Gwynedd Archives: Caernarfon Record Office

Papurau W. J. Parry

Reference code(s): GB 0219 XM/7441

Held at:

Title: Papurau W. J. Parry

Short title: Parry, W. J., papurau (papers)

Dates of creation: 1784-1968

Level of description: Fonds

Extent and medium: 270 items

Name of creator(s): W. J. Parry


Administrative and biographical history: William John Parry (1842-1927) of Coetmor Hall, Bethesda, Caernarfonshire was a labour leader and author. Born in Bethesda, he attended the British and National Schools in the town, and the Grammar School, Llanrwst, and trained as an accountant. He became active in local politics, being his district's Liberal agent, 1862-1879. He sat on numerous public bodies, becoming chairman of Caernarfonshire County Council in 1892-1893. He played an important part in the creation of the North Wales Quarryman's Union in 1874. He became the Union's first Secretary and its President for nine years. He played an active role in the lock-outs at Penrhyn Quarry in 1896-7 and 1900-1904 and in the subsequent formation of North Wales Quarries Ltd. He wrote numerous books and pamphlets on subjects including quarrying, unionism and religion. These include Caebraichycafn: yr Ymdrafodaeth (1875), Chwareli a Chwarelwyr (1896), The Penrhyn Lock-out, 1900-1901 (c. 1901) and Cyfrol Jiwbili Capel Bethesda (1900) and (as co-editor) Y Ddirprwyaeth Frenhinol as Lafur: Chwarelau Gogledd Cymru (1893). He wrote for various Welsh periodicals and co-founded Y Werin in 1885. He was deeply involved in the religious and cultural life of Bethesda and was a deacon at Bethesda Congregational Chapel. He collected books, as well as ephemera and other documents connected with his various interests. He was awarded the CBE in 1920 and died on 1 September 1927 in Bethesda.


Scope and content: Papers collected by W. J. Parry and family, 1784-1968, including personal papers of W. J. Parry, 1884-1927; reports, leaflets, cuttings and other papers relating to slate quarrying, 1784-1930, and in particular to the North Wales Quarrymen's Union, 1876-1922, the Penrhyn Lock-Out of 1900-4 and other disputes, 1885-1904, and North Wales Quarries Ltd, 1904-1929; items relating to local politics, 1891-1924; items relating to chapels in the Bethesda area, particularly Bethesda Congregational Church, 1856-1968; religious literature, 1835-1922; items concerning Bethesda life and culture, 1863-1954, including local eisteddfodau, 1863-19254, concerts, 1887-1951, dramas, [post 1918], education, 1896-1937, and various local societies, 1869-[1923]; various publications authored by W. J. Parry, 1863-[1911]; poetry, 1837-[1927]; other printed books and booklets, 1793-[post 1920]; and biographies of W. J. Parry, 1879-1927.


Language/script: Welsh, English

System of arrangement: Arranged into the following: the quarry; religion and the Chapel; Bethesda life and culture; life and works; general works; additional material after the death of W. J. Parry.

Conditions governing access: No restrictions

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright regulations apply

Finding aids: Hard copies of the catalogue are available at Caernarfon Record Office and the National Library of Wales.
Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records have been retained

Accruals: Accruals are not expected


Related units of description: Correspondence of W. J. Parry is also in Caernarfon Record Office. Further papers are University of Wales Bangor, Department of Manuscripts and Archives, Coetmor Papers; National Library of Wales, NLW MS 7986, 8733-8863, 10592, 10602-10, 11023.


Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds

Archivist's note: Compiled by Rhys Jones for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Caernarfon Record Office, W. J. Parry (1842-1927): Papurau/W. J. Parry (1842-1927): Papers, catalogue; Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (London, 1959); Who Was Who (2003).

Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition, AACR2, and LCSH

Date(s) of description: September 2004



Entertainment events | Wales | Bethesda (Gwynedd)

Parry, W. J. | (William John), | 1842-1927 | Archives

Printed ephemera | Wales | Gwynedd

Quarries and quarrying | Wales | Gwynedd

Religious institutions | Wales | Gwynedd

Slate industry | Wales | Caernarvonshire

Trades unions | Wales | Gwynedd

Personal names

Parry, W. J. (William John), 1842-1927

Corporate names

Eglwys Gynulleidfaol Bethesda (Bethesda, Gwynedd, Wales)

North Wales Quarries Limited

North Wales Quarrymen's Union

Penrhyn Quarry