How the Rector Rights the Wrong 1866

10th November 1866 – GOYTREY GRIEVANCES

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.


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