Cymdeithas Hanes Mechell



Cegin Filwr

Anglesey Trading Company


Brynddu and  the


The Church

John Elias

Ffair Mechell

Maes Mawr



The Gallery

Sir Owen Thomas

The Meddanen

and Wygyr

William Jones,


Fortunatus Wright,


Jones the  Crown

Llanfechell Memorial

Llanfechell Chapels

Crop Marks at Carrog

Place Names

Robert Williams, Deacon

The Post Office

Gweirydd ap Rhys

The Demography of Llanfechell 1851 & 1901

Llanfechell Cemetery

William Bulkeley and the poor of Llanfechell

Maureen’s Family Tree

Llanfechell in the early 19th Century

Sinner’s Diary

Tuesday, April Fool’s Day, 1842.

('Though, there's no bigger fool than me, today.)


As long as I live, I will never forget what that bugger Coltham said;


Guilty, my foot! What would he have done had he been in my shoes? When everyone is laughing at you and taking advantage of you, a girl like me can only pay them back. I'd had a belly full of people such as Tom, Ty’n Cowarch, taking advantage of me and thinking he could throw me aside when he'd had enough fun. Well, everyone found out what sort of gentleman he was as his name was dragged through the mud during the trial at Beaumaris. Serves him right. He'll have to live in Llanfechell for the rest of his life and people will always remember how he treated me whilst I'll be far, far away and they'll all, apart from my Mother, have forgotten about poor, little me.

Even if he is allowed to stay in Llanfechell, I'll be miles away. "Australia," the judge said. "You are to be transported across the seas to Australia." I understood him well enough even though he thought I couldn't make head or tail of his fancy English. Anne Williams is not as stupid as she looks and I learnt more in John Jones' school in Llan than anyone knows. But I'll never see Llanfechell again, that's for sure.

“For ten years!” he emphasised. I'll be twenty seven years of age by then and ready to marry, should anyone want me. Who'd be foolish enough to want me, with my past? You never know.

Something else that the judge didn't know was that I had a book hidden on my person. It was given to me by my Mother and it'll be kept close to my heart for as long as I can. The smell of the leather covers remind me of Mother. On its pages, I can write what I want and pour out my feelings without anyone knowing. I'll make sure that no-one has the opportunity to see or steal it. They failed in Beaumaris and I'll keep it as long as I can. 

Something else that the judge didn't know was that I had a book hidden on my person. It was given to me by my Mother and it'll be kept close to my heart for as long as I can. The smell of the leather covers remind me of Mother. On its pages, I can write what I want and pour out my feelings without anyone knowing. I'll make sure that no-one has the opportunity to see or steal it. They failed in Beaumaris and I'll keep it as long as I can. 

Friday, May Day, 1842.

By now, we've reached Millbank Goal. Compared to Beaumaris, it's hell on earth.  This London prison is full of mad women or 'whores and thieves' as the lads in the Crown in Llanfechell would call them! Who, if they had any sense, would break the law to be sent here? I'll have to guard my little book carefully.

We were all examined on arriving here and had to answer a thousand questions:



          Date of birth?

          Where are you from?

          Why are you here?”

          As if they didn't know, already. To crown it all, a large woman grabbed hold of my arms and plonked me in a chair where she cut off my hair. It didn't worry me that much, but for some it was really painful as they had plats. Mother said that if a girl lost her crowning glory it was the end of the world for them!

         “In case of lice!”, said the large one, ”Now get into the bath!”

          I didn't know what a bath was but soon found out when I had to take all my clothes off and a bucketful of lukewarm water was poured over me. Then, someone with a very rough broom started to scrub my back until it nearly bled! I was determined not to give her the satisfaction of seeing me cry and the dirty water helped hide my fears and some tears.  Back home, it was usually a cat's lick of a wash in the freshwater barrel by the back door, every morning.   Then clean clothes or an uniform, as they called them. Nothing like the clothes that Tom’s sister had. No style here. Brown cord; a blue apron and a cap to hide my lack of hair. At least, they were clean and not half as smelly as what I had on before them as I hadn’t had the opportunity to change  since leaving Beaumaris.  They were so keen to be rid of me from there but thankfully I’ve still got my little book. I’ll keep it for as long as I can, though no-one knows what will become of us when we board the ship for Australia.

