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WILLIAMS, Sir GEORGE CLARK (1878 - 1958), BARONET and county court judge

Name: George Clark Williams
Date of birth: 1878
Date of death: 1958
Parent: Martha Williams
Parent: Samuel Williams
Gender: Male
Occupation: BARONET and county court judge
Area of activity: Law
Author: Dewi Watkin Powell

Born at Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, 2 November 1878, fourth child of Samuel and Martha Williams. His father was one of the owners of a company selling timber and of the largest tin works in the town at its industrial peak, namely the Old Lodge Works. An uncle and a cousin had been High Sheriffs of the county, and a relative, Samuel Williams, one of the doctors of the town, endowed postgraduate scholarships for students of the University of Wales. The family were zealous Independents and pillars of Park Church.

George Clark Williams received his early education at Llanelli and Bishop's Stortford public school. He went to Aberystwyth College and in 1898 gained a B.A. degree of London University. After serving his articles he qualified as a solicitor, and in 1902 joined the partnership of Roderick, Richards and Williams, Llanelli, where he remained for 6 years until he decided to become a barrister. He was called to the bar in 1909 by the Inner Temple and he joined the South Wales and Chester Circuit, establishing himself in the busy chambers of Trevor Hunter of Swansea. After serving as an officer in the 4th battalion of the Welch Regiment throughout World War I, he resumed his work and built up a large practice specialising in matters relating to Workers' Compensation, gaining experience of great value to him on the bench in years to come. In 1934 he moved to London for a short period when he was made King's Counsel, but in 1935 he was appointed Judge of the County Court of mid-Glamorgan and he remained there for 13 years until he took the post of deputy National Insurance Commissioner. He retired in 1950.

He was an unsuccessful parliamentary candidate (Lib.) for the Llanelli constituency in 1922 and he did not take further part in politics. He was Lord Lieutenant of Carmarthenshire, 1949-53. He was a member of the council of the University College, Swansea, from 1943 until his death, and vice-president of the college for the last two years of his life. The University of Wales conferred on him an hon. LL.D. degree in 1956. The previous yr. he was created a baronet. He died a bachelor on 15 October 1958 and the title lapsed.

At one time, he had intended entering the ministry and although he turned to law, he maintained close links with the church throughout his life. His upbringing in a religious home influenced greatly his behaviour as a barrister and judge. His courtesy was proverbial and his patience in court or committee boundless. He was fond of children and was a generous benefactor. As a judge, he was magnanimous, a gift which was particularly apparent during World War II when he sat from time to time as chairman of some of the Tribunals for Conscientious Objectors in south Wales.


Published date: 2001

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