1856 Free Press

June 14th – Caution to smokers

A few days since, a serious fire took place at the Wood Mill in the parish of Goitre adjacent to the Nantyderry station on the Newport Abergavenny and Hereford railway, for some time past in the occupation of Mr Williams.
It appears from facts afforded that smoke was observed issuing from a well built and commodious barn situated at the rear of the mill in which was placed about 60 bushels of wheat and upon proceeding thither the interior was found to be in flames.
Assistance from neighbours and others was kindly rendered endeavoured with buckets and other utensils to throw water upon the building but their combined efforts proved unavailing, the fire having gained a mastery over them and the barn was consequently, in a short time entirely gutted.
The fire, we understand, was occasioned by a man who was engaged in the building thrashing, smoking a pipe, a spark from which fell amongst the straw and hence the disaster.
It is hoped that this occurrence will act as a caution to parties allowing servants to smoke about their buildings, which reprehensible conduct so frequently terminates in the destruction of the property and not infrequently in sacrifice of human life.

1859 Free Press

March 12th – Police Court

Saturday- before Charles H Williams and Frederick Leverit Esqs

A Parochial Squabble – The surveyor of the highways, Thomas Watkins, summoned Wm. Harris, poor-rate collector, for refusing to give him the rate-books for the purpose of making a rate.
Mr Alexander Edwards appeared for the defendant:  It would appear that some apprehension was felt among a portion of the parishioners, that the surveyor was not acting as impartially as he ought to do in his official capacity and they therefore thwarted him as much as possible in the performance of what he considered to be his duties. Defendant it would seem was acting under he influence of other parties and it appeared in evidence that the book was in the possession of Mr Evans.
The magistrates regretted that such a case should have come before them and suggested that the parties should endeavour to come to some amicable arrangement. The defendant was ultimately ordered to give up the book and pay the expenses.

April 16th – Saturday – A Fowl Affair

Henry Plasted (Pudda) charged Mary Gibbon with having assaulted him. Mr Owen (Oak Cottage) appeared for the defendant.
The parties reside at the Goytrey and had been on friendly terms but complainant having, it was alleged, enticed defendants’s hens to lay in his barn and appropriated the eggs, a rupture had ensued. – These revelations created some merriment and the case was ultimately dismissed.

The Goytrey – Wm. Nicholls was charged with being illegally appointed as overseer for the above parish.
Mr Watkins laid the charge. – Defendant was ordered to call another meeting and come up next week to have his appointment confirmed.

May 21st

The Goytrey – Mr Owen made an application on behalf of the parish of Goytrey. He said through the course of the last two months their worships had appointed Mr Nicholls as surveyor; but the person who has been superseded refused to deliver up the books.
He therefore asked their worships to grant a summons against the ex-surveyor and it would be for him to state upon what grounds he detained the books. – The appointment was made by the parish first and afterwards confirmed by their worships.
The summons was issued for this day fortnight.

May 28th

The Goytrey Case – This was an adjourned case of assault, brought by William Harris, assistant overseer for the above named parish, acting for Mr James, the overseer, against Wm Gwatkin, an assistant of the rival overseer.
It appeared from complainants evidence that on Sunday morning about a month since, he was proceeding from the vestry meeting relative to the Railway’s Company’s appeal against the parish rates, when he met defendant, to whom he showed the notice.
This took place just before the commencement of service and in about a quarter of an hour after, he saw defendant engaged in putting up another notice beneath the first and complainant told him to desist, it was not required.
Defendant persisted and complainant pulled it off, when Gwatkin commenced “swaggering” his hand backwards and forward and eventually pushed complainant round by his elbow and put his fist in his face, when, of course, complainant “retired” thinking it very disgraceful conduct for defendant to exhibit before persons going into church.
This formed the grounds for complaint.

In cross-examination by Mr Greenway, witness stated that he never threatened to serve defendant out and entertained no ill-feeling towards him. He had not been instructed by any person particular to bring forward the charge, although there were several who had indirectly persuaded him to do so but he was not bound to give their names.
Defendant had no right to publish the notice, because it was his (complainant’s) duty. Did not closely examine the notice which Gwatkin had posted, but could see it was in his handwriting.
Mr Greenway was proceeding to question the complainant regarding his right to pull the notice down and whether it referred to other matters that that previously posted, when the bench stopped the case by expressing an opinion that there were grounds for the charge of assault.
Mr Greenway applied for the costs of this and a former adjournment but the magistrates advised each party to pay their own expenses.

June 4th

The Goytrey Surveyors – Mr Wm Watkins, ex-surveyor, was summoned for neglecting to deliver up the parish books, writings and other property belonging to the parish.
Mr A Edwards appeared on behalf of the parish and called Mr Wm Nicholls, who stated that he was recently appointed surveyor of highways for the parish of Goytrey and that on the 20th of April he applied to Mr Watkins for the books and papers. He refused at first to give them up but arranged to meet on the 28th and promised to do so then. He accordingly went to his house on the day named and showed his appointment.
Defendant went into another room but returned in about a quarter of an hour when he refused to give up the books and had retained them till the present time.
Mr Watkins asked witness whether the fourteen days had expired from the time he gave notice of his appointment, when he applied for the books.
Witness answered in the negative, nor had he made any demand for them since. Defendant thought the bench had no authority to make this appointment and he should not have refused if he had not been persuaded that he was right. He still considered that he held the appointment and should therefore refuse to give up the books.
The magistrates said they were quite justified in making the late appointment and defendant had full intimation of the fact from his successor who had called upon him to surrender the books &c., which he ought to have done.
They should therefore inflict upon him the full penalty of £5. A rate of 19s 6d collected by him was also ordered to be paid.
Mr Watkins gave notice that he should appeal at the next quarter sessions.

September 17th

Violent Assault on a Police Officer – James Williams, Wm Waters and Enoch Waters, three powerful looking young fellows, were charged with violently assaulting PC Thomas Lewis at Goytrey on the night of the 3rd inst.
He stated: I was returning from Pontypool on the night in question and when about half a mile from the station on the Goytrey-road, I heard the defendants coming along, making a great noise, shouting and singing.
When they came up I asked them to be quiet and not to disturb the people in bed. Enoch Waters began to curse and said “you are too big a man for your clothes.”
Witness replied “you are always the same when I speak to you.” He then pulled off his coat and challenged me to a fight and when he came towards me I caught hold of him by the collar and taking the handbolts out of my pocket, told the others to stand back and not interfere. Wm Waters rushed in-between us and I struck him with the hand cuffs. James Williams then gave me a severe blow on the fore-head which stunned me and knocked me down. Felt the kicks coming but could not say a word. I remained on the ground till Mr James came and assisted me home, where I have since been in bed until today. I have three cuts on my head which were sewn up by Mr Steele, who attended me and the whole of my back is very much bruised.
In cross-examination by Mr Owen, he stated he had three glasses of beer in Pontypool and two at Mamhilad before he met with complainants.
Mr James of Goytrey, deposed to hearing the row in the road near his dwelling and some-one called out, “if you let me go I’ll give it you.” They moved further off and subsequently he heard some-one groaning and on going out to see what had occurred he found Lewis on the ground and assisted him to get up. He said he thought his arm was broken. The defendants afterwards came up and Waters said they had done nothing to annoy the policeman but that he interfered with them.
Did not think that the policeman was drunk at the time. Evan Jones was also called and disposed to hearing the row while in his house and also to seeing the defendants on their return to the spot…a man named Roberts, who’s wife dressed the wounds, spoke of the severe nature of the injuries received by Lewis, as did also Serjeant Wright.
Mr Owen addressed the bench at great length and called several witnesses to prove that the policeman had exceeded his duty previous to meeting with the defendants, one of them, named Thos. Jenkins, stated that he stopped him as he was going home across a field and threatened to take him into custody, telling him he had no business out that time of night.
The bench having consulted for about ten minutes, returned into court, C H Williams Esq., addressing the defendants thus:- We are fully satisfied from the evidence addressed, that the assault has been of a very aggravated character. It is true there is no direct evidence to show what took place at the commencement; nor have we sufficient reason to suppose that the constable exceeded his duty on this occasion.
Granting these allegations, however, to be true, it would take a great deal more than to palate the very violent assault committed upon the policeman; and you are fortunate in not being arraigned on a more serious charge, for it is quite clear his life was in danger. It behoves us to throw especial protection around men occupying the position of a policeman and we shall therefore fine each of you £5 or in default, two months imprisonment…The money in each case was paid.

November 5th

Wednesday before Wm Williams Esq.
Sheep stealing – Wm Plaisted was brought up in custody with stealing a sheep, the property of Mr James Cook, farmer of Goytrey…Serjeant Wright deposed that he went to the prisoner’s house on Monday last and found the carcase of a sheep which had recently been slaughtered.
He then proceeded to the field where the sheep had been killed and found the entrails and skin. He tracked footprints leading across the field to prisoner’s house, where he subsequently returned and apprehended prisoner, who said in answer to the charge, “it was not my fault, it was another man who did it.”
Remanded till Saturday.

November 12th

Stealing a pick-axe – William Cobner (Pelham or Pear Cottage) was charged with stealing a pick-axe, the property of Owen Davies on Tuesday last.
Mr Greenway for defendant… the prosecutor identified the pick-axe as his property, although in cross-examination he acknowledged that he had not seen it for three years.
Defendant’s son also swore to the pick-axe, which he found in a blacksmith’s shop where it had been conveyed by the defendant. This witnesses subjected to a severe cross-examination, in the course of which he admitted having once given a man into custody on suspicion of stealing a watch and afterwards found the had confided it to the safe keeping of a friend.
The Bench, after some further evidence, said they were not satisfied as to the identity of the article in the present instance and dismissed the accused.

Sheep Stealing – Wm Plaisted was brought up on remand, charged with stealing a sheep, the property of Mr Thomas James, farmer, of Goytrey.
Complainant’s son stated that he had 80 sheep on tack in Mr Jenkin’s field, Pentyvach and on the 31st ult., he missed a sheep, the skin of which he found in an old quarry near and identified it by the ears and the pitch mark.
He proceeded to the residence of PC Lewis and gave information, who accompanied him to the prisoner’s house and found the carcase upstairs.
PC Lewis corroborated this portion of the evidence and deposed to apprehend the prisoner.
Sergeant Wright stated that he went to the field where the sheep had been slaughtered and tracked footprints leading to the prisoner’s house, which he found to correspond with his boots.
Prisoner said “It was not my fault, it was another man who put me to do it.”
Thomas James senior, was also sworn and identified the head and ears produced as portions of the missing sheep, prisoner met the charge by making a statement to the effect that his brother (who rented a field near the place) had sent him to kill it. A second charge was preferred against the prisoner for stealing a bushel of wheat the property of his brother and which had been taken from a barn.
Henry Plaisted appeared and identified the wheat and after some further evidence had been taken, the prisoner was committed to take his trial upon both charges at the next quarter sessions.

1860 Free Press

June 9th, 1860

GOYTREY AGAIN—Mr. Harris, the assistant overseer, summoned the following persons for nonpayment of poor rates for the parish of Goytrey:—Messrs. G. Lloyd, Abegwelvan; G. Watkins, Church Farm; T. Jenkins, Land; J. Williams, Millin-y-co’ed; J. Watkin, Goytrey Hall; John Ballard, Chappel Head; and D. Fedman, Penpellewny.  Mr. Greenway, who appeared for defendants, then briefly alluded to the recent disturbances at Goytrey, and said that the assistant overseer, in order to “serve out” his clients, went to each of their houses, and (in most of the cases) seeing the mistress, merely said he had come for the rate, and because it was not paid forthwith, took out summonses against them. He contended that under the circumstances, summonses ought not to have been granted. The rates had been raised without the knowledge of the payers, and it was natural that they should feel aggrieved, and the conduct of the assistant overseer would not better the feeling in the parish if the summonses were enforced. It was most iniquitous. A message, and not a written notice, had been given them; and it had not even been demanded in any way from Watkins. His clients were ready to pay the amount of the rate but he must demur to the costs. Order for payment without costs.

1861 Free Press

April 13th – Goytrey Cymrodorian

Easter Monday being the anniversary of the Cymrodorian society, the members of this club as usual assembled at the Half-Way House to celebrate their festal day. Additional interest was felt in the proceedings, as it was known that the worthy proprietor of Goytre House, Leuit. Col. Bird intended to present a new banner to the society.

Accordingly, the members dressed in their scarves &c and proceeded by the Newport factory band, marched in procession to Goytre House, to receive their promised present. Here they met the gallant Colonel and his sons, Messrs C & T Bird in readiness to receive them. The officers of the club then came forward, and received the banner from the hands of the Colonel who then addressed them as follows:

‘My friends, in presenting this banner to your club, permit me to accompany it with my earnest wishes for the prosperity of the Goytre Cymrodorian society, whose property is it now to become. I greatly rejoice in the success that has now attended your society, and I am thankful to see many old friends among the members as well as others who have become personally known since it has been my happiness to reside among you. I trust that the mutual regard which has arisen, will be maintained among us, and this banner may be a token that cordial and friendly feeling will ever exist between us.

I am especially delighted to see a friendly society established in the old parish of Goytre, to which memories of the past, and pleasures of the present, so much endear me. I have carefully studied your rules, and they are all that are proper and beneficial to such an institution, and I hope all the members will do their utmost to maintain them in their integrity, and thus contribute to the welfare of the whole club. In all countries and institutions, ‘union is strength’ and I trust we shall ever be united in true charity, one towards the other, and in our efforts for the general good.

There is a union I pray may also increase amongst us all – the union of faith in the one and only saviour of our souls- that when time and bodily ailments shall be no more, we may be united in that world where there is no more sorrow, sickness or death; but where I trust we who now meet together on earth, may be united in an endless eternity’.

