1875 Free Press

January 30th

Police Court before Col. Byrde, Rev J. C. Llewellin and E. J. Phillips Esq


Edward Absolom was charged with removing to avoid a distress.
Mrs Jeremiah, owner of the house said that defendant owed £1 12s 4d. rent to her; defendant had removed part of his furniture……more info no parishes given

February 6th 


Police Court before Col. Byrde and E. J. Phillips Esq

John Scammell 17, was charged with stealing a horse cloth, the property of William Williams, farmer of Goytre.
Complainant said that the prisoner worked for him and was at his house on the 3rd of Jan; the horse cloth was there then; on the following day he missed it.
In answer to the Bench complainant said he did not ask him why he left; he was no particular friend of his; the horse-cloth produced was his property; he recognised it by one of the straps being chewed a little by the cattle.
In answer to prisoner, complainant said he owed him 5s but prisoner left his employment in the middle of the week; he told him if he would stop he would pay him; he did not order him off the ground.
John Davis, farmer, Pentre, said he gave the cloth produced to the policeman; he purchased it off the prisoner, he asked him where he had got it; he said he found it on Usk road; prisoner had been speaking to his (witness’s) son three months previously to that about a horse-cloth which he had said he had found; he brought it to the witness’s house the Monday after Christmas, he paid him 2s.
Williams, re called said he had the horse-cloth on the 3rd January, it was in the stable, hung up with the other gear.
Pc Allen said that on Monday he received information on the loss of the horse-cloth from Mr Williams, and on searching for it found it at Mr Davies’s; he asked him where he had it from and Mr Davies said he bought it off prisoner; he asked Mr Williams why he did not inform him of the loss before, he said he was going to do so one day, but he, (policeman) had gone too far; Williams identified the horse-cloth as soon as witness took it to him when he arrested prisoner; he said he found it on the Usk road he said, “if I did take it, I would only be taking what he owed me.
Williams, in answer to the Bench said that he had bought the cloth off Mr Jones, saddler, Pontypool.
The Bench were of the opinion that the case clearly proves against prisoner, and he was sentenced to 14 days hard labour.

Leaving a Child Chargeable to the Parish

Elizabeth Barland was charged with leaving her child chargeable to the Pontypool Union on the 22nd Jan.

Mr Hartley Feather, Master of the Union said about 6.30 p.m. he found a child near the door of the Workhouse, he took it in and looking over the Workhouse book he found a child born on 12th October 1873.

Defendant had been in service and had paid 2s 6d a week to a Mrs Rosser of Goytre for looking after the child; she was now out of work and could not pay for the child’s nursing; she had failed to prove the paternity of the child for want of corroborative evidence.

A Mrs Lewis of Canal Parade offered to adopt the child and Mrs Jenkins of Hanbury Terrace took both mother and child in to give them shelter.


March 27th


A Concert was held at the above place on Thursday, March 18th for the benefit of the British School.  Col. Byrde presided, and the choir of the Baptist Chapel, Glascoed, assisted by a few kind friends, performed the pieces much to their own credit and the high satisfaction of all present.  Programme: –

Anthem – Before Jehovah’s awful throne – Choir.

Solo – Comfort ye my people – Mr W. Edmonds.

Anthem – Awake the song of Jubilee – Choir.

Solo – No tears in heaven – Mr T. Brace.

Quartet – Forgive blest shades – Miss H. Morgan, Miss S. Lewis, Mr W. Edmonds, and Mr H. Williams.

Solo – Oh, had I the wings of a dove – Mr S. Evans.

Quartet- As the hart panteth – Misses Watkins, Mr S. Evans, and Mr W. Williams.

Solo – Blessed are the meek – Mr J. Tucker.

Anthem – I will lift up mine eyes – choir.

Solo – The soldier to his mother – Mr Reese.

Trio and chorus – Canaan – Miss H. Morgan, Miss S. Lewis, and Mr W. Williams.

Solo – Home, sweet hone – Mr S. Evans.

Anthem – Oh praise the Lord – Choir.

Song- God bless our sailor prince – Mr T. Brace.

Anthem – Lift up your head – Choir.

Solo – I am lonely since my mother died – Mr W. Edmonds.

Anthem – Now pray we for our country – Choir.

As usual there was an interval of some minutes, and while the singers were recruiting their strength, the respected chairman, with other gentlemen, not liking to waste time, converted the meeting into a grammar class, and enquired into the etymology and translation of two Welsh terms, namely “Cwmbwrwch” and “Dinas.” This enquiry was occasioned by the worthy chairman supposing that the leader of the excellent choir lived at Cwmbwrwch, a circumstance that caused surprise that such an excellent and good conductor could come from such a Nazareth.  However one clever scholar undertook to translate the awkward term, informing his class-master, to the amusement of all, that it meant, badger’s dingle.”  Next came the word “Dinas,” when another scholar interpreted this as meaning “tasteless,” upon which the Rev J. Tucker assured all that if  “diflas” meant “tasteless,”

there was little fear of the singers growing “diflas.”  So that with the excellent singing and the humorous talk, a most pleasant evening was spent.

