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Sir Thomas Picton – His Life and Times

220px-Sir_Thomas_Picton

Saturday 27 June 10.00 am

Fascinating West Wales Connections to Sir Thomas Picton Discovered

Does your ancestry reveal connections with the name Picton? Or maybe you share the same surname? The extensive use of Y-Chromosome DNA testing alongside thorough documentary research has enabled various Picton families with connections to West Wales to be linked together in a comprehensive pattern for the first time.

Several of these people will be attending a unique presentation about the Life and Times of Sir Thomas Picton at Picton Castle and Gardens on 27 June which forms part of a week-long Picton Reunion (22-29 June) being hosted at Bluestone, Martletwy and is part of a series of events and exhibitions being staged across the country to commemorate the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo – the battle that changed Europe. The use of DNA testing in this research and much of the documentation will be discussed more fully in the evenings at Bluestone.

Having won a place from a national competition organised by the Waterloo 200 Committee, 13 year-old Elin Davies of St. Clears will be representing all the local and international Picton families with origins in West Wales at a Memorial Service in St. Paul’s Cathedral on 18 June, the 200th anniversary date of the Battle of Waterloo. She will also be helping to lay the wreath on the memorial there to the General. but after the official remembrance service has finished and the Royal Family has left. A wreath to the Duke of Wellington will be laid on his monument first, followed by one on the memorial of Sir Thomas Picton. Along with her parents, Elin will also be attending the Picton event, as her father Geraint had a female Picton as one of his grandmothers.

Local connections abound, from Thomas Picton’s birthplace in Haverfordwest, to the house he was brought up in at Poyston Hall in the parish of Rudbaxton and his departure for the final showdown at Waterloo from his home at Iscoed, near Ferryside in Carmarthenshire.

In the presentation at Picton Castle & Gardens, all aspects of the life of Sir Thomas Picton will be covered: from his family and friends to those events which helped shape his personal and military character and how he overcame several career set-backs to eventually achieve national renown and to be buried in St. Pauls Cathedral.

If you are interested in the life and times of Sir Thomas Picton (1758 – 1815) and this fascinating period of history, further information and limited tickets for the event on 27 June at Picton Castle and Gardens near Haverfordwest are available from the organiser, Brian Picton Swann on 01276 28598.

Do you know why Wellington’s boots were so unusually short or what the height of the French Emperor was? On a website dedicated to promoting all these events, they are testing the nation’s battle knowledge – check this out and read more.  A link to “The History of Waterloo in 200 Objects” part of the National Army Museum website, which includes the musket ball which killed Sir Thomas Picton at Waterloo also makes good reading.  There are some fascinating objects on this website.

Programme for 27 June at Picton Castle and Gardens

The presentations will take place in the purpose-built lecture theatre close to the Gift Shop & Restaurant and within the central Estate complex. Entrance for cars will be via the road passing through the two lodge houses and reserved parking will be right opposite the front entrance to Picton Castle itself.

A light buffet will be available at lunchtime at around £6.50 per head. There should be sufficient time to stroll around the various walks and gardens within the Castle grounds. On the same day the Castle will also be hosting “Carriages at the Castle”.

10.00 – 10.15  Introduction by Brian Picton Swann

10.15 – 11.05  Thomas Picton, his early life until appointment to the Governorship of Trinidad, 1758-1797. The roles of his family, education and military patronage, early successes and frustrations. Examination of new and old source materials (Brian Swann)

11.05 – 11.30  Coffee break

11.30 – 12.15  Trinidad, State Trials, and Beginnings of Re-establishment, 1797-1809 (Brian Swann)

12.15 – 1345  Lunch and tour of Picton Castle Estate

1345 – 1435  Sir Thomas Picton’s career in the Peninsular War as commander of the 3rd Division, 1810-1814. How he became a national figure and war hero with the 3rd Division, as well as MP for Pembroke (Brian Swann)

1435 – 1445  Break

1445 – 1545  Waterloo and Beyond, 1815 to 1859 – his houses, monuments and school (Brian Swann & David Ellis)

1600  Finish and possible tour to the remains of the old Church at Slebech, Slebech House and Gardens for those interested (1 mile away, spectacular views of the upper Cleddau River)

1700 (approx)  Return to Bluestone

The picture above shows Thomas Picton wearing his Peninsular Gold Cross (made out of real gold), with four bars (various battles, there are also 4 on the cross itself).  The original is now in the State Museum at Patiala in India.  Just where you expect it not to be!!  The reason it is there, is in one of the presentations.

