Cardiff Records: Volume 2. Originally published by Cardiff Records Committee, Cardiff, 1900.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Coroner's Inquests taken at Cardiff Guildhall, on the bodies of four several prisoners who died on the day of the taking of the same Inquisitions, to wit, on the 14th day of April, "by the Visitation of God."
Coroner's Inquest taken at Lanishan in the county of Glamorgan, on view of the body of James David, found that the deceased "was coming from the Town of Cardiff in the said County aforesaid, that being in liquor, he was by accident rode over by Wm Williams of the Town of Cardiff, then mounted on a Black Horse or Gelding;" that he thereby received various mortal bruises, whereof he died.
Memorandum under the hand and seal of John Bassett, Justice of the Peace, upon the information of Richard Mumford, of Lantrithyd, agent to Sir Thomas Aubrey of Lantrithyd, baronet, that one William Vallance, of Cowbridge, yeoman, not then having lands and tenements or any other estate of inheritance in his own right of the clear yearly value of one hundred pounds per annum nor for term of life nor any lease of 99 or more years of the clear yearly value of £150, nor then being son and heir apparent of an esquire nor of any other person of higher degree, nor the owner nor keeper of any forest, park, chase or warren, nor gamekeeper of any lord or lady of a manor, did carry a certain gun, attended by several dogs, on the Manor of Lantrithyd, with an intent to kill and destroy the game on the said manor, against the form of the Statute.
Precept signed by the said Magistrate, to the Constable of the Parish of Cowbridge, to arrest the said William Vallance and bring him before the said Justice to answer the premisses: "You are to appear before me at the sign of the Red Lion at Boulson on Wednesday 19th day of this month at Twelve o'Clock."
Glamorgan. To the Constables of the Town of Lantrisant in the sd County. Whereas Information hath been made before me Robert Rickards, Clerk, one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace in & for the aforesd County of Glamorgan that a Man, suspected of felony & Burglary who passes under the fictitious Name of William Dun, but who is said to be known by the Name of Phil bach of Lanblethian, is now skulking about the sd Town of Lantrisant; these are therefore to command you immediately to enquire & make search after the sd Man, & when found to apprehend him & to bring him before me in order to give an Account of himself, &c. Given under my hand & seal. Nov. 14, 1783.
Coroner's Inquest taken at Cardiff before Henry Yeomans and Samuel Sabine, Bailiffs and Coroners, on view of the body of Sophia Ovens, found that the deceased, standing near a certain tan pit at Cardiff, accidentally fell into the same and was suffocated and drowned.
The Files for the next few years contain nothing noteworthy with reference to Cardiff, the county town being at this period overshadowed by the superior commercial importance of the borough of Swansea.
We the high Sheriff & Grand Jury of the County of Glamorgan, assembled in the Jury Room at Cardiff 26th March 1790, are of Opinion that if the Goaler had resided in the apartments allotted for, & now occupied by him, the late escape of the Prisoners wou'd not have been effected.
We therefore earnestly recommend that the Justices of the Peace for this County do make such an encrease of Salary to the Goaler, as may enable him to give up the whole of his time to the faithful discharge of the duties of his Office.
We further recommend that the Magistrates do make such other regulations for the management of the Goal as to them shall appear necessary, by appointing a Committee (or Intendant without Salary) to inspect the same.
We are of opinion that there are many abuses which are great grievances existing in the County Court. We therefore earnestly desire (in order to bring about a reform) to have them investigated without delay in the most effectual manner & take the liberty of requesting your Lordships assistance in this matter, which will be esteem'd an obligation conferr'd on
4. That an excess in the number of Alehouses is a grievance which should be redressed but whether twenty seven are too many to answer the convenience of the Town of Cardiff and its neighbourhood we find ourselves incompetent to determine from want of sufficient evidence on that head.
5. That the Magistrates at their next Quarter Sessions be requested to form a Committee for the purpose of enquiring into the abuses of the County Court and transmit the result thereof to the Honourable George Hardinge and Abel Moysey Esqres previous to the next Great Sessions.
