Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 61.djvu/440
of Holl. Meantime he wrote for the press, had a share in a magazine called ‘The Drawing Room,’ contributed to ‘Household Words,’ and was author and adapter of several plays and farces: ‘A Fair Exchange,’ ‘Easy Shaving,’ ‘Carte de Visite,’ ‘The Turkish Bath,’ and ‘The Isle of St. Tropez.’ In most of these he collaborated with Mr. F. C. Burnand; the last was produced by Alfred Wigan [q. v.] at the Olympic. He was called to the bar at the Inner Temple on 30 April 1862, and joined the Old Bailey sessions and the home circuit.
Williams naturally took to criminal work. His great vitality and vigour, his striking, if irregular features, his self-possession, and his knowledge of men and of all sides of life, led him quickly to a large practice, especially as a defender of prisoners. For fifteen years he was engaged in most of the sensational criminal cases in the metropolis, and in 1879 was appointed junior prosecuting counsel to the treasury. On the other hand, he had little learning, and never practised in civil cases to any considerable extent. One of his few civil cases was Belt v. Lawes in 1882, in which he was for the plaintiff. In 1884 he began to be troubled with an affection of the throat, which in 1886 necessitated an operation for the extirpation of a portion of the larynx. This was performed by Hahn of Berlin, and its success was complete, although the voice was almost destroyed. A short attempt to return to practice at the bar proved to Williams that he must retire. He was then appointed a metropolitan stipendiary magistrate in December 1886, and sat successively at Greenwich, Wandsworth, and Worship Street. He was also made a queen's counsel in 1888. He was active in charity, and as a magistrate won the confidence of the poor. He published in 1890 ‘Leaves of a Life,’ and in 1891 ‘Later Leaves,’ autobiographical and anecdotal works, and in 1892 appeared ‘Round London,’ describing the condition of the poor both in the east and west of London. He died at his house at Ramsgate on 23 Dec. 1892. He was a man well known in society and in his profession and very popular, and among the poor he earned and deserved the name of ‘the poor man's magistrate.’[In addition to Williams's books mentioned above see Times, 24 Dec. 1892; Law Journal, 31 Dec. 1892.]
WILLIAMS, MORRIS (1809–1874), Welsh poet, known in bardic circles as ‘Nicander,’ was the son of William Morris of Pentyrch Isaf by his wife Sarah, daughter of William Jones of Coed Cae Bach, in the parish of Llan Gybi, Carnarvonshire. He was born on 20 Aug. 1809 at Carnarvon (Geninen, iv. 143–4), but the family settled soon afterwards at Coed Cae Bach. After attending school at Llan Ystumdwy he was apprenticed to a carpenter; he showed at an early age much skill in writing Welsh verse, and contributed an ode to the ‘Gwyliedydd’ in 1827. He was encouraged to prepare for orders and, with the help of friends, entered King's school, Chester, in 1830. On 13 April 1832 he matriculated at Oxford from Jesus College, graduating B.A. in 1835 and M.A. in 1838. He was ordained deacon at Chester in 1836, and held curacies at Holywell, Pentir, and Llanllechid successively. In 1840 he was ordained priest. He received in 1847 the perpetual curacy of Amlwch, which he held until 1859, when the rectory of Llan Rhuddlad (with Llan Fflewin and Llan Rhwydrus attached) in the county of Anglesey was conferred upon him. In 1872 he was appointed rural dean of Talebolion. He died at Llan Rhuddlad on 3 Jan. 1874, and was buried there. In 1840 he married Ann Jones of Denbigh. One of his sons, W. Glynn Williams, is headmaster of Friars school, Bangor.
His connection with eisteddfodau began in 1849 at Aberffraw, when he was awarded the chair prize for an ode on ‘The Creation.’ It was in this competition he first assumed the title of ‘Nicander.’ He subsequently won prizes for poems at Rhuddlan (1850), Llangollen (1858), Denbigh (1860), Aberdare (1861), and Carnarvon (1862). In 1851 he acted as adjudicator of poetry at Portmadoc eisteddfod, and thereafter was much in request for work of this kind until his death. Except the ode on ‘The Creation,’ which appeared in the Aberffraw volume of ‘Transactions,’ none of Nicander's prize poems have been published, but the following other works were issued by him: 1. ‘Y Flwyddyn Eglwysig,’ Bala, 1843; a series of poems on the plan of ‘The Christian Year.’ 2. Welsh versions of Dr. Sutton's ‘Disce vivere’ and ‘Disce mori,’ under the titles ‘Dysga fyw’ (1847) and ‘Dysga farw’ (1848). 3. ‘Llyfr yr Homiliau,’ Bala, 1847; a revised edition of the homilies of 1606. 4. ‘Y Psallwyr,’ London, 1850; a new metrical version of the Psalms (2nd edit. 1851). 5. ‘Gwaith Dafydd Ionawr,’ Dolgelly, 1851, edited by Nicander. 6. ‘Y Dwyfol Oraclau,’ Holyhead, 1861; an expository treatise. 7. ‘Awdl Sant Paul,’ Tremadoc, 1865. An edition is in preparation of ‘Chwedlau Esop,’ a rendering by him into Welsh verse of the fables of Æsop