Cardigan and the Sea 2

Cardigan’s geographical location on the banks of the river Teifi leading to Cardigan Bay, the Irish Sea, the Atlantic and beyond, means that the sea has always had an influence on its history. Wandering through the burial records and reading the gravestones of those buried in the Church cemetery, reveals the hopes and aspirations of Cardigan’s youth and the tragedies that occurred in so many families.

The river has always been a dangerous place for young children to play.

  • David William, 11 years old and the 3rd son of John ac Elizabeth drowned in July 1844.
  • In June 1890 William Henry Smith, Mwldan drowned in the river.

Some drowned by crossing the bar.

  • George Jefferson, 17 years old, and John Pratt, 22 years old, both drowned when the brig Active sank, in June 1825.

Cardigan Bay was the last place for some to see daylight.

  • Richard Finch, the 27 year old son of Mary, drowned in March 1827.
  • Thomas Thomas, 15 years old drowned in October 1843.
  • David Davies, Parc Llwyd, Aber-porth, 70 years old drowned in 1851.
  • John Evans, 30 years old drowned in November 1866.

A little further afield, William Phillips, a second mate on board SS Cyfarthfa drowned when he fell into the East Bute Dock, Cardiff October 1897. He left a widow and 2 children.

The following were drowned on various sea voyages where the ship’s destiny is not revealed.

  • Morgan Morgan, 45 years old, in December 1846.
  • William Miles, 19 years old, son of John and Dorothy, in December 1847.
  • William James, 29 years old in April 1853.
  • John Charles, 31 years old, son of David in August 1893.

When places are mentioned the distances travelled by Cardigan sailors are revealed. It is clear that Cardigan was not “the land that time forgot” and Cardigan people could be found in all corners of the globe well before the opening of the Cardigan to Carmarthen railway, the coming of the motor car and bus trips, or the building of Cardiff airport!

Here is a small sample of the evidence:

  • Rowland Rowlands, 20 years old, died on 25 April 1796 in the West Indies.
  • James Evans, 26 years old, master of the schooner Nymph died near Cape Clear, February 1833.
  • Daniel Davies, 40 years old, died near Cape Clear [off the Irish coast], November 1838.
  • James Owens, 25 years old, son of David and Diana, died near Crow Head, North West Ireland, November 1838.
  • John Roberts, 20 years old, died near the  Cape of Good Hope, September 1848.
  • William Davies, 38 years old, master of the schooner Harmony died in Tralee, May 1849.
  • Thomas Jones, 19 years old drowned and all the crew of the Pomona, on the Scottish coast February 1850.
  • Isaac Griffiths, 23 years old, drowned near the African coast, June 1850.
  • David Morris, 23 year old son of Evan and Margaret, died in San Fransisco December 1850.
  • George Lord, 10 month old, born at sea and died in Valparaiso [Chile] 1851.
  • John Mathias, 26 year old died of cholera in Rotterdam September 1854.
  • David Owens, 52 years old, died on board the schooner Master De Carri sailing from Pomeron, December 1854
  • John Griffiths, sailmaker, 59 years old, died in Malta May 1855.
  • John W. Jones, 16 years old on the brig Hope in 1856.
  • John White, 44 years old died died in Rio de Janeiro March 1857.
  • Capten William Finch, 37 years old, died in Rio de Janeiro May 1857.
  • William White, 28 years old, son of George and Sarah died in Quebec October 1860.
  • Mary Runnegar, 35 years old, died in Richmond, Australia May 1861.
  • James Timothy, 20 years old, fell overboard the barque Jone of Sunderland February 1863 on route from Mauritius to London.
  • David Thomas, died on board the schooner William Edward from Gloucester in the Bay of Biscay June 1863.
  • Phillip Phillips, 39 years old died on board the brig Harmony of Cardiff near the Scottish coast December 1865.
  • John Stephens, 45 years old died in Cuba, 1867.
  • David Davies, 27 years old, died on board the Sclavonica, by Leith in 1867.
  • David Sambrook, 52 years old, died on board the Harlech Castle near Cape Horn, August 1868.
  • William Tudor Davies, son of Tudor and Elizabeth, 23 years old and chief officer died on board the Almora, on route from Bombay to Liverpool September 1868.
  • Captain William Jones, 41 years old, drowned on route from Philadelphia to Plymouth 17 September 1869.
  • John Owens, 23 oed, died on route from the Mediterranean December 1870; and his brother James, 35 years old died on route from Shields to Mollendo [Southern Peru] December 1871.
  • William Jenkins, 21 years old, son of David died near Cape Horn, September 1872.
  • John Lloyd 26 years old died of yellow fever in Rio de Janeiro June 1873.
  • John Thomas, 45 years old, died while managing the barque Maggie of Swansea. He died in Plymouth and was buried there in May 1874.
  • Evan Thomas, ship master, William St., 36 years old, died in St Helena, 16 October 1875.
  • Thomas Harries Griffiths, 40 years old died on board the brig Leading Star on route from Shields to Folkestone November, 1875.
  • Stephen James, 49 years old died in Geddes November 1876.
  • Thomas Owens, 37 years old, died on route from Bombay to London, on board the Flora August 1877.
  • Captain John Morgan, 56 years old, died in Quebec Hospital, 1881 and was buried in Quebec.
  • Henry Greenhill Trollip, second son of Jacob, 19 years old died on board the ship Easterhill April 1886.
  • Thomas Morgan, 35 years old, died in Pera Hospital, Brazil January 1887.

