1 Dec 2017Read Article
A daring and entrepreneurial pioneer, David Davies went on to invest all of his money into developing mines on land leased from the Crawshay family in Rhondda. A highly risky enterprise demanding vast investment with no guarantee of success, Davies faced ruin as the cash dried up with no sign of a profitable seam of coal.
At the lowest ebb, Davies was so drained of funds that work threatened to grind to a halt when he could no longer afford to pay his miners’ wages. But despite this, in a remarkable display of loyalty, faith and Welsh resilience, his men continued to dig without payment. Finally, a step away from personal ruin, there was a dramatic breakthrough at the Cwmparc mine in Treorchy. And so The Ocean Coal Company was made and David Davies’s fortune secured.
David Davies had built his own mansion Broneirion in 1884, which still stands on the opposite side of the valley to Plas Dinam. He later bought Plas Dinam for his son Edward, who died in 1898 at the age of 48.
Politically and personally, David followed the lead set by his grandfather. From 1906 to 1929, he was the Liberal Member of Parliament for Montgomeryshire. He fought in the First World War and later was an active supporter of the League of Nations. In 1932 he established the New Commonwealth Society for ‘the promotion of international law and order’, writing several books on the right use of force, notably The Problem of the Twentieth Century (1930), which was translated into German and a number of other languages. His ideas had an impact on the writing of the UN Charter, especially with regards to sanctions and the transition of national armies to an international police. He became the first Baron of Llandinam in 1932.
He endowed the Chair in International Politics established at Aberystwyth University, which also hosts the David Davies Memorial Institute of International Studies.