 Tickets for this event are limited. For full details contact the organiser, Brian Picton Swann

 e-mail: bps@norvic8.force9.co.uk

Tel: 01276 28598

 

Click here for a YouTube Video on DNA and Welsh Family History made at a presentation for Who Do You Think You Are at London, Olympia, 2014

PICTON REUNION SCHEDULE

Martin R. Connop-Price will joining and accompanying us from mid-morning onwards, travelling across from Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire [author of Industrial Saundersfoot (1982); Coal, Culm and Cresswell Quay: Some Aspects of the Pembrokeshire Coal Industry in the Eighteenth Century (1994/5); Pembrokeshire: The Forgotten Coalfield (2004)]. His expertise and local knowledge from Martletwy and Landshipping onwards will add significantly to the day’s experience. Lunch at either Landshipping, Lawrenny Quay or Cresswell Quay, depending on time and low water at Cresswell Quay. Martin will stay with us at Bluestone overnight. As so many of us had families connected at one time or another with the coal industry in Pembrokeshire, this is a real bonus.

DNA discussion in the evening. I hope Tom Lloyd and Roger Turvey will join us for this, if so discussion will be extended to include Wales/Ireland links from 1169/70 onwards and the Irish Diaspora Project.

Monday, 22nd June

Arrival at Bluestone, Martletwy. Meet and greet. Possible overview of DNA and Pembrokeshire history in evening.

Tuesday, 23rd June

Stepaside Ironworks, Saundersfoot [industrial South Pembrokeshire], Tenby, possibly Lydstep Point (National Trust), Manorbier Castle [birthplace of Gerald of Wales (Giraldus Cambrensis) in about 1146], Bishop’s Palace at Lamphey, Stackpole Quay (lunch and walk), Cleddau Road Bridge, Walwyns Castle and Church, possibly remains of Hasguard Church and Bicton farm, Dale and Marloes [Henry Tudor landed at Mill Bay near Dale in 1485 en route to Bosworth field and being crowned as King Henry VII], Martin’s Haven (walk and extensive sea views to the islands of Skomer and Grasholm), Little Haven, Walton West Church, Broad Haven (walk), Haroldston West, Nolton Haven, Newgale. Coastal walks possible at Stackpole Quay, Martin’s Haven, Little Haven, Broad Haven and Haroldston West (all recommended, but especially the first two). Broad Haven, as the name suggests, has a large expanse of sand for children to play on. Probably quite a long day, if we do everything.

Wednesday, 24th June

Local sites around Martletwy: Wiston Castle (walk) and Llawhaden Castle (drive past), Blackpool Mill (if open), Minwear Church, Martletwy Church, Westfields, Landshipping Quay (coal industry), Burnett’s Hill Chapel, remains of Coedcenlas Church, Lawrenny Church and Quay, Cresswell Quay, Carew Castle and Tide Mill, Williamston, Nash Church, Cosheston Church, Pembroke Castle (drive by) and finally – Jeffreyston Coal Pits [enthusiasts only, Tom Lloyd, Wales Herald of Arms, will join us as coal pits ae on his land].

Martin R. Connop-Price will joining and accompanying us from mid-morning onwards, travelling across from Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire [author of Industrial Saundersfoot (1982); Coal, Culm and Cresswell Quay: Some Aspects of the Pembrokeshire Coal Industry in the Eighteenth Century (1994/5); Pembrokeshire: The Forgotten Coalfield (2004)]. His expertise and local knowledge from Martletwy and Landshipping onwards will add significantly to the day’s experience. Lunch at either Landshipping, Lawrenny Quay or Cresswell Quay, depending on time and low water at Cresswell Quay. Martin will stay with us at Bluestone overnight. As so many of us had families connected at one time or another with the coal industry in Pembrokeshire, this is a real bonus.

DNA discussion in the evening. I hope Tom Lloyd and Roger Turvey will join us for this, if so discussion will be extended to include Wales/Ireland links from 1169/70 onwards and the Irish Diaspora Project.

