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Welshmen Known in London.—III.…


Welshmen Known in London.—III. Mr. Timothy Davies, L.C.C. IN our last two issues we presented our I. readers with portraits and sketches of two Welshmen who have been prominent in the public life of London for many years. Whilst proud of our compatriots who have wOn their laurels, and have done so much to win for their nation the respect and favour of the people of the Metropolis, it is also a cause of joy that there are younger Welshmen following in their footsteps, and giving themselves to similar good work. It is not the least service of experienced men that they inspire their juniors with their own zeal in the labours that promote the welfare of the community. Among the younger genera- tion of public men in London, Mr. Timothy Davies, of Fulham, stands prominent, and his labours during the last ten years give promise of greater things in the future. Mr. Davies is a Native of Llanpumsaint, in Carmarthenshire. He was born at Pantyfedwen, in that parish, about three miles from Carmarthen town, on the 22nd of January, 1857. His parents were Henry and Catherine Davies, and his grand- father and namesake on the paternal side was one of the pioneers of the Calvinistic Methodist cause in Wales, a cause to which the grandson adheres, and for which he has done great service, of which more anon. Young Timothy Davies received all his educa- tion at the school which the late Mr. William Williams, M.P. for Coventry, built in the village of Llanpumsaint-so-called because of its con- nection with the pious ministrations of the five Welsh saints, Ceithio, Gwynoro, Gwyn, Llaw- ddog, and Teilo. He made the best of his opportunities at that school, but before he was fifteen he put his books aside and Started upon a Commerciat Career in the drapery trade. His period of apprentice- ship was spent in Liverpool,1 but after three years and a half in the city on the Mersey he turned his face southwards, believing, rightly, as things have turned out, that London offered better opportunities to him to learn his trade completely, and climb the ladder of' success. That was in 1875. He found employment with the well-known firm of Tarn and Co., of Newing- ton Causeway. In ten years from his first coming to London he looked out for a suitable spot wherein to start business on his own account, and decided upon Walham Green, Fulham. The last twenty years have shown the wisdom of his choice. As he anticipated, the neighbour- hood has grown into one of the most densely Populated districts anywhere about London, and the business of the young Welshman has pros- pered with it, so that what started in a modest way has now become one of the most prominent concerns in the South Western District. He was one of the original members and founders of the Drapers' Chamber of Trade. It was not until 1896, by which time his business was well established, that Mr. Timothy Davies entered into public affairs. In May of that year he and two other colleagues won seats on the Fulham Vestry as Progressives, thereby displacing three Conservatives. That seat he his retained ever since. By the time the MR. TIMOTHY DAVIES, L.C.C. London Government Act of 1900 had trans- formed Fulham into a Borough and its Vestry into a Council, Mr. Davies had become one of the most prominent men in its local affairs, and in the following year he was elected Fulham's Second Mayor, his only predecessor in that civic chair being Sir Edwin Cornwall, the present Chairman of the London County Council. During the year of his Mayoralty the electors of Fulham showed how great their confidence in him was by returning him to represent the Borough in the County Council at the head of the poll, giving him a majority of 1,840 votes. That con- fidence was renewed at the end of his first term of service in 1904. During the five years nearly he has been a Member of the L.C.C., Mr. Davies has worked hard for every kind of im- provement which adds to either the health or the happiness of the community. He became a Member of the Parks Committee, and set himself the task of maintaining and developing the open spaces of South-west London. He had to encounter much blind opposition from those who cannot understand the necessity for these recreation grounds to maintain the stamina and vigour of the citizens of our great metropolis. But he persevered until he had succeeded in adding Fielder's Meadow to the beautiful river- side grounds extending towards Hammersmith, known as Bishop's Park, and twenty-two acres of land, known as Sand's End, in South Fulham, three-fourths of the cost of which the County Council undertook to contribute. In the midst of his numerous business and civic avocations Mr. Davies has given a great deal of time and labour to Social and Religious Work among the Welsh in London. He takes un- ceasing interest in the cause of temperance, believing it to be the true secret of national vigour and social happiness. He has been Moderator of the Welsh Presbytery in London, and has been to a great extent the mainspring of the activity among the Calvinistic Methodists in the metropolis, which gave to that body five new churches in the course of five years, viz., at Clapham Junction, Walham Green, Willesden Green, Deptford, and Enfield. In addition to all this he Has Found Time to Travel a great deal, having visited the United States, Canada, Norway, Morocco, the French Colonies in Algeria and Tunis, and Italy. When in Rome, in 1898, he had the great distinction, in company with his friend, Mr. Lloyd-George, of a two hours' audience with the Pope Leo XIII. Mr. Davies is a man with political aspirations, and the Liberal party in Fulham has selected him as its candidate in the now nearly approach- ing election. If any man can win that seat for the Liberals, he will do it. And all his fellow- countrymen wish him success, not because of his party colours so much as because they know that whatever positions he attains Wales will reap some benefit from it. All Welsh move- ments, both in London and in Wales, find in him a ready and warm supporter, and he is never tired of singing the praises and furthering the welfare of his people and his native land. As a Friend. In all matters affecting the advancement of the social condition of his countrymen in London Mr. Davies has always taken a keen interest.