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Pembrokeshire snippets ... [1]


Censuses, 1841/51, Enumeration Districts

Corn Riots in Wales, 1793-1801,
see Glamorgan

Irish Ferry


Mariners from Pem on Cardiff 1871 census

Slate Quarrying in Pembrokeshire




Pembrokeshire county













Little Newcastle






Pembroke Dock


St Ishmaels

St Issells



. .
















For more information about Whitchurch parish, see Genuki


The Smalls Lighthouse

" 1856 the "almost stagnant trade" of the town was revived by the building of the second Smalls Lighthouse under the direction of Sir James Douglass. This was completed in 1861 at a cost of 50,125, although the Corporation of Trinity House had to pay 170,468 for the proprietorship of the first Smalls Lighthouse.

It was built of 3,696 tons of granite, the stones being brought by steam tugs, whaleboats and barges from the De Lank Quarries near Bodmin in Cornwall. The stones were dressed in Solva and shipped from Trinity Quay, which was built for this purpose and named after the Corporation of Trinity House."

[ Based on "The History of Solva" by F.W. Warburton 1944 . Gerry 15.6.2000 D]







For more information about Steynton parish, see Genuki

Steynton  Parish Church

In 1851 Sir Stephen Glynne described this church as " of coarse and rude architecture, with the ordinary amount of mutilation and destruction of original windows" . A restoration in 1882 made matters worse, the body of the building being "almost swept out of historical existence by a tornado of  change. Excepting mutilated remnants of the main walls and the tower, itself  in part falsified, there have survived out of the past only three small  windows in the side walls of the chancel. Every other feature has been wiped out." ( Notes on the Architectural History of Steynton Church W D Caroe F.S.A. 1916 p3)

The main structure (including the first 20 feet of the tower or thereabouts and the font ) may date from the early 13 th century. The plain font bowl ( a square of 26 inches externally, and 20 inches internally, and a depth of 12 1/2 inches) stands upon a circular shaft 52 inches in circumference.

The restoration, however unfortunate, revealed interesting relics, which are thus described ( Arch Camb 1896 V xiii 354):-

1] A human skull, three horse skulls and a pike head, found under the second chancel step. The present location of the iron pike-head is unknown.

[ Edward Laws ( The History of Little England Beyond Wales 1888) records ;
"In the year 1883 the stone steps leading into the chancel of Steynton Church were taken up. Not more than a foot beneath the surface and immediately beneath the chancel arch were found a human skeleton, three horses' skulls and an iron pike head".]

2] In each pillar of the arcade was found a cavity, and in each cavity a human thigh bone. These were remains, as much probably of Viking warriors as of British saints. The cavities were about 4 feet from the ground.

3] A handsome C13 window was disclosed in the south wall ; also broken pieces of a font of the same period, which has been repaired.

4] The foundation of a smaller church consiting only of the nave was uncovered.

5] The stones of "two large cromlechs" in the centre of the nave about 4 feet from the surface; they were more than 5 feet in length.

Ogam Inscribed Stone

This stone, now in the church, formerly stood in the middle of the burial ground , not far from the south-east end of the building. The Hiberno-Saxon minuscules , slightly injured by the subsequent cutting of a wheel cross, can be traced along the perpendicular line of the cross, both they and the Ogam read GENDILI . In 1876 the stone was again used as a memorial and an inscription cut beneath the cross. Arch Camb 1880 IV xi 292 ill xii 217

Taken from the Royal Commission on Ancient Monuments;

Also, when building the new Vicarage about 8 years ago the skeleton of a Cromwellian soldier minus his head was discovered in the grounds -- outside the cemetary boundaries to the north. The remains were re-buried in the Churchyard  with a stone marker with the inscription M O W ( Man of War)

[Basil Hughes 10 Sept 2000 D]

The Wreck of the "Felicita" in Sandy Haven on the 20 Fbruary 1833

Extract from the Cambrian 1833

"The Neapolitan brig Felicity, G G D'Amon, master from Glasgow, laden with coals and bale goods, bound for Palermo and Leghorn, in returning to Milford Haven in the night of Tuesday, ran on shore in Sandy Haven Bay, opposite the Stack Rock, within the harbour; when she was discovered at daylight a complete wreck, and was finally knocked all to boards. The crew, 18 in number, were sticking by the wreck, 6 of whom were drowned in attempting to swim on shore or washed off into the sea. Great praise is justly due to Mr William Field (brother of the late Mr Richard Field of Milford, shipbuilder), who dashed under the breakers, and swam to the brig, and succeeded in bringing 9 of the crew on shore alive. - The Boatswain, a stout man of 6 feet, died in his arms whilst being conveyed on shore, also a boy about 12 years of age, after being carried safe to land. The Master, a good swimmer, in attempting to reach the shore was seen to buffet the waves and go down. - Four of the bodies have been brought on shore, viz. the master, mate, boatswain, and a boy; two not yet found. A part of the bale goods has been saved in a damaged state. It must be observed, that not one of the many spectators would venture to the wreck but Mr Field, who had two or three narrow escapes for his life in his perilous exertions."

Extract from the Annual Report of the RNLI for 1835

William FIELD. Former master mariner.
20 February 1833
Voted 12 June 1833

In passage from the Clyde to Leghorn, Italy the Sicilian brig Felicita was wrecked in Sandy Haven Bay, west of Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire during the night of the 19/20th her master and six seamen being washed off and drowned. About 7 a.m. Mr. Field saw the wreck on the sands near his house, the hull broken in two, all her masts gone, surf breaking over her and the survivors in the lower rigging. Obtaining the services of two volunteers he went over the reef and swam to the wreck and, with one of the men, brought two seamen safely ashore in two journeys. With the other volunteer assisting them they brought the remaining survivors (including two passengers) ashore but one seaman and a boy died later. All the survivors were so exhausted as to be helpless and the passengers all became badly cut by being thrown against the rocks.

The RNLI lists the names of persons saved as:

  • Ludovico lavico, passenger
  • Pietro Savarell, passenger
  • Giovanni Liberto, carpenter
  • and nine seamen.

Whose who died are as follows:

  • Guiseppa D'Anno
  • Stafano Pegano
  • Francisco Griscaolo
  • Vicenzo Digenaro
  • Cosimo Viole
  • and boy Gaspari

For his bravery William Feild was awarded a Silver Medal & 5 from the RNLI and a cup awarded locally for his bravery along with the other two volunteers William Evans and Rees Jones each receiving 3 or 2 respectively.

[Rosemary May 11 Sept 2000 D]






For more information about Monkton parish, see Genuki

Monkton church and churchyard

Up to the year 1834, the inhabitants of what is now Pembroke Dock had the "right" of burial in St Mary's Churchyard, Pembroke, but that place being very limited Monkton Churchyard (with the exception of a few buried at  Bethany Chapel) became the burial ground.

Monkton Churchyard contains by far the greater number of the 'honoured ''dead  of the early dockyard. On the west side of the churchyard they were laid side  by side from the Churchyard gate up to the Church door, close alongside  that pathway.

His Majesty King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, on the 23rd  Aug, 1902 visited Monkton Church and scanned some of the headstones whilst  passing through this path.It may be interesting to record some of' the  inscriptions:

  • To the memory of Mary the wife of Thomas Roberts,' master' shipwright of His Majesty's Yard; Pembroke, who departed this life, 24th January 1824, aged 52 years
  • Sacred to the memory of William Calder, Esq., of H.M.Dockyard, Pembroke, who departed this life, 4th May, 1826 , aged 62.
  • To the memory of Elinor Burch, daughter of Thomas and Anne Burch, of  Plymouth , who departed this life, April 3rd 1819.

One who was buried there in 1829 was Joseph King.  He had served on the " Boreas" the Agamemnon and the "Captain" as Boatswain under Nelson and was recommended by him and the Earl of St Vincent to the post of Boatswain to the Dockyard of Gibralter from December 9th 1796 to 1808. The then came to the Haven, first as Boatswain to the Dockyard at Milford then on its transfer to the Dockyard at Paterchurch. He had a son John Nesbit King who married Ann Gale.

[12 Sept 2000 D]

When the Rev David Bowen, who was also an architect, was appointed Vicar in 1877 the church was partly in ruins and had been for some time. At that time the congregation worshipped in the nave, a photograph of which shows that the chancel and side chapel were in ruins with no roof or windows and covered in  vegetation. The first entry into the bank pass book for the Restoration fund  was dated May 17th 1878 and the first faculty was granted in 1882 (2 Aug)  for the restoration of the then Church.

