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USK OBSERVER, 1861 (Mainly Sept to Dec)





Glascoed.—Philip Lewis and William Williams.

PARISH MEETING.—On Thursday week, a parish meeting took place at the Vestry room, the Vicar in the chair, for the purpose of appointing Surveyors of the Highway, and Churchwardens for the ensuing year… Mr. Thomas Williams on the part of the parish, and Mr. Dunn on the part of the vicar, were then elected churchwardens for the ensuing year for Usk; Mr John Morgan, sidesman for Glascoed, and Mr. George Powell for Gwehelog…


Daniel Roberts v. Charles Coleman. Mr. Partridge for plaintiff and Mr Blount for defendant. This was an action to recover compensation for damage done to the plaintiff’s land by defendant widening a break or “mill lead,” and committing a trespass on the said land. The damages were laid at £20.

Plaintiff said he occupied the Hendrew farm, in the parish of Llanbaddock, and the defendant occupied the Prioress mill, in the same parish. The stream of water that fed defendant’s mill ran through a portion of his land. On the third Tuesday in March, 1860, he saw several men working in the bed of the said stream (the water being let off), cutting stubs of trees out of the bank, and a considerable quantity of the soil. The stubs and rubbish were thrown out into the field, and the earth allowed to fall into the bed of the brook. Witness asked David Lewis what they were doing it for, when he said he had Mr. Coleman’s orders to do it. They were widening the brook considerably, and continued to do so for two or three days, up as far as the Rhadyr weir, the consequence being that the land was flooded in the month of June, a circumstance which had never, to his knowledge, occurred before at that season of the year, and he had known the locality 50 years. He had only occupied the Hendrew 11 years. In consequence of the land being flooded at that time, he had to pay 31s. 6d. more for mowing his hay than ever he had paid before. A few days after he saw the people in the brook, his men collected and hauled away four cart loads of stubs, and a wagon load of rubbish from off his land.—Cross-examined: If the gate at the defendant’s mill pond had been risen at any time, it would have scoured the brook quite sufficient for the defendant’s purpose.

His Honor said he had made a personal inspection of the water course that morning, and from what he saw he was convinced what defendant had done would not render the plaintiff’s land more liable to flood, but it would decidedly increase the body of water that overflowed, whenever an indundation did take place. As to plaintiff’s attributing the overflow to the cutting of the course, it was nothing of the sort; it was to be attributed to the wetness of the season. He (the judge) made meteorological observations, and he found 8 inches of rainfall fell last June, more than he ever heard of before in the same month.

William Williams. Penyclawdd, said he occupied the Hendrew farm for 16 years previously to Roberts. He had seen the “lead” a few days ago, and it was much wider than when he occupied the farm – in some places as much as one part in three wider. He never knew of there being a scarcity of water to work the Prioress mill. The person occupying the mill had a right to go as far as the sluice at the mill pond, but no further, in his time, and he had no right to widen the “lead” any higher up than that sluice.

John Miles, miller, Pontypool, said he worked as a miller at the Prioress mill for five months in 1816, and again since Mr. Coleman had had it, and he never knew of a scarcity of water.

His Honor asked Mr. Partridge what it was he sought, whether it was to make defendant reduce the course to its original width, and so have continual cause of action until it was done.

Mr Partridge said his client felt he had been trespassed upon, and he wished to recover compensation for such trespass.

For the defence, David Lewis was called, and said that he was employed by Mr. Coleman, in March, 1860, to trim the banks of the “lead,” and that he and another man were all that were engaged in doing it. What they did was merely removing some stubs and bushes which had grown from the banks of the “lead,” and obstructed the passage of the water. The bushes were so thick in some places that the water could not be seen from the bank. They also cut away some portions of the bank that obstructed the water.

Verdict for plaintiff, 40s. Four witnesses allowed.




