Newport First Stop - 100 Years of News Stories

Newspaper Reports 1800 - 1829

Researched by Derrick Cyril Vaughan

1800 J.W. Scott
Old Newport

At this time the town was occupied principally by natives of the Principality, or families of Welsh extraction; and the language, customs, dress and habits were essentially Welsh. Grey flannel dresses with high broad-brimmed beaver hats, were worn by the women; while the same article (flannel) entered largely into the clothing of the men. Homely attire and unostentatious conduct were the chief peculiarities of the primitives of those days. Plain and familiar cognomens, such as "Aunt Molly" this one and "Uncle Davey" the other, were held in as great esteem as are the more fashionable phrases of the present time; and the distinctions which now divide the human family into classes, were scarcely recognised then, for we find it remembered by persons still living, that the high and low (as regarded birth and possessions) travelling on the Sabbath to the parish church of St. Woolos, doffed their "hose and shoon," and tucked up their clothing, and journeyed together in amicable converse to the yard of the House of God, where seating themselves on the graves of their fathers, they dusted their feet, and resumed their stockings and shoes, and went to worship decently together. After the services had been concluded, and the church door had been closed, all grades mingled together again, and in their holiday dress and with cheerful happy hearts, they began the rustic sports of dancing, playing at balls, leaping and running, not unfrequently acquiring fresh vigour from "a smack of the old black jack" which the village ale house (The Bull Inn) so temptingly proffered. The introduction of more devotional feelings, however, caused a cessation of those Sabbath-day festivities.

1800 D.V. (Res)
The Newport Bridge

In this year the old wooden bridge over the Usk was demolished and a new stone bridge was built which lasted for the next 125 years. [Follow this link for our article and pictures]

1801 Cambrian
The Marshland at Pillgwenlly

We are given to understand from our correspondent in Newport that the marshland at Pillgwenlly, which at times, when the tide is only of a moderate height, submerges the land in that area to such an extent that the tram roads which run to the port, have had to be laid on higher ground on an indirect route. It is therefore proposed, and we have this information from an unimpeachable source, that 6,000,000 cubic feet of earth and ballast are to be laid in order to raise the level of the area six feet.

1802 H.J. Davies
Sir Charles Morgan's Golden Mile

Between 1795 and 1802, the Monmouthshire canal Company built the following tram-roads; Pontnewynydd to Blaennvon and Varteg; Pontymoel to Trosnant and Blaendare; Crumlin to Beaufort, and Beaufort to Sirhowy. These all led to iron works at the different places, and, with the exception of the tram- road from Sirhowy to Beaufort, each gave direct access to the canal.

In 1802, the Company obtained Parliamentary powers to construct a tram-road from the canal at Newport to Nine Mile Point. I might explain, in passing, that Nine Mile Point was so designated because it was nine miles from the property of John Jones Esquire, of Pillgwenlly.

The company built eight miles of the new tram-road themselves, the other mile being built and maintained by Sir Charles Morgan, the owner of Tredegar Park, in return for the tolls therefrom. The portion of line through Tredegar Park became proverbial as the "The Golden Mile."

1802 J.M. Scott

Mr. John Thomas, a painter and glazier, who earned a good name and plenty of profits, by early rising and industrious habits, was one summer morning proceeding slowly up Stow Hill at an early hour, with his frame of glass strapped to his back. His load was heavy, and John, somewhat tired, sat down in the churchyard, on the end of a tomb, the masonry at the side of which had fallen down. John was quietly ruminating here on the profits which would result from his country job and sometimes casting an eye down over the beautiful expanse of land and water spread out before him, on which the sun was sluggishly rising, when suddenly he heard a voice close at his elbows, asking was o'clock it was. John Thomas looked around sharply, and lo! he saw emerging from the aperture in the tomb, a black and grisly figure, glaring upon him with dismal eyes and grinning and chattering teeth! At one bound, John sprung from his seat, and, with the glass at his back, leapt over the churchyard wall, and took to the open fields screaming with affright, "The Devil! The Devil!" John's day's work was spoilt, all his nice calculations and pleasant morning-musings overthrown, and his glass shivered into a thousand fragments, simply by a poor boy-sweep, who had got up that morning too early to commence his sooty avocations, and had been taking a second nap in the broken tomb.

1802 H. J. Davies
The Monmouthshire Canals

There are two Monmouthshire canals and they both belong to the same system. The first was constructed from the River Usk at Newport to Pontnewynydd, with a subsequent extention to Brecon. The other canal is a branch of the first, and extends from Crindau (Newport) to Crumlin, a distance of about 10½ miles. In its short course, the Crumlin Canal rises 365 feet and is provided with 32 locks. A great deal of engineering skill was exercised in its construction. Apart from the building of locks, the hilly nature of the district made it necessary to erect lofty embankments in several places.

1802 Donovan
On Visiting St. Woolos Church

I am sorry to say the strictest attention to propriety is not observable within these walls; we were repeatedly shocked, in proceeding towards the eastern extremity of the place, with the mouldering relics of mortality, the wreck of bones, skulls and coffins that were heedlessly scattered about the ground on which we trod.

1803 D.V. (Res)
An Epitaph in Old St. Woolos Churchyard dated 1803

Here lies Joseph Tandy
Who at catching moles was very handy;
He dug many a hole to catch a mole,
At last the mole caught Tandy."

1804 D.V. (Res)
Labourers' Diet

"The principal articles of diet among the labourers are oat cakes, potatoes, milk and cheese, with an inferior species of cwrw. Almost every cottage is provided with a small garden, and the greater part are even enabled to keep a cow, which ranges the commons for subsistence. The comforts of the cottager are increased by the abundance of fuel, either of coal or wood, which prevails in every part of the country, and, the price of labour being the same as in most of the counties of England, with these additional comforts the condition of the peasantry in Monmouthshire is very advantageous."

1805 Cambrian
The Mayors Plot

The property known as the "Mayors Plot" has been purchased by Sir Robert Salisbury from Newport Town Council for the sum of £75. We are given to understand, by persons that know, that they consider the value has been grossly undervalued.

