Sir William Williams.

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Sir William Williams.

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Sir William Williams (1634-1700), lawyer and politician, was the eldest son of Dr Hugh Williams, rector of Llanrhyddlad and Llantrisant, Anglesey. He was recorder of Chester, 1667-1684, and MP for the borough, 1675-1685; for Montgomeryshire boroughs, April-June 1685; and for Beaumaris, 1689-1690, 1695-1700. He was elected Speaker of the House of Commons in 1680 and again in 1681. In 1684 he was prosecuted for a scandalum magnatum having, as Speaker, authorised the publication of the Thomas Dangerfield's Narrative and was fined £10,000. He was originally a supporter of the country party but, following his fine, he became a supporter of James II for which he received a knighthood and the office of solicitor-general, both in 1687. He was one of the prosecuting counsel in the trial of the Seven Bishops in 1688. Following James's flight, he changed sides again and subsequently helped to draft the Bill of Rights. He bought the Llanforda estate, Oswestry, from the father of Edward Lluyd in 1665, and by marriage acquired the Glascoed estate, Llansilin, Denbighshire, where he was buried. His son, also called Sir William Williams (1684-1740), inherited Llanforda and Glascoed, whilst his grandson Sir Watkin Williams Wynn (d. 1749) inherited the Wynnstay estate through his mother.


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