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The Diary of Thomas Jenkins

Crickets, Premonitions, Birth, Death and Romance

1846 - 33 years old

Feby 8
Went with David Davies to Middleton Hall to see the gardens. Took tea at the gardener's.
Feby 20
Drew the elliptic line for the new bridge, full size, Span 145 ft, Raise 38 ft.
Mar 15
Went with B. Morgan to see Tregib House and gardens. Thence to hear the Revd. D. Griffiths at the Unitarian Chapel. From there to Llygad Llwchwr and from there to Glynhir. Saw a snake in the wood near the waterfall. (Tallest waterfall in Carmarthenshire) Took tea at Cross Inn and returned to Llandeilo through Llandybie.
Sept 1
A cricket began chirping in the kitchen, being the first I have heard in the same house as myself.
Sep 2
Dreamt that the chain of the crane broke and came down with a rattling noise and, starting from sleep, Ann asked me what was the matter, when I told. This evening the chain did break and ran over the pulley with the same noise as I heard in my dream. Three or four of us had a narrow escape.
Oct 10
The remains of John Cleaver's little boy were thrown up by the flood near Llanarthney, after having been in the river two months.
Oct 22
Very high flood. Part of the centre carried off. There were five men on it at the time and they were precipitated with the falling timbers into the flood. Two were taken out immediately one got up by a rope over the parapet of the old bridge, and two were carried by the river on some of the timbers to Cilsan where they got out much exhausted.
Nov 11
The old bridge having been damaged by the late flood and cracked through, went with William Williams to Cilgwyn where we purchased 1,000ft. beech timber for making a coffer-dam around the damaged pier.
Dec 16
Made a coffin for a still-born male child of Edmund Parry, Watchmaker and Sarah, Morgan Pendry's servant. Buried him on the hill above the well in the lower churchyard.

1847 - 34 years old

Dec 31
Made a coffin for George Hughes' little girl, aged 14 weeks. Miss Sarah Davies came to see us last night from Aberdauddwr. (Very significant entry as future events will prove to be extremely interesting.)

1848 - 35 years old

Jany 1
Morning fine, frost evening, rain and thaw. Ann was put to bed at 3 p.m. attended by Dr. Rees and gave birth to a boy at 9 ½ p.m.
Jany 2
Sunday. Went at Ann's request to Doulaugleision, she having promised Mrs. Davies that I should dine there today, Sarah having been sent there yesterday. Returned at 4 p.m. Soon after I returned my poor Ann was attacked with severe pains in the right leg. Sent for Drs. Prothero and Rees to attend her, at 10 p.m. pain less severe.
Jany 3
Ann very ill.
Jany 4
Same.
Jany 5
Worse.
Jany 6
After a night of intense suffering my dear Ann left me at 10 ½ a.m. alone in the world.
Jany 8
I was taken very ill with the influenza.
Jany 9
Worse.
Jany 10
No better. Little James very unwell. I was obliged to nurse him all day, he would go to no one else. The remains of my dear girl were laid in the same grave as our little George. I was not resigned to his death 'til now I've lost his dear mother. I was too ill to follow her to her last resting place
Jany 11
No better. Put the poor baby out to wet-nurse at Rhosmaen with Jane - at 2/6d per week.
Jany 12
A little better, but exhausted in body and mind. Obliged to nurse poor James every day, he will not leave me for a moment.
Jany 14:
Today, thank God, I am able to commence work again.
Jany 21
Sarah brought home from Dolau very unwell.
Jany 22
She was very ill last night but better today, and I trust that I feel grateful to the Almighty. Paid Dd. Gwilliam burial fees 5/-, to nurse for attending Ann 14/-, Surgeons' bill £3.2.2 Burial £4.1.2
Jany 27
Sent set of tea-things to Miss S. Davies which Ann had exchanged for some which she had bought. The centering was lowered from under the arch of the new bridge today.
Jany 30
Sunday. 9 p.m. The centre was carried off by the flood and thrown down in a mass. Went to Rhosmaen to see my poor motherless baby
Feb 3
I was taken very ill in the pleurisy. Took a Drover's powder.
Feb 4
Very bad. Applied a mustard poultice.
Feb 5
Better.
Feb 6
Had a very bad night
Feb 7
Better. Made a coffin for Mary Morgan aged 6 years and 7 months.
Mar 16:
I have been foolish enough today to lose 2 hours seeing a fox let before the hounds at Gurrey-fach gate and followed them to the old mill in the park. It was the first foxhunt I ever went to see and I am pretty sure it will be the last. Paid Hester Davies for 22 weeks service £0.16.6
Apr 19
Suffered from toothache for the first time in my life
June 15
The electric fluid struck an oak near Llandyfeisant Church and split it to the roots, driving the bark off all around
June 29
Mother-in-law left, gave her some of poor Ann's clothes
July 14
Went to Llygad Llwchwr Cave together with the Revd. John Lewis, Messrs. D. Lewis, R. W. Lewis, H. Bundy and J. Roberts. Left coracle inside. Entered 10 a.m. Out 4 p.m. Thermometer in shade outside 68 deg. Water 49 deg. Quantity of water discharged per minute 450 ft - 28,325 lbs - 12 tons 11 cwts. 12 lb - 45 hogsheads. Holywell discharges 84 hogsheads per minute.
Nov 12
Sunday. Dreamed last night that I was called to Dynevor to make a coffin for a female, and having made it I thought it was too small, and at 2 p.m. today I was desired by Dr. Prothero to go over and measure the remains of Mrs. Catherine Powell, aged 56, who died suddenly at 1 p.m.
Nov 13
Stayed up last night and commenced making a shell at 12 ½ a.m. Took it to Dynevor at 5 a.m. Attended the inquest. Verdict - Died by the visitation of God. Agreed with Jane Thomas to stay another year. (Later, Thomas has an illegitimate child with Jane, his servant.)

