The ‘Active‘ of Cardigan was a Snow of 142 tons. She was acquired by the Davies family in 1809 in Cardigan. Captain John Davies of Bridge House, Bridge Street, Cardigan, was her master. The sailing history of the vessel is confused by other ships of the same name with other Captain Davies’ at the helm, so the following account may need extensive revision. In September 1809 she sailed from Cardigan to Swansea, then on to Cork, back to Swansea, up to Aberystwyth, and across to Waterford, before returning to Swansea in ballast at the end of the month. In October that year she sailed from Swansea back to Waterford.
In March 1810 the ‘Active‘ was at Milford, bound from Dublin to Cardiff. In April 1810 she sailed from Chepstow to Dublin, and then back to Swansea. In November 1812 the vessel was at Milford, en route from Cardiff to Dublin. In January 1813 she had returned from Dublin to Milford, and in February that year sailed from there to Newport, Monmouthshire. In September 1814 she arrived at Milford from Limerick. In December she sailed from Cork to Milford, where her story almost ended. The following appeared in the ‘Cambrian‘ of 24/12/1814:
“…On Friday morning the brig Active, of Cardigan, Davies, master, was driven on the rocks in this harbour, and remained there until the next morning when, through the exertions of the officers and crews of the Diligence and Fox Customs cutters, she was got off without sustaining any very serious injury. We hope the parties who exerted themselves will be handsomely rewarded on this occasion, as had not the means been used which they afforded, the vessel would, there is little doubt, have gone to pieces…”
On 10 January 1815 Captain Evan Davies, Master of the ‘Active‘, married Miss Mary Harries of Fishguard. In October 1815 the ship sailed from Bristol to Aberystwyth. In November that year she sailed from Swansea to Waterford, and in December 1815 sailed from Waterford to Milford. Once again December proved to be an unhappy month. According to the ‘Cambrian‘ of 9 December 1815:
“…The Active, Davies, from Waterford for Milford, has arrived at the latter port; when the vessel was about leaving Waterford, Capt. Davies had occasion to reprimand a boy belonging to her for misconduct, upon which the latter drew his knife and stabbed Capt. Davies three times in the side. It is hoped the wounds are not dangerous. The boy has made his escape…”
On 26 September 1816 the ‘Active‘ was at Milford, bound for Poole. In October 1819 she sailed from Swansea to Waterford. The loss of the Davies family ship the ‘Albion‘ in November 1819 led to John Davies and the ‘Active‘ taking over the family’s transatlantic trade. From 1820 until 1822 she made annual visits to St. John’s, New Brunswick, taking emigrants to the Frederickton area and fetching timber back to Cardigan.) The later history of the vessel is obscure, and she was lost in 1828