Newport First Stop - 100 Years of News Stories

Newspaper Reports 1830 - 1839

Researched by Derrick Cyril Vaughan

Merlin 13th January, 1830
The Monmouthshire Canal

The Monmouthshire Canal with its double line of communication from Newport to Crumlin on the one side, and from Newport to Pontypool on the other - its numerous wharfs, railways, and other conveniences - is perhaps one of the finest public works in Great Britain. It is not only to be viewed as a noble monument of public enterprize (sic) grand in design, and arduous of execution: Let the benefits it has conferred on the county be taken into consideration, and the difficulties that have been conquered in perfecting the work are not at once forgotten, rendered of minor importance. Little should we have to boast of the mineral treasures contained in our bleak and outwardly barren mountains, if the conveyance to market was not facilitated by the canals or railways.

Merlin 16th January, 1830
New Aldermen

A Meeting of the Corporation of this town was held this day, which was attended by Sir Charles Morgan, Bart. and Thomas Prothero Esq., Town Clerk, when Messrs Joseph Latch, John Owen and Edmund Jones were unanimously chosen Aldermen of the Borough.

Merlin. 27th February, 1830

Newport Steam Packets will commence running twice a day on the 1st March as usual. These excellent and well conducted vessels have daily performed their passages with the utmost regularity throughout the winter, and thus afforded to passengers particular accommodation in a certain and speedy conveyance to and from the Principality, when the severity of the weather impeded every other mode of travelling.

Merlin 3rd April, 1830
A Moderate Charge

A man died at Newport on Saturday of apoplexy. Mr. Tatham a surgeon, called on the man's wife to request permission to open his body. She, after some hesitation replied, "Well what are you going to stand?" Mr Tatham asked what she meant by "stand." "Oh," said the lady, "you know very well; if you give six pounds you may open him, but not without." The surgeon considered six pounds rather too much for a peep, left the corpse unopened.

Merlin 27th February, 1830
March of Intellect

A short time since, a young woman called upon a respected solicitor in this town and exhibited a promise of marriage written by her lover on a twopenny receipt stamp. She stated that she waited upon him to enquire whether the document was drawn up on a proper and a legal stamp.

Merlin 3rd April, 1830

The Coal Works here are all at a standstill in consequence of the coal masters having reduced the cutters by two pence a ton. The men stand out for their price and to do away with the Truck System. Thomas Prothero and J.H. Moggridge Esqs., with some other gentlemen met between four and five thousand on Monday. The men behaved very quietly. Mr. Prothero told them he had no wish to reduce their wages - that he had no shop -and that he would pay them every week in money.

Merlin 17th April, 1830
Thimble and a Pea

As a caution to others with a little money in their pockets who may chance to fall in with the "sharpers" and who might be induced to "try their luck" be it known that a respectable farmer on the way to our market on Wednesday met with three fellows who proposed to him a game at the thimble and pea which our friend readily accepted. The result may be anticipated. Nine sovereigns transferred to the pockets of the scoundrels in a very few minutes. These thimble and pea gentry can be successful whenever they choose - the thimble being made with a small magnet lodged in the top, but the pea which is steel, is attracted to a hollow place or chamber within it. To entice by a little partial success the pea is easily dislodged by a gently sly tap.

Merlin 24th April, 1830
The Muffin Shop

On Friday morning about two o'clock, the shop owned by Mr. Napper, the confectioner of Newport, was attempted to be opened by the front doors, but the thieves were disturbed without accomplishing their object, one man was taken up on suspicion but there not being sufficient proof to commit him, he was liberated.

Merlin 8th May, 1830
Pilot Drowned

On Monday as John Warwell one of the Newport pilots was going down the river, the boat he was in was run foul of near the Powder-House by the schooner Mary and Frances of Wexford, by which unfortunate accident he lost his life. Warwell being a young man much beloved, the vessels in the port hoisted their colours half-mast high in testimony of respect for his memory. We understand he is the second brother in the family who has met a watery grave

Merlin. 29th May, 1830

On Tuesday morning the 18th an elopement took place from Newport in this County, between Mr. "J" aged somewhere about 55 and Mrs. "C" about 19. The former has a wife and seven or eight children grown up, and a son lately married. The lady had parted from her husband and lived with her parents who are persons of respectability. Mr. "J" resided in a house of the lady's father, his next door neighbour, and attended the family as a surgeon. It appears that the lady let herself out of the window with a rope, and the gentleman had a gig ready to receive her. They crossed the Passage about three o'clock in the morning. When the party was first missed, it was generally reported that the lady had gone to her husband, who it was said, had gone to Bristol the day before, and that Mr. "J" had gone with her to affect a reconciliation between the husband and wife, who were nearly of the same age. However on Wednesday, the transaction became public, a pursuit took place and the fugitives were overtaken at Hull. What makes this the more disgraceful is that it was carried on, as we are informed, under the cloak of religion. Mr. "J" attending the Tabernacle where the lady and her family attended.

Merlin. 10th July, 1830
Proclamation of King William IV at Newport

By an Order of the Privy Council forwarded by the Sheriff of the County to the Mayor of Newport, directing him to proclaim the accession of our Most Gracious Sovereign William IV to the Throne, bills were distributed announcing that the Ceremony would take place on 5th inst.

At an early hour an immense number of spectators were assembled to witness the Ceremony; and at eleven o'clock a party of the 93rd Highlanders arrived, commanded by Captain Banner, for the purpose of heading the procession. At twelve o'clock a flourish of trumpets announced the arrival of the Mayor and Corporation, preceded by the Town Clerk, and took their place in the procession when the Proclamation was read by the Mayor, at the conclusion of which, the air was rent with the united acclamations of the assembled thousands.

