up

 

 

 

 

Carmarthenshire snippets ...   [1]

 

Apprenticeship in Carmarthenshire

Corn Riots in Wales, 1793-1801
See Glamorgan

Carmarthenshire county

Betws

Carmarthen town

Cil-y-cwm

Kidwelly

Llandeilo

Llandovery

Llandybie

Llanelli

Llangadog

Llansadwrn

Llansawel

Llanybydder

Newcastle Emlyn/Cenarth parish

Pencarreg

Penboyr/Llanddowror

St Clears

.

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apprenticeship in Carmarthenshire

up  

 

 

For more online information about the county of Carmarthenshire  see Genuki 

Extracted  from the Dyfed FHS journal Vol 5/7 August 1996 for the purpose of linking it to the Genuki page for Llanarthney parish, originally from the " Transactions of the Carmarthenshire Antiquarian Society" , transcribed 1913 by Geo. Eyre Evans, which is held at Carmarthen Archives.

Llanarthney parish Vestry Book 1799-1807.

24 June 1801, the Vestry assembled " according to the Provision of an Act passed in the 32nd year [i.e 1792] of the reign of King George III, entitled an Act for further regulation of parish apprentices" and agreed on these conditions;

"1st. That every person that receive an apprentice of the age of eight years is to have one pare of clothes, to wear at the time of the delivery and six pounds to be paid by the parish officers in six months after the enrolment of the said Indenture.

2nd. Likewise every person that receive apprentice of the age of nine years a pare of clothes as aforesaid and five pounds and likewise from nine to thirteen  decreasing one pound according they arrive to one year older , decreasing one pound as they increase in age till they arrive at the full age of fourteen years, and he that arrive at that age is [to] have no more than one pare of clothes.

Having settled these terms the Vestry forthwith agree " to settle the following apprentices under named , Elizabeth Griffith with Mr Thomas Francis of Llanarthney; John Thomas, the son of Richard Thomas, to Thomas Richards of Berleymount; Evan Rees with Mr Thomas Morgan of Heolddu; and also agree that the age of the above apprentices is to be satisfied by the parish register".

[Gareth Hicks 4.4.2000 D]

Llansawel

up

 

 

 

For more online information about the parish of Llansawel see Genuki, this parish page includes snippets from  ' A History of Carmarthenshire' edited by Sir John Lloyd and published in 1935/9 by the London Carmarthenshire Society.             


Connections to Jesus College, Oxford

Welshmen had been students at Jesus College since at least the C14, many intending to take Holy Orders. In its early period the College was closely associated with Carmarthenshire through 7 of its Principals, two of whom came from Llansawel. They were : firstly Dr John Williams [1550-1613] who was also Dean of Bangor in 1605 ; and secondly, Dr Griffith Powell who left his estate of 650 to the College.


Turnpike Trusts

The Three Commotts Trust controlled the road south of the Tywi between Llandeilo and Carmarthen, as there was no river bridge between these two towns a Trust was authorised to build one at Llandeilo Rwnws in Llanegwad parish. From this crossing ran the roads of the Brechfa Trust, one along the Cothi valley to Brechfa and Llansawel.........


[Above based on the Story of Carmarthenshire by A.G Pryse Jones 1972. Gareth Hicks ]


Cattle drovers

Herds from south west Wales travelled towards the Hereford and Gloucester routes into England up the Tywi Valley to Llandovery. Herds from South Cardiganshire reached Llandovery through Llanybydder and Llansawel.

The part of the route between Rhydcymerau and Llansawel did not follow the course of the present main road, instead the drovers turned left at the Cart and Horses and continued towards Post Carreg to join the old drift road which ran above Cwmcoedifor and Cwm Hywel Farms eventually joining the main road again at Sunnybank Farm about half a mile west of Llansawel village. There is a strong local tradition in the existence of a cattle shoeing enclosure , Cwm yr efail bach, along the course of the said drift road above Cwmcoedifor. Sunnybank Farm ,and Rhydyglyn Farm which lies on the Abergorloch-Llansawel road, were both regularly used by drovers for overnight corralling of cattle, while animals were being shod in Llwyn Felfryn field  in Llansawel village as recently as the mid 1880s.