During the restoration the floor level was lowered and levelled. This revealed that, like in many other churches, there had been numerous burials below the floor one of which, if the terms of his will of 1500 were carried out, was Richard Newton. The remains were collected ind interned in a large grave by the north wall of the Churchyard. Two effigies were uncovered in the floor of the porch and these were later placed in recesses in the chancel and sanctuary, While work was proceeding in the porch, the fine Norman arch was uncovered and a room above the porch was found and opened. This was found to contain the skeleton it was alleged of a woman in the kneeling position In 1939 , Rev Ivor Daniels , the Roman Catholic priest , in a series of vitriolic correspondence in the West Wales Guardian strongly denied the story , stating it was a monk.

The first part of the restored building was reopened on 8th December 1882 to a large congregation by the Lord Bishop of St David's who took as his text Coll III., 3-4. He was accompanied by the Venerable Archdeacon Lewis. The collection of 21 14s 5d was given to the Restoration fund and after the service many paid 2s for lunch in the crypt of the Old Hall.(this would have been soon after its restoration by Mr Cobb). The Bishop also baptised the son Walter Mark, of Captain Walter Hoare and his wife Edith Mary.

There was once, according to legend, a passage from the priory to the castle, but the sites entrance and exit have been lost. According to one very reliable early Church history of the area the entrance site is where a large bush stands in the vicarage garden and the passage was last partly walked in the late 1800's by the Davies brothers, one of whom later helped with the exploration of the Priory Cave. The history states that they got part way along the passage and could hear the sound of the water above their heads and decided to go no further.

[Basil Hughes ]

Priory Farm Cave Monkton.

This cave was described by Professor W F Grimes as " the most westerly  outpost of Upper Palaeolithic culture in this country" and as adding " something to our knowledge of the upper Palaeolithic period in Wales ".

Amongst the Bronze Age remains that were found was a saw.

This he described  as " the only one of its type at present known in Britain"

[Basil Hughes ]

Names in the History of Orielton

The information on this listing was taken from Pemb Hist Vol 5 Owen of Orielton

Compiled by Basil Hughes.

From A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (S. Lewis, 1833).

"In this parish is Orielton, an ancient mansion supposed to have been originally built by one of the followers of Arnulph de Montgomery, called Oriel, from whom it derived its name, and now the property of Sir John Owen, Bart. In the reign of Henry II. it belonged to the family of the Wyrriotts, in whose possession it continued till the reign of Elizabeth, when it passed by marriage with the heiress of that family to Sir Hugh Owen, Bart., who, dying in 1809, left his large estates to his kinsman, John Lord, Esq., who, assuming the name of Owen, was created a baronet, and is now lord-lieutenant of the county. It has been greatly improved by the present proprietor, and is a handsome mansion, occupying an elevated situation, finely sheltered by thick woods, and ornamented with thriving plantations. "

The name listing is on Orielton






For more information about Haverfordwest parish, see Genuki

Waldo Williams [1904-1971]

One of Wales's  most gifted  C20 poets, born in Haverfordwest to an English speaking mother and a Welsh speaking father. When he was aged 7 the family moved to the village of Mynachlog-ddu, he quickly learnt Welsh and fell in love with the language. One of his best remembered poems is Y Tangnefeddwyr which he composed one night during WWII as he watched German bombers destroying the  town centre of Swansea.

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

Haverfordwest Pirates

1577 letter from the Privy Council of Elizabeth 1 to Sir John Perrot cataloguing the misdeeds of John Callice;

"Whereas their Lordships are given to understand that one John Callice, a notable pirate frequenting that country and arriving lately at Milford was lodged and housed at Haverfordwest, and being there known was suffered to escape, their Lordships do not a little marvel at the negligence of such as are Justces in those parts"

[Introducing West Wales .Maxwell Frazer 1956. Basil Hughes 12 Sept 2000 D]

Haverfordwest in the early 1700s

Whilst some may hanker for the olden days perhaps this extract from a Western Telegraph Almanac of 1956, price 1/6d may really make us think. (revision of John Browns Book, "History of Haverfordwest)

There would be some things about the place at which one would be fairly shocked. We will, however, imagine ourselves strolling of a Saturday down Shut Street, (Dew Street as it now is) and make our observations as we proceed. Almost all of the houses on this part are miserable thatched hovels, with manure heaps at the front. Pavements are a long way in the future, for there is not even a raised causeway. Our progress, as we keep to the line of houses, is constantly interrupted by a horse bench outside every public house. These latter are very numerous, and from their doors streams forth an everlasting smell of new drink, for the inmates are constantly brewing... Observe too how frequently we are met by people with horribly disfigured countenances, faces ploughed with small pox and eyes terribly bleared, for vaccination was unknown and the dreadful disease spread like a pest as indeed it was. Moping idiots and madmen gay too constantly cross our path, troops of neglected children with bare legs and no shoes, these would have grown up into heathens had it not been for the Sunday Schools that had been introduced to which these poor children are brought and religious instruction given.

Dew Street is but a few hundred yards long and at its junction with Tower Hill was a Grammar School originally at St Thomas Lane, where future "gentlemen" were schooled.

What a contrast.  [Tony James  21 Feb 2002 D ]

" Scarlet Waistcoats of Taskers Scholars"

The following is taken from the Western Telegraph Almanac 1956, re Haverfordwest.

The quaint costumes of the recipients of the bounty of Mary Tasker, who founded Tasker's School for poor children of both sexes were:

....the boys had old fashioned hats, long tailed blue coats turned up, with scarlet waistcoats, corduroy knee-breeches, yarn hose, and shoes with buckles:

....the girls wore hats, white caps, white neckerchiefs, white aprons, blue jackets turned up, with scralet cotton skirts, yarn hose and shoes with buckles.

The recipients of Wavers Charity (still called black coats) were required to, and formerly did, walk in black coats or gowns before the Mayor to and from St.Marys Church on every Lords Day"

[Tony James  24 Feb 2002 D ]

Little Newcastle





For more information about Little Newcastle parish, see Genuki

An extract from "The Maritime Heritage of Dyfed" . National Museum of Wales ISBN 0 7200 0268 0

"............ The smuggling activities of the men of New Quay and Penbryn pale into insignificance however when compared with the exploits of Dyfed's most famous pirate - Barti Ddu or Black Bart.

Born in 1682 in the village of Little Newcastle, Bartholemew Roberts was perhaps one of the most successful pirates of all time, and is reputed to have been first to hoist the Skull and Crossbones flag, universally recognised as the dreaded hall-mark of pirate vessels.

He first went to sea at the age of thirteen, serving in naval vessels during the war of the Spanish Succession, and after a number of years on board slaving vessels, he joined the crew of the Royal Rover, a pirate vessel in 1719. Within a few months, the captain of this vessel was killed in an engagement, and such was the esteem with which the crew already regarded Roberts, that he was made captain. Within a short period of time he sailed down to Brazil, and in the sight of forty Portugese men o'war, captured the prize vessel, Sagrada Familia, bearing a cargo worth about Two and a half million pounds in present day terms.

This was to be the first in a series of daring raids and actions that returned a fortune in excess of eighty million pounds for Roberts and his crew by 1721. Despite his fierce reputation, Bartholomew Roberts had a number of beliefs and habits not usually associated with the accepted image of a pirate captain. He was a strict tee-totaller and Sabbatarian, and allowed no gambling nor prostitution on board his vessels. When engaging his intended prize, he appeared on deck dressed in a crimson coat and breeches to the accompianment of a band that sailed everywhere with him.

This flamoyant character ultimately met his end however off St Lopez in January 1722, where he was confronted by H.M.S. Swallow commanded by Captain Chaloner Ogle. Ogle, who had been given a particular commission to seek out and destroy pirate vessels, hoisted the flag of a Portugese merchantman, and Roberts moved in for the prize. As he came alongside, Ogle opened fire, and the pirate captain, conspicuous in all his finery, was killed in the first exchange.  His crew, utterly demoralised by the death of their captain,surrendered, and many were later hanged.

So ended Black Barty's life as a pirate, a life that he is said to have described as he lay dying a '..... a merry life, and a short one' "      See below also.

[Pat Sewell 19.4.2000 D ]

Black Bart--a follow up.

For those who want to have extensive details about Black Barts demise should read the letters of Capt Ogle in ADM1/2242 held at the PRO, Kew. The record of the trial of the surviving pirates can be seen in HCA1/99. It's a very thick book full of marvellous details. As far as I can recall few were Welsh born.

