First Stop' - 100 Years of News Stories
Merlin 16th January, 1836
On Wednesday last being Old Christmas Day, Thomas Powell Esq. of the Gaer House, Newport, with the liberality and charitable feeling he has always evinced in the alleviation of distress, distributed, to the poor of the Borough and Parish of St. Woolos, one ton four hundred weight of bread, affording a liberal supply to a great many poor families. As the worthy donor has been elected one of the council and has since been chosen one of the Aldermen of the Borough, it may be a good inducement for other members of the Corporation to do likewise.
Entertaining the opinion that it is the duty of every good citizen to endeavour by all means to promote the comfort and welfare of others, his fellow citizens in particular, I am induced through the medium of your truly useful columns to call the attention of the "powers that he" to one or two things connected with this our promising town of Newport, which I deem to be of public concern.
What I wish to call immediate attention to is the exceedingly bad, the dirty, the filthy state of the roads in the town, particularly Commercial Street and Commercial Road, as I understand the road leading from The Salutation to Pillgwenlly is called.
On going down to Pillgwenlly the other evening I found that the foot-path was obstructed by several great heaps of stone and other building materials, and being unfortunately short-sighted and there being no public lights in the neighbourhood, I failed to perceive the impediments to my safe progress until by a false step, I was, to my great consternation and no small annoyance thrown on all fours amongst them. Avoiding the repetition of such a catastrophe, I then tried the carriage way where I found myself ankle deep in a slippery compound of lime and sand at every step I took.
There is Sir, another subject I beg leave to call your attention - the names of the streets and ways in the town, and the numbers of houses in the Streets.
I have heard complaints innumerable, and I have myself wasted much time in endeavours to discover the residences of individuals, regarding which, I should have had no difficulty were the practice of numbering the houses adopted.
I was going to say a few words about an efficient body of night-watchmen or police constables, but I perceive. 'The Merlin' has this subject under consideration. Many a time I have been awoke (sic) after midnight, and frequently on the Sabbath morning, by the abominable noise made by a set of drunken fellows, many of them mere boys, singing, roaring and shouting through the streets, cursing themselves and swearing at each other, till the very echo repeated the nuisance. Such misdoings will not go again unrewarded.
I am Mr. Editor,
An inquest was held Tuesday before William Brewer Esq. coroner, and a very respectable jury at the Ship and Pilot public house at Pillgwenlly, on the body of William Kayle who had been employed as mate on board the 'Lyon' of Liverpool. It appeared in evidence that the deceased and some of his shipmates were carousing at a house called the Sailor's Return in Corn Street, Newport, on 23rd ult., when about 12 o'clock at night Sgt. Redman and T. Powell, the constable, came to clear the house. Thomas Powell collared the deceased, dragged him to the door from which he pushed him and the unfortunate man fell over the steps and elevated pavement into the road where he was found by his shipmates and others, almost insensible and bleeding copiously. He was assisted on board his vessel where he lay in a state of delirium till the Saturday following when he expired. A verdict of manslaughter has been returned against Thomas Powell, the constable who has been bailed.
On Thursday last the natives of the Emerald Isle, resident in Newport, celebrated the feast of their Patron Saint with more than usual spirit and with most creditable decorum. In the early part of the day about twenty Irishmen, well-dressed and respectable in appearance each wearing a green sash on which the motto Erin go Bragh was well executed in gold, walked through the leading streets of the town, preceded by a capital band of music, playing "Patrick's Day," "Carryowen" etc. The party sat down to a very good dinner prepared by Mrs. Johns of the Bush Inn, after which the meeting was addressed on the happy prospects now opening for the Island of Saints, and congratulated on the high character which they obtained by their good conduct amongst the inhabitants of Newport.
As the Welch up Mail was coming into town yesterday, at its usual rapid pace, in passing down Commercial Street, a child between four and five years of age, attempted to cross the carriage way, and the driver not being able to pull up in time, the off fore-wheel unfortunately passed over the body of the poor child. She was taken up by a gentleman and conveyed home where she was promptly attended to by Mr. Hawkins.