"Glamorganshire. The Jurors for our Lord the King upon their Oath present That Richard Griffiths late of the Town of Cardiff in the County of Glamorgan Esquire (fn. 1) being an evil disposed Person and a Disturber of the Peace of our Lord the now King and intending to do great bodily Harm and Mischief to William Lewis late of the parish of Whitchurch in the said county of Glamorgan Esquire and to provoke and incite him the said William Lewis unlawfully to fight a Duel with and against him the said Richard Griffiths on the twenty second day of March in the Thirty first Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the third now King of Great Britain and so forth with force and Arms at the Town of Cardiff aforesaid in the said County of Glamorgan did unlawfully wickedly and maliciously send and cause to be sent and delivered a certain written Challenge of and from him the said Richard Griffiths to the said William Lewis," &c; &c. Endorsed: "No True Bill."
Glamorgan. The Examination of Joseph John of the Town of Lantrissaint in the County aforesaid, Yeoman, taken on Oath before me Jn° Bassett Esqr one of his Majesty's Justices of the peace for the said County dwelling in the Hundred of Dynaspowis within the said County, the 15 day of Septr 1790.
Who saith that on Tuesday the 14th of this present Month of Septr between the hours of four, and five in the afternoon of the same day, at or near a place called the old Tennis Court within the Town, or parish of Lantrissaint, he was assaulted in the Highway there leading through the said Town of Lantrissaint by Thos Jones, Thos Austin, John Evan, and David Jones, Shoemakers, of the said Town or parish of Lantrissaint; and by them was Robbed on the Highway aforesaid of a yellow Purse containing in Gold Seven Guineas and a half, and in Silver three half Crowns, being the property of him the aforesaid Joseph John. (fn. 2).
At this Sessions we find Mr. Richard Griffiths, surgeon and Coroner, again in trouble. This time he is presented for assaulting John Price, gentleman, at Cardiff, by beating him about the head with the butt end of a large riding-whip. The Presentment is endorsed: "True Bill."
Articles of the Peace exhibited (fn. 3) this third day of September in the Thirty first Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the third now King of Great Britain and so forth at the Great Sessions holden for the County of Glamorgan before the honourable George Hardinge and Abel Moysey Esquires his Majesty's Justices of the Court of Great Sessions for the several Counties of Glamorgan Brecon and Radnor by the Reverend Robert Rickards of the Town of Llantrissent in the County of Glamorgan Clerk against Joseph John of the parish and County aforesaid Carrier.
And first this Exhibitant upon his Oath declares that about two years ago as this deponent was mounting his Horse in the Town of Cardiff in the County of Glamorgan aforesaid he the said Joseph John came up to this Exhibitant in a menacing Manner and repeatedly said that he would put a Mark upon this Exhibitant's Hat accompanying this Threat with an Oath which expression is in this Countrey generally understood as a Threat of doing the Party against whom it is directed some bodily Injury as knocking him on the Head with a Bludgeon or some other such Instrument or offensive Weapon and also the said Joseph John hath made repeated declarations to several Persons as this Exhibitant has been informed and believes that he would do some Injury to this Exhibitant's Person or fire his House and particularly that he has been informed by one John Jones of the Town of Llantrissent in the County aforesaid Farmer which Information this Exhibitant verily believes to be true that he the said John Jones heard the said Joseph John about two years ago in a Conversation with Richard Griffiths of Cardiff in the County aforesaid Esquire one of the Coroners for the said County express an earnest desire and Wish that this Exhibitant was killed that the said Coroner might hold an Inquest upon this Exhibitant also that the said Joseph Jones has as this Exhibitant has been informed and verily believes frequently within these four last years desired and urged one James John of the town of Llantrissent aforesaid in the County aforesaid Glazier to knock out this Exhibitant's Brains And also that about four years ago the said Joseph John requested one William Thomas as this Deponent has been informed by the said William Thomas and which Information this Exhibitant believes to be true (who was then Servant to the said Joseph John) to drive a Cart over this Exhibitant Which the said William Thomas refused to do in Consequence whereof he was discharged out of the said Joseph John's Service and also that the said Joseph John about the twelfth