Mr Wm. Gwatkin, the secretary, on behalf of the members, returned thanks to the Colonel on behalf of the members, for the honour he had done them in presenting them with such a handsome pledge of his goodwill and wishes for the prosperity of their society.

Three hearty cheers were then given for the kind donor, and, “For he’s a jolly good fellow &c”, was sang in such strains as evinced that one and all responded from their hearts, and wished to convey to their kind and generous friend that they duly appreciated his gift.

The banner is of blue silk, deeply fringed; on it is beautifully painted the plume of feathers, the well known crest of the Prince of Wales, and his motto ‘Ich Dien’ – I serve, underneath, on a scroll. Encircling this is another scroll, on which is inscribed, presented to the Cymrodian society by Col. H.C. Bird.

The men now reformed their procession and walked to the parish church. The service was read by the Rev. M. Morgan, the incumbent of Mamhilad, and an eloquent and impressive sermon was preached by the Rev. T. Evans from Prov. xxii.3, “A prudent man foreseeth the danger and hideth himself”.

After the service, the club returned to the Half-way house and sat down to a good substantial dinner, which the host, Mr Evans had prepared for them. The Rector and Col, Bird occupied the chief places at the table, supported by the Rev. M. Morgan and C & T Bird.

Ample justice being done to the good things of this world, and the cloth removed, the rector, in a handsome manner, proposed the health of Col. Bird, truly remarking that in their kind friend they all found a willing and steady supporter of anything that could possibly contribute to the temporal and spiritual improvement of the parish, of which they had substantial evidence that day.

(Drunk with cheers!)…. The Colonel in acknowledging the warm and enthusiastic manner, in which the toast had been received, expressed the great pleasure he felt, after a long residence in the East, to find himself again, an inhabitant of the old parish of Goytre. He felt especial pleasure in being among them on that day and hoped to be spared for a long time to help them in their endeavours to assist each other in anything that be beneficial to them. He begged to propose ‘health and prosperity to the Cymrodorian society’, loud cheers…..The same stentorian voices also gave a vigorous “three” for Mrs Bird and family. Mr Gwatkin then proposed the health of the vicar of Goytre and requested him to accept their sincere thanks for the excellent sermon he had given them that day….The Reverend gentleman, in acknowledging the compliment remarked that it gave him great pleasure to be among them at their annual feast. As for his sermon he could only say that he felt it to be no more than his duty, as minister of the parish to render them such services on these occasion; and since several of the members had expressed a strong wish that he would give them his support, he felt much pleasure in complying, and begged they would regard him as an honorary member. This was enthusiastically received.

The evening was spent in a most pleasant manner, and the cordiality with which the day commenced, continued to the close. The band gave great satisfaction: the readiness of them men, their desire to please and their admirable conduct throughout the day were such as to be generally noticed.

At their departure, the hearty thanks and cheers given them told how well they had sustained their reputation….at the earnest request of the club Col. Bird consented to be treasurer and an honorary member of this well conducted and excellent society6th April 1861

Dangerous Exploits of a Cow

On Wednesday afternoon a dangerous cow belonging to Mr T. Lewis was being brought from Llangibby to Pontypool and when near the Stopgate (Monkswood) encountered an old woman named Mary Morris, (My 4 x great grandmother)knocked her down, gored her severely and inflicted several dangerous bruises.

The cow was known to be dangerous and a cord had been attached to horn and leg, but this being to long she was taken to Pantypudding Farm and the rope was shortened, after which she was brought to Pontypool. Here an old woman was knocked down and gored and we hear that after other feats and hairbreadth escapes the brute rushed into the canal, where it was secured and taken home.

June 15th –  Merry but Un-wise

W. Lewis, T. Lewis, J. Lewis, J. Jenkins, W. Forty, W. Phillips and W. Plasted, were charged by p.c. Lewis (14) with being drunk, and creating a disturbance at Goytrey, at one o’clock, on Sunday morning last.

The constable said he was on duty that morning and heard a great noise in a farmyard. He went to ascertain the cause, and found all the prisoners there rolling about among the straw and behaving in a very disorderly manner.

He told them that sort of thing would not do, as they were not only disorderly, but trespassing on the private property of Major Bird, when they abused and threatened him…John Cadovan corroborated the main part of the constable’s statement, and in answer to a question from the bench, said the prisoner, W. Lewis appeared to be the most disorderly among them, and egged the others on.

John Jones said he lived at the farm house and saw the prisoners in the yard and they were making a great disturbance. They had been drinking together at the Half-way house and had a gallon and a half of beer with them in the yard, but witness did not see it.

The chairman said it was a most disgraceful disturbance, the more so as it took place on Sunday morning, and inflicted a penalty of 20s on each, or in default, 14 days hard labour in Usk.

December 7th – Servant and Master 

John Harvey, farmer, charged with assaulting Joseph Howells, farm servant at Goytrey on November 28th.

Mr Greenway appeared for defendant. Complainant said he was at plough on Thursday when the horses turned stubborn, and he gave one of them a stroke with the plough line. His master said that if he struck the ‘harses’ again he would strike him. He did not strike them again, but told his master he should do no more with them, and he then struck him on the face.

By Mr Greenway, the horses ran away a day or two before, he could not keep the plough in the right place with them, so he threw it down and let them go. Did not kick them. His master scolded him for beating the horses with the plough line. Did not challenge him to fight. Had a fight with a fellow servant a short time since, and ‘got a bit of a scrat on my nose’. Never was threatened to be turned away for ill-treating the horses before this time. Did not call his master a dead fool, but said he was as big a fool as he was.

Thomas Jones, farm servant said he saw defendant strike complainant.

Mr Greenway then addressed the bench on behalf of his client, when he considered he had received sufficient provocation to chastise complainant, who had ill-used his horses, challenged him to fight, and threatened him with his fist…..the magistrates did not consider the defendant was justified in the course he had taken and fined him 20s for the assault or 14 days.

Mr Greenway then complained that p.c. Lewis had exceeded his duty in that he had given the parties advice when he served the summons, for which he was censured by the magistrates.

July 16th

Wm Read was charged with having assaulted Caroline Drinkwater at the Goytrey on the 17th inst., as complainant failed to prove the charge the case was dismissed, she having to pay the 3s costs.

1863 Free Press

March 14th

GOYTREY – The temperance band of hope met at Penpelleny Cross at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, and formed in procession headed by their temperance band, and superintendent. In passing the smith’s shop they received not a few “good reports.” At Goytrey house they were most cheerfully welcomed by Col. And Lady Bird, and by a party of about 60, who had dined there. Having sung “Touch not the Cup,” they returned to Chapel Ed, to enjoy a treat of tea and cake, which was given to the members of the society. At 7 p.m., a temperance meeting was held, when addresses were delivered by the chairman, (Rev. D. Hargest,) Mr John Jenkins, and Mr John Ballard, and many interesting recitation, dialogues, &c., given, interspersed with appropriate singing. The meeting concluded with an addition of 27 “recruits.”

Good Friday! Good Friday!

ARE YOU COMING? – To where? For a country

trip on GOOD FRIDAY next, to

Chapel-Ed tea meeting, Goytrey.


Single Fares from Pontypool to Nantyderry Station;

Thence, a beautiful 10 minutes’ walk through a grove.

Don’t forget

Tickets may be had of MISS JONES, Bristol

House, Pontnewynydd; MR THOMAS JONES, Grocer, &c.,

Sowhill, Pontypool; and MISS PROSSER, Caroline-st.

The Train will leave Nantyderry at 9 p.m., by which

You can return after the PUBLIC SERVICE.

April 11th 

THE ANNUAL TEA MEETING AT CHAPEL-ED, Goytrey was celebrated on Good Friday, when an immense number of people were present. There were two services in the chapel during the day – morning and evening. At a cursory glance at the prospects of a tea party at the very small hamlet of Goytrey being fertile in the monetary bearing, one would naturally be inclined to predict an unfavourable issue, but when on takes into consideration that it has as its object a good cause, viz., the expansion of the funds of the chapel, and that Goytrey itself is surrounded on every side by picturesque scenery, – rivulets glittering like serpents in the sunshine or like threads of silver, and wooded heights gilded with the gleams of the sun where the fresh breezes blend with the carolling of the feathered tribe, – it is not, then, to be wondered at that such a large number of people availed themselves of the opportunity of visiting the sparsely populated hamlet on this occasion. The grave-yard of the chapel in which the “rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep in their narrow cells,” was, in common with the others in the neighbourhood, strewn with flowers which had been deposited there on the previous Sunday, but their wither appearance more forcibly impressed us with the speedy and relentless decay of all animated nature. However, a very pleasant day was spent, the tea and cake was plentiful and good, and Mr Hargent’s courtesy was marked, and contributed not a little to promote the successful manner in which the annual reunion passed off.

April 18th


An awful instance of the uncertainty of human life occurred in this town on Tuesday last. On that day Mr. Owen proceeded to Cardiff to attend our County Court. He alighted from the train at the Clarence Railway Station, and went to the Clarence Hotel, where he partook of some refreshments, and afterwards proceeded towards the Court. Alas! Who would have thought before he reached the Court of Justice, before which he had business to transact, “the strong arm of Death” would arrest him, and that the next Court before which he would plead would be that presided over by the Judge of All? But such was the case? Upon ascending the steps in front of the Town hall, Mr. Owen fell and expired almost instantaneously. He was removed into the Reading-room of the Literary Institution, and medical advice instantly summoned. After the lapse of a few minutes, Mr. Lawrence and Mr. Essex were upon the spot, but their services were of no avail, life being quite extinct. The friends and relatives of the deceased were communicated with by telegraph, and in the course of a few hours, his brother, Mr. David Owen, surgeon of Newport, arrived upon the scene, at which he seemed deeply affected. About eight o’clock in the evening, deceased was laid in the shell of his coffin, and on the following day, about two o’clock, was removed to the residence at Goytrey, where an inquest was fixed to be held this day (Friday). It is the opinion of the medical men that the deceased died from either disease of the heart or apoplexy. We understand that for some time past he had complained of pains in his chest, and that he had a presentiment that he would die suddenly from disease of the heart. Indeed, some days before his decease he sustained a fall from his horse, in consequence of an attack of the disease which is supposed to have caused his death.

Mr Owen, who claimed decent from the royal blood of old Cambria, (the celebrated Owen Glendower, the last Prince of Wales, being amongst his ancestors), was, we believe, born in Abergavenny, from which place he was removed in infancy to Monmouth, where he was articled to the legal profession, and where he practised for some time as a solicitor. He first brought himself into notice during a serious and protracted strike among the colliers on the Hills, by his earnest advocacy of their cause; and by continuing this course of conduct he eventually succeeded in obtaining their confidence so entirely that he was appointed their “Attorney-General,” and their untied contributions furnished a very considerable emolument for his services. Having once established a reputation as the friend of the poor man, he had no lack of clients among the humbler classes, whose cases he was always ready to undertake; and his experience, tact, and confidence often enabled him to gain their cause when it seemed almost hopeless. His increased practice led to his removing from Monmouth, and for many years he has resided at Goytrey, having also a residence in Cardiff and offices at Newport, Pontypool, and other places, and an extensive practice throughout the mining districts. We are glad to hear that his family are not unprovided for, Mr. Owen having in addition to other means, insured his life for £1000.

Mr. Owen’s appearance is too familiar to need a description, but we may state that he was apparently in the prime of life, though in his 60th year and that he was 6ft. 3in. in height; and proportionately bulky, he had a pleasant look and a bold, commanding presence; and no man inherited a greater right from nature (judging from his phrenelogical developments), to plead, in palliation of any particular foibles to which he may have been liable, the deprecatory language of Robert Burns : –

“Thou know’st that thou has formed me

With passions wild and strong

And listening to their witching voice

Has often led me wrong.”

April 25th


An inquiry touching the death of this gentleman was instituted at Goytre Cottage, the residence of the deceased, on the morning of Friday 18th, before E. D. Batt, Esq., coroner, and the following gentlemen: – Messrs. Thos. James (foreman,) Thos. James, jun., J.. Walters, Wm. Walters, Wm. Price, John Daniel, George Coles, John Williams, Wm. Lewis, J. Marshall, John Jenkins, and Walter Davies. Mr James Weare deposed – I was standing outside the Town Hall, Pontypool, about 11 o’clock in the morning of Tuesday the 14th inst., talking to Mr Conway and other gentlemen, when Mr Owen came up and shook hands with several persons present. I shortly afterwards saw him seize hold of the iron gate at the entrance, and perceiving that he was sinking, I caught him in my arms and prevented him from falling. He spoke a few words in a faint voice relative to someone going for a doctor, adding “But it’s too late now.” He was carried into a room at the Town Hall, and died in about quarter of an hour after he was first attacked. I remained with him until he died. ….Mr Supt. M’Intosh informed the coroner that Mr Weare was the only witness he thought it necessary to produce, and added that as he himself was present when deceased was attacked, he could if required corroborate the evidence given …. The coroner said he did not think any additional evidence necessary, and as the deceased had been well known to the jury for some time, they would have little difficulty in arriving at a proper verdict….The jury expressed themselves perfectly satisfied with the evidence produced, and returned a verdict that deceased died from natural causes. – On Monday the remains of the lamented gentleman were interred at Llantillio Pertholey, near Abergavenny, to which place they were followed by a numerous body of friends and relatives.

