Cardigan People 6: Mission Hall

Cardigan People 5: John Davies (Ossian Dyfed)

John Davies (Ossian Dyfed; 1852–1916)

John Davies (Ossian Dyfed) was born in Ossian House, Eben’s Lane in 1852, the son of Phoebe Davies who died in 1857 at the early age of 29 years. He began his career as a carpenter, then he worked as a printer and journalist on the Tivy-side. He began to compete in Bethsaida Eisteddfod in 1868, when he first used the name Ossian Dyfed. He won over 50 eisteddfodic prizes.

He left Cardigan to work on the Brecon Express, Y Darian and the Mellten (Merthyr Tudful). He returned to Cardigan and attended D. M. Palmer’s Academy before entering Brecon Memorial College in 1873. He was a minister with the Indpendents in Llanelli (Tabernacl), and during his ministry the membership increased to 400.

He moved to Swansea and membership increased from 60 to 230. He moved then to Tollington Park, London where the membership doubled within three years. He then moved to Richmond Hill, Bornemouth, and finally to Paddington, London, 1897–1903.

He married Elizabeth Davies, Llandeilo in 1881, and they had a son Sidney and a daughter Gwladys. His brother was the Revd. T. Eynon Davies.

He published two volumes of sermons: Old but [yet?] ever new, 1904 and The Dayspring from on High, 1907. Ossian Dyfed died on 24 September 1916 in Shortlands, Kent.

… and one other interesting fact: In 1911 the family was served by a servant maid by the name of Lisette Schmidt, from Germany.

Corner of Eben’s Lane
Ossian House, 2018

Cardigan People 4: Thomas Evans (Tel)

Thomas Evans (Tel; 1861–1929)

You may have heard of Telynog but here is his nephew Tel. Born in Mwldan Upper in 1861. His father John (Telynog’s brother) was a bootmaker and precentor at Bethania (1864–76). Thomas moved to Aberdare in 1888. He was employed as a miner and underground fireman. He also was a fine poet and often competed at local eisteddfodau. His wife Ruth died in 1908. In 1909 he won his first chair in Llwynypia eisteddfod. He won the chair for ‘Angladd ar y Môr’ (Funeral on the Sea) in Cardigan’s Semi-National Eisteddfod of 1909, in front of a crowd of 8, 000. He won 10 bardic chairs. He was also a fine musician, as a choirmaster and he led many Singing Festival across Wales. Tel was also active in the mining community and played an important role on the local miners’ Sliding Scale Committee. He had 8 children, two of them Taliesin (ap Tel) and Ceridwen (Telferch) were also poets.

Cofio Tel
Angladd ar y Môr, Tel. Pryddest Gadeiriol Aberteifi, 1909.

Cardigan People 3: Maria Ann Jeremiah; Elizabeth Lowther; Frances Jeremiah; Rachel Griffiths; Margaret Gray

Maria Anne Jeremiah (1885–1949)

Lived at 15 Greenfield Row

Elizabeth Lowther (c.1833–c.1896)

Wife of Launcelot Lowther. Lived in St Mary’s St.

Frances Jeremiah (1914–30)

Lived in Greenfield Row

Rachel Griffiths (d. 1936, aged 47 yrs.)

Born at Feidrlas. Lived in 22 Eben’s Lane.

Margaret S. Gray (d.1983, aged 72 yrs).

Lived at Glenroy, Bridge St.

Cardigan People 2: Arthur Clougher; John Daniel; Picton Davies; Capt. James Ellis; Asa Johnes Evans

Arthur Clougher (1864–1932)

Newsagent, bookseller, and stationer at 18 High St. Town councillor, and mayor in 1901–02 and 1916–17. He lived at Brooklands, Pendre.

John Daniel (1861–1923)

House furnisher at 19 High St. Town councillor. Mayor 1904–05, 1914. Guardian of the Poor (c.1912).

Picton G. Davies (1885–1970)

Shop assistant at a local ironmonger. Precentor at Bethania Baptist chapel from 1916. From 1916 until 1920 he conducted and trained Cardigan Juvenile Choir, and won at many eisteddfodau; led the choir when it sang at the opening ceremony of Cardigan Memorial Hospital. He conducted singing festivals at Pontyates and Ponthenry, and was responsible for several radio (Caniadaeth y Cysegr) and tv broadcasts from Bethania.

Capt. James Ellis (1810–95).

