The New Year begins with the excitement of Jane’s wedding to Morgan Bevan, a grocer from Swansea. Morgan, a cousin to Jane, was from the Bevan family based at Horton and traces his line back to John Bevan and Tabitha Gibbs.
Jan 26th 1880
You must excuse me for not writing sooner we have been so busy lately & I am suffering from a very bad cold so you must not expect a long letter.
|The Wedding Morning by John Frederick Bacon|
And now to get to the marrow of my subject of at once. I must take you back to Tuesday the 20th about eight o clock in the morning the little party of ladies and gentleman consisting of Father & Uncle Francis, Jane, & I. Morgan & Lizzie, George Bevan, and his sister Mary might have been seen wending their way to the church admidst showers of rice, and volumns of musketry, and were brought to a dead Holt, some half dozen times, by chains of different descriptions nor could we advance until the tin was produced on arriving at the church we found the Rev. W. Mellan awaiting us.
The little ceremony being over we hastened home to breakfast table which was beautifully laden with cold roast fowls and boil ham. The guests who took breakfast beside those mentioned were Aunt Matilda & Aunt Mary. Aunt Harriet & family Miss Jane Bevan, Horton & Frank. Mr. & Mrs. Bevan came over soon after breakfast to spend the day & the Rev. W. Mellan presided at the dinner table.
|The Village Wedding by John Frederick Bacon|
About eleven oclock the carriage with a spanking pair of grey arrived, and left about four with the brides en route for Cardiff where they stayed till the following evening, when Rowland accompanied them to Rumney to his Brothers’ were they stayed until friday when they came to Swansea Morgan having received three pressing letters from his masters. We had a jolly day here & I wish you could have been present.
After tea we spent the evening in playing all the manly games we could think of & Uncle Francis amused us by some of his clever acts of conjuring, & the party scarcely broke up before the morning. The young folks seems to be possessed of a mania for marrying down here just now there was Jane & Wm Bevans on Cmas day and Morgan’s last week & yesterday Wm Ball our blacksmith & Mary Shepherd old Aunt Harriet’s servant were made one for better for worse etc and they are keeping up the times to day and while I am writing I here a continuall rattly of fire-arms & there is two or three more talked of.
|The Village Wedding by Sir Samuel Luke Fildes|
I should like to write more about short-hand and politics but my cold is too bad, so I must take some gruel and go to bed if my cold is better I will write again in a few days. We are nearly all suffering in colds. Janes address iss (22 George Street) Hoping you are quite well.
I remain etc.
In Silvanus’ description of Jane’s wedding there are several references to Gower wedding traditions. He refers to the bride and groom as the ‘brides’ and talks about ‘chains of different descriptions’ barring their way until the required ‘tin’ was produced – usually children who held a rope, preventing the wedding party from progressing, until they were thrown a handful of coins. Another tradition was to fire guns over the bride’s house the night before to frighten away evil spirits, although Silvanus’ account suggests this happened the morning of the wedding.
Some identifiable guests at the wedding:
Uncle Francis is Anne’s brother
George Bevan and his sister Mary are Morgan’s siblings
Aunt Matilda is Anne’s sister
Aunt Harriet and family is most probably Silvanus’ widowed sister-in-law and her three children, Silvanus George, Elizabeth Mary and John Overton.
Aunt Mary is possibly Silvanus’ sister
Yet again George is unable to join the family.