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William Thomas Lewis

William Thomas Lewis was born in Merthyr on August 5th 1837. He was the first son of Thomas William Lewis, an engineer at the Plymouth Iron Works, Merthyr Tydfil. Aged only 27 he became the Chief ...

William Thomas Lewis was born in Merthyr on August 5th 1837. He was the first son of Thomas William Lewis, an engineer at the Plymouth Iron Works, Merthyr Tydfil. Aged only 27 he became the Chief Mineral Engineer to the Marquis of Bute and would go on to be one of the major figures in the development of the South Wales Coal Industry He lived at Maerdy House, Aberdare, where the Beeches Nursing Home now stands, which was built In 1854 for Bute's then agent W.S. Clark.

Alongside managing Bute's numerous business interests, from Rhondda Pits to the docks in Cardiff, after the 1870s he began acquring collieries around Trehafod and Porth in the Rhondda. It became known as the Lewis Merthyr Consolidated Collieries Ltd and It employed 5,000 men producing nearly a million tonnes of coal a year. It is now the home of the Rhondda Heritage Park. He continued to expand his business with the Lady Lewis Colliery, Ynyshirt, and in 1905 acquired the Universal Colliery, Senghenydd, where on October 14th 1913, the worst colliery disaster in British history would claim the lives of 439 miners.

In 1872 he took a lead role in establishing the South Wales and Monmouthshire Coal Owners Association and the establishment of the first Sliding Scale agreement, where the prtce of coal determined the wages of the miners. He became the first President of the Joint Committee.

He married Anne Rees on March 1st 1864 and they had two sons and six daughters. One of whom, Katherine Mary, would marry Charles Alfred Howell Green, who would hold the position of Bishop of Monmouth and then Bangor before becoming the second Archbishop of Wales. He was knighted in 1885, made a Baron in 1896 and raised to the peerage in 1911 with the title of Baron Merthyr of Senghenydd. In 1913, he was present at the unveiling of the statue in his honour opposite.

In 1914 after undergoing an operation in London for failing health he was moved to a country house in Newbury, Berkshire where he died on August 27th. The bells of St Elvan's rang in commemoration. He was brought back to his home, Maerdy House, Aberdare, and following a service at St Elvan's Church, he was interred in Cefn Cemetery, Merthyr Tydfil.


Welsh

<lang=cy>Ganed William Thomas Lewis ym Merthyr Tudful ar 5 Awst 1837, yn fab cyntaf i Thomas William Lewis, peiriannydd yng Ngwalth Haearn Plymouth, Merthyr Tudful. Pan oedd yn ddim mwy na 27 oed, cafodd ei benodi'n Brif Beiriannydd Mwynau i'r Ardalydd Bute, ac aeth ymlaen </lang=cy>i fod yn un o geffylau blaen datblygiad diwydiant glo'r De. Roedd yn byw yn Nhŷ Maerdy, Aberdâr, lle mae cartref nyrsio Beeches yn sefyll heddiw, Cafodd y tŷ ei adeiladu ym 1854 ar gyfer W.S. Clark. asiant Ardalydd Bute ar y pryd.

Yn ogystal âi waith yn rheoli busnesau niferus Ardalydd Bute, o byllau glo Cwm Rhondda i ddoctau Caerdydd, dechreuodd brynu pyllau glo yn ardal Trehafod a'r Porth yng Nghwm Rhondda o'r 1870au ymlaen. 'Merthyr Consolidated Collieries Ltd oedd enw'r cwmni ac roedd yn cyflogi 5,000 o ddynion i gynhyrchu bron i filiwn o dunelli o lo bob blwyddyn. Aeth ei fusnes o nerth i nerth pan brynodd lofa Lady Lewis, Ynys-hir a phwll glo'r Universal, Senghenydd ym 1905. Yma, ar 14 Hydref 1913, lladdvod 439 o lowyr yn y trychineb gwaethaf mewn pwll glo yn hanes Prydain erioed.

Chwaraeodd ran flaenllaw yn y gwaith o sefydlu Cymdeithas Perchnogion Glo De Cymru a Str Fynwy ym 1872 a sefydlu'r cytundeb 'graddfa symudol' cyntaf, lle penderfywyd ar gyflogau'r glowyr yn ô1 pris y glo. Ef oedd Llywydd cyntaf y Cydbwyllgor

Priododd Anne Rees ar 1 Mawrth 1864 a chawsant ddau fab a chwe merch. Aeth un o'r merched, Katherine Mary, ymlaen i briodi Charles Alfred Howell Green, a gafodd ei benodi yn Esgob Trefynwy ac yna Bangor cyn dod yn ail Archesgob Cymru. Cafodd Lewis ei urddo'n farchog ym 1855 ac yn Farwn ym 1896. Cafodd ei urddo'n arglwydd wedyn, gyda'r teitl Barwn Merthyr o Senghennydd ym 1911 Ym 1913, roedd yn bresennol yn y seremoni i ddadorchuddio'r cerflun ohono ym Mharc Aberdâr

Ar ô1 cael llawdrinaeth yn Llundan ym 1914 wrth i'w iechyd ddirywio, fe'i symudwyd i blasty gwiedig yn Newbury, Berkshire lle bu farw ar 27 Awst. Seiniodd clychau Eglwys Sant Elfan er cof amdano. Cludsvyd ei gorff yn ôl adref i Dŷ Maerdy, Aberdâr, ac yn dilyn gwasanaeth yn Eghwys Sant Elfan, cafodd ei gladdu ym mynwent Cefncoedycymeq Merthyr Tudf.

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