May 2nd


SIR,- I trust you will pardon me if I correct a mistake in your notice of the late Mr Owen, solicitor, in which you say he was first brought into popularity by his advocacy of the cause of the colliers. This was not exactly the case, as in the year 1840 his fame became not only provincial but world-wide, when he defended the Chartist leaders, – Frost, Williams and Jones – at the Special Commission held in Monmouth, and detected a flaw in the indictment that had escaped the notice of Her Majesty’s Solicitor and Attorney General, then sitting in judgement on the prisoners. This caused considerable delay in the finally carrying out of the sentence, as the subject had to be argued before the twelve judges. In the meantime petitions poured in from the clergy, magistrates, and all denominations of Christians, to the Secretary of State, for a commutation of their sentence, but without avail. It was from Mr Owen’s office that the petition emanated – addressed personally to her majesty. – that touched her kind and noble heart, and resulted in their lives being spared. This caused the name of their attorney to be known throughout England; and clients came to him from the counties of Gloucester, Brecon, Hereford, and Glamorgan, and he was repeatedly sent for from London;  so that he was induced to remove to a more central situation. But still the people of Monmouth claim him as their townsman. They were proud of his native talents,- but more than all, they were justly proud of his true kindness of heart, his willingness to be the poor man’s friend, his promptitude in seeing justice done to his cause. We, his old neighbours and townsmen, mourn him sincerely, for we know that in our generation we shall not look on his like again. He is gone from among us and there is none to supply his place. We all seem to feel that we have lost an old and valued friend. In the cause of the Welsh colliers his heart was always particularly warm. He used to call them his bold mountaineers, and it was always his wish that hey should follow him to the grave. But his funeral was quite private. None but the immediate friends of the family – with the exceptions of John Bird, Esq., Mayor of Cardiff, – was in attendance.

Monmouth, April 25th.                                           L.

1865 Free Press

January 21st

William William’s, an elderly man and a lad named James Morgan and Roger Morgan (not related) were charged with having had in their possession a spear for catching salmon.

It appears that Wm. Atkinson, keeper and another man were on the banks of a river or stream at Goytrey on the morning of Sunday watching what is called a pit where salmon spawn, and some were spawning at the time they looked at it.

They afterwards observed one of defendants go to the same place and having looked well round about he returned down the river and met the other defendants.

They procured a long pole (produced) they had a spear to it and were apposite the place where the fish were spawning.

Seeing the keeper they ran off leaving the pole behind them.  James Morgan, the other defendant pleaded guilty to having presented the pole.

The other defendants did not appear.

The bench said the penalty for the offence was £3, or 2 months imprisonment.

February 25th

To the Editor of the Pontypool Free Press

Sir, I have been informed that one James Morgan of Monkswood, stated on oath, last Saturday, before the justices of Pontypool, that my old bailiff, David Evans, was dismissed by me for some theft, with which I had charged him.

In that statement is not a particle of truth. Evans was dismissed simply because he happened, (though by no means an habitual drinker) to come to the house under the influence of drink, and it was the second offence.

Yours truly, Thomas Evans, Rector of Goytrey

February 25th  – Disorderly

Wm Parry, who was said to work at Goytrey, was charged with being drunk and incapable on the night of Wednesday last. Fined 7s including costs.

April 1st – An Amazonian Damsel

Elizabeth Lewis appeared, at the insistence of William Williams, charged with having assaulted him on Friday week at Goytrey.

Mr Alexander Edwards appeared for complainant. Complainant said on Friday week I was ordered to go and plough in a field that belonged to Mr Morgan, when defendant stopped me, and asked me where I was going, and I told her. She then turned the horses right about and asked me if I was going back. I said ‘no,’ then she seized a broomstick and struck me several severe blows on the shoulder, which was much injured. I then went back.

From an explanation given by Mr John Morgan, it appeared the land belonged to him. He had taken possession of it on the 2nd February, at which time the notice had expired for defendants husband to give up possession, and he did so.

There had been a conversation about the outgoing tenant re-taking the land, on the condition that his son would guarantee the payment of the rent; but as he refused to do so the matter dropped.

It was further given in evidence that defendant subsequently renewed her objections to the man ploughing the field, and p.c. Hall said when he went to serve defendant with the summons, she threatened to split complainants head open.

In answer to the bench the latter said, I am afraid of this woman if I go there again. After Maria Lewis, the defendant’s daughter had given some unimportant evidence, the bench ordered the defendant to find sureties to keep the peace herself in sum of £20, and one bondman in £10, and pay expenses.

The decision did not seem to meet with defendant’s approbation; and it was not until it seemed that far from unlikely that she would be sent to prison, that a bondsman was procured.

April 22nd


A youth named Evan Evans charged James Morgan with having assaulted him on Monday se’nnight.

This was an adjourned case. Mr Greenway appeared for complainant, and Mr Alexander Edwards for defendant.

Complainant said I am a porter at Nantyderry railway station defendant also works on. the railway. On Monday week he seized me by the hair of my head; shook me; followed me into the booking-office; struck me with a jar, and threatened to kill me if it cost him £10. I am in danger of my life from him.

By Mr A. Edwards: Did not accuse me of throwing tea over his victuals. The station master had not said anything to me about it. I did not call him Jim Charlotte.

Mr Greenway: That’s what he’s known by better than any other name in Goytrey.

Witness: I did not turn round and say when he threatened me, “What do I care about old Jim Charlotte?” Never called him that name.

Stephen Gregory: I live at Llanover. On Monday week I saw Morgan and Evans. The former having seized the latter by the head, shook him, followed him into the office, and struck him with a bottle. The effect of the blow was that complainant had two black eyes. Defendant said he would screw his neck round. I did not hear anything said about Jim Charlotte.

William Jenkins: I reside in the neighbourhood of Mamhilad. Saw the complainant and defendant on Monday week. The latter seized the former by the hair, and struck him.

By Mr A. Edwards: I heard nothing about defendant charging complainant with having thrown tea over his victuals. Did not hear complainant call defendant Jim Charlotte.

For the defence Mr A. Edwards remarked that in consequence of some animosity existing between defendant’s and complainant’s parents, complainant did everything to annoy him, and on the occasion referred to had thrown tea eyer his victuals, and was in the habit of calling him names, which had provoked him. He called Thomas Pape, whose testimony proved entirely in complainant’s favour. He said: I am station-master at Nantyderry station. I don’t remember that defendant came to me in the garden to complain of the conduct of complainant. On his coming to complain about some one I said: “You’re always bothering about somebody, and I don’t care much about what you say.” I don’t remember that he ever said anything to me about Evans.

By Mr Greenway: Evans is about 17 years old; he is a good boy, but Morgan is always teasing him.

There appeared to have been cross summonses for assault, between defendant and his wife and complainant’s parents, heard in this court some weeks ago, which are supposed to have given rise to this assault. The chairman observed to defendant that the bench could not see anything before them to mitigate his offence. He was convicted in the penalty of £5 including costs. The money was paid.

June 17th

Brithllandwid, Goytrey, near the Little Mill

Mr J. Phillips will sell by auction on Friday the 23rd day of June instant

At the above farm

The following Farming Stock and Effects

The property of Mr Lewis

One cart mare, two yearling colts, one heifer, six ewes and lambs, one ram, sow and six pigs.

Narrow wheel waggon, two ditto carts, plough, harrow, harness, dairy utensils and other effects.

Sale to commence at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, promptly.

August 18th – Trespass at Goytrey

Thomas Roberts charged Roger Morgan with trespass.

When the parties were first called it was stated that defendant could not attend from illness.

Complainant denied that defendant was ill, and he had seen him the day previously.

On the case being gone into, defendant was ordered to pay 5s damage for having broken complainant’s door, together with expenses.

October 16th – Dancing away with a Publican’s Flutina
William, Jones, who had that morning, it appeared, vacated a cell at the county goal, was charged with stealing a flutina, the property of William Waite, Goytrey.
Complainant was a publican residing at Goytrey and some time ago prisoner was at his house and he lent him a fluting to play for some dancers and he subsequently walked off with the instrument.
Prisoner denied having stolen the instrument; he said he had left it on a table at the house of complaint.
The charge was dismissed.
Supt. M’Intosh said prisoner was wanted in Brecon for stealing a watch and he was accordingly taken into custody pending his trip to Brecon.

1866 Free Press

February 23rd

Selling Beer without a License

William Garner, who appeared on remand, was charged with having sold beer at Goytrey, without a license.

He was convicted in the penalty of 20s, including costs.


May 12th

Rejoicings at Goytrey

The return of Lieutenant Colonel and Mrs Byrde from Ceylon, to their residence at Goytrey was enthusiastically celebrated on Wednesday week. The inhabitants for some time had been awaiting the news of their arrival, and everyone was wishful to do all in his power to getting up some public expression of their good wishes and affection.

When the suggestion was made, it was met with a ready and cheerful response from all. Accordingly at 3 o’clock in the afternoon of the above day, about 150 children met at Penpellenny, formed in procession, headed by the Goytrey band, went around Goytrey House and were warmly received.

Thence they made their way to Goytrey Co-operative Stores, where Mr & Mrs Jenkins, assisted by several ladies had provided a good drop of tea and cake for the young.

Having regarded ourselves (writes our correspondent) with the good provisions, we found that our time was rather short to reach Nantyderry Station for the train. We found, when approaching the station that every place was well timed with lookers on.

Usk Observer Sept 1st

Stealing Meat

Thomas Watts, timber haulier, Goytre, was charged with stealing 5lbs of veal, the property of John Richardson, butcher, Usk on the 21st of August. Mr Henry Roberts appeared for the prisoner, Charles Coleman, miller Llanbaddock, said he was riding on the walk down Bridge street Usk on the evening of the day named about eight o’clock, when he saw, by the light of the gas, the prisoner take a piece of meat from a hook in the shop of prosecutor and put it under his coat; witness at first thought it was a joke, but he waited a short time to see if it was so or not, and seeing the prisoner walk away with another man who was with him, he told prosecutor that he had seen.

In cross examination the witness said he was sure it was Watts took the meat, not the other man – Francis Young, who is in the employ of the prosecutor said he missed part of a neck of veal off a hook in the shop; he had just before served the prisoner and a man called Rosser with 23/4 lbs of chops, part of which he had cut off the neck in question; Watts paid for the chops with a sovereign and witness went into another room to get the change; he afterwards saw the prisoner apprehended and the piece of veal, which was the same as he had cut the chops from, taken from his pocket.

John Richardson, the prosecutor, deposed to giving information to the police, and to being present when the prisoner was apprehended, at the foot of the Usk bridge; when he (prosecutor) took the piece of meat from his pocket – P C Hill proved to apprehending the prisoner, and added that he found £6 5s 1d on him. Under cross examination this witness said; We forcibly searched the prisoner and took away everything we found on him; we did not take the knife from him because he was drunk; he was not drunk. – Mr Roberts in addressing the bench contended that the prisoner had taken the meat in a lark, as the witness Coleman had first supposed it was; and this idea he submitted was favoured by the fact that the prisoner was in a respectable position as a timber haulier; and further by the circumstances that he was returning towards Usk when he was overtaken by the policeman.

The prisoner, after being duly cautioned was committed for trial at the quarter sessions bail being taken.

Nov 10th   


We have received the following letter, with a request for its publication, from a parish meeting held in Goytrey on the 1st inst. The letter was enclosed to the Clerk of the Highway Board at Usk, for the Chairman, to be laid by him before the Board at their special meeting on the 29th ult.  The letter was not brought before the Board, nor any intimation made regarding it.



Nantyderry House, Oct 21 1866.

Sir,- In accordance with the request of the rate-payers of Goytrey, assembled in the vestry on the 22nd inst., I send you herewith the resolutions of the last and previous meetings, convened for considering wheat steps it is their duty to take in reference to the greatly increasing pressure upon them of road-rates, caused by the unprecedented expenditure on the Star road.  And in doing so, I trust I may be excused for submitting to the Board the fact that the ratepayers – who are generally small payers, and in comparatively humble circumstances – have been called upon to pay, during the last three half-years, in road and poor rates, a sum amounting to a total of not less than £954 17s,; and that within the last twelve months and two days their road rates have amounted to £322, whilst an order is again made upon them by your Board to pay within the next two months not less than £140, making a total of £462, within the short space of fourteen months!

The rateable value of the parish of Goytrey is £2955, and the number of ratepayers about 150,  of these, about 25 are rated under £20 and over £10, and about 60 are rated under £10 and over £2, The Highway Board can, therefore, imagine how heavily and sorely the above taxation presses upon  and oppresses a large class of small agriculturalists and agricultural labourers in the parish.

I beg leave to add that the ratepayers, feeling deeply aggrieved by the unprecedented road-rates laid upon them, and by what they deem to be a gross misapplication of their rates on Star hill, are now resolved to see in what way they can get redress, be protected, or protect themselves.

I remain, Sir, yours obediently

Thomas Evans

Rector of Goytrey and Chairman of the Vestry.

To the Chairman of the Highway Board, Usk.




The ratepayers of Goytrey held a meeting on Thursday, the 1st inst., to hear the result of the Board meeting. The Waywarden having stated that no communication from Goytrey had been brought before the Board, the Rector was desired to write to the Clerk for an explanation of the discourtesy.



Sir, – I have received your letter of the 2nd inst., and sent a copy of it to the Chairman of this Board. Your letter of the 24th and the accompanying resolutions, were communicated to the Chairman and produced at the last meeting, and remained upon the table to the close of the proceedings.  The Waywarden of Goytrey, in the course of the discussion which took place [reported by us last week and by no other newspaper], stated the substance of the resolutions, but did not request them to be read.  It is far from my wish or intention to be discourteous to yourself or the vestry.

I remain, Sir, your obedient servant


The Rev. Thomas Evans




Mr Keats’ letter offers a few points worth of the consideration of the Board.

