Skip to Content

Colonial Cases


The Observer, 6 January 1799

CARDIGAN - A female servant at Pendol, near Llanvair, was lately found dead under some straw in a barn, and was then buries without suspicion or enquiry as to the cause of her death.  On mature reflection, however, the necessary investigation was instituted, the body was dug up and opened, when it appeared that the unfortunate woman had been choaked by chaff thrust down her throat.  The Coroner's inquest in consequence found a verdict of wilful murder against some person unknown.  Suspicion attached to a man, a suitor of the deceased, who had absconded and for whose apprehension the most active means are used.


Cambrian, 3 August 1805

A young lady, near Aberystwyth, died very suddenly in the night of Sunday last, after eating her supper apparently as well as usual.  Her marriage was to have taken place in a few days.


Cambrian, 9 June 1810

 On Tuesday last, John Jones, aged 14, the only son of the Rev. David Jones, Rector of Killie-Ayron, Cardiganshire, was unfortunately drowned in the Towy, near Carmarthen, while bathing.  The body was not discovered till Wednesday, when an inquest was taken before John Brown, Esq. Deputy-Mayor, who rendered a verdict - Accidentally drowned.


Cambrian, 4 March 1815

   On Saturday Eliz. Roberts, wife of john Roberts, late of Blaencynnon, in the parish of Llanfihangel y cwyddyn, Cardiganshire, put an end to her existence by hanging herself.  On her husband's return from Aberystwith, on the above-mentioned day, he was informed by his children, that their mother had attempted hanging herself several times in the course of the day, and that she had then just gone out, but whither they knew not, it being dark.  On receiving this information, he proceeded to the outhouses, in one of which, shocking to relate, he found his wife suspended by a halter to the hay-rack, apparently lifeless, - but on being cut down, she stretched herself out, and in a few moments expired, in the presence of her husband and seven children.  She was forty years of age. - Verdict - Insanity.


Cambrian, 16 March 1816

DIED. - On the 3d inst. at Aberystwith, in consequence of her cloathes taking fire, on Sunday the 28th ult. Jane Watkins, aged 14 years; ...


Cambrian, 1 November 1817

   The following dreadful accidents occurred on Sunday se'nnight, to two children of a farmer, residing at Castell-dreiniog, in the parish of Ystrad, near Lampeter, Cardiganshire. - One of them, a girl, about eleven years of age, having used a whip for the purpose of driving away a boar that stood near her, the enraged animal flew at her, and with his tusks inflicted several deep wounds on her breast, before she could be rescued from her perilous situation.  While the mother of this poor child was engaged in dressing, in the best manner she was able, her bleeding wounds, an infant son, not above four years, took up the whip his sister had just before used, and in attempting to punish the boar for the injury he had done her, fell a victim to the fury of the ferocious animal.  The boar, before any assistance could be rendered, had torn out the entrails of the poor unfortunate boy, whose dreadful sufferings and existence terminated together on the following day.  An inquest was held on the body: verdict - Killed by a Boar.  It is with additional concern we hear, that the little girl's life is despaired of. The boar was killed and buried shortly after this dreadful calamity.


Cambrian, 8 November 1817

   On Tuesday, an inquest was held at Passage, on board the sloop Valiant, of Cardigan, W. Michael, master, before H. Hardy, one of the Coroners of this city, on the body of a man named James Owens.  The deceased had shipped on board this sloop forty head of live cattle, for Newport, and as the vessel  was proceeding down the river on Wednesday, the captain and crew being at dinner, Owens took a potatoe to eat, but on putting it to his mouth, he dropped down and instantly expired.  It appeared that the deceased had overheated himself in the shipping of the cattle, and had drank some liquor, but was not intoxicated; and the surgeon, who was examined on the jury, was of opinion, that he died of apoplexy, excited by fatigue and liquor.  This man had no papers whatever about him which could lead to a discovery of his friends or correspondents.  His remains were decently interred in the church-yard at Passage.  Cork Southern Reporter, Oct. 25.


