Aneurin Williams

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Aneurin Williams

Aneurin Williams (11 October 1859 – 20 January 1924) was a British Liberal Party politician.

Background[edit]

He was the born in Dowlais, Glamorganshire, the second son of Edward Williams, CE, JP, ironmaster, of Cleveland Lodge, Middlesbrough. He was the great-grandson of Iolo Morgannwg, founder of the Gorsedd. He was educated privately before attending St John’s College, Cambridge where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Tripos in 1880 and a Master of Arts in 1883. He married, in 1888, Helen Elizabeth Pattinson, of Shipcote House, Gateshead. They had one son Iolo Aneurin Williams[1] and one daughter, Helen Ursula Williams. His wife Helen died in 1922.[2]

Professional career[edit]

He was Called to Bar, Inner Temple in 1884. He was one of the acting partners at Linthorpe Ironworks, in Middlesbrough from 1886–90.

Political career[edit]

He joined the Liberal Party. He was firstly the unsuccessful Liberal candidate for the safe Conservative Medway Division of Kent at the 1906 General Election. He was one of the successful Liberal candidates for the dual member Plymouth Division of Devon at the January 1910 General Election. He was defeated at the Plymouth in the December 1910 General Election. He was the successful Liberal candidate for the North West Durham Division at the North West Durham by-election, 1914.

Williams victory as portrayed in the local press
North West Durham by-election, 1914[3] Electorate 20,233
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Aneurin Williams 7,241 40.6 -24.5
Unionist James Ogden Hardicker 5,564 31.2 -3.7
Labour George Harold Stuart-Bunning 5,026 28.2 +28.2
Majority 1,677 9.4 -20.8
Turnout 88.1 +12.8
Liberal hold Swing -10.4

In September 1915, Williams, along with Lord Bryce, attempted to publicize the Armenian genocide. In a public letter published in The New York Times, Bryce wrote that he agreed with Williams that "the civilized world ... ought to know" about the Ottoman Turks' "plan of extirpating Christianity by killing off the Christians of the Armenian race". This letter estimated that 250,000 Armenians had escaped from the Ottoman Empire, while "perhaps 500,00 have been slaughtered or deported".[4] A series of speeches in Parliament by Williams, Lord Robert Cecil, and T. P. O'Connor about the Armenian genocide were later published as a pamphlet entitled The Armenian Question.[5]

He served as a Justice of the peace in Surrey. He was Director of the First Garden City Ltd. He was Chairman of the executive committee of the Land Nationalisation Society. He was Chairman of the Executive of the International Co-operative Alliance.[6] He was a Director of the Welsh National House Trust Ltd.[7]

He was the successful Liberal candidate for the Consett Division of Durham at the 1918 General Election.

General Election 1918: Consett[8] Electorate 34,393
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Aneurin Williams 7,576 34.3 n/a
National Democratic 7,283 32.9 n/a
Labour George Harold Stuart-Bunning 7,268 32.8 n/a
Majority 293 1.4 n/a
Turnout 64.3 n/a
Liberal win
  • denotes candidate who was endorsed by the Coalition Government.

He was Joint Honorary Secretary of the Labour Co-partnership Association. He was Chairman of the British Armenia Committee. He was Treasurer of the Proportional Representation Society. He was Chairman of the House of Commons Committee on Public Accounts, from 1921-1922.[9] He was a Member of the Executive of the League of Nations Union. At the next General Election he was finally defeated;

General Election 1922: Consett[8] Electorate 37,886
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Herbert Dunnico 14,469 46.5 +13.7
Liberal Aneurin Williams 9,870 31.8
Unionist Sydney Erskine Dare Wilson 6,745 21.7
Majority 4,599 14.7
Turnout 82.0 +17.7
Labour gain from Liberal Swing

Both his children also stood as Liberal Party candidates. His son Iolo contested Chelsea in 1924 and 1929. His daughter Ursula came close to re-gaining her father's seat of Consett at the 1923 General Election.[10]

Publications[edit]

  • Twenty-eight Years of Co-partnership at Guise (1908) Labour Co-Partnership Association
  • Co-partnership and Profit-sharing (1927) Williams and Norgate
  • article on Co-operative Societies in the Encyclopædia Britannica

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Thomas Dobson and
Charles Mallet
Member of Parliament for Plymouth
Jan. 1910Dec. 1910
With: Charles Mallet
Succeeded by
Waldorf Astor and
Arthur Shirley Benn
Preceded by
Llewellyn Atherley-Jones
Member of Parliament for North West Durham
19141918
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Consett
19181922
Succeeded by
Herbert Dunnico

References[edit]

  1. ^ ‘WILLIAMS, Iolo Aneurin’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2007; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007 accessed 8 Jan 2014
  2. ^ ‘WILLIAMS, Aneurin’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2007; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007 accessed 8 Jan 2014
  3. ^ British parliamentary election results 1885-1918, Craig, F.W.S. (1974)
  4. ^ "Armenian Appeal by Bryce in Full: Plea to American for Aid Made in Form of Letter to Aneurin Williams, M.P.". The New York Times. October 10, 1915. Retrieved 2012-05-26. 
  5. ^ Aneurin Williams, Lord Robert Cecil, T. P. O'Connor (c. 1919). The Armenian Question. Armenian Refugees Fund. Retrieved 2012-05-26. 
  6. ^ Debrett's House of Commons and Judicial Bench, 1916
  7. ^ Debrett's House of Commons and Judicial Bench, 1918
  8. ^ a b British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949, FWS Craig
  9. ^ Debrett's House of Commons and Judicial Bench, 1922
  10. ^ British parliamentary election results 1885-1918, Craig, F.W.S.