When a portion of their constituents think it necessary to write to them upon important business, ought any request that the letter be read to be required?

In a letter sufficiently “produced” before them for practical purposes “by its remaining upon the table to the close of proceedings?” Would not under the table be nearly as useful a place of deposit; or might not the paper as well be utilised in the form of pipe-lights?

The Clerk being acquitted has there been any discovery in this business?




At the meeting before referred to, the Goytrey ratepayers passed the following resolution, with the object, if possible, of bring the difficulty to a pacific solution:-

Resolved, that the Chairman write to the board of Waywardens and offer to have the matter in dispute between the parish and that body, in reference to the cost of the improvement of the Star pitch, referred to the decision of the Usk Bench of Magistrates, or to the Pontypool Bench, or to the Chairman of the said Benches, provided the said Board enter a note or resolution on their minute-book to abide by such decision as the referees arrive at; and this parish agree to such decision as final  and conclusive, as to the liability of Goytrey to the expenditure incurred.  And that the parish agree that the magistrates shall decide the question in the capacity of private gentlemen, and not judicially, as magistrates; and that they are at liberty to decide the points upon their legal merits, the Waywardens appearing to view the matter in an Act of Parliament light only.

This proposal having been sent to the Board, with them it will then rest either to “let slip the dogs of Law” or to agree to a just compromise of a vexatious dispute.

Usk Observer Nov 24th

Apples v Eggs

A young lad named Isaac Jeremiah appeared at the instance of a man called Jones for stealing his apples. The parties reside at Goytrey, Jones had some apples on a barn floor and on looking through a crevice in the door he saw the lad putting some of them in a basket.

On speaking to him he put them back whence he had taken them. Mrs. Jeremiah said she had some hens laying in the barn, of which they were tenants until the month of May next year and she sent her son with a basket (produced) to gather the eggs. Jones said that the last witness had three hens laying in the barn. The bench said that although the lad might have been sent to look for eggs, yet he might have taken an apple or two.

Case dismissed; complainant to pay 6s. 6d costs.


Usk Observer Nov 24th

A charge of stealing £14

William Jones plasterer &c., Nantyderry, appeared on remand to answer a charge of having stolen £14, the property of the trustees of the Pontypool Park Estate.

Mr Alexander Edwards for the prosecutors and Mr Greenway for defendant, the first mentioned gentleman briefly stated the facts of the case which were, that a letter containing two £5 notes and 4 sovereigns was sent from the estate office on the 3rd inst., by a messenger, to the park house, which accidently fell out of the hat unobserved by him whilst taking off the same to bow to a gentleman who was passing him in the street. Prisoner having been suspected of picking the letter up denied having done so when questioned on the matter by Sergeant Brook, and when at the police-station he said he only had £12 in his possession and the notes bearing the same numbers of those lost, and four sovereigns, were found upon him.

The fact of his denying having the letter he (Mr Alexander Edwards) contended was a proof that he intended to keep the money. In answer to the chairman, Mr A Edwards said the letter was directed to Mr Tomlinson, Pontypool Park. Mr Greenway asked for the production of the envelope. Mr Edwards said prisoner had destroyed it.

The chairman wished to now if there was any evidence to shew that prisoner knew that the letter dropped out of the hat, when it appeared that no evidence of that nature had been obtained. In answer to the magistrate’s clerk, it was stated that the letter was dropped at twenty minutes to one, and the money found at about two o’clock in the afternoon.

Mr Alexander Edwards observed that he was aware it must be proved that prisoner had the means to knowing to whom the letter belonged, which he had from the envelope.

Mr Greenway said he had only been consulted on the case since he came into court. He did not mean to deny that prisoner had not picked the letter up, but he says that he did not know that what he was doing wrong, and was very sorry for what he had done. The fact of the matter was, that he (prisoner) had taken too much drink at the time, and on the policeman coming up and questioning him as he did he became irritated and would not give any information about the letter but when you have such a character given him as that produced by a gentleman of such standing, you cannot think for a moment that he intended to appropriate the money, and if he had become a little more sober, he no doubt would have acknowledged the possession of the letter. Mr Greenway added that he was not instructed to withhold anything.

In the course of some general remarks the chairman said prisoner had been taken up for larceny, but there were motives why he might deny having the letter in his possession.

He might deny having it in the hopes of receiving some reward for finding it, and unless it could be proved that he had a felonious intention he must be discharged.

Whatever the bench might think of the act itself, they must keep within the law; there was no evidence to shew that he saw the letter fall from the hat, addressing prisoner the chairman told him that he had placed himself in a position that every honest man would be ashamed to be placed in. He had received a good character, but many a man get well spoken of simply because he has had the tact to keep his dark deeds from coming to light. After being cautioned as to his future proceedings, prisoner was discharged. The money of course was given to the owners.


Free Press Oct 13th


Not the first legend whose foundation lies in the sand of romance, rather than on the rock of fact, is that which gave Mr C.H. Williams the ground-work for his clever ballad. But the wolf which went scraping his paws, grinding his jaws, through brake and flood to Goytrey wood, where he got that ugly lick from Mr Herbert’s staff, was not the last of his race. Another wolf remains to be slain in Goytrey – so we are credibly informed – but no descendant of the brave Earl of Pembroke appears to give him chase.

Rides Stretton from Bryn derwen,

Rides Relph from hill of beech.

But then, ‘tis smaller vermin that you hunt nowadays, unless you go to France with His Grace of Beaufort.

The wolf of this our new Legend of Gwent

stated to ravage the country by force of law.

Created by Act of Parliament, brought into the district by Barons and Justices, held in charge by its own Wardens, our wolf notwithstanding all these accessories of respectability, works much mischief, spreads wide discontent, and evokes stern maledictions from the farmers and cottagers of Goytrey.

“Ho! bring the wolf-staves from the wall,

See that your knives are keen;

Come, men of hearts and sinews strong,

No child’s-play this, I ween.”

Certainly not- no child’s-play at all; but then wolf-staves and knives wont do the business. Our wolf is proof against edged tools, or there are pikes and bill-hooks which would have stopped his depredations before now.

But – to throw off our wolf’s clothing – what our neighbours complain of is the too vigorous measures (as they consider) which the Usk and Pontypool Highway Board is taking to improve their roads. The Goytrey people admit that their ways needed mending, and they may have been contumacious in not obeying certain Justices’ Orders for their improvement; but Nemesis has overtaken them, and the ratepayers begin to think that Goytrey is being “improved” too much entirely. Nearly £300 called for by the Highway Board, for the reconstruction of less than half-a-mile of road at one extremity of the parish, they think is pretty well to begin with, and seeing that there are nearly twenty miles of road, the repair of which lies either wholly or in part upon them, there seems good scope for further operations. “But” say the Board, “you needn’t make rates to amount we require at once. A beneficent Legislature has provided facilities for your borrowing the money, to be re-paid by instalments in twenty years.”  Goytrey replies, “We can’t see it. Once let us begin borrowing, and when will you let us stop? If we borrow £500 for making this road to Pontypool, you may next call upon us, with equal reason, to make a new road to Blaenafon.” Our only chance for economy is to keep a tight grip upon our purse-strings, and we mean to do so.”

The road now under “repair” is near Kemeys Suspension Bridge, and while it is important only to one or two farms in Goytrey, it forms the shortest route to Pontypool from the parishes of Llanvair Kilgeddin, Bettws Newydd, and Kemeys Commander. Consequently, the Goytrey people argue that it is unfair that they should have to bear so great an expense for providing their neighbours a good road to market, while many of their own parishioners can hardly get a cart to their doors. They ask that the parishes receiving the benefit shall contribute towards the outlay, and the Board is said by some persons to have the power so to apportion it. The Board either cannot or has not done so, and an appeal for voluntary contributions is therefore contemplated by Goytrey, to which we cannot doubt there will be a liberal response.

To complete the road now in hand as far as Penpellenny – near Col Byrde’s residence – a distance of a mile and three-quarters, it is expected that a total cost of £500 will be incurred, which will represent more that 3s. 6d. in the pound on the rateable value of the parish. The calls already made amount to about 2s. in the pound: and the pressure upon the ratepayers being found to be very great, a vestry meeting was held on the 5th inst., the Rev Thos. Evans, rector, presiding, for the purpose of protesting against the proceedings of the Highway Board. Resolutions were passed, denouncing, as gross injustice, the borrowing of money, and the alleged excessive and unnecessary outlay on the road to Pontypool; and a proposition for appointing a deputation to wait upon the Board was adjourned to another meeting to be held in a fortnight, in order that the Waywarden might be able to give information as to the call last made.

“Your money or your life,” was a challenge to which our ancestors sometimes had to respond. Goytrey seems to think it doesn’t even get the chance of the grim alternative but reads the demand, “Your money and your life.”

“ _________ You take my life

When you take the means by which I live.”


Free Press Nov 3rd



One of the early days in November has acquired a tolerably wide notoriety in connection with kegs of gunpowder, barrels of pitch and other inflammable and combustible materials. In the same period the calendar marks the anniversary of the battle of Inkerman. Appropriately, therefore, has next week been chosen for the firing of the first gun in the combat between the Highway Board and the parish of Goytrey. The cause of war is the refusal by Goytrey to pay £100 out of £140 demanded by the Board – the £100 being wanted for the new work on the Pontypool road.

Particulars of the earlier stages of the discussion we gave the week before last. Since then the parishioners have met in vestry, and having been informed by the Waywarden that the Board had sent him a call for £140, to be paid in two instalments, – £100 in November and £40 in December, – they resolved to pay the £40, which the amount of the surveyor’s estimate for ordinary repairs, and to refuse the larger amount. This determination the Rector, as chairman, was directed to communicate to the Board. A special meeting of the latter was held at the Town Hall, Usk, on Monday last, to consider the position of affairs. The work on the road has been done under two contracts, let to Abraham Williams, a labouring man living in Goytrey.

The first contract amounted to £165. The other tenders were £142, £167, £260, £281, £214 and £226, all except that at £142 including hedging. The surveyor’s estimate for the work was £206. It was stated from the first by practical men that Williams had taken the work for too little money, and this was found to be the case. Considerable delay took place after a commencement had been made, in consequence of a misunderstanding between the Board and one of the landowners; but at length Williams went on, until he had drawn all his money upon the first contract – the work being at the same largely in arrear. As a kind of Hibernian mode of enabling him to finish the first, the Board let Williams a second contract, at £90, for an additional piece of the road. This second contract, we believe, is said to have been completed, but to finish the first a large additional outlay is required – estimates ranging between £50 and £100. The Board consider that Williams has done work enough to cover the amount paid him, but the road not being nearly finished, and in an impassable state, what was to be done? This was the problem which the Board met on Monday to solve.

Mr G. R. Greenhow-Ralph, who is a member of the Board ex officio, said he understood the Board went to work on the road under an order of two magistrates that it should be widened. Now, he had been told in Pontypool, on Saturday, that one of the magistrates signing the order did not belong to the division. If that were so, then the order was illegal, and if objections were raised he thought there would be difficulty in meeting them, and in enforcing the calls made by the Board.

The Chairman (Mr Thomas Watkins) said that the Land Clauses Consolidation Act gave the necessary power. The magistrates’ order was made some years ago, and promises were given on behalf of Goytrey that the work should be done, but it was not done.

Mr Ralph considered that the road in question was what might be called an outside road, as regarded Goytrey, those neighbouring parishes to which it would be a great convenience might be reasonably asked to contribute.

Mr John Morgan, of Little Mill, said that if the Board persisted in a course of unfair treatment towards Goytrey they would embark on a sea of litigation. The parishioners were determined to resist. They would employ a solicitor, and would fight the question to the end. The only way to meet the difficulty was to do justly by Goytrey and call upon the neighbouring parishes, which were benefited by the road, to contribute pro rata.

The Chairman said that when the question came before the Board twelve months ago, a committee was appointed to consider it, and Mr Ralph was on that committee.

Mr Ralph: I was; but that makes no difference, if the magistrates’ order is illegal. Mr Stretton, who signed with Mr Little, was not a magistrate of the division. The fact of his occasionally acting on the division did not make him so.

The Chairman said it seemed to him that members of the Board were picking holes in their own act. They had much better consider what course they would take for completing the road, for it could not be left now as it was – they would be liable to proceedings for obstructing a public highway.

Mr John Morgan: Do that which is fair and just, and not throw the whole burden upon Goytrey.

Mr Gwatkin, Waywarden for Goytrey, said that his parish was determined to resist. They had resolved not to pay £100 called for, but the £40 only. They had paid 2s. 2d. in the pound road rates in one year.

The Chairman: You defy us, then?

Mr Gwatkin: Just so, sir.

The Chairman said he knew Llanvair would not contribute to the road.

Mr Edward Price said Kemeys would not. He had called a parish meeting to consider the matter, and the result was a unanimous refusal. Kemeys had gone to great expense in improving the road leading to the Black Bear. Having done this without assistance, he did not see why they should be called upon to help Goytrey.

Mr John Morgan: Well, if Llanvair, Kemeys, and Bettws refuse to contribute, the matter will have to be fought out.

The Chairman said Llanvair had expended £400 in making a new road from the Chain Bridge to Pantygoitre.

Mr Ralph said it was a pity there should be litigation on the subject, and he again urged that Goytrey ought to be assisted.

Mr John Morgan asked by what authority the contractor obtained payment of the £100, on the first contract, before the work was two-thirds finished?

The Chairman having, in reply to a question, said that the contractor had not been required to give sureties,

Mr Morgan remarked that therefore there was the greater necessity for making advances to him.