Cambrian, 20 December 1817

On Friday last an inquest was held by William Jones, Esq. Coroner, of the body of Griffith Griffiths of Tanyclun, farmer, who was on the preceding Tuesday unfortunately drowned on his return home from Aberystwith; being intoxicated, he fell over the battlements of the bridge which crosses the river Rheddol at the latter place. Verdict, Found drowned.


Cambrian, 21 February 1818

JAMES HUGHES, in ACCOUNT with the INHABITANTS of the County of CARDIGAN, &c.


5.  Paid by Mr. Thomas Evans, Surgeon, in full of his bill, filed at the Michaelmas Quarter Sessions, 1817, for attending on a coroner's inquest, held on the body of a man unknown, who fell over a rock in the parish of Llanarth.  £2 8. 0.


Cambrian,  21 March 1818

In the storm on the night of the 4th inst. ... In the same night a farmer, who had attended Machynlleth fair, on his return home missed  his way upon the Cardiganshire hills, and was found a corpse next morning.


Cambrian, 1 August 1818



2.  By paid David Jenkins, in full of his bill filed at the Michaelmas Quarter Sessions, 1817, for burying a new born infant, supposed to be murdered.  $2  0.  0.

35.  By paid Thomas Morgan, Esq. In full of his bill, filed at the Michaelmas Quarter Sessions, 1817, for a journey to Bryndir to attend a Coroner's inquest, and for dissecting the body of a man supposed to be murdered.   £3  9s.  0.


Cambrian, 13 November 1819

JAMES HUGHES, in ACCOUNT with the INHABITANTS of the COUNTY of CARDIGAN from Midsummer Quarter Sessions, 1819, to Michaelmas Quarter Sessions following.


26.  Paid by Rice Williams, Esq. in full of his bill filed at the Midsummer Quarter Sessions, 1819, for holding inquisitions.  £3  13. 9.


The Observer, 26 November 1821

   A most horrid suicide was committed at the Talbot Inn, Aberystwyth, Cardiganshire.  A young man, about 20 years of age, from some part of England, and a stranger at that place, our an end to his existence by shooting himself with a pistol, which he discharged into his ear, and died instantly.  Another loaded pistol was found on him.  It appears from the contents of a letter which was found in his pocket, that a brother of his lives near Uxbridge; he called himself William Smith.


Cambrian, 13 July 1822


   On Wednesday the 3d inst. Wm. Williams, Esq. of Blaenduffryn, one of the Coroners for the county of  Cardigan.


Cambrian, 14 September 1822

CARDIGANSHIRE. - The following most distressing occurrence took place on Wednesday, the 28th ult. in the neighbourhood of Cardigan: - As Walter Lloyd, Esq. a gentleman whose obliging manners and friendly disposition endeared him to all who knew him, was returned to that place from Aberystwith, in an open pleasure boat, accompanied by a young man, a native of Cardigan, he was overtaken off Aberporth, about eight o'clock in the evening, by a tremendous gale of wind, and with so much violence, that Mr. Lloyd, although an excellent sailor, was unable to make timely preparation to avoid the impeding  danger.  The melancholy consequence was, that the boast, it is supposed, was struck and filled by a heavy sea, which immediately sunk her, and Mr. Lloyd and his companion unfortunately perished.


The Cambrian, 31 May 1823


On the 20th inst. at Aberystwith, in child-bed, Anna, the wife of William Griffiths Williams, Esq. of Wynnstay-Hall, in the county of Flint, aged 28 years, leaving an affectionate husband and three infant children to lament her loss.


North Wales Gazette (Bangor), 5 June 1823

Mr. William Williams, Harbour Master, of Aberystwith, retired to rest in perfect health, on Saturday night last, and was found a corpse the following morning in his bedroom. - An inquest was held on view of the body before W. Jones, Esq. and a respectable Jury. - Verdict - Died by the Visitation of God.