Wednesday, September 28, 1842.

Awoke yesterday morning from a lovely dream to shouts of “Get a move on!“  and our feet were bound in iron fetters and chains. After answering our names and receiving a number, we were walked in line from the prison, across the road and down some slippery steps to a wide river and over a rickety bridge on board the ship - before Londoners had woken from their dreams and risen from their feather beds and before they could see us. Luckily, I didn’t fall in as I can’t swim, to save my life but even if I had, no one would grieve for me. I had no idea where we were or who was there with me as it was so dark but I soon understood the guard shouting at us and telling us to find somewhere to put our heads down. I found myself an out of the way corner and that’s where I’ve been since. There’s more room in the chicken coop at home than here but it’ll have to do for the remainder of the voyage. There’s only a chink of light and with that pennyworth, I’ll have to manage my writing and reading as best I can.  The girl next to me has said a few words to me in Welsh but I don’t know her name, yet. It might be Ellen. We’ll get to know each other soon enough. There’s plenty of time before we reach our destination - four months someone said. There are some people who seem to know everything but all of us on board this ship didn’t know how to keep out of trouble or we wouldn’t be here, would we?  It’s been a long day so I’ll put my head down for forty winks. There’s a long way to go.

Thursday, September 29, 1842.

We’ve moved down the Thames towed by another ship. This one’s smaller than our ship with clouds of smoke and steam billowing from the chimney on her deck. This is my first sighting of a steamer, not that I had a proper look as we were kept below for most of the time in case someone tried to escape. I could hear the water slapping against the sides of our ship. In London, there are many rich people - so I’ve been told.  

Friday, September 30, 1842.

This ship is much bigger than anything I’ve seen before. Much bigger than the one I sailed on from Cemaes to Amlwch. That was a mere boat compared to this ship. This one rides the waves like a spring foal. I’d much prefer it if she slowed down a little as my stomach is being churned and I feel ever so sea sick! Though she’s so big, there’s little space below decks - not enough room to swing a cat. The wind can be heard whistling through the ropes. I’m sure it’s an easterly wind - so lazy that it goes through rather than past you.

Saturday, October 1, 1842.

The wind has died down and it’s been a lovely afternoon though we can’t really appreciate it. The sun shone but there’s no warmth here.  Whatever the weather, we’ll sail on till we reach the far side of the world 

Monday, October 3, 1842.

On every side, there are boats of every shape and size. They are enjoying themselves just looking at us. Little do they realise that when they’ll be safely tucked up in their feather beds,  we’ll still be sailing on. On and on until, we reach the back of beyond!

Tuesday, October 4, 1842.

 Today, we faced the open sea and one of the crew told us to, "Take your last look at the land of Mother England." I wonder if I‘ll ever see Wales again? I don’t know which one of us, Ellen or myself, is the worst, but both of us have cried all day until our cheeks are red. Until now, there was a remote chance that we could turn back but from now on, there’ll only be the open sea.  All the other girls have been laughing at us. To hell with them! But deep down they feel the same, I’m sure.  

Sunday, October 9, 1842.

The Surgeon read the Service today. His name is William Bland but we’ve got to call him ‘Sir’. Everyone had to attend the service, whatever they believed in. It’s very difficult to believe in anything on this ship. The fat vicar of Llanfechell always said that “God is love“ but if He loved us, how could He let us suffer on a ship like this? God doesn’t love people like me. he much prefers the rich folk.

Monday, October 10, 1842.

Stormy weather. Many of the mouthy girls quiet and emptying the contents of their stomachs into the nearest bucket! Serves them right! Had to stay out of sight below deck but had a long chat with Ellen. She’s from Denbighshire originally. Some others are also from Wales but can’t speak Welsh like Ellen and I can. They make fun of us when they feel up to it but we’re all in same boat when it comes to crying - miserable as sin

Tuesday, October 11, 1842.