day of April now last past endeavoured to prevail with and persuade one Mary Goidur of the parish of Llantrissent in the County aforesaid Spinster as this Exhibitant has been informed by the said Mary Goidur and which Information this Exhibitant verily believes to be true to buy a Quantity of Gunpowder with which he told her he meant to blow up this Exhibitant's House and all the family therein and lastly that he the said Joseph John endeavoured about the fifteenth day of April last to prevail with and persuade one Catherine Lougher as this Exhibitant has been informed by the said Catherine Lougher and which Information this Exhibitant verily believes to be true to set fire to this Exhibitant's House and promised her that if she would she should never be in Want And that the said Joseph John lately desired one Evan Morgan of the Town of Llantrissent aforesaid as this Exhibitant has been informed by the said Evan Morgan to waylay this Exhibitant and to start out of a Bush as this Exhibitant came by in order to frighten his Horse so as this Exhibitant might be thrown off and break his Bones or his Neck observing at the same Time that this Exhibitant generally rode a mettlesome Horse Secondly this Exhibitant upon his Oath declares that being for the above Reasons apprehensive that his Life and Property were at Stake he applied to Edmund Treharne of the parish of Llantrissent in the County aforesaid Esquire then and now being one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the said County to issue out his Warrant to apprehend the said Joseph John and to bring him before him or some other of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the said County to give Sureties for his Peaceful Behaviour towards all his Majesty's Liege Subjects and particularly towards this Exhibitant whereupon the said Joseph John was apprehended and gave Sureties for his appearance at this Sessions and in the mean Time to keep the Peace towards all his said Majesty's liege Subjects and particularly towards this Exhibitant Thirdly this Exhibitant upon his Oath declares that he apprehends and verily believes that his Life his House and Property are in imminent danger from the aforesaid Threats or Menaces and evil Disposition of the aforesaid Joseph John.
Also they present the highway leading from the village of Peterstone super Ely to Crossfaen in the parish of Penteirch, and thence leading from the town of Cardiff to the town of Llantrissent unto a place called Tuy yn y nant, and thence by Tinkwood Colliery to the village of Penteirch, to be out of repair, and that the same ought to be repaired by the parishioners of Penteirch.
The Grand Jury present that a part of "an antient street or King's Highway leading from the village of Merthyr Tydvil in the said County of Glamorgan towards and unto the Town Hall in the Town of Cardiff and the County of Glamorgan aforesaid . . . . that is to say from a certain place called the North gate through a certain Street called Duke Street otherwise Shoemaker Street and from thence to the Town Hall in Cardiff aforesaid situate lying and being in the parish of Saint John the Baptist in the County of Glamorgan aforesaid containing in length two hundred yards and in Breadth six yards," is very ruinous for want of due reparation, and that the same ought to be repaired by the inhabitants of the parish of Saint John the Baptist aforesaid.
A similar Presentment of the street leading from Cardiff Town Hall to the South Gate, "from the northern pine End or Corner of a certain dwelling house commonly called the three Cranes to the said Place or Gate called the South Gate" in Saint Mary's parish; and that the same ought to be repaired by the inhabitants of that parish.
A similar Presentment of the street leading from the parish church of Saint John the Baptist in the town of Cardiff to the Town Hall, commonly called Church Street, situate in the said parish; and that the same ought to be repaired by the parishioners.
A similar Presentment of the highway leading from Merthyr Tydvil to Cardiff, from the brook called Nantgarw to a place called Pantgwainlâs, in the parish of Eglwysilan; and that the same ought to be repaired by the inhabitants of the hamlet of Rhydybythel in the said parish.
A similar Presentment of the highway leading from Merthyr Tydvil to Cardiff, from a place called the upper Boat-chain to a place called Nantgarw, in the parish of Eglwysilan; and that the same ought to be repaired by the inhabitants of Rhydybyther hamlet.
A similar Presentment of the highway leading from Merthyr Tydvil to Cardiff, from a place called Corrwg to the upper Boatchain, in the parish of Eglwysilan; and that the same ought to be repaired by the inhabitants of the hamlet of Hendre Denny in the said parish.
