And Bristol seems to have been the normal source of "luxury" goods for
Pembrokeshire people. "Luxury" meant anything which was not produced
Francis Green quotes the journal (1760) of Abel[?my memory] Davies, a sea
captain, who had a request for a mirror for his cousin Williams (of
Velindre, Llanwnda, FG says) from Bristol.
I have a Morgan family of Abercastle and Fishguard from the same period who
were merchants, mariners and shipowners. William Morgan sent his eldest son
William to Bristol to be apprenticed in 1779 (see the Dyfed fiche
"Apprentices from Dyfed in Bristol in 17th and 18th century") - unfortunately
the son died three years later.
Peter B.S. Davies in his book "Deadly Perils" says apropos one of William
Morgan's ships, the Anne & Mary: 'She is mentioned as belonging to
Abercastle in a letter, dated 18th December, 1800, from Peter Williams, a
Bristol merchant, to his nephew John Williams who was then farming Trearched
in Llanrhian parish. Further correspondence between the two men suggests
there was fairly regular sea communication between Abercastle and Bristol
(sometimes in Fishguard ships) and that wheat, barley, oats and butter were
being exported from Abercastle at that time.'
I hope this gives a flavour of the trade with Bristol. One has to remember
that the sea was the main communication route until the railways came in the
second half of the 19th century. The roads were unsealed and nobody could
afford to maintain them so most of them were in a dreadful state.