The Chairman said that as the contract provided for a portion of the value of work done being always held in hand, it was considered the Board would have security enough. The contractor said that the Board made the first breach in the contract by stopping the work, owing to a difficulty with regard to Mr Cook’s land. If the Board would pay him for the remainder of the work by measurement, he would go on and finish it.

Mr Ralph said that Col Byrde had offered to get the road widened for £100.

Mr Gwatkin: And now it will cost £600.

The Chairman said that other roads made by Colonel Byrde cost a good deal to keep in repair.

Mr Price, of Usk, said it was Mr Gwatkin’s fault that the contract was let to Williams.

Mr Gwatkin said he thought no one could be more competent than a man who could do the work himself; and the work had been done satisfactorily, only that it could not be finished for the money.

The Chairman said that there was no doubt that the contract was taken at too low a price. If Mr Gwatkin had thought it was so, he should have objected at the time.

Mr Gwatkin said that Goytrey had paid £322 for less than half the work to be done. He also stated that Mr Stretton and Mr Thompson, two magistrates, had ridiculed the outlay on the road as extravagant.

The Chairman: The £322 includes the repairs and working expenses of more than twenty miles of roads.

Mr Gwatkin: If we pay the present call, we shall have paid £290 for about half the work. In three half-years Goytrey will have paid, in poor rate and road rate, £900.

The Chairman said that some of the richest landowners in the county were ratepayers in Goytrey, and to get up such a howl as this was most disgraceful to the parish. The question now before the meeting was how was the work to be finished?

Mr John Morgan: I beg to propose that the work be suspended until some arrangement can be made to provide funds for its completion.

Mr Gwatkin: I beg to second that.

Mr Ralph asked if the Chairman felt that the Board had broken the contract.

The reply, if any was made, did not reach the further end of the room.

Mr Morgan said that the contractor ought to have been paid only pro rate, according to the work done.

The Chairman said that when a disagreement arose between the contractor and the surveyor to the Board, as to the amount of work done, he (the Chairman) got two other surveyors to measure the work, and upon their certificate the work was paid.

Mr Relph: Has any money been paid the contractor without a surveyor’s certificate?

The Chairman: After the disagreement, the surveyor gave certificates at my request.

Mr Morgan: You ought not to have interfered.

The Surveyor, Mr Henry Williams, explained the first or second fortnight after the contractor began, he asked for a sum of money. He (the Surveyor) measured the work, and not finding an adequate amount done, refused his certificate. The contractor then went to Mr Watkins, who seemed to think enough work had been done for the amount of money asked for, and at Mr Watkins’s request he gave the certificate, and had continued to do so since.

The Chairman: By the agreement I was made referee, and when a dispute arose I took that which I considered the proper course.

Mr Relph said it was always desirable that the Chairman should have the support and confidence of the Board, but he could not help considering it unfortunate that the Chairman should have exercised his opinion contrary to that of the surveyor.

Mr Price, of Usk, urged that it was the duty of the Board to support the surveyor, and not allow him to be insulted. He should move that the Board have nothing further to do with the contractor, and that the surveyor finish the work.

The motion having been seconded,

Mr Morgan moved his former resolution as an amendment, and Mr Gwatkin seconded.

The Chairman said there were many parishes paying at a higher rate per mile than Goytrey.

Mr Gwatkin said it must be remembered that all the outlay in Goytrey was made upon eight or ten miles of road. The upper part of the parish got very little done for it, and the ratepayers there were very dissatisfied.

The votes were then taken, and the proposition that the surveyor carry on the work was declared to be carried by six against five

The meeting then separated.


Free Press Nov 10th


We have received the following letter, with a request for its publication, from a parish meeting held in Goytrey on the 1st inst. The letter was enclosed to the Clerk of the Highway Board at Usk, for the Chairman, to be laid by him before the Board at their special meeting on the 29th ult. The letter was not brought before the Board, nor any intimation made regarding it.



Nantyderry House, Oct 21 1866.

Sir,- In accordance with the request of the rate-payers of Goytrey, assembled in the vestry on the 22nd inst., I send you herewith the resolutions of the last and previous meetings, convened for considering what steps it is their duty to take in reference to the greatly increasing pressure upon them of road-rates, caused by the unprecedented expenditure on the Star road. And in doing so, I trust I may be excused for submitting to the Board the fact that the ratepayers – who are generally small payers, and in comparatively humble circumstances – have been called upon to pay, during the last three half-years, in road and poor rates, a sum amounting to a total of not less than £954 17s, and that within the last twelve months and two days their road rates have amounted to £322, whilst an order is again made upon them by your Board to pay within the next two months not less than £140, making a total of £462, within the short space of fourteen months!

The rateable value of the parish of Goytrey is £2955, and the number of ratepayers about 150. of these, about 25 are rated under £20 and over £10, and about 60 are rated under £10 and over £2, The Highway Board can, therefore, imagine how heavily and sorely the above taxation presses upon and oppresses a large class of small agriculturalists and agricultural labourers in the parish.

I beg leave to add that the ratepayers, feeling deeply aggrieved by the unprecedented road-rates laid upon them, and by what they deem to be a gross misapplication of their rates on Star hill, are now resolved to see in what way they can get redress, be protected, or protect themselves.

I remain, Sir, yours obediently

Thomas Evans

Rector of Goytrey and Chairman of the Vestry.

To the Chairman of the Highway Board, Usk.




The ratepayers of Goytrey held a meeting on Thursday, the 1st inst., to hear the result of the Board meeting. The Waywarden having stated that no communication from Goytrey had been brought before the Board, the Rector was desired to write to the Clerk for an explanation of the discourtesy.




Sir, – I have received your letter of the 2nd inst., and sent a copy of it to the Chairman of this Board. Your letter of the 24th and the accompanying resolutions, were communicated to the Chairman and produced at the last meeting, and remained upon the table to the close of the proceedings. The Waywarden of Goytrey, in the course of the discussion which took place [reported by us last week and by no other newspaper], stated the substance of the resolutions, but did not request them to be read. It is far from my wish or intention to be discourteous to yourself or the vestry.

I remain, Sir, your obedient servant


The Rev. Thomas Evans




Mr Keats’ letter offers a few points worth of the consideration of the Board.

When a portion of their constituents think it necessary to write to them upon important business, ought any request that the letter be read to be required?

In a letter sufficiently “produced” before them for practical purposes “by its remaining upon the table to the close of proceedings?” Would not under the table be nearly as useful a place of deposit; or might not the paper as well be utilised in the form of pipe-lights?

The Clerk being acquitted has there been any discovery in this business?




At the meeting before referred to, the Goytrey ratepayers passed the following resolution, with the object, if possible, of bringing the difficulty to a pacific solution:-

Resolved, that the Chairman write to the board of Waywardens and offer to have the matter in dispute between the parish and that body, in reference to the cost of the improvement of the Star pitch, referred to the decision of the Usk Bench of Magistrates, or to the Pontypool Bench, or to the Chairman of the said Benches, provided the said Board enter a note or resolution on their minute-book to abide by such decision as the referees arrive at; and this parish agree to such decision as final and conclusive, as to the liability of Goytrey to the expenditure incurred. And that the parish agree that the magistrates shall decide the question in the capacity of private gentlemen, and not judicially, as magistrates; and that they are at liberty to decide the points upon their legal merits, the Waywardens appearing to view the matter in an Act of Parliament light only.

This proposal having been sent to the Board, with them it will then rest either to “let slip the dogs of Law” or to agree to a just compromise of a vexatious dispute.


Free Press December 8th


A meeting of the above was held at the Town Hall, Usk, on Monday, the following members being present: Messrs Thomas Watkins, (chairman), Gwatkin, Walter Blower, W. Price, Jno Williams, John Morgan, James Powell, C. J. Watkins, E. Lister (Ex Officio,) Moseley, E. J. Williams, Gough and W. Fisher. In addition to the foregoing there were several of the principal ratepayers from Goytrey and the adjoining parishes present.

The Clerk read several letters, copies of which appeared in the Free Press, and in addition he read the following:-

Blaenafon Parsonage, near Pontypool,

Nov 19, 1866.

Gentlemen,- I beg to enclose a rough tracing of a portion of a map of the parish of Goytrey, and to call your attention to Penstair’s Road, coloured Red in the tracing, This road, nearly a mile long, connects two glebe farms belonging to me, one called Cwm in occupation of Thomas James, the other called Caen Cryddion, rented by Mrs Ann Prosser. This road is the only access to the Cwm Farm. Four gates have lately been put up on this road, and a portion of the fence has been pulled down.

If the parish officers have sanctioned the putting up of the gates they have acted illegally, and very unjustly towards those who have farms in that neighbourhood.

I, therefore, beg to ask whether the Board of Roads sanctions the putting up of the gates, and if not, whether they will take steps for their immediate removal. Begging the favour of an early reply,

I am, Gentlemen, yours truly,


Incumbent of Blaenafon, and Chairman of the Blaenafon Local board.


Kandy, Ceylon, Sept 28th 1866

To the Chairman of the Highway Board, Usk, Monmouthshire.

Dear Sir,- Your clerk has kindly forwarded to my son, now resident at Goytrey, the copy of a letter addressed by the Rev. Thomas Evans, rector of Goytrey, to the District Surveyor, respecting certain gates in the old abandoned which passes the cottages belonging to Pentrebach and Penystair farms, and which are represented by re Rector as causing very great dissatisfaction, though who are included in the “we” of his letter, or who besides himself “feels aggrieved in the matter,” does not appear by his communication.

I much regret that I did not, at once, avail myself of your kind offer to inspect the lane in question, and had I known that I should so soon have found it necessary to return to Ceylon. I would not have delayed the proposed inspection a single day, for by this unfortunate postponement I have subjected myself to a renewed attack on the part of the Rector of the Parish, and your Board to additional trouble.

I will now proceed to show you how far credence is to be given to his representation, by a detail of a few facts connected with this lane.

1.- In the first place I have a tolerably distinct recollection of this lane at various periods for thirty-five years, and it never was in different condition to what it is now, over-grown, dilapidated and unused.

2,- There never were, within my recollection, any fences, other than at present, along the fields of the Penystair and Pentrebach farms adjoining that lane.

3.- I have never seen, during the period of my residence in Goytrey, either a horse, mule, or ass, traversing that lane that I can recall to my own remembrance.

4.- Neither have I met with any parishioner who can remember any parish outlay on this old lane.

5.- And I can prove to your Board, and to any one open to conviction, that this lane is of no use to anyone, and ought to be abandoned by the parish as a highway to be maintained by it.

On the other hand, it is not true that the lane has been partially taken into my land, or that it is a channel of communication of value to the parish. Nor can I believe there has been the “complaint or dissatisfaction” represented, that the gates in question have been allowed to remain, for though I have personally spoken of them to many in the parish, I never heard one single word of objection expressed to their existence; nor has the land by these gates withdrawn from public use, and there is nothing really to restore to the public, for the gates are always open, and form no impediment to any one desiring to use lane, if such a desire exists, and it is impossible that the rector or anyone else can really feel aggrieved in the matter in the correct sense of this term, and some other motive than a praiseworthy desire to maintain the interests of the parish must be looked to for the rector’s championship of this abandoned highway.

I will now trouble you briefly with the occasion of my putting up these gates, that the Board may have perfect understanding of the whole matter.

I had found on taking possession of the Pentrebach farm and Graig Ddu rough lands had been perpetually grazed and over-run by stray sheep, cattle, and donkeys; and my bailiff had great difficulty in repairing the pathways for the use of my own stock and at one of the meetings of the parishioners I stated this grievance, and expressed a wish to place two latch gates at either end of the lane, similar to those on the parish lanes opening upon the mountain common, to save useless hedging along it; and though no vote was taken on the subject, or opinion recorded, no objection was expressed, and I felt satisfied that my fellow-parishioners would at any time, under their common sense of right, form a correct judgement in such a matter, and to their unbiased sense of what is due to themselves and to me, I am willing to leave the question, with perfect confidence; for surely there could be no great hardship to anyone who should, perchance, desire to use this old lane, to put out his hand and open the gate if he should pass through it, or to let it shut-to after him.

I will now further prove to you that it is quite a useless line of communication.

1.- Anyone going from Llanover to the upper part of the parish, would not go out of his way to choose this lane, when he had a more direct and better route up the Burgwm road.

2.- Anyone going from Llanover to Pontypool would surely not go so far from the main road, which invites them in preference.

3.- Even anyone going from Penwern farm, which also belongs to me, would go up the lane by the new barn or Bwrgwm road

In fact it is impossible to suggest any motive that could influence anyone in making use of that lane for any purpose that would not be better accomplished by other means more readily available and it would puzzle the ingenuity of the parish clerk himself to conceive any public use that the lane can be of to the parish. It is virtually abandoned to traffic, and in consideration of the uselessness of this lane I should, on behalf of the parish, be very unwilling that it should be subjected to any taxation for improvement or repair, especially when the conditions in road rates are beyond all precedent, and form an oppressive burden upon the small farmers and cottagers.

Finally, I have a distinct remembrance of one or more conversations with the rector himself in times past, on the subject of the uselessness of that lane, and on my liability to trespass on it; and I can recollect a remark by him that now I had the farms adjoining it, it was of no use to anyone else, but might be required if the farms were again possessed by separate owners.

I am, therefore, unwillingly forced to the conclusion that the interference of the rector in this matter can only be attributed to some other cause than to a disinterested desire to maintain parish rights, which I have no desire to infringe, and I feel satisfied that the Board will not suffer advantage to be taken of my absence, in acting without full inquiry on the representation which has the appearance, at least, of being influenced any private feelings, and that, too, on the part of the clergyman towards a parishioner who has power willingly given him cause of offence, but who on the other hand, so far from evincing an oppressive spirit has given proofs that he has been influenced by a desire to promote the interests of the people of the parish of Goytrey, since his lot has been cast among them.

