All things Pembrokeshire

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Augustus John

Augustus John was born in Tenby on 4th January 1878. He was a Welsh painter, mainly of portraits, a draughtsman and etcher. At age 17, he attended Tenby Art School for a short time before leaving to study at Slade School of Art UCL in London. He died on 31st October 1961

Bartholomew Roberts

Known as Black Bart or Barti Ddu, he was an infamous pirate estimated to have captured over 400 vessels and accrued some 50 million pounds of loot. He was born in 1682 in Casnewydd Bach or Little Newcastle, a village between Fishguard and Haverfordwest.

Christian Charles Philip Bale

Has been crowned 'top 8 most powerful cult figure' of the past decade and one of 'the most creative people in entertainment'. Christian Bale was born in Haverfordwest in 1974

Clive Merrison

Clive Merrison was born in Tenby in 1945 and is an actor of film, television, stage and radio. He trained at Rose Bruford College. His many roles include those in Doctor Who, Reilly: Ace of Spies, Tomb of the Cybermen and Paradise Towers. He has also been in Yes, Prime Minister, Midsomer Murders, The Bill and Foyle's War.

Colin George

Colin George (born 20 September 1929) is a Welsh actor and director, born in Pembroke Dock, Wales. He is known for his many roles in numerous theatre productions as well as the founder of the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield (project time period 1945-68).
Colin George was also a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company during the years 1994-1999, in plays such as
Peer Gynt, Coriolanus, Measure for Measure, The Merchant of Venice and The Tempest and a stage musical adaptation of the French film Les Enfants du Paradis. Television work has included The Doctors in 2005.
George has also directed many plays including
Antony and Cleopatra and A Man For All Seasons, Richard III, Autumn Crocus, The Merchant of Venice, The Chairs and The Persians, The Boy Friend and The Heiress and The Stirrings in Sheffield on Saturday Night.

Dai Evans

Dai Evans was born in Maenchlochog but came to the Rhondda Valley to find work. A policeman by profession, Evans was one of the first 'Rhondda forwards', an aggressive style of forward player who was expected to play a more physical style game

Dick Francis

Born in Tenby in 1920. Famous author of the 'Dick Francis Mysteries' series, Twice Shy, Blood Sport, In the Frame and many others. A TV series was made of the thriller, The Racing Game

