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A History of Carmarthenshire

Lloyd, Sir John E., (Ed.). 2 vols., Cardiff, London Carmarthenshire Society (1935, 1939).

With the kind permission of the publishers sundry extracts from this book have been extracted by Gareth Hicks onto some parish pages, these snippets below are in random order.

Here is a list of the book's contents and contributors.


Nonconformity and Methodism

1620-60/The Propagation of the Gospel

"The three years' Propagation Act expired in 1653 and was not re-enacted......early in 1654 the Commissioners for Approbation of Public Preachers came into force (fortunately known for short as Triers)......who had the fullest powers to to review and revise all previous Puritan appointments...............the Triers also made a bold attempt to fill some of the vacant parishes by approving new ministers...........(the following name is in the list of the Trier nominees )

".......such of the clergy ejected by the Puritans who had survived up to ...1660..... were restored to their old livings.....Only two, James Davies of Merthyr, and Meredith Davies of Llannon, of a certainty, were turned out after 1661.....!

1620-60/Baptists

"Long before 1660, the strict Baptist doctrine of John Miles...........had crept from its home in Gower along both banks of the Loughor, before turning definitely westward to Llangennech, Llanelly, Llannon ...................... When the church book of Ilston --- the mother church ----was closed just after the Restoration, it was found that ......and fourteen (came from) the neighbouring district of Llannon ...""

1650-87/Baptists

"Very probably, on account of the frowning opposition of the Vaughans of Llanelly, near kinsmen of the Vaughans of Derwydd, they moved their conventicles from the coast to the uplands of Llannon --- Llangennech and Llannon were to be for close on 50 years the objects of Robert Morgan's particular pastoral care.........In 1672 he is found taking out three licences from Whitehall, one for the house of Joshua Franklin in Llangennech, another at the house of Edward Williams in the same district, and a third at the house of John Morgan in Llannon ............the first entry proves that the Baptists still enjoyed the hearty good-will , if not the active support, of the Jenkin Franklin of Gower who had not only been one of Cromwell's efficient servants in South Wales, but had been baptised at Ilston in 1653, and in one of whose houses the Llangennech Baptist meetings were held from 1657-1660. In 1672, he had a house at  Llangennech, probably the same house, for which he paid a tax for seven hearths.........John Morgan of Allt Fawr by Llannon was one of six Morgans of the parish who were baptised at Ilston: he became the father of two prominent Baptist ministers. Most staunch and loyal of nonconformists he had the rather unique distinction of figuring in the old Ilston register, in the Indulgence Entry Book of 1672 at the Record Office, in the wardens' presentments for 1684, and on a Toleration certificate of 1690 at Carmarthen...""

"The unusually long report of 1684, written Anglicans when the days were darkest for Dissent, unconsciously illustrates the continuity of the Baptist tradition at Llangennech, its rather irresponsible virility, and the support accorded to it by two families of considerable social prestige. At Llannon, John Morgan and his friends are presented for not attending the parish church..........."

"Thus there existed in the same county, in the two decades from 1667 to 1687, with only the land between the northern bounds of Llannon and the southern reaches of Llanllawddog to separate them, two distinct groups of the most exclusive Baptists............."

"...no doubt the coming of toleration was a great time for this earliest colony of John Miles which had at Llangennech in 1684 become a source of great anxiety to the wardens.....they celebrated the new liberty by applying for 5 certificates under the Act --- distributed over houses at Llannon, Llanelly at Llangennech ...........at Llannon in 1705, the stronghold of John Morgan and his Baptist friends, the Dissenters were thick all over the parish, but the wardens add that their meeting place  was at Llwydcoed, and the preacher, one David Penry, the Independent of Llanedi.  This report, without a doubt, obscures unduly the Baptist community the parish, for the district figures prominently in the Association accounts. It was Morgan Jones, a native of Llannon and son to John Morgan, who was now pastor of the widely-extended church of Swansea..."

The Census of 1676

"Still more significant are the Nonconformist numbers from the Baptist point of view. There were four Dissenters at Llannon, all Baptists, in the 1684 report; four is the number in 1676.........."

