. Williams died at Launceston, Tasmania, on 8 May 1874.
Published date: 1959
Article Copyright: http://rightsstatements.org/page/InC-RUU/1.0/