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Colonial Cases


Cambrian, 15 July 1809

Monday, as John Whittingham, a boy about 11 years old, was sliding down the Castle Rocks that tower above the town of Montgomery, a stone crumbled from his feet, and he was dashed into the road 20 yards below, and instantly killed.


On Saturday morning Jacob Humphreys, the Parish Clerk of Welshpool, was found dead in his bed, to which he went the preceding night in perfect health. [Continues with family history.]


Cambrian, 25 November 1809

On Saturday last, a Coroner's Inquest was taken at Montgomery, on the body of a young woman, who was shot through the head by a gentleman's servant.  It appeared that the man was intoxicated, and bringing a gun down stairs to clean, and passing near the girl, it was discharged, and caused the fatal accident.  The Jury returned a verdict of manslaughter, and the man was committed to gaol.


Cambrian, 4 May 1811

      On Monday, Samuel Pedley, a journeyman clock-maker, cut his throat and then plunged into the canal, at Welshpool; he was almost immediately taken out lifeless.  The unhappy man had been long in a state of ill health and depressed spirits.


Cambrian, 29 June 1811

   Sunday, as Mr. T. Hall, a respectable tradesman of Newtown, Montgomeryshire, was bathing in the Severn, he suddenly sunk, in the presence of a person on the bank.  An alarm was given, and two young men arrived, who took up the body and conveyed it to his home, where the most skilful exertions were employed to restore life, but without effect. - Coroner's verdict, accidental death.


Carmarthen Journal, 21 March 1812

   The body of the poor fisherman, who was drowned by the upsetting of his coracle, near Rhyd-y-gorse, was found on Saturday evening last, having lain in the water near seven weeks.  An inquest was held on the body, and a verdict returned of "Found drowned."


Cambrian, 21 November 1812

   Sunday se'nnight, the body of Mr. Pickstock, a respectable farmer living at Calcot hall, near Llandrinio, was found in the river Tannat.  The deceased had been at Oswestry market on the preceding Wednesday; and as several marks of violence were manifest on the body, suspicions are entertained that he was robbed and murdered.  Coroner's inquest - Found drowned.


Cambrian, 27 August 1814

   On Sunday morning last, the body of Mr. Abel Round, of Wednesbury, Staffordshire, was found, by a fisherman, on the River Severn, near Welshpool; he had been missing since the preceding evening: his hat, wig, coat, and boot, were found on the side of the river.  Ewe understand that he had been for some time in a depressed state of mind, and had arrived at Welsh Pool with a view of proceeding to Aberystwyth for the benefit of his health.


Cambrian, 15 November 1817

DIED. - On the 22d ult. Evan Howell, a labouring man of the parish of Llanwnig, Montgomeryshire.  In the morning he went to the village to procure necessaries for the burial of one of his children, and was returning apparently well; but soon after he was found a corpse on the road side, and was carried home on a bier; he has left a widow and several children, ...his body and that of his infant child were interred at the same time and in the same grave.


Cambrian, 11 August 1821

      On Saturday, at Carreghova, near Llanymynech, Mr. Robt. Watkin, a respectable farmer, in getting over a stile, struck his leg against a nail, which pierced an artery; and before assistance could be procured, he bled to death.


Cambrian, 13 January 1821

DIED. Suddenly, on his road from Welshpool, aged 65, Mr. Vaughan, of Gungrog; a man universally respected.


Cambrian, 11 August 1821

   On Thursday, at Llansaintfraid, Montgomeryshire, a young man in endeavouring to cross the Cirriew, upon a horse belonging to an exciseman in the neighbourhood, missed the regular fording place of the river.  The animal, after struggling a short time, sunk; immediate assistance was procured, but both perished.


The Cambrian, 23 October 1824

   A deplorable occurrence took place on Saturday in a highly respectable family who reside in the vicinity of Abermule, Montgomeryshire.  At Newtown Races two of the men servants quarrelled, and finally agreed to fight on their return home.  They  stript and fought in the stable, where they were heard by the elder son of their master, and he endeavoured to separate them, and adjust the dispute.  One of the men became insolent, and set himself in an attitude to fight the young gentleman, who thereupon struck the servant near the ear; the man fell, lingered until Tuesday, and died.  A verdict of manslaughter has been brought in by the Coroner's Jury. - Shrewsbury Chronicle.


