David Williams (British legal scholar)

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Sir David Williams

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge
In office
1989 to 1996
ChancellorHRH The Duke of Edinburgh
Preceded byMichael McCrum
Succeeded byAlec Broers
Personal details
Born(1930-10-22)22 October 1930
Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, Wales
Died6 September 2009(2009-09-06) (aged 78)
Alma materQueen Elizabeth Grammar School, Carmarthen
Emmanuel College, Cambridge

Sir David Glyndwr Tudor Williams, QC, DL (22 October 1930 – 6 September 2009) was a Welsh barrister and legal scholar. He was President of Wolfson College, Cambridge from 1980 to 1992. He was also Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge: on a part-time basis from 1989 to 1992, and then as the first full-time Vice-Chancellor from 1992 to 1996.

Early life and education[edit]

Williams was educated at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Carmarthen. From 1949 to 1950, he undertook national service with the Royal Air Force. In 1950, he matriculated into Emmanuel College, Cambridge to study history and law. He graduated from the University of Cambridge with a first class Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1954.[1][2]

Academic career[edit]

He was a Harkness Fellow at Berkeley and Harvard between 1956 and 1958.[3] He moved to Emmanuel College, Cambridge, from Keble College, Oxford in 1967 and was subsequently promoted to Reader in Public Law 1976-1980, before being appointed Rouse Ball Professor of English Law 1983-1992 and elected President of Wolfson College, Cambridge 1980-1992.

In 1989 he was appointed the first full-time Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge and was a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics from 1991 to 1994.[4] In 2007 he was appointed as the chancellor of Swansea University.[5]

Williams had been awarded honorary degrees by a dozen institutions, including an honorary LLD from the University of Cambridge and a Doctor of Civil Law from the University of Western Ontario.

Williams died from cancer on 6 September 2009 at the age of 78.[6][7]

In 2016, the University of Cambridge Faculty of Law named its building[8] and a Chair in Public Law[9] after him.


  1. ^ "Williams, Sir David Glyndwr Tudor (1930–2009), legal scholar and university administrator". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. 10 January 2013. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-102379. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Williams, Sir David (Glyndwr Tudor)". Who Was Who. Oxford University Press. 1 December 2016. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540891.001.0001/ww-9780199540884-e-39939. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  3. ^ http://www.villanova.edu/artsci/assets/documents/academics/undergraduate/uga/nafa/SirDavidWilliams.pdf
  4. ^ "Past Council Members". Nuffield Council on Bioethics. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  5. ^ Wolfson College News » Professor Sir David Williams inaugurated as Chancellor of Swansea University
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-09-10. Retrieved 2009-09-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Professor Sir David Williams: legal scholar". The Times. 22 September 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Naming of the Law Faculty building | Faculty of Law". www.law.cam.ac.uk. Retrieved 2017-05-04.
  9. ^ "Gift in honour of Sir David Williams | Faculty of Law". www.law.cam.ac.uk. Retrieved 2017-05-04.

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
John Morrison
President of Wolfson College, Cambridge
Succeeded by
John Tusa
Preceded by
Michael McCrum
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge
Succeeded by
Alec Broers