1888 Free Press

January 20th 

The Manager of the American Cycling Team, A notable Goytrey Boy.
The following sketch of the career of Mr W.J., the son of Mr W. Morgan, The Wern Farm, Goytre, who has earned distinction both in this country and America, will be read by many friends in this district.

William J. Morgan, long distance Champion of America, and Manager of the American team, was born in Goytrey, Monmouthshire in 1863. After a British school education, and an apprenticeship of four years, when thirteen years old, to the grocery business in Dudley, Staffordshire, he returned to Wales and put in two years more behind the counter in Newport, Monmouthshire.

Here he learned to ride a bicycle and became a member of the flourishing Newport bicycle club.

In 1880 he sailed for Canada and settled in Toronto, Ontario. Bicycling was just beginning to attract public attention in the dominion, and Morgan was the first man to introduce bicycle riding into Canada, having brought a racer from England with him.

Forming the St Catherine bicycle club Mr Morgan was soon known as a celebrity on the road and path. In 1882 he crossed the line into the States and raced against John S. Price, Rollinson, Harrison brother, and others with varying success, being particularly fortunate in long distance riding.

In Chicago in 1883, out of a field of seven in the championship 12 hours per day (72 hour) race, he rode second to Prince, defeating Higham, Woodside, Shuck and others.

In 1885 he defeated Prince and a large field in the 48-hour Memphis, Tenn., six-day contest, winning by over 20 miles. In 1886 Morgan defeated Prince, who was then champion of America, ten races out of an actual twelve on the circuit, winning an 8-hour per day race a month later, and establishing professional tandem records for the world from 1 to 250 miles inclusive.

A month later he defeated a field of seven in Minneapolis in the eight hour per day international championship race, making the world record of 780 miles in 48 hours, riding the first five days without dismounting. Three weeks later he was matched for 144 hours, six-day (night and day) contest for $1000, against Albert Schock whom he defeated three weeks previous in the 48-hour race.

In this race Morgan astonished cycling America by riding 235 miles (world’s record) without stopping or making one dismount. Leading until Friday, the fifth day, with a score of 1098 miles, he was attacked with sickness, which compelled him to leave the track for six hours, which lost him the race.

Mr Morgan is not only a busy rider, but also a writer of cycling renown and his letters to all the cycling and sporting press of America on sporting matters under the Nome-du-plume of “Spokes” and “Coventry” have earned for the Anglo American distinction.

Mr Morgan was for some time connected with the Chicago Daily Inter-Ocean and Sporting Journal as a writer on sporting matters; and in turn he not only manages the affairs of his team and takes part in contests, but is also the special correspondent for the Chicago Journal, Lynn Item, and the Bicycling World and will also write for a number of other American papers on “what he sees on his travels”.

Mr Morgan stands 5 feet 7 inches high and weighs 145 lbs.

Mr Morgan’s performances in England have been somewhat limited, as his managerial duties have curtailed his practises to such an extent that he cannot find time to practise for any event that he is booked for.

His running a dead heat for second place in the Easter Handicap at Leicester in 2 mins, 36. 1-5 secs., from the 80 yards; and his win of the mile at Bridlington Quay in 2mins., 37 secs., from the 90 yards is the best work he has accomplished in Great Britain.

In Edinburgh, last October, in company with Batenby, Dabois, and Lumaden, he succeeded in beating the best 50 mile record, doing the distance in 2 hours and 41 mins.

Mr Morgan is responsible for the Edinburgh, London and Newcastle six day races, where at each place the public were turned away owing to the crowds who sought admission. The public evidently appreciated the good entertainment the Anglo-American manager provides for them.

February 10th – Rachel Anthony deceased

Notice is hereby given that all creditors and persons having any Claims or Demands against the Estate of Rachel Anthony, late of Bwrgwm in the parish of Goytre, county of Monmouth, and of 16 High Street Blaenavon, same county spinster, deceased.

Who died on or about the 26th December 1886 and whose will was proved by David Lewis of Ivor House, Blaenavon, aforesaid, one of the executors there-in named on the 22nd March 1887 in the District Registry of the Probate of her Majesty in the Court of Justices, Landaff.

Henry Jeffery Jones
Lion Street Abergavenny
Solicitor for the executor
1st day of February 1888

March 16th – Bicycles, Tricycles & Safeties

Having acquired agencies for Rudge, Sanspariel, and other well known cycles we can supply machines from £4 10s.

