File A2/1. - Letters from David Lloyd George,

Identity area

Reference code

A2/1.

Title

Letters from David Lloyd George,

Date(s)

  • 1902-1924. (Creation)

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Extent and medium

1 cm.

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

David Lloyd George, Liberal statesman and Prime Minister from 1916 until 1922, was born in Manchester in January 1863. His father died the following year and his mother took herself and her children to live with her brother Richard Lloyd (1834-1917) at Llanystumdwy, where David attended the National School. He qualified in law in 1884 and began to practice as a solicitor at Cricieth; he became known in his profession as a fierce advocate and an eloquent speaker. Together with his younger brother William George (1865-1967) he set up the family legal practice Lloyd George and George. In 1890 Lloyd George was elected Liberal MP for the Caernarvonshire Boroughs. His interests at this time were mainly those of Wales, including the Disestablishment of the Welsh Church and land reform; he was also prominent in the nationalistic movement Cymru Fydd which was founded in 1886. He also opposed the conduct of the South African war (1899-1902) and the 1902 Education Act. When the Liberals came to power in 1905 Lloyd George became President of the Board of Trade under Campbell-Bannerman and he soon proved himself an exceptional administrator and mediator. In 1908 he succeeded H. H. Asquith as Chancellor of the Exchequer, piloting the Old Age Pension Bill through the House of Commons, and, in 1909, he introduced his controversial first 'People's Budget', which emphasised social reform by raising revenue in novel ways, and which was rejected by the House of Lords. In 1911, he was successfully to introduce the National Insurance Bill. Upon the formation of a wartime coalition government in 1915, Lloyd George became Minister of Munitions, and in 1916 he succeeded first Lord Kitchener, as Secretary for War. On Asquith's enforced resignation in December 1916, Lloyd George became Prime Minister, steering Britain through the First World War and appearing prominently in the subsequent Paris Peace Conference of 1919. In 1921, he carried through the Anglo-Irish Treaty which created an autonomous Ireland. When, in November 1922, the Conservative members of the government took their decision to resign, thus making it impossible to continue the Coalition, Lloyd George also resigned his post as Prime Minister. Though he never held office again, he did however remain politically active for a number of years, even travelling to Germany to meet Adolf Hitler in 1936. He also published his War Memoirs in six volumes in the late 1930s. In 1945, the last year of his life, Lloyd George was created 1st Earl Lloyd George of Dwyfor and Viscount Gwynedd. He died at Ty Newydd, Llanystumdwy on 26 March 1945 and was buried near the river Dwyfor. He remained the Liberal MP for the Caernarfon Boroughs at the time of his death. Lloyd George was twice married: his first marriage in 1888 to Margaret Owen, the daughter of Richard Owen of Mynydd Ednyfed Fawr, Criccieth, a prosperous Eifionydd farmer. Despite her husband's political activities in London, Margaret maintained strong links with Criccieth, and ensured that the first language of the home was Welsh. The marriage produced five children - Richard (1889-1968), Mair Eluned, who died in 1907 aged seventeen, Olwen, later Lady Olwen Carey-Evans (1892-1990), Gwilym (1894-1967), and Megan (1902-1966). His second marriage, in October 1943, was to his long-standing secretary and mistress, Frances Stevenson.<br>Both Gwilym and Megan followed their father into politics, and Gwilym held a number of ministerial posts at Westminster between 1942 and 1957. Megan was MP for Anglesey as a Liberal, 1929-1951, but she joined the Lloyd George family group of independent Liberal MPs at the constitutional crisis of August 1931. She served as the committed president of the tenacious Parliament for Wales campaign throughout its duration from 1950 until 1956. Her politics moved to the left in the 1950s, she joined the Labour Party in April 1955, and she was Labour MP for Carmarthen from 1957 until her death in 1966. Like her mother, Megan served as a Justice of the Peace in Criccieth and was also a member of the town council for many years. The family's affinity with Criccieth, and their interest (rooted in their Nonconformist upbringing) in religion and education, is reflected in the papers they collected relating to schools and chapels in the area.

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Content and structure area

Scope and content

Letters to W. Llewelyn Williams from David Lloyd George, 1902-1924, largely concerning political and professional issues. The file also includes a photograph of the final letter sent by Llewelyn Williams from his deathbed to Lloyd George and correspondence between Dame Margaret Lloyd George and Mrs Sarah Evans, sister of W. Llewelyn Williams, regarding the contents of this letter.

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English, Welsh.

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Note

Preferred citation: A2/1.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number

vtls004663776

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Description identifier

Institution identifier

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

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  • Text: A2/1 (1).