by  • September 6, 2013 • Cardigan, Ceredigion, Inn, Modern, Period, Post-Medieval, Site Type • 0 Comments



    In 1834 the building was marked on John Wood’s Map of Cardigan as the property of Elizabeth Evans. In 1837-65 Captain David Evans lived here. In 1837 Captain David Evans, was the master and part-owner of the 106 ton Cardigan ship ‘Confidence’. In 1838 David Evans the younger was born here. From 1839 David Evans, mariner, was a burgess of Cardigan. In April 1840 Mary Evans was born here. The 136-ton Cardigan schooner ‘Boudicea’ was converted into a 161-ton brigantine at Cardigan in 1841 and David Evans was the Captain and part-owner. On 9th February 1841 Mary Evans, daughter of Captain David & Mary Evans, died aged 10 months. In 1841 another Mary Evans was born here. In 1841 the following persons lived here: Mary Evans, 25; David Evans, 2 years, 6 months, her son; Mary Evans, 1 month, daughter; and Eliza Harries, 15. On 24th June 1844 Mary Evans, daughter of Captain David Evans & Mary Evans, died aged 3. In 1847 Elizabeth Evans was born here. In 1848 Jonathan Evans was born here. In 1849 Margaret Evans was born here. In 1852 James Evans was born here. On 29th March 1853 the 161-ton Cardigan ship ‘Boudicea’, of which David Evans was the Captain and a shareholder, was lost. In 1854 Benjamin Evans was born here. In 1857 Sarah Jane Evans was born here. In 1859 this was “The Boudicea” public house. In 1861 the following persons lived here: Captain David Evans, 50, mariner; Mary Evans, 48, his wife; Elizabeth Evans, 14, their daughter; Jonathan Evans, 13, son; Margaret Evans, 12, daughter; James Evans, 9, son; Benjamin Evans, 7, son; Sarah Jane Evans, 4, daughter; and a servant. Captain David Evans of the “Boudicea” of Cardigan died on 30th October 1865 aged 55.

    Mary Evans, 'Boudicea', circa 1879 (J T Mathias)

    Mary Evans, ‘Boudicea’, circa 1879 (J T Mathias)

    In 1865-75 Mary Evans, widow, was the publican. On 12th March 1866 Mary Evans, daughter of Captain David Evans, married High Street grocer Thomas Davies. In 1871 the following persons lived here: Mary Evans, 58, widow; Mary Evans, 22, her daughter; and Sarah Jane Evans, 14, daughter. Mary Evans lived here in 1875. On 2nd February 1880 at the dissolution of the DaviesBrothers’ partnership, this was the retail outlet of Daniel Davies, Bonded Stores, Drawbridge. In 1881 John Williams, 40, pot man, lived here. On October 26th 1887 Mary Evans, widow of David Evans of the ‘Boudicea’, died aged 75. On 25th November 1888 the premises was “The Boudicea”. On 31st December 1888 the property was advertised for sale.

    In 1891-1910 Samuel Owen was the publican. In 1891 the following persons lived here: Samuel Owen, 32, innkeeper; Emma Maria Owen, 31, his wife; Mary Harries, 10, her daughter; Rachel Morgan, 21, servant; and Mary Lewis, 18, servant. In 1893 Lily Harries, spinster, was the landlady. On 6th February 1893 the license was transferred from Ebenezer Harries to Mrs. Owen. In 1895 Miss Emma Maria Owen was the landlady. In 1901 the following persons lived here: Samuel Owen, 42, innkeeper (b. Llechryd); Emma Maria Owen, 41, his wife (b. Nevern); Mary Elizabeth Owen, 20, their daughter (b. Cardigan); William Williams, 35, visitor, colliery agent (b. Tredegar); Frances Beynon, 23, domestic servant (b. Eglwyswrw); and Sarah Anne Morris, 19, domestic servant (b. Llangoedmor). On 16th January 1902 John Roach, 50, widower of this address, draper, married Anne Williams, 44, of Dinas Cross. In 1903-10 Mrs. Emma Mary Owen ran the ‘Commercial’. On 15th April 1910 Mrs. Emma Maria Owen died aged 50. On 23rd April 1910 just four days after the funeral of his wife, Samuel Owen, landlord, fell into the river Teifi and drowned, aged 51.

