Genealogical tables and memoranda of the Dillwyn family 1750-1950; papers of William Dillwyn and of the Dillwyn family in New England 1711-1858; papers of and relating to Lewis Weston Dillwyn c1778-1920; papers, correspondence and private journals of and relating to Lewis Llewelyn Dillwyn 1833-1955.
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
The Dillwyn family had lived in Pennsylvania, USA, since the end of the 17th century when William Dillwyn, a Quaker, emigrated there to escape persecution. His grandson William Dillwyn (1743?-1824) returned to England during the American War of Independance. He settled at Higham Hall, Walthamstow and in 1777 maried Sarah Weston of High Hall, Essex. Sarah was his second wife, his first, Sarah Logan Smith had died in the USA in 1769. On one of William's business visits to Wales he was shown round the old Cambrian pottery at Swansea. He later decided to purchase the lease.
Lewis Weston Dillwyn, eldest son of William and Sarah Dillwyn was born in 1778. In 1802 his father sent him to Swansea to take control of the pottery. Although he had no previous experience of ceramics manufacture, he was enthusiastic and the quality of the pottery made there was improved under his management. In 1814 the pottery took over the workforce of the Nantgarw potteries and began to make porcelain.
Lewis Weston Dillwyn however was also renowned for his published works on botany and conchology. In 1817 he retired from the pottery. In 1818 he became High Sheriff of Glamorgan and was elected to the First Reformed Parliament in 1834. He was Mayor of Swansea in 1839. Lewis was also one of the founders of the Royal Institution of South Wales and its first President and in 1840 he published a short history of Swansea. He married Mary Adams the daughter of Colonel John Llewelyn of Penllergare, Llangyfelach in 1807. They had six children.
Lewis Llewelyn Dillwyn (1814-1892) was the son of Lewis Weston and Mary Dillwyn. He was born in 1814 and educated at Bath. In 1838 he married Elizabeth ('Bessie') the daughter of the geologist Sir Henry de la Beche. Lewis Llewelyn was head of the firm of Dillwyn and Richards at the Landore spelter works and later became Chairman of the Siemens Steel Company. He was Mayor of Swansea in 1848 and between 1855 and 1885 was the Radical MP for Swansea and from 1885 to 1892 for the newly-formed Swansea Town division. He died in 1892.
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