Another widow Eleanor Hughes had lost her husband Thomas when he drowned whilst commanding the Eleanor on a voyage from Caernarvon to Aberdyfi in 1820 leaving three children. From then on Eleanor eked out a living carrying turf on a daily basis seven miles to Aberystwyth to sell at the markets. All this hard labour eventually took its toll. In her mid 60’s she sent a petition to Trinity House for financial assistance. In this she was championed by Captains Enoch James of the Mary & Ellen, Richard Davies of the Hope, Hugh Davies of the Elizabeth and John Hughes of the Virtue...which demonstrated the supportive nature of the maritime community at Borth. The aforementioned Captain Richard Davies made a will in 1849 which reads as follows:
I bequeath to my beloved wife Jane the house Glanwern and gardens belonging to it and the vessel belonging to me called Hope; and one ounce of the vessel Endeavour being my share in it. During the time she remains a widow, or in the event of her re-marrying, the said property should be divided among my children, share and share alike excepting one third of it which is to be given to her.
The sole executor of the will was Jane's brother Master Mariner John Williams. One of the oldest wills is that of Jane Hugh. In 1786 she left her half ownership in the sloop Providence to her nephew John Rees who was instructed to make a covenant with the other half owner John Pryse. We may assume that widow Jane's previously deceased husband had been a mariner as was John Rees. This enterprising woman was in a position to lend money and the will contains a list of debtors from this enterprise...Richard Edward Jenkin, Ffosygravel Farm owed 1 guinea, Jenkin Lloyd, Ty Du Farm 1 guinea, Evan John Evans Gwastad Farm, 1 guinea, John Rees 1 guinea, Jane Rees 1 guinea and Jenkin Roderick 10 shillings and six pence. All these debts to be paid to her executor Mary Rees who was her sister.
John Hughes captain of the sloop New Gift left this vessel to his wife Mary in 1842 who was his sole executor. There is a codicil that states that John's uncle Captain David Hughes, is to act as guardian of the estate if Mary dies. In Mary Jones' will of 1843 she left her children Morgan, Richard, William and Ann a portfolio of shares in the sloops Neptune, Linnett, Picton and the Swallow. Mary also distributed property and 80 pounds. These wills indicate the equal role of women in the commercial life of the village and also show how much they were respected and loved. They also verify that vessel purchases, primarily sloops, was prevelant from the 1700's onwards.
It is remarkable the amount of public houses that were in Borth, even at the height of Methodism, many were simply rooms in houses to fascilitate drinking. they were mostly run by enterprising women, especially the wives of captains. There was one such drinking room at the back of todays Cambrian Villa. Remarkably it was right next door to the long established Friendship Inn, villagers were obviously a thirsty lot.