Williams, John, Archbishop of York (1582 -1650)
John Williams was the second son of Edmund Williams, of Conway, and Mary, daughter of Owen Wynne of Eglws Bach. He was educated at the grammar school of Ruthin, and St John's College, Cambridge, where he matriculated in 1598, taking his B.A. in 1601. He became a Fellow of his College in 1603, took his M.A. in 1605, and in the same year was instituted to Honington, a poor living in the King's gift. He became Archdeacon of Cardigan in 1610, took his B.D. in 1613, and his D.D. in 1617, and in the latter year became a Royal Chaplain. He was made Dean of Salisbury in 1619, Dean of Westminster in 1620, and Lord Keeper and Bishop of Lincoln in 1621. On 11 July 1637 he was sentenced by the Star Chamber for subornation of perjury and confined in the Tower, but was released in November 1640. On 4 December 1640 he was translated to the Archbishoprick of York, but was one of the twelve bishops committed to the Tower on the 30th December, being released on 5 May 1642. He then escaped to York where he was enthroned as Archbishop. During the Civil War he supported the Royalist party, and fortified Conway Castle at his own expence, but afterwards lived peacefully on the estates of Cochwillan and Penrhyn, which he had purchased when he was Lord Keeper, and which he left to his nephew Sir Griffith Williams 1st Baronet. He gave about 1,700 manuscripts and printed books to Westminster Abbey Library in 1623, there is a catalogue in Westminster Abbey's Benefactors Book ff.1 35, and about 2,500 MSS and printed books, and 500 French books, to St John's College Cambridge in 1632, catalogues survive in St John's College MS U.5, and L.4. Only twenty five of his books remain at St John's.