George Owen

OWEN , GEORGE ( c. 1552 - 1613 ), historian, antiquary, and genealogist ; b. c. 1552 at Henllys , in the parish of Nevern , north Pembrokeshire , the eldest son of William Owen ( c. 1486 - 1574 ) (q.v.) , a successful lawyer who purchased the barony of Cemais of John Tuchet , lord Audley , in 1543 , and became lord of Cemais . George Owen 's mother was Elizabeth , daughter of Sir George Herbert of Swansea , brother to William , first earl of Pembroke of the Herbert line (second creation — see under Herbert ). He completed his formal education at Barnard's Inn where he was admitted in 1573 but soon afterwards he took up residence at his ancestral home at Henllys and became the most influential squire in north Pembrokeshire . He m. (1), 1571 , Elizabeth , daughter and co-heiress of William Philipps of Picton (q.v.) , by whom he had eleven children, the eldest son being Alban Owen (d. 1658 ) who succeeded his father as lord of Cemais and sheriff of Pembrokeshire in 1620 and 1643 , and (2), Ancred , daughter of William Obiled , of Carmarthen , who bore him seven natural children, and five after marriage. Two of his natural sons by his second wife achieved a measure of fame — George Owen , ‘ York Herald ’ — see D.N.B. and Evan Owen ( 1599 - 1562 ), chancellor of S. Davids ( 1644 - 1662 ).
George Owen 's life was much troubled by a succession of lawsuits with his enemies in the county, chief among whom were
Sir John Perrott (q.v.) and William Warren of Tre-wern . He and his mother were involved in much litigation over their claims to manorial franchises in the lordship of Cemais . He took a prominent part in public affairs and served as sheriff of Pembrokeshire in 1587 and 1602 . As deputy vice-admiral for the counties of Pembroke and Cardigan , deputy-lieutenant , and justice of the peace over a number of years, he was active in the affairs of the militia and strove to persuade the authorities to fortify Milford Haven in face of the persistent fears of a Spanish invasion. He was one of the commissioners appointed by the crown to survey Sir John Perrott 's property on the latter's attainder in 1592 . He d. 26 Aug. 1613 , and lies buried at Nevern .
George Owen , was deeply influenced by the great awakening of interest in history and antiquities which marked the age of Elizabeth in Wales as well as England . Not only was he a student of the work of
Humphrey Llwyd (q.v.) , David Powel (q.v.) , Sir John Price (q.v.) , and their contemporaries in England , but he was on familiar terms with William Camden , whom he helped, Lewys Dwnn (q.v.) , Thomas Jones (‘ Twm Sion Cati ,’ q.v.) , and other antiquaries and genealogists of his day. He was the centre of a small group of writers in Pembrokeshire which included George Owen Harry (q.v.) , Robert Holland (q.v.) , and George William Griffith (q.v.) , and he gave his patronage and the hospitality of Henllys to many of the Welsh bards of the period. His most important work is ‘ The Description of Penbrockshire ’ which appears to owe something of its design to Richard Carew 's Survey of Cornwall ( 1602 ). The ‘ First Booke ,’ a general history of the county, was completed on 18 May 1603 ; only a fragment of the ‘ Second Booke ’ (published in N.L.W. Jnl. , v), a detailed history of the county parish by parish, has survived and it is doubtful whether Owen ever completed his ambitious scheme. He had already written ‘ A Dialogue of the present Government of Wales ’ in 1594 . Other works of his are ‘ A Treatise of Lordshipps Marchers in Wales ,’ ‘ The Number of the Hundreds, Castells, Parish Churches and ffayres…in all the Shiers of Wales ’ ( 1602 ), which is commonly known as the ‘ Description of Wales ,’ a fragment called ‘ A Cataloge and Genelogie of the Lordes of the Baronye of Kemes, Lordes of Kemes ,’ ‘ Prooffes that the Lordship of Kemes is a Lordshippe Marcher ’ (in ‘ Baronia de Kemeys ’ in Arch. Camb. , supplement, 1862 ), ‘ Pembrock and Kemes ’ (partly published), and several tracts on the barony of Cemais , ‘ A Pamphelett conteigninge the description of Milford havon,’ … 1595 , and other writings on the same subject. There is a transcript of the ‘ Treatise of Marie ’ ( 1599 ) in the ‘ Vairdre Book ’ in N.L.W. (Bronwydd collection) . He also compiled a commonplace book called ‘ The Taylors Cussion ’ (ed. E. M. Prichard , 1906 ). A miscellaneous collection of his antiquarian notes and historical records of Cemais known as the ‘ Vairdre Book ’ as well as the ‘ Register Book of Kemes ’ (published in Arch. Camb. , supplement, 1862 ) were made under his direction. Owen was an able and industrious genealogist and armorialist who came under the influence of the College of Arms , but most of his work in this field remains in manuscript (see Trans. Cymm. , 1948 , 378-82). He also produced a map ( 1602 ) of Pembrokeshire which Camden included in the sixth edition of the Britannia ( 1607 ).
Dr Bertie George Charles, Ph.D., (1908-2000), Aberystwyth.

Gerald of Wales

Gerald of Wales (c. 1146 – c. 1223), also known as Gerallt Gymro in Welsh or Giraldus Cambrensis in Latin, archdeacon of Brecon, was a medieval clergyman and chronicler of the times. Born around 1146 at Manorbier Castle, he was of mixed Norman and Welsh blood, his name being Gerald de Barri.

Glyn Edmund Daniel

Born in Lampeter Velfrey in 1914. He was an archaeological authority and scriptwriter who wrote detective stories under the alias of Dilwyn Rees

Gruff Rhys

Super Furry Animals lead vocalist and guitarist, born in Haverfordwest in 1970

Gwendolen Mary John

Sister of Augustus, Gwen John was born in Haverfordwest on 22nd June 1876. Like her brother she was also an artist noted for her portraits of anonymous female sitters. Gwen spent most of her career in France.

Gwen John

Helen Watts

A world famous opera singer, born in Milford Haven in 1927. She attended Tasker Milward School in Haverfordwest. She was a leading contralto of a group of welsh singers who came to prominence in the 1950's and 1960's. Helen was awarded a CBE in 1978

Henry VII

Henry VII

Born in Pembroke Castle on 28th January 1457, King Henry VII died on 21st April 1509 and is buried at Westminster Abbey. He reigned from 1485 - 1509. He had 3 sons and 4 daughters by Elizabeth of York whom he married on 18th January 1486. Elizabeth died on 2nd February 1503.

Jemima Nicholas

Jemima Nicholas (often spelt Niclas; baptised 2nd March 1755-- died July 1832), also known as Jemima Fawr, was a Welsh heroine who led the women of Pembrokeshire into battle in what is known as the last invasion of Britain. n 2006 at the records office in Haverfordwest records were found by a local College lecturer and father of two, Andrew Thomas BSc(Hons) of Thornton, Milford Haven, which show a Jemima Nicholas being baptised in the parish of Mathry on 2 March 1755.

John Bowen (Bishop)

Bishop John Bowen was born at Court, near Fishguard on November 21st 1815. At twelve years of age he was sent to school at Merlin's Vale, near Haverfordwest and in 1830 continued his studies at the same place under the care of the Rev. David Adams.

Jonathan Thomas

Born in Pembroke in 1982, Welsh international rugby player. Has played for Pembroke and Swansea RFC

Kenneth Griffith

Born in Tenby 12th October 1921, Kenneth Griffith was an actor and documentary film maker. He died on 25th June 2006.

Richard Fenton

FENTON , RICHARD ( 1747 - 1821 ), poet and topographical writer ; b. [in Jan.] 1747 at S. Davids , son of Richard and Martha Fenton . He was educated at the Cathedral school , S. Davids , and Magdalen College , Oxford [but Foster has no record of his matriculation. For many years he was a civil servant , at the Custom House in London , but in 1774 he had joined the Middle Temple ], and in Jan. 1783 he was called to the Bar . He went on circuit in Wales for several years, but became increasingly interested in literary rather than in legal pursuits. His friends included Goldsmith and Sir Richard Colt Hoare (q.v.) ; at Hoare 's suggestion he wrote his Historical Tour through Pembrokeshire ( 1810 , 2nd ed. Brecon , 1903 ). He also wrote A Tour in Quest of Genealogy ( 1811 ), Memoirs of an Old Wig ( 1815 ) — witty anecdotal works published anonymously — and two volumes of poems ( 1773 and 1790 ); and he left many works in manuscript. [These manuscripts were bought in 1858 by Sir Thomas Phillipps (q.v.) , and are now in the Cardiff City Library ; a selection was edited by John Fisher (q.v.) and published in 1917 as Tours in Wales, 1804-1813, by Richard Fenton . When in London , Fenton was a member of the Cymmrodorion and in 1778 was one of its two librarians ; there is a kindly reference to him in a letter of 1779 from Richard Morris to Pennant ( N. L. W. Jnl. , vi, 193) — ‘I am endeavouring to make him a good Welshman, … he is deficient that way, but comes on bravely.’ In 1776 Fenton had become also a member of the Gwyneddigion Society ( Leathart , Origin … of the Gwyneddigion , 62); he was a friend of William Owen Pughe 's; in 1795 and 1796 (in the Cambrian Register ) he edited George Owen 's ‘ Description of Pembrokeshire .’]
Fenton was a good linguist , described by a contemporary as a person ‘of indefatigable industry of a fine poetical fancy,’ and as ‘having the best information on almost every subject.’ He was, by reason of his knowledge of Welsh affairs and dialects , employed by government departments to report upon matters connected with the social and political conditions of Wales . He lived for a few years ( c. 1788 ) near Machynlleth in order to facilitate his tours in Wales and studies of Welsh records , returning to Pembrokeshire in 1793 in order to be near his uncle, Samuel Fenton , whose mercantile fleet he subsequently inherited, and continued to operate. In 1799 he brought grain from the Mediterranean , free of freight charge, and sold it at cost price to local people impoverished as a result of the failure of the fish harvest in 1799 .
He m. Eloise , daughter of Colonel ( Baron ) Pillet de Moudon , of Swiss birth but settled in England . He d. at Plas Glynamel , Fishguard , early in Nov. 1821 , and was buried at Manor Owen , near Fishguard .
Frederick John North, O.B.E., D.Sc., F.G.S., F.S.A., F.M.A., (1889-1968), Cardiff.

