Fonds GB 0210 WLLEWWIL - W. Llewelyn Williams Papers,

Identity area

Reference code



W. Llewelyn Williams Papers,


  • 1861-2005 / (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.067 cubic metres (2 large boxes and 1 small box)

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

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.

Archival history

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

  • English
  • Welsh

Script of material

Language and script notes

English, Welsh (for further details, see file level descriptions).

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Letters from W. Llewelyn Williams, together with other relevant papers, are held in numerous collections at NLW and at Bangor University. A photograph of W. Llewelyn Williams has been transferred to the NLW Photographic Collection (Bib ID 3473776).

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title based on contents. The archive contains papers that pre-date and post-date the life of W. Llewelyn Williams.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


GEAC system control number


Access points

Place access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

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

June 2009.


  • English



Archivist's note

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;

Accession area

Related genres

Related places

Physical storage

  • Text: W. Llewelyn Williams Papers.