begging

Generally, references by tourists to beggars and begging are rare. They appear to have been concentrations of beggars around former monastic sites at Tintern, Llangollen and Neath, all of which had quite large industrial activity nearby, and while they were in operation, might have attracted unemployed people in search of work. Other tourists commented on the lack of beggars, especially in comparison with Ireland.

It seems likely that children (and their parents) quickly learned that tourists could be a source of additional income. This involved begging or selling souvenirs such as minerals, in exchange for pocket money. Indeed, it might be thought that begging increased in areas where tourists were common because they were seen as an additional and easy source of income.

see also poverty, poverty at Hafod, politics of poverty, cottages,

References by tourists to begging in Wales, in chronological order.

1664, Holywell
… found a great number of beggars, men, women and children some lame, some blind [who] came to be cured though it was thought their chief design to beg being there is abundance of gentry that resorts there every summer.
Rawdon, Marmaduke, The Life of Marmaduke Rawdon, Camden Society, no 85, (London, 1863), p. 169

1758 Tintern
The resort of Persons to see these venerable Ruins is very great and has made all the miserable inhabitants of the neighbouring cottages the most importunate and officious beggars in the world.
Barford, M., Rev., ‘Description of Chepstow, Abbey Tintern, Piercefield, Monmouth and Ragland from a manuscript written November, 1758 by Rev M Barford, Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge’, Cardiff Central Library, MS 2.727, p. 21

1769 Wales
There are no beggars in this country for they are all poor.
Price, Owen, (editor of the Welsh section), England Displayed, being a New, Complete and Accurate Survey and Description of the Kingdom of England and the Principality of Wales by a Society of Gentlemen, Vol. 1. (London, 1769), p. 245  [This needs checking]

1770 Wales
‘Though they have no money among them, yet there are no beggars in the country for they are all poor.’
Cradock, Joseph, Letters from Snowdon: descriptive of a tour through the northern counties of Wales. … (London, 1770), p. 20

1770, Newborough
‘I was told that the inhabitants were all so industrious, that there was not a beggar in the whole place, and indeed we did not find that anyone asked alms of us; a circumstance not very common in little country towns.
Cradock, Joseph, Letters from Snowdon: descriptive of a tour through the northern counties of Wales. … (London, 1770), p. 42-43

1770 Tintern
Among other things in this scene of desolation, the poverty and wretchedness of the inhabitants were remarkable. They occupy little huts, raised among the ruins of the monastery; and seem to have no employment, but begging; as if a place once devoted to indolence, could never again become the seat of industry. As we left the abbey, we found the whole hamlet at the gate, either openly soliciting alms; or covertly, under the pretence of carry us to some part of the ruins [guide], which each could show; and which were far superior to anything which could be shown to anyone else.
Gilpin, William, (1724-1804), Observations on the River Wye, and Several Parts of South Wales, etc. relative chiefly to Picturesque Beauty; made in the Summer of the Year 1770, (London, 1782), pp. 35-36

1774 near Conwy
We were now in the great Irish road; the article of eating was doubled in our bills, and the door of our inn was crowded with beggars. I don’t recollect to have seen one beggar, before, in the whole principality; for though poverty appeared to reign triumphant throughout, yet the inhabitants seemed contented with it; they were always willing to answer our enquiries, without the least expectation of any gratuity: they never asked for reward, or charity, and when we sometimes gave the half-cloathed wretches a shilling, they received it with an awkward surprise, while they were so confused, that they could only express their thanks with silent tears of gratitude.
Wyndham, Henry Penruddocke. A gentleman’s tour through Monmouthshire and Wales, in the months of June and July, 1774, pp. 157-158; A gentleman’s tour through Monmouthshire and Wales, in the months of June and July, 1774 and in the months of June, July and August, 1777, (Second edition : 1781), p. 150

1775 (Llandeilo / Llandovery)
And I think upon the whole that the Poor in Wales are a happier set of People than those of the same condition in England. They are not indeed very industrious, but they are sober and content with a little. Beggars are to be met with but very rarely ; I have been asked for a Halfpenny for Tobacco.
Sir Thomas Gery Cullum, NLW MS 5446B (20th century transcript of tour journal), [note on p. 124v]