Robert Recorde

Robert Recorde

Robert Recorde was born in Tenby in 1510 and died in London in 1558. His parents were Thomas Recorde and Rose Jones. Thomas Recorde's father was from Wales and Rose Jones was the daughter of Thomas Jones from Machynlleth in Montgomeryshire. Robert was the second son of Thomas and Rose and, although the date is not definitely known, it is thought that he entered the University of Oxford in about 1525. Robert Recorde was famous for inventing the = sign and wrote "... bicause noe 2 thynges can be moare equalle"

Rod De'Ath

Rod was born Roderick Morris Buckingham De'Ath. He was born in Saundersfoot on 18th June 1950. He later moved to live in Wisemans Bridge. Rod attended Greenhill School, Tenby.
He was playing drums for a band called "Killing Floor" in London when he met Gerry McAvoy (Long time Bass player with Rory Gallagher). Gerry had actually knocked on Rod's door when Rod was looking for a lodger. The then drummer with Rory, Wilgar Campbell, was unable to go on a European tour. Rory phoned Rod to see if he was free and got him to meet him in Ireland. Rod was taken on full time in 1972 and left in 1978. During that time, Rod was involved with the making of 5 albums and travelled all over the world. He has played with such people as Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters. After he left Rory's band he went on to form a band called "Ramrod" with the late Lou Martin (Keyboards). Unfortunately, Rod was forced to retire after a serious accident & now lives in London.

rod de'ath

Rhys Ifans

Rhys Ifans, a Welsh actor and musician was born in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales, in 1967, the son of Beti Wyn (née Davies), a nursery school teacher, and Eirwyn Evans, a primary school teacher. His first language is Welsh. Ifans grew up in Ruthin, North Wales, and received his primary education at Ysgol Pentrecelyn, before attending Ysgol Maes Garmon, a Welsh language secondary school in Mold, Flintshire, where he sat his O levels and A levels. He also attended youth acting schools at Theatr Clwyd, Mold and trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Tenby Davies

Tenby Davies

Frederick Charles Davies was born at South Parade in Tenby on 12th April 1884 and died 23rd July 1932. Known as Tenby, he was a world class athlete who became the half-mile world professional champion in 1909 in a race against Irishman Beauchamp Day. He is one of the greatest runners Wales has ever produced.

Waldo Williams

waldo williams
Waldo Williams was born in Haverfordwest, the son of a schoolteacher. English was the first language of the family and it wasn’t until he moved to Fynachlog-ddu and attended the local school at seven years of age that he was immersed himself in the Welsh language.
His parents were firm chapel-goers who were also influenced by the radical movement of the time. As pacifists, they were strongly opposed to the First World War. Williams grew up in an environment that would give him a unique view later in life. It led to him being breaking the law and being imprisoned for his stance against the Korean war in 1950.
From Narberth grammar school he went to the University of Wales, Aberystwyth to study English before returning to his beloved Pembrokeshire to become a teacher.
He was a conscientious objector to Word War II, and the horror of war was evident in his poems during this period – Y Tangnefeddwyr (The Peacemeakers), which describes “Abertawe’n fflam” (“Swansea aflame”) is one which stays in the memory.
Williams stood as Plaid Cymru candidate in the General Election of 1959, but he was not a political animal by nature. He spread his gospel as a nationalist through his poems and he had considerable political influence on the younger generation of activists.
It’s certain that Williams is the only Welsh language poet to be quoted by an Archbishop Of Canterbury. In an attempt to define what is life during a sermon in an international conference in New York in 2003, Rowan Williams stated the Welsh poet was as close as any to the definition in his poem Pa Beth Yw Dyn (What Is Man), when he wrote ‘Cael neuadd fawr/Rhwng cyfyng furiau’ (“Inhabiting a great hall/between narrow walls).

Wyn Calvin

Born in Narberth in 1928. A variety performer and one of country's best pantomime dames.