The procession then marched to the Bridge where the Mayor read the Proclamation again. There was much delight amongst the spectators on this joyous occasion, flags were waved from the buildings and a salute of guns was heard from the Barracks fields. The Mayor, Corporation, and some two hundred gentlemen then repaired to the King's Head for a celebration lunch. The Loyal Toast was drunk with enthusiasm and the assembly settled down to a delectable repast.

At the end Thomas Prothero Esq., the Town Clerk, proposed the health of the High Sheriff which was drunk with great applause; the Mayor and Corporation then retired. The gentlemen who sat down did so under the impression that the entertainment was to have been defrayed amongst themselves, and sovereigns were heard clattering upon plates, when Mr. Prothero, on behalf of the Corporation, rose to inform them that the whole was to be paid from the Corporation Fund. The intelligence of such unexpected liberality electrified the room, and of course was hailed with thunderous applause. The Corporation also gave orders that 14 barrels of beer should be distributed among the populace and the boys of the National Schools, upwards of 360, were regaled with plum cakes, and some dinner was provided for the Company of 93rd Highlanders who are now stationed here. Bell ringing and firing continued throughout the day, business was suspended, and every countenance beamed with conviviality.

Merlin 31st July, 1830
New Engine

Mr. Prothero, of Newport, has recently introduced an engine for hauling coal from his collieries to his wharf at Pillgwenlly. The engine has been made by Messrs Price & Co. of Neath Colliery. On Tuesday last twenty tram wagons weighing 15 tons were attached to it which it drove with the greatest of ease, at the rate of four miles an hour, up the tram road to Mr. Prothero's colliery called Dlancyffin Isha, where twenty wagons loaded with coal were attached to it for the return journey, which it accomplished with ease.

Merlin 11th September, 1830
Unfeeling Robbery

A young girl named Mary Evans, who according to her account had lived for the last twelve months with a gentleman and lady of the name Montgomery at Mount Pleasant near Newport and whose service she had left in consequence of going abroad, was on her way from Newport to a relation at Ross on Monday last when she was joined as she was walking along the road, three or four miles from Newport, by two men who treated her with civility. One of them after a little while pressed her to let him carry a small box which she had with her tied up in a red handkerchief which she unwillingly submitted to. They had not proceeded about half a mile together when the fellow with her box turned off the road into a wood followed by his companion. The girl saw them hastening along a path through the wood, and men and box soon disappeared. The girl's distress may readily be imagined. She had not only lost the square mahogany work box which her late mistress had given her, but also four sovereigns and fifteen shillings and sixpence the savings of her wages. One of the men she describes as stout made with dark complexion and black whiskers, blue coat, black waistcoat, red neckerchief and light pepper and salt trowsers (sic). The other had a pale face with light hair, fustian jacket and blue cloth trowsers, (sic), with a coloured neckerchief. The stout man had a little bundle of his own in a blue cotton handkerchief.

Merlin 4th December, 1830
Letter to the Editor


Lamentable accounts of the destruction of property in almost every part of the country appears to me to call loudly upon everyone to take the most efficient steps to check the further progress in order to avoid some greater calamity. To reason with the populace so infatuated, so as to destroy the very means by which they exist, is hopeless, but I can see much may yet be done to prevent further mischief; if farmers and others employing machinery, were to lay them aside for the present, until the condition of the labouring classes be ameliorated again. Advantage should not be taken of the distressed state of the people, to wring from them their daily labour, at wages that will not suffice to support themselves and families. In many places the poor are not relieved to the extent they are entitled by their Parishes, one shilling and one shilling and sixpence per week being all the relief afforded to adult persons, who, from age or sickness, are totally incapacitated from earning an additional farthing. The approaching inclement season demands, in such cases as these, further relief.

It has often struck me as anomalous, that in almost every town in the Kingdom, persons busy themselves getting up "Anti-Slavery Petitions" while they are regardless of the wants of their own population.

I am Sir


Merlin 11th December, 1830
Public Meeting

On Monday last a public meeting of the Borough of Newport and the Parish of St. Woolos was held at the Kings Head, Sir Charles Morgan, Bart, in the Chair. Resolutions for preventing the prevalence of incendiarism and preserving the peace in the neighbourhood were agreed upon. It was proposed that no person should be unaware or ignorant of the punishment which the Law pronounces on those who destroy property by fire. It is right to remind them that such punishment is DEATH.

It was also agreed by the meeting to provide employment and adequate wages, for every working man in the district. Where disposition is thus publicly avowed by the rich to provide for the necessities of the poor, riot and disturbance can only proceed from the dissolute and idle, who had rather live on the precarious gains of theft and begging, than obtain an honourable subsistence by the sweat of their brows.

Merlin 18th December, 1830
Aurora Borealis

An aurora Borealis of the most beautiful description was seen in Newport on Sunday night last between ten and eleven o'clock.

Merlin 18th December, 1830
Military Movement
On Wednesday last a detachment of the 93rd Highlanders marched from Brecon to Newport.


Merlin 1st January, 1831
Watchmen Appointed

The commissioners under the Act for Lighting have appointed Watchmen from the present period to the 25th March. No watch boxes are allowed, and the watchmen are to go their rounds every hour, from ten o'clock at night to six o'clock in the morning.

Merlin 1st January, 1831
Newport National School for Girls

The examination for girls of the Newport National School is to take place this day; and Sir Charles Morgan has fixed Tuesday next for the public examination of the boys of the Newport British School, when a variety of trinkets and some fancy articles, provided by the ladies of Tredegar, will be disposed of by way of lottery for the benefit of the institution.

Merlin 15th January, 1831

The absence of a Reverend gentleman and a young widow (mother of five children) from their respective homes has caused an infinity of scandal to be circulated among the gossips of this town and neighbourhood. Dark hints, suspicious words, and broken sentences are bandied about. The most prominent expressions are "elopement" and "America".

