Welsh Journals

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Prince of Wales Drill Hall'. Was the Duke less of a draw than a mere Earl? However, such blue-blooded support must say something of the circles from which young William came. In the event, as Abel Thomas QC foretold, it was 'the Goliath of Liberalism' who carried the day against 'the youthful David' by 3,660 votes to 2520. However, William Meredyth could leave Swansea with his head held high for his 40.8% of the vote was only beaten by two other Conservative candidates during the existence of Swansea Town from 1885 to 1918, namely the two strongest local candidates, Sir John Dillwyn-Llewelyn and Colonel J R Wright. The Conservative Western Mail trumpeted victory in its report, 'At Swansea the youthful Conservative candidate succeeded in obtaining 2520 votes against 3660 for his veteran Radical opponent, Mr L Dillwyn. This will prove a powerful awakening to the braggart Dissenting preachers and Liberationists who pretend that in Wales the Nonconformists outnumber the supporters of the Church by six to one or some such ludicrously inaccurate proposition.' West Monmouthshire Meredyth became Secretary of the Welsh Conservative Union around the year 1888. In 1892 he contested West Monmouthshire, an even more hopeless cause than Swansea Town. Cornelius Marshall Warmington QC,11 who had been returned unopposed in 1886, had held the seat for the Liberals since 1885. Meredyth's candidature surprised and annoyed Monmouthshire Liberals who had taken another unopposed return for granted. As in Swansea in 1885, they asked who was behind Meredyth's candidature. The editorial in the South Wales Gazette of 15 April 1892 invited its readers to examine the list of contributors to the Conservative campaign fund in West Monmouthshire, which revealed that almost all its monies came from well known Tories in the neighbouring constituencies of North and South Monmouthshire, the largest donations being from Lord Tredegar and his brother, Colonel, Hon. Frederick Courtenay Morgan, Conservative MP for Monmouthshire from 1874 to 1885 and for South Monmouthshire 1885 to 1906. This newspaper had no doubt that the only purpose in fighting West Monmouthshire was to prevent Cornelius Warmington and his supporters from working in the Morgan fiefdom. The South Wales Gazette makes several references to the way Meredyth chose to contest the election he addressed no public meetings but instead attended a series of 'smoking concerts' in various public houses in the constituency which attracted many men 'who only came for the beer' and gave their votes to Warmington. The newspaper reported on 15th July 'at one of these concerts in Ebbw Vale there was evidently little concert. Some of those present struck up a Warmington chorus and the Conservative candidate could not address the meeting for two hours'. The Conservative strategy also offended many Nonconformists, who complained about his speaking at a Nonconformist service and also addressing Congregationalist men