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.


For any comments or suggestions regarding this item please use the Contact tab at the top of the page.