Caernarfon Ddoe/Caernarfon's Yesterdays

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Welcome to the Caernarfon's Yesterdays Forum. If you have a question about any aspect of the town's history please post it here and we will be happy to try and assist. If you feel you can help with any question then please feel free to contribute. Questions will be answered in English or in Welsh and in the language in which the question is asked.

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Hanes Tref Caernarfon/Caernarfon Town History
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An Old Carnarvon Family

Thank you for a very interesting website. Having read your article about "An Old Carnarvon family", do you happen to know if John Pritchard (b 1857) became a shipowner? I see from the crew lists that between 1906 and 1913, a vessel called the "County of Anglesea" was owned by a John Pritchard of Victoria Mills, Carnarvon.

The master was named as Richard Prichard of 29 Assheton Street and 46 Henwalia, Carnarvon. Voyages were to local ports such as Red Wharf, Portinllaen, Abersoch and Port Dinorwic.

Many thanks, Rosemary

Re: An Old Carnarvon Family

It is strange that you should be researching a person called John Pritchard,a much respected name amongst the mariners of Caernarfon. John Pritchard born 1843, the son of a coachman, went to sea on a Caernarfon Schooner aged 13 as a cabin boy and having succeeded in his examinations to become a Master Mariner, joined the Cunard line and in 1907 became the Captain of the World's largest liner, The Mauretania. In his obituary in the Herald in 1922 the paper called him "King of Captains".

That is by the way and to give you some information about Victoria Mills and the dates that you mention i.e 1906 - 1913. I do not know whether you are aware of it or not but one of the largest fires ever to occur in Caernarfon happened in 1910 and the whole building was gutted and there are photos available of this fire. I take it that this John Pritchard would have been the owner at the time of the fire and being a businessman I should not be surprised that he would also have been a ship owner. This can be confirmed in Lloyds Registers of which there is a full set at The County Archives, Victoria Dock Caernarfon. There are also 3 volumes of Caernarfon Registered ships available and I would suggest you make an effort to visit the Archives. Another thing, there is a photo of Caernarfon Sea Captains there also and sat on one end is a fair haired Captain called John Pritchard.

From memory that is all I can tell you and due to problems of old age, I am not able to visit the Archives as often as I would wish.


T Meirion Hughes

Re: An Old Carnarvon Family

Dear Mr Hughes
Thank you for such an informative answer to my question. Your local knowledge is so thorough and
appreciated. I am sorry to hear that you are prevented from visiting the Archives when you wish.

No, I did not know about the fire in Caernarfon. This must have badly affected any businesses that operated there.

I feel sure the name "County of Anglesea" was also given to totally different vessels. The one owned by John Pritchard was only 24 tons and appears to be involved in the coastal trade. Of course the best known "County of Anglesea" was one of a series of iron barques of over 1000 tons. As you say, the Archives will certainly clarify that when I next
visit Wales.

Iechyd da

Re: An Old Carnarvon Family

On looking through Bennett's Business Directory for 1910, this afternoon, I came across the following:
Prichard W. Victoria Mills, The Dock.
Note that the surname is spelt without a "t" and the owner has the initial W. and not J.

I hope that this new information may throw further light on your research.