Sir John Williams, 1st Baronet, of the City of London

Sir John Williams, 1st Baronet, Of The City Of London

Sir John Williams, 1st Baronet, of the City of London

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Sir John Williams, 1st Baronet, GCVO (November 6, 1840 – May 24, 1926), was a Welsh physician, who attended Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and was raised to the baronetcy by her in 1894. He is remembered chiefly for his contribution to the collection of the National Library of Wales. He resided for part of his life at Plas Llansteffan, a house he acquired by lease.

Education and professional career

Williams was born in Carmarthenshire, the son of a Welsh Congregational minister. He went to school in Swansea, then to the University of Glasgow, and finally to University College Hospital, London, to complete his medical studies. In 1872 he married Mary Hughes, but they had no children. In 1886, he became a private doctor to the royal family. As well as his career as an obstetric surgeon in London, he helped set up a Welsh hospital in South Africa during the Boer War, and was involved in the campaign against tuberculosis in his native country.

Contribution to the National Library

Sir John's leisure hours were largely spent in the acquisition of a large private library, and in 1898, influenced by the palaeographer John Gwenogvryn Evans, he acquired the Peniarth collection of manuscripts. These were donated to the new National Library of Wales when it was built at Aberystwyth. In 1907 he was appointed the first President of the National Library, and two years later he came to live at Aberystwyth. In 1913 he became President of the University College of...
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