Another stormy day. On weather like this, it’s very difficult to keep your clothes from getting wet and more difficult still to dry them afterwards when they‘ve been soaked in salt water. They dry out as hard as nails and rub against the skin.  The bruise made by the rubbing chain burns like fire whenever the salt water drips into it but, thankfully, Dr. Bland looks after us. If I had a little sunshine on my back, I’d feel a lot better. Miss. McLarene is still suffering from sea sickness. Poor thing! That means the school won’t be opening just yet. Some good news, at last 

Thursday, October 13, 1842.

Allowed on deck today to stretch our legs and fill our lungs with fresh air. We’re sailing through the Bay of Biscay now. Will Humphreys, of Cemaes, told me once that this was the stormiest sea he had ever sailed. But at least he came home safely, didn’t he? I only hope that I will not end my days here!

Friday, October 14, 1842.

A strange ship passed close by today with a tricoloured flag - blue, red and white. It was the topic of conversation for many an hour. Some thought that she might shoot at us but no clouds of smoke were seen - thank God.  

Saturday, October 15, 1842.

From the top of the mast, one of the crew shouted that he could see land.  Thankfully, I don’t have to climb to such heights. It’s a bit soon to be seeing Australia. I wonder where we are?

Sunday, October 16, 1842.

Another Sunday service led by the Surgeon. On Sundays, he wears his uniform. White knee breeches and a blue coat with gold threads on it. He looks quite attractive but I’m sure I’m not the type he’d fall for. I’m far to common.

Monday, October 17, 1842.

Miss.McLarene is better. School started. Both she and Miss. Lang Grindod have organized everything. Miss. Lang Grindod has chosen two of the girls to help them. She didn’t consider me as she still hasn’t realised that I can follow all that is said in English. I won’t let on, either. I’ll be left in peace and then can write in my little book. Every time I open it, I’m reminded of my Mother. I regret what has happened. Many of the girls can’t even read or write but I’m not as stupid as that but I know when to  keep my mouth shut.

Wednesday, October 19, 1842.

We were spared school today to see the Madeira Islands. What difference will that make? I don’t even know where they are! At least , we had a rest from our lessons and stood on deck feeling the sea breeze on our faces. The only problem was that sea air makes me feel really hungry and now I could eat a horse! What we get on board ship is better than what was given to us in Millbank - bread, flour, red meat and some peas. Miss. Lang Grindod says you could make a pudding with the rice but even I know that you need sugar, butter and fresh milk for that. A glass of buttermilk would go down a treat now but it would only remind me of home. If it wasn’t for milking that cow in Ebenezer Williams’ field, I would not have started on the journey off the slippery slope in the first place. He was a nasty piece of work that Ebenezer - always was and it was only a little fun for us to milk his cow in the field. But I was seen and had to go to the court. From then on, things didn’t get any better. I’ll never forget him nor will I ever forgive him. I can’t see a single blade of grass from where I’m standing only acres and acres, as far as the eye can see, of blue sea.

Thursday, October 20, 1842.

The shout of "Whale!" woke everyone up.  I didn't really know what a whale was as I had only read about one in the Bible. As far as I can make out, it's some kind of fish with steam coming out of a hole on its back! No wonder Jonah was able to live inside one for three days and nights. It was almost the size of Cemaes ships. It jumped out of the water and with a slap of its tail, was off again into the deep.  

Friday, October 21, 1842.

The weather's getting warmer. if I were home, it would be time for the harvest. I wonder if there'll be oats and wheat in Australia? Will there be a mill, there? Maybe the authorities would let me work in the mill if they only knew that I could do everything needed to make flour. I watched my father at his work often enough but the ones on this ship don't have a lot to say for me. “Bad girl”, said one of them when she thought I wasn't listening. I could give her a good run for her money any time - on dry land at least.

Saturday, October 22, 1842.

Birds of all colours were circling overhead today. It must mean that we are near to land again. I wonder where? They are very different to the seagulls that Mother and I used to watch in Cemaes. How I wish I could fly, like them, to the ends of the Earth and now that I'm on my way there, all I want is to fly home to my little nest in Anglesey.

Monday, October  24, 1842.

"Land ahoy!" I don't really care where it is as we're nearer to the end of our journey, anyway.

Tuesday, October  25, 1842.