June 1st – Rate Case

Wm Rees, farmer of Goytrey was summoned for non-payment of £3 10s 3d poor rates due to the overseers of Goytrey.

Mr Gwatkin, assistant overseer gave evidence as to the claim and in the result defendant was ordered to pay the amount, less 6s 2d, an incorrect charge made by the auditor some time since.

June 1st – Application for Ejectment Order

Wm. Lewis was summoned to show why a warrant of ejectment order should not be issued against him in respect of premises at Goytrey in which he was in possession.

It will be remembered that the matter was before the court a fortnight ago, at the instance of the landlord, Col. Byrde, who then agreed to accept a nominal rent of £1 a year from Lewis, who however, would not agree to the arrangement but asked for a fortnight to consider the suggestion. – he did not now appear.

Col. Byrde went into the witness box and deposed that in March 1861, a widow named Lewis whose husband had recently died asked him if he would re-new a lease from the Earl of Abergavenny, that her family had held some years before, as some other persons had made application for it that she thought would not do very well by her.

He therefore made application to the Marquis of Abergavenny and obtained the lease in 1861. He then allowed the widow to occupy the house until 1884 when she died.

He might say that part of the house had been burnt down, and at present consisted of a little kitchen below and a little room upstairs with a ladder assent to it, she occupied it until her death. Her sons came to her occasionally during that time and her son William went into occupation, and applicant allowed him to remain in occupation for a couple of years, when fearing that he might think he was entitled to remain in occupation for the remainder of his life applicant sent to him a demand note for rent.

Then it was that he set up a claim, and said he would not turn out and that involved the necessity for the present application.

Had Lewis acknowledged the applicant’s right he would have probably allowed him to remain there sometime longer, as he [Col. Byrde] had always paid the rent and taxes:

By Mr Parkes; Witness took the lease at the request of Lewis’s mother in order to allow her to remain in possession and always paid all demands.

Mr Phillips: Then so far as the son is concerned it is really a case of taking advantage of your kindness to his mother?

Col Byrde: I suppose so.

Mr Gwatkin the assistant overseer, having proved that the rates relating to the property were always paid by Col. Byrde, and not by the past or present tenants, the application was granted.

July 6th – Application for a Horse Slaughterer’s License

Mr T.M. Phillips applied, on behalf of Minnie Court, Tilbach Farm, Mamhilad for a license to enable her to carry on the business of horse slaughterer. The license had been held by the husband, who was now bankrupt, and the wife was desirous of having the license in her own name.

The Chairman: Has the necessary notice been given?

Mr Phillips: Not in the name of the wife.

The Chairman: Then I am afraid we cannot grant the license.

Mr Phillips: Then I ask that the license be renewed to the husband.

The Chairman: Can we grant a license to a bankrupt?

Mr G.H. Llewellyn the official receiver of Newport, was present in court, and was asked if he had any objection to the license being granted.

On replying in the negative, the license was granted.

October 16th – Parish of Goytrey – Desirable Freehold Property For Sale

Messrs Straker and Son

Will sell by auction

At the Swan Hotel Abergavenny on Tuesday 16th day of October 1888

3 o’clock in the afternoon

All that dwelling house called Bwlgwrn

Situate near Pengroesoped, in the Parish of Goytrey in the County of Monmouth

With the Barn, Stables, Piggery and productive Garden well stocked with productive fruit trees And Two Pieces of Excellent Meadow Land

Adjoining the whole and covering 2a 0r 6p or thereabouts and now or late in the occupation of Mrs Rachel Jones the owner

The property is in a good state of repair and adjoins Col. Byrde’s estate and is situate about 1 mile from the village of Llanover; about 5 miles from the market towns of Pontypool and Abergavenny; 4 miles from the town of Blaenavon and about 11/2 miles from Nantyderry Station [GWR]

For further particulars apply to auctioneer

November 16th – Unsustained Charge of Assault

Henry Neate, a signalman, was charged with assaulting Mary Gregory at Nantyderry on the 21st ult.,
Mr T Watkins appeared for the defendant and pleaded not guilty.

Complainant, an infirm old woman, who gave her evidence in a rambling fashion, said on the night prior to the assault, said she was in the Nantyderry Station with the defendant, who formerly lodged with her.

Defendant went out to signal a train, and whilst he was away she looked under a paper he had spread out on a bench, and saw his supper. When he came in he said she had been eating some of his supper, which she denied.