The Cambrian, 7 June 1823


   We are sorry to state, that a young man of Cardigan School attempted, on Tuesday se'nnight to destroy himself by cutting his throat, which it is feared he has done effectively, as the wound is of so serious a nature, that little hopes are entertained of his recovery.


The Cambrian, 21 February 1824

On Wednesday se'nnight, the Ostler of the Inn at Llandyssil, Cardiganshire, was unfortunately drowned in the river Tivy, by venturing too far with some horses to wash, which, with himself, were carried away by the impetuosity of the stream.  The unfortunate man, perceiving that the owner of the horses was unacquainted with the river, volunteered to take them in, remarking that he was better acquainted with the shallows; but the result fatally proved that he was not sufficiently acquainted with them himself.


The Cambrian, 18 September 1824

   At the Cardigan Great Sessions, .  .  .  .  Richard Delehoyd, was tried for manslaughter.  The prisoner and the deceased, William Bowen, had been drinking together at the Tavern, Aberystwith, about three years ago.  On going out they quarreled, and fought two or three battles, in all of  which the prisoner had the worst.  They were at last separated, but met again, when the prisoner struck the deceased, with a stick, on the side of the head, from which blow he died in the course of about 15 days.  On the inquest, a verdict of manslaughter was brought by the Jury against the prisoner. Shortly after he left this country; but on his recent return, he voluntarily surrendered himself up to be tried at the present Sessions.  The evidence, on the part of the prosecution clearly proved, that the deceased died from the violence of the blow received from the prisoner.  Mr. Russell defended him, and attempted to call witnesses on his behalf to prove that he had done acts characteristic of a humane man.

Mr. Attorney General: Mr. Russell, have you ever heard of such a thing before?

Mr. Russell: We shall have nothing but extreme justice from the Attorney General.

Mr. Attorney general: You ought to be ashamed of yourself to make use of such an expression towards an Attorney general.

Mr. Russell: What did you say?

Mr. Attorney General: You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Mr. Russell: If you repeat that expression, I will pull down your dignity in a way you little expect.

Here the conversation ended.

The prisoner was found guilty, and sentenced to be fined one shilling, and imprisoned one calendar month.


The Cambrian, 15 January 1825


   On the morning of Sunday se'nnight, the American ship Diamond, of 500 tons burthen, laden with cotton, &c. was  totally lost in Cardigan Bay.  She made Cape Clear on Friday evening, about eight o'clock, and was running about eight knots an hour, when she struck at half past four in Sun day morning on the ridge of rocks, called St. Patrick's Causeway, near Barmouth, and sunk in seven fathoms of water. .  .  .  .   The following are the names of the cabin passengers list saved on this melancholy occasion.  Cabin passengers lost - Mr. Wood, of Saddleworth; Mr. Broadbent, of Saddleworth; Mr. Given, of New York; and a young female, the child of Mr. and Mrs. Betteley of Baltimore, who were saved.  The body of Mr. Wood has been found; in his pockets were upwards of 7,000l. which have been saved.  Captain Macey, a most respectable individual, and very well known in the trade; Mr. Clark, the chief mate; and one seaman; also a [person of the name of Lowe, and two other steerage passengers, making in all ten individuals who met with a watery grave. .  .  .  . 