It's very hot now and the sweat is pouring off all of us. It's difficult even to breathe and sleep is almost impossible. Tossing and turning all night and kept remembering the hymn we used to sing in Church about a heavenly wind.

Wednesday, October 26, 1842.

Saw how others can misbehave, today.  One of the crew had been very forward with one of the girls and tried to persuade her to take her clothes off. He said it was only because of the heat! He was roped to a frame on deck and whipped across his back until he begged for mercy. I couldn't bear to look. When he received the last of the twenty four lashes everyone cheered. He was a very undesirable character and got what he deserved. One of the other crew members threw a bucket full of sea water over his back - to harden the skin, so he said. I don't believe him and it might have been an excuse to further punish him.

Thursday, October 27, 1842.

Saw land again - from afar. I'd like to see Wales, Anglesey, my Mother, a field of new mown hay, Llanfechell but doubt I ever will. The islands we passed were the Cape Verde Islands. Never heard of them. Never saw them before. Will never will see them again, I'm sure. By now, they're far behind us on the horizon.  It gets hotter and hotter as the hours pass by and by mid afternoon all we can do is look for shade. The only problem is that there's so little of it and so many people wanting it. Below deck are stinking by now.  

A quietness fell over the ship today as we had a burial at sea service. Mary Ann Cross died and was buried. I can't but think of her. Her baby daughter died a few days ago and by now both of them are better off. Mary had been sick ever since we left London. She was always crying. She refused her food. Didn't mix with any of us. It was a relief for her, I'm sure. Will somebody tell her Mother? Can't decide what is worse - being buried in a wooden box in the ground or having your body wrapped in sailcloth and dropped to the bottom of the sea, weighed down by some rocks.  Heaven must be Hell!

Friday, October  28, 1842.

Some evenings, I'd go to Llanfechell Mountain to watch the sun set over Holyhead Mountain. If the sky was red, my Mother would say it was going to be a nice day tomorrow and she was never wrong. Every evening, the sun is a blood red colour now . Will it be a fine day tomorrow? Will things ever be fine for me again?

Monday, October  31, 1842.

Halloween. What fun we used to have frightening friends in Brynddu Woods with our home made lanterns. But on this old tub, there's only Ellen and me to amuse ourselves. It doesn't take much to scare us as there are plenty of ghosts around us

 Wednesday, November  2, 1842.

When one of the crew threw some rancid food over the side a huge black fish jumped out of the water and swallowed it in one gulp! When his mouth was open, you could see row after row of sharp, white teeth. He was almost laughing at us. As he swam by, I saw a point on his back sticking out of the water. He swam around the ship for hours. I hope I don't dream about him tonight 

Thursday, November  3, 1842.

Either I'm going out of my senses or there are things in this world that I could not have imagined if I hadn't seen them with my own eyes. This afternoon a huge snail like creature swam slowly past us with his head pocking out of his shell. He had paddles at each corner and was swimming slowly by, minding his own business. If you were in the water with him, you could, most probably, have sat on his back. Was he dangerous? Difficult to say

Friday, November  4, 1842.

We were all called out of school to see another wonder. A fish that could actually fly!  If this is what we can see now, Australia must be a terrible place! Someone said that the people who live there have black skin!! Maybe the end of the World is nigh what with all these strange creatures around us everywhere. Maybe it‘s God‘s revenge for our behaviour.

Thursday, November  10, 1842.

Weather changes as our minds change - never for the better, though.

Friday, November  11, 1842.

Had a bath. No. Was forced to have a bath. Only the second one ever! Had to stand in a large wooden box with a heavy metal bars on the top to stop me jumping out. One of the surgeon’s servants poured cold water and another scrubbed my back with a broom. This isn’t fair s only women should scrub other women’s backs. I’d complain to Miss. Lang Grindod -  only she still doesn’t know that I can speak English and if I did say anything - that would be letting the cat out of the bag, wouldn‘t it?. 

Saturday, November  12, 1842.

Very hot and by now our supply of fresh water is getting very low. Who knows what'll come out of the barrel - usually some horrible green slime that makes it impossible to drink a drop. Once, I went to the back of the Crown Inn in Llanfechell and tasted some of David Jones' beer. How can grown men drink such stuff? But o drop of that would be better than what they call fresh water on this ship.