Leaving Llansawel, the drovers crossed the Cothi above Glanyrannell Park and on to either Caeo via Crugybar , or to Porthyrhyd.

[Partly based on The Welsh Cattle Drovers by Richard Colyer 1976. Gareth Hicks 3.6.2000 D]

Betws

up  

 

 

For more online information about the parish of Betws see Genuki, this parish page includes snippets from  ' A History of Carmarthenshire' edited by Sir John Lloyd and published in 1935/9 by the London Carmarthenshire Society.             

Recommended  reading ;

Trumor Thomas, D. Old Characters of Bettws. Glanamman, 1894. (Trans. from the original Welsh by Ivor Griffiths, Gorseinon.) [Index] .
See Betws for an extensive summary of the book


Methodists

Some of Griffith Jones's schoolmasters in Carmarthenshire were Methodists, one example would be Anthony Rees who taught at Llandybie and Betws in 1738-1739.

David Morris [1787-1858]of Glyn-hir, Llandybie, an Independent convert , joined the methodists at Betws and later at Capel Hendre.He obtained the copyright of Williams Pantycelyn's works and published several editions between 1833 and 1854.

[Based on the Story of Carmarthenshire by A.G Pryse Jones 1972. Gareth Hicks ]

Before the middle of the C18 there was a mixed congregation of Methodists and Congregationalists meeting at a house called Argoed in Bettws parish. Howell Harris preached there in 1740. In 1748 a license was obtained from the Quarter Sessions at Carmarthen which said;

"11th Jan 1748. Ordered that the house of Hopkin John, called Argoed, in the parish of Bettws, be registered as a place of worship for dissenting protestants, and that a certificate be given thereof."

Nonconformists worshipped in this house for a long time.

[Based on The History of Llandybie by Gomer Roberts 1939[Translated by Ivor Griffiths]. Gareth ]


                                                                                                                                                                           

Llansadwrn

up

 

 

 

For more online information about the parish of Llansadwrn see Genuki, this parish page includes snippets from  ' A History of Carmarthenshire' edited by Sir John Lloyd and published in 1935/9 by the London Carmarthenshire Society.             


  The SPCK and Charity Schools

Some 96 schools were opened in Wales under the auspices of the SPCK between 1700 and 1737 with about 50 others endowed by private benefactors. Several schools  in Carmarthenshire conducted mainly by local clergy were opened   and included one in Llansadwrn.                                                                                                                                                                

[Above based on the Story of Carmarthenshire by A.G Pryse Jones 1972. Gareth Hicks ]   


Sir Rhys ap Thomas

Sir Rhys ap Thomas [ 1449-1525] had several mansions such as Abermarlais in Llansadwrn, Derwydd in Llandybie , Carew, and Newcastle Emlyn.

He was head of the Dynefor family, an important figure in South Wales, his positions included Chamberlain of Cardigan and Carmarthen and Justiciar of South Wales. He successfully aided Henry Tudor at Bosworth Field and tradition says that he himself slew Richard III and was knighted on the battlefield.

Based on Famous Welshmen Welsh Dept of Board of Education, 1944. Gareth Hicks ]

Llandybie

up  

 

 

For more online information about the parish of Llandybie see Genuki, this parish page includes snippets from  ' A History of Carmarthenshire' edited by Sir John Lloyd and published in 1935/9 by the London Carmarthenshire Society.             

One book that is recommended reading for  this parish is by Roberts, G.R. - The History of the Parish of Llandybie, written in 1939 and translated by Ivor Griffiths (1995). Here is an  Index  and also some snippets from the book on Genuki


Sir Rhys ap Thomas

Sir Rhys ap Thomas [ 1449-1525] had several mansions such as Abermarlais in Llansadwrn, Derwydd in Llandybie , Carew, and Newcastle Emlyn.

He was head of the Dynefor family, an important figure in South Wales, his positions included Chamberlain of Cardigan and Carmarthen and Justiciar of South Wales. He successfully aided Henry Tudor at Bosworth Field and tradition says that he himself slew Richard III and was knighted on the battlefield.

