Lynn Williams was born in rural South Wales, the United Kingdom. From 1971-1978, he studied at the University of London, during which time he minored in Portuguese, majored in Spanish, and completed a doctorate in Spanish sociolinguistics. During the last year of his doctoral studies, he taught part-time in the Department of Hispanic Studies at the University of Cardiff. In 1978, Lynn secured a permanent position as a lecturer in Spanish at the University of Exeter. There he taught Spanish language, Spanish linguistics, Medieval Spanish literature and various aspects of Spanish history and culture.
Over the years, he supervised a number of Exeter graduate students reading for Master’s degrees and PhDs in subjects as diverse as Spanish sociolinguistics, the minority languages of Spain, and the kharjas. He also served as Deputy Chair of the School of Modern Languages, as Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts (read ‘College of Humanities’) and as Chair of the Department of Spanish. From 1997-1999, he acted as external examiner in Spanish for the University of Oxford; and in 1998, he spent two semesters at the University of Cambridge as a visiting Professor.
In 2000, Lynn came to Brigham Young University as a visiting Professor. Two years later he accepted a full time position. He has written and published on Medieval Spanish literature, Cervantes, Spanish sociolinguistics, orthographic theory and practice, language and national identity in Spain and the United Kingdom, and seventeenth-century Spanish diplomatic history.
He is married to Mabel de Blas Williams who also teaches Spanish at Brigham Young University and has three children: Gemma, who is a social worker for LDS Family Services, John, who is a Video Producer at MRM//McCann, and Antony, who is an Engineer at Amazon Web Services.