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Aberystwyth University
T D Williams Papers

Reference code(s): GB 0982 TDW

Held at: Aberystwyth University

Title: T D Williams Papers

Short Title: T D Williams Papers

Creation date(s): [ca. 1914]-1982

Level of description: fonds

Extent: 0.2 cubic metres

Name of creator(s): T D Williams


Administrative/Biographical history: Thomas Williams was born in Llanelli, and educated at the town's Grammar School. It was here that he developed an interest in history and the classics, but chose to study the sciences at A-level. In 1906, he won the Carmarthenshire County Scholarship and the Margaret Davies Entrance Scholarship to the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and graduated with first class honours in chemistry in 1909. He was awarded his Masters from the same institution in 1911.
On leaving Aberystwyth, Williams won a studentship to study at Trinity College, Cambridge. But he turned down this offer, choosing instead to attend the University of Karlsruhe in Germany, where he studied for the doctorate that he was awarded in 1914. He was appointed Research Assistant to his supervisor, Professor Bredig, but the outbreak of war intervened.
During the war years, Williams was held at the Ruhleben prisoner of war camp. Here, he met many like-minded people, and culture flourished. A fellow prisoner, M S Prichard, who held a deep interest in drama, inspired Williams to return to his childhood passions of literature and history. He founded a Welsh Society, obtaining books via the Red Cross from T F Roberts, Principal of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and Sir Alfred Davies of the Welsh Department at the University of London.
Williams was released from Ruhleben in 1918, and despite the offer of a position at his old college at Karlsruhe, returned home to Llanelli immediately. He was offered lectureships in chemistry at the Universities of Aberystwyth and Swansea, but declined both. Instead, he took up a post as a Mathematics lecturer at the College of Engineering, Chelsea (now part of Imperial College, London). During this period, Williams developed the love of the theatre he'd discovered whilst working as a violinist at the London theatres. His work at the college was for mornings only, allowing him the time he desired, and access to appropriate libraries, to further his research into Welsh history. The results of this research were the trilogy of plays, The Last of the Cambrian Princes. Written in blank verse and reflective of true historical events, they were published between 1960 and 1967.
Williams also met his wife, Emily Lucy of Highgate, whilst in London. On his retirement, they returned to Wales, settling at Swiss Valley, just outside his home town of Llanelli. During his later years, he adopted his middle name Demarden - of Carmarthen - and turned his back on science. Fearing technological developments would lead to the destruction of man, he became and avowed pacifist and Welsh nationalist. He died in 1982.


Scope and content/abstract: The archive contains typescripts and manuscript drafts of T D Williams' literary works and scientific essays; notes compiled in preparation for the production of these works; and related correspondence.


Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access: The papers may be consulted through application to Information Services, Hugh Owen Library, University of Wales Aberystwyth, Penglais Campus, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 3DZ, Tel: 01970 622399, Fax: 01970 622404, E-mail:

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright regulations apply

Finding aids: Basic finding aid available at the Hugh Owen Library, University of Wales, Aberystwyth.


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:



Note: Description compiled by Rhian Phillips, Archives Hub project archivist, with reference to Williams, T D, The Last of the Cambrian Princes: Part 3, Our martyred prince (Llandybie: C. Davies, 1967), and the T D Williams Papers, Hugh Owen Library, University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

Rules or conventions: Created following ISAD(G) and Archives Hub Data Creation Guidelines

Date(s) of descriptions: Prior to 16-11-2004

Welsh literature | 20th century

Personal names
Williams , T. D. (Thomas Demarden) , ca. 1890-1982

Corporate names


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