1848 captain of the Eclair; 1851 captain of the Heather Bell. Retired in 1881. Lived at 9 Castle St in 1854.

Asa Johnes Evans (1810–88)

A solicitor who was the senior partner of the firm of Messrs. Asa and Ivor Evans, solicitors, Green Street. He was a town councillor, and chosen mayor in 1875 and 1876. A Liberal in politics, and a member of the Baptist cause, he had held several important offices, not the least being that of solicitor to the Baptist Association, which office he held for many years.

Cardigan People 2: one of a series to record the faces of people associated with Cardigan, with added notes for each individual where possible. The notes will change as more information comes to light (or corrections made), but the facts will remain. Contributions welcomed. If you have photographs in the attic I would be pleased to hear from you.

Cardigan People 1: William Adey, Thomas F. Baldwin, Evan Bowen, Gwyneth Bowen, Capt. John Bowen

William Pritchard Adey (1915–1987)

Journalist on the Cardigan and Tivy-side Advertiser. Poet: he published Look to the Hills, 1982. Sec. of the horticultural section of the Cardigan and District Agricultural Show. Sec. of the Old Teifi Net Fishermen’s Defence Assoc. Lived in Church St, and later in Bron-y-dre.

Thomas F. Baldwin (1880–1935).

A native of Plymouth. Came to Cardigan c.1910. Ran a fancy goods shop in Empire House, Pendre. Scoutmaster of the 1st Cardigan St Mary’s Troop.

Evan Bowen (b. 1863)

A grocer (Bowen Brothers). He lived at the Elms, Priory St. Town councillor, and alderman by 1914. His wife died in 1904. Mayor in 1905, and his 5yr old daughter Gwyneth, the mayoress.

Gwyneth Bowen (b.14.07.1902)

Mayoress in 1905 to accompany her father Evan (see above).

Capt. John Bowen, master of the Ruth. (d. 24.06.1870, aged 59 yrs.)

His wife Margaret and three daughters, Jane, Hannah and Ann and Mary? (shown) lived in Greenfield Row. John is not mentioned in the Cardigan census after 1841 (away at sea?). Buried in Cardigan Cemetery.

Cardigan People 1: the first in a series to record the faces of people associated with Cardigan, with added notes for each individual where possible. The notes will change as more information comes to light (or corrections made), but the facts will remain. Contributions welcomed. If you have photographs in the attic I would be pleased to hear from you.

A Suffragette from Feidrfair?

Was there a suffragette sympathiser living in Feidrfair in 1911? I have been compiling a list of names of people associated with Cardigan for some time (20,000+ and counting) and I have now reached the 1911 census. Under the entry for Palmyra, in St Mary’s Terrace (or Feidrfair), a house which still stands today, is the following:

Mary Catherine Jones, Servant, single, 32 years old, born in Caernarfon, Bilingual

She has written across the left side of the form: ‘mistress from home’.

At the same time (well, that evening) I happened to be reading a book I had borrowed from the mobile library: Diane Atkinson, Rise Up, Women! Bloomsbury, 2018. On page 249–50

The Women’s Freedom League and the Women’s Social and Political Union urged their members to refuse to supply their personal details to the Census Enumerators on the evening of 2 April 1911. Some forms were left empty, some women wrote in the column entitled ‘disabilities’ the word ‘unenfranchised’. Women were advised to spend the evening away from home to frustrate the Census. (Householders were obliged by law to complete the Census form, and made themselves liable to a fine of £5 or a month in prison if they refused.) Wealthy suffragettes opened their homes to Census resisters, and sympathetic heads of colleges filled their buildings with women who did not want to be at home. Some adventurous women hired gipsy caravans and spent the night out.

And again on page 307:

Mrs Winefrede ‘Win’ Rix  evaded the 1911 Census with her husband’s support|: when he completed the form he gave only his details, omitting any reference to his wife, his daughter and their female servants.

Was the head of household at Palmyra, Feidrfair, a suffragette sympathiser or had she just gone away for a short break? Since her name is not given in the census it is not immediately clear who she was.

As it happens I have a copy of the Annual Report for Bethania Baptist Chapel for 1912 which lists members’ contributions and also those who passed away during the year.

Mynegiad Eglwys Bethania am y flwyddyn, 1912 Marwolaethau yn y flwyddyn 1912:

July 13 Margaret Jones, Palmyra 64 oed

Was she a local suffragette?

If there is someone out there who is familiar with suffragette history in Cardiganshire in the early 20th cent. please get in touch.