Merlin 15th January, 1831

The total numbers of vessels cleared outwards at the port of Newport in the year ending 5th of January, 1831 was 8,080. Coal shipped during the same period 466,687 tons.

Merlin 15th January, 1831
Narrow Escape

On the 5th inst. a woman in an attempt to cross the road in High Street, Newport as the Mail was passing, was thrown down by the fore horse, and though the wheel of the coach passed over her bonnet, she fortunately escaped without injury.

Merlin 5th February, 1831
The Missing Child

Jane Prosser, the girl advertised as missing in our last number, has been discovered hanging in a wood a short distance from the house of her parents. This discovery is reported to have been made through the sagacity of her terrier dog who accompanied the child from her house. A few days ago the dog returned and appeared very restless, running to and fro in the direction of the wood. On being followed he led the way to the spot where the girl was found.

Merlin 5th February, 1831
Ball at the Kings Head Inn

This town was enlivened on Tuesday 25th by a ball and supper given by the bachelors of Newport and the surrounding area. There has not been anything of this kind known in the town for many years; an unusual excitement and bustle was caused throughout all classes. For fifteen years or more there had been no such affair as the expected assembly in Newport, and the extent of the preparations were proportioned to the novelty of the entertainment. Pirouettes and Ariettes were practising in every mansion, and it was even whispered that some well known gentlemen were marshalling their limbs under the baton of a dancing master, and bending those knees and drilling those feet in the mazes of the Quadrille. The invitations were necessarily limited with very few exceptions to the neighbourhood of the town. Notwithstanding this restriction, about 140 individuals of the highest respectability, assembled.

Among the visitors may be mentioned Sir Charles Morgan Bart., Mr. and Mrs. Morgan from Ruperra, Col. Augustus Morgan, Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell, Crawshay Bailey Esq., Captain Baugh and Mr. Black of 93rd Highlanders, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Prothero and family, Mr. Mrs. and Miss Powell of the Gaer. etc. etc.

The ball commenced with a country dance led off by Sir Charles Morgan and Mrs. Powell. Quadrilles and waltzing followed. About 12 o'clock supper was served. Afterwards dancing was resumed with renewed spirit. Sir Charles Morgan again taking his place among the lively group, showing the pleasure he felt in the society of his neighbours and friends. It is the hope of all the inhabitants of the town that this ball will be a prelude to many others.

Merlin 26th February, 1831
Trade in Newport

A friend has furnished us with the following statistical memoranda of the trade of this flourishing sea-port - Year ending December, 1830 - 7163 vessels cleared out laden with 519 thousand tons of coal, 916 vessels with 106 thousand tons of iron.

Merlin 26th February, 1831
Caution to Publicans

At a Petty Sessions held for the division of Wentllooge (sic) at the office of Mr. Thomas Jones Phillips, in the town of Newport, on Saturday 12th February 1831 before James Coles Clark and John Hammon Pritchard Esq., Mary Watkins of the parish of St. Woolos, publican, was convicted in two penalties of 40 shillings each for having on two different days kept her house open for the sale of beer contrary to the provisions of the new Beer Act.

Merlin 9th April, 1831
Fortunate Escape

On Thursday morning as Mr. Thomas Phillips, Jun. of Newport, was descending on his road to Usk Sessions at a very steady pace, his horse made a stumble and endeavouring to recover himself fell with great violence and rolled over on his back where he remained with his legs in the air. Mr. Phillips finding in the first instant that there was no possibility of saving the horse, sprung with great presence of mind from the saddle and alighted with safety on his feet. The horse was so stunned by the fall that it was with some difficulty that Mr. Phillips and a man who happened to pass at the time could get him on his legs again.

Merlin 12th April 1831
Tremendous Thunder Storm

This town was visited last night by one of the most terrific thunder storms ever witnessed. The lightning was the most vivid and varied in colour ever remembered by the oldest inhabitant; long continued were the flashes (occasionally forked) that they might be compared to the "fire that ran along upon the ground". The thunder was very near and awfully grand. At half past seven o'clock a thunderbolt burst with a tremendous explosion upon the premises of Mr. Bindon; it shook the whole house and caused the very walls to vibrate; several panes of glass were broken and numerous articles were thrown about with great violence. A large ball of fire was observed descending in a north easterly direction and is supposed to have fallen near the river. The air at the time was highly impregnated with sulphur. A hay mow was partially burnt but no further damage has yet been ascertained.

Merlin 23rd April, 1831.
Politics and Mr. Thomas Prothero

We understand that a connection which has so long subsisted between Sir Charles Morgan Bart. and Thomas Prothero Esq. of Newport to the natural advantage of both parties, is likely to be dissolved in consequence of a difference in their political opinions. Every other report which has been circulated on this subject is entirely without foundation. It is hardly creditable to Mr. Prothero's character for integrity and independence.

Merlin 30th April, 1831
Outrages Committed by the Reforming Party of the Borough

Public notice was yesterday given, on the instructions of the Mayor, by the Cryer, that the freedoms of those who intended to support Mr. Hall should be taken up this day, and the burgesses were required to attend at the King's Head at seven o'clock in the evening and which meeting accordingly took place. In the meantime houses were opened by Hall's friends and music was allowed to parade the streets, which collected together a mob of the lowest order - drunkenness and mischief were the result. Passing the house of Mr. Webber the drum beat the tattoo by way of a signal for the mob to commence action. The cry of "down with the blues" immediately followed, preceded by a volley of stones some weighing a pound each. It continued until the windows on which the attack was made were totally demolished. Mr. Webber's two daughters were sitting at a window but fortunately escaped unhurt. The windows of Mr. Rogers, the draper, and Mr. Jones one of the Aldermen, were subsequently broken in the same manner. This is the commencement of "Reform" and the consequences to look forward to if the Reform Bill should pass.