Those captured by Capt Ogle included 187 white men and 75 black men who were to be sold. Of the white men, 77 were aquitted, 52 hanged, 20 who were sentenced to be hanged had their sentence changed to seven years servitude in the mines at Cape Coast. 2 had their execution respited until the King's pleasure be further known. 17 were sent to the Marshallsea and 19 died before coming to the trial.

For those who cannot get to the PRO at Kew, the names and details of many of the pirates involved can be found in The Pirates' Who's Who by Philip Gosse, published by Dulau & Co Ltd, London, 1924.

[Reg Davies 20.4.2000 D ]






For more information about Fishguard parish, see Genuki

Jemima Nicholas

In 1797 the French invaded Wales when 1400 soldiers landed near Strumble Head in PEM. The story goes that they surrendered unconditionally because of the wiles of one woman, Jemima Nicholas. When she saw the invaders she rounded up her friends , clad in red shawls and marched them round the headland carrying mattocks and spades. The French apparently thought they were the British Army in strength and took fright. There is a monument in Fishguard Church to " Jemima Nicholas, a tall, stout, masculine female" who captured a dozen Frenchmen singlehanded and marched them off to the Fishguard guard-house.

[ Based on "A Helping Hand "by W J Jones 1996. Gareth Hicks 18.5.2000 D] 

Follow on;

Jemima Nicholas died 16 July 1832 aged 82. The notice of burial in Fishguard PR, the Rev Saml Fenton [Vicar Fishguard 1825-1852] wrote 'The woman was called Jemima Vawr, i.e. Jemima the Great, from her heroic acts, she having marched against the French who landed hereabout in 1897, and being of such personal powers as to be able to overcome most men in a fight. I recollect her well. Se followed the trade or a shoemaker and made me when a little boy several pairs of shoes'.

'The Last Invasion of Britain' Commander E.H.Stuart Jones R.N.

Research has been done into this family by Mr Gwynne Lloyd of Beaconsfield, Bucks. Last in contact with me 1985.

[Jill Muir 20.5.2000 D]

Gwaun valley new year

The Welsh word for the first day of the new year is "calan". For centuries, up to 1752, the Church had been celebrating "calan" on the 25th March , but the Gwaun Valley in PEM still celebrates another  "calan" which is called "Hen Galan" and takes place on the 12th of January each year.

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

Footnote; I am advised that the actual date of Hen Galan  is January 13th not the 12th.






For more information about Freystrop parish, see Genuki

Freystrop school report for 1847

A room in a cottage is the school room. The walls, floor, roof and partition were not in good repair.

The supporters of the school pay 3 a year for the rent of this hut, and 12 to the master, viz. Thomas Henry Davies, Esq 3, J H Phillipps Esq 2., the Rector 2., James Higgins Esq 2., Lady Matthias 1., Mr Every ( farmer) 2., and Mr Davies 1. The instruction is  gratuitious to the scholars, except what they pay for coal in the winter. The furniture consisted only of 3 Tables and 7 benches.

The master is an elderly person, and could not speak English correctly. Farmers, colliers and labourers children composed the scholars. A part of the 10th chapter of St Matthew was read. could answer questions from this chapter tolerably well - 7 days in a week - 12 months in a year - 4 seasons in a year -- it is winter now - spring next - then summer - did not know the next season, nor how many ounces in a pound of cheese.- Lady Day was on the 25th of March - did not know when the other Quarter days are . Haverfordwest market is on Saturday. Victoria is our Queen - William IV reigned before her - George IV before him -- did not know of any other kings of england.

Non present were learning arithmetic.

January 20th 1847 Wm Morris Assistant

[Basil Hughes 13 Sept 2000 D ]

A Religious Gentleman associated with Freystrop

Rev Perigrine Phillips

According to J T Rees " History of Protestant Nonconformity in Wales" (1861) the Oxford-educated Phillips, the son of a vicar of Amroth, was appointed to the  Llangwm living after briefly serving as his uncles curate at Kidwelly.

Pluralism was very common, and with the backing of such gentlemen as Sir Hugh Owen, Sir Roger Lort and Sir John Meyrick, he was soon preferred first to Monkton and then to Pembroke St Mary's. When he preached before Oliver  Cromwell and his troops during the siege of Pembroke (1648) he so impressed the future Protector that he was invited aboard the men-of-war about to undertake the Irish campaign.

During the Protectorate, Phillips became widely known as a committed advocate of the government's religious policy. A very accomplished orator, hailed by many as the best in the county , he preached in almost every church English and Welsh, and before the Justices of the Assizes at Cardigan, Haverfordwest and Carmarthen. He must have relinquished his Pembroke incumbency when the parishes of Llanwn, Freystrop and Rosemarket were united (July 1656). On one occasion, the intrepid rector had an experience which convinced many of his admirers that Providence had a special affection for him. When riding homeward late at night, both he and his horse plunged into a deep coal-pit at Freysrop and were firmly wedged in the narrow mouth a few feet from the surface. He was rescued by the proprietor Captain Longmans, who had been appraised of his perilous predicament by an un-named deaf woman and her alert grandson.

Peregrine Phillips continued to be very active as an open-air preacher and public evangelist until soon after the restoration he fell foul of the Act of Uniformity (1662) which banned all acts of worship not conducted in accordance with the Book of Common Prayer. Ejected from the Established Church, this amiable but unrepentant non-conformist withdrew to Dredgeman Hill Farm which he held from Sir Herbert Perrot, of Haroldston, and which he converted into an Independent house church (1665). Thereafter he became the accredited pastor of the Green Meeting, a non-conformist group of 50/60 which assembled in a little room on St Thomas's Green and which was to develop into Albany Congregation ( now United Reformed) Church Haverfordwest.

Upon his death at 68 years of age in September 1692, this unforgetteble former rector of Llangwm was buried near the pulpit at Haroldston church.

[Basil Hughes ]






For more information about Carew parish, see Genuki

St Deniol

In 1602 Thomas Wiliems copied what he described as a very ancient manuscript. This manuscript had been part of the library of Bangor Cathedral till the  Reformation. His copy is in the Peniarth collection. This manuscript  contained Lessons and a Collect commemorating St Deiniol .The lessons were  used on the Saint's day, but do not describe the life and work of the Saint  at Bangor .

It seems very unusual for lessons on a saint's day especially a saint who spent most of his life in the area to commemorate his work elsewhere. It seems to predate the Norman conquest by a good margin. If the Norman bishops could  have changed these lessons they would probably have done so.

Well what do  these lessons have to do with Carew ? The lessons describe St Deniol 's life on  the hill above what is now Pembroke at his hermitage between 516AD and 535 AD  and one of them refers to his well and the healing

Again a certain woman from the district of Caerw (Carew), in the  diocese of Mynyw, was so swollen beyond measure that she could find no  relief by any advice of physicians. At last, coming to the church of  St Deniol, and afterwards to the aforementioned well, and imploring  the Saint's help, she drank of that water so as to regain health  and, before leaving came to the entrance of the Church, and cast  forth from her mouth, while many stood by and observed, three  horrible worms, each with four feet, and the woman was made whole from that very hour.

[I wonder whether the original said with four feet or whether it described the  worms as being 4 ft long?]

[Basil Hughes]

Carew Castle

Carew Castle is justly celebrated as one of the most magnificent castles of  south Wales. Its position is low-lying, but still prominent in the flat land  around the tidal reaches of the Carew river. The castle stands at the end of  a ridge at a strategically excellent site commanding a crossing point of the  then still navigable river.

Little now remains of the earth and timber castle that was built here by the Norman Gerald of Windsor around 1100. It is first mentioned in 1212, when for some reason, King John seized it for a short time when passing through Pembroke on his Irish expedition. By this time it is probable that the first stone structure, the Old Tower, had been built to protect the original castle entrance.

In 1212 described as " the house of Carrio" [ Rot Lit Pat 92b]

The son of Nesta ,William adopted the name Carew. he died at the age of 70  and was succeeded by his son Raymond de Carew who had been taking part in the invasion of Ireland . His descendant Sir Nicholas de Carew , held high office  in Ireland between 1284 and 1310 and accompanied Edward 1 into Scotland. He ravaged Galloway, and was present at the siege of Caerlaverock (Dumfries).  The Roll Of Caerlaverock speaks of him as "a valiant man of great fame". His  son John also did good service against the Irish and the Scots, and when he  died in 1324, Edward III granted his widow , Joan, "six tuns of wine a year  during the King's pleasure" .