A similar Presentment of the highway leading from Merthyr Tydvil to Cardiff, from a bridge called Pont-cadyddog to Corrwg, in the parish of Eglwysilan; and that the same ought to be repaired by the inhabitants of the hamlet of Glyntaaf in the County of Glamorgan.
There are several other Presentments of highroads. The improvement of travelling by mail-coach was rapidly proceeding at this time. The ravines which had done duty as highways in the days of pack-horses were now allowed to fill with a rank growth of brambles, ferns and nettles, while in all directions the county authorities were inaugurating the splendid system of macadamised coach-roads which we still possess.
Glamorgan to wit. The examination of James Fisher a private Carmarthenshire soldier now at Swansea taken on oath the 21st day of June 1793 before us John Bevan and Rowd Prichard Esqrs two of his Majesty's Justices of the peace in and for the said County relating to the loss of eight guineas taken out of the dwelling House of Daniel May of the welcome to Town at Swansea, who on his Oath saith that he well remembers the saturday night that the said welcome to Town was broken open and the Money lost that William John his Comrade came with him and his other Comrade to go to Bed and that he and his other Comrade went to Bed, but William John went down Stairs and he did not see any thing of him till break of day next day, and then threw himself on the Bed by the deponents back and on the Bed Cloaths; and lay there till they went to dress to go to Church, and the said William John returned with him from Church, and took some Meat to eat, and then went out and he did not return to his quarters till the day following being very drunk, and he was informed by his Brother Soldiers that he was drinking and treating them all the Sunday after Church, and that he had changed a guinea in order to treat them and the said deponent verily believes the said William John had no Money on the Saturday, he having borrowed sixpence of the deponent, which is not yet paid him.
That the general march of progress should involve the decay of the art of caligraphy, is a curious and lamentable fact of which these records contain ample evidence. As the archivist leaves the Middle Ages and pursues his researches into records of later and later date, the parchment becomes worse, the ink fainter, and the handwriting more and more flimsy, confused and difficult to decipher.
Interesting political signs of the times now frequently occur in the Gaol Files. Thus, certain corn-rioters at Swansea are careful to remind their employers of what was being done in France, with a gentle hint that a policy of à la lanterne might become the necessity of oppressed democracy.
In "The King against Solomon Lysons," for treasonable and seditious expressions against his Majesty and his liege people, William Harris, of Neath, mariner, deposes that "he was passing by Mrs Rachel Morgan's the Sadler's Shop, and went into the Shop. The first word that he heard Solomon Lysons say, that he would Fight against the King and Country, on which William Harris said to Solomon Lysons what will you Fight against your own King and Country, and the said Solomon Lysons made answer Yes by God I will—and the said William Harris made answer that you ought to be taken up."
From the next witness' Deposition it appears that the Radicals of a hundred years ago were liable to a good deal of badgering on the part of their neighbours. William Prothero says that "betwixt him and the Door of Mrs Morgan's Shop stood Mr Solomon Lysons with a News Paper in his Hand. William Prothero then asked him what good News. Solomon Lyson made answer and said that he had newly (fn. 4) begun reading the Paper. William Prothero replied that he was a Loyalist, was it a Congress or a National Assembly they held in the Shop. The said William Prothero further said to Solomon Lysons that the News papers were private, on which William Prothero Step'd into Mrs Morgan's Shop and offer'd to lay a wager with Solomon Lysons and Solomon Lysons made answer that he would lay One Hundred Guineas to one against the King and the Country, on which William Harris (Seaman) came in and asked Solomon Lysons, what do you fight against your King and the Country. Yes by my God. Dated February the Sixth 1794."
