1790s

Descriptions of Welsh costume, 1790s
For an explanation of recording conventions, see Chronological survey.

1790-1798 Wales
Their dress is the same with that of the English excepting that the common people affect more a brown colour in their clothes, and still have a predilection for striped stuff like tartan, which seems to have been worn by several ancient nations. This predilection appears chiefly in the women, many of whom wear a kind of bedgown, or loose wide jacket, of this cloth, descending below the waist.
Gordon, James, Terraquea, or a new system of Geography and modern history, Dublin, (1790-1798), p. 200

1790 [Wales]
In the more distant parts of Wales it is very common for the lower kind of people to go without shoes or stockings, the dress of the women being generally a coarse brown flannel jacket and an ordinary black beaver hat.
Nicholson, Francis, Diary, NLW MS15190C, p. 40

1791 [Wales]
Men and women are almost indistinguishable except for breeches. Women plough and men milk.
The dress of the Welsh Women is universally the same. They appear in large black hats with broad rims and the generality of the common people despise the use of shoes and stockings. They consider these appendages as a useless piece of extravagance and I often met Welsh girls upon the road, who were dressed for a visit to their friends in a clean white petticoat tucked above the knee, trudging along the hard road, barefooted, with their shoes and stockings under their arms. p. 215
The women as well as the men appear in broad, black beaver hats and in the midst of summer wear a long woollen cloak. Their feet are almost always bare and they drive the plough, mount the cart horses and manage a team with full as much [sic] facility as the men. They carry great weights upon their heads and balance their milk pails, buckets of water etc in that manner without taking any hold of them. p. 349
Clarke, Edward Daniel, (1769-1822) A Tour through the South of England, Wales and Part of Ireland, made during the Summer of 1791. (1793)

1791 [Aberystwyth??]
Here we had, for the first time since we entered Wales, the pleasure of hearing the music of the country, it its pure state, from a poor blind female harper. She could speak no English, nor play any English tunes except Captain Mackingtosh and the White Cockade. There was so much native simplicity in her appearance, and the features of sorrow were so visible in her countenance, that no one could behold her unmoved. She was led in by the waiter, dressed after the style of her country women, in a coarse woollen gown, and a hat of black beaver. She had seated herself in a corner of the room, and by an involuntary motion, I drew my chair close to hers.
Clarke, Edward Daniel, (1769-1822), A Tour through the South of England, Wales and Part of Ireland, made during the Summer of 1791 (London: Minerva Press. 1793) p. 257-8