The son and namesake of Sir John fought in the  French Wars, and in recognition of the prowess of his Welsh archers at Crecy,  the black lion of the Carew crest carried a golden arrow. His great-grandson  another Sir Nicholas, who died in 1447 was succeeded at Carew by his son ,  Sir Thomas, whilst his fifth son, William married the heiress of Sir Hugh  Courtney of Haccombe beginning the long connection of the Carews with the  west country holding lands in Devon and at Camerton and Crowcombe in Somerset and were the ancestors of the present owners of Carew Castle.

The last of the older line to hold Carew was Sir Edmund, who mortgaged the estates to Sir  Rhys ap Thomas in 1480.. Five years later both fought for Henry VII at Bosworth and both were Knighted on the field of battle. Sir Edmund was slain  by a "gonne"at the siege of Touraine on June 28 1513 and was buried at Calais. Sir Rhys ap Thomas entertained Henry at Carew after he landed at Dale but it  was twenty seven years later that he held the most spectacular event at Carew  -a tournament to celebrate his admission into the Order of the Garter. After the death of Sir Rhys various people held Carew with little good luck

In 1601 Sir George Carew, son of Dr George Carew, Dean of Windsor , and  afterwards Earl of Totnes wrote to Lord Burleigh that his -

"grandfather ,Sir  Edmund mortgaged Carew Castle to Sir Rees ap Thomas, whose grandson Sir  Griffith ap Rees, Sir John Perrot, and the Earl of Essex possessed it since.  They all died attainted and two were executed, so I think that land will prove unlucky to all men that shall enjoy it, except it be a Carew"

In 1607 Sir John Carew of Crowcombe took up residence at Carew and eventually bought back the estate. His descendants have remained in possession ever since although they ceased to live at Carew in 1687. the present descendants and owners are the Trollope-Bellews of Crowcombe Court.

[Basil Hughes]

Landlords and tenants in 1836

According to the Tithe Survey under the Commutation of Tithes Act 1836

The Landowners and tenants of Carew were :--

George Henry Carew owned 1304 acres covering parts of the whole parish, non resident.


  • James Allen
  • George Allen
  • George Bevan
  • George Bowen
  • John Codd
  • John Copp
  • James Edwards
  • Elizabeth Griffiths
  • John Harries
  • Thomas Heir
  • Thomas John
  • Richard Llewellin
  • George Llewellin
  • Sarah Llewellin
  • Mrs Morgan
  • Henry Nutting
  • William Richards
  • John Rowe
  • Rebecca Rogers
  • William Shear
  • Isaac Vaughan
  • Martha Rowe
  • James Macken
  • James Rogers
  • Thomas Davies
  • John Beynon
  • John Gwyther
  • Margaret Allen
  • Hugh Lloyd
  • Michael Llewellin
  • Esther Rogers
  • Benjamin John
  • Richard Rowe
  • Thomas Moody
  • Thomas Griffiths.

Edward Laws owned 1167 acres in parts of the whole parish, non resident.


  • Mrs Mary Davies
  • Isaac Eynon
  • Elizabeth Griffiths
  • John Griffiths
  • Elizabeth Hooke
  • George Knight
  • William Morris
  • William Ormond
  • Mary Palmer
  • John Priest
  • Henry Phillips
  • John Phillips
  • Thomas Roberts
  • Thomas Rowe
  • John Rowe
  • John Prickett
  • James Stratton
  • John Sinnett
  • John Thomas
  • William Morris
  • William Lewis

John Hensleigh Allen owned 819 acres mainly located at Cresswell and  Llandigwynett, resident


  • Martha Arthur
  • George Bowen
  • John Codd
  • Thomas Davies
  • Thomas Evans
  • Mrs Anne Ormond
  • Thomas Ormond
  • Mrs Elizabeth Palmer
  • James Picton
  • James Smith
  • Richard Thomas
  • Mrs Wilson
  • Benjamin Davies
  • Benjamin Hitchings
  • James Parcil

John Harcourt Powell owned 536 acres mainly at Carew Newton, non resident


  • Thomas Adams
  • Robert Brinn
  • Thomas Griffiths
  • Hugh Lloyd
  • John Lewis
  • William Morris
  • Anne Ormond
  • James Rees
  • Thomas Ormond
  • John Rowe
  • James Teague

Mrs Martha Phelps owned 227 acres around Stephen's Green, resident

William Ormond owned 210 acres around Cardeeth, resident


  • Hugh Edwards

William Bowen owned 207 acres around Milton, resident


  • Mrs Mary Davies
  • Thomas Thomas

Jeremiah Lear owned 192 acres at Poyerston, non resident


  • George Dunn

Rev F George Leach owned 190 acres at Ford, resident


  • John Morgan

George Dunn owned 175 acres at Welston, resident

Mrs Lettie Llewellin owned 73 acres at Carew Newton, resident


  • Thomas Adams

George Llewellin owned 72 acres at Williamston, resident


  • Willaim Lewis
  • John Phillips
  • Thomas Griffiths

Lord Bishop Of St Davids owned the rectorial glebe and parsonage, non resident.


  • Jane Francis

Rev William Paynter Evans owned 8 acres at Milton , non resident


  • William Rogers

Rev Gustavus L Hamilton ( vicar) owned 6 acres (glebe), resident .

[Basil Hughes]






For more information about Castlemartin parish, see Genuki

Can anyone trace there ancestry back to these tenants?

1324 December 6

Mary, the widow of Aymer de Valence as assigned , as dower, on December 6th 1324, the manor of St Florence and part of the manor of Castlemartin

The Manor of St Florence, which was assigned to her in the king's chancery in which there are:

  • a capital messuage, worth 12d yearly;
  • 1 carucate,3 bovates and 4 acres of land, worth altogether 60s yearly;
  • 30 acres several pasture, worth per acre 4d yearly;
  • 4 acres marshland (marisci) worth 8d per acre yearly;
  • a water mill worth 26s 8d yearly;
  • a certain park, the yearly profit of which is nothing beyond the keep of the wild stock (ferar')
  • a customary rent of assize of 28 yearly in equal sums at Easter and Michaelmas;
  • the rent of the cottagers there 6s 8d yearly, payable as above;
  • the pleas and the perquisites of the courts there worth 5s yearly.
  • Sum 33 14s

The Manor of Castle Martin as follows ;

  • a moiety of the capital messuage, to wit, a moiety of the grange on the south with a certain adjacent plot for the "Daeria integra",
  • and a moiety of the oxhouse ( Boverie ) in the east, the easements of which are valued at 6d yearly;
  • also 1 carucate of land extended at 40s yearly,
  • 5a of meadow 5s,
  • 100a pasture 16s 8d,
  • 33 1/3a. of marsh land 3s 4d
  • the rents and services of ;
  • John de Luny,
  • John Fitz Henry Dawe,
  • David Meyler and Joan his wife, free tenants 34s 7d
  • the rents and services of ;
  • David Swayn,
  • Alice Bede,
  • Henry Milot,
  • Richard de Cruce,
  • Henry Moriz,
  • Richard Moriz,
  • Robert Moriz,
  • David Moriz,
  • Rose Ermegard,
  • John Goldeburgh,
  • John Heylyn,
  • John Robert
  • Thomas Richard,
  • Philip Haye,
  • Rees Thomas,
  • Hugh Joyl,
  • Philip Rys,
  • William le Yunge,
  • Philip le Yunge,
  • Res Penkaron,
  • William Rou,
  • Philip Rou,
  • John Knethill,
  • Elen Gilbert,
  • Ade de Leffery,
  • William de Landfey,
  • Walter Seys,
  • John de Hibernia,
  • John de la Haye,
  • Matilda Prikker,
  • Mable Prikker,
  • John le Prikker,
  • John son of Philip Rys,
  • John Rys,
  • Richard Philip Joye and Mable his wife,
  • John Griffith,
  • Henry Milot,
  • Ade de Slade,
  • Richard Adam,
  • John Lewlyn,
  • Ralph le Machon,
  • David Eynon,
  • John Ffiret, junior,
  • John Blethery,
  • Alice Warynot,
  • John Kayoc,
  • John Kedyvor,
  • John Streyt,
  • John Bolour,
  • Robert textor,
  • Mable le gras,
  • Robert Rys(?),
  • Robert le Longe,
  • Philip de la More,
  • elen, dau. of Philip Brounyng,
  • Suetilde of Castle Martin,
  • Henery Hobbekyn,
  • and Walter Lide;

bond tenants which are extended at 33 9s 11d yearly.

And the perquisites of the courts for the said tenants free and bond at 30s yearly.

Sum Total of the Assignment of the said Mary's dower in the manor of Castle Martin 40

[Basil Hughes]






For more information about Cosheston parish, see Genuki

1847 Report on the State of Education in Wales

PARISH OF COSHESTON,-on the 18th of December I Visited the above parish.