1775 Tintern
Here too a parcel of Beggars attend as in Ireland four of them demanded charity of us in the literal sense of the word.
Grose, Francis, [Journey to South Wales, 1775], British Library, Add. MS. 17398, p. 63

1777 near Conwy
[The paragraph in his 1774 edition is followed by the following:]
“There are no beggars in this country; hospitality universally abounds, and the houses of all are open to all,” said Giraldus in the twelfth century. Modern authors, in the eighteenth, say, that here are no beggars, because no one is able to give. It is not to be wondered at, that modern travellers should be inclined to the latter opinion; for the state of the common people in the low lands of this country, and particularly of the women, to whose lot the most laborious drudgery belongs, seems miserable, beyond the idea of an Englishman to conceive; a foreigner would scarcely be persuaded, that they lived under the protection of the same laws, or that they enjoyed the fame rights and privileges with their English neighbours. {much more on poverty.}
Wyndham, Henry Penruddocke. A gentleman’s tour through Monmouthshire and Wales, in the months of June and July, 1774 and in the months of June, July and August, 1777, Second edition, E Easton, Salisbury, 1781, 150-154

1786 Wales
Rareness of Welsh beggars. Met two young girls who diffidently begged for charity, and he met with only one other beggar during his whole journey. The reason is obvious; the lower orders of the Welsh are trained, no less in contentment than in penury: and that degree of poverty and meanness of accommodation, which many of our English poor would be dissatisfied with, and even repine at, seems to be no grievance among the poor Welsh.
Matthews, William, (of Bath), The miscellaneous companions. Vol. I Being a short tour of observation and sentiment, through a part of South Wales, Bath, (1786), pp. 105-106

1791 Haverfordwest
There are few beggars.
Morgan, Mary, Mrs, A Tour to Milford Haven, in the Year 1791, (London, 1795), p. 253

1791 Abergwili (near Carmarthen)
‘At Abergwili, for the first time since I have been in Wales, I heard the Welsh harp; though I expected to have heard it at every inn on the road, in every village, and in every family, and to have met plenty of begging harpers, but I have seen no such thing. The harper at Abergwili is sleek and well fed and though blind, is as happy as Taliesin could have been under the protection of Prince Elphin.’
Morgan, Mary, Mrs, A Tour to Milford Haven, in the Year 1791, (London, 1795), p. 317

1791, St. Winifred’s well, Holywell
When we arrived here, some poor women surrounded the chaise and invited us in, delivering at the same time a paper containing the history, nature, and origin of the well.
Clarke, Edward Daniel, (1769-1822), A Tour through the South of England, Wales and Part of Ireland, made during the Summer of 1791, (London: 1793)

1792 Llangollen
The view from Llangollen churchyard is very good, it stands high above the Dee but is terribly crowded with beggars, most of them young children, many however old enough to procure their own living, at least to do much towards it. It is melancholy to see the rising generation brought up in such total idleness.
Plymley, Katherine, Shropshire Records and Archive Centre, 567/5/5/1/1, f. 9

1793 Wales
Beggars … infest us at almost every Inn, it seems as if the provision that is made by parliament for the poor, encourages them in idleness and administers support for their vices.
Mavor, William Fordyce, The traveller’s companion, from Holyhead, to London, (London, 1793), p. 52

1793 Tintern
As we approached, the wretched inhabitants of some miserable hovels presented themselves: neither the dwellings, nor the occupiers of them, were at all in harmony with the grandeur of the scene we were considering.
Julius Caesar Ibbetson, John Laporte, and John Hassell, A Picturesque Guide to Bath, Bristol Hot-Wells, the River Avon, and the Adjacent Country. (London: Hookham and Carpenter, 1793)

1795 Wales
I don’t recollect meeting any beggars except a very few little tumbling children on the road….’
Crewe, Frances Anne, British Library, Add. 37926

