The Love Story of Ann Thomas the Maid of Cefn Ydfa
R: William Haggar Jr. D: Jenny Haggar, William Haggar Jr. P: Haggar and Sons. UK 1914
“The traditional Welsh folk tale of the thwarted romance between a thatcher and an heiress in 17th-century Cefn Ydfa is lovingly brought to the screen, with a few twists to the familiar tale. When Ann meets Will she decides he’s the man for her, but a local gentleman also has his eye on Ann, stooping to subterfuge and villainy in an effort to win her hand.”
“Ann Maddocks (born Thomas, 1704–1727) was a Welsh maid who according to tradition was forced to marry against her wishes and died pining for her true love. She is also known by the poetic name, ‘The Maid of Cefn Ydfa’.
Ann Thomas was born in 1704 to William Thomas of Cefn Ydfa, Llangynwyd, Maesteg and his wife Catherine Price of Tynton, Llangeinor, who was sister to Rees Price, the father of philosopher Richard Price. Thomas and Price married in 1703, but her father died in 1706, and tradition tells that he had placed Ann in the wardship of Anthony Maddocks, a lawyer from Cwmrisga. Maddocks decided that Ann would marry his son, also called Anthony, and records show that the two were married on 4 May 1725.
The legend states that Ann had fallen in love not with the wealthy Maddocks, but with the poet and thatcher, Wil Hopcyn (William Hopkin) and when discovered were forbidden to see each other. The couple continued their relationship by sending love letters to each other in secret, but when these communications were uncovered, Ann’s mother took away her writing materials. Unable to be with Ann, Hopcyn left the area; Ann married Anthony Maddocks. Ann is said to have pined so desperately for her lover that she fell seriously ill. On her death bed she asked to see Hopcyn, and when he arrived she died in his arms.”
In 1904, William Haggar sen. released a silent film, The Maid of Cefn Ydfa, interpreting the events, with his family cast as the main characters of the tale.
>>> A Desparate Poaching Affray by William Haggar sen. on this site: Chase Films