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National Library of Wales
Price, William, Dr, (Llantrisant), papers

Reference code(s): GB 0210 WPRICE

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Dr William Price (Llantrisant) Papers

Short Title: Price, William, Dr, (Llantrisant), papers

Creation date(s): 1697-1965 (accumulated 1697-1965)

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 0.009 cubic metres (1 box)

Name of creator(s): William Price


Administrative/Biographical history: William Price was born at Ty'n y Coedcae, the parish of Rudry, Glamorgan on 4 March 1800. He was the third son of the seven children of Rev. William Price and his wife Mary. He went to school in Machen. When he was 13, he was sent to Dr Evan Williams, surgeon, of Caerphilly. In 1820, Price went to study medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons. He passed the examinations of both the College and the Hall within 12 months. He returned to South Wales in 1823 and was a doctor in the Nantgarw, Treforest and Pontypridd area. As one steeped in Druidic lore, Price was a worshipper of Nature. Later, he became interested in the Chartist movement and was appointed the leader of the Pontypridd Chartists. He had also been involved in the planning of the armed uprising Newport and was thus forced to flee to France. Price met John Masklyn, an English doctor friend of his college days and set up a practice. Price returned to Wales in 1840, took up residence in Eglwysilan and opened a practice combining a holistic approach with his version of Druidism. His first child was born of Ann Morgan of Pentyrch in 1841, and named her Gwenhiolen Hiarhles Morganwg (Gwenllian Iarless Morgannwh). In 1860, he made his way to Paris again after a warrant was issued. Here, he was introduced to Pierre Joseph Proudhon, French philosopher of revolutionary bent. Price returned to Wales in June 1866, bought a practice in Llantrisant and established himself in Ty'r Clettwr. In December 1870, he met Gwenllian Llywelyn, from Clawddnewydd near Ruthun. On 18 January 1884, Price secured a place for himself in history. As the villagers were coming out of Church, they found him cremating the dead body of his five month old son, Iesu Grist. Cremation was illegal in the British Isles at the time, but his success in the court case paved the way for the Cremation Act, 1902. Before he died at the age of 92, he had fathered another son, Iesu Grist and daughter, Penelope Elizabeth. He died on 23 January 1893, in Llantrisant, and his body was cremated, as he had instructed, on top of two tons of coal.


Scope and content/abstract: Deeds, 1697-1835, relating to properties in Bedwas and Maugham; correspondence, [c. 1825]-1884; financial papers, 1859-1896; pedigree of the Price family, compiled [c. 1865]; printed works written by William Price, [1838]-1871, including Y Maen Chwyf and Gwyllllis Yn Nayd; works concerning Price, [c. 1855]-1965, with press cuttings, [c. 1920]-1953; and miscellaneous ephemera relating to the Price family, 1859-1906.


Language/scripts of material: Welsh, English

System of arrangement: Arranged into the following groups: (i) papers relating to WP subdivided into deeds; correspondence; financial papers; pedigrees; printed works by WP; works concerning WP and (ii) papers relating to WP's family

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 'Minor Lists and Summaries 1988' at the National Library of Wales. The catalogue can be accessed on-line from:

Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records purchased by the National Library of Wales have been retained.

Accruals: Accruals are not expected.

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition: Purchased from Dylans Bookstore, Swansea,



Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Seri Crawley for the ANW Project. The following sources were consulted in the compilation of this description: NLW Minor Lists and Summaries (1988); Stephens, Meic, Oxford Companion to the Literature of Wales, (Oxford, 1986); Bracegirdle, Cyril, Dr William Price: Saint or Sinner? (Llanrwst, 1997); Cule, John, 'The Eccentric Doctor William Price of Llantrisant (1800-1893)', Morgannwg: Transactions of the Glamorgan Local History Society, Vol. VII, 1963, pp. 98-119; Nicholas, Islwyn ap, A Welsh Heretic: Dr William Price, Llantrisant (Aberystwyth, 1973); Guy, The Rev Dr John R, 'The Rudry Radical: Dr William Price of Ty'n Y Coedcae, Part 2', Caerphilly, 6, March 2000, pp. 52-64; Davies, Brian, 'Empire and Identity: the case of Dr William Price', in David Smith, ed., A People and a Proletariat : Essays in the History of Wales 1780-1880 (London, 1980); NLW, W. W. Price Biographical Index, Vol. XXII

Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition, AACR2, and LCSH

Date(s) of descriptions: May 2003

Cremation | Wales
Deeds | Wales | Bedwas
Druids and druidism | Wales
Funeral rites and ceremonies | Wales
Price, William, | 1800-1893 | Archives

Personal names
Price , William , 1800-1893

Corporate names


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