The Cambrian, 25 March 1826

MURDER. - On Monday last, the day the Judges arrived at Cardigan, between the hours of nine and ten o'clock in the evening, and within a mile and a half of that town on the Aberystwyth road, Mr. Thos. Lloyd of Pennar-ucha, in the parish of Aberporth, was found murdered.  The deceased and a man of the name of David Lewis, lived within a few yards of each other.  To adjust a law suit, which had commenced between them, they came to cardigan on Monday morning, and before they left, the dispute was settled, and Lewis was to have paid the costs incurred.  During their stay they drank pretty freely, and they left Cardigan together; they were seen arm in arm passing through the turnpike-gate leading from Cardigan to Aberystwyth, being within a mile and a half of the spot where the fatal deed was committed.  About ten o'clock Lewis was seen at the distance of half a mile from the place where the body was found walking homeward at a very quick pace.  Lewis, however, denied any knowledge of the murder, and on his return home he called at the deceased's house, and informed his wife that he had been taken very ill, and could not return that night.  From the marks on the body it is thought that a violent conflict took place.  On Tuesday John Mathias, Esq. the coroner, held an inquest on the body, which continued during next day and the greater part of Wednesday, when the Jury brought in a verdict of Manslaughter against the said David Lewis !


The Cambrian, 1 April 1826

   At the Cardigan Great Sessions, David Lewis, the person against whom a verdict of manslaughter was returned by the coroner's inquest, and noticed in our paper of last week, was liberated; the Grand Jury having returned Not Guilty on the back of the indictment.


The Cambrian, 24 June 1826


   As two lads (brothers) were bathing in the river Tivy, near Terwen, Cardiganshire, their mother came to the river to look at them, but accidentally the younger got beyond his depth, and the elder by endeavouring to save him, was laid hold of by his brother, and both sank to rise no more, in the presence of their mother, who went up to her neck in the waster to endeavour to save them.

   As J. Evans, servant at Llwyngrowys, Cardiganshire, was on the 25th ult. shooting crows, the gun burst, and his left hand was dreadfully shattered, in consequence of which he died on the 6th inst.  He had been a faithful servant at the above farm eighteen years.


Carmarthen Journal, 29 February 1828

   An inquest was held on Monday last at Penywalk, on the parish of Llangoedmore, Cardiganshire, before John Mathias, Esq. Coroner, for the borough and liberties of Cardigan, on the body of john Thomas, a child; three years of age, who met his death under the following circumstances:-  On the preceding Saturday, about three o'clock on the afternoon, the deceased and another infant, a neighbour's child, of the same age, went out together to play, but had not been long absent, when the latter went home alone; and on being questioned by his mother, where his play-fellow was, he said he had fallen into the pool.  The induced an immediate enquiry to be made for the child; and after searching for some time, the poor infant was discovered in a stream of water, near his mothers' residence, quite dead.  He was immediately taken up, and every effort made to restore animation, but without effect, although he could not have been in the water, but very few minutes.  His companion being so young as to be incapable of giving an account of the distressing affair, it could not be exactly ascertained how it occurred; but it is imagined that, in running down a hill towards the water, he must have overbalanced himself and fallen in.  His unhappy parent, who has lately had to  deplore the loss of her husband, and another child, and whose mind has ever since been on a most distressed condition, is placed by this accumulation of affliction in a state bordering on distraction. - Verdict, Accidentally drowned.


Carmarthen Journal, 14 March 1828

   An inquest was held at Lampeter, Cardiganshire, on Friday the 7th before John Howell Thomas, Esq., on view of the body of Mr. George C. Page, who had been seized with an apoplectic paroxysm; and so great was the compression on the brain, and the profound lethargy which immediately followed the stroke, that the prompt measures to save his life, instantly resorted to, proved totally abortive.


The Cambrian, 2 August 1828

   On the morning of Wednesday se'nnight, as three boys were amusing themselves in a boat near the mouth of Aberystwyth harbour, one of them, a fine lad about fifteen years of age, named Thomas Doughton, son of Evan Doughton, mariner of that port, fell overboard, and was unfortunately drowned.  Every possible means were immediately used to recover the body, but it was not found until about eight o'clock the same evening. An inquest was held on the body, when a verdict of Accidental Death was returned.


Carmarthen Journal, 11 July 1828

   On Wednesday last an inquest was held on the body of John Howell, of Palemawr, in the parish of Kiffig, farmer.  The deceased was carefully driving in one of his fields, when his foot accidentally slipped, and being unable to recover himself, the off-wheel passed over his chest, and he died in the course of two hours. Verdict, Accidental Death. - Deodand on the wheel  5s.

