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Author Topic: Jemima Nicholas: Traditional Welsh hat sells for 5,000  (Read 415 times)
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« on: August 27, 2019, 09:47:59 AM »

25 August 2019

A traditional Welsh hat which may have once belonged to an 18th Century heroine has sold at auction for 5,000.

Jemima Nicholas, from Pembrokeshire, led a group of Welsh women to capture French soldiers who landed at Fishguard in 1797.

The item was donated to a charity auction to raise funds for the restoration of a local church.

Hywel Davies said the hat came to him through his mother as it had been passed down through her relatives.

"It was well known to be Jemima's hat, everybody knew of it as hers," Mr Davies told BBC Cymru Fyw.

An expert confirmed the hat was dated from about 1750, and "so few" from that time would have survived to the present day.

"It had spent years in a cupboard. I decided it would be a nice thing to give to the appeal, so it was nice that it was sold for 5,000."

The successful bid came from Denise Hutton, a distant relative of Jemima who had flown from Australia to make the purchase.

It is said Jemima tricked troops into surrender by telling local women to dress in traditional Welsh costume to look like British soldiers.

She is said to have single-handedly rounded-up a dozen French troops armed with only a pitchfork.

The hat has been passed down through the years to headteachers

Following the publicity from the auction, Alun Davies, a former head teacher at a Fishguard primary school, said a hat kept in the school at the time had been passed down for years.

"Every headmaster that had been in charge had been given the instruction from the previous head that this was Jemima Nicholas's hat," he said.

When the school moved site, the old building was cleared and Mr Davies' successor, Tim Owen, took the hat home for safekeeping.

"It's not in great condition," Mr Owen said. "I was told it had been used in a school concert in 1982, but since then it had just been in a cupboard."

He admitted that it would be difficult to know for certain if it was Jemima's original: "Nobody's quite sure, but this is the story that's been passed on."

* _108480769_hetjemima.jpg (12.38 KB, 660x371 - viewed 566 times.)

* _108492603_blru.jpg (28.23 KB, 624x351 - viewed 583 times.)

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Val Beechey
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« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2019, 01:06:52 PM »

I think that was a leap of faith. An expensive one at that. Got to take your hat off to him (excuse the pun)
Great story that. Ive heard and read it before (the Jemima one )  I think I met a descendant of hers on Pendine beach one day  Shocked. Shed has put the fear of god in anyone  Grin

Thanks for posting Neil.

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Nihi nisi sub sole

« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2019, 10:52:17 PM »

I was on holiday over in Haverford West over the summer - remember seeing quite a few things about the last invasion there, as it is always a good story; the Irish and French are always trying things Smiley

Thanks for sharing
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« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2019, 07:32:00 PM »

Glad to an ancestor of mine remembered   for her contribution to welsh history  Grin better still the money raised going to a worthy cause charity Wink she was my mothers /mother Eleanor Nicholas family line  born in Pembroke myself half of my family still live there beautiful area now a valleys boy I prefer the mountains Wink

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