The Glamorgan County Council election, 1898 was the fourth contest for seats on this authority. It was preceded by the 1895 election and followed by the 1901 election. Glamorgan was by far the largest county in Wales in terms of population. Glamorgan County Council had been esttblished by the 1888 Local Government Act, and the first elections held in early 1889. The county of Glamorgan was at this time becoming heavily industrialised, although some areas such as the Vale of Glamorgan remained essentially rural. The rise of nonconformist liberalism, especially since the 1860s, throughout Wales, had challenged the prevailing influence of the landed gentry. However, even in 1889, the traditional forces remained influential and no working men were elected to the Council. This changed in 1892 with the unopposed return of David Morgan in Aberdare and the success of Isaac Evans in Resolven.
As in most parts of Wales, the Liberal Party was once again triumphant and won a majority of the seats. In 1895 there were more unopposed results than in previous elections and the Conservatives made some headway, reflecting the position in the United Kingdom as a whole where the party took power that year.
Results are drawn from a number of sources. The include the Evening Express., Cambrian and Pontypridd Chronicle.
There were no boundary changes at this election.
All eleven retiring aldermen were Liberals. Gwilym Jones, W.H. Mathias, J.C. Meggitt, Herbert Evans and the Rev Aaron Davies all sought re-election. Jones and Mathias were returned unopposed while Meggitt's only opponent withdrew before polling day. Herbert Evans was opposed by the sitting Liberal councillor whom he eventually narrowly defeated (see Cwmavon, below). At Aberdare, David Price Davies was also nominated but withdrew rather than face a contest with the sitting councillor.
Prior to the election it became apparent that Evans, the sitting councillor and the retiring alderman, David Price Davies, both coveted the seats. Davies however withdrew before the poll.
The sitting councillor, John Cory, had withdrawn in favour of retiring alderman John Claxton Meggitt. The defeated candidate withdrew before polling day.
Jenkin Hill recaptured the seat he lost three years previously.
A narrow victory.
W.R. Davies took the place of Henry Lewis, who did not seek re-election after one term. Davies was chosen as a candidate after a public meeting of local Liberals where both candidates agreed to abide by the vote.
Two Liberals, a sitting alderman and sitting councillor, opposed each other.
Thomas Thomas recaptured the seat he lost three years previously.
David Thomas JP, who had ousted fellow Liberal Morgan Williams in 1895, did not seek re-election due to ill-health leading to a contrast between the Rev Silas Charles, Congregational Minister and Thomas Samuel, grocer.
The same two candidates had faced each other in 1895. On that occasion, Barrow had won and was elected as alderman for a three-year period. Jenkin Jones was then returned at a by-election.
At the previous election, Trick had stood as a Conservative.
Morris appears to have defected to the Unionists, leading to his defeat. This was considered to be the most significant contest in the valley but, owing to the support of colliery officials and leading tradesmen for the winning candidate, Elias Henry Davies, it was clear that Morris and been defeated before the close of the poll. Davies was an active Congregationalist, freemason and president of the Rhondda Cymmrodorion.
Although a Liberal gain, the shock was the defeat of Alderman Aaron Davies.
A repeat of the contest in 1895, with the same result.
James Roberts had won the seat at a by-election following the death of the previous member, David Leyshon. His defeat was greeted with surprise by a crowd said to number 4,000 who had gathered to hear the result. Roberts said h was glad to think that he had been the means of overthrowing a member of a 'Pontypridd clique'.
In addition to the 66 councillors the council consisted of 22 county aldermen. Aldermen were elected by the council, and served a six-year term. Following the 1898 election, there were twelve Aldermanic vacancies. These comprised the eleven vacancies due to retiring alderman with the twelfth being vacant following the death of Isaac Evans.
The following aldermen were appointed by the newly elected council.
elected for six yearsGwilym Jones, Liberal, retiring alderman (elected councillor at Mountain Ash)
W.H. Mathias, Liberal, retiring alderman (elected councillor at Tylorstown and Ynyshir)
J.C. Meggitt, Liberal, retiring alderman (elected councillor at Barry)
Llewellyn Davies, Liberal (elected councillor at Swansea Valley)
T.J. Hughes, Liberal (elected councillor at Newcastle)
William Llewellyn, Liberal (elected councillor at Ogmore Valley)
J.W. Evans, Liberal (elected councillor at Aberdare Town)
William Howell, Liberal (elected councillor at Coity)
Rees Harris, Liberal (elected councillor at Llandeilo Talybont)
David Prosser, Liberal (elecetd councillor at Merthyr Vale)
Dr R.W. Jones, Liberal (elected councillor at Penrhiwceber)
elected for three yearsDaniel Evans, Liberal (elected councillor at Resolven)
All eleven aldermen were Liberals, as were the retiring aldermen.
Following the return of J.W. Evans, David Price Davies and Thomas Thomas (councillor for the ward from 1892 until 1895) were nominated. However, Thomas withdrew allowing Davies to be returned unopposed.
John Cory had been a member of the county council since its formation, and served as alderman from 1889 until 1892. Captain Murrell, in returning thanks for his election, said he came forward as an independent candidate as a protest against the introduction of the foreign element into the representation of the district.
Following the election of Dr R.W. Jones as an alderman, Thomas Morris, who had represented Mountain Ash on the previous council, was elected. Morris was opposed by another Liberal candidate, clerk to the Llanwonno School Board, who stood in opposition to Morris's links to the beer trade. John Williams, checkweigher at a local colliery and a future Labour MP was a possible candidate but withdrew at an early stage.