SIR JOHN PERROT
Born in 1527 at Haroldston House, the ruin of which is visible on the south side of Freemans Way. He was a great favourite of Queen Elizabeth and a close friend of Edward VI, who gave him his knighthood.
Noted for his athletic prowess and great strength from his earliest days, he was also notorious for his ungovernable temper and arbitrary ways.
During the reign of Mary 1 he was imprisoned for favouring Protestantism and harbouring heretics at Haroldston. On his release he thought it prudent to stay out of the country for the remainder of her reign.
During the reign of Elizabeth 1 he was granted many favours including being one of the four who carried the canopy of state at her coronation. In 1542 he was appointed vice-admiral of South Wales and keeper of the gaol at Haverfordwest. From 1571-1573 he was Lord President at Munster with the task of quelling the Desmond rebellion. From 1584-1588 he was Lord Deputy of Ireland.
In 1587 he was appointed deputy lieutenant for Pembrokeshire and a privy councillor in 1589.He was at various times Member of Parliament for Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Haverfordwest.
He became mayor of Haverfordwest in 1570, 1575 and 1576 despite a bitter anti Perrot faction from the gentry because of his litigation against his neighbours.
In 1574 he became a member of the Council of the Marches and in 1575 he was appointed, by the Privy Council, commissioner to suppress piracy in Pembrokeshire. In 1579 he was given command of a squadron of five ships to protect the coast of Ireland from Spanish intruders, which nearly lost him his life.
In 1580,having obtained the privilege of purchasing imports on the same favourable terms as the mayor and corporation, and that his heirs should be burgesses, he gave lands and property of the yearly value of £30.00. The yield to be expended on improvements in the town.
In 1591 he was accused of high treason and was condemned to death. But he died in the tower of London before sentence could be carried out. He was buried at St Peter’s Church at the Tower.
ADMIRAL JOHN LORT STOKES
John Lort Stokes was born at Scotchwell, Haverfordwest on 1st August 1811. He joined H.M.S. Beagle as a 14 year old midshipman and was appointed to its command in 1848. In 1831 Charles Darwin sailed on the Beagle and became its naturalist and shared quarters with Stokes. His published works included the two-volume Discoveries in Australia and he was largely responsible for changing the name of Van Dieman`s Land to Tasmania.
ADMIRAL SIR THOMAS FOLEY G.C.B.
Admiral Sir Thomas Foley served with Lord Nelson at Cape St Vincent and at Copenhagen. He and Nelson were awarded the Freedom of Haverfordwest, when Nelson visited Milford Haven in 1802 , at a ceremony held at Foley House .This was the residence of John Foley , Sir Thomas’s brother and was built by John Nash in 1794.The charter handed to Lord Nelson was later bought at a sale at Sotheby’s and presented to the Mayor and Corporation and is on display at the Town Museum.
GENERAL SIR THOMAS PICTON K.C.B.
Thomas Picton was born at the town house of the Laugharne family, now the Dragon Hotel in Hill Street. The Pictons lived at Poyston , outside Haverfordwest. Mrs. Picton was visiting her friends at the house when she gave birth to her seventh child. Thomas Picton had a distinguished but varied career and though badly wounded at Quatre Bras, he led his men at Waterloo where he was killed. He lies buried at St Paul’s Cathedral where there is a memorial to him. There is another memorial at Carmarthen.
AUGUSTUS AND GWEN JOHN
The artist Gwen John was born at Victoria Place and her brother Augustus John, though born in Tenby, was brought up in Haverfordwest.
Augustus painted landscapes and portraits, including “the Smiling Woman” 1910, now in the Tate Gallery, of his second wife Dorelia.
Many of Gwen’s paintings depicted Dominican nuns, she converted to Catholicism in 1913.She also painted calm, muted interiors.
THE WILLIAMS BROTHERS
On Easter Saturday in 1909, a large group of rugby fans wearing red-white and blue favours set out from Haverfordwest for Carmarthen to see the seven Williams brothers play the seven Randall brothers from Llanelli. The Williams had issued a challenge for the Family Championship of the U.K. and £100.00 a side. This, despite seven – a –side games being debarred by the Rugby Union. About one thousand people watched the game, which was described as ill tempered and scrappy. The referee had trouble keeping order .The Williams scored a try and a goal making the score eight nil. Spectators rushed the pitch and the referee called time.
They were the sons of Police Superintendent John Williams. Three were commission agents, three hairdressers and one was an accountant’s clerk. They continued competing up to the First World War.
THE REVEREND ARTHUR BARING-GOULD
Described as “the best loved man in the town whose work will ever be remembered with pride and gratitude by all Haverfordians”. When he died in June 1955 he was 90 years old and had been vicar of St Martin’s for 47 years. A native of Devon he trained as a barrister before entering the church. he was one-time chaplain at Parkhurst and Dartmoor prisons and was curate – in – charge of St Peter’s, Brixham.When he began his incumbency at St Martin’s he immediately set about visiting every dwelling in the parish, regardless of the faith of the occupants and up to the year of his death he continued to make these visits twice a year. Father Baring-Gould was welcomed in every household