significant: 'for years I had spoken to the same people and they remained the same people; nothing in their life was really altered'. It was rarely said, but the laity did not really want 'their' ministers to exercise a 'cure of souls'. This is an excellent, painstaking study which works wonders with the available material. Despite its title, however, it is not a book about Wales. A few references to Wales do occur, but Dr. Brown does not take on the problem of what nonconformist ministers did for (or to) Wales. In a passing reference he says that Welsh nonconformists had exceptional influence because nonconformity was intimately tied up with nationalism. Here was the opening for a quite different social history. Was it true, as has sometimes been suggested, that what Welsh nonconformist ministers really did was to impose on the principality an alien, even destructive concept of Welshness? And were there particularly Welsh reasons for the twentieth-century collapse of the Welsh Free Churches? On England, however, this is a very useful book. JOHN KENT Bristol BANGOR: PORT OF BEAUMARIS. THE NINETEENTH-CENTURY SHIPBUILDERS AND SHIPOWNERS OF BANGOR. By M. Elis-Williams. Gwynedd Archives and Museums Service, 1988. Pp. 208. £ 8.95. The sub-title of this book could easily have been 'The North Wales Slate Trade', since it traces the development of the port of Bangor and of the slate quarries on the Penrhyn estate to the late-nineteenth century, with concluding reflections on the total disappearance of Bangor's maritime past and raison d'etre in the twentieth. It was Richard Pennant, later Lord Penrhyn, and his agent, Benjamin Wyatt, a member of the famous family of architects, who developed the area and built Port Penrhyn on the outskirts of the cathedral city, to provide an outlet for the slate quarried on his estate. The author has drawn together much fragmentary evidence-crew agreement lists, articles in the local press, family papers, with his personal observations of the port and the now vanished maritime communities of Hirael and Garth which served it-to write a history of Bangor's coastal trade. This was not as extensive or as fast developing as that of other ports in the area, nor were Bangor-built ships as famous as those, for example, of Porthmadog, but the trade of the port was considerable for a small community. Between 1775 and 1879, 62 ships were built in its numerous small yards, 20 of them between 1854 and 1866. They ranged from the diminutive 11-ton Victoria, a steam paddle vessel for use in the River Mawddach, to the 275-ton trader, Heather Bell. Until 1840 Beaumaris shipping registers covered the north Wales coast between the estuaries of the Clwyd and the Dysynni. Eighteenth-century Bangor ships, small sloops, usually under 50 tons, were employed in the coasting trade, chiefly carrying