Based on Famous Welshmen Welsh Dept of Board of Education, 1944. Gareth Hicks ]


Du Buisson of Glyn-hir

Richard Fenton , a traveller in Carmarthenshire, said that one of the Du Buisson family of Glyn-hir had made his estate " by great perseverance and profound agricultural knowledge, from cold mountain ground, as good land as any in the county ". This French Huguenot family had settled in the Llwchwr valley near Llandybie after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685.

[ Based on the Story of Carmarthenshire by A.G Pryse Jones 1972. Gareth Hicks ]   


Turnpikes and lime kilns

Some Carmarthenshire Turnpike Trusts sponsored their roads to gain better access  from the uplands to their lime kilns at Ludchurch, St Clears, Llanddarog, Llandeilo and Llandybie. Among these were the Llandeilo and Llandybie Trust, the Llandovery and Llangadog Trust whose road carried the lime traffic from the Black Mountain kilns and coal from the Amman Valley; and the Three Commotts Trust which controlled the road south of the Tywi between Llandeilo and Carmarthen.

[ Based on the Story of Carmarthenshire by A.G Pryse Jones 1972. Gareth Hicks ]   


Charity schools

The aim of the SPCK was to get a charity school set up in every parish with the assistance of the local clergy, gentry and well to do residents. John Vaughan and his daughter Bridget  founded at least two, at Llandelo Abercywyn and at Llandybie.

[ Based on the Story of Carmarthenshire by A.G Pryse Jones 1972. Gareth Hicks ]   


Moravians

With reference to the Moravian community established by Howel  Harris at Trefeca in Breconshire, it is noted that the Moravian Brethren considered establishing a religious colony at three sites in Carmarthenshire, one of which was Glyn-hir , near Llandybie.The project did not proceed.

[ Based on the Story of Carmarthenshire by A.G Pryse Jones 1972. Gareth Hicks ]   


Methodists

At the beginning of the C19,   Welsh Wesleyanism had found foothold throughout  CMN, notably at Llandeilo, Llandovery, Llangadog, Llandybie,Carmarthen, St Clears and Llansteffan where Wesleyan Methodist societies were formed.

The debt of Carmarthenshire Methodism to Griffith Jones's schools is difficult to assess. Some, at least, of his schoolmasters in the county were demonstrably Methodists; for instance... Anthony Rees taught at Llandybie and Betws in 1738-9.

[ Based on the Story of Carmarthenshire by A.G Pryse Jones 1972. Gareth Hicks ] 

and [ Based on The History of Carmarthenshire by Sir John Lloyd 1939. Gareth Hicks]

Penboyr/Llanddowror

up

 

 

 

For more online information about the parish of Penboyr see Genuki  and for Llanddowror see Genuki


Gruffydd Jones of Llanddowror [1683-1761]

Gruffydd Jones was born at Pant-yr-efel in Penboyr parish, and likely attended Carmarthen Grammar School in preparation for Holy Orders.Ordained in 1708, held a curacy at Laugharne, and had the living at Llandeilo Abercywyn in 1711, and that of Llanddowror in 1716 where he stayed until his death 45 years later.

Although an influential preacher he is mainly remembered for his work for education in Wales.He realised the difficulty of preparing  illiterate people  to receive the sacrements and began to teach people of all ages to read the Bible. His method was to open a school for 3 months in a neighbourhood, using the village church for that purpose when the incumbent approved, with evening classes too. Books were obtained from the SPCK, he trained teachers himself at Llanddowror.

He cultivated his connections with the gentry in order to raise money for his campaign. He owed much to his brother in law, Sir John Philipps of Picton Castle; also to Madame Bevan of Derllys Court, and her friends in London and Bath.

He also wrote an annual report called Welch Piety. In the year of his death,  8023 pupils had atended the 210 schools then in being and it was claimed that more than 150,000 persons between 6 and 70 years old had learnt to read their Welsh Bibles in the 24 years of their existence. There can be little doubt that this army of readers conversant with the standard Welsh  language of  their Bibles made possible the awakening of interest in education amongst Welsh people in the following century.

