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Gareth Williams, Baron Williams of Mostyn

Gareth Wyn Williams, Baron Williams of Mostyn, PC, QC (5 February 1941 – 20 September 2003), was a Welsh barrister and Labour politician who was Leader of the House of Lords, Lord President of the Council and a member of the Cabinet from 2001 until his sudden death in 2003.


The Lord Williams of Mostyn

Lord Williams of Mostyn.jpg
Lord President of the Council
In office
13 June 2003 – 20 September 2003
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byJohn Reid
Succeeded byThe Baroness Amos
Leader of the House of Lords
In office
8 June 2001 – 20 September 2003
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byThe Baroness Jay of Paddington
Succeeded byThe Baroness Amos
Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal
In office
8 June 2001 – 13 June 2003
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byThe Baroness Jay of Paddington
Succeeded byPeter Hain
Attorney General for England and Wales
Attorney General for Northern Ireland
In office
29 July 1999 – 8 June 2001
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byJohn Morris
Succeeded byThe Lord Goldsmith
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
In office
October 1998 – June 2001
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterTony Blair
LeaderThe Baroness Jay of Paddington
Preceded byThe Baroness Jay of Paddington
Succeeded byThe Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean
Minister of State for Home Affairs
In office
28 July 1998 – 28 July 1999
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byJoyce Quin
Succeeded byCharles Clarke
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Home Affairs
In office
2 May 1997 – 28 July 1998
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byThe Hon. Tom Sackville
Succeeded byKate Hoey
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
20 July 1992 – 20 September 2003
Life peerage
Personal details
Born(1941-02-05)5 February 1941
Prestatyn, United Kingdom
Died20 September 2003(2003-09-20) (aged 62)
Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
Political partyLabour
Alma materQueens' College, Cambridge

Early lifeEdit

Williams was born near Prestatyn, in North Wales, a son of Albert Thomas Williams and his wife Selina, née Evans. He was educated at Rhyl Grammar School and at Queens' College, Cambridge.

Legal careerEdit

He had a successful legal career, having been called to the bar at Gray's Inn in 1965,[1] taking silk in 1978,[1] being a Recorder in 1978-2003,[2] being a Deputy High Court Judge, being the Leader of the Wales and Chester Circuit in 1987-89,[1] and was a Member of the Bar Council in 1986-92[1] and became the Chairman in 1992.[1]

Political careerEdit

He was created a life peer on 20 July 1992 as Baron Williams of Mostyn, of Great Tew in the County of Oxfordshire,[3] and became an opposition spokesman in the House of Lords on Legal Affairs, and later Northern Ireland. After Labour's election victory he was appointed a Home Office minister, and in 1999 became Attorney General for England and Wales and Northern Ireland. He was appointed Leader of the House of Lords in 2001, initially with the sinecure office of Lord Privy Seal, for which Lord President of the Council was substituted in 2003.

Reputation among his colleaguesEdit

As part of the celebrations to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Life Peerages Act, Lord Williams was voted by the current members of the House of Lords as the outstanding life peer since the creation of the life peerage.[4] In his book A View from the Foothills Chris Mullin wrote that he thought that Gareth Williams was most likely to succeed Derry Irvine as Lord Chancellor; the position was ultimately fulfilled by Charles Falconer.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

Williams married, firstly, in 1962, Pauline Clarke, daughter of Ernest Clarke, and by her had two daughters, Martha (born 1973) and Emma (born 1976), and a son, Daniel (born 1981). They divorced, and he married, secondly, in 1994, Veena M. Russell, and by her had one daughter, Imogen.

DeathEdit

He collapsed and died suddenly at his home in Gloucestershire, at the age of 62. He was survived by his four children.

Styles and armsEdit

Styles of addressEdit

  • 1941–1978: Mr Gareth Williams
  • 1978–1992: Mr Gareth Williams QC
  • 1992–1999: The Rt Hon. The Lord Williams of Mostyn QC
  • 1999–2003: The Rt Hon. The Lord Williams of Mostyn PC QC

Coat of armsEdit

Coat of arms of Gareth Williams, Baron Williams of Mostyn
Coronet
A Coronet of a Baron
Crest
A Portcullis Or in front of an Arm embowed vested and the Cuff braided Sable frilled at the wrist the Hand proper holding by its Blade upwards Argent a Sword palewise to the front of the portcullis its Hilt Pommel and Quillons Or
Escutcheon
Ermine on a Pile flory at the point Sable a Lion rampant Or armed and langued Gules
Supporters
Dexter: upon a Grassy Mount growing therefrom two Sweet Pea Flowers proper a Griffin statant erect Or; Sinister: upon a like Mount a Dragon statant erect also Or, both armed and langued Gules
Motto
Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd (The truth against the world)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e "Obituary: Lord Williams of Mostyn". The Independent. 21 September 2003. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  2. ^ "No. 47569". The London Gazette. 16 June 1978. p. 7315.
  3. ^ "No. 53009". The London Gazette. 4 August 1992. p. 13149.
  4. ^ "Former Lords leader honoured with award". Yahoo/Epolitix. Retrieved 20 July 2008.[dead link]
  5. ^ Mullin, Chris (2009). "Monday 7 January 2002". A View from the Foothills: The Diaries of Chris Mullin. Profile Books. p. 248. ISBN 978-1-84668-230-8.

BibliographyEdit

External linksEdit


Political offices
Preceded by
The Baroness Jay of Paddington
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
1998–2001
Succeeded by
The Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean
Preceded by
John Morris
Attorney General for England and Wales
1999–2001
Succeeded by
The Lord Goldsmith
Attorney General for Northern Ireland
1999–2001
Preceded by
The Baroness Jay of Paddington
Lord Privy Seal
2001–2003
Succeeded by
Peter Hain
Leader of the House of Lords
2001–2003
Succeeded by
The Baroness Amos
Preceded by
John Reid
Lord President of the Council
2003
Party political offices
Preceded by
The Baroness Jay of Paddington
Leader of the Labour Party in the House of Lords
2001–2003
Succeeded by
The Baroness Amos
Academic offices
Preceded by
Cledwyn Hughes
Pro-Chancellor of the University of Wales
1994–2003
Succeeded by
Dafydd Wigley