Monday 13 September 2010

A History of Early Methodism Part 2

Weekend in a holiday flat at Llwyngwair, Newport (Pembs), with my mum and brother over from Spain to visit our niece. This is the ancient seat of the Bowen family, proper Welsh crachach descended from Gwynfardd Prince of Dyfed when England was still Saxon. In the late C18 a crowd of armed radicals led by the mayor of Newport marched on the manor. The intended victim George Bowen generously got the mayor off the very serious charges which ensued by bribing the main prosecution witness to go abroad. Obviously a decent chap the same Bowen, a supporter of Methodism, welcomed John Wesley (along with William Williams Pantycelyn and others) as a frequent visitor to the house en route from his bedsitter in Bristol (see this post) to Ireland. Never a dull moment for George who also led troops into Fishguard to defend the town against the French invasion of 1797 (see this post). Evidently George was a bit of a radical but drew the line at letting French revolutionaries threaten his inheritance. Much of this is recorded in an article in the Pembrokeshire Historian by the late Wales Herald Extraordinary Major Francis Jones whom I remember coming round regularly to the Dyfed Rural Council offices circa 1982 where I was the surly and uninterested custodian of the magazine's back numbers.

Two good swims in "refreshing" conditions at Aberbach and Cwm-yr-Eglwys plus fishing and shell-fishing (what the French call coquillage) - total yield one big prawn which is spared the pot. We could have got unlimited mussels but this is vetoed for fear of an unholy cooking aroma offending the aristocratic ghosts (and lesser, but living visitors) back at the manor.