This film is part of Free

The Sheep Stealer

Stealing a sheep is not as easy as it might seem! They are hefty, unwieldy beasts as the desperate father with starving family discovers in this William Haggar production.

Drama 1908 9 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


One of film pioneer William Haggar's longer productions, this film shows a man desperate to provide for his starving wife and children. Oblivious to the chickens pecking about outside his cottage, he decides to steal a sheep - not, as is evident, an easy item to carry away from the scene of the crime. Like all Haggar productions, this is a family affair: William's son James plays the sheep stealer, and James's own wife and children play the poor man's family.

A portrait of William Haggar (1851-1925), a travelling showman and film pioneer based in south Wales from the 1880s onwards, appears on the two inter-titles included on this film, which was shot possibly in Pembrokeshire, a favourite filming haunt of Haggar's, or further south. Using his family as actors, he produced many popular films but few survive. He moved from showing films at markets and fairs in mobile accommodation to established cinemas in Pembroke, Llanelli and Aberdare and became almost part of the establishment, being elected onto the Merthyr Board of Guardians and the Aberdare Urban Council.