The Cambrian, 6 May 1826

ALLEGED MURDER. - Last week, the body of a man named Parragon, was found very much mangled on the road near Montgomery.  Life was not extinct when he was first discovered; but he died immediately after.  From the nature of the bruises, it is believed they were made by a horse's foot, and other circumstances lead to the opinion that a horse had been driven frequently over the unfortunate man's body.  An individual is, we hear, suspected of the foul deed, and the officers of justice are in search of him.


The Cambrian, 9 September 1826

   A fatal affray, arising out of some trifling feeling of jealousy, took place in the neighbourhood of Pool, Montgomeryshire, on Saturday se'nnight.  Several reapers were employed in a field near that town, two of whom (one named Gardner, the other usually called Dick of Forden, but whose real name is Richard Jones), were noticed by the other reapers to use boasting and exasperating language to each other.  One man heard Jones say to Gardner, "if thee thinkest thee beest a better man than me, come on," and when the man turned his head  towards them, he saw Jones with the point of the scythe fix in the head of Gardner, and the latter falling to the ground. The man instantly ran to the spot, and held the body while the scythe was pulled out of the unfortunate man's head.  He expired instantly.  A Coroner's jury sat upon the body on Monday, and a verdict of Manslaughter being returned against Jones, he was committed to Montgomery gaol.


The Cambrian, 7 April 1827

   At the Montgomery Great Sessions, which commenced at Welshpool on Thursday last,, .  .  .  .  Richard Jones, for the manslaughter of Edward Gardiner, of Trelystan, to be transported for 14 years;  .  .  .  . 


The Cambrian, 11 October 1828

   On the evening of the 30th ult. Mrs. Davies, of Llandrinio, shopkeeper, was going with her son in a cart through the river Vyrniew, at Penterheilin ford, when, there being a flush of water in the river, the cart was overturned, and the horse drowned. - Mrs. Davies and her son were upset into the river; but their shrieks being heard at the adjacent mill, assistance was immediately given, but, unhappily, Mrs. Davies, when taken from the eater, was in such a very exhausted state that she expired soon after; but Mr. Davies is in a state of recovery.


Carmarthen Journal,  13 February 1829

DISTRESSING EVENT. - A man of the name of Hollaway, a farmer, residing near to Guilsfield, Montgomeryshire, sent two of his children, a boy and a girl, a short time since, to frighten the crows, from a piece of wheat; the day being excessively cold, the children to warm themselves gathered a few pieces of wood and made a fire by the hedge side; while standing by the fire the little girl's clothes caught fire, her little brother did every thing in his power to extinguish the fire, the little fellow had even the presence of mind to take off his own jacket and wrap round her; but while in this brotherly act, his own clothes caught fire, and his attention was directed to self-preservation, and he fortunately succeeded.  Imagining that he had a chance of saving his sister, he ran home, which was several fields distant, and informed the father of the situation of the little girl, and the father of course made all haste to save his child.  The girl seeing her father coming to her assistance, ran to meet him, which rekindled the flames, and by the time they met the poor child was in a perfect state of nudity, every rag which she had being burnt off.  The poor little creature was dreadfully scorched; she was taken home, where she lingered in great agony until the following day, when she expired.


Carmarthen Journal, 19 June 1829

MELANCHOLY ACCIDENT. - Tuesday last, as Henry Evans, laborer, in the parish of Llandyssil, and others, were going with their carts to the mountain for turbary, in a certain part of the road they challenged each other to drive a race, when suddenly the deceased was observed to fall from his cart, and was killed on the spot.  An inquest was held on the body, when a verdict was returned of Accidental Death.


Monmouthshire Merlin, 9 January 1830

   William Dawson, coachman to Viscount Clive, met his death on Christmas-day last, under very melancholy circumstances.  The noble family, in which he had been for some years a servant, were attending divine service at Welshpool church, and Dawson had brought the carriage to the gates leading to the edifice, and was waiting to take up some of the family, when the horses became suddenly alarmed, and set off at a furious pace, so as to prevent his resuming the controul of them; and in consequence he was thrown from the box and killed.


