Hay view from Castle

Hay view from Castle
Hay-on-Wye, Powys (formerly Breconshire), Wales. The "Town of Books" (and Vaughans!)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

A Possible Uncle Willie Sighting

Cyfarthfa Ironworks by Night (1825) by Penry Williams
This isn't by any means certain, but the age, profession, temperament, and location of this lad's story are a pretty good fit. The major problem is that William Vaughan (1855-1922), son of John (1825) and Maranah (1827) Vaughan had a sister born in 1864 in Durham and this report is from 1865 in Merthyr Tydfil. Considering how the family moved around all over the valleys of South Wales and then to Durham as set out in our chronology, it is possible that young Willie was left in Merthyr for a time with relatives or friends, particularly as he apparently had a position in the Cyfarthfa Ironworks.

Merthyr Telegraph and General Advertiser for the Iron Districts of South Wales
 2 September 1865.
"Frigan" remains a mystery as I have not yet found a definition.

Branding through the trousers with a red hot iron is not the worst thing that could happen to a worker at the forges. A splash from the molten iron itself would only cool by boiling the blood down to the bone cauterizing the flesh as it did so. The extraction of the solidified metal and cauterized skin and muscle was horrific.

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