Merlin 14th May, 1831
The Reception of Thomas Prothero at Newport

The enterprising spirit with which Mr. Prothero has embarked in every concern, tending to promote the prosperity and well doing of Newport, has long acquired for him an extensive influence and popularity in that town. He was first determined to propose an independent candidate for the Boroughs. Mr. Prothero was solicited to offer himself, and had he done so there is every reason to believe he would have been successful. He thought proper, however, to decline that honour which to others is of so great an object of ambition. The inhabitants of Newport, feeling that Mr. Hall's return was principally owing to the great exertions and able management of Mr. Prothero, determined to show the latter how much they appreciated his conduct. On his return from Monmouth on the evening of Thursday night he was met by a multitude of people with flags and music who preceded him towards the town, the concourse increasing all the way, until the assemblage was the largest ever seen at Newport. When the procession reached the Bridge the burgesses, who had voted for Mr. Hall, and many other of the respected inhabitants of the town, formed four deep and immediately preceded Mr. Prothero's carriage from which the horses were taken and which was dragged from thence through the streets of town a distance of a mile.

Merlin 11th June, 1831
Newport - Military

In consequence of the disturbance at Merthyr a party of the 93rd Highlanders stationed in Newport (about 25 men) started for the scene of action on Friday afternoon, in post-chaises and other conveyances as could be procured. On Sunday night about 11 o'clock, a detachment of the 3rd Dragoon Guards and on Monday morning another detachment of the same regiment, arrived at Newport from Wotton-Under-Edge and Dursley. They left Newport for Merthyr at 6 o'clock the same morning. On Tuesday Major Mackworth passed through Newport from London, which he had left at half an hours notice, to take command of four hundred infantry, which that day landed at Cardiff from Plymouth. About 8 o'clock on Tuesday night another party of the 3rd Dragoon Guards arrived at Newport by steam packets, from Bristol. They had left Trowbridge at about 11 o'clock that morning.

Merlin 8th July, 1831
The Unwitting Companion

We understand from our correspondent in Oxfordshire that young Mrs. Elizabeth Winkle, the only daughter of Oliver Parsons Esq. of Newport who was married last year at St. Woolos Church to Captain Horace Winkle of the Dragoon Guards, has been the unwitting dupe of Lady Pallister of Brierly Hall, Kington, Oxfordshire.

It appears that due to military commitments Captain Winkle placed his wife in the service of Lady Pallister as a companion, in order that she may have some interest to occupy her time whilst he was away on military duties.

Lady Pallister is well known for her philanthropic activities and is treasurer of many charitable organisations. One of young Mrs. Winkle's duties was to help Lady Pallister open the mail, much of which contained contributions from generous donors to the charity of their choice. On a good day, when the donations had been more than usual, M'Lady would say to her companion "Come now, Elizabeth, order the chaise and we shall go out to blue it". Her Ladyship and the young lady would then visit the most expensive restaurants in or near Oxford.

Captain Winkle, arriving on a short leave to see his wife, asked her if she was content with her position. "Oh yes", she said "Lady Pallister is so kind to me; she takes me with her to the most expensive places, particularly when she received a lot of money by the mail. She says we shall go to Bluitt but we never manage to reach there. Do you think you could take me there, as I would dearly love to see it?"

The good Captain hearing this told his wife to pack her bags as she was leaving. He immediately informed the authorities and M'Lady has been arrested and charged with embezzlement. We understand that she is due to appear at the Summer Assizes in Oxford.

Meanwhile young Mrs. Winkle is back in Newport living with her father, while the Captain has returned to his duties, and is almost certainly stationed a long way from 'Bluitt'

Merlin 9th July, 1831
Sad Demise of Edmund Blewett

On Saturday night last at Gloucester after three days illness, Edmund Blewett Esq. Barrister at Law of the Oxford Circuit, the son of Edward Blewett Esq. of Llantarnam Abbey in this County. On the evening of Tuesday the unfortunate deceased left the Usk Sessions in good health and spirits. On the following Friday he attended in court at the Gloucester Sessions, and performed his duty as one of the counsel for the prosecution against the Forest of Dean Rioters; at nine o'clock on Sunday night he was a corpse. His premature decease is supposed to have been occasioned by too close an application to the duties of his profession.

Merlin 23rd July, 1831
The Petition

The Committee of the Rouse of Commons appointed to consider Lord Worcester's petition against the return of Mr. Hall, after hearing counsel on both sides, came to the decision on Saturday last to the following determinations:

"That by the by-laws and usuage of the Borough of Newport the sons of freemen, and persons who marry the daughters or widows of freemen, have no right to be admitted as freemen of that borough."

On the announcement of this decision, Mr. Hall's counsel admitted that by the disallowance of so many voters on the part of the sitting member, the petitioner would have the majority upon the Poll; whereupon the Committee agreed upon the following resolution:

"That Benjamin Hall Esq. is not duly elected, and ought not to have been returned to serve in this present Parliament for the town and borough of Monmouth. That the Rt. Hon. Henry Somerset, commonly called Marquis of Worcester, is duly elected and will serve as member for the said borough."

Merlin 1st October, 1831
Clerical Disagreement

The Rev. A.A. Isaacson and the Rev. Thomas Boddington, his curate, have had a dispute which has ended in the dismissal of the latter from his office. This account has been sent us of the circumstances which led to this result. Friends of Mr. Boddington allege that his dismissal has been occasioned by his political principles which are at direct variance with those of the Vicar. It is asserted, however, on behalf of Mr. Isaacson that his Curate has not behaved to him with that respect and decency, which, whatever may be the difference of opinion, is due from a Christian minister to his spiritual superior.

The following is given as an example of the Curate's conduct to the Vicar. A few weeks ago the latter administered the Sacrement to Mr. C.M. McCarthy, one of the parishioners of St. Woolos on his death-bed, though it was supposed, and communicated about, that he did not believe in every part of the Holy Scriptures. This circumstance is said to have excited the wrath of the Curate, that he not only complained to the Vicar in private, but actually declared in the pulpit "that the Vicar had given McCarthy a passport to Hell".