The only School at that time in it was a dame-school in Cosheston village. This school has been closed for the week previous on account of the severe weather. It was held in a room, part of a dwelling house. The furniture consisted of two square tables,which (the mistress told me) were exchanged when the scholars were in attendance, for benches, and four chairs. There was a bed in the room, which took up a great part of it.

There had been another school in the parish at a place called Lawrenny Ferry, but it had been discontinued for a week; previous to the time of my visit. The master of this latter school was not considered to be in his right mind. Indeed, from what I saw of him, and the conversation I had with him, I should say that he was certainly very strange. He told me that his scholars had all deserted him lately and that he was looking out for a situation ; what he would like to have was a situation as private tutor in a gentleman's family. He would be satisfied with 6s. per week and his board and lodgings. He said he could teach grammar in right well; and when I asked him what he taught beside, the answer was " oh, I teaches Latin, plane and spherical trigonometry, navigation and the Lunars."

There was one Dissenting chapel, but no Sunday-school held in it.

The average of wages for labourers in this parish was 9s. per week on their own finding Such children as went to any school went to Pater, DAVID LEWIS.

I was favoured with the following letter by M. A. Roche, Esq-, which contains many remarks of great practical value:-

Pashiston, Pembroke, January 5, 1847


I am sorry not to have seen your Assistant when he visited this parish, I should like to have had with him some conversation. I must, therefore, take the liberty of troubling you with this letter.

Ten years ago, when my father came to reside in this Parish, where he possesses an estate - and is the only resident landowner, I was anxious to get establish, at least, a Sunday-school; which was effected by the co-operation of others and of the family of the Rev. Mr. Holcombe the late rector.

The population of this parish is under 600 souls; we average between 40 and 50 children between the ages of 5 and 16 years, principally between the ages of 7 and 14 years, at the school; the whole number of children between 5 and 16 years of age, in the parish being I should guess, about 70 or 80. The teachers at present are the Rev. Mr. Bowling the rector, Mrs. Bowling, another lady, and myself, besides a paid schoolmaster.

The fortune of the school has continued almost the same, though with a little variation. At first it was a novelty, then it was treated with indifference, but now I fancy in some instances I perceive the indifference wearing off.  But still the parents seem to consider education-or, I should rather say, the mere prelude to education, such as reading and writing are-rather as as an accomplishment, as a rich person would regard German or Italian, than as a necessary thing so that very little excuse is sufficient for their negligence in not sending their children and a very little affront sufficient for their withdrawing them. On one or two occasions, one has had to exert all one's influence and management to keep the affair together. The parents however are always very particular in sending their children neat and clean and want of shoes and clothes is the most fertile cause of occasional absense .

I need scarcely say, that during a couple of hours once a-week it is impossible to impart more than the merest pittance of knowledge. I have myself been most anxious to get my Pupils to understand what they read and learn, and for that Purpose I have discarded all explanatory books, and use only the Bible and the Church Catechism, for I have never yet seen an explanatory book that, for such as Sunday-school children, did not require more explanation than what it professed to explain; and the consequence is, that the children learn by rote the explanation as well as the thing to be explained. Indeed, I have sometimes found that a viva voca explanation has been remembered by rote; and though the difficulty of making them understand is certainly not insuperable, yet it is much greater than any one would suppose that had not had some years' experience in it, in fact, I am sure that this great difficulty forms a very great characteristic difference between the schools of the poor and of the rich. I have found much advantage in giving questions in writings to be answered in writings taking care that they shall be different for each child. I also have lately made some of them learn Watts's Hymns, which they do with great pleasure , we do not teach writing

Besides our school, there is another Sunday School attached to a Dissenting chapel; it is not, I understand, largely attended, and was, I believe, set up for the convenience of a few residents, about it, which is at the end of the parish. For I am most happy to say. we are free from almost all, if not altogether all, religious animosity; we are not yet sufficiently en-lightened for that.

Some few parents have managed to get their children taught to write and there has been generally some day-school in the parish. At present there happen to be two, but the worst that I ever recollect. These schools are undertaken by persons for their livelihoods or to assist it by such scanty earnings. And this is a point which cannot be too much insisted on-the incapacity of the schoolmasters or schoolmistresses in this neighbourhood.

Nothing will ever be effected until a complete change is made in these, but that will require far greater funds A teacher never thinks of explaining anything; and though children are sometime taught to read; yet they learn with so much carelessness that it is often on Sundays my chief employ-ment to get my pupils out of the slovenly habits of pronounciation, omitting in reading all the little words, &c., acquired during the week.

I scarcely know whether our school is worth the trouble that I have imposed on you in read-ing this long letter; but so far as such a trifling institution can extend it has not been without benefit, were it only that by the attention of one of the lady-teachers some children have, by going there only, been taught to read very well, and I was anxious to attempt to afford you some notion of a little Welsh Sunday-school in an agricultural district, and the disposition entertained by the inhabitants towards being instructed,

I have, &c.


[Basil Hughes]






For more information about Gumfreston parish, see Genuki

State of Education in Wales 1847

PARISH OF GUMFRESTON.-The Rev. G. N. Smith, Rector, informed me that there  are only three farm-houses and twelve cottages in this Parish. He had erected  a school-room adjoining the churchyard, in 1836, at his own expense, which  cost him 26. A schoolmaster cannot be supported here by the scholars' fees.

Some from the parish go to the day-schools at Redberth and Tenby; and several  from the outskirts of Tenby attend the Sunday-school in this parish. From 100 to 200 have learnt to read the Scriptures well here during the last ten years. Farm-servants do not attend the Sunday-school. There are many of this class utterly without secular or religious knowledge. Farmers can read and write; but there was only one in the parish that could do that well.  Labourers are lamentably ignorant. Wages are professed to be 8s. a-week; but they get only 4s. or 4s. 6d. in money; the rest in kind, such as cottages and the run of a cow. In harvest-time they get their food too; but they work so early and so late, that, taking the number of hours into consideration, they are but little better paid than in winter. Farm-servants on an average get 6., and female servants from 50s. to 3. per year. The people are not drunken, and upon the whole are moral and steady.

Was MORRIS, Assistant.

December 29th, 1846.


1563 number of households 19

1670 numbers on of hearth tax records 23

1801 number of families 24

[Basil Hughes]






For more information about Hodgeston parish, see Genuki

1407 February

Guy, Bishop of St David's etc., to John, prior of the priory of St. Thomas the Martyr, Haverford, greeting, etc.

Order, - Although all and singular who hinder or disturb, cause others to hinder or disturb, or ratify these things done in their name, any persons whatsoever holding ecclesiastical benefices and any one of them from being able to dispose freely in respect of such their benefices of the tithes, profits, rents, fruits and oblations of the same, or who lightly withdraw, carry away or take away, cause or procure to be withdrawn, carried away or taken away, tithes, fruits, rents, profits and oblations, beyond and contrary to the will of rectors and vicars and other ecclesiastics, or ratify such withdrawal, carrying away and taking away, done in their name, are in the constitutions of the holy father, in the condemnation of the sentenced the greater excommunication, nevertheless some sons of iniquity, satellites of Satans unmindful of their own salvation, have hindered and disturbed and still disturb Master John Cole, rector or warden of the free chapel of Ogiston, from being able to dispose freely in respect of his said chapel of the tithes, profits, fruits, rents and oblations of the same free chapel, as of right he should, and have ratified and still ratify such impediment and disturbance done in their name; and such his tithes, fruits, rents, profits and oblations, beyond and against his will, they have withdrawn, carried and taken away, caused or procured to be withdrawn, carried and taken away, and have ratified the withdrawal, carrying and taking away, done in their name, and still illegally detain such tithes etc. withdrawn, carried away and taken away, incurring the condemnation of the said sentence of the greater excommunication under which they still remain to the grave peril of the souls of themselves and of others Willing to have dealings with the same, and the great prejudice of the said Master John and his chapel aforesaid. Wherefore we commit unto [and] firmly enjoining in virtue of obedience and under pain of the greater excommunication command you that you solemnly pronounce in your churches during the solemnisation of mass when the number of people present is largest, with ringing of bells, with the cross Uplifted, with candles lighted and thrown to the ground for their Condemnation, and the other solemnity usual in such denunciation, you denounce all and singular such malefactors as having been so excommunicated generally, and as being excommunicated, not ceasing from such denunciation until you have other mandate from us. Dated on the day and in the year and place above said.

