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THE PRESENTATION TO MR. AND…

"THE NEW MEPHISTO" AT THE…

SWANSEA THROUGH CAMBRIAN "…

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SWANSEA THROUGH CAMBRIAN SPECTACLES. (BY HISTORICUS JUNIOR. [ARTICLE LXXIII.] ANCHOVIES IN SWANSEA BAY. It was as far back as the year 1838 that young Deffett Fiaucis came into prominence aa an artist. On April 4th there appeared in the Morning Herald the following announcement :— "Sketch of Her Majesty, by J. D. Francis (engraved by F. C. Lewis). This elegant sketch, which we should consider as the most faithful representation of her Majesty that we have seen, requires no eulogism. In every pr'nt-seller's window in the Metropolis it speaks its own merits and well-deserved popularity." The Cambrian made comment:—" We have much pleasure in copying the above testimony to the talent of our young townsman from the Morning Herald, and congratulate him on the progress he is making in his profession. It may not be generally known that Swansea at one time promised to become a great centre of the trade in anchovies. Mr. L. W. Dillwyn, the President of the Royal Institution—the Swansea Philosophical and Literary Institution, aa it was then aalled—made a memorandum in June, 1802, that the late Mr. Charles Collins showed him 61b. of anchovies which had been taken in Swansea. Bay, and Which he had purchased for a shilling. Mr. Dillwyn lJi)ver gave much attention to Ichthyology, and beyond considering the event of rare occurienee, made no further enquiry. Anchovies bad been taken on the coasts of Britiin, but they were so rare that to procure a British specimen neo^peifcted endless trouble. Mr. Dillwyn'e-cfttention was agnin <k«wn to the subject in the autumn of 1837, when ha timr a considerable number of the same little fish in the weir -t.t Onvicb, "nd so numerous Krero tfcj^ that if a net Vith proper meshes were tIDed, sboals could be 4p,ught in Swansea Bay during the summer months. They were the true ancho^i«s, too, exactly the «ame in flavour and e*ery other respect fts those of vhich 200 or 300 tonx were amxtially imported from the J £ editet#»nean, and on which an import duty of 2d. per lb. was pnid. Some fishermen went to the length if ^daring that not less than a ton Vere often left in the Smntfei. weirs by a einøle tide, though the$«irs were badly oaku-.t8d to hold them. Indeed, in the Eummor of 1837 they a druS in Swansea Sladlet IK; 2d. per lb.-the *t>ry turn tkat they paid as a duty on their importation from 1. horn' Whatnan opportunity for developing the Swansea fisheries. Perhaps Dome modern ichfcby- ollgist Will be able to inform us ta to the present position of the anchovy fisheries In 1838 the tSwansea Town Council trst con- templated the advisability of watering the sfatets on a propercsale. They had previously done so at 1&< £ 8 cspense and with little result. They Ocmld not euf* tfcte S^wnsea of tfigrir dust and filth, and the tradesman's goods "re com- pletely spoiled by the ubiquitous dust. It #ot into the eyes of the inhabitants, it came tiirough cracks tnd key-holes, it settled on every mortal or immortal belonging, and it %»as thrown in the eyes of the Town Council «ntil tney yere reminded that the {jr«t London plagjues fcnd the Stauaeea cholera scare were due to the Cibseace of fche Wateriti^-cart, amongst other sanitary oon- brfranoes. Then tk(ty opated imgoci&tions tyith the Swansea Wtter Company with a view to 3ont*icting for the proper watering of the streets. The 'Water Company met the town in a spirit of pfPftoeful concession." The fgayest event in Swansea in the year 1838 was the corotiation of the Queen, and the picture presented in every town and village in Wales on that eventful 28th of June can be well imagined— particularly with the aid of the quaint pictures of the Dutch Coronation of similar auspices and circumstances enly a "W wotttt ago. Except Edward VI., no monarch had ascended the British throne at so early an age, and the sex of the new monarch rendered her coronation an occasion for peculiar affection. The people of Swansea were early aroused by the bells pealing out from old St. Mary's, and as the day advanced people gathered in little knots under the elaborate decorations, all joining in the prayer Rule, Victoria, rule the free, Heaven defend and prosper thee;" and joining, ever and anon, in the National Anthem. It was a general holiday. Processions of Oddfellows and trade societies passed through the town. Sports were held on the Burrows in the afternoon, and in the evening the round of gaieties was closed with a dinner at the Assembly Rooms. Dr. Hewson's speech was a notable contribution to Coronation oratory. In addition to the ordinary impulses of duty." he said, "the sex of the monarch will infuse a chivalrous ardour into the loyalty of Britons and will animate them to strenuous exertion in whatever cause they may be called upon to act. Whenever or wherever England expects every man to do his duty,' the watch- word of resolution and the talisman of success will, in every British heart, be Victoria The manager of the theatre was enterprising, and commenced the performance each evening during the Coronation week with the procession of Her Gracious Majesty" on the occasion of her Coronation. While this gorgeous pageantry strutted around the stage, the National Anthem was sung and the interior of the theatre was illuminated with variegated lamps-a brilliant spectacle awakening the greatest enthusiasm. Amid the joy of the Coronation, there was at least one miserable individual who had sought in quiet, far-away Swansea, a refuge from a merci- le-s tormentor, all the more merciless, no doubt, because she was a woman with a conviction. This miserable being was the Vicar laC Wrexhill. He inserted the following advertisement in The Cambrian To the Ladies and Gentlemen of Swansea and its Vicinity .-Having come to reside at Swansea within the last two years, and fearing that in this retreat my character will not be free from the tortures of my persecutor, I beg most earnestly to request you not to read that most infamous work, written by that talented lady, Mrs. Trollope, about me, as it is nothing but a tissue of false suppositions, slanderous accusa- tions, and unwarrantable conclusions against my character. Moreover, as the work is kept at all the Swansea circulating libraries, I trust you will use your influence in obtaining its expulsion from their shelves.—I am, Ladies and Gentlemen, yours in the spirit, the VICAR OF WREXHILL. Lawcrow House, Swansea." Was not this rather a publisher's advertisement ? No doubt that book was very widely read in Swansea afterwards The collector cf tolls at Greenhill was a man of I sturdy independence. One night the Llanelly mail coach tumbled up full of passengers. It was brought to a full stop at the gate and the collec- tor demanded the toll. The Inspector of Mails, who happened to be travelling on the coach, claimed exemption. The collector would not listen to him. The coachman showed the bags o letters; but still the collector remained obdurate. Finally, the coachman paid the toll, and the coach passed through. Ia the morning the Inspector applied for a summons, but the collector was penitent. He had seen the error of his ways, and he apologised and returned the toll.

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