It is the middle of November and we've reached the hottest place on Earth. The sea is perfectly calm without a breath of wind to ruffle the waters. Everyone, especially the crew, are looking forward to crossing the Equator. In the darkness of night we were allowed out on deck to see the crew dressed up. This was the first opportunity we had to put our past behind us and even forget the future - if only for a few short minutes. Tomorrow, we'll be back in the old routine.   

Sunday, November  13, 1842.

A prayer meeting was held this morning so we could all pray for rain. Just a shower would do. As it's so hot, we are all afraid that a storm of thunder and lightning will overtake us without warning. Such is our need, the captain ordered sails to be put out so that if it rains, there will be something to catch the rainwater. Even a drop would do!

Monday, November  14, 1842.

This heat affects everyone. When the captain told a crew member to shape up and do some work, he turned round and shouted an answer. The captain ordered other crew members to tie him up and take him below. In a few hours, he was brought up again and asked if he was sorry for the way he had spoken to his captain. He shook his head. Captain Forward read him the 'Riot Act' and ordered him to be whipped in front of us all. I don't know how he'll ever work again as his back was raw. he stood up straight, defiant to the last to take his punishment like a man but from now on the captain had better watch his back.

Friday, November  18, 1842.

Wouldn't it be lovely to be able to fly like  a bird. A really big one has been following the ship for days. It seems so easy just following the ship as she sails along, hour after hour, without moving its wings almost. It is such a big bird - a wing span of about six feet and he can fly and float o the air without making a effort. Never did such a sea bird venture to Cemaes - though there were plenty of gulls to be seen on ploughing days.

Saturday, November  19, 1842.

Woke early today and saw that everyone else was fast asleep - some even snoring. Thought that something was wrong as there was no one shouting at us. Suddenly realised that it was Saturday and that we are allowed to lie in till seven rather than get up at six today. I've learnt how to tell the time by listening to the ship's bell being rung at different times.  I also know when school starts and finishes in the afternoon. One thing I can't understand, though, is that when the sun sets - it happens so suddenly. 

Thursday, November  24, 1842.

By now the wind has died down completely and the ship barely moves. Seaweed is growing on her bottom and all sorts of fish can be seen swimming around us.  If I could swim, I'd jump in with them just to cool down. It is still very hot which makes everyone very vexed. The rumble of thunder can be heard in the distance.

Sunday, November  27, 1842.

Heard a conversation between one of the crew and Captain Forward when he said the we had crossed the Tropic of Capricorn - whatever that is. Is it good or bad that we have crossed it? All I know is that we’re getting closer to Australia every day.

Wednesday, November  30, 1842.

From afar, could see an island with smoke rising from it in the middle of the ocean.  Miss. MacLaren says that it is a fire mountain on an island called Tristan d’Acuna. The more we live, the more we learn but will my new knowledge be of any use to me in my new home? They’d never believe me, if I told my friends in Llanfechell the things I’ve seen so far. They probably wouldn’t want to speak to me anyway after all that’s happened.

Sunday, December 4, 1842.

I need a new mattress to sleep on. What little straw was in it has gone completely flat and the ship’s timbers can be felt all along my back as I lie on it. I just can’t get a good night’s sleep. Mother used to tell me of the people in Cemaes who used to throw the old straw from their mattresses into Chaff Cave and let the outgoing tide carry it out to sea. Then, they’d call at the farm by the church for fresh straw to sleep on that night and for the next twelve months. For a few nights, they’d be pricked all over by the straw until their bodies had made a niche for themselves. Then, they’d sleep like logs and snore the night away.   

Cape of Good Hope. Someone mentioned that we might land to pick up new supplies  and fresh water but the captain said ‘No’ and on we sailed. We’ve plenty of food according to him and we need to take advantage of good weather in the Southern Ocean.  Here, it’s Summer, according to the captain. I just can’t understand what he means. How can it be Winter in Llanfechell and Summer here?

Monday, December 5, 1842.

At last, I’ve done something to please someone. Today, I was presented with a prize for having the cleanest space on the ship. What would Father say? He never said much to me when I was home. He could be quite cruel in his remarks - and in the use of his hands, at times.  

