Sophia Lewis (Golden Sheaf)

Sophia Lewis was born on 18th June 1823 in Llanboidy, Carmarthenshire. In her adult life she became an accomplished businesswoman, milliner and dressmaker. By the age of 30, she was ‘Head of Household’ in St. James Street, Narberth and employed one assistant/partner (her sister Hannah, born c.1822), 5 apprentices (including Mary James aged 25, Mary Evans and Martha Thomas, both aged 17) and a servant, (Maria Nicholas, aged 21).

In 1854, Sophia encountered a petty shoplifter and her persistence in securing a prosecution reveals much about her character. The Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph reports 4: ‘Anne Morgan of Peter’s Lake (was) accused by Miss Lewis, draper & milliner, of stealing lace, ribbons etc. Committed for trial’.

At a ‘Sale of Property’ at the Angel Inn Narberth on Thursday 5th August 1880, Sophia Lewis bought the leasehold on a ‘Leasehold Dwelling House and Shop, The Golden Sheaf’  in Narberth for a period of 30 years, at a rent of £32:10. The Golden Sheaf, described in 1890 as a ‘Commanding Premises’, remains one of the most popular and prominent businesses in Narberth.

 On 27th March 1890, Sophia posted an advert in the South Wales Daily News: ‘WANTED: A sharp, junior young man (abstainer) for Fancy Drapery etc.’ This snippet again reveals a direct and independent character with a defined sense of morality.

By 1891, Sophia Lewis was living in Market Square, Narberth and had retired. She died in March 1893.

Categories: Agriculture

Related entries: