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When William Reigned. -

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When William Reigned. Fishguard and Goodwick in 1831, Parliamentary Statistics. ["Echo" Special.] Across the border exists no greater authority upon the state of any particular locality in immediate pre-Vlctoritun times than Moule's "English Counties," a ponderous and. compre- Jiensive work published in two volumes in 1837, and second only in historic and referential value to the Doomsday Book. Unfortunately however, this stupendous work (ignores, for some inexplicable reason, the whole of the Principality of Wales, with the result that those who essay the task of produc- ing guides within that area are compelled to seek eleewhere for data of historical value. At the present moment a guide to Fishguard and her environs is being produced under the auspices of the Urban Council, and no efforts have been spared by the Clerk to that Authority (Mr. A. J. Hodges) and others responsible, to I render it as complete a-s possible. Printers and Eublishers, hov/ever, bear a decided iesemb- ince to Time and Tide, inasmuch as they wait for no man, and various documents which have recently been purchased by Air. Hodges, have arrived too late for inclusion in the vol- ume now in the Press. One of these consists of a pamphlet—presum- ably a Parliamentary "white paper"—signed by Messrs- T. F. Ellis, junior, and W. Wylde, accompanying which a, map of Fishguard (reduced from the ordinance survey), lithograph- ed by Mr. J. Netherclift, the back of which bears the pencilled date "20th January, 1832." So far as can be gleaned from an examina- tion of e documents, they appear to have been coled in connection with one of the Reform Bills, and to be an official report of a couple of commissioners appointed to define the area around Fishguard which should be .treated-for electoral purposes—as part and parcel of the Pembroke and Haverfordwest Boroughs. The document referred to is as follows:- Haverfordwest District. FISHGUARD. Situation of Fishguard. 1. THE Town of FISHGUARD lies on the North coast of'Pembrokeshire, at the head of Fishguard Bay, which is a port of the Irish Channel. Fishguard is at the distance of 250 miles from London, and of 16 from Haverford- west, to the north of which it lies. Proposed Franchise. 2. By the late Bill, Fishguard was to have contributed with Haverfordwest, Narberth, and St. David's, to send one Member to the House of Commons. It has hitherto had no share in the representation- Upper and Lower Town. 3. -The town is divided into two parts, Upper and Lower. The Upper is principally on the upper part of a very steep hill, at the foot of which the River Gwaine flows through an al- most precipitous ravine, having the Upper Town on its left bank. The Lower Town lies almost entirely in the bottom, on the right bank of the Gwaine. Parish and Chapelries. 4. The present Parish of Fishguard is very extensive. It seems originally to have been much smaller, and to have had attached to it three Chapelries. All these Chapelries are at present comprehended within the Parish. This part of the history of the place rests, however, partly upon conjecture. Borough and Manor.' 5. There is a well known district in the Parish, called the Borough. It probably com- prehends so much of the Parish as was origin- ally distinct from the three Chapelries. There is a tradition that it possessed a Charter, and that this was of the time of King John and was lost during the great civil war. The probability of this is to a certain degree strengthened by the fact that, at that time, there was a Com- mission sent down hither by the Parliament; and, from the documents now remaining, it is clear that the then existing Tecords were in the hands of the Commissioners. It is very difficult now to ascertan the original state oi the Borough. There certainly was and is a Manor here; and, as is the case in very many Welsh Boroughs, the Manor and Borough, if there really was an actual Borough, were for many purposes united. It is not quite impos- sible that the existence of the Manor may have given rise to a mistaken belief in the existence of a Borough; but, on the whole, we think the evidence decidedly in favour of the existence of an ancient Incorporated Borough, properly so called. Boundary of the Ancient Borough. 6.