Thursday, December 8, 1842.

The sky went dark as night fell and now we’re in the middle of a ragging storm. Winds have whipped white horses on the waves. Everyone is down below and all the hatches have been closed down.

Friday, December 9, 1842.

Storm raged all day long and water is flowing through every nook and cranny. What with this and filthy waters from the bilge, the smell is enough to turn your stomach! Stoves can not be lit because of the damp so food is scarce. How they manage in the ship’s hospital, I don’t know.

Saturday, December 10, 1842.

The storm is still raging above us. I can’t stand much more of this. The ship is rolling from side to side and water slops about in every direction. Damp clothes and misery is we have these days. Maybe it would be better if we were all at the bottom of the ocean. At time like this, I regret all that’s happened in the past. I’ve let my Mother down - she, who is the only one to ever show me some love. I can hardly write in my little book as the pages are so damp.  

Thursday, December 15, 1842.

We were told today what a good ship the Garland Grove is as she sailed 216 miles in one day. Don’t they realise that we are 216 miles nearer to Australia?

Saturday, December 17, 1842.

Sometimes at home, I would look up to the night sky and study the stars. I recognized some patterns. One of them was like a huge saucepan and my Mother called another one ‘The Plough’. There was also a very bright star that could be seen early in the evening and at dawn. There was also a story about a man who was punished for collecting firewood on a Sunday by being sent to the Moon. Here, I can’t recognize a single star. Everything is so different.

 Saturday, December 24, 1842.

Christmas Eve. Concert. Everybody apart from the unmarried ones - most of us - out on deck. All we could do was listen and  think of the good old days. In Llanfechell, we’d all go to church to sing carols and then run home before Mother and my sister Eleanor and scare them by jumping out in front of them from the bushes.

 Sunday, December 25, 1842.

Christmas Day. Everyone at the morning service. It‘s so hard to enjoy Christmas being in our situation. The crew had roast pig and a Plum Duff. They gave us some wine.

Monday, December 26, 1842.

Saint Stephen‘s Day. Spent some of the time telling tales to Ellen. We’re best of friends by now and have told each other our secrets. As we sailed past another island, we could smell that we were not far off land.

Saturday, December 31, 1842.

New Year‘s Eve. Goodbye to the worst year of my life. Will the new one be any better 

Sunday, January 1, 1843.

A special service to welcome the new year. New year, new opportunity? Hopefully, things will be better from now on. It certainly can’t get any worse. The Scotch crew members are having their own celebrations today. They try and sing but sound more like cats at night!

Monday, January  2, 1843.

A holiday for everybody except those on watch. How kind!.

Wednesday, January  4, 1843.

Overnight it went cold and a blanket of fog dropped on us. It was so thick that you could just about see your hand in front of your face. A fog horn kept everyone awake all night though we haven’t seen another ship for ages so why bother warning anyone of our presence. Suddenly, out of the fog we saw a mountain of ice as big as the gable end of the Crown Inn.  “Iceberg”, said Miss. Grindod. She knows everything. Nothing like this has ever been seen in Cemlyn, I’m sure. You could almost touch it but I didn’t just in case my hand stuck to it and I ’d be dragged away by it.  For a long time afterwards, my breath was like steam from a boiling kettle. Two winters in one year. Unbelievable.

Friday, January  6, 1843.

We suffered a very stormy night. I’m really scared in this thick fog that more pieces of ice will sail past us or even worse - crash into us. It is so cold that ice forms on the ropes and the crew have to chop it of. How do they manage without shoes on their feet? They must be very hardy men.

Sunday, January  8, 1843.

The crew are like banshees. They’ve seen Australia. Don’t they realise what that means to me?

Tuesday, January  10, 1843

A slight breeze has cleared the fog. The ship doesn’t move and the crew have to change the sails almost every minute. The Captain and his Mate shout orders at them all. They search for any breeze and we would prefer to stay here in the same place.  Most of the crew are English  and have been very mean to us. You can’t really blame them as they know full well why we are here.

Friday, January  13, 1843.