The Cambrian, 16 January 1830


An active overseer of the Railroad Works met with a violent death at Rainhill, on Tuesday evening last.  Messrs. Erickson and Braithwaite's carriage, the Novelty, was out during the latter part of the day; there was, as usual, a #waggon attached to it, and while it was in the act of turning back at the end of one of the journeys, the unfortunate deceased, whose name was Tollerton, sought to jump into the waggon, but in the effort his foot slipped, and he fell go the ground; instantly the ponderous machine passed over his head, which it crushed to atoms.  The whole was the act of a moment.  The unfortunate man bore a most excellent character, and has left a widow and three infant children.


The Cambrian, 1 May 1830

MURDER. -  We have this week to record a "murder most foul," as in the best it is, but this most foul, strange, and unnatural," of an infant six months old, by its own father, a tailor in Carno, Montgomeryshire.  The child was left in the cradle by its mother, and on her return she found it a corpse, it having been struck on the back of the head by the hand of the father.  The only excuse the father makes is, that he was bewitched.  The Coroner's Jury has brought in their verdict Wilful Murder against the father, and a warrant has been issued for his apprehension.


The Cambrian, 5 June 1830

SUICIDCE. - A young oman, the daughter of respectable parents, put an end to her existence last week, in Ashton, Mongomeryshire, in consequence, it is thought, of some very trifling family quarrel.  She left the house of her mother to go, as she said, to her uncle's, at a short distance, but was discovered next morning suspended by her apron strings.  From appearances it would seem that she had first tried o destroy hrself by her garters, but they broke, and then she betook herself to her apron-strings,


Carmarthen Journal, 27 August 1830


   William Tibbott was put to the bar, on Saturday, charged on the Coroner's Inquisition, with the Willful Murder of his Father, John Tibbott, on the 29th day of July last.  The circumstances which led to this horrible affair are briefly as follows:-

   The deceased (a native of Llaanllwchaiuarn,) was upwards of 70 years of age, and He decrepid lived, together with the prisoner, in a small house of his won, worth about 200 Pounds, near Abermule.  Being unable to obtain any rent from his son, the old man caused an ejectment to be served upon him; and on that being done, the son made use of violent expressions towards his father; and shortly afterwards the old man was found dead.

   The evidence, chiefly on unbroken chain of circumstances, was briefly as follows:- W. Humphreys, a sheriff's officer, said, that he served the notice of ejectment on the prisoner; who said, in reply to witness, "He (meaning his father) shall never see the Sessions."  Witness aid, "Why what will you do?" "You shall hear before the Sessions," was the prisoner's reply.  Mr. Slyman, of the firm of Messrs. Lutener and Skyman, surgeons, Newtown, deposed as follows: - I was requested by the Coroner, o open the body of John Tibbott, and analysed the contents of the stomach, which I found contained a large quantity of arsenic, sufficient to deprive half a dozen men of life.  I found in the house a paper containing white powder, which prisoner affirmed was calomel; but which on examination by the usual tests I discovered to be arsenic.

   This witness underwent a cross-examination by Mr. U. Corbett, but without the least shaking the clear evidence he gave.  Dr. Johnes, the coroner, was called, who stated he submitted a portion of the contents of the stomach to various tests for arsenic, and his experiments fully confirmed those of Mr. Slyman. Mr. Baxter, surgeon, Montgomery, deposed to having   sold the prisoner a quantity of arsenic for the alleged purpose of destroying rats.  He identified the prisoner as the person to whom he sold it, and the paper which contained the white powder found by Mr. Slyman in prisoners house, was also identified by Mr. Baxter as that in which he wrapped the arsenic sold to prisoner.