And like mandates went out to the rector and the vicar of Carrew; the rector and the vicar of Manerbeere; and the rector of St. Giles; and to all curates of the same deaneries.

[Basil Hughes]






For more information about Lamphey parish, see Genuki

Extract from the Black Book of St David's 1326



David King, John Kyft, Cadogy Gogh, David Swetemon, Thomas Fort, Peter de la Lake, Ralph le Porter, John le Webbe, David Llewelyn, David Robert, David  Fort and Robert le Hayward, the jurors, ......................

Free Tenants

They also present that Wyot de Lawrenny holds by deed from the Lord in capite  half a carucate of land and pays yearly in equal portions at Easter and Michaelmas 2s., and the Lord has wardship and relief when it occurs.


.....the heirs of Richard de Stakepol hold one carucate of land adjoining  the court of Lantefey for which they do suit of Court three times at Lawhaden.

Item ,

.....William Harald holds 2 carucates of land at Woveran and pays in every  third year on the Kalends of May 2s., or 2 sheep at the option of the Lord  and does suit of Court at Lawhaden from 15 days to 15 days  Total 4s


They also present that Thomas Walter de Porthllu  holds one bovate of land from the Sanctuary and pays yearly at Easter and Michaelmas 6s


......Isaute le Proute holds one bovate of land, and pays yearly at the aforesaid times 6s.

Also David Mayo holds one plot with the curtilage and one bovate of land and pays yearly at the same times 6s 8d.


......Richard Swetemon holds a plot and curtilage with a bovate of land, and pays yearly at the same times 6s 8d.


......John Russell holds one plot and a curtilage, with 2 bovates and 1 1/2 acres of land , and pays yearly at the same times 17d


.......David Fort holds 1 plot and curtilage with 8 acres of land,  and pays yearly at the same times 4s 8d


.....Thomas Gwyn holds 4 acres of land and pays yearly at the same times 2s

Item ,

......Johanna Page holds 1/2 bovate of land, and pays yearly at the same times 3s

Item ,

...........John Cole holds 1 plot and curtilage with 1/2 bovate of land and pays yearly at the same times 3s 8d


..........Wyot de Laurenny holds 1 plot and curtilage with a bovate of land and pays yearly at the same times 6s 8d.


.......Walter Thomas holds 6 acres of land  and pays yearly at the same times 3s

Item ,

........Robert Swetemon holds 6 acres of land  and pays yearly at the same times 3s

Item ,

......Elena Row holds 1/2 bovate of land,  and pays yearly at the same times 3s


....... John le Proute holds 1/2 a bovate of land  and pays yearly at the same times 3s.

Item ,

.........Philip Henry holds 1 plot and curtilage with 8 acres of land, and pays yearly at the same times 7s 8d


....... Master Gregory the Chaplain holds 2 acres of land  and pays yearly at the same times 12d

Item ,

..........David Fenil holds 1plot and a curtilage, and pays yearly at the same times 12d


........ Roys Swynnog holds 1 curtilage,  and pays yearly at the same time 4d

Farmers at Porthellan

They also present that Johanna Kyft holds one bovate and pays yearly at Easter and Michaelmas 21d

Item ,

Johanna Page holds a bovate of land and pays yearly at the same times 21d


...... John Wallens holds 2 acres without services, and one bovate of land with services, and pays yearly at the same times 2s 5d


Peter de la Lake holds one and a half bovates and four acres of land without services and one bovate with services,  and pays yearly at the same times 9s 1d

Item ,

........Henry Kyft holds one bovate with services and one bovate without services and pays yearly at the same times 5s 9d

Item ,

.......David Kyng holds one and a half bovates without services and pays yearly  at the same times 9s 9d


...... Alice , widow of David Iowan holds one bovate of land with services, and pays yearly at the same times 2s 5d


........John le Proute holds half a bovate of land without services and a bovate with services, and pays yearly at the same times 3s 9d


..... Elena Eynon holds 1 acre of land without services and one plot and a curtilage with services, and pays yearly at the same times 16d

Item ,

......David Iewan holds 4 acres without services and i bovate of land with services and pays yearly at the same times 4s


John Cras holds one and a half bovates of land without services and one bovate with services, and pays yearly at the same times 9s 9d


........Isabella Huet holds 1 bovate of land with services and pays yearly at  the same times 21d


......... Res Wiston holds 1 acre of land with services, and pays yearly at the same times 7d


........ Thomas Fort holds 1 acre of land without services and one bovate of land with services and pays yearly at the same times 2s 1d


....... Thomas Whiting holds 6 acres of land without services and 1 bovate of land with services and pays yearly at the same times 3s 9d


.....David Robert holds 2 acres without services and i bovate of land with services, and pays yearly at the same times  2s 7d


.......David Fort holds 1 bovate of land without services and one bovate of land with services, and pays yearly at the same times 5s 9d

Farmers of Lantefey


.....they present that John Merlyng holds one plot and 1 curtilage with one bovate of land with services, and pays yearly at Easter and Michaelmas 2s


........ John Stedemon holds 1 bovate of land and pays yearly at the same times 14d


...... Richard Page holds 1 bovate of land and pays yearly at the same times 12d


......... Maiota la White holds 1 plot and curtilage with 1 bovate of land and pays yearly at the same times 12d


........... William Swetemon holds 1 bovate and 4 acres of land without services and 1 bovate of land with services, and holds by deed, and pays yearly at the same times 5s 10d

Item ,

..........Amabella la Ferour holds three acres without services, and 1 bovate of land by deed with services, and pays yearly at the same times 2s 6d


........ Sara la White holds 1 bovatre of land without services and 1 bovate of  land with services and pays yearly at the same times 7s 6d.

Item ,

...........David Swetemon holds 1 plot and 1 curtilage with 1 bovate of land with services and pays yearly at the same times 12d


.......... Johanna, the widow of Philip Henry, holds a plot and curtilage with 1 bovate of land with services, and pays yearly at the same times 12d


......... David Moris holds 1 plot and 1 curtilage, with 1 bovate of land with services and pays yearly at the same times 12d

Item ,

............Thomas Res holds 1 plot and curtilage, with 1 bovate of land with services, and pays yearly at the same times  18d


.......... David Russell holds 1 plot and curtilage with 1/2 bovate of land with services and pays yearly at the same times 6d


......... Thomas Page holds 1 1/2 acres of land without services and pays yearly at the same time 18d


......... Amabilla Swetemon holds 1 plot and curtilage with 1 bovate of land , and pays yearly at the same time 13d


........... John Miller holds 1 plot with a bovate of land, and pays yearly at the same times 12d

Item ,

.........Cadogy Gouth holds 1 croft, 1 plot, and curtilage, with one bovate of land with services, and pays yearly at the same times 4s

[Basil Hughes--who has reduced the above considerably to concentrate on names]






For more information about Manorbier parish, see Genuki

Some snippets


........a yeoman from Manorbier parish appeared before the Great Sessions of  Pembrokeshire for stealing from the sloop "Two Partners" wrecked in Lydstep  bay , the property of Llewelin Evan , mariner , of Newport parish.

1804 April

..........47 ankers of Brandy were seized at Manorbier by the Tide-surveyor of Tenby and his crew.

1811 July

...........Rev Sir Thomas Gery Cullum Bart in his diary, records -- " of late years the Castle ( of Manorbier) has been appropriated to smuggling, on a most daring scale. The person concerned having hired the castle of the farmer, and having built a house contiguous , used to fill the subterranean appartments and towers with spirits. A number of casks were soon discovered floating in the reservoir. At last, after several seizures, this illicit trade was put a stop to by Lord Cawdor, who was nearly killed in the attempt."

[Basil Hughes 1 Oct 2000 D]






For more information about Pembroke parish, see Genuki

Pembroke Education 1847 -- Two schools


Union Workhouse School

.---I visited this school on the l6th of December. The master had at one time been a soldier, and his whole regime and phraseology  were of a military character. I was introduced to the school by Captain  Leach, the Vice-Chairman of the Board.

As soon as the schoolmaster had been apprised of our object he tolled a great bell, and when the summons had been answered by the appearance of a boy or two in the yard, called out lustily, "Come, turn out there-fall in." This was very readily done. To the right-face-march. Each boy in passing gave a military salute. One of the file  had neither shoe nor stocking; scarcely any of them had stockings.

There was a deep snow on the ground thawing at the time.The schoolroom is well lighted and ventilated, boarded, and in excellent repair. Everything about it was very neat and clean. Along one side was a line of desks, and opposite to them a stove with a good fire of culm. By the door there was a cupboard for books on the left hand and a small square table for the master on the right. he appeared a very respectable old man, kind and intelligent, with a good-natured sharpness of manner, such as children would soon understand and be kept alert by, without being cowed or frightened.

