- 1567-1812 / (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
0.029 cubic metres (1 box)
Name of creator
Sir William Williams (1634-1700), lawyer and politician, was the eldest son of Dr Hugh Williams, rector of Llanrhyddlad and Llantrisant, Anglesey. He was recorder of Chester, 1667-1684, and MP for the borough, 1675-1685; for Montgomeryshire boroughs, April-June 1685; and for Beaumaris, 1689-1690, 1695-1700. He was elected Speaker of the House of Commons in 1680 and again in 1681. In 1684 he was prosecuted for a scandalum magnatum having, as Speaker, authorised the publication of the Thomas Dangerfield's Narrative and was fined £10,000. He was originally a supporter of the country party but, following his fine, he became a supporter of James II for which he received a knighthood and the office of solicitor-general, both in 1687. He was one of the prosecuting counsel in the trial of the Seven Bishops in 1688. Following James's flight, he changed sides again and subsequently helped to draft the Bill of Rights. He bought the Llanforda estate, Oswestry, from the father of Edward Lluyd in 1665, and by marriage acquired the Glascoed estate, Llansilin, Denbighshire, where he was buried. His son, also called Sir William Williams (1684-1740), inherited Llanforda and Glascoed, whilst his grandson Sir Watkin Williams Wynn (d. 1749) inherited the Wynnstay estate through his mother.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Deposited by Arthur Williams-Wynn D.L., J.P., Coedymaen, Welshpool, in 1925, and purchased in 1990 with funding from the National Heritage Memorial Fund.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Papers of Sir William Williams, mainly legal papers, 1685-1693; political papers, 1680-1698; and papers relating to, or collected by his ancestors or descendants, 1567-1812. The legal papers include papers relating to the trials of the Earl of Shaftesbury, 1677, Algernon Sidney, 1683, his own trials for a scandalum magnatum brought by James II and the Earl of Peterborough, 1685-1686, and the trial of the Seven Bishops, 1688.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
Action: All records have been retained.
Accruals are not expected.
System of arrangement
Arranged into the following: legal papers; political papers; and miscellaneous.
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to sign the 'Modern papers - data protection' form.
Conditions governing reproduction
Usual copyright regulations apply.
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
English, French, Welsh.
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
A hard copy of the catalogue is available at the National Library of Wales. The catalogue can be accessed online.
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Title supplied from domicile of depositor. The NLW Coedymaen Papers (Group 2) comprise correspondence and appointments of Charles Watkin Williams Wynn (1775-1850), and do not relate to Sir William Williams.
Virtua system control number
Place access points
Name access points
- Williams, William, Sir, 1634-1700 -- Archives (Subject)
- Sidney, Algernon, 1622-1683 (Subject)
- Williams, William, Sir, 1634-1700 (Subject)
- James II, King of England, 1633-1701 (Subject)
- Peterborough, Henry Mordaunt, Earl of, 1624?-1697 (Subject)
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.;AACR2; and LCSH
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
August 2003; minor revisions May 2005
Compiled by Annette Strauch for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: NLW, Schedule of Coedymaen Papers (Group 1); Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (London, 1959).