BAPTISM EXTRAORDINARY.—On the morning of Sunday last no less than seven individuals—two males and five females—were publicly immersed by Mr. Rees Rees, the minister of the Baptist chapel of this place. The proceedings attracted a very numerous congregation, many of whom could not obtain admittance into the edifice. Mr. William Morgan, of Cwmbrwch, preached an excellent sermon, which may be called, “improving the occasion.”

Excerpts from CHAPEL ANNIVERSARY AND TEA MEETING.—of the Old Wesleyan Chapel, Sowhill. These lines give an insight into the person of Rev Rees Rees, Minister of Mount Zion Baptist Chapel, Glascoed . . .

“Mr Rees Rees, on being called on, apologised for his inability to do justice to his thoughts in the English language, as he was such a thorough Welshman that he always dreamed—when he did dream—in Welsh and never in English. He believed that tea parties were useful auxiliaries in the promotion of religion, and always thought that people looked ten years younger on such occasions than on any other. He adverted to the inutility of Faith and Works and employed separately in salvation, but believed in their efficacy when employed together. He related a thrilling anecdote of a son leaving his father’s house on account of the religion of his parents, and of his subsequent conversion, and enjoined his hearers never to give up on any consideration their religious convictions, and they would be rewarded when they came to sing the everlasting anthem where sorrow is unknown.”





[Before C.H. WILLIAMS, Esq., and Lieut.Colonel BIRD.]

Watkin Herbert v. Roger Williams.—Claim £8 19s. for malt. Defendant had paid £1 10s. and had promised to pay 30s. a month. Judgement for £7 9s at 30s. a month.

(Nb. Watkin Herbert was listed as a “Maltster and farmer 50 acres” at New House, Llanvihangel Pontymoile (a neighbouring parish) in the 1861 census for Pontymoile.




For ploughing half-an-acre of Land within four hours, in the best and most workman-like manner with a pair of horses without driver.

Class 1. To the Farmer (being a Member) or his Son. First Prize £2 10s. Second prize £1 10s.

Richard Reece, Wernhere farm, Glascoed—First Prize.

Henry Waters, Hill Farm, Llangibby—Second prize

Rees Davies, Taylor’s Hall, Gwehelog.

Benjamin Reece, Wernhere farm.

George Martell, Cwm farm, Clytha.

John Jones, Whitehouse farm, Langibby.

Henry Morgan, Wernhere farm.

Edmund Francis, Cefn Rhos-y-bedd.

Thomas Williams, Duffryn, Llansoy.



Webmaster’s note: In effect this article is mainly of interest, since it states that Glascoed had 262 inhabitants at the time (interestingly at the time of the census only 249 people were listed as being at Glascoed on census night).

Two models for the Petty Sessions divisions were proposed – Glascoed was to be in Usk Division for both.


Advertisement re forthcoming auction - I believe this would be the same Richard Miles, miller, who appeared at Ton Farm on the 1871 census.


Midway between Usk and Pontypool.


MESSRS. GRAHAM & CO. have been favored with instructions from Mr. RICHARD MILES, who is leaving the Farm, to sell by Public Auction, on THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 1861, the whole of his Live and Dead


Implements, Hay, Clover, Corn, Swedes, Potatoes, Cider, (Duty??) and Brewing Utensils,

Part of the useful and substantial HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, and other Effects.


LIVE STOCK.—Four fat cows, three fat heifers, three cows to calve in good season, four heifers in calf, two yearling steers, five yearling heifers, twenty seven prime ewes in yean, twenty-two ewe and wether lambs, five horses and colts, two fat pigs.

HAY CLOVER, CORN &c.—About thirty tons of very prime hay and clover, twenty sacks of oats in sacks, twenty sacks of potatoes, forty-three thraves, of straw, three tons of mangolds, Swedes growing on two acres of land, two hundred gallons of good cider.

The aftermath upon thirty acres of Meadow land, until 2nd February, 1862.

