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

Ganed Margaret Williams yng nghanol y 1700au ac roedd yn byw ar fferm Treleddyn ger Tyddewi. Roedd hi’n wraig i Thomas Williams (a ddaeth i enwogrwydd fel y person cyntaf i weld llongau Goresgyniad y Ffrancod wrth iddynt agosáu at Abergwaun yn 1797), ond mae ei hymdrechion arwrol hi ei hun wedi eu hanghofio i raddau helaeth.

Roedd teulu’r Williams yn berchen ar gwch hwylio bach ac roedd diddordeb ganddynt yn y llongau oedd yn hwylio o amgylch arfordir Sir Benfro. Roeddent yn treulio llawer o’u hamser yn eu gwylio drwy eu telesgop, ac yn dilyn storm enbyd yn yr 1790au, gwelodd Margaret grŵp o forwyr llongddrylliad oedd angen cymorth arnynt*. 

Roedd y grŵp yn dal ymlaen wrth graig yn y casgliad o greigiau a elwir ‘Y Bishops’ i’r Gorllewin o Ynys Dewi. Mae hon yn ardal arbennig o beryglus i forwyr gan fod nifer o’r creigiau o dan y dŵr, ac mae’r llanw yn yr ardal hon yn derfysglyd. Serch hynny, lansiodd Margaret Williams ei chwch ar ei phen ei hun a rhwyfo allan i achub morwyr gwlad Sweden.

Nid yn unig y llwyddodd i’w hachub a’u rhwyfo i ddiogelwch, ond rhoddodd fwyd a lloches iddynt nes iddynt wella yn ddigon da i ddychwelyd i Sweden.

Categories: Public Servants | Revolutionaries | Survivors | The Sea

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