April 3rd

POLICE COURT – Application for Ejectment

Before Colonel Byrde and C. J. Parkes, Esq.

Mr Jas. H. Farquhar, of Abergavenny, on behalf of the Blaenafon Iron Co, applied for an ejectment order against James Hayward, Goytre.  

Mr Forest, a former agent of the Blaenafon Iron Co, was called by Mr Farquhar, and proved having engaged defendant for the Company at a wage of 1 6s per week, including house rent, there was a distinct understanding that the rent was to be considered part of his wages.

Col. Byrde said that country cottages were let at an annual tenancy, and did not know if the rule applied to them.

Mr Farquhar said it was an invariable rule of the Blaenafon Iron Company, and in this case the man was given to understand that when he ceased working for the Company he would also have to give up the house.  

Mr Rosser was called, and, and proved having served Hayward with a notice on the 15th ult., a copy of which he handed to the magistrates.

The ejectment was granted.

April 17th 

The Charge of Stealing Corn

William Hugo was brought up on remand charged with stealing two bushels of corn and a sack, the property of R T Smith & Co.

Mr Watkins appeared for the prosecution and Mr Greenaway for the defence.

Mr Watkins, after briefly stating his case called upon the first witness.

Anna Maria Hutchinson who said she  lived with her step-father, Thomas Jenkins at Goytre:

She remembered prisoner coming to their house on Easter Monday:He had a horse and “trolley”: he came to fetch a chest of drawers:

When he came to the house there were some sacks upon the trolley:

There appeared to be something in one of them:

She was looking through the window:

They (Hugo and his wife) were sitting on one of the sacks:

She did not know what became of the sacks:

They stayed at her father’s house for some time:

She did not see them taking the horse out of the trolley:

Did not see them drive away:

Saw them taking the chest of drawers out of house:

Did not see them put it on the trolley:

She was in the kitchen:

Did not take notice of any of the sacks till PS Basham came there on the Monday, neither did she notice the sacks between the two occasions:

There were other sacks with these:

Did not notice any oats in the house.

Mr Watkins here asked witness a question relative to a statement made by her to Sergeant Basham.

Mr Greenaway objected

Mr Watkins contended he was right in doing so with a witness who had made one statement to the sergeant and another in the witness box.

Mr Greenaway maintained that a conversation passing between two persons in the absence of the prisoner could not be put in evidence against him.

The bench ruled that the question could not be put.

Witness re-examined:

She did not notice how the sacks were marked:

Sergeant Basham did not call her attention to it:

Did not go anywhere to empty one of the sacks with Palmer:

By the Bench; there was a sack marked but it belonged to themselves:

Did not notice any sacks with marks upon them:

By Mr Watkins; noticed that one of the sacks was marked; that mark was Llanover Mills; 

Went with Palmer into the back kitchen to empty the sack:

That sack Palmer took away:

Did not notice whether he was big or little:

And did not see them empty the corn sack:

She had seen Hugo since they were in court before:

He had not told her what evidence to give today.

By Mr Greenaway; she had given her evidence truthfully and honestly to the best of her knowledge. She had given evidence on the Tuesday previous..

The sacks were exposed to view in a cellar two steps down; anyone could have seen them from the doorway.

Hugo had been at Goytre on Easter Monday. The horse got out of the stable, that’s what delayed him.

In the evening they were in a great hurry.

Saw them coming to the house:

Prisoner and wife were in the trolley:

Saw Hugo on the end of the sack on which they rode:

Saw the drawers taken out of the house:

Saw some sacks there when they were bringing the drawers out of the house:

Had seen chaff in the house and oats.

By Mr Watkins; was present when Sergeant Basham made enquiries before he saw the sacks:

He made the enquiry in the kitchen:

He asked if she had any objection to the house being searched and she replied “not in the least.”

They were packing up the drawers in sacks:

Reuben James Meadows said he was the agent for R T Smith & Co. and prisoner had been in their employ:

He gave prisoner leave to go with the horse and trolley the first time they were not to busy to fetch a chest of drawers:

Was present with the prisoner and Sergeant Basham:

He said he had taken out a feed for the horse and had left it there:

It was, he said all through drink:

“You know I have been drinking.”

Witness (looking at the sack) said they had some bags marked like that one but it was not the usual mark, the mark on that sack was “S & Co.”