We have felt it our duty, on more than one occasion, to complain of the dangerous speed at which the public coaches are driven through this town. We suggest that the velocity of his Majesty's Mails may be decreased on passing through densely crowded places such as Newport. The distance between the Salutation and the King's Head Hotel is about half a mile and the time gained by a gallop instead of a safe trot would make no material difference, at least not of sufficient importance to counterbalance the safety of the lives and limbs of the King's subjects.
On Monday last the inhabitants of Newport had the satisfaction of witnessing a most gratifying exhibition - the meeting of about 1200 children, who are receiving the blessing of a moral education, by the active benevolence of Dissenters. The children, cleanly in appearance, orderly in conduct and neatly clad accompanied by about 100 teachers met at Parrot Fields, off Commercial Street, where an immense assemblage were very appropriately addressed by the Reverends Messrs Byron and Thomas.
Hannah Willis and Edward Bryant were indicted for stealing a quantity of gin, a jug, and a bottle, the property of Alfred Williams the landlord of the Tredegar Arms, Newport. He missed some spirits in May Inst and suspecting Willis, he sent for Redman the constable who searched the box of Willis and there found a jug full of gin. She acknowledged that Bryant had keys which opened the cellars; Bryant was then taxed with the theft which he denied, but said that he had had some gin from Willis the night before. Redman corroborated the evidence so far given and said that Willis acknowledged having taken the gin and that Bryant acknowledged having taken it from Willis. Rev. James Coles stated that the examinations of the prisoners were taken before him and that they were not prevailed upon either by threat or promise to make confession. The confession of Willis made before the magistrate was then read in which she acknowledged having stolen the gin. Two witnesses were then called by Mr. Harding who gave Bryant a good character. Guilty.
Lord C. Somerset in passing sentence on Willis said that in this case it was necessary to inflict a severe punishment. He hoped the punishment inflicted on the prisoner would serve as an example to other servants and deter them from the commission of a similar offence. His Lordship then sentenced Hannah Willis to seven years transportation and Bryant to twelve months imprisonment and hard labour.
On Thursday evening last a gentleman dropped in the street two of Messrs Jones and Blewitt's ten-pound notes which were picked up by Richard Christopher, a mason of Newport, who by making enquiries ascertained from the Crier who the loser was, he immediately presented them to him and he was as he deserved rewarded handsomely. This is an instance of true honesty; and we doubt not honest Christopher may be thought of by his townsmen in seeking employment where honesty is duly appreciated.
The solemn and impressive ceremony of consecration took place Thursday last and brought together an immense assemblage of the gentry, clergy and middle classes of this and the adjoining counties. The morning was fine, the peals of St. Woolos' bells were heard from an early hour; strangers were continually arriving, and the town wore a holiday-like and most animated appearance.
Merlin 19 November, 1836
A considerable degree of excitement was occasioned this week by a warrant being issued against a gay lady living in lodgings, on a charge of felony. The person who keeps the house denied having any lodgers, but the police were not deceived. They succeeded in obtaining admission and were ungallant enough to enter the lady's room, who was found in bed. They very unceremoniously searched every corner, regardless of the blushes and entreaties of the fair one, and among her treasures found eleven gentlemen's waistcoats, twenty pairs of silk stockings (all new) and three gold rings. The constables carried off their prize, lady and all, to the great dismay of an elderly gentleman who felt most acutely the painful separation, although his wife was outside waiting to receive him, where she had actually been the whole night endeavouring to obtain an entrance to her lawful spouse to withdraw him from the allurements of his fair but frail companion. It appeared that the lady, known as "Sweet Susan," had been visiting nearby and had acquired her ill gotton gains whilst the owners were away from home.
Our new Mayor for the coming year is Mr. John Frost, a
draper of this town and we wish him well. We trust that his year of office
will be free from any rancour occasioned by his strongly held opinions
and that peace in the Council will prevail.
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First Stop' - 100 Years of News Stories