1795, Wales
For the number of common beggars, throughout every part of Wales, is astonishing: they come in tattered tribes to your doors, from which they never go away, if they have no worse faults than idleness and indigence, without being relieved. It would even be thought impious to refuse them. Profiting hereby, there are whole families, who subsist solely on the charity of their better supplied neighbours. The begging brotherhood of Saint Francis, are not more vagrant, nor more successful in their mendicatory pilgrimages: and it is not uncommon for the parents, who happen to have some compunction, on the score of asking alms, while they are able to procure the means of life by their labour, to send out their children to shift as they can, while they themselves are at work: preferring this casual, and disgraceful, mode of subsistence for their children, to the honest industry, by which they procure their own maintenance. There is, however, as you may suppose, a material difference, even in the poverty of the industrious, and that of the idle; the former, as in the example of the barber of Barmouth, covering the shoulders of his family, with remnants, which, although
“Coarsely patch’d with different colour’d rags,
“Green, red, blue, white, yellow.”
certainly speak “variety of industry;” while the latter, though they are neither ashamed to beg, nor steal, and of course get their cloaths, with much less trouble, suffer them to get into tatters, merely because they are too lazy to mend them, before they are irreparable.
Pratt, Samuel Jackson, (1749-1814), Gleanings through Wales, Holland and Westphalia …(London, 1795), letter 6, pp. 54-55

1796 [Cymro’s review of Mrs Morgan.]
Mrs Morgan says that there are few if any beggars in South Wales. Here again, I presume she is only describing Haverfordwest, where I understand they are less numerous. But to the disgrace of the police of South Wales in general, the towns through which travellers pass, and particularly the doors and windows of inns, are inserted with miserable looking objects, as filthy and disgusting, as they are (for of many I can speak from personal knowledge), idle and undeserving. … I must be permitted to hint that if the magistrates would prevent these curses of the real poor – these drones and caterpillars of society, from snatching the morsel intended for the relief of more deserving objects, … and at the same time afford opportunities to the humane and affluent, while travelling on business or pleasure, do dispose their blessings in assisting their indigent fellow creatures [i.e. distinguishing between the deserving and undeserving poor] {and that a poor box be put into every church}
The very poor inhabitants of Wales – small farmers – necessities elsewhere are a luxury – ‘coarse barley bread, black nearly as a beaver hat, such as my lord’s hound would loath, – a dry sourish cheese, – oaten bread, which though relished by some has little nourishment … , flummery, and now and then, sparingly, milk. Their drink – water. Meat, appears on their board perhaps once a fortnight. Their only luxury seems to be a few pots of ale, on the market day in which they steep all their cares: but very frequently, after a cold wet ride, they have to tumble into a bed, into a fireless house, scantily covered with thatch, through which the rain penetrates, and drops upon that very bed during the whole of the night. {the beggar is sometimes better off, with no rent, taxes or work}.
‘Cymro’, [Theophilus Jones (1759-1812)] Cursory Remarks on Welsh Tours or Travels (1799), Cambrian Register II, (for 1796), pp. 421-454

1796 Milford Haven
Irish people begging for money to return to Ireland
Lady Sykes, University of Hull, DDSY(3)/10/11, p. 165        

1800 Llangollen / Corwen
There is a great deal of respect shown by the lower orders who pull off their hats or curtsey on the road. Begging seems to be very common among them.
Joseph Farington, diary, 2.9.1800, The Diary of Joseph Farington, ed James Greig, vol. 4

1800 near Llangollen
This being a great Irish road, it was crowded with wretched vagrants and importunate beggars, a new sight to us.
Gray, Jonathan, North Yorkshire Record Office, Journal of a tour in north Wales, ZGY T/Bb, p. 33        

1801 Tintern
We returned to the boat well pleased with the abbey but much disconcerted with a tribe of beggars that attended there as it would be a heavy tax to relieve them all and to give a few causes great murmurings among the rest, perhaps it would be better not to give at all, which might promote industry, for the indolent seem rather inclined to trust to this very precarious mode of gaining a subsistence than insure it by the labour of their hands, for many of them were strong and healthy
Martyn, T., A Tour of South Wales, [1801], NLW MS 1340C, p. 41, p. 55