    Later that year Lily Harries became the landlady. On 12th September 1910 Mary Elizabeth Watkins Harries of the ‘Commercial’ married Lewis Lewis, High Street architect. In 1911 the following persons lived here: Lewis Lewis, 34, architect; Mary Elizabeth Lewis, 30, his wife, hotel keeper; Ann Evans, 29, servant, chamber maid; Margaret Davies, 23, waitress; and Hannah Owen, 23, servant. On 20th October 1911 a son was born to Mrs. Lewis Lewis. In 1912-19 Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Watkins Lewis was the landlady. On 20th October 1914 the chauffeur to the ‘Commercial’ – Willie Griffiths – married Miss Maggie Davies of Tyhen.

    In May 1919, following transfer of the license from Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Watkins Lewis, Dan J. Thomas became the new landlord of the ‘Commercial’. In 1919-23 David J. Thomas was the licensee. In 1919 D. J. Thomas was the landlord and was named on the local jury list. On 7th July 1921 Mary George Thomas of the Commercial was buried at Bridell Church, having died aged 39 on 4th July 1921. She was a daughter of the late David George & Mrs. George of the ‘Pendre Inn’, Cilgerran. David J. Thomas was still the licensee in 1922. The property was advertised for sale on 22nd June 1923. In October 1923 the license was transferred from David J. Thomas to James Thomas.

    In 1923 James Thomas became the landlord until 1946. On 11th February 1927 the future of the license was under discussion. In August 1928 James Thomas was elected onto the Cardigan Town Council. In November 1935 James Thomas became the Mayor of Cardigan. Cardigan grocer G. R. Jones died here in tragic circumstances in April 1936. In 1936-38 James & Alice Thomas were the landlords. In about September 1946 James Thomas gave up the business, the property having gone up for sale in February.

    In 1949-71 Ryland Sexton, landlord, lived here. On 6th March 1950 Miss Gladys Sexton of this address married Hywel Jenkins of Cardigan. In 1955 Mary & Reylan Sexton lived here. In September 1962 Miss Eiryl Sexton, daughter of landlords Mr. & Mrs. Ryland Sexton, married Kenneth Wheeler of Bron-y-Dre. In 1980 Mr. & Mrs. Ken Rees were the landlords. In 1983-2009 Dewi & Diane Lewis were the publicans and lived here. In January 2009 the pub was advertised to let. The new landlord, Jamie Lewis, took over the license in November 2009. Then the World Youth Darts Champion, he was only 18 and the youngest licensee in Britain. It closed again in 2011.

    Commercial Hotel in March 2003 (c) Glen K Johnson

    Commercial Hotel in March 2003 (c) Glen K Johnson


    The following observations were made from old photographs. Early C19 inn in painted stucco with pitched slate roof and cut stone end stack. Three storey, 2-window range with 6-pane half-sized sashes to upper storey, 12-pane to first floor and ground floor, all with slate sills. Door to ground floor centre with pointed gabled hood with slate roof.


    Map of Cardigan, J Wood 1834

    NLW Minor Deposit 490-9B

    Census Returns 1841; 1861; 1871; 1881; 1891; 1901; 1911

    Pembrokeshire Record Office: Port of Cardigan Shipping Registers

    Slater’s Directory 1868

    Post Office Directory 1871

    Kelly’s Directory of South Wales 1875; 1914; 1926

    Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser 1880; 1888; 1893-94; 1902-03; 1905; 1907; 1909-17; 1919-25

    1927-28; 1932-36; 1939-41; 1943-46; 1949-50; 1952; 1962; 1971; 1980; 1997; 2009

    Parish Register of St. Mary’s, Cardigan

    Parish of St. Mary Jury List 1919

    Register of Electors, 1938; 1955

    Maritime Heritage, J Geraint Jenkins 1982

    © Glen K Johnson 06/09/2013


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