He gave the order, "Fall in with your Testaments." I heard 19 children read to him the l4th chapter of St. Matthew. He paid great attention to them and corrected any mistakes made, except desert for desert, which he did not notice. He then put questions, He spoke clearly and distinctly. The children for the most part answered. The master then gave the children a word apiece to spell from the passage read; most of them spelt correctly.... A boy pointed out to me the river Jordan, Jerusalem, and the Dead Sea (after a little puzzling) on the map of Palestine, which hung upon the walls.

The master then took the boys and gave them a lesson in arithmetic. They wrote down correctly in figures from his dictation three thousand four hundred and twenty-five, they added, rapidly and correctly. His best pupil then worked   61 14s. 2d. x 34 in a very clear and steady manner without making a mistake, under my inspection. Only 3 of the 19 children in the first class had been in any other day-school. The matron instructs the girls in sewing.

I heard from Captain Leach that the old master takes great delight in drilling his boys, and that they are tolerably expert in manoeuvring. At the time of my visit the snow had choked up the boys' yard, and so spoilt his parade-ground. The effects of discipline appear to have been good both on master and pupils. I was much pleased with the school.

Mr. William Abram's School:

This school is kept in a room of the master's dwelling house, which is in tolerably good repair, except parts of the floor and walls. It contained 9 benches and 1 table, with some of the arithmetical tables of the Infant School Society hanging on the walls. They are in verse, and are sung occasionally by the scholars. The master was in school himself until he was 9 years of age, and learnt spelling and reading well. At this time he was afflicted with a fever which derived him totally of the use of his eyes. Shortly afterwards he learnt the trade of weaving sedge-mats, by which trade, and by playing musical instruments at weddings and in public-houses, he got his livelihood.

About 10 years ago some benevolent gentlemen bought for him the Elementary Book for the Blind, Literacy for the Blind, the Psalms, and the Four Gospels (all published in Glasgow). He soon learnt to read by the embossed characters, and his neighbours recommended him to open a school, which is well attended. At first he taught the alphabet by the embossed characters to his pupils, but as soon as a sufficient number had learnt to spell and read, he made these act as monitors for the alphabet classes, and confined himself to the classes in spelling and reading. Spelling is taught simultaneously by him in this manner:- he directs one of the best scholars to give out a word, which is spelt at first by one pupil, then he and all the rest spell it together and so on with a column or page, giving the meaning of the word also after it is spelt correctly.

He appears to be a shrewd man, and possesses a retentive memory. His wife assists him in school. Most of his scholars are labourers and mechanics and (a few of them) tradesmen's children. The inclement state of the weather permitted very few to attend.... The master said his object was to teach spelling and reading to his scholars, and that he does not ask them many questions on any subject.

Before leaving the school the master read parts of the 7th and 8th chapters of St. John, very correctly. He could also turn to any chapter.He cannot write, and does not profess to teach anything beyond spelling and reading.
( I gave a talk and asked those present to do the sum, the answers caused much amusement)

[Basil Hughes]

Forged baptism entry

Held at the National Library of Wales is a poster advertising a reward for information leading to the identify of the person or persons who forged an entry (viz. the baptism of JOHN son of JENKIN FERRIOR by MARY his wife on 22nd October 1766) in the Pembroke parish records with a photograph of part of the leaf tampered with. Ref: IB(?) 12439-40.

[Rose 28 May 2002]






For more information about Nash parish, see Genuki

According to the Land Tax Records 1791

  • Nash Bank Lewis Rev Owen (owner)
  • Nash Bank Thomas George (tenant)
  • Nash Blackberry Roch Nicholas (owner)
  • Nash Bush Park Holcombe Rev William (owner)
  • Nash Cart House Croft Bowen Rev (owner)
  • Nash Cart House Croft Thomas George (tenant)
  • Nash Church Hills Holcombe Rev William (tenant)
  • Nash Church Hills King Rev (owner)
  • Nash Colliers Croft Gwyther Thos (tenant)
  • Nash Colliers Croft Hicks Rev Philomon (owner)
  • Nash Common Lays Leach Abraham (owner)
  • Nash Common Lays Roch John (tenant)
  • Nash Crafty Corner Leach Abraham (owner)
  • Nash Crafty Corner Roch John (tenant)
  • Nash East Ashwell Holcombe Rev William (owner)
  • Nash East Croft Holcombe Rev William (tenant)
  • Nash East Croft Lewis Rev (owner)
  • Nash Glebe & Tythe Rees Rev John (owner)
  • Nash Green Hill Holcombe Rev William (owner)
  • Nash Green Hill Jarmain ? Thomas (tenant)
  • Nash Little Croft Hicks Rev James (owner)
  • Nash Little Croft Thomas George (tenant)
  • Nash Lodge Gwyther Henry (tenant)
  • Nash Lodge Hicks Hannah (owner)
  • Nash Lower Nash Leach Abraham (owner)
  • Nash Lower Nash Roch John (tenant)
  • Nash Meadows Davies Mary (tenant)
  • Nash Meadows Mears Hugh (owner)
  • Nash Middle Farm Holcombe Rev William (owner)
  • Nash Middle Farm Lloyd John (tenant)
  • Nash North Park John Ansolm (tenant)
  • Nash North Park Roch Nicholas (owner)
  • Nash Old Park George Thomas (tenant)
  • Nash Old Park Walters Rev (owner)
  • Nash Petty Lands Holcombe Rev William (owner)
  • Nash Rock Roberts Rev Nicholas (owner)
  • Nash Rock Williams William (tenant)
  • Nash South Pit Holcombe Rev William (owner)
  • Nash South Pit Lewis Henry (tenant)
  • Nash Stoops Lake Hicks Hannah (owner)
  • Nash Stoops Lake John David (tenant)
  • Nash Strawberry Hill Hancock Rev Thomas (owner)
  • Nash Tanzoy Holcombe Rev William (owner)
  • Nash Two Hills Holcombe Rev William (owner)
  • Nash Two Mountains Holcombe Rev William (owner)
  • Nash Upper Nash Holcombe Rev William (owner)
  • Nash West Ashwell Hancock Rev Thomas (owner)
  • Nash West Croft Davies Rev (owner)
  • Nash West Croft Holcombe Rev William (tenant)
  • Nash West Hill Barger Philip (tenant)
  • Nash West Hill Holcombe Rev William (owner)
  • Nash Winters Hall Evans Rev William (owner)
  • Nash Winters Hall Gwyther Thomas (tenant)

[Basil Hughes]

Pembroke Dock





For more information about Pembroke, St Mary parish, see Genuki

Pennar/Pembroke Dock/St Florence burials

One problem I have encountered is people being buried quite a distance from  the parish in which they lived.

Here are an example of one family who lived in Pennar before Pembroke Dock was thought of, and were buried at St Florence.

Extracts from St Florence Church Records...


Jan 24 1772 Margaret Dr. of John Price Buried

Feb 8th 1803 John Price from Pennar interned Aug 18th 1803

Ann Price of Pennar interned { acc/to the memorial stone on the outer west wall of St Florence Church he was 102 and she was 104 } -- {was this the longest marriage on Record

28th Nov 1804 George son of Richard Price of Pennar interned

From register of 1813 -

12 Oct 1826 John Price of East Pennar Buried age 40

3 March 1833 Elizabeth Thomas of Pennar Buried age 16

13 Aug 1839 Elizabeth Thomas of Pennar Buried age 56

15 July 1839 James Price of Pennar buried age 42

13 Apr 1842 Richard Price buried age 99

12 April 1843 Elizabeth Price buried age 56

[The early burials of Pembroke Dock residents were either at St Mary's Pembroke, Monkton or from about 1818 to 1834-5 at Bethany Chapel [halted by Admiralty because of contamination of the water supply to the Dockyard.]

[Basil Hughes]

Question ; does anyone know whether records were kept of ships constructed in Pembroke Dock in the middle years of the 19th century? What I'd like to know is whether there's any way of finding out what ships were being constructed c. 1858-60,............


