Gareth Williams, Baron Williams of Mostyn

Gareth Wyn Williams, Baron Williams of Mostyn, PC, QC (5 February 1941 – 20 September 2003) was a Welsh barrister and Labour politician who was Leader of the House of Lords, Lord President of the Council and a member of the Cabinet at the time of his sudden death in 2003.

The Lord Williams of Mostyn

Lord Williams of Mostyn
Lord President of the Council
In office
13 June 2003 – 20 September 2003
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byJohn Reid
Succeeded byThe Baroness Amos
Leader of the House of Lords
In office
8 June 2001 – 20 September 2003
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byThe Baroness Jay of Paddington
Succeeded byThe Baroness Amos
Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal
In office
8 June 2001 – 13 June 2003
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byThe Baroness Jay of Paddington
Succeeded byPeter Hain
Attorney General for England and Wales
Attorney General for Northern Ireland
In office
29 July 1999 – 8 June 2001
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byJohn Morris
Succeeded byThe Lord Goldsmith
Personal details
Born5 February 1941
Prestatyn, United Kingdom
Died20 September 2003 (aged 62)
Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
Political partyLabour
Alma materQueens' College, Cambridge

Early life

Williams was born near Prestatyn, in North Wales, a son of Albert Thomas Williams and his wife Selina, née Evans. He was educated at Rhyl Grammar School and at Queens' College, Cambridge.

Legal career

He had a successful legal career, having been called to the bar at Gray's Inn in 1965,[1] taking silk in 1978,[1] being a Recorder in 1978-2003,[2] being a Deputy High Court Judge, being the Leader of the Wales and Chester Circuit in 1987-89,[1] and was a Member of the Bar Council in 1986-92[1] and became the Chairman in 1992.[1]

Political career

He was created a life peer on 20 July 1992 as Baron Williams of Mostyn, of Great Tew in the County of Oxfordshire[3] and became an opposition spokesman in the House of Lords on Legal Affairs, and later Northern Ireland. After Labour's election victory he appointed a Home Office minister, and in 1999 became Attorney General for England and Wales and Northern Ireland. He was appointed Leader of the House of Lords in 2001, initially with the sinecure office of Lord Privy Seal, for which Lord President of the Council was substituted in 2003.

Reputation among his colleagues

As part of the celebrations to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Life Peerages Act, Lord Williams was voted by the current members of the House of Lords as the outstanding life peer since the creation of the life peerage.[4] In his book A View from the Foothills Chris Mullin wrote that he thought that Gareth Williams was most likely to succeed Derry Irvine as Lord Chancellor; the position was ultimately fulfilled by Charles Falconer.[5]

Personal life

Williams married first in 1962 Pauline, daughter of Ernest Clarke, and by her had two daughters, Martha (born 1973) and Emma (born 1976), and a son, Daniel (born 1981). They divorced, and he married secondly in 1994 Veena M Russell, and by her had one daughter, Imogen.


He collapsed and died suddenly at his home in Gloucestershire, at the age of 62. He was survived by his four children.

Styles and arms

Styles of address

  • 1941–1978: Mr Gareth Williams
  • 1978–1992: Mr Gareth Williams QC
  • 1992–1999: The Rt Hon. The Lord Williams of Mostyn QC
  • 1999–2003: The Rt Hon. The Lord Williams of Mostyn PC QC

Coat of arms


  1. ^ a b c d e "Obituary: Lord Williams of Mostyn". The Independent. 21 September 2003. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  2. ^ "No. 47569". The London Gazette. 16 June 1978. p. 7315.
  3. ^ "No. 53009". The London Gazette. 4 August 1992. p. 13149.
  4. ^ "Former Lords leader honoured with award". Yahoo/Epolitix. Retrieved 20 July 2008.
  5. ^ Mullin, Chris (2009). "Monday 7 January 2002". A View from the Foothills: The Diaries of Chris Mullin. Profile Books. p. 248. ISBN 978-1-84668-230-8.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
John Morris
Attorney General for England and Wales
Succeeded by
The Lord Goldsmith
Attorney General for Northern Ireland
Preceded by
The Baroness Jay of Paddington
Lord Privy Seal
Succeeded by
Peter Hain
Leader of the House of Lords
Succeeded by
The Baroness Amos
Preceded by
John Reid
Lord President of the Council
Party political offices
Preceded by
The Baroness Jay of Paddington
Leader of the Labour Party in the House of Lords
Succeeded by
The Baroness Amos
Academic offices
Preceded by
Cledwyn Hughes
Pro-Chancellor of the University of Wales
Succeeded by
Dafydd Wigley
1941 in Wales

This article is about the particular significance of the year 1941 to Wales and its people.

