David Williams Memorial
Cadw report: Obelisk of pale grey marble with pyramidal top. On a square base, the top edge of which has ogee moulding and a small pediment in the centre of each side. The memorial inscription to David Williams is on the S face of the base. Fixed to the obelisk above is a cast bust of David Williams, of bronze, or bronze-plated. The base is on a 5-tier sandstone platform. The memorial is located within a small enclosure of iron railings.
The memorial was erected in 1911 as the result of fund-raising activity by a committee, chaired by Lord Tredegar.
Cadw report: David Williams (1738-1816) writer, philosopher and politician, was born at Waen Waelod in the parish of Eglwysilan, near Caerphilly. He was educated at the Carmarthen Academy. He entered the ministry for a short time before moving to London where he engaged himself in teaching and writing. He wrote many books on a range of subjects including religion, liturgical reform, history and education. His writing attracted the attention of Benjamin Franklyn and they set up a religious group. He was invited to be a French citizen and to draw up details of a French constitution. In 1790 he established the Royal Literary Fund to support impoverished authors. He lived at the fund's headquarters in Soho where he died, and is buried at St. Anne's, Soho.
Incised in stone and letters painted black on south side of base: DAVID WILLIAMS / BORN AT WAEN WAELOD WATFORD / 1738 DIED AT LONDON JUNE 29 1816 / BURIED AT ST ANNE'S SOHO / THIS MEMORIAL / HAS BEEN RAISED BY A FEW ADMIRERS / HE WAS ONE OF THE FOREMOST / WELSHMEN OF HIS AGE AND GENERATION / ENDOWED WITH RARE INTELLECTUAL GIFTS / HE DEVOTED THE GREATER PART OF HIS LIFE / TO THE HELPING OF THE POOR / THE EXPOUNDING OF THE PRINCIPLES OF / POPULAR EDUCATION / AND THE FURTHERING OF THE CAUSE OF / LIBERTY / BOTH IN SPEECH AND IN THOUGHT / HE WROTE MANY BOOKS HE DRAFTED / THE FIRST CONSTITUTION OF THE / FRENCH REVOLUTION / HE SHIELDED BENJAMIN FRANKLIN / AND OTHER FRIENDS OF FREEDOM / FROM PERSECUTION AND HE / FOUNDED THE ROYAL LITERARY FUND / GWYN EI FYD
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