Born 9 March 1879 at Aberdare, Glamorganshire, the eldest son of Rees and Elizabeth (née Llewellyn) Llewellyn, Bwllfa House : his father was general manager of the Bwllfa & Merthyr Dare Collieries, a post afterwards held by his son, William Morgan Llewellyn. D.R. Llewellyn was educated at Aberdare and Llandovery College before following a course in mining engineering at University College, Cardiff (1901-03). He went to USA for 2 years to gain more experience and on his return he began to acquire local pits and then more widely in south Wales, pioneering the use of new coal-cutting machines which he had seen in America. In 1916, as chairman of the Gwauncaegurwen Coalmining Company, he became associated with Henry Seymour Berry, Lord Buckland and the Cambrian Combine, and consequently he had a part in the development of the anthracite coalfield. He became a director of many enterprises in the coal trade, especially the Vale of Neath, Amalgamated Anthracite Collieries, Guest, Keen & Nettlefold, and chairman of the Welsh Associated Collieries and later vice-chairman of the United Powell Duffryn Associated Collieries (under the chairmanship of Edmund Hann). By about 1920 it could be claimed that he owned or managed about 1/7 of the south Wales coalfield. He played an important part in the development of management methods in the coal industry and the growth of amalgamated companies. He was an influential figure in the regional Coalowners Association (especially about 1925-30) and he was acknowledged as a leader with moderate views. Both he and his brother W.M. Llewellyn mixed with their workers and they retained their personal and local links.
While his home was in Aberdare (Goytre, Llewellyn St., then Fairfield House) he was an active member of the Town Council (chairman 1920), High Constable of Miskin and a prominent Liberal and Unitarian (at Hen-dy-cwrdd, Aberdare). He was treasurer of University College, Cardiff 1922, and president 1924. The baronetcy was created in 1922 and he was awarded an hon. LL.D. by the University of Wales in 1929. He moved to The Court, St. Fagans. His chief hobbies were hunting (both he and his brother were masters of the Bwllfa hunt) and horses. He married Magdalene (daughter of Henry Harries, ‘Afonwy’, Baptist minister of Treherbert) in 1905 and they had 4 sons and 4 daughters. Following the death of their eldest son Rhys the baronetcy was inherited by the second son Henry (Harry) Morton who became a leading equestrian figure. He died at his brother's house, Tynewydd, Hirwaun, Glamorganshire, 15 December 1940.
Published date: 2001
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