The Vicar thinking himself aggrieved by such behaviour sent a letter of complaint to the Bishop. On Thursday night the Curate met the Vicar in the street and commenced an attack upon him. After calling him a dirty lying scamp, and saying he was a madman, who ought long since to have had the straitjacket, he threatened that he would give the Vicar a dressing from the pulpit on Sunday. To this outrageous conduct the Vicar replied, in a mild and gentleman-like manner, saying the Bishop should settle the business, upon which the Curate observed he did not give a fig for him or the Bishop.

On Tuesday last a meeting of the friends of Mr. Boddington took place in the Kings Head, Newport when the following resolution was passed.

Proposed by Mr. John Frost seconded by Mr. W. Morgan. - "That the Rev. A.A. Isaacson in accusing Mr. Boddington to the Bishop without first admonishing his Curate, has acted in an unchristian-like manner and that those of this meeting, who attend the Church, can place very little confidence in him, whose practice does not accord with his precepts."

Merlin 8th October, 1831
Rev. A.A. Isaacson and Rev. T. Boddington

The Rev. T.W. Langshaw is appointed Curate of Newport at St. Woolos Church in the room of the Rev. T. Boddington.

On Tuesday last another meeting was held at Newport to take into consideration the matter of Mr. Isaacson and Mr. Boddington at which meeting the following resolution was passed.

Proposed by Mr. John Frost, seconded by Mr. Townsend "This meeting is still of the opinion (after proper investigation) that the Rev. T. Boddington has been discharged from his curacy through differing with the Vicar in political matters.

Open letter from Mr. John Frost to the Bishop of Llandaff.

My Lord,

I have enclosed for your Lordship's perusal a copy of Resolutions entered into at a Public Meeting held at Newport on Monday last. It was the intention of a Deputation to wait on your Lordship but hearing that your Lordship meant to remain for some time at Llandaff, and fearing it might be inconvenient to receive the Deputation, they thought it would be better to address your Lordship in writing and they beg respectfully to solicit an answer.

I am My Lord very respectfully
Your obedient servant
John Frost

Newport 29 September, 1831
The Bishop's answer


I have perused the Resolution of the meeting held on 27th September of which you have sent me a copy. I can only observe that Mr. Boddington's licence was not withdrawn for the reason asserted, nor for any reasons except for those stated in a letter addressed to him by myself. To this letter I must refer all those who complain to me in Mr. Boddington's behalf. I have heard Mr. Boddington's own statement which sufficiently confirms the charge against him. The discretion which is vested in me I have exercised conscientiously, according to the best of my judgement, for the good of the Church, and for the sake of justice to an individual whom I am bound to protect from insult and ill usage.

Having said this much to correct what appears to have been a misapprehension on the part of the Meeting, I must be excused from entering any further into the transaction, unless I should be called upon by the Authorities, to which I alone am responsible, for the discharge of any official duties.

I am Sir, your faithful and obedient servant
E. Llandaff.

Merlin 26th November, 1831
Credulous Avarice

A singular instance of infatuated credulity lately occurred in the vicinity of this town. Two gipsies after making themselves excessively agreeable to a person who resides at Malpas, succeeded in persuading him that they had the power of increasing his wealth, and if he would place twenty sovereigns in a cupboard in his own house, after a given time their incantations would increase the sum four-fold. Their simple dupe contrived to borrow ten sovereigns off a friend, which with ten of his own, were wrapped in paper and with due ceremony were deposited in the receptacle appointed for the precious store, where the sum was to remain nine days without examination, and of course under a strict injunction of secrecy. At the expiration of the period the golden treasure was anxiously examined by the expectant candidate for the easily acquired wealth, when to his utter dismay he found his sovereigns were transmuted into five copper halfpence; the gipsies having adroitly made the exchange whilst his senses were doubtless occupied with thoughts of riches. Now his friends were over the hill and far away before he discovered the cheat.

Merlin 26th November, 1831
Newport Hydrophobia

The most distressing and fatal case of this kind has occurred in the past week. A fine young man upwards of twenty years, the son of Mr. William Jenkins blacksmith. On Tuesday last he complained of illness which he stated to arise from cold. He grew worse and a surgeon was called in, when strong symptoms of hydrophobia manifested themselves. On Wednesday the case was very distressing; water was applied to his mouth, which he rejected with signs of great agony. The surgeon who attended the young man called in a brother practitioner to witness the painful case, and they together tried various experiments to satisfy themselves and the public of its nature. A basin of water was offered the patient, he attempted to reach it, and then in the greatest agony repeatedly sprung from his bed. He continued thus to suffer until eight o'clock on Wednesday evening, when death closed the heartrending scene.


Merlin. 20th March, 1832
Letter to the Editor


I hold it to be a monstrous anomaly that while the postage of a letter from Pontypool to Caerleon (eight miles) is only two pence it should be four pence from Caerleon to Newport, the distance being but three miles. There can be no just cause for this heavy impost as the Abergavenny Mail runs through the town direct to Newport. I am sure the revenue gains nothing thereby; for where ten letters used to be posted between those places, at one penny each, there is not one at the increased charge.

I am Sir etc.
Fair Play


Merlin 25th March, 1833
Post Office - Letter Deliveries

On the London letter bag being opened at the Newport Post Office on Thursday last, it was found to contain only four letters, which had (from their stamp) been put into the office (late); the main lot, had in the hurry of the moment when the bags were made up at the General Post Office, been sent by mistake elsewhere.