A cross wind. When cross winds blew in Llanfechell, the chimney in our house would smoke. The crew are very tired by now and can’t wait to land whilst Ellen and myself want to sail on and on and on. I hope we’ll be able to stay together, wherever we’ll be sent.

For days now, my insides have been churning. Something’s about to happen, I just don’t know what. I’d really like my Mother to be here with me.

Wednesday, January  18, 1843.

Van Diemen’s Land on the horizon. We’re almost there. Some of the crew are fishing whilst I and the others keep on worrying what’ll become of us. Do we really want this journey to end

Thursday, January  19, 1843.

The crew are preparing the ship for her entry into the harbour. Ropes are coiled; deck scrubbed; bell polished and every crew member walks with a swagger in his step. For the first time in months, the ship looks to be in a good condition like a young girl on her way to her own wedding. I almost wish I could stay on her but very little hope of that, I’m afraid.

 No wind and the little rowing boats have been lowered to pull the ship into the harbour. She, like I am, is very reluctant to move. By afternoon a gale is blowing and we’ve moved the last few miles of my momentous journey.

Friday, January 20, 1843..

When I got up today, I could hear seagulls screaming overhead and it reminded me of ploughing days at home. Then, it was a pleasure to watch them but by now I hate the sight of them. By nine o’clock tonight, the ship was tied up safely. Strange voices can be heard from every direction. After rolling from side to side and riding the waves for so long, it seems strange, now, to be able to walk along the ship without having to hold on to anything. The crew have so much work to do, now that we’ve arrived safely but when they’ve finished, they know that they’ll be off home again. I doubt very much whether I’ll ever be able to go home. I’ll never see my parents again. Will I ever see Llanfechell? How are they all, I wonder, Are they well? Do they think of me as often as I think of them? If only I’d listened to my sister I wouldn’t be in this mess. What has become of Tom, I wonder? Does he ever think of me now or has he got someone else. Here we are at the end of the world. I used to think that Liverpool was far but Cemaes sailors said that it only took four days to sail there not four months as it took us to get here. Here there are sorts of strange sounds - the sound of people, questions being asked, answers given, swearing, crying, the sound of dragging chains, animals bellowing and most of all the deafening sound of longing.

Saturday, January 21, 1843.

At long last, we are on dry land. I thought I’d be really happy but I’m not. The Garland Grove was my home for four months and now we have to leave her behind. She was our home where we had food, drink, shelter, friends and enemies and now we have to leave her behind. without knowing what the future holds for us. We felt secure on board but uncertainty is that we have now.

I don’t think that there will be the opportunity to write in my little book from now on as we are all moved. I’ve reached the last few pages, anyway. I’ve run out of paper and time or so it appears. We’ve been given ten minutes to prepare for the next ten years. Collect all our things together. Will I be sent to a factory or will I work as a milk maid?  The new uniform has only small pockets so my book might be seen. Ellen has gone and I don’t know where. There’s talk of a group of us being sent to a town called Launceston. No time to think of home any longer just watching our step whilst everyone else looks down their nose at us.

If Tom Ty'n Cowarch was here now, I’d give him a piece of mind. It’s all his fault, him and his sister; Ebenezer Williams and his wife as well. Are they able to sleep at night? I hope that they toss and turn all night, every night but they don‘t have a conscience. That’s why I should forget them all and try and look forward.  In ten years time, I’ll be free but they’ll never be free of the fact that they sent me to Van Diemen’s Land.

There’s no one to share my secrets with now, not even my little book. Can I keep it? Can I hide it?  If you find it, please send it to my Mother at Y Gegin Filwr, Llanfechell, Anglesey. She would appreciate that more than anything.

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                                                                                                                                                                          Pen draw’r byd. Roeddwn i’n arfar meddwl fod  Lerpwl yn bell. Mi glywis i hogia Cemas yn dweud y bydda llong yn cymryd tri neu bedwar diwrnod i gyrradd yno ond ma fama tu draw i bob man. Mae'r awyr yn llawn o sw^n diarth. Sw^n pobol. Sw^n holi. Sw^n ateb. Sw^n rhegi. Sw^n crio. Sw^n cadwyni a chyffion. Sw^n anifeiliad. Sw^n adar. Sw^n hiraeth.

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