1791 Llandovery
It is the meanest and dirtiest town I have yet seen in Wales. We are at breakfast in a room, that looks into the market place; and, there being a fair held today, my surprise is very great, instead of seeing peasants walking barefoot, dirty and pooly clad, to find a hundred or two women all on horseback, and most of them in uniform dress, which is a blue cloth jacket and petticoat, and black beaver hat. The neatness and decency of this is a striking contrast to the gay and tawdry cottons worn by English women of this order; for these, I understand, are little farmers wives, who are come to Llandovery fair o sell their corn.’ (pp. 137-8)
I think I may safely aver that since I came into this country, though I have travelled much about it, I have not seen ten women bare-legged. It [bare feet] seemed to me to be a very humiliating and cruel mark of subjection; but this, Mr M … assured me, was not the case. It was, on the contrary, a sign that the women did not labour in the fields, as they do in England. (p. 268- 269)
‘The employments of the women are within doors. They knit their husband’s stockings and likewise others for sale; they spin wool and flax for their family linen, and their own jackets: they go to market, but it is on horseback, and sell the fish, corn, and other comodoties for which their husbands labour. Are these employments that bespeak extreme poverty? Even the custom of walking bare foot does not proceed from the want of stockings, you see; nor has it such a disgusting appearance as persons unacquainted with it are apt to concede. The petticoat of their jacket comes just to the edge of their heels so that they show very little of it unless the wind happens to be rude and then no man of any delicacy could feel himself inclined to be jocular upon the occasion.’ (p. 270)
It may appear that the custom for the women to be all in one dress was introduced by sumptuary law. But this cannot be the case. It argues, in my opinion, an absence of vanity in the country people, and likewise a superior degree of judgement, which teaches them to prefer the warmth and plainness of their own woollen manufacture to the cold and tawdry productions of other climates. (p. 272)
The common people in the large towns deviate widely from their primitive simplicity, and imitate, in a very slovenly and awkward manner, the English mode. But the hereditary dress of the Welsh women is one of the most commodious, comfortable, and simple, that I ever saw adopted by any set of people whatsoever. For its being universal among them I will not pretend to account. It consists of a garter-blue cloth jacket and petticoat, and a black beaver hat. In some districts they wear brown jackets instead of blue; but they are all made in the same form. The petticoat is rather short, and hangs round. The jacket is round also, and the flaps are about a quarter of a yard long. Young people wear them shorter, and edge them with binding of different colours, generally pink; this gives them a very smart appearance. They have a narrow cuff, turned up above the elbow, which is edged also. They use no buttons, but tie on their jackets with worsted bindings, of the same colour as their trimmings. Their hats are rather larger than the present fashion, and lower in the crown; but they are much more convenient (p. 273) as a shelter from both rain and sun. Under the latter I suffer daily with my little beaver, and envy every Welsh woman I meet. They do not show much of their hair, but confine it with a kind of short cap, rounded at the ears, and tied under the chin. I am particularly struck with the simplicity of their mantle, or cloak. It is nothing more than a square piece of white flannel, bordered with coloured binding. [whittle] This they throw carelessly over their shoulders, and fasten with a hook and eye, or tie with a piece of binding. They do not put it on crosswise, as we do a handkerchief, but with the straight side about the neck. It is very warm; and they can guide a horse, or do any kind of domestic business, without inconvenience, as it does not, like most other warm clothing impede their motions. … I cannot but think, that some lady of taste, who had travelled into Wales, and was struck with the Welsh dress, first introduced the blue jacket, black beaver and (p. 274) round cap, which have so long kept their ground in the fashionable world. (p. 275)
Before I came to this country, I formed my idea of the persons of the common people upon Mr Bunbury’s very beautiful print of the Welsh peasants. But his imagination in this case certainly took place of his observation, or he would never have made them so different from what they are. (p. 275)
A brown or blue jacket is their usual habit. He has not represented them with any precision; and he has put them on [sic] aprons, which they never wear. His peasants have not the tight, sturdy and cleanly look, which so remarkably characterises the Welsh Women … but to find fault with Mr Bunbury is to draw upon myself the censure of the whole world of taste. (p. 278-9)
Morgan, Mrs, A Tour to Milford Haven, in the Year 1791, (London, 1795)
She was accused by ‘Cymro’ ([Theophilus Jones], ‘Cursory Remarks on Welsh Tours or Travels’, Cambrian Register, vol. 2, (London, 1799) of making generalisations from the specific – she travelled only along the south coast.

1791 Brecon
The women are uniformly dressed in woollen or stuff Jackets and Coats, a check handkerchief and felt hat, many without shoes or stockings. The men in general are also extremely dirty in their persons.
Ward, Sophia, Tour Through South Wales, NLW 19758A, 28th August, 1791

1791
Anne Clayton [a pauper?] was given two flannel shifts by the parish.
Vestry book of Llanfihangel y Creuddyn, 1791

1793 North Wales Looking for Rhaidr-e Wennell [Waterfall]
An old woman offered herself as a guide … [she] lost none of her time; for like other Welsh women she knitted all the way; and a pair of stockings may be finished quickly, the feet being omitted, as unnecessary.
Byng, John, Right Hon, (later Viscount Torrington) Andrews, C Bruyn. (Editor). The Torrington diaries: Containing the tours through England and Wales of the Hon. John Byng between the years 1781 and 1794, (London, 1934), vol III, p. 269

1793
… never did I see a more decent congregation; in manners, looks, and dress they are sixty years behind the English; while they retain their tongue, they cannot emigrate, and must keep up ancient customs. (See Lewis, (1995) p. 35)
Byng, John, Right Hon, (later Viscount Torrington) Andrews, C Bruyn. (Editor). The Torrington diaries: Containing the tours through England and Wales of the Hon. John Byng between the years 1781 and 1794, (London, 1934), vol III, p. 269

