Margaret Williams

Margaret Williams was born in the mid 1700s and lived at Treleddyn farm near St. David’s. She was the wife of Thomas Williams (credited as the first person to spot the French Invasion vessels as they approached Fishguard in 1797), but her own heroic efforts have been largely forgotten.

The Williams’ owned a small sailing boat and were interested in the vessels that sailed around the Pembrokeshire coastline. They spent much of their time observing them through a telescope and following a torrential storm in the 1790s, Margaret spotted a group of shipwrecked mariners in need of assistance*.  

The group were clinging to a rock in the collection known as ‘The Bishops’ to the West of Ramsey Island. This is a particularly treacherous area for sailors as many of the rocks are submerged and the tides in this area are turbulent. Nevertheless, Margaret Williams singlehandedly launched her boat and rowed out to rescue the Swedish mariners.

Not only did she rescue and row them to safety, but she provided them with food and shelter until their health improved and they were able to return to Sweden.

*With reference to Welsh Shipwrecks vol.2 by Tom Bennett, 1982

Categories: Public Servants | Revolutionaries | Survivors | The Sea

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