There were oats and bran mixed, the oats being crushed flat between rollers, similar to the way in which they crushed the oats:

Had never seen oats crushed like it before:

They were crushed flat by passing through rollers:

Went with P.S. Basham on Easter Monday to Nantyderry Station:

Found this sack (produced) on the premises of prisoners father-in-law Thomas Jenkins:

There was chaff in it then:

There was also another sack containing corn and it was marked Llanover Mills:

He emptied the chaff that was in the sack into another bag:

It was down in the kitchen:

The young woman Hutchinson was present at the time.

Cross– examined by Mr Greenaway:

He was never in the Royal Cornwall Range Militia.

By Mr Watkins; Could not swear that the sack contained chaff.

After a short summary from Mr Greenaway and Mr Watkins the Bench retired to consider their verdict and on returning said they were of the opinion that a case of felony had been proven but taking into consideration the numerous and excellent testimonials of character which they had received of the prisoner they would sentence him to one months hard labour.

July 10th

PONTYPOOL AND USK HIGHWAY BOARD. – On Monday the monthly meeting of this board took place at Usk.  Mr James Powell presided over a full Board.  It was resolved that the district surveyor’s expenditure and receipt book should be balanced every fortnight.  The surveyor was ordered to pay Mr Wrenford for stones when he had funds.  Col. Byrde asked the Board to perform a promise to vote the sum of £5 from the funds of Llanvihangel and Goytrey towards the formation of a road and bridge leading to Goytrey school.  Mr Morgan, of Little Mill, strongly objected; he contended that the bridge in question was private, and the landlord ought to keep it in repair and passable; the members of the Board were not there to dispense gratuities, but to pay just demands, and he considered it would be culpable of the board to order the sum to be paid over, and if it were, he should call the special attention of the auditor to it. – A claim of Mr Jas, Lucas for £1 11s 6d for haulage of stones was ordered to be paid, subject of reduction of 3d per load, which brought the claim to £1 6s 3d. – Mrs Roberts applied to have a quarry on her land filled up, as it had not been used for several years.  On the motion of Col. Byrde, £2 was allowed towards the expense of filling up the quarry.  – Mr Jones of Trevella farm, in accordance with notice given, brought forward very serious charges against the surveyor.  After a long and animated discussion, the proposal for his dismissal was negated by a majority of 9. – only 3 voted for the proposition and 12 against it.  Mr Gething moved – “That this meeting is of the opinion that the charges made against the surveyor by Messrs Jones and Mackintosh have not been proved and that the surveyor stands without a stain on his character. in respect to those charges.”  This was agreed to unanimously.

May 8th

PROSECUTION OF THE VICAR OF LLANOVER  – All further proceedings against the Rev Joshua Evans have been abandoned, as appears from the following letter from the Bishop’s secretaries to Mr Evan’s solicitor: – 

(Copy of the letter)

37, Parliament Street, Westminster,. S.W, April 27 1875,

Dear Sir,

Rev Joshua Evans.

We regret that we have been unable to give you an earlier answer to your letters, but, as you are aware, the Bishop’s Commission was issued on information and complaint, and His Lordship was not the promoter of the proceedings.  We now beg to inform you that it is not intended to proceed further.  We are, dear sir, yours very faithfully,

W .C. A. Williams, Esq.                                           Burder and Dunning.

May 22nd


Mamhilad (Mrs Summerfield’s)



On MONDAY, JUNE 7th, 1875. – Tea on the table

From 3 to 6 o’clock,- Music in attendance

A stall of Wool- work will be opened for Sale


June 5th


On Tuesday last the retired little church of Mamhilad was the scene of a gay and fashionable wedding when Miss Susanna Durand Sackmore Birt, daughter of the late Dr Birt, of Canterbury, and cousin of col. Byrde, of Goytrey House, was married to F. G. W. Chalklen, Esq., of St. James’s Clerkenwell?  The ceremony was performed by the Rev C. Cook, rector, assisted by the Rev F. L. Byrde, B.A.  The bride who was given away by her cousin, Colonel Byrde, was very modestly but elegantly attired, as were also the bridesmaids.  To mark the esteem with which the bride is held in the parish of Mamhilad, the little church was crowded to witness the imposing ceremony, and two elegant arches of flowers and evergreens were erected with great taste over the archway and church porch by Miss Annie Lewis, of the Brooks, and Mr Arthur Morgan, of Elm Cottage.  The school children strewed the path to the church with wild flowers, and a beautiful bouquet of exotic flowers, from colonel Byrde’s conservatory, was placed on the alter.  At the conclusion of the service, the bridal party were conveyed in carriages to Goytrey House, the residence of Colonel Byrde, where a sumptuous breakfast was prepared; and in the course of the afternoon the happy newly-married couple left for the railway station, amidst showers of rice and old slippers.


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