Glamorganshire. The Jurors for our Lord the King on their oath & on their own view (fn. 5) Present that the Common Gaol for this County is in a state of sufficient repair, But are of opinion that a Sick Ward and Solitary Cells are appendages essentially necessary to all Gaols, in which particulars the Gaol of this County is deficient.
|Jno Landeg||Jno Morris|
|E. Thomas||R. Jones|
|Richd Bevan M.D.||Thomas Evan|
|Jno. Bassett||Edwd Snead|
[L.S.] Whereas John Thomas and Jacob lsaac are now under Sentence of Transportation in the Gaol at Cardiff And Whereas some favorable circumstances have been humbly represented unto us in their Behalf inducing us to Extend our Grace and Mercy unto them and to Grant them our Pardon for their Crimes on Condition of their Enlisting to serve as Soldiers in our Army or of Entering to serve us in our Royal Navy Our Will and pleasure therefore is that upon their Enlisting to serve us as Soldiers in our Army or Entering to serve us in our Navy as aforesaid, they be forthwith delivered over to such person or persons as shall be duly authorized to receive them for either of the purposes aforesaid and that they be incerted for their Crimes on the said Conditions in our first and next General pardon that shall come out for the Brecon Circuit and for so doing this shall be your warrant Given at our Court at Saint James's the twenty fifth day of August 1794 in the thirty fourth year of our Reign.
Certificates under the hands of John Fenwick, Auditor of Wales; Stephen Moore, Deputy Acting Receiver in South Wales; and William Myddelton, formerly Deputy to Sir Thomas Wynn, now Lord Newborough, at that time Auditor of the Crown Revenue of Wales; acknowledging and declaring that any claim heretofore made by them or any of them, of any power to remit fines charged by the Court of Great Session, was and is illegal and unwarranted.
John Harrington, otherwise Waters, Aged 34, committed the 8th of January, 1795, by B. Williams, Esqr. Bailiff of the Town of Cardiff, charged with having feloniously forged a certain writing purporting to be under the hand of Benjamin Hall, Clerk, one of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace in and for the said County of Glamorgan, and purporting to be an Affidavit taken by the said John Harrington before the said Benjamin Hall, and taking the said Writing or Affidavit in Writing and uttering the same so Forged as aforesaid to one John Beynon Esqr. Collector of his Majesty's Excise for the said County of Glamorgan, as and for the true Affidavit in Writing of him the said John Harrington taken before the said Benjamin Hall, of the admission of him the said John Harrington as an out Pensioner in Chelsea Hospital, and by means thereof obtaining from the said John Beynon as such Collector as aforesaid, the sum of Three Pounds Twelve Shillings and one Halfpenny, as and for one half year's payment made by Government to Pensioners in the said Hospital.
This year for the first time appears printed at the foot of the Gaol Calendar "A List of Prisoners under Sentence in the said Gaol." The sentence is now frequently one of transportation to New South Wales.
The Jury present part of the highroad leading from Newport in the county of Monmouth to Cardiff in the county of Glamorgan, from Romney Bridge to Longcross House, in the parish of Roath, to be out of repair; and that the same ought to be repaired by the inhabitants of that parish.
A similar Presentment of the "common public Stone bridge commonly called Pontypridd situate and being in the several parishes of Llanwonno and Eglwysilan," leading from Merthyr Tidvil to the market town of Lantrissent, and also from Lantrissent to the market town of Caerphilly; and that the same ought to be repaired by the inhabitants of the county of Glamorgan.
The Grand Jury present that Stephen Williams, of Newchurch in the county of Gloucester, at Llanvabon in the county of Glamorgan, "one piece of false and counterfeit Money made and counterfeited to the likeness and similitude of a piece of good lawful and current Money and silver coin of this Realm called half-a-Crown unlawfully unjustly and deceitfully did utter and tender in payment to one Elizabeth Rosser," of Llanvabon, spinster. The same Presentment further charges the said Stephen Williams with having tendered seven counterfeit shillings to a person of the name of Odempsey Libert, of Roath, yeoman.
"Glamorganshire. George Hardinge Esquire one of his Majesty's Justices of the Court of Great Sessions for the several Counties of Glamorgan Brecon and Radnor upon his own proper Knowledge and View presents" that the White House Bridge in the parishes of Saint John Baptist and Llandaff, on the King's highway leading from Cardiff to Cowbridge, is too narrow, and its side walls too low; and that it ought to be altered by the inhabitants of the county of Glamorgan.
A similar Presentment of part of the Newport Road, from a point opposite the house of John Wood, gentleman, to a point opposite the house of Bloom Williams, esquire, in the parish of Saint John Baptist—a distance of 20 yards—to be repaired by the parishioners.
