One of the most controversial figures of modern times.
Born near Caerphilly in 1800 , the son of an ordained priest of the Church of England and a lowly servant girl. His ill tempered behaviour was thought to be an undiagnosed mental illness.
Like the Rev. Price, who had attended Jesus College, Oxford, William was an apt and successful student, qualifying as a Doctor in London. But his eccentricities suggested to many that he had also inherited hi father’s mental illness.
Eccentric he truly was. Going for long walks in the nude , or dressed as an Arch Druid, that he had proclaimed himself to be, with a fox fur hat , emerald green clothing and carrying a staff with a crescent moon top. He refused to treat smokers and considered marriage to be wrong as it enslaved women, and he advocated and practiced free love.
He was a convinced republican, Welsh Nationalist, enthusiastically joined the Chartists and was forced to flee to France after the failure of the Newport Rising in 1839.
Many years later after his return, now in his eighties, he fell in be with a girl many decades younger. Their son he baptised Jesu Grist, just to enrage local churchgoers.
Jesus died in infancy, prompting the act for which he is most remembered.
On 18th Jan 1884, he burnt the child’s body on a Llantrisant hillside. Price believed that cremation was an ancient Celtic practice, where as burial of a corpse polluted the ground.
Price was prosecuted but the court ruled in his favour. Hence the legality of cremation once and for all
He is now commemorated in the town of Llantrisant with a Plaque, a Statue and a Memorial Garden.