1802 Llanwrst
we noticed two laughing girls, who were half shyly, half bashfully approaching us, afraid to utter the sentence that we knew hung on their lips ‘pray give me a penny’. The archness of their smiles…drew the unasked for boon from William’s pocket & sent them away with a few additional dimples. The phrase comprehended the whole compass these little urchins have of English, & you cannot meet either girl or boy, throughout North Wales, that does not accost you with it, so that your pockets should be well supplied to answer all their demands.
Eade, Mary Anne, National Library of Wales, MS22190B, f. 28v

1802 Tenby area
we have seen scarcely any beggars. In many parts of N. Wales there are crowds who follow strangers and carriages to beg, particularly of children.
Plymley, Katherine, Shropshire Records and Archive Centre, 567/5/5/1/20, 8th August, 1802

1803 Wales
Passing four times through Wales, I saw but one beggar.
Hutton, W., Remarks upon North Wales: being the Result of Sixteen Tours Through that part of the Principality, (Birmingham, 1803)

1805 The Wye
lots of beggars – the most striking of all were three famished sybarits, eager as Duns Scotus [theologian and philosopher, died 1308] in his dying moments whose appearance involuntary drew from us the exclamation of Macbeth ‘who are you so strange and wild …’ This part of the forest of Dean abounds in poor wretches of a similar description.
White, James, Picturesque Excursion into South Wales, 1805, British Library Add MSS 44991, pp. 22-23

1805 near Llangollen
The peasantry present a strange mixture of industry and indolence: on one side the traveller, if he pass into a cottage, will see a woman with a child at her breast, and spinning; or, on the road, he will meet another knitting as she returns home from the day’s occupation : whilst, on the other hand, he will be pestered by groups of mendicant children, capable of working, running by the side of the carriage, and in a shrill sound exclaiming, ” Got bless u, a penny, bless u.” Their native language is a dialect of the Celtic. [begging]
Carr, John, The Stranger in Ireland or, a Tour in the Southern and Western Parts of that Country, in the Year 1805, (London, 1809), p. 10

1805 between Llanrwst and Bala
we passed several miserable cottages, the children from which followed us bawling out, in a whining tone, something which sounded like “a penny to buy shoes.” They are, however, all barefooted; and it is probable we mistook the nature of their petition. As this is the great Irish road, the constant sight of strangers passing and repassing gives the natives a considerable share of assurance, and a habit of mendacity, which we seldom witnessed in Wales. Among the rest of the road-beggars was a poor girl, … who had some excuse for the vocation she was pursuing, as she had lost her sight by the small-pox. This wretched creature, not being immediately apprized of our passing the hut where she resided, ran after the carriage some way, and never spoke a word till she seized it, as it was going slowly up a hill. At first we supposed she must be insane; but on hearing her melancholy story, she had our pity as well as our alms, to both of which she was justly entitled.
Mavor, William Fordyce, (1758-1837) A tour in Wales, and through several counties of England: including both the universities ; performed in the summer of 1805, (London : 1806), pp. 124-125

1805 Aberaeron
‘We had frequently been remarking, that hitherto we had not seen a beggar in Wales. Even voluntary bounty had been received with apparent pain, though with gratitude. Here, however, we saw a man, almost blind and double with age, who seemed by his manner to implore our charity;’ …
Mavor, William Fordyce, (1758-1837) A tour in Wales, and through several counties of England: including both the universities ; performed in the summer of 1805, (London : 1806), pp. 53-54

1806 Llanrwst
{Lady Wilson not spending her Money fast enough is in the habit of giving Beggars Dollars, instead of penny pieces}.
Llangollen … the town is filled with beggars.
Bant, Millicent, Essex Record office, D/DFr F2, July 30th, ff. 18/19

1806 Chester
In our walk we were accosted by a woman who begged her Ladyship would give her a shilling half guinea, or seven shilling piece, finding her request not complied with, attacked Sophia will yon pretty creature give me your bonnet & shawl (sent off by the coachman in great rage).
Bant, Millicent, Essex Record office, D/DFr F2, July 30th, ff. 24/25

