Piercefield Estate, nr Chepstow
The estate was purchased for £90,000 cash in 1802 by Nathanial Wells, born in St Kitts 1779 the son of William, a Cardiff sugar merchant and his house slave Juggy. He married the only daughter of Charles Este, a former chaplain to George II.
Camarthen, St Peter’s Church
Burial place of Sir Richard Steele (1672-1729) author, playwright, co-editor of The Spectator.
Clarkson praised his ‘affecting story’ of Inkle and Yarico, based on a true story which he embellished and published in The Spectator in 1713.
Birthplace of Griffith Hughes (bapt 1707 d 1758?)
He was recommended to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel and became a missionary in Pensylvania from 1732-6. From 1736-48 and perhaps into the 1750s he was in Barbados. Returning to England in 1743 he arranged for publication of his ‘Natural History of Barbados’ which was lavishly produced and published in 1748.
Aberglasney, Llanfynydd, Camarthenshire
Birthplace of John Dyer (bapt 1699 d 1757) poet.
He trained as a painter under Richardson, and studied law, and his wide circle of friends included Richard Savage and the Wesleys. Though mocked by Dr Johnson, his epic poem ‘The Fleece’ was highly praised by Clarkson, Wordsworth and Grey. The poem took 15 years to write, the first extended descriptive poetry, using the language of real people, giving a real sense of people and landscapes.
Trials of Newport Chartist rioters were held in the marketplace in 1839. John Frost, former mayor of Newport and 2 others were the last people in Britain to be convicted of high treason and faced being hanged drawn and quartered. At the last minute this was commuted, fearing further disturbances, they were transported to Australia instead.
Possible birthplace of Joseph Jekyll, c. 1753 son of a Royal Navy captain, and one of the few successful Welsh politicians of the 18th century, he became Solicitor General. He travelled in France before working as a lawyer and became the biographer of Ignatious Sancho. He was largely ridiculed for his incompetence as MP for Calne, Wiltshire and seems to have spent much of his time socialising. He married the wealthy daughter of architect/antiquarian Hans Sloane. He died 1837.