WILLIAMS, Coningsby (c.1639-1708), of Penmynydd, Anglesey

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Feb. 1701
29 Nov. 1703 - 1705

Family and Education

b. c.1639, 1st s. of Thomas Williams, bencher, L. Inn, of Glan-y-gors, Llanfihangel Esceifiog by Elizabeth Coningsby of North Mynes, Herefs.  educ. L. Inn 1656.  m. (1) Margaret (d. 1669), da. of Richard Owen of Penmynydd and h. to her bro. Richard (d. 1669), s.p.; (2) Jane, da. and h. of William Glynn of Plas Newydd, Nantlle, Caern., s.psuc. fa. c.1674.1

Offices Held

Sheriff, Anglesey 1670.


Williams, who ‘long resided at Penmynydd’, his first wife’s estate, and held ‘many municipal offices’ in Beaumaris, may have been a political associate of the Bulkeleys of Baron Hill, the dominant landed interest in Anglesey. Certainly he benefited during the Bulkeley ascendancy in the reign of James II. He was named to the lieutenancy in 1685, and two years later was granted Treasury permission to erect buildings to service the Menai ferry which his family leased from the crown. He gave the same answers as the Bulkeley representatives to the King’s questions about the repeal of the Penal Laws and Test Act, refusing to pledge a parliamentary vote or his electoral interest but agreeing to support the Declaration of Indulgence by living at peace with his neighbours. Along with the Bulkeleys he came through the Glorious Revolution unscathed, being restored to the commission of the peace in 1690. His return to Parliament for Beaumaris in 1701 was in place of Owen Hughes, the arch-enemy of Baron Hill and his own economic rival as lessee of a Menai ferry. Williams was not an active Member and he does not figure on any marked list of this Parliament. The ‘Mr Williams’ who acted as a teller on 13 May 1701 in favour of committing the Kentish Petitioners to prison was thus in all probability his namesake John. Replaced at Beaumaris by a Bulkeley in the second election of 1701, he stepped into the breach again in 1703 when the new Member died. In his second spell in Parliament he was listed as having voted against, or been absent from, the division on the Tack on 28 Nov. 1704.2

Williams died on 26 Feb. 1708, aged 69. Some correspondence ensued, involving the heir at Penmynydd, his first wife’s cousin Francis Bulkeley of Porthamel, over the possibility of his being buried ‘in Bulkeleys’ right’ at Llanidan but he was interred at Penmynydd. Francis Bulkeley ran deeply into debt, mortgaged his property to Lord Bulkeley, and eventually committed suicide after agreeing terms of purchase with his creditor, the lands duly merging into the Baron Hill estate.3

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. J. E. Griffith, Peds. Anglesey and Caern. Fams. 107, 266; Arch. Camb. ser. 3, xv. 378, 392–3; H. R. Davies, The Conway and Menai Ferries (Univ. of Wales Bd. of Celtic Studies, Hist. and Law ser. viii), 175–6.
  • 2. Arch. Camb. 392; CSP Dom. 1685, p. 189; 1690–1, p. 54; Cal. Treas. Bks. viii. 1403, 1527; Davies, 188–90; Duckett, Penal Laws and Test Act (1882), 271.
  • 3. Arch. Camb. ser. 3, v. 25, 145; xv. 392–3; Griffith, 107.