Tragedy struck some families across more than one generation.

  • Thomas and James, sons of Owen and Elizabeth Thomas, drowned at sea as well as their grandson John Lloyd
  • David Davies, Parc Llwyd drowned in Cardigan Bay in 1851 and his son David died from burns on board the ship Amazon, January 1852.
  • David Williams, 11 years old, and 3rd son of John and Elizabeth, drowned by the Quay in Cardigan in 1844; their 4th son William, 16 years old was washed overboard the Susannah on the North West coast of Ireland in December 1844.
  • William Williams, 52 years old, master of the brig Jane of Cardigan died in Limerick, October 1825; Lewis, his 23 years old son drowned in February 1833; another son John, 18 years old drowned off the coast at Holyhead in the Mary of Cardigan in October 1838; and a third son Thomas, 34 years old died in New York in July 1847.

Cardigan and the sea 1

According to Dr J. Geraint Jenkins in his book Maritime Heritage: the ships and seamen of Southern Ceredigion, Gomer, 1982:

p. 111 The port of Cardigan and, to a lesser extent, the riverside village of St. Dogmaels, developed into a very important shipbuilding centre and flourished tremendously, particularly during the first half of the nineteenth century. The following entries in nineteenth century Directories [below] indicate how important the industry was in Cardigan:

But an examination of the names listed in the census returns throughout the nineteenth century reveals further connections and thus gives a more accurate picture of the numbers involved in the shipbuilding and associated industries in Cardigan’s past.

Here are the entries quoted by Dr. Jenkins from nineteenth century Trade Directories:

Pigot’s Directory 1830

  • Shipwrights: John Jones, St. Mary St; Evan Jones, Mwldan
  • Blockmakers: William Phillips, Mwldan; Rees Rees, Mwldan
  • Sailmakers: David Davies, Bridge St.; John Edwards, Bridgend; Jonathan Jones, High St.
  • Anchor & Ships Smith: John Davies, Eben’s Lane

Pigot’s Directory 1835

  • Shipwrights: John Evans, St. Dogmaels; James Jones, Mwldan; Evan Morgan, Mwldan
  • Blockmakers: David Evans, St Dogmaels; Eli Griffith, St. Dogmaels; William Phillips, Mwldan; Rees Rees, Mwldan
  • Ropemakers: David Davies, Bridge St.; William Humphreys, near Turnpike; Jones & co. Pendre
  • Sailmakers: Thomas Edwards, Mwldan; Jonathan Jones, High St.

Anchor & Ships Smith: John Davies, Eben’s Lane

Pigot’s Directory 1844

  • Shipwrights: John Evans, St. Dogmaels; David Griffiths, Netpool; James James, Mwldan; William Jones, Netpool; David Owen, Netpool; John Williams, Netpool
  • Blockmakers: David Evans, St. Dogmaels; Eli Griffiths, St. Dogmaels; William Phillips, Mwldan; Edward Williams, Mwldan
  • Ropemakers: David Davies, Bridgend; Thomas Edwards, Bridgend; William Humphreys, Catherine Row; Thomas Jones, Quay St.
  • Sailmakers: David Davies, Bridgend; James Edwards, Bridgend; Thomas Edwards, Bridgend; Lewis Jones, Mwldan

 Slater’s Directory 1859

  • Shipwrights: John Evans, St. Dogmaels; Samuel Jones Evans, Mwldan; David Griffiths, Netpool; William Jones, Netpool; David Owen, Netpool; Thomas Tucker, St Dogmaels; John Williams, Greenfield Row
  • Anchor & chain cable manufacturers: David Davies, Bridgend; John Davies, Strand
  • Blockmakers: Rees Rees, Quay St.; David Rowlands, Bridge St.; Edward Williams, Mwldan
  • Ropemakers: David Davies, Bridgend; Thomas Edwards, Bridgend; Benjamin Humphreys, Pendre
  • Sailmakers: David Davies, Bridgend; Thomas Edwards, Bridgend; Benjamin Humphreys, Pendre

Kelly’s Directory 1871

  • Shipwrights: John Williams, Netpool; David Griffiths, Netpool
  • Mast & blockmakers: David Rowlands, Quay
  • Ropemakers: Benjamin & John Evans, Pendre
  • Sailmaker: Lewis Evans, Mwldan

Worrall’s Directory 1875

  • Shipwrights: Thomas Evans, St. Dogmaels; David Griffiths, Netpool; John Williams, Netpool
  • Block, Mast & Spar makers: David Rowlands, Quay St.; Edward Williams, Netpool
  • Ropemakers: David Griffith Davies, Bridgend; Thomas Edwards, Bridgend; Benjamin Evan, Pendre
  • Sailmakers: Thomas Edwards, Bridgend; John Lewis, High St.

Slaters’ Directory 1880

  • Shipwrights: Thomas Evans, St. Dogmaels; Thomas Tucjer, St. Dogmaels; John Williams, Greenfields; David Griffiths, Netpool
  • Ropemakers: John & Benjamin Evans, Pendre
  • Sailmakers: John Lewis, Eben’s Lane; Henry Thomas, Mwldan

Kelly’s Directory 1884

  • Ropemakers: Cardigan Mercantile Co. Ltd., (Ship chandlers, rope makers and merchants); Benjamin & John Evans

Below are the entries listed in census returns for 1841–1901. Remember also that the census happened every ten years. Many people could have been and gone between each census. It also contains names of those identified in the burial records of the Church and town cemeteries. Names are in chronological order, alphabetical order, ages given and address. The list appears under the following headings:

Anchor and Ships Smith; Blockmakers; Ropemakers; Sailmakers; Shipbuilders; Ship’s Carpenters; Shipwrights; Shipwrights J

ANCHOR & SHIPS SMITH: From the information given [smith] it is not clear how many of the following were “ships” smith.

1841

  • John James, 30, smith, Greenfield Sq
  • John Jones, 30, smith, Quay St
  • Henry Thomas, Henry, 14, apprentice, Quay St.