1793
I find the fashion of wearing shoes and stockings, is more general here, than it was 30 years ago; when I have been frequently disgusted by the filthy appearance of the female waiters and chambermaids, having their bare feet clogged with mire and dirt.
Mavor, William Fordyce, The traveller’s companion, from Holyhead, to London. (London, 1793), p. 23

1793
Many of [the inhabitants] go without shoes and stockings, and seem insensible to the luxury of them. This custom, indeed, prevails throughout most part [sic] of North and South Wales. I have frequently met people carrying their shoes and stockings in their hands, that they might not wear them out. Some however, wish to seem to be possessed of these articles, for I have seen them at a little distance walking with their shoes in their hands, which they have put on to pass by, and then have again taken them off.
‘There are no male waiters; if there were, probably the company would not be so cleanly attended upon as they are, for the female of the lower class have certainly a superior claim over the male sex, in point of neatness and cleanliness.’
[Slaney, Plowden,] A Short journal of a tour through the counties of Denbigh, Merioneth, Cardigan, and Caernarvon, and the island of Anglesey in 1793. NLW 9854C, pp. 19, 21

1794 Upper part of the County of Brecon
The only branch of manufactory carried on in this place is the working of stockings. These are sold at the markets around, at 8d a pair. A woman … may card, spin and knit four pairs of stockings each week; one pair of these stockings weighs near half a pound, which at 10d a pound is 5d out of the 8d, some pairs, however, weigh only 7 ounces, but as there is 1d of oil requisite for every pound of wool, we may fairly state the raw materials of each pair of stockings to be worth 5d.; hence the woman has only 3d for carding, spinning and knitting these stockings or 1/- a week.
Clark, John, General view of the agriculture of the county of Brecknock, with observations on the means of its improvement. (London, 1794), p. 45-46   quoted in Davies, Walter, General View of the Agriculture and Domestic Economy of South Wales, Vol 2., (London, 1815), pp. 442-43

1794 Cardiganshire
Spinning is common in every family as most of the inhabitants manufacture their own apparel.
Lloyd, Thomas, Esq. General view of the agriculture of the county of Cardigan, with observations on the means of its improvement. Drawn up from the communications of Thomas Lloyd, Esq. and of the Rev. Mr. Turnor. For the consideration of the Board of Agriculture and Internal Improvement. (London, 1794), p. 24

 1794 Denbighshire
With regard to the stocking manufactured in north Wales, it appeared to me that the worsted thread was spun too hard. They had not the soft feel of those made in Shetland, with which I compared them, and I thought them higher priced. The Shetland stockings, which were as fine and much softer, cost only 3s per pair, and the price of those in Wales was 4s, though of the same quality or nearly so. Both were made of lambs wool.
Kay, G., (from Leith), General View of the Agriculture of North Wales, Denbighshire, and Hints for the Improvement of North Wales. (Edinburgh, 1794), pp. 39-40

1795 Pontypridd
[A guide to a waterfall] She was apparently 12 or 14 of a pleasing fair countenance, her white hair hung on her shoulders, she wore a round hat (as is the custom) without a cap, had a blue kerchief round her neck, a striped jacket, a brown petticoat, with a coarse apron which she neatly tucked up to facilitate her walk … she minded not the rain and though without shoes and stockings was an overmatch for our boots.
Drake, William, [3 letters to his father, Tour of Wales]
Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies, D-DR/8/13/ letter 2, page 3

 (1795) [South Wales]
The wool is manufactured into all forms and colours, supplying the inhabitants with every vestment, even to his shirt (Includes a drawing)
Penhouet, B.L. Maudet, Letters describing a Tour of South Wales, (London, 1797), p. 47

1795
Mary Thomas, spinster of Guilsfield, Montgomery was accused of breaking and entering prosecutor’s house and stealing wearing apparel, a bedgown and a waistcoat.
12 November 1795. She was found guilty and was condemned to 1 year imprisonment in the House of Correction.
Court of Great Sessions, File number: 4/195/7