1806 Cambrian
Mill Street Prison

The new prison in Mill Street Newport has now been completed at a cost of £40 and has already received the sobriquet of the "Clock House" due, no doubt, to its circular shape as it boasts no clock. The area is already known as Pentonville.

1806 D.V (Res.)
Death of Sir Charles Gould Morgan

Sir Charles died in 1806 at the age of eighty. His family name was Gould but on marrying Jane Morgan in 1758 he adopted his wife's name. He pursued a legal career until he inherited from his wife large estates in Monmouthshire, Glamorgan and Breconshire. Being a very shrewd man he used this fortune to invest in the new industries which were starting in South Wales. It was he who was the motivating, force in the construction of the Sirhowy to Newport tram-road which by chance happened to pass through Tredegar Park for a distance of one mile over his property and was known as the "Golden Mile." Tolls were levied on every ton of coal passing this way to the weighing machine at Courtybella. Thus, apart from his already massive income from rents, he now had another source of income to add to the family fortune. His son, also Sir Charles Morgan, inherited the title and estate on his death.

1807 D.V. (Res.)
Commercial Street and Commercial Road

In 1807, Sir Charles Morgan Gould granted a lease for 99 years of some 200 acres of land adjoining the then small town of Newport to Messrs Samuel Homfray, Rowley Lascelles, and Richard Fothergill, in trust for himself and themselves, and they entered into partnership under the style of the Tredegar Wharf Co., with a capital of £160,000 for the development of that property.
This company purchased two or three small plots of land and laid out a road a mile long and fifty feet wide extending from the Westgate to Pillgwenlly, now known as Commercial Street and Commercial Road, and formed wharfs at Pillgwenlly for the shipment of coal and iron.

1808 Cambrian
Napper's Muffin Shop

Mr. Peter Napper begs leave to inform the public that he has opened the above establishment for the sale of Pastries, Pies and Muffins of the Highest Quality. He hopes by paying strict attention to orders he will merit a share of Public Favour.

1809 Cambrian
Sir Charles Morgan's Gift

The granting two years ago of a lease for 99 years of 200 acres of land to the Tredegar Wharf Company by Sir Charles Morgan has resulted in the construction of a road, one mile in length and fifty feet wide, from the Westgate to Pillgwenlly. If runs in a straight line - one half being known as Commercial Street and the remainder which runs from the Salutation Inn to Pill as Commercial Road.

Note: This was no gift to Newport by Sir Charles, but a very shrewd and profitable investment as all the ground rents from the Westgate to Pill went to the Tredegar Wharf Co. in which he had a controlling interest and at the end of the 99 year lease all the land and buildings thereon reverted to the Tredegar Estate and the Morgan family.

1809 D.V. (Res.)
The Moderator Wharf

For many years the ships which plied back and forth to Bristol charged exorbitant fares for the journey. A Mr. Kemeys decided to capture this market by placing on station a boat which he named the "Moderator," moderate prices being charged. The wharf from which this boat sailed was henceforth known as the Moderator Wharf.

1810 D.V. (Res)
Local Epitaph 1810

Here lies at rest I do protest
One chest within another,
The chest of wood was very good
Who says so of the other.

1811 D.V. (Res)
John Frost

John Frost this year opened a drapery business in Mill Street.

The population of Newport has more than doubled in ten years. It now has 2346 inhabitants.

1812 J. M. Scott
Stow Fair

At this time Stow Fair was full of the spirit of fun and frolic; it was an established rule and maintained an "a right divine" that, there should always be a Lord Mayor elected to preside over the wild pleasures of the fair, whose province it was, while seated upon his rude throne, to issue his mandates for the commencement of any fresh merriment, and often to decide on what punishment should be awarded strangers who visited his Kingdom, without paying the customary toll. The punishment. inflicted for this offence, was of various kinds, not the most delightful among which was being ducked in a muddy pool in the vicinity of Stow, and obtaining an awkward seat in the village stocks - a position which Sir Charles Morgan (Gould) once narrowly escaped, by paying his guinea; which also, even the sacred person of the Rev Mr. Coles was, at one fair, only exempted from a similar honour, by the usual gratuity.

With respect to such customs, a justice of the peace named Squire George, who was of a somewhat choleric disposition although rubicond and stout. This justice had a very large dog, of sufficient size and strength to overcome the justice himself occasionally; and on one evening, preceding Stow Fair, the animal found his way truantly into the midst of the throng on Stow Hill. Immediately he was recognised, a cry of joy went forth, and the roysterers at once seized the huge mastiff, quite regardless of his being "a justice's dog," and, with a spirit of fun indicative of how they would like to serve his master, they fastened on a tremendous big kettle to his tail, with which he went like lightening down the hill, and never stopped till he reached his master's house. Here, the old justice stood in placid mood, little dreaming of what awaited him; but the moment the mastiff and kettle appeared, they came "full butt", against the old gentleman's legs; which threw him off his perpendicular, and levelled him on the floor of the passage. Boiling with indignation, up rose the justice seized his staff, and forthwith proceeded to the fair. "Who dared tie a kettle to my dog's tail?" was his first enquiry. Seeing the rage of the querist, they guessed the results of their freak, and answered with nothing but a daring shout. "I'll make you stiffer for this!" he exclaimed; and was flourishing his cudgel about threateningly before turning his back on the laughing mob, when he was suddenly seized from behind, just as he was exclaiming, "I'll put a stop to this!" and without a moments warning the worthy representative of his gracious Majesty George the Fourth, was placed in the stocks! This contumellious conduct was so horrifying to the justice, that he was breathless with rage; but the mirth of the bystanders having evaporated, "his worship" was liberated, and desired to make himself scarce, before he, also was honoured with an old kettle as an appendage - a hint he was not slow to avail himself of.

