'Newport First Stop' - 100 Years of News Stories
[ Contents ] [ Acknowledgements ] [ Preface ] [ Postscript ] [ Chronology ]
[ 1800 - 29 ] [ 1830 - 39 ] [ 1840 - 49 ] [ 1850 - 59 ] [ 1860 - 69 ] [ 1870 - 79 ] [ 1880 - 89 ] [ 1890 - 99 ]
[ 1800 - 1804 ] [ 1805 - 1809 ] [ 1810 - 1814 ] [ 1815 - 1819 ] [ 1820 - 1824 ] [ 1825 - 1828 ] [ 1829 ]

Newport Past
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1800 - 1804

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."

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'Newport First Stop' - 100 Years of News Stories
[ Contents ] [ Acknowledgements ] [ Preface ] [ Postscript ] [ Chronology ]
[ 1800 - 29 ] [ 1830 - 39 ] [ 1840 - 49 ] [ 1850 - 59 ] [ 1860 - 69 ] [ 1870 - 79 ] [ 1880 - 89 ] [ 1890 - 99 ]
[ 1800 - 1804 ] [ 1805 - 1809 ] [ 1810 - 1814 ] [ 1815 - 1819 ] [ 1820 - 1824 ] [ 1825 - 1828 ] [ 1829 ]

Newport Past
[ Picture Gallery ] [Home Page ]