The Welshman/30 March 1849

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Sir William Erle, the Judge of the Assize, arrived at Brecon from Carmarthen on Friday last, at three o'clock, in the afternoon, escorted by William Pearce, Esq., High Sheriff, accompanied by javelin men and a numerous party of gentlemen, who proceeded forthwith to the Shire hall, where the Commission was opened by his Lordship, and the Court immediately adjourned till the following day.

His Lordship attended Divine Service the same evening at Saint Mary's Church, when the Assize sermon was preached by the Rev. Hugh Bold, the High Sheriff's Chaplain.


His Lordship entered the Court at 10 o'clock, when the following Magistrates were sworn on the Grand Jury :-

Joseph Bailey, Esq., M.P., Foreman, Howell Gwyn, M.P., J. P. De Winton, W. L. Stretton, John Lloyd, Walter Maybery, W. R. West, Rhys D. Powell, Morgan Morgans, G. J. Williamson, Capel Miers, P. M. Pell, J. Jeffreys De Winton, E. D. Thomas, J., Prosser Snead, H. Powell Price, D. Watkin Lloyd, D. G. Leeneton, Wood-house, John Evans, Howell Williams, Rees Williams, Esquires.

Coroners.—Henry Maybery, Esq. and Evan Thomas, Esquire.

His Lordship, in addressing the Grand Jury commented upon the number and importance of the cases, which would be brought under their consideration. Amongst others, there was a case of murder, respecting which there could be no difficulty in finding a bill. He alluded to the case more particularly in consequence of the gaoler having declined to receive a voluntary statement of the prisoner's unless in the presence of a magistrate, which, in his opinion, ought to have been taken in furtherance of the ends of justice. No one however could blame the motives which actuated the gaoler. Another charge in the calendar was one for arson. No doubt could be entertained that the crime had been committed and with the malicious motive suggested, but it was doubtful if the evidence would bring it home to the prisoners.There was likewise a serious case of an aggravated offense under the game laws, which was connected with the last case. After briefly noticing one or two other cases, His Lordship requested the Grand Jury to take the shortest bills first.

While the Grand Jury were examining the bills sent before them, the following Nisi Prius case was taken:-

Holford v. Pritchard.—This was an action brought against defendant for non-payment of sundry rents, alleged to be due. It appeared from the evidence given by Mr. D. Brown, agent to Mrs. Gwynne Holford, that defendant, in 1846, rented a fishery at £50 a year, which extended from Llanhamlach to Llansaint-ffraed; but defendant refused to pay the rent in consequence of William Williams, of Scethrog, interfering with his transit over Mr. W's ground in fishing. Defendant, therefore, claimed allowance in the rent to compensate for this interference. After a most able speech from Mr. Sergeant Jones in defence, His Lordship summed up the evidence, the jury retired for a short time, and returned a verdict for the plaintiff, for the claim made allowing £10 to defendant.

Attorneys for prosecution, Messrs. Maybery, Williams, Cobb; Counsel, Mr. Chilton; for defendant, Mr. Thomas Bishop, Counsel, Mr. Sergeant Jones.

Maybery v. Pugh.—This was a write of ejectment brought against defendant. Mr. Chilton appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. Sergeant Jones for defendant. Verdict for plaintiff.

Attorneys for plaintiff, Messrs. Maybery Williams, and Cobb; for defendant, Mr. Thomas Bishop.

John Hughes v. William Aubrey, were placed at the bad, charged with having in January last broken and entered the shop of James Stanton, and stole therein one loaf of bread. The prisoners pleaded guilty, alleging excuse that they wanted food and lodgings that night, the weather being wet and boisterous. his Lordship cautioned them not to proceed in such a criminal course in future, and sentenced them each to 3 months' imprisonment with hard labour.

Thomas Sexton, aged 38, was next placed at the bar, charged with having, at the parish of Baynor, stolen a shovel, the property of John matthews. Prisoner pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to three weeks' imprisonment with hard labour.

Ralph Jackson, aged 30, charged with having, in the borough of Brecon, stolen a fustian jacket, the property of Henry Moseley. The evidence for the prosecution was extremely clear, and the jury returned a verdict of guilty. Sentenced to three month's hard labour.

Council for prosecution, Mr. Tennant.

William Cross, aged 24, and Joseph Johns, aged 23, charged with burglary at Llanelly, and stealing from the house of Richard Price, three loaves of bread, one piece of bacon, several cheeses, and other goods, pleaded not guilty.

Mr. T. Allen was counsel for the prosecution, and called witnesses.

Elizabeth Phillips examined:—I am housekeeper in the employ of Richard Price. I remember the 13th of November last. I lock up the doors at ten o'clock. Master was not in then. He came in shortly after. I locked the door after him, and bolted it. I also bolted the back door. I was up next morning at seven o'clock, and found the dairy and back door open. I missed the cheese from the dairy. Master came down stairs shortly. We also missed bread off the shelf in the dairy, and likewise found that some mutton and bacon had been taken. I saw these articles last at eight o'clock on the previous evening. There is an opening in the window, about 18 to 20 inches by 9. We bought the bacon the evening before.

Richard Price examined:—I live at Pentwyn-Ildach. Phillips is my housekeeper; I came home a little after ten on the night in question. I remember the door being closed. When I got up in the morning I found Phillips in the kitchen. I heard something fall in the night resembling a jug or basin. I did not go down then. At two or three o'clock, I heard the noise.

Cross-examined by prisoner Johns:—When I heard the noise, I sent my servant man now out of my employ to see if my bullocks or sheep had broken out; he went through the front door. I tried if my boy could get through the window on the following morning. He got through well enough. There was a blacking pot found under the window and broken.

Re-examined by Mr. Allen:—My servant was not half an hour out and returned before the clock struck three. The window is upright, and measures two feet by nine inches.

William Fuller examined:—I am sergeant of police in Monmouth. I was on duty on the morning of the 15th, about half-past one in the morning. I saw the prisoners coming from the Abergavenny road. I asked where they were coming from? They said, they were coming from Ross. I then had suspicion of the parties as they were coming from a direction opposite to Ross. They both had bags along with them, and a tin kettle in which there was a cheese. i asked what they had got; they said food which they had gought at Gloucester. I took them down to a house where I got assistance to take them into custory.

Cross-examined by prisoner Johns:—I was perfectly sober coming from the Rising Sun. i was called in there on duty.

Richard Day examined:—I am superintendent of police at Crickhowell. I received the property from Fuller.

Mrs Phillips identified the bread by a mark on the top of the loaf, and also the cheeses as Mr. Price's. Mr. Richard Price also identified the bread and cheese.

The learned Judge summed up the evidence, and the jury returned a verdict of Guilty.—A previous conviction was proved against the prisoner, Wm. Cross, at Usk Quarter Sessions in June last, and the sentence of the Court was then passed, that each be transported for the term of ten years.

Attorney for the prosecution Mr. Davies, Crickhowell.

Thomas Voss, aged 24, charged with having stolen a salmon in February last, the property of John Lewin, in the parish of Cantreff. Prisoner pleaded Guilty.

Sentenced to twelve months imprisonment with hard labour, and cautioned not to appear before the bar again in peril of transportation. He lately been released from Cardiff gaol after eighteen months' imprisonment.

William Hitchings, aged 19, charged with having in the parish of Llanelly, stolen a fustian jacket, the property of Joseph Williams. Pleased Guilty, and was sentenced to one month's hard labour.

John Smith, charged with stealing a cake, the property of Edward Moss, confectioner, Brecon, pleaded Guilty, and the learned judge considering he had been in custody since January, sentenced him to only one day's imprisonment.