Several instances of rough treatment in these fashions, especially exhibited towards poor wandering pedlars who visited the fair, at length drew public attention to the necessity of placing some check on the lawless roysterers; and the then vicar, the Rev. Mr. Evans began the supression of the authority of "My Lord Mayor," and his immunities, which the succeeding vicar, the Rev. Mr. Isaacson, entirely abolished; and now Stow Fair bows to the governance and surveillance of Mr. Superintendent Hopkins and his active police force, who are indeed recognised as "the lords of misrule," but in a different sense to the meaning of the term in bygone times.

The old tythe barn near the St. Woolos Church, after its vise in this respect was discontinued, became a grand place in the estimation of a laughter loving portion of the little community, for it was here that Baker, the famous comedian performed his drollness and farces and "kept the house in a roar" with his "quips and quirks" he had imported from England.

1813 Cambrian
The Salutation Inn

We understand from our correspondent in Newport that a new inn is under construction, at the junction of the road to Cardiff, and is due for completion shortly. It will be known as The Salutation Inn and will, we have no doubt, be of great benefit to those travellers passing through the town.

1814 Cambrian
The Parrot Inn

Newport, we hear, is expanding rapidly for yet another new inn is shortly to be opened in that town. We understand that it will stand on the west side of Commercial Street about half way along its length and will be called the Parrot Inn.

1815 James Matthews (Historic Newport)
Newport British School

The Newport British School, Old Green, was opened on the 28th March, 1815, it was open to all denominations alike to come and partake freely of its benefits. Children were admitted from the ages of six up to twelve. On Sundays their attendance at the respective places of worship chosen by the parents was most strictly enforced and attended to.

1816 D.V. (Res.)
Local Epitaph (1816)

John Lee is dead, that good old man
We ne'er shall see him more;
He used to wear an old drab coat
All buttons down before.

1816 J.M. Scott
King's Hill

Many people are still living who remember when Tivoli house, near Stow Gate, was occupied by "Molly Rosser's Farmhouse," - an antique building, with orchards adjoining the roadside which were almost esteemed the property of the apple-loving juveniles of that day; and broad acres extending towards the town and the road to Cardiff. Molly has long been numbered with the dead; but could she revisit earth she would look upon her old farm with surprise for there now stands upon the site Tivoli Rouse, and the magnificent residence of Thomas Hughes Esq., surrounded by a noble grove of trees and blooming gardens known as King's Hill.

1817 James Matthews (Historic Newport)
Newport Market

Newport's First Market House stood in High Street and was demolished in 1793. The Second Market House was built by the Duke of Beaufort in 1817, on the present site. The cost of its erection may be shown by the following items: Messrs Waters and Jones, for erecting the new Market House, £1,790 14s.6d.; Messrs Wathington, for slates, £224.7s.Od,; Sir Charles Morgan, for the land, £100; Mr. Protheroe, jnr., for preparing the conveyance, £20; and Mr. Walter Gwatkins, for superintending the erection, £50; total £2,394.2s.l0d.

1818 D.V. (Res.)
The London Road

Tn 1818 a new turnpike road was made through Maindee and Langstone much to the delight of those who ran the Mail, for the climb to Christchurch exhausted the horses and was extremely hazardous especially in winter.

1819 D.V. (Res.)
New Organ at St. Woolos

An organ has been installed in St. Woolos Church. There are no Churches in the town of Newport, St. Woolos is outside the boundary.

The Inns of Newport

Heath Cock, Henry Jones
Kings Head (and Posting House), John Morgan
Parrot, James Morgan
Westgate (and Posting House), Ann Iggulden

The Taverns and Public Houses
Blue Boar, John Chessell
Bush, Evan Evans
Bush & Britannia, William Williams
Carpenters' Arms, Adam Williams
Coach & Horses, Thomas Harrhy
Cross Keys, Walter Kinnear
Crow, Edward Thomas
Freemasons' Tavern, John Kingson
General Blucher, Evan Morgan
Globe, Mary Gething
Green Dragon, David Davies
Hope & Anchor, William Colcombe
Kings Arms, William Rowland
Market Boat, William Edmonds
Noah's Ark, Evan Jones
Old Bow, William Watkins
Old Red Cow, Sarah Batten
Old Ship, Mary Jenkins
Punch House, John Wells
Red Cow, David Francies
Red Lion, John Jones
Royal Oak, William Roberts
Salutation, Richard Parry
Ship & Castle, William John
Ship-a-Ground, Adam Young
Ship-a-Ground (Pillgwenlly), Samuel Coombs
Ship-on-Launch, Catherine Jones
Six Bells, John Stevens
Tredegar Arms, Thomas Price
Tredegar Inn, Thomas Ashmead
Vulcan, Richard Williams
White Lion, George Thomas

1820 D. V. (Res.)
Something to Look Forward to

A builder of this town having been happily married for many years, and sired a large number of children, sadly lost his beloved wife. Finding life alone was not suited to him, and much against the wishes of his children, he married a spinster of mature years. Shortly afterwards he died, and by the wishes of his children, was buried in the new cemetery with his first wife. The children arranged the inscription on the gravestone and under the gentleman's name placed the word "reunited". The second wife visiting the grave was incensed at this and had the mason, at her own expense, add the words "Until I Come".

1821 John Frost
Letter to Sir Charles Morgan, Bart., Rowley Lascelles, William Phillips, Charles Morgan and others.


It is not from the respect which I feel for you, nor is it, because I think you deserve the appellation of Gentlemen, that I bestow it on you. It is not the possession of thirty thousand a year, nor is it a smiling countenance, with a heart harder than stone, which constitute the Gentleman. Nor is it, being in the receipt of a thousand a year of the public money, for which the receiver does nothing, that can give a fair claim to this title. I can hardly think, that a blustering, swaggering gait, a consequential important air, a head without brains sufficient to put two ideas together; these qualities, valuable as they may appear to you, are not enough, there must be something more to deserve the name. If these be sufficient to constitute the Gentleman, surely a whipper-in will never lay claim to the title. However, as you have I suppose no very clear ideas on the subject, I will try to enlighten you.