I remain, dear sir, yours faithfully,



The first business that came before the Board was with respect to the adoption by the Parish of the road made by Col. Byrde, from Goytre Church to Penpellenny farm, the largest portion of the said road running parallel with the railway. A meeting of the ratepayers, it appeared, had been held, at which it was resolved that the road should be taken and adopted by the parish.

The Chairman said it did not state who was at the meeting in favour of it, or who was not.

A Member: It was agreed to do so at a parish meeting.

The Chairman: Is it intended that the Board should take the necessary steps for the adoption of the road?

Mr Gwatkin: There is a copy of the resolution sent.

The Chairman: There is nothing sent, only that it was agreed at a parish meeting to do so.

A Member: The parish agreed to do so.

The Chairman: Who is the parish?

A Member: Why the inhabitants.

The Chairman: Oh, no.

Mr John Morgan: If the parish wishes the road to be adopted, and it is put in proper repair, there can be no objection to do so.

Mr Gwatkin: The parish will do everything in their power to meet the case.

Mr John Morgan: The road has been travelled over by the public for the past two or three years , and if it is not a public road I do not see why the public should travel over it. I dare say the chairman himself has travelled over it

The Chairman: Yes, I have travelled over it many times.

Mr John Williams, farm bailiff to Mr Logan, attended on the part of his employer to state that when he granted the land for the making of this road, it was on the condition that the fences were kept in repair by the parish, but there were no fences there. They got the grant of the land in 1858, but it was not made use of until 1862. Mr Logan was quite prepared to carry out what he agreed to do, and that was, that the parish should keep the fences in repair if he gave them the land.

A Member: It was not said at the meeting that the fences were to be kept in repair by the parish.

The Chairman (to Mr John Williams): Were you at the parish meeting?

Mr John Williams: No sir, I was not.

The Chairman: Was it understood by Mr Logan that the fences should be kept in repair?

Mr John Williams: Yes sir, it was

Mr John Morgan: I don’t think we could undertake such a responsibility.

The Chairman: What, to keep the fences in repair?

Mr John Morgan: Yes, the fences are of no use to us, and we cannot use the road very much.

Mr Gwatkin made an observation regarding this road but his remark did not reach our reporter’s ears.

Mr John Morgan: It is unusual to keep fences in repair.

Mr John Williams: Mr Logan is a gentleman whose word can be relied on. It was agreed that if he should give the land the fences should be kept in repair and unless that unless that was adhered to he would put up a gate and stop it up.

The Chairman: It shows how uprightly the Board should act in al matters.

The Clerk then read the 23rd section of the Highway Act, 5th and 6th Wm. IV.., cap 50, which says, – (long quote from Highway Act)

Mr John Morgan: No individual should make a road for his own use, and then call upon the public to repair it. There is no doubt that if it is properly represented to Mr Logan, everything will be made right.

The clerk having called attention to the lower part of the section of the Act previously given,

Mr John Morgan said – That proves that the parish shall be protected from the encroachment of any influential individual.

A Member: If there is any cavilling about the road it shall be shut up.

The Clerk: Three’ months notice must be given to the Surveyor.

Mr John Morgan: That is intended as a protection for the parish.

The Clerk: Then who is the parish?

Mr John Morgan: Why, the vestry. It is intended to prevent the parish being imposed upon; but here it does not come within the meaning of the Act, as the parish is willing to take the road if you make it properly.

The Chairman: Then the surveyor will say whether the road has been made the proper width or not.

The Surveyor: I am not prepared to give an answer at present.

Mr John Morgan: The parish will do what is reasonable, and you ought not to do what is unreasonable.

Mr John Williams: Mr Logan is a gentleman who will do what he says, and I know that he will stop the road up if the fences are not kept in repair.

Mr John Morgan: Does this involve any other fences?

A Member: Yes it does.

The Chairman: The question is, whether the Board will take it or not?

Mr John Williams: The new piece of road is 33 chains long.

The Clerk: The maker of the road has to give notice and get a certificate.

Mr John Morgan: The parish does not wish to have a private road for persons, and then be called upon to contribute towards it.

Mr Lister: I they want the road adopted by the parish, and it is taken by the parish, it must be certified by the magistrates.

Mr John Morgan: I differ from you, sir; I have read the clause over, and this road is not of public utility.

The Chairman: You have no objection to giving notice?

Mr John Morgan: Mr Logan says he will stop the road up.

The Clerk: If it was a road made by the parish it would be a very different thing.

Mr Gwatkin: It is a road made by subscription.

The Chairman: Mr Logan can be heard, and the magistrates will hear him, if things are not right.

Mr John Williams: Mr Logan does not wish to shut the road up; all he wants is to have the fences kept in repair.

Mr John Morgan: The road having been made, it was quite right for the parish to accept it.

Mr Gwatkin: The parish is willing to take the road.

Mr John Morgan: Well then, let the meeting decide whether the road shall be taken or not.

The Clerk: To adopt it as a highway?

The Chairman: Yes, I think so.

Some remarks having been given regarding the length and situation of the road: –

The clerk read the following resolution:-

“That the legal steps be taken at the expense of the parish of Goytrey, to adopt a certain new highway in Goytrey , running parallel with the railway there, about 33 chains in length, and to have same certified by Justices, and the certificate enrolled according to the road section of the Highway Act. 1862.”

Mr Gwatkin: That will not do.

Mr John Morgan: The question is whether the Bench will accept the road or not.

The Chairman:: Well let it read thus: – That the necessary legal steps be taken —–

Mr John Morgan: That is absurd. I shall propose that the new road made by Colonel Byrde be taken, adopted, and repaired by the Board.   You are really worse than a lot of petty fogging lawyers. (Laughter.)

The Chairman: We meet here under an Act of Parliament, and we have no power to adopt the road.

Mr John Morgan: If you are wanted to take the road you can do so.

The Chairman: The object is to prevent any cavilling hereafter

Mr Watkins said he would second the propositions.

Mr John Morgan: I differ from you, Mr Chairman, altogether; I think the parish can take the road directly.

The Chairman: But we have no right to take it in any other way.

Mr Price: Would it not be better to call a parish meeting?

The Chairman: The is one of the steps towards it.

The amendment was then put to the Board, but was lost by a large majority.

The Chairman called attention to the letter forwarded by the Rev J. Jones, of Blaenafon, and said the question was whether there was any right to put up the gates.

The Surveyor said it was impossible to haul much up the road.

After some remarks by Mr Byrde, jnr.,

The Chairman said the putting up of the gates had not been sanctioned by the Board, and the question to decide was what should they do in it?   There was no doubt that the gates should be removed.

A letter signed by several persons respecting the gates on the Penystair road, having been read.

Mr Price asked if there was an objection to adjourn the subject until Col Byrde’s return, as they would only have a short time to wait.

The Chairman: Are the gates kept shut?

The Surveyor: They are always shut, but not fastened.

Mr Gwatkin: I will have them down, or I will put a gate by Goytrey church.

Mr Lister: I think it will be better to adjourn it until Col. Byrde’s return, and let it be understood that the gates shall not be locked.

It was then agreed that the subject of the removal of the gates on the Penystair road be adjourned tp the next meeting, it being understood that the gates are not to be locked.

The Chairman said their calls were due on the 5th of December, and not one parish had paid the call.

Mr Walter Blower said there was money due to them, and their collector was in the room and he said he could not get the money in, and he thought it would be hard to summon half the people in the parish, when there was a balance in the bank in their favour, and the money was not wanted.

The Chairman: But the money is wanted; and if not paid, we had better dismiss Mr Williams and every one of them.

Mr W. Blower: But we have £20 more than is wanted. I will guarantee that the money is paid when it is wanted.

The Chairman: The calls must be paid, or the parties must be summoned.

Mr B. J. Williams:   I shall object to that.

Mr Gwatkin: I shall object to any summons taken out against Goytrey.

The Chairman then went through the various parishes comprise din the highway district, every on of which had failed to pay the call made.

Mr John Morgan: When the last contract for the Goytrey road was let, I never knew that it was done.

A Member: I thought that you were on the committee.

Mr John Morgan: I heard that it was let, but knew nothing of it at the time.

The Clerk referred to a minute of a previous meeting, and said that the Chairman and Mr Gwatkin were empowered to let about eight chains of the road leading to Pontypool.

Mr Gwatkin: That was put in unknown to me. It was said seven chains. But now it is said eight or nine chains. The road was impassable, and I thought that the money would be got by subscription.

The Chairman:   Who was to do it?

Mr Gwatkin: I would have subscribed for one.

The Clerk: It is resolved that the parishes in arrear be summoned.

Mr John Morgan: Who Proposed that?

The Chairman: Why the Board.

Mr John Morgan: Then I object to it. I think it is a monstrous thing for Goytrey to pay so much money. Let the people pay when the money is wanted.

The Chairman: I think we should have a general resolution of the Board.

Mr Price: Is the object to get out of debt?

The Chairman: Yes.

The Surveyor: If the roads are left for a time, they will get into such a state that it will take a lot of money to get them repaired.

Several members:   Yes, they will get into a very bad state.

The Surveyor: You should have borrowed the money, and made the repayment extend over several; years.

In reply to a member,

The surveyor said that the work could be done for £150.

Mr Gwatkin: Will you do it for that? It will take from £400 to £600 to do ti, and it will not be done for less.

The Clerk: It is proposed that the parishes in arrear be proceeded against.

Mr John Morgan: Who proposed it?

The Chairman: Well, then, let it come from the Chair.

The proposition was then put by the Chairman.

Mr Gwatkin: I shall second Mr Morgan’s motion, and let everybody pay —

The Chairman: When they choose.

Mr Gwatkin at this stage of the proceedings rose and left the table.

The Chairman: Is there any wish to stop the work?

Mr John Morgan: It is better to stop than to go on in the reckless manner that we have been going on in.

Mr Gwatkin: It is the most scandalous thing I have ever heard of.

The Chairman: Is there any opposition to the proposition?

Mr Gwatkin: Mr Morgan has made a motion.

The Chairman: What was the motion?

Mr John Morgan: I beg to move that no summons be issued against Goytrey.

Mr Gwatkin: I beg to second that.

The resolution was then put, when eight were in favour of summoning, and five against it.

The Chairman then moved that professional assistance be obtained for the occasion, as it was only a cover for some parties to say that the parish took it up, and as they would employ professional assistance, it was only right to meet them on their own grounds.

Mr Morgan: Have you no confidence in your clerk?

The Chairman: He is not engaged to do it.

A few more remarks, of no public interest, were made, and it was agreed that professional assistance should be engaged to conduct the Goytrey case before the magistrates; and after signing some cheques, the Board rose shortly after five o’clock, the meeting having lasted upwards of three hours.


Free Press December 22 1866


23 Half-Moon Street, Piccadilly, Dec 13th 1866.

To the Editor of the Free Press

Sir,- Before I left home this week, I observe red in your paper of Saturday last, an attack upon me in a letter addressed by col. Byrde to the Usk Highway Board. I feel obliged to your correspondent, who, it appears was present at the last meeting of that body, when the letter was read, for having procured a copy of it. But for this, to one fortunate circumstance, I should have remained in entire ignorance of the entire burden of that communication, which, doubtless, the writer had no idea when penning it, would ever have found its way to the Press, to give the assailed party an opportunity of repudiating his undeserved attack, and of showing to the public that the dissatisfaction stated by me to exist in the upper part of my parish, respecting the gates on the Penystair road is real, and that, consequently, the representation to the Board is not only calculated to mislead, but (of course from ignorance of the case) wholly inconsistent with the fact. When, owing to the chance of proper grounds and reasons, argument fails, abuse is convenient, and often resorted to.

I had no idea of interfering with the Penystair road question, although long aware of discontent about it, until I accidentally saw the surveyor, some time ago, near my church, when two of my parishioners, the one a freeholder, and the other a leaseholder in Bwrgwm, were having an excited conversation with him about road matters, and also about the three gates put up by col. Byrde on the Penystair road. We represented to the Surveyor that it was illegal, and a positive injustice to the owners and occupiers of land on the side of the hill in Goytrey and Llanover, to allow these gates to remain on a parish road.

He observed that he could do nothing in the matter when a complaint was made – and suggested that one of the two more particularly interested, should write to the Board or to him, and formally complain of the objection. Some hesitation being, however, felt by my two parishioners in reference to the task of writing to the Board, I offered to write for them. Hence “the Rector’s championship,” volunteered in a matter so evidently disinterested to Col. Byrde.

I can truly say, I hope that whatever the Rector sees the attempt of might to overcome right, he will never be wanting in his duty to his parishioners to maintain their ancient and just right to all parish thoroughfares.

I distinctly remember the conversation at a parish meeting on the subject of putting gates on the road, and I well remember the caution, on the part of the few present, with which Col. Byrde’s wishes were received and the entire absence of response to those wishes. He thus tells the Board – “Nor can I believe there has been ‘the complaint or dissatisfaction’ represented that the gates in question have been allowed to remain, for though I have personally spoken of them to many in the parish, I never heard one single word of objection expressed to their existence.”

I distinctly remember a parishioner, who had always felt aggrieved on the point, expressing to him his dissatisfaction and objection, and also the dissatisfaction felt by others in the upper part of the parish, that gates had been put on the road. – and, surely, Col. Byrde’s memory must be exceedingly defective if he does not recollect when at a parish meeting he was much annoyed at having been told, in my hearing, by one of the farmers, in alluding to interference with the road in question, that “it was a monopoly.”

