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 GLASCOED

 PEOPLE & PLACES

COUNTY OBSERVER, 1876

JANUARY 8th 1876

USK AND PONTYPOOL HIGHWAY BOARD.

The usual monthly meeting of this board was held in the Town-hall, on Monday last; present, Messrs. T. Powell (chairman), Prewett (vice-chairman), Col. Byrde, Rees, Jones (Trevella), Williams, Thomas, Pritchard and Evans.

. . .

The surveyor’s report was then read by the chairman as follows:-

“To the Chairman and Gentlemen of the Usk and Pontypool Highway Board. – I beg to report to you that in the parish of Glascoed, stones are hauled out on the Three Stiles-road, and the waywarden and myself have measured the stones and are satisfied as to the quantity; the road is also repaired to our satisfaction . . .

. . . HENRY WILLIAMS, District Surveyor.”

Col. Byrde asked the surveyor how it was that he had allowed the scrapers belonging to the late road trust to escape him! He knew the road trust had one or two scrapers.

The surveyor said that one of the scrapers was not good for anything, and the other fetched too high a price.

After some discussion as to the amount of work possible to be got over by one of the scrapers at present in use, in a day, in comparison, with that to be done by the patent scraper, it was resolved that the surveyor should procure one of the patent road scrapers.

. . . Concerning the fencing of the road leading over the bridge between the parishes of Monkswood and Glascoed (Mr Rees) said he thought it was very unfair that his parish should be charged with half the cost of this fencing as more than three parts were in the parish of Monkswood. He thought they ought to pay for what was in the parish only.

The surveyor stated that he had always understood, since the bridge was built that the fencing was a partnership affair, and that each parish should pay half the cost of keeping it in repair.

Col. Byrde thought what the surveyor said related to the building of the bridge, and that was an equitable arrangement, but he considered each parish should pay for its own fencing.

The other wardens agreeing in this view of the matter, the surveyor was instructed to discontinue the charge.

Some of these stories follow on from the previous Highway Board meeting, recorded here.

 

JANUARY 15th 1876

USK.

BAPTIST CHAPEL, GLASCOED. – A lecture was delivered in the above chapel on the evening of Thursday 6th instant, by E.H. Davies, Esq., of Pontypool. subject: “John Bunyan, his life and works.” The chair was taken by the pastor, the Rev I. Tucker, at 7 o’clock, and the lecture which was deeply interesting and instructive and was listened to throughout with marked attention, the audience evincing their interest and approbation by repeated tokens of applause. Votes of thanks to the lecturer and the chairman were most enthusiastically received and responded to by the audience, brought the meeting to a close, each expressing a hope that another such treat would soon be provided for them.

 

FEBRUARY 26th 1876

PONTYPOOL.

POLICE COURT. – SATURDAY.

Before Colonel BYRDE, C.J. PARKES, Esq. and E.J. PHILLIPS, Esq.

RABBITING. – William Pritchard and James Morgan pleaded guilty of trespass in pursuit of coneys on lands belonging to John Capel Hanbury, Esq. Mr Malsey, head keeper to the estate, called a witness named Mitchell who deposed that he saw twelve men, of whom he only knew the two defendants, trespassing across three farms near the Glascoed road, and came up with them on the Canal Bank; they had dogs with them and were beating for rabbits; it was on Sunday. Defendants were fined 40s each or one month.

 

March 11th 1876

USK AND PONTYPOOL HIGHWAY BOARD.

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The usual monthly meeting of this board was held at the Town hall on Monday last, when the following members were present:- Messrs J. Powell (chairman) J. Prewett (vice-chairman), G.R.G. Relph, E. Lister, E.J. Phillips, T. Thomas, J. Morgan, Williams, Jones, Evans Rees and Pritchard.

THE YEAR’S ACCOUNTS

A Statement of accounts for the past years were read by the clerk, of which the following is a summary.

PARISH: Glascoed

RECEIPTS: £54 1s. 9 1/2d

PAYMENTS: £45 2s. 7d.

IN HAND: £8 19s. 2 1/2d.

….

REPAIRS.

Mr Rees hoped that the repairs of the roads in the parish of Glascoed would be at once proceeded with, and called the attention of the board to the state of Coed-y-cox Pitch.

 

April 15th 1876

USK AND PONTYPOOL HIGHWAY BOARD.

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A meeting of this board was held on Monday last, in the Town-hall, when the following gentlemen were present:- Mr Powell (chairman), Messrs Lister, Relph, Watkins, B. Rees, T. Cooke, Williams, John Morgan, Hobbis, Crump, W. Evans, F. Evans and Marfell.

The certificates of election of waywardens were handed in as follows:

PARISHES

Glascoed - Benjamin Rees

Goitre – John Morgan

Llanvair – Thomas Watkins

Llanvihangel – John E. Williams

Mamhilad – Thomas Cooke

Bettws Newydd – Peter Marfell

Gwehelog – Walter Evans

Gwernesney – E. Evans

Kemeys Commander – Isaac Hobbis

Llanbaddoc – Robert Wrightson

Llangeview – E. (poss B. or R.) Parker

Llangwm Isha – T. Powell

Llangwm Ucha – E. Williams

Llanllowell – F. Evans

Llansoy – T. Prewin

Llantrissent – John Waters

Monkswood – W. Crump

Trostrey – W. Chiltern

 

 . . . The surveyors report was then read, which stated that notice had been given to Mr Daniel Roberts of an encroachment on the highway in the parish of Llanbaddock.