Arminianism. Arianism. Unitarianism

"...for that matter it cannot at all times have been easy to draw the line between 'orthodox' and 'unorthodox'. ...Capel Seion........... was mostly Arminian under Samuel Jones.......Samuel Jones's successor, Evan Griffiths, was an Arian ---was, indeed, accused of being Utitarian --- and this caused a Calvinistic secession which set up Bethania church in Llannon...."

Wesleyan Methodism

"....and societies were formed at Mynydd Bach (1813), Llannon and Pont y Berem (1814)......."

History of the Church in the County

Puritan Domination; A Period of Depression

"The bishopric remained vacant until ...the appointment of George Bull.........the presentment of church wardens at his primary visitation in 1705 ..... supply evidence as to the state of the churches in the various parishes at the beginning of the 18th century.................The presentment of the church-wardens of the parish of Llannon is suggestive. The vicar is presented for non-residence, 'which we know not how to redress, his salary being so small'. We have here as very distinct reference to the activity of the Dissenters. They had a meeting place at Llwydcoed under the pastoral care of one David Penry..."

High Sheriffs of Carmarthenshire, 1541-1900

Includes;

Economic and Social Life

Agriculture/The Sixteenth Century

"In the Kidwelly survey of  1609, there are numerous references to enclosures of common land.........In the manors of Llanedi, Llannon, and Llangennech, several enclosures had been made by the tenants on the common of Mynydd Bach, where one of them had erected a cottage on the two acres which he occupied........"

Highways

"One traveller informs us that 'many hills were so steep that chains had to be used on the wheels', whilst the road from Llannon consisted of 'hills, high and steep'....."

Medieval divisions

In early medieval terms Carmarthenshire was made up of  Ystrad Tywi [without Gower], Emlyn Uch Cuch and Y Cantref Gwarthaf [without Efelffre]. At some point pre the Norman conquest  Ystrad Tywi itself was divided into Y Cantref Mawr and Y Cantref Bychan.......................In addition to these two cantrefs Ystrad Tywi was generally assigned a third (mentioned in the Mabinogion)........with the doubtful name of Cantref Eginog..............the names of the commotes into which this cantref was divided were undoubtedly well known..........hence it would appear as if Cydweli, Carnwyllion, and Gower had been at some time or other combined to make up a cantref which was not an ancient and recognised division of the country...............the names Gwyr (Gower) and Cydweli (Kidwelly) are to be found in Nennius and other ancient authorities, so that there can be no doubt that they go back to a remote past as descriptive of the tract between Carmarthen and Swansea......................the commote (of Carnwyllion) included the parishes of Llanedy, Llanelly, Llangennech, and Llannon, and was clearly marked off from Gower by the river Loughor...""

Prehistoric and Roman Times

Early Bronze Age

"Two beakers have been found in the county, one at Pale Bach in the parish of Cyffig, the other at Cors-y-dre, Llannon. The Cors-y-dre beaker comes from the south-eastern part of the county. It was found in a cist of stone slabs, measuring some five feet by three, that was unearthed by ploughing.............."[there is a photograph of the beaker opp. page 51 in the book][and  a reference to I C Peate's 'A Beaker from Llannon, Carmarthenshire' Arch Camb 1928 pp338-43]

The Great Stone Monuments

The following is included in examples of meini hirion (standing stones) within  the county;

In a separate list of standing stones is also included;

The Age of the Native Princes

The Early Church:Rise of the Kingdom of Deheubarth

"....these dedications, together with that to the mother of St David at Llannon, bear witness to the activity  and prestige of the saint in the region of the Towy......."

The Later Middle Ages

The Lordships/Carnwyllion

"Mills were many and a source of substantial profit for the Duchy....The mill at Tal-y-clyn (near Hendy), which was working in the 15th century, had been superseded before 1610 by a new grist mill 'upon the forest of Cefngorach', to which the men of Llanedy parish and of Llangennech parish east of Morlais brook owed suit; there was a mill at Llangennech for the other half of the parish. Morlais mill (in Llannon) was the mill for Llannon Maenor............"


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[Gareth Hicks  30 June 2003]

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