1795
Cardiff
Though sultry weather, the women wear long blue cloth cloaks, black beaver hats, neither shoes nor stockings in general they have dark hair, coarse features, and brown complexions. 14.8.1795, Typed version, p. 121
Tavernspite
The lower class of people have more the appearance of English than in the former county. The women wear shoes and stockings, dress tidy. 23.8.1795, typed version, p. 136
Cardigan
the streets are filled with dirty, ragged and idle children. The dress is remarkable and similar to that in Pembroke. It consists of a striped flannel petticoat and a brown jacket over it, a blue handkerchief tyed over their heads & a black beaver hat upon that, a large brown, or blue flannel wrapper [whittle] which goes round the waist & over the shoulders & serves the double purpose of a cloak & cradle for one or two children they generally carry at their back [siôl magu]; and altogether give them the appearance of the Laplanders as described by Mr Cox in his history of Russia. Between 31.8.1795 and 4.9.1795 typed version, p. 151
Eardley-Wilmot, Sarah, (nee Haslam), National Museum of Wales, Library, Cardiff, MS179554,

1795 Barmouth
the great trade of this country is woollen manufactory. You see no women nor children who are not knitting & it seems the men knit very much too, but I cannot say I saw more than one man employing himself so, & we all remarked it as a singularity…..[at Bala] I got a pair of men’s stockings for 10 pence which I shall keep as a curiosity’
Frances Anne Crewe, ‘A Tour in North Wales’, ‘Welch Journal Augst 20th 1795’, British Library, Add. 37926. p. 137

[1796] Bala
Bala possesses also a considerable manufacture of woollen gloves and stockings, the produce of which is annually sent to England. Knitting indeed is the general leisure work of both sexes in Wales, especially about Bala, and it cannot fail of giving strangers a high idea of the industry of the people to see the men and women going to market with burdens on their heads, while their hands are employed in working the fleeces of their own sheep into articles of dress, coarse indeed, but equally warm and serviceable with the more costly and elaborate manufactures. p. 23-24
Flannels, and cloths, i. e. webs, are dyed of various colours; but not in Wales, except what is consumed at home; and indeed it is seldom that a Welshman (among the lower classes) wears a coat that is not made in the principality: the usual colours are blue, drab, brown, or mixed. p. 81
Aikin, Arthur, (1773-1854) Journal of a Tour through North Wales and a part of Shropshire with observations of Mineralogy and other branches of natural History [1796, (London, 1797),

1796 [Mallwyd]
The dress of both sexes is entirely supplied by the sheep of the country, except the shirt and neck-handkerchief of the men, and two printed handkerchiefs for the women; one worn round the neck, the other on the head, crossed under the chin, and tied behind. Over this bulky head-dress, summer and winter, in doors and out, they wear a black hat, only distinguishable from the man’s by a ribbon tied round the crown. With garments of flannel and woollen, and this load on the head, shoes and stockings are a superfluity. They trudge along, bare-footed, and bare-legged, with as little inconvenience as the sheep that formerly carried the burden. The female who fills the several offices of waiting [waiter?] and chamber-maid at the inn, is distinguished by shoes and stockings, and a mob cap. (LETTER II. Mallwyd, July 27th, 1796)

1796 [north Wales]
Welsh gentry bought all their furniture and clothes at London or Chester, but continue to spin their own chamber and table linen at home. LETTER VII, Bala; Sept 2, 1796
Hutton, Catherine, Letters written during a Tour in North Wales by Miss Hutton, of Bennett’s Hill, near Birmingham. Published in the Monthly Magazine, 1816 and Hutton Beale, Catherine, Reminiscences of a Gentlewoman of the last century; letters of Catherine Hutton (Birmingham, Cornish Brothers, 1891).

1796 [north Wales]
The women and children in this country all go without shoes and stockings, a shocking nasty thing I think, they and the men wear a sort of woollen stuff made at home, that looks something like the plaids they [sic] in Scotland only that here they are not loose, but made into waistcoats, bedgowns etc.
Anon, NLW MS 4489

1796 [north Wales]
The women are generally without Shoes and Stokens [Stockings], and wear a Man’s hat over a coif or mob cap or sometimes a colour handkerchief. They appear most remarkable to see so many round hats on for when they set the backs of the seats so high you cannot distinguish to which Sex they belong.
Sykes, Christopher, Sir (1749-1801) Journal of a Tour in Wales, 1796, NLW MS 2258C, p. 25