A Real Gentleman never values himself on his birth. A man of understanding knows that family pride, is family folly. He knows that the ancestors of those who call themselves noble, acquired their honours by rapine and plunder; and that the wealth of the great was acquired, in the same way as their honours; he knows too, that receipts for the property of the illustrious were written in the blood of former possessors, a real Gentleman is always civil and obliging; he never treats any one with contempt on account of his poverty. So far from thinking himself a superior being he is well aware of his own imperfections; and always inclined to view those of others with a favourable eye. This is but a short sketch, and feeling no inclination to lengthen it, I shall proceed to address you on your conduct as Commissioners.

In 1819, Morgan Harrhy, a Sawyer, residing at Newport, took the Machen-gate, at the yearly rent of £126, and his brother William Harrhy became surety for the performance of the contract. At the expiration of the three years, for which the gate was taken, Morgan Harrhy was deficient of £30. Morgan expected that this sum would be allowed him, according to the promise of the trustees. When the time expired, the whole of the money was demanded, and because it was not forthcoming, an action was brought against Morgan and his bail. Now Messrs. Commissioners you shall hear the consequence of your being guided by Lawyers.

A bailiff was sent to take Morgan's goods in execution, and the first thing he saw was, Morgan' s wife, far advanced in a state of pregnancy. The effect which the sight of the Bailiff had on the woman, you shall hear in the man's own words. "If I had known" said the officer, "I would not have gone into that house for a Hundred Pounds, the woman's belly is up to her chin, and SHE IS ALMOST FRIGHTENED TO DEATH." The fright brought on a premature labour, and while the woman was confined, the Bailiff came to take her husband to prison. This finished the business, and Morgan's wife became a corpse. The infant survived. I am now writing in good health and spirits; but if I thought that I should not see justice done for this deed, I really believe I should break my heart. If men can regard actions of this sort with indifference, there is nothing which they do not deserve to suffer. Can anyone think of a woman placed in that situation without feeling? We have as little reason to expect compassion from Sheriff's officers, as from any men; but even the heart of a Bailiff melted before this scene. Would not men possessing anything, short of hearts of stone have waited for the recovery of the woman, before they sent the husband to prison? Or would they not have considered, how the wife was to be maintained in that situation if deprived of the labour of her husband? Oh no, wait aye? Morgan Harrhy and his brother were sent to jail, and they have left nine children behind them, to be maintained by someone.

If you suppose that folks cannot see as far through a millstone as you, you deceive yourselves. People know that bringing actions, and sending men to jail give work for a Lawyer: and it is also known, that if the persons sent to prison have no cash, the Lawyer will be paid out of public money. That is, the bill will be deducted from the proceeds of the turnpike gates. Here's the evil. If there were no professional men connected with the trust the Machen gate would have been taken up, or at least Morgan and William Harrhy would not have been sent to jail. But, pray Sirs, what benefit will the public derive from sending these men to prison. They have no property, suppose they had. Suppose William Harry had by twenty years hard labour saved a little money, would you take it from his seven children? Would you pay the Lawyer's bill out of the hard gotten earnings of this man? Yes, if he had seventy children, his shirt would be taken off his back. One moment and I have done. Morgan Harrhy's wife is dead: she cannot be restored; she is waiting for you at the tribunal where Lawyers will be of no use. Morgan and William Harrhy are alive, they are able, active, resolute men, and they will have justice.

John Frost


In 1801 Newport contained 1087 inhabitants; and in 1821, males 1730, females 1766, total 3,496; being an increase in 20 years of 2,409. Monmouth, Newport and Usk are represented in Parliament by the Marquis of Worcester.

Description of Newport from the Local Directory

Newport a Corporation town of Monmouthshire, lies at the month of the River Usk, over which there is a handsome stone bridge of five arches. It has a good harbour, whence it has its name, and is 148 miles from London, 28 from Bristol, 15 from the New Passage and 12 from Cardiff. It carries on extensive trading in coals and iron, 300,000 tons of the former and 42,000 tons of the latter being annually exported. The town is governed by a Mayor in conjunction with another Magistrate. The Mayor and Common Council numbering twelve form the Corporation.

There is a church called St. Woolos on the outskirts of the town. In the town are several places of worship for dissenters. There is also a Masonic Hall, a respectable edifice, erected in 1821 and cost nearly £500; and a charity school, designated "The British School", in which a great number of boys are taught the principles of education, supported with a strong inculcation of moral duties. It also contains a Workhouse; and in 1818 an excellent market house was erected which cost about £3,000. Market Day is Saturday. The fairs held are: Ascension Thursday, November 6th, August 15th, the third Monday in the month; and a Great Market at Stow Common the first Thursday after Whitsuntide.

A New Road

It had been realised for some time by the Town Council of Newport that the town was growing rapidly and that easy access was needed to the outlying districts. In this year a road linking The Royal Oak to Belmont on Christchurch was constructed.

Extension of Tram Road

The Sirhowy to Newport tram road only reached as far as Nine Mile Point and it was decided to extend the line to Tredegar. In this year a passenger service was introduced, promoted by John Kingston, between Newport and Tredegar. The passengers were conveyed in a special horse-drawn vehicle known as ''The Caravan."

The Newport Poor

A meeting was called on 1st inst. of the inhabitants of the Borough of Newport, by the Mayor to take into consideration the distressed state of the poor, and the necessity of giving them some relief at this season of the year, when a subscription was entered into, and upwards of £80 collected, which is to be laid out in bread and potatoes and distributed among the poor.

How to Evade the Toll

A Commissioner of Roads residing not a hundred miles from Newport recently caused a load of bricks to be topped with manure in order to pass toll free, but was foiled in his ingenious attempt by the sagacity of the gatekeeper.

Whitewashed Houses

In Newport in 1825 many of the buildings were plastered with lime. This was an efficient and hygienic form of combating the prevalence of cholera and other serious illnesses caused, in the main, by the mud, refuse and odure in the streets.