Thursday, 25th June

Long day. Probably 09.00 am start. Llanstephan Castle for views across the Teifi estuary to Iscoed [home of Sir Thomas Picton, 1812-1815], Picton Monument at Carmarthen, St. Clears sites [Chapels and Farms], Llanboidy Church, Cwmfelin Mynach sites, Glandwr Chapel at Llanfyrnach, drive past Prescelli Hills, Penygroes Chapel, Whitechurch Church, possibly Llanfair Nanygwyn, Eglwyswrw and Meline drive pasts. Trewern Arms for lunch (ca 13.15). Meet up with Dr. Reg Davies. Nevern Church, Nevern Castle [important in the history both of the Barony of Cemais, the town of Newport and castles in Wales in general, possible excavations on site (tbc)], Newport town and Castle, Parrog, Gwaun Valley, Fishguard. Dr. Reg Davies will show us around places marked in yellow. The main street in Newport up to the Castle is quite steep.

Friday, 26th June

Poyston Hall, Rudbaxton Church, Camrose Church, Keeston Chapel, Roch Church and possibly Castle [tbc], St. Davids town and Cathedral (lunch), St. Justinian, Solva, Haverfordwest, Freystrop, Little Milford Quay, Hook, Llangwm, Burton, Cleddau Road Bridge [walk possible at St. Justinian – sea views across to Ramsay Island, also at Little Milford Quay].

Saturday, 27th June

Sir Thomas Picton, His Life and Times at Picton Castle from 10.00 am. Picton Castle Grounds, Picton Point, Slebech Hall and old Church.
Picton Reunion Dinner from 20.00. See separate information.

Sunday, 28th June

Suggestions: Pembroke Castle, Cilgerran Castle, St. Dogmaels Abbey, Moylgrove, Cardigan, Mwnt Chapel, Bridell, Trelech a’r Bettws. Coastal Walks. Possibly other sites on request or a walk to the top of the Prescelli Hills to look down on Whitechurch and along to Nevern and Newport.

To some extent this day will be decided on what has happened on the previous days, and people have the flexibility to go off and “do their own thing”.

Final evening get-together. We may go out for a meal at the local vineyard.

Monday, 29th June

Departure from Bluestone by 11.00 am.

Comments

All schedules are open to variation because of the weather, but most days are now fixed to some extent, as they involve meeting with other people and their agreements to visit places and help us understand what we are looking at.

Walking shoes will be useful for most days. Wear them, or keep them in the back of your cars.

Martin Connop-Price has advised that for those who may want to accompany him across the Cleddau River at Cresswell Quay at low tide via stepping stones in the river (timing to be confirmed), wellington boots are recommended. I, for one, have never done this.

http://www.visitpembrokeshire.com/downloads/useful-resources/tide-times-timetable-2015/
http://marine.meteoconsult.co.uk/shipping-forecast/milford-haven/tide-tables_milford-haven_point-__129_1.php

Llangwm is 5 minutes later than Milford Haven. All times GMT. Low tide is about 6 hr 10 min after high tide. This will enable you to see some of the remains of the once extensive coal and culm shipment facilities at Cresswell Quay. See “Coal, Culm and Cresswell Quay” – available as a PDF document from BPS, and also available from the National Library of Wales website [just google the title words and click on the PDF sign on the page that opens]. The article comes from the 1994/5 Journal of the Pembrokeshire Historical Society.

Also joining us for some of the time will be:

Thomas Owen Saunders Lloyd Esq., OBE, DL, FSA (born 1955). Education: Radley and Downing College, Cambridge (MA).

Career solicitor (not practicing); author; Royal Commissioner on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales 2010-; Wales Herald of Arms Extraordinary 2010-; Chairman: Historic Buildings Council for Wales 1992-2004 (member 1985-2004); British Historic Buildings Trust 1987-92; Pembrokeshire Historical Society 1991-94; Buildings at Risk Trust 1992-2008; Carmarthenshire Antiquarian Society 1999-2002 and 2009-11; Wales region HHA 2004-09; Picton Castle Trust 2006-10; Cambrian Archaeological Association 2007-08; Chair Cathedrals and Churches Commission of the Church in Wales 2012-; Member Cadw – Welsh Historic Monuments Advisory Committee 1992-2004; Trustee Architectural Heritage Fund 2006-; Vice-President Friends of Friendless Churches 2010-; Non-Executive Director: Dyfed Family Health Services Authority 1990-95 (Chairman Medical and Dental Services Committees 1992-96); Wales Tourist Board 1995-99; Consultant Sotheby’s (Wales) 1999-; High Sheriff of Dyfed 2011-12; Honorary Member Royal Society of Architects in Wales 1993; FSA 1991.

The Families of Picton by Hero von Friesen and Tomas Lloyd, OBE, DL

Brian Swann mobile: 07786 734776

 

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