1851 John Griffiths, 17, smith, Lower Mwldan

1871 Evan Jenkins, 27, smith, St Mary’s Lane

1881

  • David James, 38, Cardigan, smith, Strand
  • William James, 24, Cardigan, smith, Strand
  • John D. James, who died 11.5.1878, 58, Bridge Parade
  • David James, who died 5.5.1893, 49, Strand
  • John James, 11.7.1893, 81, Strand

BLOCKMAKERS

1830

  • William Phillips, Mwldan
  • Rees Rees, Mwldan/Stryd y Cei/Lower Mwldan until 1861, 74 oed

1835 William Phillips, Mwldan

1841

  • Michael Garnal, High St Red Cow
  • Edward Williams, 30, Lower Mwldan until 1871 [Ned y Bloc}

1851

  • John Davies, John, 16, Pendre
  • David Rowlands, 36, St Mary’s Lane until 1871

1861 William Garnon, 19, St Mary’s Lane

1871 William Rowlands, 29, Pwllhai. He died 17.08.1879 at 37 years. Buried in the town cemetery.

Ropemakers

1830 Evan Griffiths, Pendre

1835 David Davies, Bridge St.

1841

  • Thomas Jones, 25
  • John Thomas, 55, Greenfield Row
  • John Thomas, 20, Greenfield Row
  • William Thomas, 25, Quay St

1851

  • John Davies, 50, Strand
  • John Evans, 18, Walkfach
  • Evan Griffiths, 1851, Walkfach, who died on 13.10. 1853
  • William Havard, 34, Lower Mwldan
  • William Humphreys, 52, Catherine Row
  • Henry Jones, 32, Bridge St
  • Thomas Jones, 39, Pendre
  • David Lloyd, 71, Black Lion Lane
  • John Thomas, 67, Walkfach
  • John Thomas, 35, Walkfach
  • John Thomas, 13, Walkfach
  • William Thomas, 41 years died 20.09.1852
  • Henry Harries, 67 years died 01.12.1854, Bridgend
  • Mary Lewis, 60, ropemaker’s widow, Lime Kilns; Quay House

 1861

  • Benjamin Evans (1842–12.15.1897), 55 years old, Pendre
  • John Evans, (1861–4.1.1904), 65 years old
  • Benjamin Humphreys, 24, Catherine Row
  • John Thomas, 12, St Mary’s Lane
  • Thomas Thomas, 18, St Mary’s Lane
  • William Thomas, 16, UpperMwldan
  • Hannah Thomas, 45, ropemaker’s widow, Upper Mwldan

 1871

  • John Jones, 60
  • Evan Jenkins, 20, Castle Court
  • David Jones, 14, Greenfield Sq
  • James Lewis, 14, St Mary’s Lane

1901 John James, 16, apprentice, Middle Mwldan

 SAILMAKERS

Evan Thomas who died on 28.11.1828, 77 years

1835 Thomas Edwards, jr. Bridge St.

James Edwards who died on 1.08.1839 94, years Bridge End

1841

  • John Griffiths, 40, Lower Mwldan. He died on 2.05.1855, 59 years
  • David Thomas, 50, Lower Mwldan
  • Jonathan Jones, who died on 1.12.1843, 57 years

1851

  • John Bowen, 16, Quay St.
  • William Edwards, 43, Pendre
  • John Griffiths, 54, Quay St.
  • John Ferrier Mathias, 1851, 19, apprentice, St Mary St
  • David Miles, 26, Greenfield Row/Netpool until 1871, 48 yrs
  • Harry Thomas, 18, apprentice, St Mary’s Lane

1861

  • Lewis Jones, 31, High St
  • Henry Thomas, 28, William St. He died on 12.08.1881 at 49 years
  • Jane Thomas, 18, Pontycleifion
  • Thomas Thomas, 23, Cardigan Arms
  • James Wigley, 17, apprentice, St Mary’s Lane

1871

  • William Jenkins, 18, Priory St.
  • James Lewis, 24, St Mary’s Lane
  • Thomas Jones, 16, sailmaker apprentice, Pendre

1881

  • John Bowen, 44, Quay St.
  • James Wigley, 35, Arthur’s Quay
  • Thomas Harris, 68, Pwllhai
  • Eleanor Miles, 44, wife, Green St.