This reminds us of a laughable mistake of the Postmistress of *******, through which the London to South Wales Mail runs at night; as the coach passed close to the Post Office, the coachman pulls up under the window of the lady's bedroom, from which the bag is given to the guard. On a certain night, in the hurry of the moment, the Postmistress took up, in the dark, a pair of leather unmentionables and dropped them upon the coach; the guard bundled them into the usual place, and with the cry of "all right" away went the Mail. When the mistake was brought to light on arrival, inexpressible amusement was caused to some, and disappointment and confusion to others.

Merlin 16th November, 1833
The Tender Passion

On Sunday night, at the residence of the Rev. John Powell, in this town, about half-past ten o'clock, after the servant girl had retired to rest, suspicion was excited in the family that all was not quite right, whereupon the Rev, gentleman's son proceeded to institute a search, and on arriving at the damsel's room, the door was quickly shut in his face and ingress opposed with more energy than is usually consistent with virgin feebleness. By threats and force an entrance was at length affected, and in the centre of the room, divested of the incumbrance of clothing, stood the trembling girl, while skulking behind the door was discovered an enamoured swain, a swarthy son of Vulcan, whom, in the excess of her affection, she had admitted to her chamber. Both delinquents were overwhelmed with confusion; the frail one faltered "that she meant no harm," and pleaded hard for forgiveness. Mr. Powell, however, who suspected that a robbery had been contemplated, turned a deaf ear to her eloquent appeal, and sent for the police, who soon transferred the maid and her gallant to lodgings of a less comfortable description than they had calculated on. Upon reaching the lock-up, they, "whom love had knit," were rudely torn asunder, and thrust into separate cells. Poor Sarah Alley was a long time inconsolable and her lamentations were both loud and deep; indeed she even threatened that she would hang herself unless permitted to share the same dungeon with her dark Adonis. A policeman to prevent so direful a catastrophe, carried away her handkerchief, and the band of her gown, and he also took away her garters. With these precautions and a moderate supply of bread and water, they were left to their fate till Monday, when they were brought before the Magistrates, and as nothing belonging to Mr. Powell had been found in their possession, they were discharged with a suitable admonition.


Merlin 24th March, 1834
Steam Packet Grounded

On Monday last the 'George IV' Steam Packet from Bristol to Tenby experienced a heavy gale of wind with a tremendous sea. She was obliged to make for Penarth Roads and on running over the Cardiff sands struck. She soon became unmanageable; the engine, through the concussions, got out of order and the sea beat her completely over the sands. The pilot boat from Newport came and towed tier to this port with five feet of water in the hold. There were but few passengers on board, who went on in the Newport Steam Packet, and proceeded to Bristol.

Merlin 9th August, 1834

On Wednesday morning last, was launched from the building yard of Mr. John Young, a schooner, of 300 tons burthen. The vessel is considered by competent judges to be one of the most perfect pieces of workmanship that ever was launched in the bosom of the three channels. She has been purchased by Messrs Crisps, of London, and is intended for the Smyrna trade. Although launching is becoming so common in Newport, the shores on each side of the river were thronged with spectators. - And on Thursday last, was launched, from the building yard of Mr. Perkins, a fine ship, of about 600 tons burthen, built for Messrs Drews, of Bristol.


Merlin 4th July, 1835
Awfully Sudden Death

On Monday last at his house, the Ship on Launch Newport occurred the death of Mr. Evan Jones. His death is another and fearful proof of the uncertain tenure of human life. He left his home in the morning, as strong, in as good spirits, and apparently, in as good a state of health as usual, to see a farm between Newport and Cardiff which he contemplated taking, and returned home about six o'clock in the evening; 'having made some good-humoured observations, he fell and spoke no more. "Watch ye therefore, for ye know not the hour."

Merlin 26th September, 1835
Newport Queen of Trumps

On Monday last a match against time came off on Chepstow Road. The Innkeeper Mr. John Kinson's mare Queen of Trumps was backed against Old Chronos to carry her master, trotting three miles, walking three miles and galloping three miles within 65 minutes. Betting was in favour of Chronos but the Queen won easily in 61 minutes carrying 13st. 7lbs. A good dinner was afterwards provided on the occasion, at the Noah's Ark, when Red and Blue sat cheerfully down together.

Merlin 17th October, 1835
Newport to America in Record Time

Arrived the barque 'Recovery' of this port, belonging to Mr. Joseph Latch, a regular trader to Canada, 329 tons register, Robert Banks master, from Quebec in 28 days, with a cargo of timber for Batchelor and Co. This vessel left Start Point on 7th April for Quebec and discharged her first cargo of timber at Gloucester and made her passage home in 22 days, she has now completed her two voyages to America in six months and seven days.

Merlin 21st November, 1835
Mysterious Disappearance

On 20th October last Mr. G. M. Walker, Solicitor of Newport dispatched his managing clerk to Pontypool to transact some professional business. He unfortunately got exceedingly intoxicated in the evening: the following day he left with the avowed purpose of returning to Newport but he has not arrived. His horse was found by the Bridge Inn stables the same night, but no tidings have yet been procured of the rider. We understand that the clerk's name is Hutchinson and he had been engaged in Mr. Walker's employ only three weeks; he is about 31, middle size and has sandy hair.

Merlin 29th December, 1835
The Municipal Reform Act - Election

The result of the first public election of the members of the Town Council took place on 26th December. The election has resulted in the return of the following 18 members: Messrs G. Gething, gentleman; J. Owen, gentleman; B. Batchelor, timber merchant; J. Latch, coal merchant; R. Mullock, china dealer; C. Oliver, stationer; W. Brewer, surgeon; W. Williams, banker; T. Wells, provision merchant; John Frost, draper; J. Corbie, gentleman; Lewis Edwards, draper; T. Westlake, coal miner; T. Powell, coal merchant; E.T. Allfrey, brewer; Thomas Hughes, gentleman; Thomas Hawkins, ironmonger; and W. Townsend, merchant.