Partly based on Famous Welshmen Welsh Dept of Board of Education, 1944. Gareth Hicks ]


                                                                                                                                                                                 

Cil-y-cwm

up

 

 

 

For more online information about the parish of Cil-y-cwm see Genuki  


Morgan Rhys [1716-1779]

Born at Efail-fach, parish of Cil-y-cwm near Llandovery, he joined the Methodist reformers there and probably conducted a school at Capel Isaac in Llandeilofawr parish. He is known to have taught at the schools of Gruffydd Jones, Llanddowror and Madame Bevan between 1757 and 1775 and was a member of the Established Church in that period. He was buried at Llanfynydd churchyard where a monument was raised in his memory.

He is best remembered as a hymnist, his hymns were published in Golwg o Ben Nebo[1755]. In this period religion laid stress on the soul of the individual and this attitude is reflected in the work of Morgan Rhys. Two of his well  known hymns are Beth sydd i mi yn y byd and Fe welir Seion fel y wawr illustrate this.

Compared with Williams Pantycelyn, Rhys wrote little but although lacking the former's imagination is still one of the foremost hymn writers in Wales.

Based on Famous Welshmen Welsh Dept of Board of Education, 1944. Gareth Hicks ]                                                                                                                                                                                     

St Clears

up

 

 

 

For more online information about the parish of St Clears see Genuki


Thomas Charles [1755-1814]

Born on the farm of Longmoor, near St Clears, educated first at Llanddowror and later at Carmarthen Academy and Jesus College, Oxford. He joined one of the Methodist "Societies" whilst at Carmarthen and heard Daniel Rowland preach, an experience which deeply influenced him.  At Oxford he came into contact with the leaders of the Methodists in England, he held curacies in various places in England and at Llanwddyn and  Llanymawddwy . He was deprived of his office for cahechising the children and joined the Methodists in Bala in 1784.

During his extensive preaching journeys he continued to catechise and also revived the Circulating Schools many places.  At first he was not in favour of Sunday Schools but by 1797 changed his mind and initiated the distinctly Welsh development  of these schools.  In 1799 he and Thomas Jones started publication of Trysorfa Ysbrydol , a Methodist periodical, and in 1803 a printing press was brought to Bala and from that year to the year of his death 320,000 of his  school books were printed . This period also saw the publication of the work which enlightened thousands, his Geiriadur Ysgrythyrol [Scripture Dictionary]. He was an ardent supporter of the London Missionary Society and helped to establish the British and Foreign Bible Society. In his time as as one of the leading Methodists in Wales the movement ceased to be a part of the Established Church and became a separate denomination. He is buried in Llanycil, it is his work for the Sunday School in Wales which is his greatest glory.

Based on Famous Welshmen Welsh Dept of Board of Education, 1944. Gareth Hicks 17.5.2000 D]                                                                                                                                                                        

Newcastle Emlyn/Cenarth parish

up

 

 

 

For more online information about Cenarth in which ancient parish Newcastle Emlyn was ,  see Genuki


Theophilus Evans [1693-1767]

Theophilus Evans was born at Penywennallt, a farmhouse near Newcastle Emlyn. His family was wealthy and ardently royalist, his grandfather had fought for the king in the Civil War.

At an early age he developed an interest in literature, it is likely he attended the Grammar School at Carmarthen. He was ordained in 1717, became curate at Defynnog, Breconshire, where he came under the influence of Humphrey Llwyd, author of Historie of Cambria [1584]. This became one of the chief sources of Drych y Prif Oesoedd, Evans's greatest work which put him in the front rank of Welsh prose writers.Like Geofrey of Monmouth he aimed at glorifying the Welsh nation.  From 1722-25 he was Vicar at Llandyfriog, afterwards held several livings in Bre. Williams Pantycelyn was his curate at Llanwrtyd in 1740 but the latter was obliged to leave when he came under the influence of the Methodist Revival who Evans greatly disliked. Evans was buried at Llangamarch Church.             