He told her she had better go, and she did so. On the following night she saw the defendant and asked him if she had eaten his supper. He said she had and she denied it. He said he could not take his oath of it, and that, but for her being an old woman he would give her a good shaking.

She told him he had better not, and with that he caught hold of her, forced her against some railings, causing a wound on her arm, and hurting her dreadfully. She was attended by Dr Wood afterwards.

Defendant pushed her all the way from the end of the row to her own house, and when she was on the door, “bleeding in streams,” he got a bucket of water and threw it over her.

Cross-examined: – She was not in such a state on the Saturday night as to forget what time she was in the station.

Mr Watkins: You are rather jovial on Saturday nights?

The Chairman: She doesn’t know what jovial means.

Mr Phillips: That’s too classical an expression for her. Were you drunk on this Saturday night?

Witness: No Sir. All I had was with my family in my own house, and nobody can say more.

Cross-examined: She had not been to Pontypool on the Saturday. She did not turn round in the station and spit meat out of her mouth. She spoke to defendant first about the supper on Sunday night.

Mr Watkins: Didn’t you fetch a bucket of water and tumble over the bucket afterwards?

Witness: Oh! Oh! (Laughter)

Mr Watkins: Don’t faint, we can get some water here.

Witness denied having fetched a bucket of water. She was not drunk on the previous Friday, and had no fall on the previous day.

Mr E.T. Cook, assistant to Dr Woods, produced a certificate from that gentleman, who was unwell and unable to be present. The certificate stated that the writer had attended complainant for contusion of the left ribs and lacerations on the arms, she also complained of pains all over her body.

For the defence, Mr Watkins said the complainant went to the station in a state of drunkenness, which was not at all an unusual state for her. Whilst defendant was out of the station, she commenced to eat his supper, after which she left. On the following night she asked him if he accused her of eating his supper, to which he said he did.

She caught hold of his two hands and spat in his face two or three times. He led her to the house, after which she returned with a bucket of water, which she threw over him. In doing so she fell over the bucket and a step nearby. He could also prove, if necessary, she had had a fall on the previous Friday. – Thomas Cooke, a coachman of Gloucester, formerly of Nantyderry, said that on Sunday night he was standing by his door, with his wife and child, when the defendant passed.

The complainant asked him if she said he had eaten his supper, and he said he did. She denied it again, when the defendant repeated the accusation, and told her not to speak to him again. With that she called him an offensive name, jumped at him, pushed him against the railings, and kicked him twice in succession on the shins. With that defendant caught hold of her arms and led her towards the house, where she spat twice in his face in the most disgusting manner. He put her inside the house and shut the door, after which she came out and threw a bucket of water over him. In doing so she fell over the bucket and a step. Defendant retaliated by throwing the remainder of the contents of the bucket of water, a few drops going on her shoulder and in her face. After that, her poor old husband re-filled the bucket to poor over defendant again.

Complainant: Shame on you Cooke! (Laughter)

Complainant was requested to question the witness, but her cross-examination consisted of a series of her former statements, in the course of which she admitted she spat in defendants face.

The Chairman said they could not find that complainant’s statement was proved, especially after the evidence of an independent witness, whose word they had no reason to doubt.

Complainant must have misunderstood the thing altogether, the case would be dismissed.

Mr Watkins asked for the expenses of the witness, who had been subconded to attend from Gloucester.

The Chairman said the complainant was a poor old woman, they could not grant the application.

Complainant: I got nothing to pay anybody, (laughter).

Mr Watkins said he was only acting according to his instructions. He might say that they might have proceeded against complainant on a cross summons had they wished, so that she had been saved that expense.

November 23rd – Non-payment of Poor Rates

Louisa Waites was summoned by the overseers of the parish of Goytrey, for non-payment of 15s poor rates
Defendant pleaded poverty, and on that ground was excused from payment.

December 21st

The first concert for the season in connection with the Tonic Sol-fa class was given in the British Schoolroom on Thursday evening the 19th inst., the proceeds being in aid of the school funds.

Col. Byrde presided over a large and appreciative audience. The selection of songs was of a decidedly superior character, while the manner in which they were rendered reflected great credit upon the performers.

The comic songs, (in character) by Mr Rogers, elicited roars of laughter, while a humorous reading by Mr H. Byrde, and a dialogue by Mr Jeremiah and party caused a great deal of amusement.

Two cornet solos were given by Mr D. Bowen, who acquitted himself in a highly satisfactory manner.


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