Link to Caerleon

The Caerleon Road via St. Julians having been commenced two years previously was opened in this year.

1826 Frost (Abridged)
A Letter to Sir Charles Morgan, Bart.


When you, Sir, about fifteen years ago, solicited my vote as a Freeholder for the County of Monmouth, and when I with a skein of thread around my neck, came into your presence, I shook like an aspen leaf. Not, Sir Charles, that there was anything terrific in your appearance, for you were, and still are, a handsome little man. But you were a Baronet, Sir Charles Morgan of Tredegar; a man possessed of great power: a knowledge of this operated on my nervous system, and produced the effects which I have described.

In a short time after, Lord Arthur Somerset called on me for the same purpose. This visit was near killing me. I had at that time got a little higher in the world. I was, when his Lordship came into my shop, in the act of weighing snuff. The sight of a Lord so overpowered me, that instead of putting the snuff into the box of an old woman, it dropped from my hand, and I became motionless as a statue. My tongue clave to my mouth. Mr. Prothero will probably recollect, (though I suppose having been since engaged in affairs of great importance, these little things have escaped his memory) that, when he introduced his Lordship, I could scarcely reply to the very simple question which he put to me. But, now Sir Charles I have seen a little more of the world. I have lived long enough to know, that men may possess immense wealth, without making use of that wealth to promote the happiness of their fellow creatures; and, that, although men may abound in riches, although men may have in their power, the means of securing the respect of their neighbours; yet, that it is possible, that a man, with all these advantages, may live unrespected, and die unregretted. My acquaintance with the world, has taught me another lesson; and that is, that men may fill situations in life the most important, that the happiness of millions of human beings may depend on those who have not capacity for Constables.

You have Sir Charles on various occasions declared, that it would give you pleasure to promote the interest of the inhabitants of Newport. This was a wise determination; for, as the greater part of the town belongs to you, in promoting the welfare of the inhabitants, you serve yourself.

The right to property can never be so absolute as to sanction oppressive conduct in the owners of it; and when a great land owner treats his tenants as slaves, or suffers others to treat them as such, it naturally excites a spirit of enquiry, as to the right the Landlord has to the property; and you know Sir Charles, that the titles by which the great landed estates are held, will not bear a very strict investigation. You, Sir Charles have thought proper to commit your tenants to the tender mercies of a Lawyer, and from such tender mercies, "Good Lord deliver us." You may think it impertinent in any one to call in question the right which you have to appoint whom you please to manage your estate; but, Sir, if the public are not to dispute the right, they certainly may without committing any very great crime, question the wisdom of the appointment. But, Sir Charles, when the appointment of any man to a situation which gives him great power, becomes an evil; the public have a right to interfere; they have a right to shew the evils which result from such an appointment.

In order that the public may have clear ideas of the origin of the dispute between the burgesses of Newport on the one part, and yourself, the mayor and aldermen of Newport, and your agent on the other; it will be necessary that I refer to transactions which took place about twenty years ago.

When the Agent of his Grace the Duke of Beaufort took possession of property which the burgesses claimed, the late Sir Charles Morgan, and yourself, attended at the meetings of the Burgesses which were held for the purpose of obtaining the property, which they considered the Duke had taken possession of illegally. The application to the Duke of Beaufort on the part of the burgesses was successful. The burgesses were restored the property of which they had by mistake been deprived. As I told Mr. Prothero in my letter to him, Mr. Edward Edmonds was appointed to receive the profits arising from the Wharf.

What did the burgesses do when the Duke of Beaufort restored the Wharf to them? What did they do? They evinced a spirit not often found among the great. The Duke of Beaufort had expended a large sum of money on the property of others, many of the burgesses were poor, yet they agreed that the property should be valued, and that his Grace should be repaid nearly the whole of what he had laid out. Does not this conduct on the part of the Burgesses crimson the cheeks of their calumniators? Poo, poo, blush indeed! make these men ashamed of anything! "They have eaten shame and drunk after it."

But, how, Sir Charles has this money been applied? The question to you is a very proper one. You were active in obtaining the property for the burgesses. You declared, that the only object you had in view, was the good of the burgesses. Have you performed your promise? His Grace the Duke of Beaufort has received nothing of what he expended on the property, the burgesses have received nothing, then what is become of the money? The Wharf has been let at upwards of £100 a year, the rent has been regularly paid, and yet there is no account of the money!

You have received, I believe for upwards of twenty years, £150 a year for the Tredegar Warehouse and Wharf, a great part of which is built on the land of the Freemen; and while many of the burgesses, and the widows of burgesses have wanted the common necessaries of life: you, Sir Charles have enjoyed their property. Here's a pretty affair! And in a law-maker too.

Now, Sir Charles, we will examine this question, and it shall be done with decency. I will make use of no language which an impartial person will think improper. If indeed I were addressing your Agent, I should not be very nice in my expressions. The English Language does not contain words sufficiently strong to express my opinion of him, for him, the fouler the better. The question for our discussion is, whether I should be justified, if I were a tenant of yours in witholding your rent.

This is I believe clear, that every tenant of yours has a title to his property equally sacred as that of yours to Tredegar Estate; this no one will for a moment doubt. But, say you, if I have violated a law; if I have taken possession of property to which I have no claim, the law is open. "We live in a country whose laws are the envy and admiration of the world." Let the law take its course, and I will abide by its decision. Very good, Sir Charles. This is the old story about the laws of our country. Fine doctrine this. Very fine in theory, but very deficient in practice. It is well known, that justice cannot be obtained in this country without money; and a great deal of it too. If any one wish to have a clear exemplification of this, let him employ your agent; he will soon teach him what sort of laws we live under. It is notorious, that the rich in this country oppress the poor; we have every day clear proofs of this.

