"Tragedies"

From time to time tragedy would strike as the residents of Bardsey crossed over from the island to the mainland. One of the greatest tragedies happened about 1722 when several of the islanders lost their lives, most of them women.

They were returning to the island with a supply of flannel which they had exchanged for wool from the island at the wollen mill at Pencaerau. They set off from Porth Meudwy rowing close to shore, but as they approached Pen y Cil and close to the Sound itself a huge wave came and the boat hit a  sharp rock which created a big hole in the side of the boat. The boat began sinking immediately and capsized seaward throwing the passengers out and into the deep water. Had the boat capsized to leeward, there may have been some hope, but not much considering the heavy clothing worn at that time. Even though many many years have passed since then, the rock remains and is known as ‘Carreg Pobl Enlli’  (The rock of the people of Bardsey.)

Another tragedy that occurred was the one that happened on the last day of November 1822 when a boat hit a rock near the Cafn ( the island’s harbour) with the loss of seven lives. Amidst the dead were Thomas Williams 49 years old and his daughter Sydney who was 20.  Thomas Williams was the master of the Bardsey Light Tender. He and his daughter were buried in St Hywyn’s churchyard and the inscription on their grave stone reads thus.  

Memorial

Underneath intered the body of Thomas Williams of Bardsey Island, Mariner aged 49. He perished in the execution of his duty as Master of  the Bardsey Light Tender which was wrecked 30th of November 1822. This stone was here placed in testimony of his regard for the memory of the departed and his integrity by Joseph Goddard, Collr/ of H M Customs Caernarvon, and agent for the Bardsey Light, also the remains of Sydney, daughter of the above Thomas Williams, aged 20, who lost her life on this same melancholy occasion.  

 

 

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