Glamorgan History Society

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Welcome To Our Web Site.`

Welcome to the web site of the Glamorgan History Society.

The site contains information about the various activities of the Society and also information about a number of other local history societies within the county

The Glamorgan History Society has concerned itself over the last fifty years with nurturing the study of  all aspects of the history of Glamorgan, within the wider context of the history of Wales.

The Society has just published the fifty second edition of  its journal, Morgannwg,   which contains a rich collection of articles on history of Glamorgan within the wider context of  Welsh history. Whether written by academics or lay people the standard of  work is always excellent and highly regarded by professional and amateur alike.

The Society aims to foster links with local history societies within Glamorgan and this web site contains information about local history societies in Glamorgan, which can be accessed via the Local History Societies button at the top of the page..

About the Society

The aims and activities of the Glamorgan History Society

Society Membership

Information about membership of the Glamorgan History Society


Morgannwg the Journal of Glamorgan History.

Society News

News of current projects and initiatives in which the Society is involved.

Society Programme

Glamorgan History Society's current programme.

Local History Societies

Information about Local History Societies in Glamorgan



Attention !

Morgannwg Database.

A Searchable On-Line Morgannwg Database is now available as part of the National Library’s “Welsh Journals On-line Project”.Click here for more info.

The Council is minded to issue a new list of member’s names and addresses to replace the 2001/2002 list, which is now very much out of date.

If you do not  wish your details to be included in this list, please notify the Ho. Secretary  no later than 31st of October 2011

   About 60 members and guests attended the Society's annual autumn day school in October 2012. The theme for the day was Maritime Glamorgan and the event was held in a most appropriate venue, the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea.

The first address was given by Dr David Jenkins, Senior Curator of the Museum's maritime collection. He spoke on Master mariner, ship-owner and philanthropist: remembering Sir William Reardon Smith. Reardon Smith was born in Appledore, north Devon, in 1856. He went to sea at an early age, sailing all over the world including voyages to Chile on Swansea's famous copper ore barques. After serving as a captain for a Scottish shipping line for many years he settled in Cardiff in 1900 and a few years later set up his own shipping line. He survived the shipping slump of the 1920s by moving into motor vessels and concentrating on regular votyages between Cardiff and North America rather than tramoping. While never an easy man to live with, Reardon Smith was generous with his wealth and became a noted philanthropist. He supported many good causes in his native north Devon but is perhaps best known today for his generosity to the National Museum of Wales. He died in 1935.

Dr Jenkins was followed by Richard Haines whose talk on Investment in Swansea shipping between 1824 and 1903 drew on the extensive research which he had carried out in connection with his recently completed PhD thesis. At the beginning of the period in question ship owning had been spread over a wide range of occupational categories. Whilst merchants and manufacturers predominated it was rare to find a single individual who owned more than a few shares in any one vessel. Many of the investors were tradesmen who saw this form of investment as a way of ensuring future business for themselves. However, by the end of the century a class of ship-owners had emerged who made a business out of maritime investment. Richard also looked at the places of residence of the investors and the light that this shed on local business networks. As might be expected the great majority lived in Swansea or south Wales but with the emergence of the professional ship-owner such local connections became less important.

After an extended lunch break, which provided the opportunity to socialise, inspect the bookstalls that had been set up by members and others as part of the event or to view the Museum's collections, members reassembled for the third talk of the day. This was given by Dr Mark Matthews under the title Tales of the sea: glimpses of maritime Wales and the wider world from southeast Glamorganshire 1762-1795. The speaker examined the diary of William Thomas of Michaelstone in the Vale of Glamorgan in order to assess the extent to which the sea and maritime affairs impinged on the consciousness of this small rural community. He categorised relevant entries under three headings – matters relating to defence (including the militia, service overseas, running away to sea and the press gangs), wrecks and plunder, and the everyday life of people who depended on the sea in one way or another for their livelihood. Under the third heading the focal role of Bristol in the commercial life of the district adjacent to the Bristol Channel became very clear. He showed that there was a high awareness of the role of the sea and maritime trade among the populace at large

Autumn Day School Report - 13th Oct 2012

Richard Haines who talked about Investment in Swansea shipping between 1824 and 1903

Dr David Jenkins who  spoke about SirWilliam Reardon Smith

Dr Mark Matthews spoke on the subject ofTales of the sea: glimpses of maritime Wales  1762-1795.

The Council is minded to issue a new list of members’ names and addresses to replace the 2002/2002 list which is now very much out of date..

If you do not wish your details t be included in this list please notify the Hon Secretary no later than 31st October 2012.

Cyfarthfa Ironworks 1819, byThomas Horner, 1785-1844