At the first meeting of the elected members Mr. Joseph Latch has been elected Mayor and Mr. Thomas Prothero, who has acted as legal advisor to the old Mayor and Corporation, Town Clerk.

Merlin 29th December, 1835
Our New Mayor

We welcome as our foremost citizen Mr. Joseph Latch who is well known in this town as a merry-hearted gentleman. He is a coal merchant trading under the title of Latch and Co. His brother, a silversmith and watchmaker, resides in High Street and it is to him we owe our first public clock.


Merlin 16th January, 1836
Old Christmas Day

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.

Merlin 23rd January, 1836
To the Editor of time Monmouthshire Merlin


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,
A Friend to Improvement.

Merlin 13th February, 1836
Unfortunate Death

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.

Monmouthshire Merlin 19 March, 1836
St. Patrick's Day

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.

Monmouthshire Merlin 14 May, 1836
Serious Accident

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.

Merlin 14th May, 1836

On Monday last three persons were apprehended and brought before William Brewer Esq. on the charge of embezzling the property of Mr. Alfred Williams of the Tredegar Arms, it appears that on Saturday last Mr. Williams went to Sgt. Redman and stated that he had reason to believe that he had been robbed to a considerable extent by persons in his service. On the following day Redman, after making some enquiries, searched a box of Ann Willis the cook, where he found a quantity of gin. At first she stated she did not know how it had come there, but later acknowledged she had stolen it. In doing so she implicated Edward Bryan the ostler, who was then taken into custody, and who in his turn, implicated the malster whose name is James Huston and who was likewise apprehended. They were examined separately when a regular system of plunder was revealed, effected by means of false keys, which were found in the corn bin, of which the ostler had the care. The parties are to undergo a final examination this day, when it is expected they will be committed for trial.

Merlin 28th May, 1836
Childrens Assembly

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.

Merlin 2nd July, 1836
Midsummer Quarter Sessions

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.

Monmouthshire Merlin 27 August 1836
Lost Notes

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.

Merlin 6th November, 1836
St. Paul's Church Newport

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
Very Mysterious

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.

Merlin 31st December, 1836
The New Mayor

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.


Merlin 11th April, 1837

On Tuesday morning last a fine barque named 'Amelia' about 400 tons burthen was launched from the building yard of the active and enterprising Mr. John Young. A very numerous concourse arrived to witness the spectacle, and arrangements having been made with skill and caution, the fine ship entered the element of her operations in style amid loud huzzas and waving of hats and handkerchiefs. She is intended for the Liverpool and West India trade; her beautiful construction reflects the highest credit on the builder and gives much satisfaction to the owner.

The same day Mr. Young gave a dinner to about 70 of the workmen, a well considered act as attentive mechanics well merit encouragements. Mr. Young and the Captain entertained at a capital dinner several gentlemen connected with the trade of Newport, at Adams Boarding House; the viands and wines gave much satisfaction; the shipbuilding trade and the prosperity of the town were the topics of the evening. All the gentlemen, we understand, were safely launched from Adams Wharf and went seasonably to hammocks without any injury to their figureheads. Mr. Young has two other vessels of 200 tons each on the stocks.

Merlin 20th May, 1837
Stow Fair - The Grand Rendez-vouS

Here was seen the lads and lassies from moor and mountain decked in gay attire relaxing their minds and muscles (for there was no end of dancing) with needful amusements, after the toils of their various occupations since last Stow Fair. The lads were not behind-hand and mustered in pretty correct proportions to the maids - indeed their numbers were so nicely adjusted one would think they came in pairs. Numerous were the stalls of spice, snatch, brandy balls and mint water and eloquent were the proprietors in celebrating their several virtues. Indeed some of the gentry were gifted with powers more uncommon than eloquence, for one at least was master of the art of transmuting metals, and only needed to feel a silver shilling to change it into a composition, which has no name, but which crumbles to dust when returned to the original owner; however, being rather sharply talked to by a customer who had no taste for such philosophy, he induced him by the use of arguements, not unfamiliar at Stow, to exceed the bounds of his original intention by trying his experiment backwards, and transmuting the nameless metal to good silver again.

There were several caravans of wild beasts and monsters, containing (to say nothing of those which were at large) live kangaroos and crocodiles, besides mermen and children with two heads etc… From the crowds who flocked to the different booths and caravans we suspect those gentry made a good harvest. A few conveyances, we understand, from Bristol were endeavouring to practice in the fair. They were kept in check however by our active Chief Constable Redman. We have not heard of any accident.

Merlin 20th May, 1837
Awfully Sudden Death

Yesterday afternoon shortly before the Packet left for Bristol a man, his wife and their children went on board. Nothing particular in the appearance of either was observed; but shortly after the vessel started the woman became violently ill and before they reached Pill she was a corpse. The body was put on shore and carried in a blanket to the house of Mr. Williams at the 'Sign of the Ship Aground' where it awaits the Coroner' s inquest.

Merlin 11th November, 1837
Fifth of November

We regret exceedingly the good sense of our fellow-townsmen and the authorities in not preventing the mischievous exhibition which took place on Monday night. The town for several hours presented such a scene of riot and confusion as was very disgraceful. No person whatever could pass along the streets without being assailed by showers of squibs and all sorts of combustibles, in consequence of which several individuals suffered severe personal injury; and we venture to say no one could see the tar barrels, which blazed in different parts of the town and in the narrow streets, without serious apprehension for the safety of the houses. The late mayor (Mr. Frost) and other Magistrates exerted themselves in the most strenuous manner to put a stop to the confusion but they were not so successful as one could wish. We are sorry to add that the occasion was marked by an outrage of a very serious nature; Redman, the police-officer and his assistants, were wantonly assailed in Commercial Street by a gang of ruffians armed with clubs and stones, who treated them in the most brutal manner; such was the violence sustained by Redman, that he was confined to his bed for some days. We hope the perpetrators of this outrage will be made to suffer for their brutality.

