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Historical Notes






December 20th: William, Earl of Pembroke to William Morgan of Llantrisant and his sons the lease of Bryn Pillog with power to dig coal therein and also in and around Nant Melyn for three lives, rent 5/10 for the land and 5/- for the coal.


October 30th, William, Earl of Pembroke, to Edmund son of William Morgan the lease of houses upon and lands of Bryn Pillog and Gwayne-y-Menith and coal thereunder and under Nant Melyn for three lives, Rent 12/-.


September 20th: Earl of Pembroke to Thomas Mathew Esq. several parcels of land in the neighbourhood of Llantrisant together with liberty to dig cole therein and above “all that Parsell of Waste Ground in the several Lordships of Miskin and Glyn Ronthey called Tir Wayne Wrgan to be taken there in such places as the said Thos Mathews shall think fit”.


Charles I survey of Miskin. Thomas Gruffydd houldeth the Coale Mynes on the Lords demesne Land called Gwayn-y-Person and Tire-y-Llwyn Bedw within the Parish of Aberdare.


At the Receipt of Miskin granted to John Thomas for 21 years all coal in Parish of Aberdare (all those coal mines and mines situate within) and rights to dig therein worth 10/- per annum.


Rent Roll of Manor of Miskin, Aberdare Parish.
Sir Charles Keyes Bart for Tir Cwmdaer 1/3.
John Thomas for the coal mines of Aberdare 10/-.
Thos Matthews Esq. for the Forest of Llwydcoed £2..14s and 2 Capons.
Christopher Matthews Gent, for a tenement called the Gadles £3..6s..8d and 2 Capons


At the Audit
William Owen had a grant of coal mines lying and being in the place called Pigin Pynt and Gwayn-y-Person in Aberdare for 5 years at 10/- Sold to Mr. Richard Hughes in fee at Audit of 1697.


October 23rd. From Trustee of the Dowager Duchess of Pembroke, Lease to Evan Moses and Lewis Williams (under Nant Melyn etc).


N.B. By this time coal was being extracted from 4 small levels:
1 Lefel Penrhiwllech near farm house of that name in Cwmdare
2 Lefel Y Bryn Gwyn (Lefel y Bechgyn or Lefel Bryn Banerau Gwynion)   Between Lluestau Llwydion and Hirwaun
3 Lefel Y Garn not far from Ffwrnes y Garn
4 Lefel Penar on the mountainside above Cwmbach.

A waterway was constructed this year by T. Edward and a boat built by W.E. Rhys carried 200lb of coal between Lefel Bryn Gwyn and Tir y Lluest.


Coal was 1d a sack, Merthyr ½d a sack, Brecon 10d a sack.
Dowlais coal came from the Iron Works set up by John Guest, (1722–85).
John Guest came from Broseley in Salop in 1765 and was followed by his son in 1785 as manager of the Dowlais Works. He also fathered in that year Josiah John Guest who was later knighted.
Sir J.J. Guest was the husband of Lady Charlotte Guest and first MP for Aberdare.
Coal was being extracted in each district probably by farmers for domestic use.


No mention of horses until the opening of Y Lefel Fawr in Hirwaun.
Average wage for miners was 1/8 per diem, but by 1813 it was 3/4 per day.