When a poor man suffers from a rich one, and when the rich man, in the pride of his heart, tells the sufferer to seek redress from the law; he adds insult to injury. The wealthy man knows, that he has the means, although his cause be a bad one, of triumphing over him who has no money; and we daily see poor men, placing in the hands of the rich, those things which are made use of to their own injury. If the burgesses of Newport were to commence legal steps to recover the property, of which you have injustly deprived them, you would fight them with their own weapons. The rent which you receive from the Tredegar warehouse would be employed to injure the real owners of the property.

When a few burgesses of Newport, at your request, waited on the mayor and aldermen at the Heath-Cock; the burgesses never supposed that they should be treated with incivility, particularly from you. From your agent they might expect anything. From him, whose impudence is exceeded by nothing but his ignorance, no conduct however glaring could surprise them. But you, Sir Charles, a gentleman of the first consequence, a member of Parliament, you to treat petitioners rudely; is such a mark of a tyrannical disposition, as proves plainly what you would do if you could.

You thought it a proof of spirit, to insult those who complained of injuries. The burgesses were prepared to lay before you their claim to the property now in your possession; and, although they attended at your request, your agent, Thomas Prothero, attorney at law, interrupted them in their statement, and you, his master, supported him in such conduct. Ah, Sir Charles, there must have been some cogent reason for this. No man in his senses, without reasons of a very forcible nature, would have put up with such an insult. You were the person insulted, nor is there a man in the country but what felt for you. What! a gentleman to tell a burgess, that he was very sorry that "any dispute should have taken place," that he could not rest comfortably at home, in consequence of the unpleasantness arising from this disagreement, to invite the burgesses to attend on a certain day, for the purpose of stating their grievances, and after the burgesses complied with his request, to suffer a ******* what shall I call him, to interrupt, to insult, to sneer at them, and instead of bestowing immediate castigation on this ******* you said, that Mr. Prothero had a "right to interrupt them." A right, Sir Charles to interrupt them? A right to interrupt those who were modestly complaining of injuries? This is too barefaced to need comment. You shook your purse over the heads of the burgesses.

You thought that the burgesses at the sight of so formidable an array, would sink into the earth; that they would be tongue tied at the sight of so much wisdom. There was a day when this would have been the case, but now, the lower orders as we are called, begin to feel our own weight, and properly to appreciate that of the great men.

Do you suppose that your tenants will much longer labour for you, if you are indifferent to their property? Does it afford you no pain when you think how much you are fallen in the public estimation? Will it be of any use to refer you to history? I am not surprised that Gentlemen in your situation know so little of the world. Possessed of an immense estate, all you want supplied without exertion on your part, submission almost unbounded. You associate with none but those whose interest it is to please you. The language of truth you seldom hear, and when you hear it, need any one be surprised that it is disagreeable to you? Can we expect much depth of reason, much knowledge of human nature, from any one however liberal nature may have been to him, who has so little means of acquiring knowledge of a useful kind?

You have, Sir Charles, for many years received complaints of the cruelty of your agent. Have you once paid any attention to what have you heard? I believe not. One would suppose that to see your agent building fine gardens, and hot houses, and green houses, would excite suspicion in any one, unless he was determined to be kept in the dark. Money must come from somewhere to support these things, yes, and a great deal of money too. You are careful enough, I. dare say, to see that Prothero does not make use of your money, but you think I suppose, that he may make free with that of your tenants. To charge them twice as much as the law allows him, is proper, it enables him to make a figure in life, and you, Sir Charles, partake of the rays which your agent emits.

You, were formerly fond of boasting of the wisdom of your agent, of his success in the law. Successful he has been, but he may thank your tenants for it. You have possibly paid some attention to the laws of your country. You are aware, that trial by jury, is an institution of which Englishmen, in all ages have been proud. They have boasted, that in no country in all the world, were persons and property so secure as in England. Your steward, your friend Thomas Prothero, Attorney at Law, is a packer of juries. Here's a character. And you, Sir Charles, have sacrificed the respect; the real respect, in which you were formerly held, for the friendship of such a man as Thomas Prothero. Yes, I will repeat this, lest you forget it. The love which the tenants of Tredegar formerly felt for the name of Morgan, has, by the present possessor of the Estate, been exchanged, for the friendship of Lawyer Prothero.

To see your agent at the assizes, in Monmouth, running about the streets to find out your tenants, and desiring them to be sure to be in the way, as he had a trial coming on, gives us clear ideas, of the present mode of trial by jury.

I saw Thomas Prothero, on the 8th of October, 1813, during the shrievalty of your brother-in-law, Mr. Homfray, pack, no select a jury, as deputy-sheriff; and after he had selected the jury as deputy-sheriff, he placed another attorney in the chair, and as a Lawyer, he pleaded the cause of the Defendant. Is it of any use for the law to provide barriers for things of this sort? Barriers indeed, for Prothero! Neither hedge nor ditch will stop him, he clears everything in pursuit of his prey.

It is notorious to every man in the county but yourself, that Prothero is bent on making a fortune, at the expense of your tenants. When he became your agent, he, if my information be right, publicly declared, "I'll be damned if I do not die a rich man." This expression would bear a little change. Had he said, "if I die a rich man, I shall be damned," he would, I believe, have been nearer the mark; and should he visit the infernal regions, he will not be the first Lawyer who has gone there.

I have been for some time surprised, that anyone should think this Lawyer a clever man; but thank God, the public are beginning to estimate his character properly. It will be of no use for him to put on the garb of piety, for even his servants laugh at his religion.

To see this man in the streets of Newport, suffering old grey headed men, to stand talking to him with their hats off, while he with all the insolence of a slave-driver, answers them, as if they were unworthy to occupy one moment of his time; makes one, almost doubt the existence of a supreme Being, who can suffer such things. But, a day is not very distant, when the crimes which this man has committed, will bring on his head that punishment, which he so richly deserves. He has already, I see, the mark of Cain in his forehead. I have been often at a loss to determine whether pride, or meanness, forms the principal ingredient in the composition of your virtuous agent. Ask him, Sir Charles, whether he charged a tenant of yours five shillings, because his pig happened to dung on that fine pitching leading to Lapstone Hall? What a curious mode of getting money. I have heard of folks selling the dung of pigs, but I never before heard of a man being obliged to pay another for taking of it. What an old unmannerly boar this must have been. Give orders, Sir Charles to your tenants, to bring no more pigs near the mansion of your agent, or if they do, to be sure to being corks with them.

