Prize Fight at Goytre – 1872

November 16th 1872

Prize Fight:

Took place at Goytre on Friday last between two Pontypool men who had made arrangements with so much secrecy that the police knew nothing of the affair until it actually took place.

The combatants were Daniel Desmond, a pugilist and Thomas Fletcher, a smith; and the contest seemed to have arisen out of a row in George Street some time ago.

These men, in a field belonging to a farmer named Probert, hammered away at each other for two hours and a quarter, in which time 101 “rounds” occurred. The stake was to be £10.

Fletcher, who sprained his wrist some time since, sustained a renewal of the sprain, but kept on until Desmonds head was “as big as a bushel,” Desmond aiming to take the use of his opponents sound arm.

We are told that the disgraceful affair ended in a “draw” as the backers would not consent to the men fighting any longer. Principals, backers and spectators are to figure at the Police Court on Saturday.


November 23rd 1872

The Prize Fight at Goytre

Daniel Desmond (who did not appear), Thomas Fletcher, John Littlehales, Edward Farr, John Wise, Alfred Farr, John Roberts, James Fletcher and Henry Jordan were charged with unlawfully assembling in the parish of Goytre and creating a breach of the peace; Desmond and Fletcher, being principals in the fight and the rest by aiding and abetting by being present.

Pc Basham proved service of the summons on Desmond. Roberts and Jordan pleaded not guilty.

John Gwatkin deposed that on November the 8th he saw the fight; did not see Roberts and Jordan there; it was between 7 and 8 o’clock in the morning.

Pc Williams deposed that he saw all the defendants, except Alfred Farr at the place, or coming away in the train.

Thomas Jeremiah deposed that he saw the fight at a distance, but did not see whether anyone was seconding the principals or not. Did not see Jordan or Roberts there.

Jordan said he should have liked to see the fight very well; but he did not see it.

Charles Rudman was called as a witness but did not answer. It was said he was out posting and superintendent M’Intosh said, that if that was the case, he must ask for an adjournment for a week against Roberts and Jordan. This was agreed to.

Col. Byrde said that these prize fights were disgraces to the community in which they occurred. The Bench had the power of sending the defendants for trial at the quarter sessions. They did not desire to do so on the present occasion, but at the same time they must take such measures that would prevent a recurrence of such disgraceful scenes in future.

Thomas Fletcher was bound over to keep the peace for six months himself in £20, and two sureties, (Thomas Morgan, ironmonger, Abersychan, and Stephen Howells, collier, Pontypool) in £10 each and had to pay £1 costs.

A warrant was issued for the apprehension of Desmond. Roberts and Jordan would have to appear again next Saturday. The rest were bound over in £10 each to keep the peace for six months and had to pay 10s each costs.


November 30th 1872

The Recent Prize Fight

Henry Jordan, Charles Rudman and John Roberts were charged with aiding and abetting the recent prize fight at Goytre. Supt. M’Intosh said that Jordan and Roberts were Desmonds backers, all three now admitted that they were present at the fight.

In answer to the Bench Supt. M’Intosh said that the party had walked from Pontypool to Goytre and arrived there at six o’clock in the morning and waited for the day to dawn before they began operations.

Roberts and Jordan were bound over to keep the peace for six months themselves in £20 each, with one surety each in £10 and had to pay 16s 6d each costs. Rudman was bound over in £10 and had to pay 10s costs.


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