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Letters to the Editor


The other day, in Brecon Library, I came across a slight mention of the Society of Sea-Serjeants, the secret society with suspected Jacobite leanings which flourished in West Wales in the mid-18th century.

I am endeavouring to research this old Society and, to this end, I should be most grateful if you could supply me with any information concerning it, or give me book references to help me in my research.*

The Sea-Serjeants had drinking glasses on which was engraved the Society's badge a dolphin within a roundel set on a star. I understand that there are three perfect specimens in existence one in the Anzano Glass Collection, one in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford and one in the Glynn Vivian Gallery, Swansea. I wonder if there are any others.



I am researching into the history of 18th century highwaymen in the Bristol area and my enquiries lead to Carmarthen. In Brief Romances from Bristol's History by Joseph Leech, published in 1884, is a reference to one Higgins, a notorious highwayman of Frenchay, near Bristol, who was caught early in the 18th century and executed at Carmarthen. I would be grateful to know if you have any record of Higgins and his trial.

I am encouraged to write to you after reading an article by Major Francis Jones in Vol. VIII of The Carmarthenshire Historian 1971 entitled "Marching with Thomas Skeel". I was particularly interested in Skeel's visit to the village of Chew Magna near Bristol in search of his two sisters who were in service there. The "Bobelick House" he visited may well have been the Bear and Swan Hostelry, an inn contemporary with Skeel's period, and a recent visit there excited great interest when Skeel's story was told again in the bar parlour by the writer.



A new approach to the study of the Rebecca Riots is provided by D. Cyril Jones and Malcolm M. Jones, who have brought together a selection of source material relating to the period.

Assembled in an illustrated folder, the pack, which is bilingual, appears under the title 'Hel Hanes, History Search. Rebecca' and includes facsimiles of contemporary records and manuscripts, some in Welsh. Accompanying the source material is a set of study cards designed to stimulate critical analysis of the records reproduced, an exercise which provides an exciting alternative to the traditional method of instruction through classroom text-books.

Also available is a tape, on which is recorded a reconstructed episode in dramatic style, as well as the recital of a contemporary ballad, a device which brings a touch of realism to the study exercise.

Although the authors state that the pack is 'an attempt to suggest possible methods of working on the history of the period with classes of school children', no one needing to make a first approach to the study of Rebecca should be put off, and even those familiar with the events recalled will find their interest rekindled.

The price is 1.50 (documentary pack only) or 2.10 complete with the tape. Orders may be placed with the printers, Gwasg Gomer, Llandysul, or with D. Cyril Jones and Malcolm Jones, Carmarthen.
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