Possessed, Sir Charles, of an immense estate, your power of doing good is almost boundless. What an opportunity is here presented, to a mind alive to the happiness of mankind. Were you to consider, that every tenant of yours is full as useful a man as yourself, the time which you now spend in frivolous pursuits, would be employed very differently. You would consider, that those who labour to support you, are surely entitled to some portion of your time and attention. If considerations of this nature had any influence on your mind, you would hardly consign your tenants to the care of such a man as Thomas Prothero. I before observed, and I will repeat it, that I am not surprised at your knowing so little of life. You associate with none but those whose interest it is to flatter you.

I remain your obedient servant,

John Frost

Sudden Death

On Friday night James Gunn, master of the 'Turtle' was found dead in bed aboard that vessel, then lying at the Quays at Newport. At dinner he appeared in good health but was not seen afterwards, until he was discovered dead about 11 o'clock at night. On the next day an inquest was held on the body, by William Brewer Esq. when a verdict was returned - Died by visitation of God - of apoplexy.

Cambrian 1826
Gwentian Customs

One of the most pleasing customs we have in this neighbourhood, is the strewing of flowers etc. on the tombs of our departed friends and relatives. In many parts of Wales the peasantry perform this rite every Sunday; in other places monthly; but in Monmouthshire, and Newport in particular, it is restricted generally to Palm Sunday.

Cambrian 1827
Newport - Police Court

Edmund Hoskins pleaded not guilty to an indictment charging him with breaking into the house of Mary Watkins and stealing from thence a pair of trowsers (sic) - Death recorded.

Cambrian 1828
Stolen Mule

James Bough and James Foster were indicted for stealing a mule the property of Philip Stead. Mr. Stead stated that on 16th August last he lost a mule; the mule found that day in the prisoner's possession was his property, it was worth about £20 and he had bred it from a colt. Mr. Lavender, a shoemaker, was up at three o'clock on Sunday morning and he saw Bough on the mule. William Fuller, the constable, saw the prisoner Bough on the mule and said he had had it from a person named Hatton at Newport. At this time Foster passed. He took them both into custody. A turnpike ticket was found on Bough for Cinderhill gate; a gate through which they must have passed from the meadow where the mule was left. The shoes of Foster fitted exactly the marks in the soil of the meadows. As they were being taken to the gaol one of them said, "I suppose they won't hang us for it?" The constable said, "I don't know, perhaps not, but you'll be transported," the same one replied "Aye - I don't mind that." The jury found Bough guilty and Foster they acquitted. The Judge told Foster he had had a very narrow escape and sentence of death was recorded against Bough.


Merlin. 13th June, 1829

We have been informed that it is the usual practice of the lower orders in this neighbourhood to bury their new born children in the churchyard, without the knowledge of sexton or clerk, and that an instance of this occurred some weeks ago at Newport when a body was found and examined by the Coroner, and bore no marks of violence. It had evidently been brought into the world by surgical means. There was no suspicion, therefore, of its having been murdered. Poor people however ought to he cautious how they adopt this plan, economical as it may seem, for if discovered they may incur a suspicion of having made away with their infants and be exposed to the most serious consequences.

Merlin 20th June, 1829

On the 14th inst. two inquests were held at Newport before W. Brewer, Esq., Coroner, on the bodies of Ann Jones and David Thomas. The former drowned herself in the fishpond at Tredegar (House) while labouring under a fit of mental derangement. The latter, a boy of ten years old, was accidentally drowned by falling off a horse into the Monmouthshire Canal at a place called Pillgwenlly.

Merlin 11th July, 1829
Death of a Giant

Joseph Sewell, a native of Scamblesbee in Lincolnshire, who has so lately been exhibiting himself in the towns of South Wales, died here on Saturday last. He arrived on Wednesday and exhibited the whole of Thursday (fair day) with a midget called Farnham. Friday evening he complained of being unwell and shortly afterwards had several epileptic fits, which so completely shook the caravan, that the men were obliged to secure the wheels to prevent it from falling. Some medical men were immediately sent for, but it was evident to them that he could not survive long, and he expired about 12 o'clock on Saturday night.
He was a fine and well proportioned man, exceedingly stout measuring 2ft.9in. across the shoulder, and nearly as thick as broad, stood 7ft. 3ins. high and weighed a short time since five and a quarter hundredweight. He was only 24 years of age, but had been blind for some time from a defect in the optic nerve. His coffin made of elm, an inch thick, and measuring nearly 8ft. in length excited the curiosity of a great number of persons on its way to the caravan. He was conveyed from here in his own caravan on Monday last, to be buried at Taunton in Somerset.

Merlin. 21 July, 1829

Our correspondent in Newport informs us that the condition of the labouring people is worse than it has been for some years; which he attributed to the numbers of Irish immigrants that come daily by the steam packets from Bristol. Day after day, says he, groups of men, women and children, for the most part without shoes or stockings, are seen parading our streets, begging at tradesmen's shops and houses, and then applying for relief. We trust that perfect tranquillity will soon be restored to our unhappy sister island and in that case the labouring peasantry will, we doubt not, he able to find sufficient employment at home.

Merlin 29th August, 1829
Monmouthshire Summer Assizes

Richard Radnor was indicted for violently assaulting Elizabeth Barnett, and committing a rape upon her person. The prosecutor said that Elizabeth Barnett a girl of 13 years of age, was in the employ of Luke Davies, and was sent by him with his cows to Red Barn Meadow near his house on Sunday morning 5th July at eight o'clock, and on that occasion she stated she was accosted by the prisoner, and was so frightened she could hardly stand. The prisoner threatened to kill her if she made a noise. (She described the offence). She then went home and told her mistress what had happened, in consequence of which, Luke Davies her master, went in search of the prisoner. The girl's mother and a midwife spoke to the state in which they found the girl the day the offence was committed. The prisoner called no witnesses but denied having any connection with the girl.