—The limits of the Borough appear to be well known, though there is an inaccurate ac- count of them in a presentment by a Jury in 1823. It will be seen by the Map that the Borough is wholly on the left bank of the Gwaine. General Condition and Prospects of the Town and its Neighbourhood. T. The Town is spoken of by some as a thriving place, by others, as a place of which the prosperity is declining; all, however, admit that it is still extending itself, and that its rate of increase has lately diminished. During the war it was active and prosperous. It is said that there were at that time 100 vessels belonging to the port. There is very good an- chorage in the Bay, where ships, in most winds, lie very safely; but, in some winds, the situation is very dangerous. The want of a Pier is much felt, especially as a small one, which was here a few years ago has gone to decay. The Bay is, however, still resorted to by vessels under particular circumstances of I weather. It is said that the Town has suffered from the competition of Steam Boats; this sup- poses that some circumstances exist which pre- vent Fishguard from having Steam Boats of ite own. The place supplies the wind-i>oun<i vessels which lie in the Bay- Corn and Butter are exported to Bristol and Liverpool. Some Cattle are sent inland to Haverfordwest. There was formerly a considerable Herring Fishery here, but latterly it became unproductive and has been discontinued, with the exception of so much as is kept up to supply the consump- tion of the neighbourhood. The Imports are Coal and Culm from Milford and Swansea; Coal from Newport, Qardiff, etc.; Limestone from Milford; Shop Goods; and Timber. Fishguard is principally occupied by trades- men, mariners, and mechanics; it contains a few persons of moderate independent property, and some retired officers of the Army, and of the military and commercial marines. The Lower Town is composed of houses of a lower description, in general, than those in the Upper Town. The number of English residents has increased latterly; they seem to have been attracted bv the cheapness of the place, and by the salubrity, for which the climate- here is highly esteemed. The Clergyman has latterly found it proper to preach an English sermon every Sunday. Many trades are carried on in the same shop, a circumstance which shows that the Town is not yet in a very forward state. In the neighbourhood of the Town, land lets for 94 per acre; in the rest of the Parish the rent per acre may be averaged at 15s. Some farms contain as much as 300 acres; some are held for as little as £5 per annum. The tenures are various, for life, for terms, and from year to year. Wages are low. It seems, on the whole, probable that the I Town will continue to increase, especially to- wards the west. If the Harbour were artific- ially improved (which we believe was at one time contemplated by Government) the advance of the Town would certainly be rapid; and it is by no means improbable that it may become a watering place, as it is very favourably situ- ni-osl for this nllTDOse. The Assessed Taxes raised from Fish- £ s d guard in the year ending 5th April, 1829 were 34 0 3 In-the year ending 5th April, 1830 23 8 0 In the year ending 5th April, 1831 1/ l' o Population. 8. the Population of Fishguard was, by the Returns, 1,503 in 1801. 1,572 in 1831. 1,837 in 1S81. Fishguard Town 1,113 Fishguard Bottom 290 West Country Division 352 Chapel Quarter _J^1>990 in 1831. The divisions of the Parish just enumerated do not constitute the regular divisions; they were selected by the officer who. took the late Census, and who wished to inform himself in what proportions the population was made up. Here Fishguard Town is the Upper Town^ and Fishguard Bottom contains the Lower Town, and little more. The Borough is more exten- sive than the part here named Fishguard The West Country Division contains all on the i left bank of the Gwaine which is not Fishguard Upper Town. Inhabited Houses. 9. The Inhabited Houses were, by the Re. turns, 344 in 1801. 437 in 1821. Fishguard Town 262 Fishguard Bottom <> West Country Division 74 Chapel Quarter 50„63 in l831. 10. These results show an increase for the 30 years in the Population of rather more, and in the Houses of rather less, than one third, lhe rate of increase seems to have been most rapid during the second decade. f Both in 1821 and 1831 the number of females very much exceeded that of the males; this is owing to so great a part of the population being maritime. Assessment to the Inhabited House Duty. 11. One House in the Parish is assessed to the Inhabited House Duty as of L10 value and upwards. Number of L10 Houses estimated by inspecting the Poor Rate Book. 12. On examining the Poor-rate Book, with one or two of the inhabitants, we arrived at the following result: 87 number of Houses whieh, including land attached, are worth £ 10. 