1941 in the United Kingdom

Events from the year 1941 in the United Kingdom. The year was dominated by the Second World War.

2003 in Wales

This article is about the particular significance of the year 2003 to Wales and its people.

Baron Williams

Baron Williams may refer to:

John Williams, 1st Baron Williams of Thame (1500–1559), English Tudor courtier

Tom Williams, Baron Williams of Barnburgh (1888–1967), British Labour politician

Thomas Williams, 1st Baron Williams (1892–1966), British peer

Charles Williams, Baron Williams of Elvel (born 1933), British Labour politician

Gareth Williams, Baron Williams of Mostyn (1941–2003), Welsh barrister and Labour cabinet minister

Michael Williams, Baron Williams of Baglan (1949–2017), British diplomat for the United Nations

Rowan Williams (The Lord Williams of Oystermouth; born 1950), former Archbishop of Canterbury

Deaths in September 2003

The following is a list of notable deaths in September 2003.

Entries for each day are listed alphabetically by surname. A typical entry lists information in the following sequence:

Name, age, country of citizenship at birth, subsequent country of citizenship (if applicable), reason for notability, cause of death (if known), and reference.

Labour Party (UK)

The Labour Party is a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom which has been described as an alliance of social democrats, democratic socialists and trade unionists. The party's platform emphasises greater state intervention, social justice and strengthening workers' rights.

The Labour Party was founded in 1900, having grown out of the trade union movement and socialist parties of the nineteenth century. It overtook the Liberal Party to become the main opposition to the Conservative Party in the early 1920s, forming two minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in the 1920s and early 1930s. Labour served in the wartime coalition of 1940-1945, after which Clement Attlee's Labour government established the National Health Service and expanded the welfare state from 1945 to 1951. Under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan, Labour again governed from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1979. In the 1990s Tony Blair took Labour closer to the centre as part of his "New Labour" project, which governed the UK under Blair and then Gordon Brown from 1997 to 2010. After Corbyn took over in 2015, the party has moved leftward.

Labour is currently the Official Opposition in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, having won the second-largest number of seats in the 2017 general election. The Labour Party is currently the largest party in the Welsh Assembly, forming the main party in the current Welsh government. The party is the third largest in the Scottish Parliament.

Labour is a member of the Party of European Socialists and Progressive Alliance, holds observer status in the Socialist International, and sits with the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament. The party includes semi-autonomous Scottish and Welsh branches and supports the Social Democratic and Labour Party in Northern Ireland. As of 2017, Labour had the largest membership of any party in Western Europe.

Life peer

In the United Kingdom, life peers are appointed members of the peerage whose titles cannot be inherited, in contrast to hereditary peers. In modern times, life peerages, always created at the rank of baron, are created under the Life Peerages Act 1958 and entitle the holders to seats in the House of Lords, presuming they meet qualifications such as age and citizenship. The legitimate children of a life peer are entitled to style themselves with the prefix "The Honourable", although they cannot inherit the peerage itself.

List of people with surname Williams

Williams is a common European surname. This list provides links to biographies of people who share this common surname.

Lord President of the Council

The Lord President of the Council is the fourth of the Great Officers of State of the United Kingdom, ranking below the Lord High Treasurer but above the Lord Privy Seal. The Lord President usually attends and is responsible for presiding over meetings of the Privy Council, presenting business for the monarch's approval. In the modern era, the holder is by convention always a member of one of the Houses of Parliament, and the office is normally a Cabinet post.

Lord Privy Seal

The Lord Privy Seal (or, more formally, the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal) is the fifth of the Great Officers of State in the United Kingdom, ranking beneath the Lord President of the Council and above the Lord Great Chamberlain. Originally, its holder was responsible for the monarch's personal (privy) seal (as opposed to the Great Seal of the Realm, which is in the care of the Lord Chancellor) until the use of such a seal became obsolete. The office is currently one of the traditional sinecure offices of state. Today, the holder of the office is invariably given a seat in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom.