Margaret Stradling, a hired servant maid, sets her mark to a sworn statement that her brother Edward Stradling, of Coyty, labourer, confessed to her his theft of a watch and three crowns, at the house of her master, Thomas William, of Newcastle in the county of Glamorgan, farmer. A True Bill was found.
Judge Hardinge presents a portion of the highway leading from Llandaff to Cardiff, viz., from the city of Llandaff to "a certain place or part of the said road being the known and antient Boundary between the parishes of Saint John the Baptist and Landaff," situate in the parish of Llandaff—one mile in length—and that the same ought to be repaired by the parishioners of Llandaff.
A similar Presentment of a portion of the highway leading from the town of Cae'rphili to the town of Cardiff, viz., from a place called Y Drainen, being the known and ancient boundary between the parishes of Eglwysilan and Llanishen; and that the same ought to be repaired by the parishioners of Llanishen.
The Judge presents a portion of the highroad leading from Merthyr Tydvil to Cardiff, viz., from a house called Maendu House to Whitchurch Brook, situate in the parish of Llandaff; to be repaired at the expense of that parish.
Glamorganshire. Thomas Howell of the parish of Lantrissent in the County of Glamorgan Gentleman aged 84 years and upwards a Witness produced sworn and examined on the part of our sovereign Lord the King and of the sd prosecutor Thomas Bassett under the above Rule of Court and by the consent of the parties this 9th day of August 1799 before me William Wilkins Esq. Deputy Prothonotary of the sd Court who saith that he was born at Alltgraban in the hamlet of Trane in the parish of Lantrissent afsd in the said County and that this Examinant resided at Alltgraban aforesaid in the sd hamlet of Trane until about 30 years ago when he removed to Gellyhaidd his present residence that abt 10 or 11 years before he left Alltgraban the late Mr Edwd Hancorne then being Undersheriff to Mr Rowland Bevan of Oxwich Castle in the said County one Richard William a Bailiff of the said Sheriff came to this Examinant's Farm of Alltgraban in the said Hamlet of Trane in the said parish and took as this Deponent was informed four Oxen off his Land to the Town of Lantrissent this Examinant went immediately to Lantrissent and went into the George Inn and saw the said Bailiff and Undersheriff and he asked the Undersheriff for his Cattle and the Undersheriff told him that he could not have them without he the Undersheriff should have security from the Parish for the Money in a Levari (fn. 8) for the repair of Rhyd yr Eirw Road and this Examinant met at the room in the George Inn the said Undersheriff, Richard Howell of Rhiewvelan in the said Hamlet of Trane now dece'd who . . . . . . had Oxen hauling Timber on Rhiewvelan ffarm in the said Hamlet of Trane and who had his Oxen taken with the Cattle of Richard Howells and that there were several Cattle of other persons who were then at Lantrissent and who this Examinant understood had been assisting Richard Howells at Rhiewvelan in the Hauling of Timber and their Cattle were all taken and then at Lantrissent in the Custody of the said Undersheriff and his said Bailiff. The Undersheriff then filled up a Bond which this Examinant, Richard Howell and John Thomas and all the persons whose Cattle were taken signed the Bond for the Payment of the Money in the Levari to the Sheriff and after they had signed the Bond the Cattle were given up and each party took his own. That this Examinant never heard further of the Bond that the Money was afterwards raised on the Inhabitants of the Parish of Lantrissant by a Rate and that he this Examinant paid his proportion as an Inhabitant of the said Parish after the Valuation against his Tenement of Alltgraban in the Hamlet of Trane wherein he then resided That previous to his leaving Alltgraban he paid his Contribution in proportion to the value of his afsd Tenement to a Rate which he understood to be for a Wall part of the Eirw Road &c.
Another Deposition in the same matter, by John David, of Lantrissent, aged 79, to the effect that 30 years ago he was Surveyor of Highroads of the Hamlet of Castella in the parish of Lantrissent; that he was appointed by the Parish of Lantrissent to overlook the repairs of a weir adjoining the Eirw Road; that he paid the workmen and was reimbursed by the Parish at large.