Several of the waywardens thought the encroachment a great improvement to the road, as it fenced off a dangerous hole, and it was decided to take no further proceedings in the matter.

The following estimate was handed in of the probable expense of maintaining the roads in the various parishes for the current year, by the surveyor:-

“Turnpike roads, £216 15s; Kemeys Commander £6; Gwehelog, £37 10s; Bettws Newydd, £11 10s; Llangeview £40 5s; Mamhilad £32; Llangwm Isha, £8; Trostrey, £34 15s; Monkswood, £17; Llanvihangel, £10 7s 6d; Llangwm Ucha, £77 10s 6d; Llanvair, £30 10s; Llanllowell, £20; Llansoy, £20; Glascoed, £71; Llantrissent, £83; Gwernesney, £11 9 (or 2?)s 2d; Llanbaddock, £61 10s.”

Sundry accounts to the amount of £20 10s 9d were put in, and ordered to be paid. This being all the business, the meeting adjourned till the 1st May.

 

April 29th 1876

USK.

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THE CHURCH. – EASTER MEETING. – A meeting of parishioners, duly called for Friday, the 21st of April, for producing and auditing the accounts of the churchwardens, both for the restoration of the Church, and the current expenses of the past year, also for electing churchwardens for the ensuing year, and other business, was held in the vestry.

… Mr James F. Powell was elected sidesman for Gwehelog hamlet, and Mr W. Rees, of the Bryn, for Glascoed.

 

May 6th 1876

USK AND PONTYPOOL HIGHWAY BOARD.

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The monthly meeting of this board was held at the Town-hall, Usk, on Monday last. Present - Messrs Powell (chairman), H. Prewett (vice-chairman), H.C. Byrde, E. Lister, E.J. Phillips, G.R. Greenhow-Relph (ex-officio), T. Watkins, P. Marfell, W. Evans, F. Evans, E. Williams, J.E. Williams, B. Rees, W. Chilton, Thomas, &c.

The Surveyor’s estimates for the various parishes were presented by the waywardens of the same, as follow:- Glascoed, £42; . . .

. . . The Chairman remarked that the Surveyor’s estimate for the parish of Glasgoed was £71, but Mr Rees had cut it down to £42, and asked Mr Rees if the roads could be kept to proper repair for that sum.

Mr Rees said it was enough, and some people had told him it could be done for £30.

The Surveyor said he could not do the work for that sum.

Mr Lister did not think it would be a good policy to reduce the estimates, after what they had heard from the surveyor.

Mr Rees adhered to his opinion, and the estimate was signed by the Chairman.

. . . Mr Watkins gave notice that at the next meeting he would propose “That the salary of the Clerk, Mr (Keats?) be increased to £30; and that the Surveyor’s salary be increased to £130.”

Mr Relph gave notice of an amendment to the latter portion of Mr Watkins’ motion, viz.: “That an assistant surveyor be appointed, at a salary not exceeding £20”

Mr E. Williams also gave notice of an amendment, “That if the surveyor be not satisfied with his present salary, his resignation will be required”.

Mr Watkins: The Surveyor has not said anything at all.

Mr Rees: If Mr Williams is not satisfied, then there is a lot of work let by tender – and I think we might let the surveyorship by tender.

The meeting then adjourned.

It is worth noting that the Surveyor in question was Henry Williams, originally of Beech Farm, later of the Bryn.

 

SATURDAY MAY 13th 1876

Births, Marriages, and Deaths.

Births, Deaths and Marriages are inserted free of charge, but it is required that such announcements be sent to the Office properly authenticated.

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MARRIAGES

At Monkswood Church, May 11th, by the Rev H. Davies, Thomas H., son of W.H. Rees, Bryn Farm, Glascoed, to Margaret, daughter of Mr John Thomas, Wood Farm, Monkswood.

From other records, it appears that Margaret was actually Margaret Howell or Howells, not Thomas.

COUNTY INTELLIGENCE

PONTYPOOL

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BOARD OF GUARDIANS. – The first meeting of the guardians of the union for the year 1876-7 was held at the board room of the union workhouse, on Thursday, the 27th ultimo, when the following were present:-(Attendees listed). The clerk reported the result of the recent election of guardians to be as follows for the coming year:- (results listed including) Glascoed, David Moseley.

. . .

SATURDAY JUNE 3rd 1876

PONTYPOOL

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POLICE COURT.-SATURDAY.

Before Colonel BYRDE, E.J. PHILLIPS, Esq., and Rev. T. EVANS

THE DOG LICENCE.- John Rosser, Mamhilad, was charged with keeping a dog without a licence. Supervisor Bolger conducted the prosecution. Mr Rosser showed that he had regularly taken out the licence in January and was under the impression that he had done so this year. Fined 25s with a recommendation for further mitigation to 10s.- John Arthur Morgan, Mamhilad; Henry Crump, Goytre; and William Yorath, Goytre; were similarly charged. Yorath did not appear. Mrs Crump explained that in her case the negligence arose in consequence of her severe illness, which caused the dog to be forgotten. The Bench inflicted a fine of 25s. in each of these cases.

