Richard Davies (MP)

Richard Davies (29 November 1818 – 27 October 1896) was a Welsh businessman and ship-owner and nonconformist Liberal politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1868 to 1886.

Richard Davies MP circa 1893

Davies was born at Llangefni, Anglesey, the son of Richard Davies, a merchant of Llangefni, and his wife Anne Jones of Coed Hywel.[1] He was educated at Llangefni national school. When his father set up subsidiary businesses under the management of his three sons, Richard Davies was assigned to the old ferry-terminal of Porthaethwy, which was reconstituted as Menai Bridge. This timber importing business developed so successfully that all the family became involved and the business developed into large-scale ship-owning which generated considerable wealth, based to a large extent on guano.[2] His brother, Robert, was renowned as a philanthropist.

Davies became a notable figure in politics as a Welsh radical nonconformist. He stood as Liberal candidate for Caernarvon at the 1852 general election but lost by 93 votes.[3] Davies was Anglesey's first Nonconformist J.P. and was High Sheriff of Anglesey in 1858. He was elected unopposed as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Anglesey in the election of 1868.[4] He retained the seat till the 1886 general election, when he retired,[5] being opposed to the proposal for Irish Home Rule.[2]

At one time Davies lived at Bwlch-y-fen, but afterwards at Treborth, opposite Menai Bridge and was a benefactor to Bangor Normal College and to the ‘British’ schools. He was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Anglesey in 1884.[2]

Davies died at Treborth at the age of 77 and was buried in Llandysilio churchyard. Famously his final words are reputed to be "cannot be fathomed". A memorial to him is in the Menai Bridge English Presbyterian Church alongside memorials to other members of the family. ..(The Davies' family was closely associated with this church, it having been built at Robert's expense.)

Davies married Anne Rees, daughter of Rev. Henry Rees of Liverpool and niece of William Rees in 1855 and had several children, among whom were

  • Henry Rees Davies.[6]
  • Beatrice Conway Davies, who married in 1902 Richard Hughes.[7]


  1. Debretts House of Commons and the Judicial Bench 1886
  2. Welsh Biography Online - Richard Davies
  3. Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1977]. British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 500. ISBN 0-900178-26-4.
  4. Craig, op. cit, page 517
  5. Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1974]. British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 467. ISBN 0-900178-27-2.
  6. Anglesey County Record Office -H. R. (Henry Rees) Davies Papers
  7. "Marriages". The Times (36896). London. 11 October 1902. p. 1.


Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Richard Williams-Bulkeley, Bt
Member of Parliament for Anglesey
Succeeded by
Thomas Lewis
Honorary titles
Preceded by
John Thomas Roberts
High Sheriff of Anglesey
Succeeded by
Henry Owen Williams
Preceded by
William Owen Stanley
Lord Lieutenant of Anglesey
Succeeded by
Sir Richard Williams-Bulkeley, Bt