A History of Carmarthenshire


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

1620-1660, Early Puritism

"It is indeed a thankless task to try and discover the early beginnings of Puritanism in this county. Not a single one of the inconformable preachers vaguely mentioned in the annual reports of the Bishops of St. David's can be definitely attached to Carmarthenshire ; it is just possible, but not provable, that Anthony Thomas was one of them---a person who in 1635 was in receipt of £50 a year for preaching the gospel in Welsh---this on the dangerous ground that no other county lays claim to him.  At first sight, Richard Parry of Llanfallteg seems to supply very stirring and sensational relief to this grey-tinted obscurity, he who was in May, 1634, fined one thousand marks by the Court of High Commission, and, on his failure to pay this sum, was given a home at Pembroke prison, being afterwards taken to the Tower Chamber at the Fleet. What else was to happen to a man who could incontinently shout out in the service that the devil was in his knees when he was expected to kneel, tell the rector to his face that he (Parry) could preach better than he, scornfully command one of the Archdeacon's officials to go and hang himself, with no end of other contemptuous words about archdeacons, bishops, and the whole clerical order ? Richard Parry was no Prynne or Bastwick ; he was nothing more than an uncontrollable brawler and barrator, alien from the Puritan ideal ; more, he did not live in Llanfallteg East, but in Pembrokeshire, and was a newcomer even there......"

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 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 ) "

  • Morgan Rice, Llanfallteg (1657)

High Sheriffs of Carmarthenshire 1541-1900

The list includes;

  • 1740 John Protheroe of Llanfallteg

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 vicar of Llanfallteg held another benefice about a mile away, where he resided; he served both churches himself. There was no parsonage house. The Dissenters did not send their children to church to be catechised and refused to pay the Easter dues and the church rate. We have here another instance of a parish clerk who could not read...."

"........in addition to the commissioners, twenty five Puritan ministers, or 'approvers' ,were selected......these 'approvers, or any five of them, were responsible for the filling of the churches ordered vacant by the Commissioners. Carmarthenshire again had not a single representative among the approvers. The clergy were ejected from the following parishes............. (includes) Llanfallteg. ....."

Prehistoric and Roman Times

Carmarthenshire within the New Stone Age

"It is significant that with one exception all the examples (of stone artifacts) within the county are derived from parishes which abut on the rivers Towy and Taf...........in a list of examples of places where stone axes were found  is;

  • Ploughed up in Garn Wen Farm, Llanfallteg (now in Carmarthen Museum)