Shipbuilders

  • Evan Morgan, 1830 until 1835, ship & boatbuilder, Mwldan
  • James James, 1835, ship & boat builder, Mwldan

William Jones, 1841 until 1861, 30, ship builder, Netpool, 48 yr

 1851

  • David Owen, 38, Pendre
  • David Thomas, 28, Walkfach
  • Samuel Jones Evans, 1858, ship & boat builder

 1861

  • David Owen, 46, Pendre

 1871

  • John Williams, 36, Greenfield Row
  • John Williams, 64, Greenfield Sq
  • David Owen, 57, retired, Eben’s Lane

1881 John Williams, 52, unempl, Greenfield Sq

  • John Elias James, 1924.10.03, 68, shipping agent, St Mary’s Tce Devonia,

Ship’s Carpenter

1851

  • John Davies, 1851, 61, Pendre
  • Joseph Rees, 1851–61, 47, High St 14
  • David Jones, 17, apprentice, Pwllhai,
  • Evan Williams, 28, Pontycleifion
  • John Williams, 45, Greenfield Sq

1861

  • John Bowen, 16, apprentice, Bridge St,
  • John Davies, 48, Greenfield Sq
  • William Evans, 38, St Mary’s Lane
  • Daniel Harris, 50, Upper Mwldan
  • William Jones, 58, Pwllhai
  • Richard Morgan, 22, Green St Half Moon
  • David Thomas, 38, Upper Mwldan
  • John Thomas, 18, Upper Mwldan

1871

  • John Augustus, 1871–1901, 32, Eben’s Lane
  • Daniel Davies, 38, Chancery Lane Swan
  • Daniel Davies, 22, unempl, Greenfield Sq
  • Thomas Griffiths, 27, Greenfield Sq
  • David Jones, 37, Netpool
  • James Williams, 32, Drawbridge
  • James Williams, 22, Lower Mwldan

 David Evans, who died on 11.9.1880, 41, Catherine Row

1881

  • Daniel Davies, 32
  • John Davies, 42, Netpool Cott
  • Owen Davies, 36, Bridge Parade
  • David Jones, 47, Netpool
  • John Jones, 18, Netpool
  • Thomas Jones, 21, Netpool
  • David Thomas, 40, Upper Mwldan
  • Evan Tucker, 1881–91, 57, William St

 1891

  • David Bowen, 1891/1901, 50, Greenfield Sq
  • Thomas Harries, 60, St Mary’s Lane
  • Sophia Jenkins, 22, ship carpenter’s wife, Upper Mwldan

1895 Thomas Jones, Queen’s Tce

1901

  • Daniel Davies, 1901, 52, Queen’s Tce
  • David Jones, 1901, 68, Greenfield Sq

SHIPWRIGHTS

  • Catherine Davies, wife of Owen, died 26.4.1818, 75 years old
  • David Morgan, 27.10.1818, 72 years old
  • Margaret Evans, wife of Samuel J., died 6.2.1826, 90 years old

 1841

  • Thomas Evans, 1841, 40, /1851, Netpool
  • Owen James, 20, Quay St
  • Thomas Richards, 40, Upper Mwldan
  • John Williams, 35, Greenfield Sq.
  • Thomas Young, 20, Quay St

 1851

  • William Davies, 29, Catherine Row
  • Thomas Harries, 52, St Mary’s Lane
  • Thomas Isaac, 68, Lime kilns
  • David Jones, 65, Greenfield Sq.
  • Thomas Phillips, 19, Quay St.
  • David Jones, who died on 24.2.1853 at 31 years old
  • John Griffiths, who died on 4.12.1854, 77 years old

