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Statue on the main shopping street in Bala

Thomas Edward Ellis (16 February 1859 – 5 April 1899), usually known as T. E. Ellis, was a Welsh politician who was the leader of Cymru Fydd, a movement aimed at gaining home rule for Wales.



T. E. Ellis was born ar Cefnddwysarn near Bala and attended Bala Grammar School, where his fellow pupils included Owen Morgan Edwards. He attended the University of Wales, Aberystwyth from 1875 to 1879, then went to New College, Oxford, graduating in history in 1884.

On leaving Oxford, Ellis briefly went into journalism and also acted as a private tutor to the son of a South Wales shipping magnate. He then became private secretary to Liberal Party MP, John Brunner. This took him to London and drew him closer to a political life.

In 1886 he was selected as the Liberal Party candidate for the Merionethshire constituency, and was elected the same year at the general election.

Ellis quickly became prominent as a spokesman for Welsh concerns, and in a speech in Bala in 1890 called for a legislative assembly for Wales. He became the leader of the Cymru Fydd movement which sought to gain home rule for Wales, cooperating closely with David Lloyd George, and also played a prominent part in the campaign for Welsh disestablishment. In 1892 when Gladstone formed a new administration, Ellis accepted the post of second whip, which meant that he had to withdraw from the movement, whose leadership was taken over by Lloyd George and John Herbert Lewis (MP for Flint Boroughs). In 1894 Ellis was appointed Chief Whip.

Ellis also published the first volume of the collected works of the 17th century Welsh Puritan writer Morgan Llwyd, a work completed after his death by his brother in law, J. H. Davies. He died in Cannes in 1899. His son, the academic Thomas Iorwerth Ellis, wrote a two-volume biography of him, the volumes being published in 1944 and 1948 respectively.


Dictionary of Welsh Biography

Entry by K O Morgan in Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford, 2004-08


  • Meic Stephens (Editor): The New Companion to the Literature of Wales (University of Wales Press, Cardiff, 1998) ISBN 0-7083-1383-3
  • Neville Masterman: The Forerunner: The Dilemmas of Tom Ellis, 1859-1899 (Christopher Davies, Swansea, 1972) ISBN 0-7154-0012-6
  • Wyn Jones, Thomas Edward Ellis: 1859-1899 (University of Wales Press, 1986)

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Henry Robertson
Member of Parliament for Merionethshire
Succeeded by
Owen Morgan Edwards
Political offices
Preceded by
Edward Marjoribanks
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury
1894 – 1895
Succeeded by
Sir William Hood Walrond

Redirecting to T. E. Ellis


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