   It may afford a small degree of relief to some minds in distress to hear that the corpse of a youth from 12 to 15 years of age, dressed in a white flannel shirt, white fustian waistcoat, and in a short velveteen trousers, with dark hair, - found drowned on the short by Mael-Ynys, near the mouth of the river Dyfi, on Monday, the 7th of July instant - was decently interred on the following day in the churchyard of Llanfihangel Beggeu'eglyn, near Aberystwyth.


Carmarthen Journal, 29 August 1828

   An inquest was held at Cardigan on Monday last before John Mathias, Esq. coroner, on view of the body of John Davies, labourer of that town, aged 27, who met his death on the preceding Friday, under the following circumstances:-

   The deceased who was an excellent swimmer, had frequently for a trifling reward leaped off the battlements of Cardigan bridge into the river Tivy at the time of high water.  On the occasion which led to his death, being in an inebriated state, he undressed on the bridge, and although the tide was at the time nearly out, he dashed into the river head foremost, and continued under water much longer than he had previously been in the habit of doing; on gaining the surface he swam about for some time, but apparently stupefied, which led to the supposition that he had been injured, but his person on examination bore no marks to justify that idea, and the only concussion the party could come to, was that the great length of time he remained below water, produced insensibility, and made the unfortunate man the victim of his own temerity.  There were several persons who witnessed his descent into the river, and afterwards saw him swimming on the surface, but from their knowledge of his previous [fetes] of the same kind, and his capability as a swimmer, they entertained no idea of the fatal result until he disappeared.  His body was not discovered until after the lapse of so much time as rendered it quite useless to attempt to restore animation. - Verdict - Accidental Death.


Carmarthen Journal, 29 May 1829

SUDDEN DEATH. - At Lampeter, Cardiganshire, on the 28th instant, an inquest was taken before J. F. Thomas, Esq., Coroner, touching the death of Dr. Charles Lloyd, who, after his accustomed stroll round the town on the 23d instant, returned to his lodgings, and whilst expecting the arrival of a person from the country to drink tea with him, was seized with an apoplectic paroxysm, which felled him to the floor, and his mortal life became instantly extinct.  Verdict - Died by the visitation of God.


The Cambrian, 27 June 1829

   On Friday last, the 19th inst. John Vaughan, a pilot, employed on the river Dovey (Aberdovey), in attempting to board the schooner Jane and Elizabeth, Evan Evans, master, from [Aberystwyth?], was unfortunately drowned owing to the capsizing of the oat during a heavy squall.


The Cambrian, 20 February 1830

   An apprentice boy, belonging to the big Naomi, of Aberyswith, lying in the river that port, fell from the mast of the vessel on the deck, and pitching on his head, his skull was so dreadfully fractured as to cause death in a few hours afterwards.


Carmarthen Journal, 9 April 1830

   On Friday, the 2d instant, a man employed in digging down part of the rock on a line of road near Aberystywth, as unfortunately killed. - A Coroner's inquest was held on the body, and a verdict of Accidental Death returned.


Carmarthen Journal, 18 March 1831


   John Morris and William Morgan were charged with the manslaughter of David Lloyd.  Morris was acquitted, and Morgan convicted, and sentenced to 9 months' imprisonment.


Monmouthshire Merlin, 28 September 1833
  THE LATE MR. AND MRS. HARGRAVE, OF DUBLIN.  [Update from Irish paper.  Four children recovered from wreck; Mr. Hargrave, one young lady still missing.  Body of one seaman recovered.]


Glamorgan Gazette, 15 February 1840

SUDDEN DEATH. -           The wife of a person called Evan Evans, of Velinfawr, near Llanwen, Cardiganshire, whilst returning from Merthyr, last week in an open cart, was suddenly taken ill, and expired in a few minutes.  The poor woman had been to Merthyr to see her children.  An inquest was held on the body before J. H. Thomas, Esq., Coroner, at the Aberdeenshire Inn, when the jury found a verdict of Died by the visitation of God. - Welshman, Feb. 7.