1849 - 36 years old

Jany 1
Fine frost. Went to Aberdauddwr at 7 a.m. Spent a very happy day, one of the happiest I have had for a long time in the charming society of Miss S Davies.
Jany 10
Sent a letter to Sarah Davies.
Jany 26
Received an answer from S.D.
Jany 27
Sent letter S.D.
Jany 31
Received letter S.D. Kind.
Feby 1
Do. (shorthand for ditto)
Feby 17
Received letter S.D.
Feby 20
Returned answer.
Mar 26
Sent letter S.D.
Apl 5
Received an answer.
Apl 6
Good Friday. Hired a horse and a gig at the 'Castle' and went with B. Morgan by Llanwrda to Caio. From there over the hills to Maes-yr-haidd to see Henry Harris the Astrologer of Cwrt-y-cadno. He is in a decline, can't live many weeks. Went by Bronnant and Dolaucothi to the old Roman mines at Ogof-caio, then to Aberdauddwr (where Sarah Davies lives) where we had tea and enjoyed the evening very much
Apl 9
Sent letter S.D. Went together with T.T. Williams and B. Morgan by Cennen Tower to Trichrug to collect fossils. (This tower, north of Carreg Cennen Castle, was blown up in the 1960's to make a milk stand. Just a little rubble remains.) Very cold day.
Apl 29
Made a machine for grinding chocolate. Sent letter SD.
May 2
Received letter SD. Took Peter to paint Edwinsford bridge. Walked on from there over the hills to Aberdauddwr.
May 3
Slept at do. Left at 9 a.m. SD came to send me some distance. Heard the cuckoo, first time this year.
May 14
Sent letter and books to SD. (Letters continue back and forth)
Aug 4
Received letter from SD. Her brother died in America, aged 27
Aug 8
Had one of my teeth extracted being the first symptom of old age. (The almost daily love letters continue&helli)
Dec 21
Made a homomotive carriage with three wheels.

1850 - 37 years old

Jan 29
Sent letter to SD. Fitted up a mahogany seat and front to water-closet at Tregib £3.16.0
Mar 23
Left in 'car' at 6 p.m. for Carmarthen. Storm of snow and hail in my face all the way. (Cryptic reference to Jane Thomas follows this entry)
Apl 24
Arrived at Aberdauddwr at 9 p.m. Found Miss Davies very unwell. Returned to Pumpsaint.
Apl 25
Slept at do. Left at 9 a.m. and walked to see Miss Davies. Heavy rain without ceasing all day. Left at 7 p.m. and returned to Pumpsaint
Apl 26
Called up at 12 last night, ran to Aberdauddwr, Miss D expecting she should die. Sat up by her side. Sent for Dr. Prothero at 2 a.m. Spent a sad day expecting his arrival from 8 a.m. 'til 7 p.m. when he came.
Apl 27
Left Aberdauddwr at 5 a.m. in car.
May 1
Left at 5 a.m. with Dr. Prothero in dog cart. Got to Aberdauddwr by 8 a.m. Found Miss D. still very ill. Home at 12 noon.
May 2
Accompanied Mr. R.W. Lewis to Cennen Tower where Mr. T.T. Williams joined us. Went along the Black Mountain range by Llwchwr lakes to the lately discovered cavern near the lime quarries. Found fine specimens of various coloured ochres in the junction of lime and millstone grit.
May 5
Miss SD's brother came for Dr. Prothero.
May 25
Received letter from SD. Left at 7 p.m. in velocipede. Got to Pumpsaint at 11 p.m.
May 26
Sunday. Slept at and took breakfast at Pumpsaint. Walked to Aberdauddwr at 9 a.m. Carried Miss D. down stairs.
May 27
Slept at do. Took Miss D in my arms to the garden. She has not been out before for the past 5 weeks.
May 28
Slept at do. Left at 6. Took breakfast at Llanwrda. Home at 10 a.m. Roads very wet. At 4 p.m. Lewis Davies came to Dr. Prothero, she having commenced throwing up blood at 9 a.m.
May 29
Dr. Prothero went up. Lewis came for medicine. Went to lecture on Phreno-mesmerism by Davey and Jackson.
June 3
Received letter and sent answer SD.
June 5
Went with Dr. Prothero for Miss Davies at Aberdauddwr. She and her mother returned with us in his carriage.
June 7
Sat up 'til 4 a.m. Miss Davies could get no sleep. She spent a very anxious night, not having slept the two previous nights.
June 10
Took SD in phaeton 3 miles on Carmarthen Road.
June 21
Sent 100 postage stamps to Evan Jones, Cardiff in payment for the 'Gymraes' for Miss Davies.
June 24
Took Miss Davies over Cilsan Bridge in phaeton.
July 13
Jane went to Froodvale. Returned on the 16th.
Aug 13
Miss Mary Davies left. Drove her and SD in phaeton to near half-way Llansawel.
Sept 4
Took SD and Ann Evans in phaeton to see Golden Grove gardens
Sept 23
Went in homomotive carriage to Llangadog in 55 minutes.
Oct 9
Made four collecting boxes for Llandeilo Church 1/6d each.
Oct 10
5 a.m. Cleaned and planted flowers on Ann's grave.
Nov 30
Made 12 vesta lamp pillars for the church. Set them up and lit the lamps this evening at 10 o'clock.
Dec 7
Jane Thomas left. (Jane must have gotten pregnant by Thomas a month before, as her baby was born 3 Aug 1851 and on 22 Jan 1852, Thomas Jenkins had to pay Jane's expenses of 12/6d and was ordered to pay 1/6d per week.)