1796 Llanddarog
Llanddarog women wear whittles, a very old fashion and bad, not for its age, but because the modern rural cloak is much more convenient and comfortable than the whittle; utility is the only thing that should fix fashions, nor should anything but a greater utility be permitted to change them; but let the Carmarthenshire lasses, retaining their perfect innocence and pleasing simplicity of manners – wear their whittles forever rather than run like some of the Glamorgan harebrained wenches into the follies of fashion; ignorance of the English language guards many parts of Wales from a number of bad habits and from fashions.
Edward Williams (lolo Morganwg), Journal of an Excursion into Carmarthenshire in June, 1796, NLW MS 13115B

1796
A long and detailed chapter on woolen manufacture in Merionethshire.

Aikin, Arthur, (1773-1854), Journal of a Tour through North Wales and a part of Shropshire with observations of Mineralogy and other branches of natural History [1796], (London, 1797, 8vo), pp. 69-84

1797 [Cerig-y-Druidion]
It was now the fair; and about two hundred home-spun coats and blue cloaks were intermingled with a small number of cattle ; and a few stalls of gingerbread and earthenware. Three of four men of a higher class appeared in broad-cloth coats; but not a female in a gown of distant manufacture, except one dirty creature, who seemed to be the refuse of another country. Here an old woman had a piece of striped woollen under her arm, for sale; there another had a remnant of linen, or a pair of stockings, the produce of her own industry and the overplus of the family apparel … and the women were universally knitting.’
Hutton, Catherine, Letters written during a Tour in North Wales by Miss Hutton, of Bennett’s Hill, near Birmingham, LETTER X, Caernarfon; Aug. 27, published in the Monthly Magazine, 1816

1797 [Caernarfon]
The introduction of travellers and riches has made an odd jumble in the dress of the middling class of women at Caernarvon. They mingle the cotton manufacturers of Manchester with their own wool, and often hold up a gown with all the colours of the rainbow to display a striped woollen petticoat. The poor women are invariably clad in a woollen bedgown and petticoat. Some have coarse shoes and no stockings; many have stockings that reach to the foot, and fasten by a loop round the second toe, and no shoes. Patched garments are often seen, ragged ones scarcely ever.
[On returning to England at the end of the tour] Here I saw the first scarlet cloak since I left Llanfair; blue is the colour of Wales.
Hutton, Catherine, Letters written during a Tour in North Wales by Miss Hutton, of Bennett’s Hill, near Birmingham LETTER XI, Caernarvon; Sept. 13. For publication in the Monthly Magazine, 1816, and Hutton Beale, Catherine, Reminiscences of a Gentlewoman of the last century; letters of Catherine Hutton (Birmingham, 1891), p. 125

1797 Llangollen
The inhabitants of the Vale of Llangollen are a handsome race, the women rather stouter than their English neighbours, their dress generally consists of blue or striped flannel of their own manufacture; the luxury of shoes and stockings, seems confined to the men, the women generally being destitute of either, we frequently met them on the road walking bare foot and employed in knitting.’
Shirley, Evelyn, Cursory Remarks made in a Tour through different parts of England and Wales in the months of August and September, 1797, NLW, mss. 16133 C, ff. 79v-80

(1797) [Pembrokeshire]
It is in this part of Wales that the women dress their heads in a peculiar manner; they wear a cumbrous gown of dark blue cloth, even in the midst of summer; instead of a cap, a large handkerchief is wrapt over their heads, and tied under the chin: in other places, the women as well as the men wear large hats with broad brims, often flapping over their shoulders.
Pratt, Samuel Jackson, (1749-1814), Gleanings through Wales, Holland and Westphalia : … (London, 1795 or 7). 3 vols, 3rd edition, p. 113-114 [The wording of this is similar to Wyndham (A Gentleman’s Tour through Monmouthshire and Wales) and the entry in the 8th edition of Defoe, 8th edition, vol 2, 1778, p. 308]

1797 [Penstreet, Between Dolgellau and Tanybwlch]
[They came across an isolated building in which a service was taking place]. A number of people, who must have come from far, neat in their dress, devout in their manner {were worshiping}… Virgin descendants of the ancient Britons’
Warner, Richard, Rev (1763-1857), A Walk through Wales in Aug, 1797, (Bath, 1798), p. 113; (1799), p. 115

1797 Abergavenny
Large parties of reapers also, amounting in the whole to two or three hundred, met us on their way into Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, for the harvest month; remarkable in the uniformity of their dress, which consisted of a jacket and breeches of thick striped flannel the manufacture of the country, and dyed almost invariably of a light blue colour.
Warner, Richard, Rev (1763-1857), A Walk through Wales in August, 1797, p. 32

1797 [Llangollen to Llanymynach]
The dress of the Welsh women is exactly similar throughout the principality, and consists of these particulars: a petticoat of flannel, the manufacture of the country, either blue or striped; a kind of bed-gown with loose sleeves, of the same stuff, but generally of a brown colour; a broad handkerchief orer the neck and shoulders; a neat mob cap, and a man’s beaver hat. In dirty or cold weather, the person is wrapt in a long blue cloak, which descends below the knee. Except when particularly dressed, they go without shoe or stocking; and even if they have these luxuries, the latter in general has no foot to it. The man’s attire is a jacket, waistcoat, and breeches, of their country flannel,. the last of which are open at the knees, and the stockings (for the men generally wear them) are bound under the knees with red garters.
Warner, Richard, Rev (1763-1857), A Walk through Wales in Aug, 1797, letter 12, pp. 183-184
1797 French Invasion at Fishguard

1798
While at Bala fair Jack Glan-y-gors ‘had the honour of making love to two ladies with red cloaks’.
Jack Glan-y-gors, writing to a friend, May 16th, 1798

1798 Oswestry
‘the dress, particularly of the women, was different from our English cottagers – large bordered caps under a broad-brimmed felt hat and blue cloath [sic] being very generally worn.’
C.J. Harford, UCNW ms 35

1798 Merioneth
The dress and manners of the inhabitants (we were now in the wilds of Merioneth), were calculated to furnish us with a sight of human nature in almost its rudest state. The covering of the females, males we saw none, was a coarse lindsey [linsey] bed-gown [bedgown], scarcely cut in any shape; at sight of us they fled to certain distances, where, considering themselves safe, they set up a kind of laughing noise, accompanied with ridiculous gestures; which brought to our recollection, the first reception of the Spaniards by the transatlantic Indians. p. 53
… and the modern, like the ancient Briton, is not very attentive to food or clothing. The latter consists of a flannel jacket and breeches for men : and a lindsey [linsey] jacket and petticoat, with a round felt hat for the women ; while both sexes are seen to climb the craggy steep and trip over the thorny plain naked to the knee. But they are not destitute of shoes or stockings: these they carry in their hands to market and to church ; and at the next adjacent stream they sit down on a stone, wash their feet, and put them on. Returning, they perform the same ceremony, and lay them up again. (p. 345)
Evans, John, Rev., (1768-1812), A tour through part of North Wales, in the year 1798, and at other times : (London, 1800); (2nd edition, 1802); (3rd edition, 1804)

1798 Narberth
We were now in the country of the Flemings and as we approached Narberth, the manners dress, and language of the inhabitants, entirely distinct from those of the neighbouring Welsh, evinced their different origin.
The Flemish figure and countenance are sufficiently obvious in the neighbourhood of Narberth, as well as the dress and names of the Low Countries, A jacket of brown cloth, with long skirts, and made to set close to the body, over a blue or striped petticoat, and a shallow beaver hat, distinguish the women of this part from their neighbours.
Warner, Richard, A second walk through Wales (1799) p. 344

1799 [Cardiganshire]
The women throughout the northern part of Cardiganshire were dressed in blue jackets, with petticoats of the same colour; and sometimes the addition of a blue rug over the shoulders. About the middle of the county, their appearance began to vary. The blue mantle gave place to white; and in a few instances to red ones; and as we approached nearer the town of Cardigan, the number of the former diminished, and the latter increased. In the vicinity of Aberarth we saw some of the worsted, of which these mantles were made, just after it had undergone the process of dying. p. 168
‘there were no tawdry trappings, in imitation of gentility’ p. 201
Lipscomb, G., Journey into South Wales … in the year 1799 (London, 1802)

