“This woman was called Jemima Fawr or Jemima the Great from her heroine acts, she having marched against the French who landed hereabout in 1797 and being of such personal powers as to be able to overcome most men in a fight. I recollect her well. She followed the trade of a shoemaker and made me, when a little boy, several pairs of shoes.”
Samuel Fenton, Vicar of Saint Mary’s, 1832
Jemima Nicholas (also spelled Niclas; baptised 2nd March 1755– died July 1832), also known as Jemima Fawr, was a Welsh heroine who led the women of Pembrokeshire into battle in what is known as the last invasion of Britain. When the contingent arrived, she reached for a pitchfork and captured 12 French soldiers who were drunk at the time. They surrendered shortly afterwards at the Royal Oak. She died at the age of 82, and a plaque in Fishguard is dedicated to her.
Local people made a tapestry of the invasion, which echoes the Bayeux Tapestry (but the tapestry in Fishguard is smaller), in 1997, to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the Last Invasion of Britain (also known as “The Last Invasion of Fishguard”). The tapestry can be found in the recently refurbished town hall. Additionally, there is a booklet for sale in the town, detailing the day’s heroics. The full text can be found, translated into English, here: www.samuelgilbert.info
In 2006 at the records office in Haverfordwest records were found by a local College lecturer, Andrew Thomas BSc(Hons) of Thornton, Milford Haven, which show a Jemima Nicholas being baptised in the parish of Mathry on 2 March 1755.
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