Sarah Jane Rees “Cranogwen”


Born in rural Ceredigion near Llangrannog, Sarah Jane Rees was a passionate advocate throughout her life for the education of women. Refusing a dressmaking apprenticeship when she left school, she spent two years as a sailor aboard her father’s ketch, before returning to study at a nautical school in London. On her return home, she took up the reins of the British School. This resulted in many future sailors and captains proudly announcing they had received their first training in the art of seamanship from a woman. She also was an eminent Welsh Victorian poet, known as Cranogwen, being the first woman to win the National Eisteddfod in 1865 with ‘Y Fodrwy Briodasol’, a moving account of a married woman’s lot. She also became the first woman ever to edit a Welsh-language women’s magazine, Y Frythones. She also founded the South Wales Women’s Temperance Union.

Category: Education
Dates: 1839-1916
Location: Ceredigion, Llangrannog