1799, North Wales
In Anglesey, the inhabitants buy quantities of the Snowdon coarse wool, at the fairs of Caernarfon, and Bangor ; out of which, mixed with their own wool, they manufacture deep blue coloured cloth, flannels, blankets etc. a sufficiency for home use, and no more. They dispose of the remainder of their wool, some to the Yorkshire clothiers at Chester fair. …
In Caernarfonshire, they apply themselves somewhat more to spinning and weaving ; for, besides supplying themselves with wearing apparel, they annually send several pieces of blue cloth into Merioneddshire, and of a peculiar drab coloured cloth called brethyn sir fon, to be sold at Llanerch-y-medd fairs, in Anglesey. These cloths are generally seven-eights of a yard wide, and sell from 3s to 5s per yard of 40 inches. Caernarfonshire flannels are coarse, of the value of from 1s to 20d per yard. The Dolgellau manufacturers are also supplied with warp-yarn for their webs from hence.
In Flintshire and the greater part of Denbighshire … they sell their fleece wool.
In other parts of Denbighshire, in the south-west of Meirioneddshire and Montgomeryshire, the inhabitants [produce] flannels and webs.
The flannel district is confined to the south-west part of Montgomeryshire … Formerly the whole was manufactured by hand … Of late, [water power has been introduced]. pp. 390-402
Knit [sic] stockings and socks constitute the third article of Welsh woollen manufacture [after flannel and webs]. Bala is the chief market for them …
{Detailed information on numbers, prices} pp. 403-410
Davies, Walter, General View of the Agriculture and Domestic Economy of North Wales, (London, 1810),

1799 [Wales]
… [the men’s] ‘dress, which may be almost called their uniform, is a light blue, short coat, with a waistcoat and breeches of the same colour. The woman’s whittles (a kind of short cloak – or piece of flannel – pinned or tied around their shoulders) one of the same make as described by Mrs M[organ, Tour to Milford]; save that those in Cardiganshire are red, and a long deep fringe; how much the colour and garment contributed to the … consternation [of the French] is too well known to be mentioned’.
‘Cymro’, (Theophilus Jones, 1759-1812) Cursory Remarks on Welsh Tours or Travels (1799), Cambrian Register II, (for 1796), pp. 440-441; Davies, Hywel M., Wales in Travel Writing, 1791-8, The Welsh Critique of Theophilus Jones, Welsh History Review, xxiii, 2007, 65-93

1799 [north Wales]
Weddings: one in Llanberis, where ‘My father, who was an invited guest, remained two hours and during this time he saw about 150 persons two only of whom were English. Not a female appeared in anything but woollen or without a man’s hat, except the mother of the bride, who was cook.’; the other was in Caernarfon town – not very distant, but a thriving coastal port, and here, ‘At Llanbeblae, [Llanbeblig] the parish church of Caernarfon I saw a sailor married to the daughter of a shoemaker … The town ladies were clad, not like the mountaineers, in woollen, but in printed cotton gowns, white petticoats and white stockings; but they retained the beaver hat and, as the morning was cloudy, the blue cloak which nothing but the hottest sunshine, and sometimes not even that, could persuade them to lay aside.’
Hutton, Catherine, Letters written during a Third Tour in North Wales by Miss Hutton, of Bennett’s Hill, near Birmingham LETTER XIV, Caernarfon, September 14th, 1799, Monthly Magazine, 1816,

1799, Denbigh
John Williams, labourer was accused of the theft of a bedgown drying on the gate of the churchyard at Nantglyn, Denbigh, 15 February 1799 and was found not guilty.
Court of Great Sessions, File number: 4/65/5

1799 near Mallwyd
We met several females on horseback riding in the English style, covered with large blue cloaks, round black hats and from their centre downwards with blue striped raiment, their lower extremities now and then with Black stockings, shoes and buckles. The only figure of feminine appearance, which in the least deviated from what I have already described, was an elderly woman, who I dare say, meant no external immodesty, bestrode her horse as would a man, and consequently from the nature of her attire, could not in such a situation appear with all possible decency. However not to mention her indecorous situation, I will mention how much decency will permit me to say I saw, and how much further I will leave to the luxuriant imagination of others – I beheld her naked knees – the saddle saw the rest.
Porter, Robert Kerr, Sir (1777-1842), Journal of a Tour in North Wales etc, NLW MS 12651A, p. 14-15

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