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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.


History of the Church in the County

Puritan Domination; a Period of Depression

"The confiscated possessions of the bishops and cathedral clergy, and even their private estates, fell into the hands of a small committee which 'enjoyed almost complete autonomy of jurisdiction'. succeeded in sequestrating Meidrym to supply the maintenance of a Puritan minister at Tenby............(they) succeeded in appropriating Meidrym etc...."

"... the vicar of Llanfihangel Abercywyn resided at Meidrym, 'ye mother church'. His name was Thomas Price ( grandfather of John Evans, vicar of Eglwys Cymyn).....

"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................. We are informed that there was no assembly of Dissenters (in St Clears).....this is rather surprising on account of its conginuity to Laugharne and Meidrym ..."

"After the restoration......Bishop Lucy became bishop of St David's in 1660.............from the replies to this bishop's 1672.......................At Meidrym, in 1672, the church floor was 'very much out of order, especially ye chancell', and so were the windows and the churchyard stile. "

"The vicar of Meidrym held Llanfihangel Abercywyn as well, and of him it is said 'he doth in both preach and officiate himself every Lord's Day when in health and is seldom or never absent'. His salary however was ' very backwardly and slowly paid by ye tenant of ye prebend'. There was a school since 1661, or thereabouts, conducted by 'the vicar and his substitutes'.

A Religious and Educational Movement

" .......except what is told by John Evans in a book published by him in 1752, entitled Some Account of the Welsh Charity Schools (John Evans was a native of the parish of Meidrym, a graduate of Jesus college, Oxford, and the non resident vicar of Eglwys Cymyn....he resided in London.....he was chaplain to the king..."

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 )

  • 1655, Stephen Hughes, Meidrym

"It must be at once admitted that , with four exceptions, these new nominees of the Triers were obscure and mediocre men, who have left but little impress on the records of the time. .......The four exceptions were.........Stephen Hughes at Meidrym ...............the worth of Stephen Hughes was admitted by giving him an increase £52.10s per annum upon the natural revenue of the living of   Meidrym ..........for Stephen Hughes is put down as founding the cause at Mynydd Bach as early as 1650......."

Arminianism, Arianism. Unitarianism

"".....and the Baptist Association of South-West Wales...........proceeded to enforce the decree.........the leaders of the opposition were outside the county(William Richards of Lynn, whose youth however had been spent near Meidrym); but Benjamin Williams of Salem (Meidrym) etc were prominent members of the party............"

"...a terrific war of pamphlets two instances the congregations were so evenly divided that arrangements had to be made for the alternate use of the meeting houses --- Salem, Meidrym itself, and Graig at Newcastle Emlyn."

" by one the dissidents began to creep 1811, the Calvinists at Salem, Meidrym, bought out Benjamin Phillips and his party........................"

Calvinistic Methodism

" .............a study of the place names in Welch Piety, confining ourselves to the period before 1761 (Griffith Jones's death), yields many instances of Methodist homes being used by Griffith Jones as school-houses, some of them  very well-known, such as......................Leger in Meidrym ...."

High Sheriffs of Carmarthenshire, 1541-1900


  • 1642, Philip Lloyd of Meidrym
  • 1670, John Lloyd of Meidrym

Introduction/ Boundaries and Local Divisions

"The western limb of Carmarthenshire belonged to the ancient kingdom of Dyfed, as opposed to  the adjacent Ystrad Tywi. One of the seven cantrefs of Dyfed was Y Cantref Gwarthaf, signifying  the 'topmost' division of the realm, i.e the one furthest from the governmental base. The size of Cantref Gwarthaf in Dyfed is shown by its containing the unusually large number of eight commotes, viz., Elfed, Derllys, Penrhyn, Ystlwyf, Talacharn, Amgoed, Peuliniog, and Efelffre, all of which except the last are now in Carmarthenshire. The data for fixing their boundaries is not so conclusive as up until this point, six of the eight commotes were merged under Henry VIII in the hundred of Derllys and the thorough Norman settlement of most of this region previously makes it difficult to disentangle the ancient areas ..........It remains to locate Ystlwyf. This is not so easy, both in the Welsh form and in the English form Osterlof (which may be the original).......nowhere is its situation seems safest to accept the view that this commote lay between the Cywyn and the Cywin, and was co-extensive with the ancient parish of Meidrym ...."

The Age of the Native Princes

The Early Church; Rise of the Kingdom of Deheubarth

"The fame of the Christian pioneers has been eclipsed by that of the men who filled Wales with monasteries. Among those no name is more renowned than that of St David (Dewi Sant), and nowhere is his activity more apparent than in what is now the county of Carmarthenshire. In a poem in honour of St David, composed in the twelfth century by Gwynfardd Brycheiniog, five, if not six, of the leading churches of the county are ascribed to the patronage of this saint. They are...................... Meidrym etc........"

Prehistoric and Roman Times

List of Carmarthenshire Hill Forts/Hill Forts with Earthen Ramparts


  • Pen-y-gaer, Meidrym

List of Carmarthenshire Hill Forts/Fortresses utilising promontories etc


  • Sarnau Farm, Meidrym


"West of Carmarthen; .....thus another 'Via Julia' is shown on the maps in the parishes of Meidrym and Merthyr, the high road from Carmarthen to St Clears being thereby denoted as 'Roman'.