1806 [the Holyhead road near Llangollen]
roads infested by herds of beggars and children, trained to begging by incessantly following the carriage for great distances.
Colt Hoare, in Thompson, M.W., The Journeys of Sir Richard Colt Hoare through Wales and England, 1793-1810 (1983), p. 240

1807 Symonds Yat
Met beggars at Symonds Yat
Payne, Mary, (Wife of Henry Thomas Payne, rector of Llanbedr). She might have been accompanied by A.M. Cuyler, (a female?) who may have stayed with them in 1807. (see National Library of Wales, mss. 784 A). Powys Archives, Llandrindod, A 104/1/2; Jones, Peter Morgan, A Navigation of the River Wye to Chepstow, 1807, Gwent Local Historian, no 104, (2008), pp 11-18

1810 Aber
Onto Aber where ‘I had leisure to look at the Welsh peasantry, who were begging round the carriage. Their appearance was destitute and squalid, very different form the cheerful groups we passed returning from Chester.
West, Mrs, University of Cambridge, MS additional 738

1812 Cardiff
Though market day there seemed no great bustle or confusion, scarcely a beggar to be seen.
Anon, (probably one of the Rashleigh family), Cornwall Record Office, Truro, CA/B50/10, p. 31

1813 Conwy
Ferry over the Conwy ‘with a most picturesque beggar, a fine tall figure with a white beaver hat of battered condition’
Duncan, John Shute, (1768-1844), Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (1823-1829), Tour Through Wales 1813, NLW MS16715A, p. 23

1813? Aber
I had leisure to look at the Welsh peasantry, who were begging round the carriage. Their appearance was destitute and squalid, very different form the cheerful groups we passed returning from Chester.
West, Jane, Mrs [nee Iliffe], (1758-1852), Tour to Wales and Ireland, Cambridge University Library, add. MSS 738, f 10-26 [GBR/0012/MS Add.738], f. 21

1817 Bala and Dolgellau
Here is a considerable trade in worsted stockings and gloves, but should suppose it cannot be very flourishing as we se?thed more beggars at this place and Dolgellau then we had seen throughout our journey.
Conclusion: Nothing could possibly have been more highly agreeable or more completelt [sic] to my mind than this short trip has been. … we were not encumbered with ? ? servants or beggars.
Brown, George, Journal of Lieut Col George Brown’s tour of north Wales, NLS ms2870, f. 36r- f. 37, f. 49

1818 Pont y pair
for the first time since we entered the principality, we found the beggars troublesome…
Alderson, Harriet, Gwynedd Record Office, XM/2600

1821 Llangollen
The children being very troublesome, getting up behind the carriage, I have been obliged to get a whip to flog them down.
Morgan, Charles Octavius, ‘Journal of a tour through North Wales – 1821’, f. f. 31a

1823 Hawarden
{Reference to a beggar to whom they gave bread and should have given them the cheese bought in Dolgellau which they no longer needed.}
Holland, Mary, (1792-1877), Bessy Holland (1796-1886) and Lucy Holland (1800-1883), all daughters of Peter and Mary Holland, and brother to Henry Holland (who toured north Wales in the early 1820s) 3rd Journal, Tour in Wales, Barmouth etc’, 11.9.1823 (private collection); Chapple, John, Elizabeth Gaskell, The Early Years (1997, 2009), pp. 288-310.

1824 Tintern and Tintern Parva
Both now miserable places, with a dirty beggarly population & form a striking contrast to the magnificent & sublime relic of the pious labours of the monastic ages.
The cottages in Wales as well as the towns are all white-washed & they whitewash even the roofs, door-posts, steps & walls near their houses, a custom that has prevailed from time immemorial. But the houses are very dirty inside & so are the inhabitants. In many respects they resemble the Irish – they are also ragged, very poor & merry, particularly the children go without shoes & stockings & there are a great many beggars.
Porter, Phoebe, Worcestershire Record Office, BA 3940 Parcel 68 (i) 705: 262

1825 Dolgellau
‘… indeed the Welch seem to be a kind-hearted obliging people & though their little white cottages are so small one wonders how they contrive to live & many of them are very poor, yet we did not see one beggar’.
Spurrett , Eliza, The Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester & Rutland, 7D542/1