 

SATURDAY JUNE 10th 1876

 

USK. DISTRICT INTELLIGENCE.

LOCAL BOARD.

The report of the Inspector of Nuisances was read as follows:-

“Usk, June 7th, 1876.

“Gentlemen,—Since the last meeting I have to report

“1st. That I have visited the lodging-houses and found them all white-limed and clean.

“2nd. I have also visited and examined the slaughter-houses, and found them kept in proper order.

“3rd. I have to report Mr Charles Stinchcombe for infringing the bye-laws and obstructing the footway in Church-street, on the 19th ult., by tipping coal on the paving. [Ordered that the party be summoned.]

“4th. I have to report David Pritchard, of the Glascoed, for exposing his person in Church-street, on the 6th inst. [Ordered that Mr Superintendent Berthon be requested to summon David Pritchard, and that the inspector be ordered to attend to give evidence if required.] 

ALFRED LEWIS.

 

SATURDAY JUNE 17th 1876

 

POLICE COURT.—SATURDAY. Before Colonel BYRDE, E. J. PHILLIPS, Esq., and Rev. T. EVANS. 

 

SELLING CIDER WITHOUT A LICENCE.—John Harris of Glascoed, was charged with selling cider without a licence. P.C. 37 deposed that he bought some cider of defendant's wife, and paid her for it. Supt. M'lntosh said this took place at a small farm, held by defendant, who also kept a beerhouse in the adjoining parish of Goytre. Defendant said he had no idea that his wife was selling. The penalty, if prosecuted by the excise, would he i:50, and the Bench could not remit to less than one fourth; but there was a clause which enabled them to deal with the case in a milder way when the police prosecuted, and defendant must pay 40s. 

 

SATURDAY AUGUST 19th 1876

 

VACCINATION.— William Evans, who was represented by his wife, was charged with refusing to have his child vaccinated. The woman said that she lived at Glascoed, and it was a very long way to Mr Cousin's house at Cwmbran. Mr E. B. Edwards said the children could be taken to the Cock Inn, at Croesyceilog. Col Byrde observed that there had been some alarming outbreak of small-pox in several houses (towns in the Monmouthshire Merlin account). The woman was directed to take her child to Dr Cousins on Monday, and was ordered to pay 2s costs. Richard Arnold, represented by his wife, was similarly charged. The woman pleaded that the children had been very weakly from birth, and both were now dead. The case was therefore dismissed.- James Williams, Glascoed; similarly charged, was also ordered to comply with the Act, and was ordered to pay 2s costs.

(The story appeared in the Monmouthshire Merlin – 18th August in almost exactly the same wording – apart from the word “towns” as above). 

 

SATURDAY AUGUST 26th 1876

 

ALLEGED POISONING OF A STREAM IN MONMOUTHSHIRE. James Morgan was on Wednesday, charged, at the Pontypool police court, before Colonel Byrde and C.J. Parkes, Esq., that he did, on the 5th day of August instant, in the parish of Mamhilad, in the county of Monmouth, unlawfully and maliciously put a certain noxious material, to wit. chloride of lime in certain water called the Berthon brook, there situate, the private property of John Morgan, with intent to destroy the fish that might then be therein. Mr C. R. Lyne appeared for the prosecution, on behalf of the Usk and Ebbw Board of Conservators, under section 32 of the 97th chapter of the 24th and 25th Victoria; and Mr Greenway appeared for defendant.

Martha Evans, wife of Cornelius Evans, deposed: My husband keeps the Half Way House Inn, at Little Mill, Last Saturday fortnight, the 5th of August, I was in Pontypool, and returned home in a waggon be- longing to the Reformatory. We got home about half past 5 or 6 o'clock. When at Trosnant-street, leaving Pontypool, prisoner asked Mr Arnold to give him a lift. Mr Arnold did so, and prisoner got into the waggon. We both remained in the waggon, which went as far as Little Mill. I noticed that prisoner had a parcel under his arm, concealed by his coat. The parcel was about the size of the top of a hat. I could not say whether it was packed in paper or not. We both got down opposite the Mill at Little Mill. I went into my own house, and prisoner came in with me. He had a pint of beer, drank it, and then went towards the bridge, by Mr Morgan's buildings. He said he was going to the Glascoed, and that was one of the ways to Glascoed. Prisoner still had the parcel under his arm. I saw him again in about an hour and a half's time, on the turnpike road, against the wall, near my house. He was then quite wet, and had nothing under his arm. His arms seemed wet, and his legs seemed wet. One of my little boys came in and asked me to take a noggin of gin out to prisoner. I did so. I asked what had become of the little parcel he had under his arm. He said he had taken it home, and that it was no business of mine to ask him. He asked me to pour the gin into a glass, and lift it to his mouth, and I did so. His arms seemed wet and cold, like those of a woman who had been washing all day. He paid me for the gin, He took the money out of a purse, which he took out of an inside pocket in the breast of his coat. When he took the purse out, I noticed smoke coming from his pocket. He was nut smoking tobacco at the time. When he first came into my house, after getting out of the waggon, Lucy George was in the house.

