History – Victorian Period

What was life like in Treoes during the Victorian Period? As the process of industrialisation created new industries and urban settlements this was a time of great change but for rural villages like Treoes, life went on and people did what they could to make ends meet.

In 1861 Jeremiah Powell was still named as a victualler of Treoes (Maltsters Arms), but this time he has also described himself as a Carpenter. His nephew Ebenezer Williams, born in Clifton Bristol, was now living with William John, whom he described as his brother in law, and his wife Catherine. Ebenezer was later to own Clifton House and no doubt gave it its name. Ebenezer described himself as single, and a Proprietor of Houses. Thomas John also described himself as Victualler and Farmer of Treoes, presumably of the Star Inn. We can also add County Road Labourer and Schoolmaster to our list of employments.

In 1871 Elizabeth Driscoll, widowed daughter of David and Margaret David was the local Grocer, she had two children John Driscoll aged 9 years and Daniel Driscoll under 1 year old. On the 26th October 1872 she was fined eight shillings and six pence for letting her donkey stray onto the highway. She married Owen Jones, a sinker of Pwll Andras on 19th February 1874, who died the same year and is buried with Elizabeth’s son Daniel in Saron Chapel Cemetery. By 1881 she was living with her brother Evan David her son Daniel and Elizabeth and Moses Jones. Elizabeth’s brother Moses David was the local Blacksmith. Thomas Williams described himself as Miller and Publican and Elizabeth Harry also described herself as a Publican and Farmer, presumably one was Landlord/Landlady of the Star Inn and the other The Maltsters Arms.

In 1881 the Landlord of the Star Inn was Mr Thomas Howell, a native of Llandeilo who described himself in the 1881 census as a Woodcutter and Publican. In his household was his wife Ann, sons William and James and daughters Elizabeth, Hannah and Margaret Jane, he was later to have another daughter Maria. Thomas Howell died in 1914. Owen Jones Grandson of his daughter Margaret, and Natalie Llewellyn, Grand-daughter of his daughter Hannah still live in the locality. Thomas Howell followed John Arthur as Landlord of the Star. Thomas John is the local Grocer. Robert Battrick from Tolpuddle Dorset with his wife Margaret their 2yr old son Alfred and their baby daughter Catherine Elizabeth are now residing with Margaret’s father Hopkin Llewellyn.

By 1891, Elizabeth Driscoll was the wife Thomas Gronow, of Treoes, they have two children together, Joseph aged 5, born when Elizabeth was 45 years old and Margaret aged 1, born when Elizabeth was 49 years old.

Treoes now has a butcher, William Thomas and four miners in the village, namely Thomas Thomas, William Llewellyn, Robert Battrick and Daniel Driscoll. The population of the parish was 182.

In 1895 the Lord of the Manor was the Earl of Dunraven and the principal landowners were Captain J G R Homfray and D F Morgan Esq.,

Thomas Jenkins who farmed at Heol Las was also the Registrar for Marriages, Births and Deaths. William Mordecai and sons farmed at Tyn-y-Caeau, Thomas Thomas was a Water Miller and Pharoah Hercules Lucas was a Grazier living in Greenfields.

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