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Morgan Bransby Williams

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Morgan Bransby Williams (1825-1914) of the Rhondda and Swansea Bay Railway, Dunaburg and Witepsk Railway and Chairman of the Swansea Bank

1914 Obituary [1]

MORGAN BRANSBY WILLIAMS died at his residence, Killay House, near Swansea, on the 21st June, 1914, in his ninetieth year.

Born at Bridgend on the 14th March, 1825, he was educated by his father, the late Mr. John Morgan Williams, an accomplished scholar, and at Cowbridge Grammar School.

Obtaining his early engineering experience at the Dinas Colliery in the Rhondda Valley, he turned his attention to the then rapidly developing field of railway engineering, in which, in after life, both at home and on the European continent, he acquired considerable eminence.

He was first employed from 1845 onwards on the construction of lines forming part of the London and North Western, Caledonian and North British systems.

Later he went to France, where he was engaged on the Tours and Nantes, Orleans and Bordeaux, Boulogne, Paris and Piacenza, and many other French railways. He was in Paris during the Revolution of 1848.

Returning to England in 1855, he acted as Resident Engineer on the Shines and Woking line.

He next went out to Russia, where, as Chief Resident Engineer, he constructed the Riga and Dunaburg Railway. On its completion he was appointed General Manager, and extended the line to Witebsk. He secured Government concessions for many railway projects, was favourably received by the Tsar, Alexander II, and became well known as an engineer in Russia. For 20 years he was a director of the Dunaburg-Witebsk Railway, until its purchase by the Russian Government.

In 1870 Mr. Williams settled in Glamorgan county. He was one of the original promoters of the Rhondda and Swansea Bay Railway, of which he was a Director for nearly 30 years, and its Chairman during long years of varying fortune, his work culminating in the conclusion of a satisfactory working arrangement with the Great Western Railway Company. He was also a Director of the Metropolitan Bank of England and Wales.

In local administration and affairs he took an active and keen interest. He was a Justice of the Peace, and Deputy Lieutenant of the County, and filled the offce of High Sheriff in 1894. In politics he was a Liberal, and although he more than once declined Parliamentary honours, was a prominent supporter of Liberalism in Glamorgan. Mr. Williams was twice married, in 1859 to Constance Baroness von Wulf, who died at St. Petersburg in 1864, and in 1871 to Margaret, daughter of the late Mr. G. B. Brock, of Swansea.

Mr. Williams was elected an Associate of The Institution on the 22nd May, 1855, and was transferred to the class of Members on the 15th May, 1861. He was thus connected with The Institution nearly 60 years, and was one of its oldest members.

1914 Obituary.[2]

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