Jemima Nicholas (aka Jemima Fawr)

Jemima Nicholas was born in Mathry, Pembrokeshire in March c.1750-55 and was a shoemaker.

During the Battle of Fishguard (the last invasion of Britain), Jemima single-handedly rounded up a dozen French soldiers and forced them to surrender at the Royal Oak pub in Fishguard. Armed with a pitch fork, she approached the soldiers and, as Fishguard volunteer H.L. Williams wrote in his memoir in 1842, whether alarmed at her courage, or persuaded by her, she conducted them to and confined them in, the guard house in Fishguard Church,

Napoleon’s invasion occurred on 22nd February 1797 when Jemima was in her mid-forties. The local vicar at the time recalled: ‘… This woman was called Jemima fawr i.e. Jemima the great from her heroine acts she having marched against the French who landed hereabouts in 1797 and being of such personal powers as to be able to overcome most men in a fight. I recalled her well. She followed the trade of a Shoemaker & made me when a small boy several pairs of shoes….’

Jemima Nicholas died in Fishguard Main Street in July 1832, aged 82 years. She is buried in St. Mary’s Churchyard, where a headstone, erected in 1897, describes her as ‘The Welsh Heroine’.

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