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County Observer 8 January 1881

 Family Notices

Births, Marriages, and Deaths.

DEATHS. At Glascoed, December 31, Mr. Jesse Davies, aged 71 years. Editor Note, Jesse Davies farmed at Lower Cwmhir.

County Observer: 20 August 1881

EXTRAORDINARY OUTRAGE AT GOYTREY. An extraordinary story comes from Goytrey. Between nine and ten o'clock on Saturday night a porter at the Bristol General Hospital went to the Bedminster police-station. Bristol, with a message to the effect that the house surgeon desired an officer to be sent to see William Morgan Williams, of Goytrey, near Pontypool, who was admitted to the institution about seven that evening. Acting- Sergeant Beer went to the hospital and found Williams in a very weak condition, one wound on the forehead being an inch long, with the scalp showing through. There were other severe cuts on the head, and numerous bruises about the body. Williams told the officer that at five that morning he saw Jabez and Uriah Davis, of Cwmare, Glascoed, near Pontypool, in his field, taking away his horse. He went to stop them and each taking a stake from the hedge, beat him unmercifully. His wife came with a hatchet to nail the gate, when one of the men took it from her, and struck him a severe blow with it. He ultimately got away with the horse, and rode, straight to Portskewett, crossing the ferry to the New Passage, and rode thence to Bristol, a distance of 40 miles. He left his horse in the care of his sister, Mrs. King, Essex-street, Bedminster, and then went to the General Hospital. Another account says:—The injured man, William Morgan Williams, was a haulier, living in a cottage by the road side in the parish of Goytrey, something over a mile from Nantyderry railway station, and about an equal distance from the blacksmith's shop. He had had business transactions with two men named Jabez Davies and Uriah Davies, brothers, who are also hauliers, living about three miles from Williams' cottage, at a place called Cwmare, Glascoed, about four miles out from Pontypool. A dispute arose respecting the ownership of a young horse, and it is exceedingly difficult to get at the real truth of this matter. It is asserted that Williams bought the horse from the brothers Davies, but did not pay the amount of cash required. Accordingly, finding there was no prospect of the money being forth coming, the latter took the animal from Williams' premises and lodged it in their own stables. In other quarters it is said that the horse lawfully belonged to Williams, but that by some peculiar way of account keeping each owed the other money for work done. Anyhow—this is certain - that both parties claimed the horse, which up to Saturday morning was at Davies's place. Very early on that morning, Williams determined to get the animal into his keeping, and sallied forth for the spot where it was stabled. The Davies's were on the alert, and followed Williams to his own house. The latter already had one of his own horses in his stable and therefore had to lodge his new possession in a barn situated in a field near the cottage. Whilst Williams was there with the horse the two brothers came up and demanded that Williams should deliver to them the horse or pay for it. The latter refused to do either, con- tending that it was his lawful property. Physical force was resorted to; at first it would appear only so far as fisticuffs would admit. Mrs. Williams, the wife of the man who ultimately got so fearfully injured, asserts that if they had fought "fair" her husband, who was a powerfully built man of about 35 years of age, would have punished both assailants, although they were bigger men and about his own age. Unfortunately this mode of operation was not adhered to, for the brothers Davies—by common consent—each drew a heavy thick stake from the hedge and "let in" to the man Williams with great violence about the head and shoulders, inflicting very severe wounds. The unfortunate man was thus left with nothing to defend himself, although at one portion of the encounter- it does not appear at what specific moment Williams repaired to his cottage, which was at a short distance, and possessed himself of a short iron poker, with which it is more than probable he dealt one or perhaps both of his antagonists a nasty blow, as blood was subsequently observed to be flowing down the back of Uriah Davies's neck. A struggle for possession of the horse seems to come in as a sort of interlude between what has already been described, and a second altercation, which proved more disastrous to Williams than the first. The Davies's again fell on Williams and beat him about the head with their staves, until the air was redolent with the cries of the latter, and a small crowd of persons assembled, but no one ventured to interpose except Williams's wife, who implored the Davieses to desist. They heeded not her intreaties, only telling her to get out of the way or she would herself get struck. Williams perceived that he was in great peril, and shouted Murder," at the same time calling upon his daughter to bring him the hatchet to defend himself. The girl ran and brought from the house a heavy wood splitting axe, and threw it upon the field, where the unequal encounter was going on. According to the wife's statement, it never was in the hands of Williams, but she says she saw Uriah Davies take it up and rise it above his head as though with the intention of dealing her husband a blow. Fearful of the consequences she turned away her head in horror. Whether or not the deadly weapon struck her husband she does not know, but Williams himself says that the man knocked him a heavy blow with it. This appears to have been the concluding episode of the terrific encounter, but the most remarkable incident of the whole is that Williams, just in the state he then was—without a hat, coat, or waistcoat on him, and blood streaming from many wounds about his head and body—mounts the horse without a saddle or bridle, and gallops off, wishing somebody on the field, it is thought the Davieses, good-bye. He stopped at the house of a neighbour named Harbottle, about three- quarters of a mile off, and there occasioned the greatest fright among the inmates. When he arrived he was covered with blood—in fact the people could not recognise the man - nothing but blood was to be seen. He related his story, and the people of course treated him well. He was supplied with the articles of clothing of which he was deficient, and given some tea, but he would take nothing to eat, and he washed himself of the blood, which however did not cease flowing. He complained of feeling very weak and stiff about the shoulders and back. After staying about half- an-hour he again mounted, and made off to Portskewett via, Usk, which would be a distance of some 14 or 15 miles. He then crossed the passage, and it is alleged rode away to Bristol where his father, mother, and sister lives. Having given the horse into the possession of the latter, he went to the Bristol General Hospital and was admitted, and his injuries attended to. They were found to be of a very serious character and demanding careful attention. He made known this version of the affair, and upon it the police have acted. Goytrey is a very large parish, one portion of which is comprised within the Pontypool police district, another portion in the Usk district, and in another direction the parish touches Abergavenny. On Monday the man Williams was able to partake of beef tea and milk, and the house surgeon is of opinion that a considerable time must elapse before he can be safely removed, even if no relapse sets in. The horse is still in possession of his sister. Mrs. King, Essex street, Bedminster. It is believed that whatever injury Williams suffered, he brought on himself in taking away the horse which did not belong to him. He is looked upon by those who know him as a rum customer." He comes from Llanvihangel, near Abergavenny, and this is not the first bother he has had about a horse- Further particulars state that Acting Superintendent Lock, of the Bedminster division of police, has received the following reply to his inquiries respecting the alleged outrage at Goytrey, near Pontypool, on Saturday morning :—

Pontypool, August 15, 1881.

Re William Morgan Williams. Sir—From inquiries made today, I find that the man does live at Goytrey, and the two men (Davises) live not far from him and, from what I can hear, the following are the exact particulars of the quarrel between them :—About six weeks ago Williams bought a horse from Davis; but, as he did not pay for it, Davis went and took the horse away from Williams's stable; and then Williams, during the night of the 12th inst., went and again took possession of the horse and, at five a.m. on the 13th inst., Davis ascertaining that the horse was gone, went to Williams's house, when a disturbance took place between them; but Mrs. Williams Says the only weapons used were stakes pulled from the garden hedge.—I am, sir, yours truly, G.W. WHITFIELD, Superintendent." Williams is progressing favourably at the Bristol General Hospital.