Bowser Family Papers

Scope and Content

Papers of the Bowser family mainly comprising papers relating to financial and legal matters; to coal-mining in the Gwendraeth valley, Carmarthenshire, 1810-1910; to the growth of Burry Port and its harbour, 19-20 th cent.; and newspaper cuttings,[late 19 cent., 1966-1969].

Administrative / Biographical History

The Bowser family moved from Newington Green, Middlesex, in the late 18th century. George Bowser (1778-1835), became deeply involved in coal mining in the area stretching from the Gwendraeth Fawr river to Dyfatty in the east, and he leased land in several places for mining, tramways and canals. In 1806, he built a tramway and a short canal from his mines, which included Coed Evan Ddu, Syddin and Brynwtha, to his shipping places on the Gwendraeth Fawr river between Muddlescombe and Holway, to enable him to export his coal. In 1816 he leased Cwm Capel Colliery from Lord Cawdor and re-opened the colliery. As part of this venture he built a tramway from the colliery to Carreg Edwig, from where he exported coal. In 1816 George Bowser, Thomas Gaunt and two other partners took a lease of land from Lord Ashburnham to build and operate the Pembrey Harbour. The four partners had already set up the Pembrey Iron and Coal Company. The Company leased Gwscwm colliery in about 1818, and the adjacent Furnace Iron Works. George Bowser, however, withdrew from the harbour agreement, as he considered the total cost of ?70,000 to ?80,000 excessive.


Arranged chronologically into: a group of family papers.

Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions

Acquisition Information

Deposited by Miss M. Bowser, The Bungalow, The Harbour, Burry Port, in September 1967, and by Mr M.W. Farr, Warwickshire County Archivist, County Record Office, Priory Park, Cape Road, Warwick in January 1983.


Compiled by Mair James for the HMC/NLW Family and Estates project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Nicholson, John A., Pembrey and Burry Port a Historical Miscellany, (Llanelli Borough Council, 1994); Nicholson, John A., Pembrey and Burry Port, Further Historical Glimpses, (Carmarthenshire County Council, 1996).

Other Finding Aids

Hard copies of the catalogue are available at the Carmarthenshire Archive Service and the National Register of Archives.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright regulations apply.

Appraisal Information

All records deposited at Carmarthenshire Archive Service have been retained.


Accruals are not expected