The jury found the prisoner guilty, and the judge with great solemnity passed sentence of death upon him, imploring him to seek for mercy and pardon, where alone it could be found, assuring him that no mercy could be extended to him from man.

Merlin. 12th September, 1829

Richard Radnor, condemned at our late assize for a rape, expiated the offence on the drop over the front of our County Jail on Thursday last. May such dreadful spectacles deter others from the perpetration of crimes, which the law severely but wisely visits with condign punishment. The unhappy man conducted himself after his condemnation like a true penitent, acknowledging the justice of his sentence, and employing the short time allotted him in this world in preparation for the awful change he was soon to undergo. The reverend chaplain of the jail zealously assisted him in his devotions, which was the more necessary as the unfortunate man could neither read nor write, and administered every consolation that religion offers to the penitent sinner. After hearing a sermon suitable to the awful occasion, and partaking the Holy sacrament, at 12 o'clock he was conducted to the scaffold, and in a few minutes was launched into eternity. A great concourse of people had assembled to witness the melancholy spectacle.

Merlin 3rd October, 1829
Lighting of Newport

We are informed that the Commissions under the Act of Parliament for the lighting of the town of Newport, have again contracted with the Gas Company, and that the enlightened inhabitants have prevailed over those who "preferred darkness rather than light."

Merlin. 17th October, 1829

Saturday evening last, the Bishop of Llandaff arrived at the Kings Head Inn, and on Sunday morning attended Divine Service at St. Woolos Church, where His Lordship preached an eloquent sermon from the first chapter of the Corinthians, tenth verse.

"Now I beseech you brethren by the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ that ye all speak the same thing and that there be no division among you."

Merlin 24th October, 1829

A few days ago a carpenter named Thomas Dobbs in the employ of William Kier of Whitecroft, had a corn on his great toe which sorely annoyed him and which prevented his shoe, whenever he had a new one, from fitting genteely and comfortably. He very deliberately applied to one of his fellow workmen to chop off his toe with his chissel (sic). The man being of tender heart objected. Not so however with another who very readily acquiesced in the request, observing at the same time that he would either take off his toe or his head if he wished it. It appears that the toe was the only member which had given offence and that he was resolved to spite. The amputation being agreed upon, the parties commenced operations by placing a half inch chissel on the poor unfortunate member which the patient himself held, whilst "Doctor Morris" with a blow of the mallet performed the operation, though not without a second application of the chissel, the same being two small to take the toe clean off at once. The patient says the paring of the rough edges was the most painful part of the operation. We understand he is likely to do well.

Merlin. 12th December, 1829

On Tuesday last Mr. Williams of Tivoli Lodge, Newport was going out in his gig drawn by his servant. On starting, the horse dashed off at full speed down Stow Hill, through the town, over the bridge, and on to the Chepstow Road, passing several carts and wagons on the way. The smith who has been in the habit of shoeing the horse, resides near the Chepstow Road. Into the shoeing house the horse ran, the off wheel of the gig coming into contact with the corner of the wall, drove the horse against the opposite wall, broke the shaft and Mr. Williams and his servant were thrown out with great violence, but fortunately received very little injury.

Merlin 19th December, 1829
Show at Cwrt-y-Bella Farm

The annual cattle show which continues under the immediate and liberal patronage of Sir Charles Morgan Bart. took place at Cwrt-y-Bella farm near Newport on Thursday last. The stock exhibited was such as to call for the admiration of a very respectable and enlightened assemblage of breeders and gentlemen who take a lively interest in everything which conduces to the importance of agricultural pursuits.

Merlin 19th December, 1829
Household Hint

A good fire on a winter day at a mere trifling expense is of importance to a poor man. One pennyworth of tar or resin water will saturate a tub of coals with triple its original quantity of bitumen (the principle of heat and light) and of course render one such tub of three times more value than it was unsaturated.
The following mode to get water pure is so easy of adaption so as to he within the reach of almost every person. Take a common Portugal grape jar and punch a hold in the bottom, place it over a tub having previously filled it with small stones and gravel and the filter thus constructed will answer every purpose of purification. It is a cheap, effectual mode of obtaining water as clear as crystal and perfectly freed from its usual impurities.

Merlin. 19th December, 1829

On Thursday last at the Church of St. Woolos in the County of Monmouth, Edmund Blewitt Esq., of the Middle Temple, third son of Edward Blewitt Esq. of Llantarnam Abbey, to Mary, eldest daughter of Thomas Prothero Esq. Of "The Friars" in the same County.

Merlin. 19th December, 1829
Newport British School

An annual examination of the children of this institution took place on Monday last when Sir Charles Morgan Bart. M.P., Lord Rodney, Mrs. Homfray, Mrs. Morgan of Ruperra, Miss Lascelles and Mr. Octavious Morgan, Mr. Munday and Mrs. Haverton, the Rev. Mr. Cluff, Mr. Wiltson and Mr. Coles and in respectable assembly the ladies and gentlemen of Newport attended. The usual routine of examination of the boys passed much to the satisfaction of the company. Sir Charles expressed himself highly gratified at the order and improvement in the clean, healthful, and for poor children, decent appearance. Sir Charles' usual treat of mince pies next made their appearance, and the boys nothing loth at the sight, showed the pleasure they felt in their smiling and joyous countenances. After the conclusion, Sir Charles and the ladies and gentlemen from Tredegar House, adjourned to the house of Mr. Napper where an elegant dessert was provided for the occasion.

This Institution was opened on 28th March, 1815 during which time 996 boys have been admitted and have received useful and moral instruction. It is open to all denominations and children are admitted from ages 6 - 12. They leave having received instruction in reading, writing and arithmetic, together with the knowledge of the Ten Commandments and Dr. Watts' Hymns.

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