   His Lordship complimented Mr. Slyman on the clearness and science of his testimony; and addressing the prisoner, gave him no hope of mercy, adding "He that sheddeth man's blood by man shall his blood be shed." He then entreated him to prepare for his end, and sentenced him to be executed on Monday.  The prisoner evinced little sensibility at the time; but he afterwards so far confessed the dreadful crime to a Dissenting Minister from Llandyssil, as to acknowledge that the sentence was just; but we believe he refused to enter into any detail of particulars.  It is certainly not true, as has been stated in print, that the prisoner confessed having destroyed his first wife by poison.  On Monday, the wretched man was brought out to suffer his doom, before the County gaol at Montgomery.

  A person from an English town acted as executioner, it being impossible to find any bone in Wales to execute this office; and having made all the necessary preparations, the unhappy man was tied up, and the cart on which he stood dragged slowly from beneath his feet ! He had consequently no fall, and in addition, the spectators had the horror of perceivi8ng that the knot of the cord by which he was suspended was directly under the culprit's chin, and the windpipe being only thereby partially compressed, the wretched man was left to struggle into eternity by horribly protracted agony.

   For many minutes this sickening spectacle was exhibited, till the executioner was compelled to alter the position of the knot, and then to suspend himself to the struggling sufferer's limbs; and not until the expiration of eighteen minutes did the heart-rending scene terminate by the death of the un happy man.  His body was given by the High Sheriff to Messrs. Lutener and Slyman of Newtown, but the dissection took place at Pool.  |We believe there has not been, till the present occasion, an execution of a malefactor in the county of Montgomery during the last sixteen years; and we are informed that the father of the present High Sheriff was the Sheriff when the former execution took place. [Details of the house, and the father's second wife.]


Monmouthshire Merlin, 15 January 1831

SUDDEN DEATH OF A SABBATH-BREAKER.  Last Sunday three weeks, about ten o'clock in the morning, as a person of the name of John Webster, of Llandysil, near Montgomery, was taking a new foot-ball to the field, to be tried for the afternoon sport, he suddenly doped down dead, being summoned to appear before that awful Judge whose mandate he was in the act of violating.


Carmarthen Journal, 2 December 1831

   On Friday night, Elizabeth Watkin, of the Goitra Mill, in the parish of Kerry, Montgomery, was returning from Bishop's Castle market; the nigh being very stormy, she lost the road on the hill, and was found dead next morning in a dingle.


The Cambrian, 3 December 1831


On the 23d ult., in the 8th year of his age, Mr. John Paine, of Llandinam. Montgomeryshire. His death was awfully sudden.  He had taken his place in the coach at Welsh Pool, intending to proceed to Liverpool; before the coach had travelled two miles, he was observed to appear faint and ill, and at Llanymynech was taken out a corpse.

Glamorgan Gazette, 15 June 1833
  MELANCHOLY DISCOVERY. - Some workmen were lately employed in repairing an old house near the Sarn, in the parish of Kerry, Montgomeryshire, when lifting the boards of a ground floor, the skeleton of a human body was discovered, concealed beneath a part of the floor strongly secured.  It is generally believed that the body has been concealed in this spot upwards of thirty years, as at that time a poor girl was lost from the neighbourhood, and never afterwards heard of, but nothing can be discovered from the condition of the skeleton, to elicit the cause of the unfortunate girl's death. - Shrewsbury Chronicle.

Glamorgan Gazette, 21 December 1833
DEATH BY FIRE-ARMS. - A melancholy accident occurred a few days ago at Maeslenysith, Montgomeryshire, the sporting seat of Lord Viscount Clive.  His Lordship and a party of friends had been out shooting, and the gamekeeper laid down his loaded gun on a table; a person touched the percussion lock, and the contents entered the groin of the gardener.  Lord Clive, with his characteristic humanity and kindness mounted a horse and rode off for a surgeon; but the man died before assistance could be procured.  Chester Courant.

Cambrian, 18 April 1840


   On Wednesday se'nnight, John Morris, game-keeper to Mr. Crewe Read, of Landinam, Montgomeryshire, took into his own house a loaded gun, which he placed on the table, and in consequence of his wife closing a door rather quickly, the gun went off, and the contents lodged in the groin of the poor woman, whom bled profusely, and died almost instantly.

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