63 number of these which would not Teaoh that value if the land were not reck- ^slfnumber of them i* the Borough alto- ^40 dumber of them in the Upper Town, and of course in the Borough. 3 number of them in the Lower Town, of course not in the present Borough. Circumstances to be considered in choosing a Boundary. 13. We are of opinion that the new Borough ought to comprehend the Lower Town; and, with this view, we have drawn a line, which we shall hereafter describe, on the right bank erf the Gwaine.. On the Westward of the Parish and Borough is a small Village, Goodie. It consists of fisher- men's houses, almost exclusively; there are but 4 houses of the annual value of iclo in it. The inhabitants come to the market at Fish- guard. The large vessels, lying in the Bay, are close to Goodie, but they are supplied from Fishguard only./ The two places are separated by a marshy ground; and although they ap- pear to be connected on the Map. we do not think that there really is any connection which would make it advisable to include Goodie in the new Borough. The Boundary which we shall propose will give about 55 votes Proposed Boundary. 14. We recommend the following Boundary: From the point (A) at which the Low- water Mark would be cut by a straight line to be drawn thereto from (B) the Gate of the Fort, through the Eastern Extremity of the Southern Wall of the Fort, in a straight line to (B) the gate of the Fort; thence in a straight line to the North-west- ern corner (C) of Parc-y-Morfa Meadow; thence along the Western fence of Parc-y-Morfa Meadow to the South-western corner (D) thereof; thence in a straight line to the highest point (E) of Parc-y-Morfa Rock; thence in a straight. line to the North-western corner (F) of the Fence which divides Glyn Arael from the property of Mr. Vaughan. thence, Southward, along the said Fence of the Glyn Amel property to the point (G) at which the same meets the Northern Stream of the River Gwaine; thence up the said Stream to the point (H) at which the same meets the Boundary of the old Borough; thence, Eastward, along the Boundary of the old Borough to the point. (1) at which the same meets the Low-water Mark; thence, Eastward, along the Low- water Mark to the point (A) first described. T. F. ELLIS, jun. W. WYLDE. SUMMARY of all the Information relative to the Town of Fishguard, laid before Parlia- ment since March, 1831. 1.—Limits'. Proposed by the late Bill to be contributory with Haverfordwest, Narbecth and St. David's. in the Haverfordwest District. 2.-Population. In 1821 In 1831 I Of the Parish of Lower and Upper Fishgua-rd 1,837 1,990 Fishguard Town 1,1131 Fishguard Bottom 290 I o_n West Country Division 352 j Chapel Quarter 235 J 3.-Nuniber of Houses. Assessed to Inhabited House Worth Duty ielo at zClO a year, & up- <& up- > 1821 1831 wards, wards. In the Parish of Lower and Upper Fishguard 477 499 1 87 Within proposed Boun- dary about 400 55 4.-Amount of Assessed Taxes paid: 1828 1829 1830 £ sd £ sd £ sd Fishguard 34 0 3 23 8 0 17 17 6 The reference to Goodie (Goodwick) by the Commissioners is of especial interest by reason of the contemptuous manner in which they dispose of the "small village," which they exclude from the Borough boundaries, thereby unconsciously restricting in 1907 the area of the Fishguard Urban District. Many other interesting particulars may be r I gleaned from the map. Goodwick moor ap- parently then extended to high water mark, the Parrog Toad being merely a track across the morass. Penslade was devoid of either roadway or walks, albeit a couple of buildings stood at the point- of its juncture with West Street. The Slade had no thoroughfare leading to the shore, but, nevertheless, contained three buildings. The Toad now known as Lower Town Hill is shown as an undefined track. The Footpath to the Fort-regarding the Tight of way over which opinions so strongly differ— is clearly defip-ed. Windy Hall is described as "Windy Hul. and the spot now occupied by the Fishguard Vicarage figures as "Vicar's Park." Cilshave is spelt "Cilsiafe," Gwaun as "Gwaine," Glyn-y-mel as "Glyn Amel," Cwm- gwaun as "Cwmgwyn," and Maesgwynnc as "Maesgwyn." "Goodie pier" is shown situated immediately at the base of the present breakwater. The area immediately beyond the Gwaun Valley extremity of Pentowr is described as "The Common." The map and documents are in the custody of the Clerk to the Urban Council, to whose courtesy we are indebted for their use in the foregoing connection, and may be inspected at all reasonable hours upon application to him at the Town Hall, Fishguard.

Reportorial Reminiscences.


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