In cross-examination witness said that she noticed the parcel under prisoner's arm when he got out of the waggon; he got out of the waggon without removing the parcel, and kept it under his arm till she lost sight of him by Mr Morgan's buildings. He did not, in her hearing, say he was going to Morris's at Monkswood, In going to Glascoed he would have to cross the brook, by a path which many people use. In about an hour and a half, I saw him again He then appeared sober, but was wet. I did not examine whether his body was wet. He seemed too wet and too cold to lift the glass to his mouth, when he asked me to lift it to his mouth. He paid for it as soon as he had drank. He was not too wet and too cold to get the purse out of his pocket. I do not know whether he is a great smoker. To the best of my knowledge, I never saw him before that day. I don’t know whether he smokes, and did not see any pipe in his possession. I did not notice whether his pockets were full or empty. They appeared to be more full than empty. I am referring to the pocket out of which he took his purse. The first person I told about the smoke was Mr Lyne, last Thursday.

Lucy George deposed; I live at Monkswood, and am wife of Robert George. On last Saturday fortnight, I was in the Halfway House, calling there for some grocery. Prisoner came in as I was going out. I did not notice anything about him, nor smell anything about him. I have not told anyone that I did so. (Mr Lyne said he must treat this woman as a hostile witness, and could prove that what she was now saying was false. After some argument on this legal point, the examination was resumed.) I did not smell chloride of lime about the man, nor tell Mrs Evans that I did so. I was at Mrs Evans's on the following Monday, washing. Mrs Evans then talked about this man, I did not tell her that I smelt chloride of lime about him in the house. Mrs Pardoe is a neighbour of mine, and we went home together that Saturday. I did not tell Mrs Pardoe that I smelt chloride of lime about the man, or that he had gone to burn the brook.

To the Bench: I had seen chloride of lime once.

To Mr Greenway: I have known prisoner some years. I lived near him. a¡¡d never heard anything about his poisoning fish.

Henry Morgan deposed: I am a platelayer on the railway; and live at Little Mill. My house adjoins Mr Morgan's field and my garden adjoins the Berthon brook I remember iast Saturday fortnight. I was in my garden that evening. 1 smelt a smell. I thought: it was chloride of lime I have seen that drug used where sick people have been, and have seen it about the railway in casks, used in the cattle-pens. It was about 7 o'clock, nearly, when I smelt this smell. I went and looked at the water in the Berthon brook, and saw a fish on the face of the water, floating nearly dead. I put my hat on, and went up Mr Morgan's meadow, I saw a man, as I went up, about 20 yards off me in the meadow. There was no path where I saw him, on either side of the brook. His back was towards me. I went on further, and came close to him. Before I got to him, he was in the brook. I went close up to him; and found that the prisoner was the man. He was not actually in the water, but by the side. He had a fish in his hand. I noticed a parcel by him. The parcel was on the gravel, in the bed of the brook, leaning against the bank. I also saw an old stocking. There was something in the stocking, but I could not tell what. The parcel produced is similar to the one which I saw. I spoke to prisoner, and said “Hallo, Morgan, you are warming it up rather hard, aint you?" He said" No, 1 don't think I am; there is plenty of fish for you and me." I said to him. The sooner the better you get away." He said, "There are two or three men from Abercarne down below; I wish you would go and tell them. The fish which he had in his hand dropped out, and fell on the gravel. I picked it up, and gave it to Mr Alfred Morgan. I went a little way in the direction he pointed, and they turned back, without seeing any men, and thinking he only wanted to send me away. While I was talking to prisoner, I saw 7 or 8 fish on the face of the water, coming towards the shallows, not swimming as fish usually do. When I got back to the road, adjoining Mr Morgan's field, I looked over the hedge, and did not see the prisoner there then. When I was talking to prisoner, it was half-an-hour after I smelt the smell. I pointed out to Mr Alfred Morgan the spot where I saw the prisoner. I went to the place afterwards, with Mr Alfred Morgan, and took a sample of the water which I gave to Mr Alfred Morgan, I took it from that part of the brook where I had seen prisoner. I took the sample of water in a bottle. Next day, Sunday, I went again to the brook, and saw 8 or 9 fish dead on their backs. I pulled out four on the Sunday following that Sunday, last Sunday week, I was in the field on the opposite side of the brook where I had seen the fish. I there discovered the paper bag now produced, containing chloride of lime, it was under some fern, close to the brook, I also found the piece of cloth now produced, about two feet from the paper bag. The chloride of lime was moist on the top, and dry underneath. I should think there is about 4 lbs weight in the bag. I saw the same kind of sack-cloth on the parcel which I saw near the prisoner.

In cross-examination, witness said he himself had never used chloride of lime; he had lived at Little Mill since Christmas. There is no path that way to Glascoed. There is a path higher up. He told me other men from Abercarne were down below. I only saw the one fish in his possession. He left the place immediately after I saw him.

To Mr Parkes: I had known prisoner ever since I was a child.

