William Edward Oakeley

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William Edward Oakeley (1 August 1828–1 February 1912)[1] was the owner of the Oakeley Quarry in Blaenau Ffestiniog.

He was the son of William Oakeley (1798–1834) and Mary Maria Miles and the grandson of Sir Charles Oakeley, 1st Baronet of Shrewsbury. He inherited the Tanybwlch estate in 1868 from his father's cousin's widow, as she died childless.[2]

Educated at Eton and Oxford, he married Mary Russell in 1860. He had four children but two of them died at a young age. The two remaining children were one boy and one girl. Edward de Clifford William Oakeley and Mary Caroline Oakeley (later to become Mary Inge.) His main home was Cliffe House, Twycross Leicestershire near Atherstone. During the 1881 census he lived there with his wife and daughter along with a teacher and 12 servants. He described his occupation as a Landed Proprietor.[3]

He died on 1 February 1912 and was buried on 6 February. His death was reported in The Times and six days later a description of his funeral procession was published. His coffin was transported from his home at Cliffe House to Blaenau Ffestiniog by rail, and then by lorry to St Twrog church cemetery in Maentwrog. The lorry was followed by hundreds of workers from the Oakeley Quarry.[4][5]


  1. ^ Manylion coeden teulu W.E. Oakeley
  2. ^ "Perchnogion Chwareli Llechi - Chwareli Meirionnydd" (in Welsh). Llechwefan. 
  3. ^ 1881 census - Cliff House, Twycross, Leicester (RG11 3134/129 Page 2) Occupation: Landed Proprietor
  4. ^ The Times, 5 February 1912:
    "Oakeley. - On the 1st. Feb., at Cliff House, near Atherstone, William Edward Oakeley, in his 84th year. No flowers."
  5. ^ The Times, 7 February 1912:
    "The funeral of Mr William Oakeley, of the Plas, Tan-y-Bwlch, Merionethshire, and Cliffe House, Atherstone, took place yesterday at St Twrog Churchyard, Maentwrog. The coffin was taken from Atherstone to Festiniog by rail, and thence to Maentwrog on a lorry, which was followed by hundreds of workmen from the Oakeley quarries."
    AFTER THE DEATH OF W.E.O. William Edward Oakeley left his fortune for his son, Edward de Clifford. Edward de Clifford moved from Plas Tan-y-Bwlch to London, the biggest town for parties at the time. He drank the wrong things, ate the wrong things and spent away almost all of his father's money. After the death of Edward de Clifford, the remaining money was given to Mary, Edward de Clifford's sister. Edward de Clifford had forgotten about the Plas, and it is thanks to Mary Caroline that the house is still here today.