Captain Robert Thomas, Hughes & Co, Anglesey, 1876-1903
Captain Robert Thomas (c.1845-1903) was master of various vessels owned by Hughes & Co. of Menai Bridge, Anglesey, involved in the coastal trade and also the transatlantic and South American trade. The South American trade in the 19th century usually involved an outward, westward voyage carrying general goods or coal and a return, eastward voyage carrying guano. Guano production involved the use of enslaved peoples and other exploitative labour practices. Ships commanded by Captain Thomas included the Etta, British Princess, Merioneth and the Afon Alaw. Captain Thomas was master of the Afon Alaw from its launch in 1891 until his death at San Francisco in 1903. The collection does not contain any personal career papers belonging to Captain Thomas, but consists mainly of letters of instructions from the owners and other ships papers, and photographs of Captain Thomas and crew aboard the Afon Alaw and Merioneth. See attached list.