To Mr Lyne: The path leading to Glascoed is about half a quarter of a mile above the place where I saw prisoner,

Edward B. Ford, druggist at Pontypool, deposed: I remember Saturday, the 5th inst. That afternoon I saw prisoner in my shop, I believe between 4 and 5 o'clock. He bought 7 lbs of chloride of lime. He had repeatedly bought chloride of lime of me before, and has bought 3 lbs since. On a former occasion he told me it was for closets.

In cross-examination, witness said this was used for closets every day.

He added that he could not identify the paper bag produced.

William Barnett, a lad, deposed: I work on the railway and live at Little Mill. On Saturday, the 5th of August, I saw the prisoner, in the evening, about half past seven. He was coming from Mr James's field, from the direction of the bridge leading to Glascoed. I saw him come over the bridge. I was on the Halfway House side. He came straight up towards the Halfway House and stood by the wall outside. His legs and his arms were wet. He wore a black monkey-jacket; and I saw more than one fish in the outer pockets of it. His pocket seemed full up; and the head of one fish was out of his pocket. He told a boy to go and fetch him a noggin of gin. The gin was brought out by Mrs Evans. Prisoner asked Mrs Evans to pour it out and put up to his mouth. He was shivering with cold. Mrs Evans asked him where he had been, getting so wet. He said “It is no odds to you." She also asked him where was the parcel he had had. He said, “It is no difference to you; I have been home with it." A boy named David Williams was present.

In cross-examination, witness said he quietly told David Williams about the fish at the time. Witness came up the road about 100 yards with prisoner, and prisoner went on towards Pontypool.

David Williams, another lad, deposed: I am nephew of Mr David Williams, Monachty farm, and live with him. On Saturday, August 5th, I was at Little Mill, and saw prisoner there, near the mill, about half past seven in the evening. His trousers and shoes were wet; I saw some fish in his pocket; I saw Mrs Evans bring out something, and give it to him to drink; but was not near enough to hear what was said.

Alfred Walker Morgan, deposed: I am son of Mr John Morgan, of Little Mill. My father owns a portion of the Berthon brook, near his house. On Saturday, August 5th, I was at Little Mill; I saw prisoner that evening, on the road, about 100 yards from my father's house, about half past 7; I could not swear to him, as I did not see his face. I went up the road after the man I saw; and in consequence of something, I went down to the Berthon brook; I first went to that part near our house, found it very muddy, and some fish in the shallows, swimming about in a very peculiar manner; I then went lower down the drook. Henry Morgan has pointed out to me the place where the alleged offence took place; I went there, and also rather lower; I smelt chloride of lime in the water. That part of the brook is on my father's property; there is no road or public footpath there, on either side of the brook, nor within a short distance of it; but there is a path over the bridge in a different field, some 250 yards away. It was about 20 yards below the place where the alleged offence took place that I smelt the chloride; I saw one fish there, in a state similar to the others. That same evening Henry Morgan gave me a fish and some water in a bottle. The gills of the fish had a very white cast, quite different to the natural colour; and the fish was quite limp. I gave the bottle of water and the fish to Superintendent M' Intosh. On the following day (Sunday) I went again to the place, about 7.30 in the morning, and saw several dead fish there; and I picked up 23; they were in a state similar to the one which Henry Morgan gave me. I took four of these to Actison, the superintendent of the water bailiffs.

 William Acteson, superintendent of water bailiffs, deposed: I have been a fisherman all my life. On Sunday, August 6th, I saw Mr Alfred Morgan, who gave me four trout; their gills were quite white; I smelt them, and smelt chloride of lime; they were quite soft. I can tell fish killed by chloride lime from fish killed by common lime. I have no doubt that these fish were killed by chloride of lime.

In cross-examination, witness said that Mr Alfred Morgan did not tell him that the fish were killed by chloride of lime. Mr Alfred Morgan asked him what the fish had been killed with, and witness replied “With chloride of lime." When killed with common lime, the eyes of fish would turn quite white.' Superintendent M' lntosh deposed: I remember the 5th of August; Mr Alfred Morgan called on me about 20 minutes past 9 that evening. He handed to me a small trout and a bottle of fluid, said to be water. I took out the cork and smelled it. (Mr Greenway raised an objection.) It smelt strongly of chloride of lime. I have had considerable experience of chloride of lime. I retained the bottle, but accidentally the water was lost. Prisoner lives in Crumlin-street, Pontypool, over three miles from Little Mill.

Mr Lyne said he had Mrs Evans to contradict the evidence of Lucy George. The prisoner was committed for trial at the quarter sessions; and Mr Greenway reserved his defence. Prisoner was admitted bail, himself in £50, and two sureties in £25 each

 

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 2nd 1876

 

GLASCOED

 

GLASCOED BAPTIST CHAPEL,GLASCOED. On Monday, the 20th of August, the Sunday school and choir in connection with the Baptist Chapel in this neighbourhood held their annual treat. An excellent tea was provided by the teachers, to which many friends sat down with the singers and scholars. In the evening at 7 o'clock a meeting was held in the Chapel, which was well filled, when several capital recitations and dialogues were given by the children, interspersed with singing. But that which seemed to be the principal object of the meeting was to present Mr John Morgan, the teacher and conductor of singing in this place, with a token of their respect for him, and their high appreciation of his abilities as a teacher of singing by the Tonic Sol-fa system. The testimonial was a silver-mounted baton, with his name and an inscription beautifully engraved on it. It was presented by the pastor, the Rev J. Tucker, who in his address spoke in the highest terms of Mr Morgan's ability, self-denial, and faithfulness, as the leader of singing in this place of worship.