1828
A minor ‘tormento’ in this region is the multitude of children, who start up and vanish like gnomes: they pursue the carriage, begging with inconceivable pertinacity. Wearied by their importunity, I had made a positive determination not to give anything to any-body; a single deviation from which rule insures your never being rid of them for a moment. However, one little girl vanquished all my resolutions by her perseverance: she ran at least a German mile, up hill and down dale, at a brisk trot, sometimes gaining upon me a little by a foot-path, but never losing sight of me for a minute. She ran by the side of the carriage, uttering the same incessant tone of plaintive lamentation, like the cry of a sea-mew, which .at length became so intolerable to me that I surrendered, and purchased my deliverance from my untireable pursuer at the price of a shilling. The ill-boding tone had however taken such possession of my ear, that I could not get rid of it for the whole day.
Prince Puckler-Muskau, Tour in England, Ireland, and France in the years 1828, 1829, 1832, (London: 1832); (Philadelphia 1833), pp. 280-281

1829 Tintern
The village of Tintern has long been noted for the squalid appearance and wretchedness of its inhabitants who dwell in huts adjoining the ruins … and appear to have no employments but begging – as if a place once devoted to indolence could never again become the seat of industry.
Anon, Tour of the Wye Valley, National Museum of Wales, 184561, p. 104

1829 Beddgelert
At Beddgelert, as in many other parts of Wales, the children of the poor constantly beset strangers, offering to them crystals and specimens of spar, which the mines afford in great abundance; and it is seldom that an English word can be got from them beyond “Yes,” or “No,” or “Coppar, coppar;” which latter word they use as they offer a specimen, and it might be supposed that it was copper ore they wished to part with; but they mean copper coin is what they want.
Smith, John, A guide to Bangor, Beaumaris, and Snowdonia (Liverpool, 1829), p. 29

1831 Llanberis
We were much diverted by the simplicity of the children who danced about us as we walked, begging halfpence, and chrystal?
Mills, Henry, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford, DR 240/46, p. 16

1831 Wales
Where scarce a beggar is to be seen in a day’s journey and where all are clean & whole at least on Sunday.
Williams, Hannah, Journey through Shropshire, Wales, Ireland & Lancashire, 1831, Worcestershire Record Office, 899:866/9522

1832 Pont Aberglaslyn
{Description of the lad in the sketch on f. 93 who had come to beg but stood still for half an hour for the sketch.} This was the case with many of the poor in Wales ; indeed, I never saw such beggars; this comes I suspect of our thoughtless; prodigal and tender hearted ladies, who visit these parts displaying all their ill-timed liberality; encouraging children in idleness, when they might be helping their parents in their many industrious vocations.’
Letts, 1832, NLW MS 21690B, ff. 94r- 94v

1838
The children here seem universally addicted to begging, as in Ireland, … They are not, however, quite ragged enough to be picturesque. … The little mendicants here never seem to loose breath, surrounding the carriage like a swarm of midges …
Sinclair, Catherine, (1800-1864), Hill and Valley, or Hours in England and Wales 1833, 1st edition, New York, 1838, p. 115; 2nd Edition, (Edinburgh, 1839), p. 142

1839 Borth, Cardiganshire
Borth is a straggling wretched village of fishermen’s huts, 2 rows of houses, built under the shelter of the shingle bank thrown up by the sea. … The children are most numerous bare legged and headed, half dressed? and wild. They crowded round the carriage with plates and saucers of shells understanding no more English than “for penny”
Venn, Henry, (1796-1873), [Tour of Wales], Birmingham University Library, CMS/ACC81, F11/2, p. 6

1844 Near Devil’s Bridge
we drove on further into the mountains, passed several small huts, where miserable children begged with a sort of regular chaunt [sic]
North Wales?
… numbers of children, begging, ran along the roads endeavouring by their troublesome importunity to win a trifling alms from the passing stranger. Occasionally, too, they offer rock crystals, or other mountain productions, and woollen knitted caps, for sale
Carus, Carl Gustav, The King of Saxony’s journey through England and Scotland in the year 1844, (London, 1846), p. 234