 1861

  • David Bowen, 20, Greenfield Sq
  • Owen Davies, 16, apprentice, Greenfield Sq
  • Thomas Griffiths, 19, Greenfield Sq
  • David Jones, 27, Greenfield Sq
  • Thomas Phillips, 29, Bridge St
  • Theophilus Rees, 29, Lower Mwldan
  • David Williams, 15, Greenfield Sq
  • John Williams, 26, Greenfield Row
  • John Williams, 55, Greenfield Sq
  • John Stephens, who died in 1867, 45, in Cuba

 1871

  • William Evans, 48, St Mary’s Lane
  • David Griffiths, 49, Pendre
  • Griffith Griffiths, 23, Pendre
  • John Griffiths 25, Pendre
  • Daniel Harries, 54, Upper Mwldan
  • Thomas Harries, 73, St Mary’s Lane
  • William Jones, 68, Pwllhai
  • David, Thomas, 48, Upper Mwldan
  • David Williams, 26, Greenfield Sq
  • David Williams, 75, Greenfield Sq
  • George Williams, 45, Quay St
  • William Jones, who died on 1.06,1878, at 76 years

 1881

  • John Davies, 96, Pendre
  • William Evans, 59, St Mary’s Lane
  • John Griffiths, 35, William’s Row
  • Thomas Griffiths, 37, St Mary’s Cottage

 1891

  • Owen Davies, 46, Greenfield Sq /1901
  • David Jones, 57, Greenfield Sq
  • David Thomas, 67, Mwldan Upper
  • John Davies, who died on 5.07.1904, 66, St Mary St
  • David Jones, who died on 8.02.1913, 76, Greenfield Sq
  • John Jones, who died on 15.02.1923, 59, Drawbridge

SHIPWRIGHT J

1841

  • David Davies, 45, shipwright J, Upper Mwldan
  • David Griffiths, 45, shipwright J, Lower Mwldan
  • David J. Griffiths,15, shipwright j, Quay St,
  • John Griffiths, 60, shipwright J, Lower Mwldan
  • James James, 50, shipwright rtd, Quay St,
  • David Jenkins, 60, shipwright j, Quay St,
  • David Jones, 15, shipwright J, Greenfield Row
  • David Jones, 25, shipwright J, Lower Mwldan
  • Thomas Jones, 20, shipwright J, Lower Mwldan
  • Benjamin Joseph, 20, shipwright J, Upper Mwldan
  • Peter Lewis, 45, shipwright J, Greenfield Sq
  • James Thomas, 35, shipwright J, Greenfield Sq
  • William Thomas, 50, shipwright J, Quay St,
  • John Davies, 1871, 83, shipwright rtd, Pendre
  • David Griffiths, 1881, 59, shipwright mm, Pendre

 David James, who died on 20.06.1922, 82, shipwright rtd, Feidrfair

SHIPWRIGHT’S APPRENTICES

1841

  • Evan Jones, 20, Greenfield Row
  • James Jones, 15, Greenfield Row
  • Owen Jones, 15, Lower Mwldan
  • Benjamin Lewis, 15, Lower Mwldan
  • David Thomas, 15, Greenfield Row
  • Owen Thomas, 18, Quay St

1851

  • Ann Davies, 39, shipwright’s wife, Greenfield Sq
  • Mary Jones, 26, Cardigan, shipwright’s wife, St Mary’s Lane

1861

  • Hannah Jones, 42, shipwright’s wife, St Mary’s Lane
  • Charlotte Griffiths, 67, shipwright’s widow, Upper Mwldan
  • Frances Phillips, 1861, 75, shipwright’s widow, Lower Mwldan
  • John Griffiths, 15, shipwright’s apprentice, Pendre

1871

  • Anne Davies, 61, shipwright’s wi, Greenfield Sq
  • Joseph Rees, 67, shipwriter rtd, Eben’s Lane