 

SATURDAY OCTOBER 7th 1876

USK

USK AND PONTYPOOL HIGHWAY BOARD. — The monthly meeting of this board, was held at the Town- hall, Usk, on Monday last. Present, Messrs J Powell (chairman), E. J. Phillips and G. R. G. Relph (ex- officios), J. E. Williams, W. Evans, and T. Watkins. Owing to there not being enough to form a quorum the proceedings could not be proceeded with. After a delay for about an hour, the Surveyor found Messrs Waters, Prewett, and E. Williams, who took their seats at the board; and eventually Mr Lister took his seat. —The minutes of the last meeting were read and confirmed.-Bills to the amount of £75 9s were signed and passed.—Mr Relph read a letter from Mr W. M. Seys chairman of the Chepstow petty sessional division' which he had forgotten to produce at the last meeting' relating to the apportionment of the Goitre-road. Mr Relph said the justices had power to apportion a road on two parishes within their division; but this was an exceptional case, it was not only in two parishes, but in two highway districts and two petty sessional divisions. He thought the justices might apportion as much as lay in their respective divisions, to which the board agreed.-In reply to a question, the surveyor said he had fixed a boundary stone on the road there had been a dispute about the boundary they measured, but it was afterwards corrected.—The Clerk was instructed to take the necessary steps for carrying out the arrangements of the board.—The Surveyor's report was read as follows: "Gentlemen, I beg to report to you that in the parish of Glascoed men are breaking stones near the Three Stiles. At Goitre men are finishing the improvement at the Plough end of Plough-road. At Llanvair the men are breaking stones. At Mamhilad I have had the Star-road repaired and the mountain road pitched, and all the cross gutters are made good; the men are breaking stones on the Fir Trees road. At Llanbaddock the man is widening Pentrewain pitch and spreading stones. The man at Llangwm Ucha is quarrying stones for the repair of Duffrin road, and the men are quarrying for the repair of Trelay, Ty- wilson, and Nantymarch roads. The Llanllowel man is quarrying stones in Mrs Watkins's quarry. The men at Llantrissent are quarrying stones in Lloyna brook. The men at Trostrey are quarrying stones in Mr Gough's field. The district men are quarrying and hauling stones for and on the Chain Bridge, Llansoy and Chepstow old turnpike roads, HENRY WILLIAMS, district surveyor, October 2nd, 1876."—Mr E.J. Phillips should like for the Surveyor to attend to the Mountain-road, in the parish of Llanvihangel Pontymoil, as another slip had occurred there, which ought to be cleared away.-The Surveyor said that Mr J. E. Williams had asked the board not to allow him to haul any more stones, as he was paying too much for them, and he (the Surveyor) would like for Mr Williams to say where they could be got cheaper, as he was in want of them.—Mr J. E. Williams said he had been informed the Surveyor paid 2s per yard for the stone, but the bill now produced showed differently. -Mr Watkins said that there was some capital black-rock stone broken at Abergavenny workhouse, which would be delivered in trucks at 5s 3d per yard.-Mr Lister called the attention of the Surveyor to the state of the road from his lodge to Pant-y-Cuckoo, the ruts required to be attended.—The Surveyor was ordered to serve notices on all owners and occupiers in the district to trim and lop their trees and hedges where necessary, so as not to cause an obstruction.—A committee was appointed to examine Llanfihangel pitch, for the purpose of devising the best means to prevent the water doing damage to the road.—This was all the business.

 

SATURDAY OCTOBER 21st 1876

MONMOUTHSHIRE MICHAELMAS QUARTER SESSIONS

These sessions were commenced at Usk on Tuesday morning. Mr S. R. Bosanquet took the chair, and there were also present Mr Granville Somerset, Q.C., deputy-chairman; Lord Tredegar, Lord H. Somerset, M.P., Lord Raglan, the Hon. F. C. Morgan, M.P., Sir Henry Jackson, Bart., M.P., Mr Octavius Morgan, Mr H. M. Kennard, Mr C. J. Parkes, Rev J. Jackson, Mr T. Evans, Mr W. S. Cartwright, Mr T. Falconer, Mr Prothero, Mr E. Lister, Mr G. R. G. Relph, Mr A. D. Berrington, Mr J. James, Mr J. J. Stone, Col. Byrde, Col. M'Donnell, &c.

TRIALS OF PRISONERS

The court sat at ten o'clock on Wednesday morning, Mr. Granville Somerset, Q.C., in the chair. Lord Henry Somerset, M.P., Lord Raglan, Sir Henry M. Jackson, Q.C., M.P., O. A. Wyatt, Esq., Mr. E. J. Phillips, Mr. G. R. G. Relph, Mr. E. Lister, and Mr. F. J. Hall were on the bench.

