WILLIAMS, Sir William, 6th Bt. (c.1668-96), of Vaynol, Caern.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1695 - 23 Dec. 1696

Family and Education

b. c.1668, 2nd s. of Sir Griffith Williams, 4th Bt. of Vaynol by Penelope, da. of Thomas, 1st Visct. Bulkeley of Cashel [I], of Baron Hill, Anglesey. m. bef. 1686, his cos. Ellen, da. of Robert Bulkeley, 2nd Visct. Bulkeley [I], s.p. suc. bro. c.1673.1

Offices Held

Dep. lt. Caern. Feb. 1688-d.; v.-adm. N. Wales c. Oct. i688-d.; commr. for assessment, Anglesey and Caern. 1689-90; j.p. Caern. ?1689-d.; freeman, Caernarvon by 1692.2


Williams came from the cadet branch of a Caernarvonshire family which had been seated at Penrhyn since 1353, the most distinguished member of which was John Williams, the ecclesiastical statesman of early Stuart times. Most of the family, including Williams’s grandfather, while royalist during the Civil War, appear to have embraced the parliamentary cause at the first opportunity. Williams succeeded to the title as a child, and under the ruling of his kinsman Heneage Finch became the ward of his uncle, Lord Bulkeley, whose daughter he married while still in his teens. Presumably he gave satisfaction over the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws, for he was made a justice of the peace and deputy lieutenant in February 1688, though he was apparently still under age and had never been out of Wales ‘above a month or two’. He promptly sought the King’s permission to settle his estate and, ‘his genius having led him to apply himself to sea affairs (which he is supposed to understand beyond many of his years) ... to pass some little time at sea and abroad’. It is not known whether he actually travelled, but on his father-in-law’s death in October he was promptly appointed vice-admiral of North Wales.3

Williams was returned for the county at the general election of 1689. He did not vote to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant, and Finch’s son Daniel (now 2nd Earl of Nottingham) secured his reappointment as vice-admiral at the request of Richard Bulkeley. His only certain committee in the Convention was for the abolition of the court of the marches. He generally voted with the Tories in the two succeeding Parliaments, but did not refuse to sign the Association. He died on 23 Dec. 1696, the only member of the Vaynol family to sit in Parliament. Under the terms of his will, made it was alleged in a state of intoxication, his estate, valued at £3,000 p.a., passed, after two life interests, to the crown. It was re-granted to John Smith, whose great-grandson, Thomas Assheton Smith, was elected for Caernarvonshire in 1774.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: A. M. Mimardière


  • 1. J. E. Griffith, Peds. Anglesey and Caern. Fams. 190; CSP Dom. 1687-9, p. 245; Clarendon Corresp. i. 204; Cal. Wynn Pprs. 399; Anglesey Antiq. Soc. Trans. (1948), 84, 87.
  • 2. HMC 7th Rep. 348; Trans. Caern. Hist. Soc. viii. 78.
  • 3. Griffith, 186; A. H. Dodd, Studies in Stuart Wales, 130; NLW, 11020E/16.
  • 4. CSP Dom. 1689-90, p. 34; Luttrell, iv. 163, 167; Griffith, 368.