I never said to col. Byrde that this road was useless. I could not say so with truth – but could and might have said that it was “comparatively useless” – like two other roads in Bwrgwm.

Since such road are occasionally used they cannot with justice to the public be shut up, or so interfered with as to have gates put on them. A few sheep may, perchance, stray along the roads and get into Penystair fields, but where the “young cattle and donkeys” are to come from I am unable to conceive. But col. Byrde has no more reason to complain than others on this head. Has no the lord of the manor provided for such an evil? Has he not put a good gate on top of the main lane leading to the mountain in order to prevent sheep coming down? And if they should jump the gate, has he not provided for each parish a pound in which they can easily be lodged? Farmers on the hill side are not in the habit of taking the law into their own hands by putting gates on the adjacent roads, and thus infringing public rights, but trust to the mountain gate, or have recourse to the pound. Why should not Col. Byrde be satisfied with the same manorial provisions and keep his fences in good order? It is well known in Goytrey that a parish road cannot legally be shut up except by Court of Quarter Sessions – and, I believe, that Court cannot do it – if there should be an objection raised by a landowner who is interested in such a road – unless a better and, in all respects, and to all parties, a more convenient one is made with a view to supersede it. But let a landowner pull down one fence along a parish road and put up a few gates at certain distances, and in no time let him put up Notices at each end to this effect:: “any one found trespassing on these lands will be prosecuted, “ the parish road is then practically lost to the public. There might still remain to tell the tale, a pathway where the old lane was, but who would venture to send his young stock to market through what he is forced to regard as the property of a gentleman rising in the neighbourhood?

Now for the extraordinary proofs given that the road is of no use.

  1. Col. Byrde says, “Anyone going from Llanover to the upper part of the parish would not go out of his way to choose this lane when he had a more direct and better route up the Bwrgwm road.”   Of course not – it would be absurd in him to do so., unless he wishes to have a very fine view of the surrounding country. But any one going from Rhyd-y-llwyfen, and the region beyond, in the upper part of Llanover, with young cattle or sheep, towards Mamhilad, or to Usk, or to Pontypool markets, would he not go along the Penystair road rather than round by Pencroshopped, and then along the turnpike road, and, thus, much increase his distance?
  2. The following is the second proof that the road in question is of no use. “Any one going from Llanover to Pontypool would unsurely not go so far from the main road which invites them in preference.” Certainly, not unless the person were after the Llangibby or the Monmouthshire hounds, and wished to take that direction, in which case, the Penystair road would be very serviceable in saving the fields of the neighbouring farmers.
  3. The third and last proof is the following – “Even anyone going to Pantyscan farm, which also belongs to me, would go up the lane by new barn or the Bwrgwm road.” Let those acquainted with the locality judge whether there is any proof of the uselessness of the road in questioning this remark. Any one going from Newbarn or from the Cwm in Mamhilad, to Bwrgwm in Goytrey, would take this road as his direct and nearest way. Such are the proofs!

Now for a “detail of a few facts connected with the road to show how far credence is to be given to my representation.” Destroy the Rector’s credibility as a witness, and his testimony is of no value.

Col Byrde tells the Board that he has a tolerably distinct recollection of that lane at various periods for 35 years, and it never was in different condition to what it is now, overgrown, dilapidated, and unused.”

He has forgotten to add that he has spent about 25 years out of the 35 out of the country. The road during my incumbency of about 24 years has never has never been so neglected as it is now. Before the farms referred to were bought for Col. Byrde a few years back, the road was in a better condition, notwithstanding the heavy hauling of stones along it from the Penystair quarry for the rebuilding of Goytrey church- for the erection of my school-room and teacher’s residence and for the making of various railway bridges.

  1. The second fact is – “There never were within my recollection any fences other than at present, along the fields of the Penystair and Pentrebach farms, adjoining that lane.”

I can only say that last Monday I walked the whole of the lane myself and found fully 180 yards of the fence pulled down, entirely cleared away, and converted into arable or meadow land. Col. Byrde can hardly be aware of this, for he tells the Board that “it is not true that the lane has been partially taken into his land.” He also says that “the gates are always open.” If so, what is the use of them? I found the three shut, and between the second and the third, three hurdles placed across the road which I had to get over.

  1. The third fact adduced is – “I have never seen during my residence at Goytrey either a horse or mule, or ass travelling that lane that I can recall to my own remembrance.” Col. Byrde will surely admit that those who have regularly resided, from year to year, in the parish, during his long absence of about 25 years in India, must have seen traffic along the road – such as carrying lime from the mountain in Llanover to Newbarn, to Upper Goytrey House, and to farms in Mamhilad, to say nothing of the fact that farmers from the said farm used, in former years, to send their young cattle along the Penystair road to their coedoa, or rough pasture on the hill-side in Llanover.
  2. The fourth fact is – “Neither have I met with any parishioner who can remember any parish outlay on this old road.”

Col. Byrde has certainly taken no pains to ascertain this point. For any old ratepayer who has attended, for some years, parish meetings would at once set him right. Neither has he taken much, if an, trouble, to consult the Parish Books, to see whether any entries have been made, from time to time, o fpayment of labour on this undoubtedly parish road. The Parish books, which I have examined, would convince any one on this point, and also show that the sums expended on it, at distinct intervals, and explicitly entered, have been very trifling. Besides, this road has, within my recollection and at my suggestion, been repaired by the parish.

In conclusion, I will observe that, however plausibly it may be insinuated that I was actuated by unworthy feelings in addressing the Surveyor, and not by a disinterested desire to maintain parish rights, the several members of the Board, at their last meeting, had before them the fact, that others had remonstrated with that body against the continuance of the gate s, and the damage done by Col. Byrde to the Penystair road – which was a complete refutation of all his insinuations.

Having, I think, convincingly replied to the various particulars to the Highway Board, the readers of the Press can now judge whether I have not fully shown that there is another side to the Penystair-road question, whereby is verified a saying of old, as it is true –

“One tale is good until another is told.”

I shall feel obliged, Mr Editor, by your kindly inserting this letter – and, I remain,

Yours truly, THOMAS EVANS, Rector of Goytrey

1867 Free Press

February 16th – Thomas Watts v Thomas Jeremiah

This was an action brought to recover from the defendant, a contractor, living at Mamhilad, the sum of £2, being the value of some chains belonging to a timber carriage, purchased by the defendants off plaintiff’s mother.
The case was adjourned at the previous court, for the purpose of enabling defendant to call as a witness the man to whom the chains were delivered by plaintiff, who contended that he agreed to sell chains to defendant, who, on the other hand, contended that when he purchased the timber carriage, he purchased all belonging to it, and the chains were an appendage to the carriage.
Mr E B Edwards appeared for the defendant and called:
Mr Henry Crump, who said, I was in the employ of Mr Jeremiah, he sent me to Watts for some chains, I went and asked him for them, and they were delivered to me. There was nothing said about paying for them, I took them to Mr Jeremiah.
Plaintiff: I let the man have the chains on condition Mr Jeremiah and I agreed upon.
His Honour: It now rests with me the which of the two I shall believe, and unfortunately for you, you have been convicted of felony.
Plaintiff: There are many others besides myself.
His Honour: Yes, but it goes against a person when he comes into court, and in this case I cannot give you a verdict.
Plaintiff: Then I shall get nothing for the chains?
His Honour: No.
Plaintiff: Then I think it is not justice.
His Honour: You may think it is not. I do not say that I am right. You may have told the truth – and he an un-truth, perhaps it is so; but when two persons come into court and swear quite the reverse to each other, I prefer the statement of the man whose character is beyond reproach to that of a man who has been convicted of felony. I may be wrong. Possibly I am.

(Thomas Watts indicted for the manslaughter of Thomas Morris October 1846)

June 8th – Paying Dear for his Watercress

Charles Jenkins was charged with assaulting Charles Jenkins at Mamhilad on the 25th ult.
The complainant, it appeared was greatly afflicted, and on the day named his sister saw the defendant coming over the hedge of their meadow, in which watercress were very plentiful.
They never objected to any person picking the watercress if they asked permission to do so. When complainant spoke to the defendant about breaking the hedge, the latter struck him and told him to go home.
The chairman told the defendant that he not only broke their hedges but that he defied them on their own land.
He would have to pay a fine of 20s.

June 29th – Monmouthshire

To be sold by Auction
by Mr J Graham, jun
at the Golden Lion Inn Usk
on Friday July 6th 1867 at two o’ clock
The Following Desirable Freehold Property
In two lots viz:

Lot 1.

Cottage and Garden and Three Pieces of Arable Land, situate in the parish of Goytrey and containing by estimation 3a 1r 31p
Now in the occupation of William Bevan as yearly tenant
This lot adjoins the road leading from Chain Bridge to Penpellenny
And the lands of John Logan esq.,

Waddington & Gustard, solicitors, Usk

August 3rd – Assault

Thomas Roberts was charged on remand with an assault on Lucy Mercy on the 13th inst., at Goytrey.
Mr Alex Edwards appeared for the defendant.
Lucy Mercy was again examined; her evidence was given last week; she now stated that on Wednesday deft. came with a stick and swore he would kill her.
Cross-examined: did you not walk up to him first?
No, sir.
Did you not say anything to him before he came up to you?
Not a sentence, sir.
Did you not say, “I’ll spoil your face before you get married”
No sir, I did not.
Was anybody near at the time?
Martha Davies and my niece were five yards from me.
Did they see all that was passing?
Are you quite certain?
Yes, sir.
Did you speak to Martha Davies before you went up the road?
What did you say to her then?
Nothing, I only asked her if she knew her brother was in prison and she said no.
Did you tell her anything about your daughter?
Not that she was to be married that morning?
That you would have the clothes off her back?
That you would stop it?
Did you make any threats about her?
No, not on that day, or just before I went up the road.
Elizabeth Watkins, niece of the complainant was sworn. Her evidence was the same as given by her last examination. It will be remembered that she then stated she was close by them, and saw the commencement of the assault.

Martha Davies said she kept house for her father in Goytrey. A fortnight that morning she was at the top of the cross-roads. She saw Lucy Mercy and Elizabeth Watkins, some conversation passed between them, and Lucy went up the road. Did not see commencement of the row. No one could have witnessed it. Elizabeth Watkins said to me “I bet sixpence there will be a row,” I heard Thomas Robert’s tongue, and Lucy screamed. I stood on the road, I did not see defendant before the assault began. I saw Thomas “scuffing” Lucy Mercy off the ground by the back, and then she went up the road, they were both down, I could barely tell in what position. I only saw the man and woman “scuffling” but not a blow struck.

Mr Alexander Edwards: Complainant went up on purpose to have a row. Defendant admits striking a blow but only in self-defence.

Elizabeth Watkins re-called by the bench: she has been to defendant’s house several times.

Mr Alexander Edwards: You are the niece, are you not, of the complainant?
Yes, sir.
The other witness is no relation?
No, sir.
James Morgan said that on the morning in question he was coming from Nantyderry and heard the women screaming. He spoke to two men about it, saying that defendant was going to be married, and had been beating his mother-in-law that morning. When defendant was told of it he said “D….. her eyes, I will break her neck”
A witness named Martha Roberts was called, but as she was present at the assault, her evidence was not taken.
Mr Alexander Edwards said that defendant had been insulted and badgered by complainant for a long time.
The Bench: we have no doubt complainant gave you some considerable provocation, not only at that time, but for those many months. You have no excuse on any occasion to strike a woman, or, in fact to strike anybody. We do not want to be very severe with you in this case, you will have to pay a fine of 10s at 14 days.
Defendant: I would rather take it to a further court.

December 14th – “Hisht, Thomas”

Thomas Watkins was summoned by Thomas Roberts for leaving work on 30th November, before expiration of the contract into which he had entered.
Complainant is a timber haulier and beer-house keeper at Goytrey, and defendant was a simple looking countryman, who, it appears, was looking for a job of work, and met complainant who wanted “a smart young man” to look after his horses and cart.
Defendant has worked for complainant last year, it seemed, but appeared to have left, as complainant wished him to go out and help him to steal fodder for the horses.
This assertion would have dumbfounded most people, but Mr Roberts, with a smile of conscious innocence, looked towards the representatives of the press and said, “never mind about that Thomas; you don’t report these things here.”
The parties appeared to have come to an understanding, for the day after they met defendant complainant’s service at 5s a week, with board and lodging.
Defendant, while admitting the terms, said he only meant it for the day; to which complainant replied persuadably, “by the week, Thomas; by the week, it’s no use you saying that, why did you work a day at all Thomas? It’s no use Thomas being nasty.”
Defendant now said that when he worked for complainant before he was not properly paid: and that it couldn’t be expected that a wife and family could be supported on 5s a week: to which complainant replied “Well, Thomas, you supported your family before.”
Complainant seemed to think that he had been wronged, for on Thomas stating his grievances he said, “Well, it’s no use of you Thomas saying that: you left the carriages in one place, and the materials in another. Hisht Thomas!
The clerk: will you go back to work for a week?
Defendant: No, sir.
The clerk: then you will have to go to jail.
Defendant: no sir, I will not go with a man of that sort.
Complainant: it is very likely you would say that Thomas.
Defendant: I never had anything before my character before this.
Complainant: it’s no disgrace to you Thomas.
Defendant: I suppose you thought you would get somebody else to go with you?
Complainant: no Thomas.
The patronising way in which complainant “Thomas’d” defendant at every sentence caused some amusement in the court.
The Bench, considering that some arrangement had been entered into, ordered defendant to pay 6s.
Defendant: no I won’t.
The clerk: pay the 6s and have done with it.
Defendant: no, no.
The clerk: don’t be foolish.
Defendant: (obstinately) no I won’t, he wants me to do some thieving with him all the time.
Defendant seemed to think he would have to go back to work on paying the money, and evidently preferred going to prison to having anything more to do with complainant, and this idea seeming to please him, he consented to her paying the money for him, and left the dock remarking “very well, I can summon you up for a good lot.”