The grand jury consisted of the following gentlemen :—Messrs. C. Miller (foreman), W. Budd, J. F. Cotterell, W. J' Cradock, T. Crump, E. Dowle, W. H. Hadderfield, J. Lewis, D. Ludlow, D. Mackintosh, W. Norvell, J, Pask, E. Phillips, H. Thomas, T. Rogers, G. Wilton, J. Williams, and T. Woodhouse.

The proclamation against vice and immorality having been read.

The learned Chairman delivered his charge to the grand jury. He said the calendar contained 29 prisoners. In several cases two or more were charged with the same offence, and in others there was more than one change against the same prisoners, so that there were three or four more cases than prisoners. The cases might be thus described, 18 simple larcenies, 2 assaults upon women, 1 stealing a horse and bridle 1 stealing two donkeys, 1 false pretences, 1 house- breaking, 2 disorderly houses, 1 under a special Act of Parliament for putting chloride of lime for the purpose of destroying fish, and also a case of stealing from a British ship at a Spanish port. This was the first case of the kind that he ever remembered having been sent for trial at this court. He pointed out what was their duty as a grand jury-to see that there was a prima facie case to put the prisoners on their trial. With regard to assaults on women, he said it was always his painful duty to try one or more of such cases. There was a strong feeling in that court that when proved a severe punishment should follow. Still these crimes continued. He should have congratulated them upon there being only two cases of violence for trial at these sessions, had it not been for the fact that not long ago power was given to magistrates in petty sessions to inflict six months' hard labour in cases of aggravated assaults. Thus a large number of cases Which used to be sent for trial at sessions or assizes, had been dealt with summarily, and were unknown to the public. Aggravated assaults met with great attention at the Home Office, with the view of considering what further, if any, punishment should be inflicted on guilty persons. The chief-constable's report, presented on Tuesday, stated that during the year ending 29th Sept. no less than 13 cases of aggravated assault and 31 cases of assault on constables had been dealt with summarily. It was not for him to say what should be done to suppress these offences, but he felt it to be his duty to trouble the grand jury with these facts. He then referred to several cases in the calendar, and told the grand jury that they would probably agree with him as to the desirability of putting the accused on their trial, and leaving it to the court and petty jury to deal with the excuse or defence which might be made on their behalf. 

 

POISONING THE BERDDYN BROOK. James Morgan (oil bail) was indicted for unlawfully and maliciously putting chloride of lime in the Berddyn Brook, with intent to destroy the fish therein. Mr Lawrence, instructed by Mr C. R. Lyne, appeared for the prosecution; Mr Smythies defended the prisoner. The learned counsel for the prosecution made a lengthy opening statement, and called witnesses. Edward B. Ford, druggist, Pontypool, said the prisoner came to his shop on 5th August, and purchased 7lbs. of chloride of lime, and on one occasion since. Martha Evans, landlady of the Halfway Inn, Little Mill, said on the 5th of August, she was at Pontypool, and got a lift in Mr Arnold's cart. Prisoner also got a lift. She noticed something under prisoner's coat. On reaching her home prisoner had a pint of beer. He left and went in the direction of the Berddyn brook. That was about 5.30 p.m., and about 7 he returned. He had no parcel under his arm. He asked for a noggin of gin, and requested her to lift it to his mouth. His arms and legs were wet, and he appeared cold. She asked him what he had done with the parcel, and he said he had taken it home; it was no business of hers. His hands were white, like a washerwoman's, and shivering. After she gave evidence before the magistrates, prisoner tapped her on the shoulder, and said “That's the way to draw customers.” Henry Morgan, platelayer, living at Little Mill, near the brook, said he was in his garden on the evening of the 5th August, and smelled chloride of lime. He looked into the river, and saw a fish in a sickly condition. Saw a man and went towards him. The man was then in the brook, and by the side of the brook he saw a parcel. The man had a fish in his hand. Prisoner was the man. Witness said, “Oh Morgan, you are warming it up pretty well." Prisoner replied, “Oh no; there's plenty of fish for you and me." He also said there were two or three men from Abercarn below, and witness had better look after them. Witness went, but could not see the men. In a field opposite to that in which he first saw the prisoner witness found a parcel of chloride of lime. Afterwards he saw the prisoner, and the latter called him by very abusive names.—William Barnett, a boy, saw the prisoner on the evening in question. He was wet, and had a fish in his pocket. Witness also saw prisoner go to the Halfway Inn and get a noggin of gin, which Mrs Evans poured down his throat.—David Williams, another boy, corroborated Barnett.—Alfred Walker Morgan, son of Mr John Morgan, of Little Mill, proved that where the prisoner was caught is the property of witness's father. To get there prisoner would have to commit a trespass. Took a sample of the water and the fish to Superintendent McIntosh. Showed some fish also to a person named Actison. Took 23 sick fish out one day.-William Actison, head water-bailiff to the Usk conservators, said this brook is in the Usk district. On the 6th August the previous witness brought him six dead fish. Examined them, and told him the fish had been killed by chloride of lime; He could smell it, and the gills were white.

