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The Beginning of David Lloyd George's Political Career

After passing the preliminary examinations of the Law Society he found employment in the office of solicitors Breese, Jones and Casson in Porthmadog in 1878. Here he began to become active in politics. After friction in the office in Porthmadog he established his own office in Cricieth in 1885. In the same year we find him taking a leading part in the general election in the Meirionnydd constituency as a Liberal. The following year he nailed his radical colours to the mast by sharing the platform in a public meeting at Blaenau Ffestiniog with the Irish nationalist, Michael Davitt, and the Welsh nationalist, the Revd Michael D Jones.

The Llanfrothen burial case, a case of conflict between Churchmen and Nonconformists over burial rights, gave David Lloyd George a public platform as the representative of the nonconformist defendant. The case ended up in the Appeals Court in London. The publicity he gained from the case later won for him the nomination as the Liberal Party candidate in the constituency of Caernarfon Boroughs.

Early in 1888 the first edition of the short-lived Udgorn Rhyddid (The Trumpet of Freedom) appeared. It was established by David Lloyd George under the editorship of his friend D R Daniel. It was intended as a showcase for his radical and nonconformist views on such subjects as the tithe, disestablishment, the land question, education and temperance. It also acted as a medium for his own personal ambitions as an aspiring Member of Parliament in the north west.

After his selection as Liberal parliamentary candidate for Caernarfon Boroughs in 1889 David Lloyd George had to fight an unexpected by-election in 1890 with the death of the sitting Tory member, Edmund Swetenham. Ironically his opponent in the campaign was H J Ellis-Nanney, the squire of Llanystumdwy. Because of his well-known radical views he could not even depend on the support of Liberals in his own constituency. Considering the opposition, he was elected unexpectedly after a recount with a majority of 18. This was his first victory in a series of fourteen elections which he fought between 1890 and 1945.