[Based on Famous Welshmen Welsh Dept of Board of Education, 1944. Gareth Hicks ] 


                                                                                                                                                                   

Kidwelly

up  

 

 

For more online information about the parish of Kidwelly see Genuki 


A dear old lady from Cidweli

Nursery rhymes are an important part of our literature and folk lore. One of the most well known refers to a dear lady  who kept a sweet shop in Cydweli. She specialised in selling liquorice[losin du], offering 10 pieces for a half penny[dimai], but "I" always had an extra piece. The rhyme goes;

"Hen fynyw fach Cydweli

Yn gwerthu losin du

Yn gwerthu deg am ddimai

Ond un ar ddeg i fi."

[ Based on "A Helping Hand " by W J Jones 1996. Gareth Hicks 5.5.2000 D]    


Bridge over the Llwchwr

In 1831, the Kidwelly Trust on the recommendation of the famous Thomas Telford , built a bridge over the River Llwchwr at a cost of 10,000, this shortened the journey from Kidwelly and Llanelli to Swansea , by cutting out the detour through Pontarddulais, by 15 miles.

[Based on the Story of Carmarthenshire by A.G Pryse Jones 1972. Gareth Hicks ]                                                         

Llanelli

up

 

 

 

For more online information about the parish of Llanelli see Genuki 


The Whitford Lighthouse

This unique lighthouse is a prominent landmark at the mouth of the Burry Inlet. It is an impressive sight when it stands alone amidst vast sand banks at low tide, or when the empty tower is battered by heavy seas. Today, the Burry Inlet is used only by small craft, but the Whitford Lighthouse belongs to an era when Llanelli was a major Welsh port with an important coastal and foreign trade.

The present structure is the second to have been built on the Whitford sker. Its predecessor was erected about half-a-mile north of Whitford Point, in 1854. Its designer was Captain John Paisley Luckraft, who was the Harbour Master at Llanelli. ........................The light was first lit on the night of 22nd January, 1855..........The following year, events conspired to almost wreck the Whitford Lighthouse. .......wreckage became trapped amongst the piles, and broke one of the stays. .......more wreckage became entangled during a storm on 7th February, which led to the loss of the remaining stayrods. Later that day, Michael Leheane, one of two keepers, reported to Captain Luckraft that the tide had risen to an extraordinary height, and that the sea was the heaviest he had experienced. Fearing for their lives, both keepers abandoned the lighthouse at low water. On the following day, Captain Luckraft found that 13 of the 18 stayrods had been washed away. .... Michael Leheane and William Hughes, a Llanelli pilot, bravely agreed to stay the night there.

More damage occurred in 1857 when the " Stark", of Dublin, collided with the lighthouse, demolishing the north-east pile. By 1864, the lighthouse had become a major headache for the commissioners of the Burry........[who] called for a report on the scientific construction of lighthouses.

Plans for a new lighthouse were drawn up by John Bowen, a local engineer. He was a blacksmith's son and was employed by Messrs. Nevill, Druce and Co. as an engineer at Llanelly Copperworks..... he was responsible for the design and building of Llanelli's tallest chimney, the " Stac Fawr", at the Copperworks, which was completed in 1861. At the time, it was claimed to be the tallest chimney stack in Europe. A different siting was chosen for the new lighthouse, about 300 yards south of the old one.......the successful tenderers- Messrs. Hennet & Co. ......the lamp was lit in November, 1866.

Repairs were found to be necessary during the 1880's.......The lighthouse continued to operate satisfactorily for over fifty years, and, in 1919, Llanelly Harbour Trust considered installing a more powerful automatic gas-light at Whitford, but came to the conclusion that the estuary would be better served if a new lighthouse were to be built on Burry Holms.

This was built during 1921, and, ......the Whitford Light was finally extinguished.

The lighthouse obtained official recognition when the Ancient Monuments Commission listed it as a building of historic interest in 1981. This was achieved because of its unique position as the only cast-iron lighthouse regularly surrounded by the sea. John Bowen's tower has survived over 120 years of buffeting by the sea and, although his other masterpiece, the "Stac Fawr", is but a dim memory, the Whitford Lighthouse remains as a fitting memorial to this talented engineer.