Mr Smythies, in his address to the jury, said he would explain the circumstances on which the prosecution rested. He contended that there was not time for the chloride of lime to have done its work. He then called witnesses for the defence. Edmund Thos. Stephens, inspector of nuisances at Pontypool, said the prisoner had cottage property in that town. He ordered prisoner to use chloride of lime for the closets belonging to the cottages prior to the 5th August. These closets drain into the brooks. As a chemist he was of opinion that chloride of lime, if put in the brook, would kill fish in a quarter of an hour. Common caustic lime will destroy fish, but a much larger quantity would be required. He did not believe the Pontypool sewage found its way into the Berddyn brook.—Abraham Rogers, plasterer, Pontypool, said on the 5th August he was working at the prisoner's house, and complained to him of the bad smell of the closets. Between four and five prisoner brought a parcel of chloride of lime and asked witness to put it down the closets. A man named Wheeler and prisoner's daughter saw him do it. The parcel contained 6 lbs. or 7 lbs.—William Wheeler, engine- driver at the New Pits, said that on the 5th August, between four and five o'clock, he saw the prisoner coming out of Mr Ford's druggist shop with a bag under his arm, and afterward's he saw Rogers use the contents of the bag in the closets. Witness said he was prisoner's son-in-law, and one of his bail. Saw Ellen Morgan give her father (the prisoner) a plum cake before he left to go to Glascoed, after the chloride of lime was handed to Rogers.-Ellen Morgan, prisoner's daughter, corroborated as to the plum cake and the use of chloride of lime.—William Davies, platelayer under the Ebbw Vale Company, said, at 7 p.m. on the 5th of August, he saw the prisoner within 200 yards of the Berddyn brook. They spoke to each other, and mention was made of some men from Abercarn who were lower down the brook. Prisoner gave a parcel to witness, and prisoner ran off towards the men. Witness said the parcel consisted of a plum cake. In cross-examination, he said he returned to prisoner's house, and had some tea and part of the plum-cake. He also said he went over seven or eight miles of ground that day to gather mushrooms, and he got only a small quantity.—Thomas Jenkins, farmer, said he had known the prisoner 35 years, but knew nothing of his character. Never saw him fishing. Cross-examined, he said he had heard that the prisoner had been several times tried.

After speeches by the learned counsel, and the summing up of the learned chairman, the jury returned a verdict of guilty. The court sentenced the prisoner to six months' hard labour, and the chairman said the court was unanimously of opinion that some of the witnesses for the defence had committed perjury. The court could not direct a trial for perjury, but was of the opinion which he had stated.

 

SATURDAY NOVEMBER 18th 1876

 

USK. INQUEST.— An inquest was held at the High Cross Inn Glascoed, on Thursday, touching the death of Charles Jenkins, who was found dead on Monday morning last. After hearing the evidence, the jury returned a verdict of “Found dead."

SATURDAY DECEMBER 16th 1876

 

COUNTY INTELLIGENCE.

USK.

USK NATIONAL SCHOOLS. In accordance with a notice which had been circulated by handbills in the town, a meeting of subscribers and friends of the National Schools took place in the large room of the above schools, on Monday evening. The meeting had been called to state their present position, and for considering the best means to adopt for carrying them on "in their present efficient state on the voluntary system, and thereby secure the aid of Roger Edwards' Charity and other societies." It appears the schools have been carried on very satisfactorily up to the present time, having been liberally assisted by Mr W, C. Carbonell, who has now retired from the committee of management and thereby entailed upon the managers the necessity of seeking additional subscriptions from the townspeople. The meeting was numerously attended …

… He then read the notice of the meeting, which he said was one of subscribers and friends to consider the best means for maintaining the Government schools of the town, with the exception of the Roman Catholic school, which also is a Government school, in a state of efficiency. He intended that the Portreeve should have presided at the meeting, but he had received a letter from him, which he read as follows:- “Usk, Dec. 8, 1876. DEAR SIR,— Business connected with the Borough requires my attendance before a committee in London on Monday, consequently I shall be prevented from attending the meeting of the subscribers and friends of the National Schools. I regret being absent, but my feelings on the subject of the meeting are embodied in the enclosed paragraph.

-I am, Dear Sir, yours obediently, J. H. CLARK.

To the Rev. S. C. Baker, Vicar of Usk." The Chairman said the paragraph alluded to appeared in the County Observer. It would be needless for him to say anything of the importance of training up the children—it was a duty incumbent upon them by Act of Parliament, which compelled them to provide education. But they had not been in need of that compulsion in Usk as they provided sufficiently on the voluntary system. The Government required accommodation for one-sixth of the population, so that they had to provide for 310 children. They had made that provision, and they had enough and more than enough. In 1869 there was no National School accommodation in Usk, and now they had National School accommodation for 350 children. Those rooms provided for 200, the Infant schoolroom for 150, and the Roman Catholic school provided for 76, making a total of 426, so that accommodation was required for 310, and they had it for over 400. For Llangeview they provided for 18; Glascoed and Llanbadoc, 42; Llanllowell, 6. 

This is a portion of a much longer article. For further detail on this or any of the above stories, please visit the digitised newspaper archive section of the National Library of Wales – a fantastic resource that I have used here and corrected where necessary.