Major Penrice's Dilemma by DAVID REES OUR STORY begins in 1820, when Major Thomas Penrice of Great Yar- mouth purchased the manor and demesne of Kilvrough in the parish of Penard. Kilvrough Manor, still surrounded by its high walls and well-tended parkland, stands about a mile south-west of Fairwood Common, where the South Gower Road drops into the shallow cwm leading down to Park- mill. The house here was first built by Rowland Dawkin, scion of the old Gower family, in 1585, but the place may once have been the site of the original manor of Langrove. Moreover, the Dawkins themselves were descended from the even older family of Langton, contemporaries of the De Breoses, Lords of Gower in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The present Kilvrough Manor was built by William Dawkin in the mid-eighteenth century. William was Sheriff of Glamorgan in 1773, but his daughter Mary, the last of the Kilvrough Dawkins, sold the house to Major Penrice in 1820. Yet the sale in no way broke the circling line of association that linked Kilvrough with some of the oldest families in Gower. Thomas Nicholas, in his History and Antiquities of Glamorgan, tells us that Major Penrice's family traced its descent from a branch of the Penrice family of Gower, lords of Oxwich and Penrice, and whose inheritance passed to the Mansels by marriage in the fifteenth century. The new owner of Kilvrough was a distinguished soldier and had fought in the Peninsular Wars under Wellington as a captain in the XVIth Lancers. So it was only fitting that in 1829 he became Major-Commandant of the 'Swansea and Fairwood Corps of Yeomanry Cavalry'. This was a volunteer corps which had been created towards the end of the Napoleonic Wars by the amalgamation of separate units in Swansea and at Fairwood. It consisted for the most part of gentry and farmers from Swansea and Gower, and its total establishment was about 160 men. There were similar corps in Central and Eastern Glamorgan. However, within a short time of Major Penrice taking over his new command, quite unforseeable events, perhaps even inconceivable by the standards of a distinguished legular soldier, were to involve him in a controversy which reached all the way to Whitehall, far away from Kil- vrough. The story, not without its drama, is told in a slim volume of letters published by Major Penrice, probably during 1832, and printed by the press of The Cambrian newspaper in Swansea. This volume, The Swansea and Fairwood Cavalry 1831, may be found in the Swansea Reference Library, and it is on these letters that this account is based. These events began on Friday, 3rd June, 1831, when Thomas R. Guest, the ironmaster of Dowlais, and a magistrate, arrived in Swansea on the evening mail coach with orders for Major Penrice from the Lord- Lieutenant of Glamorgan, the Marquess of Bute. The Yeomanry were to