Reference code(s): GB 0210 EWDAVIES
Held at: NLW
Title: Ellis W. Davies Papers
Short title: Davies, Ellis W., papers
Dates of creation: 1889-[1960s?]
Level of description: Fonds
Extent and medium: 0.153 cubic metres (17 boxes)
Name of creator(s): Ellis William Davies
Administrative and biographical history: Ellis William Davies (1871-1939), solicitor and politician, was born at Gerlan, Bethesda, Caernarfonshire, and educated in Bethesda and Liverpool. He worked as a clerk in insurance offices in Wrexham, Denbighshire, and Sheffield, Yorkshire, until he qualified as a solicitor in 1899, after which he established a law practice in Caernarfon and lived there for the rest of his life. A political radical, he was elected to Caernarfonshire County Council in 1904, later becoming an alderman, and he was also director of several business companies and solicitor for the North Wales Quarrymen's Union. In 1906 he was elected Liberal Member of Parliament for the Eifion division of Caernarfonshire, and retained his seat until 1918, during which time he sat on committees investigating land reform, the jury system, reform of the electoral system, compulsory purchases by local authorities, and reform of the House of Lords. He returned to Parliament as MP for Denbigh in 1923, but resigned in 1929 on grounds of ill health. In 1932, he was prominent in the discussions of the Presbyterian Church of Wales on formulating a parliamentary bill relating to the church. He joined the Labour party in 1936, only to leave in 1938 because of its foreign policy. He died in 1939.
Scope and content: Papers of Ellis Davies, 1889-1939, comprising his diaries, journals, correspondence, press cuttings, addresses, articles and memoirs, together with printed and typescript memoranda, reports, policy documents and official publications, including relating to the disestablishment and disendowment of the Church in Wales, 1911-1927, the Liberal land enquiry committee, 1913-1925, foreign policy, 1930s, and the Calvinistic Methodist Bill, 1933. Also included are articles and galley proofs for a volume of reminiscences, Pobl a phethau 1906-36, intended but not published by Llyfrau'r Dryw, 1946, and a notebook belonging to Sir Idris Foster containing notes from Davies's journals and papers [?1960s].
System of arrangement: Arranged into the following: diaries and commonplace books; journals; correspondence; papers; correspondence (additional); Liberal land enquiry; Calvinistic Methodist Bill, 1933; press cuttings; miscellaneous.
Conditions governing access: Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to sign the 'Modern papers - data protection' form.
Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright regulations apply.
Finding aids: A hard copy of the catalogue is available in NLW, Minor lists and summaries, 1985 and NLW, Minor lists and summaries, 1999.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records donated to the National Library of Wales have been retained.
Accruals: Accruals are not expected.
Archival history: After Ellis Davies's death in 1939, his papers were retained by Sir Idris Foster, author of the article on him in the Dictionary of Welsh Biography. On the latter's death in 1984, some of Davies's papers were found among Sir Idris's papers which had been donated to the Library. Davies's journals and some correspondence were subsequently discovered at Jesus College, Oxford, and forwarded to the Library through the good offices of Professor D. Ellis Evans, Sir Idris's successor as Professor of Celtic at Oxford. All the afore-mentioned papers have now been drawn together for cataloguing.
Immediate source of acquisition: Bequeathed by Ellis Davies in 1939 and donated by his son, Mr Richard H. Ellis Davies, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, in August 1998. The bequest was transferred by Sir Idris Foster and Professor D. Ellis Evans, Oxford, in the 1980s.
Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds.
Archivist's note: Created for the ANW project. The following sources were consulted in the compilation of this description: NLW, Minor lists and summaries, 1985; NLW, Minor lists and summaries, 1999; Dictionary of Welsh biography, 1941-1970 (2001).
Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition, AACR2 and LCSH.
Date(s) of description: April 2003