1844 Caernarfon
Even the children who begged on the road had but two words of English—”halfpenny, sir”—which they pronounced so well, we were surprised to find their knowledge extend no further.
Kohl, George Johann,Travels in England and Wales [1845], (Translated into English by Thomas Roscoe),

1851 near Llangollen
[On the London road] A poor blind woman mounted the dicky of the coach, and groped her way to the front, with an old hat in her hand, begging charity, and not without success: she got down again with the greatest ease. {The coachman told him that this was here sole livelihood}
de Vega, Juan, (Cochrane, Charles,) The journal of a tour made by Señor Juan de Vega [pseud.] : the Spanish minstrel of 1828-9, through Great Britain and Ireland, a character assumed by an English gentleman. ( London : 1830), p. 234

1854, Llangollen
the children of the lower class of Llangollen are great pests to visitors. The best way to get rid of them is to give them nothing.
Borrow, George, Wild Wales, (1958, p. 58)

1854, Llanfrothen
‘Here we were annoyed for the first time by children begging at the little village of Llanfrothen [again, off the beaten track] a troop of these rascals besieged us murmuring “halfpenny” to a sort of chant, this they kept up for about 2 miles’.
Billinghurst, H.P., A Pedestrian Ramble through Oxford, Chester and North Wales, Women’s Library, London, 7RMB/B/1, p. 243

1856, near Bangor
More and more beggar children hobbled about us, shouting and running. [One companion] criticised the poor police. [Another companion] threw them not even a copper piece, but golden advice; they should just all go to Birmingham, to the factories … What a pity that the ranks of beggars understood not a word of English as by following his advice they would certainly have attained earthly happiness.
Rodenberg, Julius, Ein Herbst in Wales, Land and Leute, Marchen under Lieder, Hanover, 1858. Translated by William Linnard, ‘An Autumn in Wales, (1856), Country and People, Tales and Songs’, (Cowbridge, 1985), pp. 119

1857 Llanrug
The little children as they do also in other villages, ran after the coach calling half penny, halfpenny. … {more children begging for halfpennies at Llanrug}
Foyl, William, Tour of North Wales 1857, NLW 23178B, p. 26, p. 91

1857 Llanberis
We were requested to hear a song by many a rosy cheeked urchin
Foyl, William, Tour of North Wales 1857, NLW 23178B, p. 85

1857 near Dolgellau
{To Barmouth road, sketching}’During that time we were assailed by two beggars, the first was a woman … [the other] a very dirty, disgusting ugly old man …{both with limited English}
Anon, Journal of a Tour through North Wales, NLW, ms. 20719 A, p. 36

1857 Llanberis
As usual we were beset all along the road by children begging for half pence … In Merionethshire these little creatures never have on either shoes or stockings but in Caernarfonshire they occasionally wear both – the shoes having wooden soles, the toes bound with brass and with brass buckles.’
Anon, Journal of a Tour through North Wales, NLW, ms. 20719 A, p. 118

1860 Bangor
Bangor it is a poor town, inhabited chiefly by quarrymen. Here the cry of children, too often heard in Wales, for a ha’pennee, a ha’pennee, seems to be a kind of institution.
Halliwell-Phillipps, James Orchard, (FRS), Notes of family excursions in north Wales, taken Chiefly from Rhyl, Abergele, Llandudno and Bangor, (1860)

1863 Llyn y Dinas near Beddgelert
In going to and returning from Llyn y Dinas we were besieged by little urchins, who offered for sale knitted hose and bits of copper ore. There is only one way of getting rid of them – as they will follow you for half a mile – and that is by throwing them some halfpence.
‘Damon’, A ramble through North Wales, (London, Hamilton, Adams & Co.; Hull: J.W. Leng [1863], p. 39

1884 north Wales
absence of beggars – didn’t see one in 5 weeks
O’Flanagan, J. Roderick (of Grange House, Fermoy, Ireland) ‘Through North Wales with my wife’ London : Burns & Oates, [1884?], p. 101

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