An Advert – Rev John Williams, Begelly

I mentioned in an earlier post how few first-hand accounts survive of life in the Saundersfoot area from the late 18th and early 19th centuries. I can count those that I know of on the finger of one hand!

However, I have come across references to a second, the diary of Rev John Williams, rector of Begelly between 1793 and 1802. In 1820 extracts from it were included in a memoir of him in the Evangelical and Missionary Chronicle.  The memoir is worth reading if only for the few teasers it throws up about life in Begelly when Williams was rector.

Has the diary survived? If it has, I am sure it would include wonderful nuggets for us. I have searched in all the usual and obvious places but with no success. This post is simply the equivalent of a shop-window advert trying to attract anyone out there on the Net who may just know something of its existence. Fingers crossed.

For the record there’s a short biography of Williams in the Dictionary of Welsh Biography and his will and inventory are included in the NLW’s excellent online collection. Following his death in 1802 his widow, Elizabeth (nee Carruthers), married a Mr William Fowler in Derby in 1809.

Of course, if you know of any further similar first-hand sources then as ever I’d be delighted to hear from you.


4 thoughts on “An Advert – Rev John Williams, Begelly

  1. Elizabeth Carruthers was the sister of my ancestor Johnson Butler Carruthers. I believe she was born in New York State about 1770. The family returned to the UK after 1780. That was when her father Thomas Crothers died. All this vague information comes from land claims in Canada. I would like to know when Elizabeth married John Williams and where? I am trying to figure out her mother’s surname.

    • Interesting.

      I don’t have the marriage information. Assuming this was John’s first marriage, both Elizabeth and John witnessed a will in Begelly in December 1795, both shown with surname Williams. Incidentally, Maria Carruthers is also a witness. If you search on the National Library of Wales’ wills index for Elizabeth Williams, Gumfreston, 1807, you’ll find this will.

      You’ll also find Revd Williams’ will too if you haven’t seen it, in 1802.

      • Thank you I have found and read the Will. Elizabeth married William Tancred Fowler of Derby as her second husband and her son John Coke Fowler was a Lawyer and was a Justice of the Peace in Wales. Can’t find any more about Maria Carruthers. The Coke family is also connected – so it goes on – if you ever find anything more about John Williams and or his wife Elizabeth Carruthers I would be interested. Thanks for replying.

  2. Found the marriage – they married in Wrexham in 1793,Elizabeth’s name was misspelled Caruthers. Maria Carruthers had an illegitimate child in 1811 in Broughton, called Eleanor but she died just over a year later. Don’t know what happened to Maria after this.

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