Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Militant Jemima

A college lecturer thinks he has found the baptism record of a woman some experts dismiss as mythical.

Jemima Nicholas of Fishguard, Pembrokeshire, Wales, is supposed to have turned back a French invasion of Britain in 1797.

Armed only with a pitchfork, Jemima is said to have told local women to dress in a black and red traditional costume, which the French mistook for British soldiers' uniforms and panicked.
It helped that the Napoleonic soldiers had grown "indisciplined and drunk." Their surrender is said to have been negotiated in a Fishguard pub.

Andrew Thomas was digging through the Mathry Parish Registry when he found the apparent reference to the heroine.
It showed that a Jemima Nicholas had been baptised in Mathry on March 2, 1755. This would make her 41 at the time of the invasion, which is close to contemporary accounts of her age which said she was 47. [Link]

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