THOMAS, Sir ROBERT JOHN (1873 - 1951), politician and shipowner

Name: Robert John Thomas
Date of birth: 1873
Date of death: 1951
Spouse: Marie Rose Thomas (née Burrows)
Child: William Eustace Rhyddland Thomas
Parent: Catherine Thomas
Parent: William Thomas
Gender: Male
Occupation: politician and shipowner
Area of activity: Business and Industry; Politics, Government and Political Movements
Author: John Graham Jones

Born 23 April 1873, the son of William and Catherine Thomas, Bootle. He was educated at Bootle College, Liverpool Institute and Tettenhall College. He began working as a ship and insurance broker in the family business at Liverpool, and later became an underwriter at Lloyds. Thomas served as M.P. (Coalition Lib.) for the Wrexham division, 1918-22, stood unsuccessfully in Anglesey in 1922 before winning the seat at a by-election in April 1923 held following the death of Sir Owen Thomas. He continued to represent Anglesey in Parliament until May 1929 when he resigned in order to be able to give more attention to his commercial interests. His successor in the constituency was Lady Megan Lloyd George (see LLOYD GEORGE FAMILY above). He was declared bankrupt in 1930 and was not discharged until 1935. Thomas was a member of the Anglesey County Council and served as High Sheriff for the county in 1912. He was the founder of the Welsh Heroes Memorial Fund to which he donated £20,000, and for many years he served as its honorary secretary. He also founded and equipped at Holyhead the Lady Thomas Convalescent Home for Discharged and Disabled Soldiers and Sailors. He was a native Welsh -speaker, a member of the Council of the University College of North Wales, Bangor, and for 15 yrs was the honorary treasurer of the Anglesey Eisteddfod Association. He was knighted in 1918.

Thomas married in 1905 Marie Rose, daughter of Arthur Burrows. She died in 1948. They had two sons and a daughter. His heir was Sir William Eustace Rhyddland Thomas (1909 - 1957). He died 27 September 1951 at his home Garreg-lwyd, Holyhead, Anglesey.


Published date: 2001

Article Copyright:

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.