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Edward Brydges Willyams: Wikis


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Edward William Brydges Willyams (1834-1916) was a Liberal MP, successively for three Cornish Constituencies [1]. The Times reports that in 1892, he was appointed High Sheriff of Cornwall[2].


Parental family

He was born 6 November 1834, the son of Humphry Willyams (1792-1822) [3], a Banker, Land-owner and Liberal Elector of Truro [4] and Ellen Frances Brydges Neynoe, his wife. She was the daughter of Colonel William Brydges Neynoe of Castle Neynoe, County Sligo.[5]

His older brother, James Willyams died aged 38 in 1861 [5]

His aunt Sarah Mendez da Costa, was an heiress, who married his father's elder brother James (1772-1820) and had no children. However, when she died in 1863, she gave three quarters of her fortune to Benjamin Disraeli, a great friend of hers [6] [1].


He was educated at Merton College, Oxford [1].

Parliamentary service

  • MP for Truro, 1880-1885.

He stood for election at St Austell in 1877, as a Liberal Unionist but was defeated by the Gladstonian candidate[8].


He married twice, first to Jane, youngest daughter of Sir Trevor Wheler, Bt. on 26 June 1856 [9] and then on 5 June 1882 to Emily [10], a daughter of Sir Joseph Moses Levy, the proprietor of the Daily Telegraph, which then supported the Liberal Party [1]. Emily Brydges Willyams died 5 February 1902


He was a keen supporter of the old Cornish sport of hurling [1]. Racing reports in The Times from 1884 to 1910 show his ownership of several race-horses, during this period.


He was the co-respondent in a divorce in 1871/1872, having carried on an affair with Lady Jolliffe, the wife of Captain Jolliffe, MP for Wells. He did not stand at the General Election in 1874 [4] :Jaggard p.183-189. [11].

Olive Willyams, the wife of his heir, Arthur Hugh Vivien Willyams, tried to obtain £4,000 from him, using promissory notes that he claimed were forged by her. She was committed to prison for three years and “was afterwards declared to have become insane [1] [12] [13] .


He died on Tuesday, 10 October 1916, at his seat, Carnanton, St Columb Major.


Main sources

  • Obituary of Edward Brydges Willyams in The Times, Thursday, Oct 12, 1916; pg. 11; Issue 41296; column E.
  • Edwin Jaggard Cornwall politics in the age of reform 1790-1855, Royal Historical Society/Boydell Press, (1999), ISBN 0-86193-243-9, Chapter 6-8.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Obituary in The Times, Thursday, Oct 12, 1916
  2. ^ The Times, Wednesday, Jan 27, 1892; pg. 9; Issue 33545; col F Appointment of E.B.Willyams in the Court Circular.
  3. ^ Burke's A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain 1838, page 38: Willyams of Carnanton, on Google Books.
  4. ^ a b Edwin Jaggard Cornwall politics in the age of reform
  5. ^ a b The Gentleman's Magazine, July-December 1861, p334 Notice of the death of James Willyams on Google Books.
  6. ^ ODNB article by M. G. Wiebe, ‘Willyams, Sarah Brydges (d. 1863)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [1], accessed 26 April 2008.
  7. ^ The Times, Monday, Mar 16, 1857; p.12; Issue 22629; col E: "Election Intelligence: Truro", indicates that Willyams will stand and his views.
  8. ^ The Times, Friday, May 20, 1887; pg. 5; Issue 32077; col F: "Election Intelligence. Cornwall, St. Austell Division." -G L M'Arthur - 3,540 ;Brydges Willyams - 3329.
  9. ^ Probably Sir Trevor Wheler, 11th Baronet (1828-1900). The marriage is reported in The Times, Monday, Jun 30, 1856; pg. 1; Issue 22407; col A
  10. ^ ThePeerage.Com family information for Levy.
  11. ^ The Times, Friday, Mar 08, 1872; pg. 11; Issue 27319; col D: "Court Of Probate And Divorce, March 7".
  12. ^ The Times, Friday, Feb 04, 1910; pg. 4; Issue 39187; col A: "The Assizes. Western Circuit., Claim on Promissory Notes."
  13. ^ The Times, Saturday, Oct 01, 1910; pg. 3; Issue 39392; col A: "Charge Of Forgery".
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Vivian
Sir Henry Vivian
Member of Parliament for Truro
With: Augustus Smith
Succeeded by
Augustus Smith
Montague Edward Smith
Preceded by
Thomas Agar-Robartes
Nicholas Kendall
Member of Parliament for Cornwall East
With: Sir John Salusbury-Trelawny, Bt.
Succeeded by
Sir Colman Rashleigh
John Tremayne
Preceded by
John Cranch Walker and
Sir Frederick Williams, Bt.
Member of Parliament for Truro
With: James McGarel-Hogg
Succeeded by
William Bickford-Smith


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