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Sewell’s name first appears in a report from the Monmouthshire Merlin newspaper of May 1851, when it stated ‘…the very efficient Tredegar Brass Band’ played ‘introductory music’ under his leadership ahead of the first running of the Bedwellty steeplechase meeting on the land at a local Rhoswen Farm.
Sewell was born in the town of Arnold in Nottinghamshire between 1821 and 1825 (later census records give two dates of birth).
In the 1851 census he is recorded, aged 26, as living in Tredegar at 7, Queen Square, with his wife, Elizabeth (born 1828) and father in law, Samuel Peglar, a retired grocer.
His occupation is noted as, Professor of Music.
By the census in 1861, he and his wife had moved to Panteg near Pontypool where he stated he was a storekeeper in the Iron Works. A little while later he became the hotel keeper at the Clarence Hotel in Pontypool (built in 1825 and which stands today).
In the 1871 and again in the 1881 census he is recorded as the hotel keeper (the latter with his wife and four servants, two borders and a niece).
At some later date he and his wife moved away from the area. He is recorded as dying in 1909 (his wife predeceased him in 1906) in Bouremouth, Dorset.
The image shows details of the 1851 Census from Tredegar. William Sewell is described as a 'Professor of Music'.
The image has been reproduced courtesy of the Gwent Archives at Ebbw Vale
The aim of this Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) supported project is to provide an on-line multi-media resource that will celebrate and interpret the historical importance of the social, cultural and musical achievements of Tredegar Town Band over a time-line of the past 170 years – from the earliest reported origins in 1849 to date.