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William Williams (speaker): Wikis


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Sir William Williams, 1st Baronet (1634 – 11 July 1700) was a Welsh lawyer and politician.

Williams was educated at Jesus College, Oxford, followed by Gray's Inn, to which he was admitted in 1650.[1]

He was a lawyer, MP for Chester and later for Beaumaris, and the first Welshman to become Speaker of the House of Commons, a post which he held from 1680 to 1685, including the 1681 Oxford Parliament. A critic of King James II, he was nevertheless appointed Solicitor-General after a dispute with fellow Welshman Judge Jeffreys. He helped to draft the Declaration of Right.

Williams was knighted in 1687 and created First Baronet Williams of Gray's Inn 1688. This was by way of thanks for his support of King James II in his role as Solicitor General, and he continued to support the king in the prosecution of the "Seven Bishops". When William and Mary took the throne, however, he quickly changed sides again and became MP for Beaumaris in the next parliament.[1]

In 1689–1690 he was Custos Rotulorum, "Keeper of the Rolls", of Denbighshire.


External links

Parliament of England
Preceded by
Robert Werden and
Sir Thomas Smith
Member of Parliament for Chester
with Robert Werden, to 1679;
Sir Thomas Grosvenor, Bt, 1679–1681;
Roger Whitley, 1681–1685

Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Grosvenor, Bt and
Robert Werden
Political offices
Preceded by
Sir William Gregory
Speaker of the House of Commons
Succeeded by
Sir John Trevor
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Powis
Solicitor General for England and Wales
Succeeded by
Sir George Treby
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir Robert Cotton
Custos Rotulorum of Denbighshire
Succeeded by
Sir Richard Myddelton
Preceded by
The Marquess of Powis
Custos Rotulorum of Merionethshire
Succeeded by
Sir John Wynn
Baronetage of England
New creation Baronet
(of Gray's Inn)
Succeeded by
William Williams


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