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Lewis Llewelyn Dillwyn: Wikis


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Lewis Llewelyn Dillwyn (19 May 1814 -19 June 1892) was a Welsh industrialist and Liberal politician.

Dillwyn was born in Swansea, Wales, the second son of Lewis Weston Dillwyn and Mary Dillwyn (formerly Adams, née Llewellyn). His father had been sent to Swansea by his father William, to take over the management of the Cambrian Pottery, and lived at Sketty Hall. He was educated at Bath, Somerset and joined his father in the management of the Cambrian Pottery in 1831. His father was a friend of the geologist Henry De la Beche and Dillwyn and De la Beche carried out experiments on china clays and granites with the aim of improving the production of earthenware[1]. In 1838 Dillwyn married de la Beche's daughter Elizabeth and they lived at Hendrefoilan.

Dillwyn followed his father and his Quaker antecedants in pursuing industry and commerce and radical politics. He was head of the firm of Dillwyn and Richards at the Landore spelter-works and was a director of the Great Western Railway and Chairman of the Glamorganshire Banking Co. He played a major part in the industrial development of Swansea. Later, he was associated with Siemens in the Landore-Siemens Steel Company, and became its chairman.[2] In 1859 he was appointed Captain in Glamorgansire Rifle Volunteers[3]

Dillwyn was also active politically and in 1848 was Mayor of Swansea. In 1855 he was elected Member of Parliament for Swansea District and held the seat until 1885. He was then MP for the new constituency of Swansea Town from 1885 to 1892. He was a conspicuous Radical and in parliament championed many causes including Cardiganshire farmers who were evicted for their votes in the 1868 election, and the Denbighshire tenantry who agitated against tithes in 1886-87. From 1870 he supported the disestablishment of the Welsh Church and in 1873 moved an anti-clerical amendment to the Endowed Schools Act. In 1887 Dillwyn and Stuart Rendel affirmed the Welsh Liberal Party's support of Irish Home Rule.[4]

Dillwyn was a Fellow of the Linnean Society and a Fellow of the Geological Society and delivered talks on ornithology and natural history to the Royal Institution of South Wales.[5] One of the lectures was about Labuan, a tiny British colony. Dillwyn, together with James Motley, a fellow member of the RISW, published an illustrated volume, intended as first of a series, on the natural history of Labuan.[6] He was also a photographer, his brother John Dillwyn Llewelyn being a pioneer photographer and botanist.

Dillwyn died in office at the age of 78. His only son had predeceased him, but he left two daughters. His nephew John Talbot Dillwyn Llewellyn was later MP for Swansea.


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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Henry Vivian
Member of Parliament for Swansea District
1855 – 1885
Succeeded by
Henry Vivian
New constituency Member of Parliament for Swansea
Succeeded by
Robert John Dickson Burnie


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