This is the list for the H M Dockyard Pembroke Dock -- dates are of launch

  • Doris, 32 Guns 25th March 1857
  • Melpomene, 50 guns 8 Aug 1857
  • Gannet, 11 guns, 20 Dec 1857
  • Orlando, 50 guns, screw frigate, 12 June 1858
  • Windsor castle, 116 guns, screw, 16 april 1859
  • Revenge, 90 guns, screw, 16 April 1859,
  • Greyhound, 16 guns, screw, 15 june 1859,
  • Immortalite, 50 guns, screw, 25 Oct 1859,
  • Espoir, 5 guns, screw, 7 jan 1860
  • Howe, 121 guns, screw, 7 mar 1860,
  • Pelican 17 guns, screw, 19th July 1860
  • Nimble, 5 guns, screw, 15 jSept, 1860
  • Pandora, 5 guns, screw, 7 Feb 1861,
  • Defiance, 91 guns, screw, 27 mar 1861,
  • Aurora, 50 guns, screw, 22 june 1861,
  • Perseus, 6 guns,screw, 21 aug 1861,
  • Shearwater, 4 guns, screw, 17 Oct 1861

There was also small shipbuilding firms dotted arround the area including one at Front St but the major employer was the Dockyard.

[Basil Hughes 9 Jan 2001]






For more information about Herbrandston parish, see Genuki


People say that the Parish of Herbrandston was so lucky to see all its sons return from the First World War, but 'blessed' rather than 'lucky' would be a more appropriate word. It seemed to be not only the men who lived in the parish but anyone who worshipped in the little parish church of St. Mary the Virgin. This included Major Stokes from St. Botolph's, who was the Squire of the Parish who owned a great deal of property in it. Leonard and Cecil, the two sons of the Rector, the Rev. George Hughes, also served and returned safely, so did many village folk, and others of the flock who really belonged to the next parish of Hubberston.

Of course no War Memorial needed to be erected, so instead a beautiful reredos was put in the chancel as a mark of thanksgiving. So grateful was a local man by the name of James that he pointed the whole chancel free of charge. He had intended to point the whole of the church, but unfortunately he died before he could undertake this task.

When the Second World War came no one ever dreamed that this miracle could happen again but it did and once again all who had worshipped at St. Mary's returned safely. Major Stokes, now a Colonel, returned unscathed. The Rev. George Hughes had died between the two wars and so had his second son Cecil, but Leonard, now a Colonel, served again and returned safely.

There is a grave of a young soldier in Herbrandston churchyard but he was killed, not in action, but by the hand of a fellow officer. After drinking at a nearby port, they had a quarrel and the older man stabbed his young friend. The murder trial caused quite a stir locally, especially when the accused was pronounced 'Not guilty'. A marble cross was put on the young officer's grave and after a very short while, a hand and a dagger appeared on the stonework. Superstitious people interpreted this as a supernatural sign of retribution and many people still visit Herbrandston churchyard just to see 'the hand'.

(Taken from "I Remember, I Remember... Life in around Milford in the early 1900's by Freda James)

[Rosemary May]


Herbrandston Fair was a much loved fair, and there was great excitement when the 10th October came around. Older folk called it Harbeson Fair and that is the way the little village is spelt on very old maps. The village is only about four or five miles from Milford Haven and people thought nothing of walking that distance in those days, though there was a short cut through some fields.

There was a much bigger fair on the 5th of October in Haverfordwest, known as Portfield Fair, but it was Herbrandston Fair that we enjoyed. It was originally a hiring fair, but later known as a runaway fair; often a man or a maid who had been hired in Haverfordwest was not pleased with the job concerned, and would run away to Herbrandston to be re-hired.

The fun of the fair usually started in the afternoon when the music of Tommy Hill's roundabout of galloping horses would be heard. This was quite a tame affair when one compares it with the roundabouts of today, but it was not dangerous and one never heard of any tragic accidents. There was also a small roundabout for the smaller children, which was worked by turning a handle.

In my mind's eve I can still see the stalls piled high with pears, ginger nuts or attractive pink and white nougat rich in nuts. There were of course the usual chip and ice cream carts, hoopla and Poor Aunt Sally.

The greatest fun for the young folk, and indeed for some of the older ones, was the 'teasers'; these were large metal tubes very like a tube of toothpaste, but filled with water. Folk would squirt at each other as they passed, and the tubes would be refilled at the village pump.

At night there was the sizzling sound of the naptha burners, which lit the place up before the advent of electricity.

We were never allowed to stay late at the fair, but always went to the farm of a great aunt and uncle nearby for a supper of cold beef, pickles and potatoes. Every house would have plenty of food ready for that day, because relations and friends come from near and far. Indeed it might be another year before they all met again for the fun of Herbrandston Fair.

(Taken from "I Remember, I Remember... Life in around Milford in the early 1900's by Freda James)

[Rosemary May]

St Ishmaels





For more information about St Ishmaels parish, see Genuki

On the lawn at Great Hoaten Farm (now called Anchor Hoaten House), St. Ishmaels is an enormous anchor, over seventeen feet in length and with flukes measuring fourteen feet across, which is locally held to be a relic of the Spanish Armada.

Another theory said it was Viking. But both theories have been proved to be wrong as it is in fact eighteenth century. It was  found on the beach at St. Bride's Haven, though no one can say how it got there, and was dragged by teams of horses to its present site. Its wood is now petrified.

[Rose May 12 Jan 2001 D]

St Issells





St Issells Church, Saundersfoot

Here is  a list of vicars of St Issells Church at Saundersfoot from a photograph that I took early in 2000. The names are listed on a very swish board just inside the church. The names are:

  • 1492 John Lamb
  • 1492 John David
  • 1534 Henry Storbow
  • 1554 John Howell
  • 1556 John Emlot
  • 1559 Thomas Crane
  • 1560 Maurice Wolcoke
  • 1564 Rhesen Morris
  • 1613 Griffith Johns
  • 1625 Rice Thomas
  • 1625 Henry Griffiths
  • Nicholas White (no date)
  • 1686 David Rees
  • 1696 Thomas Nash
  • 1721 David Lewis
  • 1751 James Beynon
  • 1782 Thomas Dalton
  • 1839 James Dalton
  • 1888 John Jones M.A.
  • 1912 Howell Rosser B.A.
  • 1924 E Owen Jones M.A.
  • 1936 William j Williams B.A.
  • 1955 Glyn Evans B.A.
  • 1980 Michael Butler

[Ray Morris 6 Feb 2001 D]






We must not forget the significance of the Landsker or dividing line between the Welsh speaking north of the county and the English speaking south. This line started in Roch and went eastwards through Camrose, Haverfordwest, Wiston and finished up in the Lampeter Velfrey/Crunwear area.

Here is some information concerning language speaking gleaned from my 1891 census database of north west Pembrokeshire and concerns 5 parishes from Mathry in the north to Lambston south of the Landsker:

Parish (no.)             Welsh         Both        English

                              No   %         No   %      No   %

Mathry (674)          524 78     110  16       40   6

St.Lawrence (180)   92 51       70   39      18   10

Hayscastle (259)   104  40     134  51       21   8

Camrose (804)       15    2      110  14     679   84

Lambston (174)       0   0         17 10      157   90

This shows, (not quite) graphically, the rapid change between the Welsh speaking north and the English speaking south. The distance between Hayscastle and Lambston is about 4 to 5 miles. Mathry is about 10 miles from Lambston.

The best information on this subject is in "The Pembrokeshire Historian" No 4 of 1972 in an article by Brian S.John called "The Linguistic Significance of the Pembrokeshire Landsker"

[Gerry Lewis  6 July 2001 D]






A useful list the Subsidy Roll for 1661 (amongst Francis Green's records - Volume 5, pages 353-381). The subsidy was essentially a tax to raise money for Charles II after the restoration of the monarchy. It gives names of those who paid the levy, by parish,  for the whole of Pembrokeshire.  Below is the list for Jeffreston parish:

  • Rowland Woogan, Esquire 7/-
  • John Bartlett, gent. 5/-
  • Thomas Nash 4/-
  • Richard Smith 2/6
  • William Robertts 2/-
  • Thomas Rowe 2/-
  • Stephen Bartlett 2/6
  • Henry Phees' 1/-
  • Thomas Owens 1/-
  • John Istance 1/-
  • Griffith Hitching 1/-
  • John Taskan 2/-
  • Stephen Rogers 1/-
  • John Priday 1/-
  • Widd' Smith 1/-
  • Dauid Jones 1/-
  • William Elliott 1/-
  • Georg Morth 1/-
  • Thomas Prowne 1/-
  • Thomas Reece 1/-

Total 39/-

[Jonathan Pike    Pem 7 Oct 2001]






Pembrokeshire Gaol File 21 March, 1692.

The Grand Jury present John STOAKES of the Parish of Roch, Gent, for keeping a greyhound not having an estate of 100 per annum.

[Tony James  D 19 May 2002]