December 23rd – Stealing Lead

James Morgan, who described himself as a labourer, was charged with stealing 45lbs of lead, the property of James James, Mamhilad on the 17th inst.
Pc Burden proved finding the lead at Smith’s marine store on Wednesday morning.
Sarah Smith, of the marine store, proved buying the lead from prisoner on Tuesday afternoon for 5s 6d.
Prisoner said he lived at Goytrey and gave the name William Thomas for entry in her book. The entry was made at the time of purchase.
Prisoner denied giving witness a false name.
Alfred Compton said he met prisoner at the Three Horseshoes on the Abergavenny road, on Tuesday morning. After some conversation witness agreed to take some lead in a cart to Pontypool.
Prisoner got over into a field and brought the lead from the “Old Oak” by a farm on the left hand side going to Abergavenny. When they got to George Street prisoner left him, taking the lead with him.
James James, the prosecutor said that he missed the lead last Tuesday from his back premises where it had been used as a shelter for some beehives, and where he had seen it on the previous Monday.
Prisoner asked this witness a few questions as to his sobriety on the day the lead was taken: whether he could swear to the lead &c, and finished by saying that he had stabbed his daughter with a knife.
It appeared however, that the prisoner had been in jail for stabbing a man, or by hitting him with a pike. He had at first denied taking the lead, but now pleaded guilty to save going to the sessions, and was sentenced to two months hard labour.

1868 Free Press

January 11th – Inquest of Emily Griffiths

Child Burnt to Death.

On the morning on Monday last an inquiry touching the death of a little girl, between two and three years of age, named Emily Griffiths, was held at the Nightingale Inn, at this place, before ED Batt, Esq., and a respectable jury.
It would appear that deceased had been left in the house with two other children on the evening of the Saturday previously and, as it is supposed, they commenced playing with the fire, by which some straw, of which it is said a quantity was on the floor, became ignited and the flames communicating with the dress of deceased, the poor little thing became so fearfully burned that death put an end to its suffering at six o’clock on the following morning.
The jury returned a verdict accordance with these facts. We may add that O D Thomas Esq., surgeon, of Pontypool, was early in attendance and found that Miss Byrde of Goytrey House had already administered such aid to the sufferers approved of by medical skill under such circumstances.

January 11th

To be let by tender with possession on the 25th March next, Penwern Farm, situate in the parish of Goytre and within half a mile of Nantyderry Station, comprising 107 acres of dry, arable and pasture land, together with the following newly erected buildings, viz:
An eight roomed dwelling house, barn; waggon house; two granaries; stabling for 5 horses; stalls for tying 24 head of cattle; chaff and root house; and a range of detached buildings, comprising a labourers cottage, barn and stables.
The farm has, for the past ten years, been in the hands of the proprietor, John Logan Esq., and is in a good state of cultivation.
It may be viewed on application to the bailiff, John Williams.

January 11th – Festivities of the Season

William Griffiths was charged with being drunk and riotous at the Goytrey on the night of Christmas-day.
PC Evan Williams (42) deposed that he was on duty on the night mentioned he met defendant in the state described.
Defendant was fined 7s 6d. including costs.

January 15th – Police Court – Theft

John Rawlings, a young man, but an old offender, was charged with stealing an axe and a hand-saw, the property of Wm Morgan at Goytrey, on the 28th ult.
Complainant stated that he was a woodcutter, and that while at his work in the wood he missed the axe produced, which was his property, from a heap of hurdles. He also missed a hand-saw at the same time and place.
P.C Williams said that he went to the prisoner’s house on the 6th inst., and charged him with stealing the axe and hand-saw. He produced the axe stating that he had found it on the road.
Prisoner now said that when the constable came to his house he produced that axe, asking him if he knew anyone had lost such a thing, as he had found it on the road.
Prisoner was warned that he must take care for the future, or he would suffer penal servitude, and was committed for two months, with hard labour.

January 18th – Young in Years but Old in Crime.

John Rawlings, the younger, of the Goytrey, who has been committed from this court several times for theft and other offences, was placed before the bench on remand from Monday last to answer the charge of having stolen one axe or hatchet, the property of William Morgan, Goytrey.
The latter said he lost an axe and saw on the 28th of December last, which he had been using in a wood situate near his house at the place already mentioned.
The axe produced was the one he lost and was his property. PC Evan Williams deposed that from information he received he searched the house in which defendant was living and found the hatchet produced, on the 6th inst.
The prisoner said he reached the article down from a shelf in the house and handing it to the policeman he asked him if he knew of any one who had lost such an article.
The chairman reminded the prisoner that he had previously committed from this court several times previously and told him to take care or he would be sent for penal servitude.
He was committed to Usk gaol for two months with hard labour.

January 25th

At Tyvera Farm, Goytrey, January 22nd, of bronchitis, Mr Thomas James aged 75.

January 25th

Colonel Byrde on Tuesday last returned home from India and we are to state, the gallant officer is in good health.

February 22nd – Jenkins, farmer, Goytre v Roberts, Mamhilad

Claim £3 7s 10d for 2 tons and 31/2 cwt of straw at £2 5s a ton. Defendant had received £1 10s 10d of the amount.
Defendant said it was barley straw and that he was to have had it at £2 and that he only had 1 ton 31/2 cwt.
Plaintiff produced the weight of a quantity of straw from the machine at which it was weighed, but defendant said that was the weight of the load he had from Stinchcombe, to go to Abersychan. The straw he had from him was weighed at the Pontnewydd machine.
His Honor to plaintiff; you will, accept a judgement for £2 10s 4d.
Plaintiff; will you allow my expenses?
The Judge; you must not make a bargain with me.
Plaintiff; yes, your Honor.
Judgement accordingly. To pay in a week.

February 29th  – A Clever Capture.

Two young men who had the appearance of being tramps, and who gave their names as Jas Thompson and Jas Taylor, were charged with having broken into the shop part of the premises occupied by Mr Henry Mathews, at the Goytrey, on Sunday last, and stealing therefrom £6 in gold, half a pound of cocoa, 1lb of sugar, several boxes of matches, and a pair of scissors, the latter article being the property of his daughter.
Ellen Mathews said, I live at Goytrey, and am the daughter of prosecutor. On Sunday morning last I went to church at 11 o’clock, after which I went to dine at my father’s, and returned to the shop about 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
From information I received, I searched the house and found £6 missing from a chest of drawers, all of which seemed to be ransacked.
I also missed cocoa, sugar and four or five boxes of matches and a pair of scissors, the latter of which are my property: I swear to them by the rivet.
I saw the prisoners when I was returning from church, by the blacksmith’s shop, a short distance from the house.
By the prisoner Taylor: I saw you near the shop, on the road.
George Mathews: on Sunday I found the door of the premises open and went and gave information to my sister in the afternoon. The door had been burst open. I saw the drawers had been ransacked.
Walter Williams: I am a labourer, residing in the parish of Goytrey, at a distance of 400 to 500 yards from prosecutors’ shop. The big prisoner, (Thompson) came to my home begging, about one o’clock on Sunday, I gave him a pair of old boots.
P.C. Basham: from information I received I went and examined the premises of Mr Henry Mathews, which are situate at the Goytrey, this was about 5 o’clock on the evening of Sunday last. I found the front door had been burst open, and a board from the end of the house had been placed under the window. Mt attention was attracted to some footprints, which I examined and have compared since. I proceeded to Monkswood and gained some intelligence of the prisoners, whom I found at Chepstow, in a lodging house, about half past twelve o’clock the same night.
I found on the prisoner Thompson 19s 9d in silver, two packets of cocoa, a box of matches and a pair of scissors.
On the prisoner Taylor I found 9s 1/2d, three boxes of matches and a packet of sugar, now produced.
The prisoners were charged by Supt. Llewellen, who was with me, of having broken into the shop of Henry Mathews of Goytrey, and stealing there from the money and articles mentioned.
The prisoner Thompson said he found the money on the road, and Taylor said he had only 10s and was making his way home with it.
I compared Taylor’s boots with the footmarks mentioned, and found them to correspond in every particular.
After being duly cautioned by the chairman. The prisoners said they would reserve their defence, after which they were committed for trial at the next quarter sessions, Usk.

March 28th , Usk quarter sessions

James Johnson 6 months imprisonment.

James Taylor 12 months imprisonment.

(Thompson/Johnson – as is)

March 28th – Goytrey Housebreaking

James Johnson, 30, labourer and James Taylor 18, labourer, were charged with entering the house of Henry Mathews and stealing £6, a quantity of cocoa, sugar, and a pair of scissors, at Goytrey, on February 23rd. Mr Cleave prosecuted. Taylor pleaded guilty.
The particulars appeared at the time of the commission of the offence, and may thus be briefly stated.
The house was locked up at 11 o’clock on Sunday the 23rd February and the shop secured. The prosecutor and daughter went to church and returned about 5 o’clock, when they found the house broken open, £6 in money stolen, also 1/2lb cocoa, 1/2lb sugar, a box of matches and a pair of scissors. The scissors were identified by the daughter of prosecutor and recognised as being her property.
The prisoners were seen both together about half-past one o’clock, not a quarter of a mile from the house which had been broken open.
PS Basham apprehended the prisoners at Chepstow, in a lodging house and on Johnson he found 19s 9d., some cocoa, matches and a pair of scissors and on Taylor 9s., three boxes of matches and a quantity of sugar.
They both denied having committed the offence and Johnson said he had picked the money up off the road.
The jury found the prisoner Johnson guilty.
Johnson was sentenced to 12 months hard labour and Taylor to 6 months.

April 25th

Found in the parish of Goytrey, a sum on money. Anyone giving a proper description of the same may have it on applying to Mr Thomas Thomas, Mamhilad Great House.

May 23rd – Drunk and Riotous

Lewis Morris, labourer, Goytrey, was charged by PC Rutter with being drunk and resisting the police on the previous night. Prisoner was very violent and it required several policemen to bring him to the station.
Fined 15s and costs or 14 days.

June 13th – Birth

At Half-Moon Street Piccadilly, London, May 28th, the wife of the Rev Thomas Evans, rector of Goytrey, of a daughter.

August 22nd – Gambling at Goytrey

Thomas Price of the Royal Oak, Goytrey, was charged with permitting gambling in his house. PC 42 proved the case and said that Mrs Price and two men were tossing for drink and quarrelled whether it should be beer or spirits.
It appeared that the defendant was away from home at the time, and knew nothing about it, and therefore he was discharged with an admonition to be careful in future.

December 12th – Goytrey National School

A Certified Master, with a wife who can teach needlework, is required for the above school, the present governess having resigned in consequence of her approaching marriage.
Apply by letter to the Rev. Thomas Evans, Rector of Goytrey, near Pontypool.

1869 Free Press

January 23rd.

AN UNSUPPORTED CHARGE.—George Watkins, a lad of respectable appearance, was charged with housebreaking at Goytrey. Mr Greenway defended. The prosecutor, Henry Plaisted, deposed that his house was broken open, sometime on 5th December last, during his absence, and that a box in his bedroom was partly wrenched open, and a quantity of loose silver and coppers taken out. There was the mark of the heel of a boot left on a sheet that lay on the floor of the bedroom, and the mark was the size of the defendant’s boots. The only other evidence affecting the accused, was that of another lad, who said he saw him near Plaisted’s gate on the day named. Case dismissed.

January 30th.

GETTING INTO A HOUSE AT GOYTREY.—Elizabeth Thomas was charged with stealing 2s. 6d., the moneys  of George Watkins, at Goytrey, on the 16th inst. Mrs Watkins stated that on her return home on the day named, she found that her house, which was left locked, had been broken open. Prisoner was found in one of the bedrooms, and had put the half-crown and some other things into the holes in the wall, where the police discovered them. The girl had been in the habit of going to the house, and had been very kindly treated. Sentenced to 3 weeks’ hard labour.

February 6th.

JOHN HARRIS v JOHN PHILLIPS.—claim 17s. 3d., for work done as carpenter, in the parish of Goytrey. To pay by two instalments.

February 20th.

CHARGE OF TRESPASS.—William Morris, charged with trespass on lands of Thomas James, at Mamhilad for the purpose of cutting twigs for basketmaking, was discharged, as the witness against him, a besom maker, named Rawlings, proved himself unworthy of belief, by denying that he had received parish pay under the pretence of being blind, while it was well-known that he had done so.

February 27th.

TRYING HIS RIGHT.—John Waters, of Goytrey, was summoned for encroachment, by depositing a quantity of mould on the side of the highway within 15 feet of the centre of the road. Henry Williams, surveyor, stated that he had seen the mould, and was instructed by the Highway Board to prosecute. Mr Greenway said he would admit that the defendant put the mould there, but it was on his own land, over which he had exercised right of ownership upwards of 30 years. The late Mr Owen tried to get him from there, and issued a writ; so that the case was now in the Court of Queen’s Bench, and this Bench had no jurisdiction. The case was adjourned.

April 17th.


At the parish church of St. George, Gloucester, April 14, by the father of the bride, assisted by the Rev. Richard Byrde, the Rev. Frederick Louis Byrde, the son of Henry Charles Byrde, Esq., J.P., of Goytrey house, Monmouthshire, to Christiana Nattle youngest daughter of the Rev. T. N. Grigg, vicar.

January 23rd

FROM THE ‘LONDON GAZETTE’.—Bankrupt, Tuesday, May 18.—Joshua Evans, Llanover, clerk in holy orders, May 29, Bristol.