Symud i'r prif gynnwys

SOME FARMERS OF BYGONE PEMBROKESHIRE By F. JONES 'THE British people have been accustomed for some considerable time to colonising and making fertile vast tracts of land in various parts of the globe. All the projects of reclamation and irrigation have been rendered possible by the plough, the axe, the pick and shovel. In short, the Empire owes as much to its husbandmen, plain homely and sturdy farmers, as to its naval and military leaders, whose names and exploits are worthily recorded in the annals of our race. Yet the colonisation of Britain, which is a history of our farming community; has not been brought home to the people of these islands, and the significance of the struggles and experiments, failures and successes of farmers and landowners is now only being slowly recognised by the modem inheritors of English soil. This essay is an attempt to present the record of some men and societies who have in bygone days con- tributed to agricultural improvements in the county of Pembroke. This has been done for England by Professor Scott Robertson and Mary Elliott Hobbs in Great Farmers, and it is to be hoped that in time a similar work will be produced for the Principality. It is a work that entails exacting labour and its preparation will cover a good many years. The methods by which marsh lands and tracts of heath were made to produce food and to support families is certainly worthy of permanent record. This script deals only with the fringe of the subject and a very small comer of the country. The early eighteenth century saw a general effort being made to improve agriculture. These efforts, largely unco-ordinated, repre- sented only a small section of the farming community. However, from about 1750 there was a genuine awakening and a determined effort made by landowners and farmers to improve the condition of the land and stock. Societies were formed, rewards were offered for crops and cattle, and the Royal Society encouraged husbandry by offering premiums for good works. The results were often noted by travellers, such as Warner (Walks in Wales, 1798, pp. 339-342), who describes the conditions in North Pembrokeshire in 1798. He writes "Our object was Eglwyswrw, a small village in Pembrokeshire, about six miles from Kilgarran, where we had already bespoken accomodations for the night. The road to this place carried us through a rich country, which, unlike any thing we had hitherto seen in Wales (excepting in the vale of Clwyd), exhibited a general system of good husbandry. We observed with much satisfaction the admirable effects of this system in the appearance of the lands, and the heaviness