IMPLEMENTS, UTENSILS, &C.—Four wheel carriage, gig, two broad-wheel carts, one narrow-wheel ditto, four wagon wheels, iron scuffler, ditto turnip scuffler, three-horse iron drag, light iron harrow, two iron ploughs, two sheep tacks, two sheep troughs, about five dozen hurdles, one set of gig harness, three sets of short ditto, two sets of long ditto, one set of G O ditto, three ladders, two haul rakes, wheelbarrow, rakes, sieves, cheese press, butter churn, milk pans, milk tubs, ditto pails, mash tub, cooler, iron chains, old iron, also the greater part of the substantial and useful household furniture, &c.

Refreshments on the table at eleven, and the sale to commence punctually at Twelve o’clock at noon.

N.B. Approved Bills of two months will be taken (if required) of Purchasers to the amount of £20 and upwards.

The Auctioneers particularly solicit a punctual attendance, as the lots are very numerous, and the whole must be disposed of in one day,

Dated, Commercial Sale rooms,

35 Commercial Street, Newport, Nov 11, 1861.






POOR’S RATES.—Rates of this description, at 6d. in the £ for Llanbaddock and Glascoed were ordered.

Several parties had been summoned by the assistant overseer of Usk for non-payment of rates, but the cases had been settled without magisterial interference.

GLASCOED AGAIN!—Charles Jones, Richard Redman, Usk and William Morgan, Prescoed, were charged with having assaulted John Davies at the Glascoed on the 26th October. Mr J.G.H. Owen appeared for the complainant, and Mr. Henry Roberts for the defendants. It appeared that Davies had possession of certain sheep at the Glascoed, which two men, names Rees, laid claim to, and that about two o’clock on the morning in question, the Reeses proceeded, accompanied by the three defendants, to forcibly possess themselves of the sheep, when the complainant hearing persons moving about his premises, arose from his bed and fired a gun off, upon which the defendants set upon him and held him whilst the sheep were being driven away, and it further appeared that he was beaten with a stick by Jones, who represented himself as “No. 4, Pontypool police force,” and who, in answer to a question by complainant as to where they were going to take him to, said, “to kill you and bury you,” and upon the latter saying he wished to go back and speak to his wife, Jones said—“You will never do that again.” Complainant’s wife went to the assistance of her husband, but was so threatened that she was obliged to return to the house. The whole of the witnesses for the prosecution testified to their being very much frightened, calling to mind the recent disturbances, which have gained for this locality an unenviable notoriety. The attorney for the defence submitted that the defendants were lawfully employed in assisting the Reeses in gaining possession of the sheep, and that whilst so engaged, the report of the gun caused them to lay hands upon the complainant, with a view of preventing them injuring them, which he (Mr. Roberts) considered they were perfectly justified in doing. In reply to this suggestion, the bench said, that even if defendants did sieze complainant to prevent him from doing harm, they used much more violence than was necessary. The defendants were convicted as follows:-- Jones 17s. 6d., and Redman and Morgan 8s. 6d. each, costs included. The money was immediately paid by James Rees.

Another information has been laid against the defendants, in conjunction with John and James Rees, for an assault on complainant and his wife, but no evidence being offered, the summonses were withdrawn.

Nb. see links from Quarter Sessions submission and later trial. Also a John Davies’ untimely death in 1862. Are these linked?




TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION, by Mr. WILLIAM DAVIS, at the Three Salmons Hotel, Usk, on FRIDAY the 10thday of JANUARY, 1862, at Three o’clock in the Afternoon, subject to conditions of sale to be then produced, the undermentioned superior


(Five lots)

Lot. 4.—The FALLAGE of the Wernhere Coppice Wood, in Llanbaddock, containing 10a. 0r. 34p.

John Edwards, Woodward, Llangibby, will shew Lots 3,4 and 5; and any further particulars may be known on application to Mr. William Davis, Land Agent, Usk.

(Also advertised in January 4th edition of the Usk Observer).