|William Davies was born in Narberth Pembrokeshire on
13th December 1851. His father was Thomas Davies who had originally come
to Bristol from Wales in 1857. Thomas was founder of a Bristol
leather manufacturers and in 1875 William joined his father as a partner in the
business. Subsequently they acquired the business of John Cox & Co,
Tanners, Bedminster. He was president of the
Anchor Society in
1892 For many years he was the President of the Bristol
South Liberal Association and was President of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce
in 1885. In that year he was also returned to the Bristol City Council for
Bedminster East ward and became leader of the Liberal party for the council in
1893. He was made a Justice of the Peace in 1894, served as Mayor in 1895
and in 1897 he was made an Alderman. He was involved with various charitable
institutions and was an active in church (non-conformist) and temperance
circles. He was knighted in 1908 and served as MP for Bristol South from
1906 - 1922. He died on 26th October 1932 at Down House, Stoke Bishop.
Sir William was a leading member if the Wesleyan Methodists in Bristol and his great-grandfather often entertained John Wesley himself when he visited south west Wales. He married in 1882 and there were two sons and three daughters. One of his sons, Colonel Owen Stanley Davies D.S.O. was Sheriff of Bristol in 1920, sadly he died in 1926.
It was during his chairmanship of the Docks Committee that the City Council agreed the the scheme for the Royal Edward Dock and he remained chairman throughout its construction. His reward was to be knighted by King Edward on th evening of the opening day, July 9th 1908, aboard the Royal Yacht with the Royal Edward Dock.
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