Though one of the oldest offices in government anywhere, it has no particular function today because the use of a privy seal has been obsolete for centuries; thus the office has generally been used as a kind of minister without portfolio. Since the premiership of Clement Attlee, the position of Lord Privy Seal has frequently been combined with that of Leader of the House of Lords or Leader of the House of Commons. The office of Lord Privy Seal, unlike those of Leader of the Lords or Commons, is eligible for a ministerial salary under the Ministerial and other Salaries Act 1975. The office does not confer membership of the House of Lords, leading to Ernest Bevin's remark on holding this office that he was "neither a Lord, nor a Privy, nor a Seal".During the reign of Edward I, prior to 1307, the Privy Seal was kept by the Controller of the Wardrobe. The Lord Privy Seal was the president of the Court of Requests during its existence.

Mostyn (disambiguation)

Mostyn is a village, port and electoral ward in Flintshire, Wales. It may also refer to:

As a given nameMostyn Ffrench-Williams (1914–1963), British swimmer

Mostyn Hanger (1908–1980), Australian judge and administrator

Mostyn Thomas (1896–1984), Welsh singerAs a surnameMostyn (surname)PlacesMostyn (gallery), a contemporary art gallery in Llandudno, Wales

Mostyn (Llandudno electoral ward), a ward of Conwy Borough Council, North Wales

Mostyn Colliery, coal mine in Flintshire, North Wales

Mostyn Hall, stately house near Mostyn, Flintshire

Mostyn House School, a closed school in Parkgate, CheshireTitlesBaron Mostyn

Edward Lloyd, 1st Baron Mostyn (1768–1854), British politician

Edward Lloyd-Mostyn, 2nd Baron Mostyn (1795–1884), British peer and politician

Mostyn Baronets

Gareth Williams, Baron Williams of Mostyn (1941–2003), British politician

Rhyl High School

Rhyl High School is one of two high schools in Rhyl, Wales. It was founded in 1894.

September 20

September 20 is the 263rd day of the year (264th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 102 days remaining until the end of the year.

Welsh peers and baronets

This is an index of Welsh peers and baronets whose primary peerage, life peerage, and baronetcy titles include a Welsh place-name origin or its territorial qualification is within the historic counties of Wales.

Welsh-titled peers derive their titles from a variety of sources. After Llywelyn ap Gruffudd of the House of Aberffraw, the last Welsh Prince of Wales, was killed during the Edwardian Conquest in 1282, the Principality of Wales was divided into English-style counties. Many of the former native titles were abolished, but some of the native Welsh lords were given English titles in exchange for their loyalty. Welsh Law remained in force in the Principality for civil cases, including for inheritance. However, Edward I did reform Welsh succession to introduce male preference primogeniture, a reform which facilitated the inheritance by English marcher lords of Welsh lands.

With the Laws in Wales Acts 1535-1542, Wales was formally annexed by England, with the full implementation of English Common Law for civil cases. Both native Welsh and Marcher lordships were fully incorporated into the English Peerage. Eventually, succeeding peerage divisions emerged. Wales does not have a separate peerage, but Welsh peers are included in the English, Great Britain, and finally the United Kingdom peerages. In 1793 the title "Earl of the Town and County of Carnarvon in the Principality of Wales" was created, the only mention of the "Principality of Wales" in a title. After the deposition by the English parliament in February 1689 of King James II and VII from the thrones of England and Ireland (the Scottish Estates followed suit on 11 April 1689), he and his successors continued to create peers and baronets, which became known as the Jacobite Peerage.

Some lords, the Earl Lloyd George of Dwyfor, and the Marquess of Anglesey, make their principal seat within Wales, while others, such as the Marquess of Abergavenny have their seat outside Wales.

Coat of arms of Gareth Williams, Baron Williams of Mostyn
Coronet of a British Baron
Williams of Mostyn Escutcheon
A Coronet of a Baron
A Portcullis Or in front of an Arm embowed vested and the Cuff braided Sable frilled at the wrist the Hand proper holding by its Blade upwards Argent a Sword palewise to the front of the portcullis its Hilt Pommel and Quillons Or
Ermine on a Pile flory at the point Sable a Lion rampant Or armed and langued Gules
Dexter: upon a Grassy Mount growing therefrom two Sweet Pea Flowers proper a Griffin statant erect Or; Sinister: upon a like Mount a Dragon statant erect also Or, both armed and langued Gules
Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd (The truth against the world)
Cabinet members
Also attended meetings

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