Glamorgan Gazette, 25 January 1840

CAUTION TO PARENTS. - Two Children burnt to death. - A most distressing accident happened at Llwyn-Dafydd, Cardiganshire, to two little girls; - one four, and the other six years old, under the following circumstances:- having been left in the house alone during the temporary absence of the mother, the younger child got near the fire, which caught her clothes; her sister, on perceiving her danger, in trying to rescue her, she became likewise enveloped in flames.  Both children in this manner tried to make their escape from the house, calling for assistance, which, although immediately rendered, was too late, as the little sufferers expired in a few hours from the effects of the fire and fright.


Monmouthshire Merlin, 18 April 1840


FATAL ACCIDENT. - About nine o'clock on Wednesday morning, 8th inst., a young man of the name of David Hughes, aged 19, a native of Tre'rddol, Cardiganshire, was killed at one of the Mine Quarries, Tredegar, by a heavy body of earth which fell upon him.  An inquest was held the following day upon his body, before T. Hughes, Esq., and a respectable jury, who brought in a verdict of Accidental death.


Demetian Mirror, 15 August 1840

FATAL ACCIDENT. - At Cardigan, on Thursday evening last, a young man 18 years of age, whose name was David Lewis, was unfortunately drowned at Pwllcastell near that town.  It appears that he and another man had been rowing a party of gentlemen (Barristers we believe) down to the Bar, and on their return home, a brisk race took place between his boat and another in which there was also a party of Gentlemen, during the race the deceased evinced great prowess in rowing, and his boat won; he was liberally treated and paid by the Gentlemen, and perhaps in the pride of the moment, and wishing to shew what he could do in the management of a Canoe, which had been presented him by a Captain of a brig from America, he paddled down the river as far as Pwllcastell, where it is supposed the Canoe was upset, and the unfortunate young man lost his life. This happened in about ten minutes after he had landed from his former excursion.  On Friday, James Bowen, Esq. Coroner, held an inquest on the body, Verdict, found drowned. .  .  .  . 


Glamorgan Gazette, 19 September 1840

Sudden death. - An inquest was held at Cardigan, on Friday week on the body of a child 4 years old, who fell down dead in a field adjoining the said town, whilst playing with children of the same age.  He had complained of indisposition a day or two previously.  Verdict, Found Dead.


Monmouthshire Merlin, 3 October 1840

FATAL ACCIDENT AT LAMPETER PONTSTEPHENS. - On Saturday, the 19th ult., as the Collegian coach was performing the last journey for the present year, through Main-street, Lampeter, a young boy, in attempting to run across the street, tumbled down, and the two near wheels of the coach passed over his neck and face, which occasioned his instant death.  An inquest was held on the body before J. Howell Thomas, Esq., coroner, and a very respectable jury. - Verdict, Accidental Death; attributable to no fault whatever on the part of the coachman, David Edwards, who is well known to be a very sober man, and a most careful driver.


The Cambrian, 17 October 1840

   A serious accident, attended with fatal consequences, occurred at Lampeter on Thursday, the 1st instant.  A party of five young gentlemen, boarders at the establishment of Rev. Mr. Felix, went out that day upon as shooting excursion.  In getting over a hedge, the gun which they had with them was laid on top of the hedge; one of the party, a youth from Haverfordwest, of the name of Phillips, after having got over the fence, took hold of the muzzle of the gun, and while lifting it off, his foot slipped, causing him to drag the gun along the hedge;  in consequence of which the hammer, which was down on the nipple of the gun, was accidentally raised, and, instantly falling, caused the gun to discharge its contents, which entered the groin of the poor young gentleman, and settled in his back.  He suffered great pain until mortification took place, and on Sunday last death terminated his sufferings.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School