- 1861-2005 / (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
0.067 cubic metres (2 large boxes and 1 small box)
Name of creator
William Llewelyn Williams was born on 10 March 1867 at Brownhill, Llansadwrn, Carmarthenshire, to a family of notable Independents. He was privately educated at Llandovery College before receiving a scholarship to study at Brasenose College, Oxford, where he graduated in history in 1889. Whilst at college he was involved with the Dafydd ap Gwilym Society. He was briefly a schoolteacher at Canterbury before becoming the first editor of the South Wales Star in 1891. During this period, he became a supporter of the Cymru Fydd movement and was involved in the establishment of its first branch in Wales in Barry, 1891. He went on to work at the South Wales Post and the South Wales Daily News before moving to London to become chief sub-editor of the Star. He published some Welsh books, including S'lawer Dydd, Gwilym a Benni Bach and The Making of Modern Wales.
From journalism he turned his attention towards law and politics. He was called to the Bar from Lincoln's Inn in 1897 and took silk in 1912. Following this, he became leader of the South Wales Circuit and was Recorder of Swansea, 1914-1915, and Recorder of Cardiff, 1915-1922.
In 1906 he was elected MP for the Carmarthen Boroughs constituency, a seat he retained until its abolition in 1918. He was heavily involved in the struggle to secure the Disestablishment of the Church in Wales, and was virulently opposed to the introduction of military conscription in 1916. This ultimately led to the break-up of his friendship with David Lloyd George. He went on to contest unsuccessfully the 1921 Cardiganshire by-election as an Independent Liberal candidate, losing to Ernest Evans, the Coalition Liberal and former private secretary to Lloyd George.
W. Llewelyn Williams died in April 1922, aged 55. He left a widow, Elinor, née Jenkins. A memorial was erected and unveiled in his name at Brownhill in September 1938.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
T. Michael Evans, QC; Swansea; Donation; December 2005; 200513134.
Neville C. Masterman; Swansea; Donation; April 2006
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Papers of W. Llewelyn Williams, KC, MP, 1861-2005, comprising diaries, letters, professional papers, printed material, personal papers, and papers accumulated by his family after his death. The collection also includes the research papers of Neville C. Masterman relating to the life and political career of W. Llewelyn Williams.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
Action: All records donated to NLW have been retained.
Accruals are not expected.
System of arrangement
Arranged at NLW into two groups: T. Michael Evans donation and Neville C. Masterman donation.
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Readers consulting modern records in the National Library of Wales are required to abide by the conditions noted on the 'Modern papers - data protection' form issued with their readers' tickets.
Conditions governing reproduction
Usual copyright laws apply.
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
English, Welsh (for further details, see file level descriptions).
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Title based on contents. The archive contains papers that pre-date and post-date the life of W. Llewelyn Williams.
Virtua system control number
GEAC system control number
Place access points
Name access points
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
Compiled by Rhian Lyn James. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: 'A proved and loyal friendship: the diary of W. Llewelyn Williams M.P., 1906-15', by J. Graham Jones in The National Library of Wales Journal, vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 322-374, available online on NLW's website; 'The journalist as politician: W. Llewelyn Williams (1867-1922)', by J. Graham Jones in the Carmarthenshire Antiquary, XXXVII (2001), pp. 79-98; Dictionary of Welsh Biography; items within the archive;