[Based on the THE WHITFORD LIGHTHOUSE by Richard Davies . Maureen Thoms  14/15.6.2000 D]


Llanelly Copper Works

up

[Nevill MSS]

In 1805 a copper works was established at Llanelly under the direction and management of Nevill[of Swansea and Birmingham], Savill [ of London], Daniell  [of Cornwall]and Guest [of Birmingham]. Effectively it was a vertically integrated partnership of interests in which copper ore from Cornwall was shipped to Llanelly for smelting and conversion to fine copper. The Cornish interests were represented by R A Daniell and the marketing of the finished product was through the Savill-Guest connection.

The Accounts of the Llanelly Copper Smelting Company for the 6 months to June   1838 showed that 984 tons of ore worth 73,798 had been bought from Cornwall and 489 tons worth 40,828 from Swansea. Some 6,168 of coal was used in the smelting process with Wages of 4,989 as the next biggest item of expenditure.
The analysis of profit centres shows 12,259 from the Copper Trade, and the following amounts from the stated collieries; Dafen 3619, Box 1938, Penygare 68 and Llanlliedi 43.  R J Nevill was the Manager of the Copper Works and Collieries at a salary of 700 pa.

The partners at that date as shown in the Balance sheet were; M. Thomas, G T Thomas, R J Nevill, W Unwin Sims, Alexander Druce, Thos Devas, Humphrey Willyams, Exors Col Johnson, P Gowan.

[Based on  "Accounting, Costing and Cost Estimation[Welsh Industry 1700-1830]" by Haydn Jones 1985, Gareth Hicks  14 July 2000 D ] 


Llanelli--name derivation

In Samuel Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Wales 1833[see Genuki page] , it says;

"This place, which appears to be of great antiquity, derives its name from its church being dedicated to St. Elliw . . . "

But , a differing modern view is;

"I am very interested in your [Genuki] page but would just like to add the comment about Llanelli and how it derived its name. Previously it was thought that the Parish Church was dedicated to St Ellyw the daughter of Saint Brychan King of Brycheiniog. However, in the light of more recent information it is thought that the Parish Church was dedicated to Saint Elli the favourite disciple of Saint Cadog of Llancarfan. If the saint had been female it would have been Santes being the female form; the name Sant denotes a male."

[Benita 13 Jan 2001]


Trimsaran Colliery disaster

up  

The following is a news story taken from the The Daily Mail dated April 27th 1923, .

RUNAWAY TRUCKS IN MINE , 9 MEN KILLED: MANY INJURED

Seven miners were killed outright, two died from injuries on the way to hospital, at least five are so terribly injured that their recovery is doubtful, and about 20 others were less seriously hurt by an accident at Trimsaran Colliery, near Llanelly in the Welsh anthracite coalfield yesterday.

The morning shift had just finished and a string of trains containing men and one containing tools were being drawn up the drift, which is 1400 yards deep. the trams had ascended about 300 yards, when a link in a shackle snapped and five of the trains rapidly descended the drift.

They careered wildly for a distance before going off the road, when they became piled up in confusion. The cries of the injured men and the noise of the smash drew the attention of those waiting their turn to come up at the bottom of the drift. These men hurried to the rescue. The injured were got out as speedily as possible, but it was hours before all could be disentangled from the wreckage. The injured were taken to Llanelly hospital.

The names of the dead are:

  • William Jenkins, 42, married, with four children, under manager.
  • Thomas Williams, 48, married with grown-up family.
  • Sid Williams, 25, married with one child.
  • Thomas John, 68, married, with grown-up family.
  • Albert Probert, 16.
  • Harold Parry, 15.
  • Wm. John Reece, 24, single.
  • Arthur John Davies, 22, single.
  • Wm. Rodgers, 21, single.

The colliery, which is owned by Mr. Evan Jones, is one of the best equipped in West Wales, and has a fine electric installation.

[Mick Goddard   G 15 April 2002]  

up