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Morgannwg

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Vol. 39 1995

About Aberpergwm. The home of the Williams family in the Vale of Glamorgan. Book review.

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women and children at Aberpergwm in the 1870s and 1880s was a 'Welsh
costume made from home-spun wool clipped from their own sheep and dyed
in various colours with vegetables dyes' (pp. 122-3). In the early twentieth
century, the last 'Williams of Aberpergwm', Godfrey, was appointed a Governor
of the National Library of Wales.
The twentieth century was, however, to witness the dissolution of all these ties
that had once bound the Williams family to the mansion of Aberpergwm. The
collapse of agricultural prices and the advance of democracy combined to render
superfluous the squire's presence on his own estates, and for most of his life,
Godfrey Williams lived abroad, indulging his passion for yachting. The mansion,
meanwhile, was taken over as the National Coal Board's headquarters after
nationalisation in 1948, but has since become ruinous.
Mrs Belcham displays an intimate knowledge of the Aberpergwm papers, and
her genuine interest in the people she discusses brings the story she tells to life.
The book itself is most beautifully produced, with an abundance of illustrations,
some in colour. My one reservation was that the volume lacked a comparative
aspect; it would have been interesting to have had the Williamses placed
alongside contemporary Glamorganshire families, and their doings considered
within that broader context. A suitable project for Mrs Belcham's next book,
Derhaps?
Matthew Cragoe
THE GLOG SQUIRES, by T. F. Holley. Published privately by V. A. Holley,
Merthyr Tydfil, n.d. [1995]. £ 8.00 plus £ 3.00 p. and p. (Available from 52 Chester
Close, Heolgerrig, Merthyr Tydfil). Paperback xii + 340 pp. Illustrated.
This is the fourth book on hunting personalities and the history of hunting in
Glamorgan by the indefatigable chronicler, Dr Holley. His three previous books
have all been reviewed in Morgannwg (1984, p.l 13; 1986, p.91;1988, p.102), and
this latest work is his largest and most ambitious, as it fully and accurately
describes the contents: Anecdotes and history of the Glog Hounds, the
Pantysgallog Hounds, and the Sennybridge hounds, with tales of their masters,
huntsmen, followers and hunting countries, and some account of everyday
farming life in the hills of Glamorgan.
Glog House, in Llanwynno parish, was the home of Squire William Williams
(1783-1874), and under his mastership the Glog hounds, formed from the much
older trencher-fed local foxhounds known as the Llanwonno or Llanwynno
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