Merlin 23rd December, 1837

On Tuesday last a gang of circulators of base coin consisting of one man and two women was broken up in Newport. Half crowns and half sovereigns were offered to various tradesmen in the town and in some instances were unfortunately taken. It is deeply to be regretted that after a very severe and close examination only one of then could be detected; one of the women calling herself Elizabeth Jones. She has been sent to Usk for trial.

Merlin 30th December, i837~
The New Mayor

Lewis Edwards Esq. has been elected to the office of Mayor of our town. His simplicity of manner has already endeared himself to many of our townsfolk who have had the pleasure of his acquaintance. As an instance of his style of manner, it may be noted that as deacon of Mill Street Congregational Chapel he said: "There will be no church in this chapel next Sunday in consequence of our going to whitewash the place yellow."


Merlin 6th January, 1838
A Sad Arrival

On Saturday last the 30th of December the body of the late Watkin Homfray Esq., who died at Clifton and whose decease was announced in our paper of that day, arrived in Newport by the Wye Steam Packet hired expressly for the occasion. A hearse and five mourning coaches, which had come from Bristol the night before, were drawn up on the river bank awaiting the arrival of the body which was immediately carried up, and placed in the hearse, which was richly ornamented with the finest sable plumes. The mourners consisted of the relatives and intimate friends of the deceased, having taken their places in the mourning coaches prepared for them, the melancholy procession, preceeded by upwards of fifty gentlemen on horseback moved forward, followed by a train of about twenty private carriages belonging to the connections of the family. Amongst them we recognised the equipages of Samuel Homfray Esq, brother of the deceased, Sir Charles Morgan, Bart. and the extensive family of Tredegar etc. etc. In this order the procession moved on to Bassaleg Church where the corpse of the lamented gentleman was consigned to the family vaults. Samuel Homfray and his son attended as chief mourners.

Merlin 6th January, 1838

On Saturday morning the 30th of December a schooner of 150 tons burthen was launched from the yard of Mr. John Young in this town. The morning was remarkably fine and hundreds of persons lined the banks of the river and the wharves to witness the interesting sight. At the appointed time the blocks were struck, when she moved slowly and gracefully along the ways, and as she plunged into her future element she received the name of 'The Queen Victoria'. She belongs to Waterford and is intended for the trade between that port and London. We understand that this vessel was completed in the remarkably short period of nine weeks, and is the fifth which has been launched from the same yard in the course of the last eleven months.

Merlin. 2nd June, 1838

At a meeting of the Watch Committee Constable James Collins was, on the complaint of the Superintendent of Police, dismissed from his office for gross misconduct. We understand he was discovered by the Superintendent secreted in a house of "ill fame", kept by Mrs.Guest, at midnight when he should have been on duty in the streets.

Merlin. 22nd September, 1838

We hear it whispered that Mr. Thomas Phillips is to be our new Mayor, a better selection could not be made. It is quite necessary that the gentleman presiding in the Borough Court should be possessed of considerable legal requirements and be particularly acquainted with the Rules of Evidence. In these matters Mr. Phillips is quite at home.

Merlin 20th October, 1838
Life saved and Muffins Lost

On Friday morning last Mr. Crowther was crossing Newport Bridge when he observed something of very unusual appearance floating down the river. - Struck by the singularity of the sight, he approached to ascertain its character, when, to his surprise he found it was a baker's boy, bestriding a basket of muffins so hot that the water smoked for several yards around; Mr Crowther yielding to the impulse of humanity instantly plunged into the water and succeeded in landing the baker's boy on terra firma - then took him to the nearest hotel and gave him a good breakfast without muffins. We have no doubt that Mr. Crowther will be amply rewarded for this praiseworthy act of humanity.

Merlin. 30th June, 1838

With much pride and exhaltation we have to announce that Newport, the commercial capital of South Wales, has taken a memorable part in the joyous occasion which a loyal and devoted people have, with such enthusiasm, made to a Patriot Queen.

The fine morning of Thursday was ushered in by a joyous peal of bells from old St. Woolos Tower; ships in the harbour, and we are happy to say there were many, unfurled their gayest streamers; frequent discharges of artillery announced the advent of a day of rejoicing; and the crowds thronged the roads leading to the town showed that Newport was about to become a focus of festivity. As the morning advanced the streets presented a scene of increased animation. The entire population in their holiday attire, wearing white rosettes on the breast, appeared with joyous countenances resolved to make the most of the happy day. All places of business and public offices were closed and the houses generally through the town displayed banners with various loyal and appropriate devices. Triumphant arches composed of evergreens and various flowers surmounted with the Regal Crown were tastefully displayed across the streets.

The Rodney Wharf and the adjacent banks of the river were the rendez-vous of the Trades and all who wished to join the procession; and we have the concurring testimony of the oldest inhabitants of the town to the fact that a more interesting and inspiring spectacle was never previously beheld in Newport.

Merlin 11th August, 1838
Letter to the Editor of the Monmouthshire Merlin


It is a general observation when visitors who ascend to old St. Woolos for the fine expansive views commanded by that elevation, that the state of the churchyard is not only discreditable to Newport but indeed almost revolting to humanity. There, the little circumscribed spot set apart for burials, is so densely populated with the dead that there is scarcely enough of earth unoccupied to cover the foul and melancholy spectacle of the graves; coffins are crushed together; some displaced almost before the green grass has grown over them, whilst sculls (sic) and other sad reliques (sic) of the departed are not unfrequently strewn upon the surface. I might proceed with the picture - I might mention scenes of nocturnal depravity and desecration of the consecrated ground, but to go on with the grouping would be a loathsome work, and might possibly excite feelings which had better lie dormant.

In making these observations, I have not even the shadow of an intention to attach blame (for I believe none is attributable) to any person in any station connected with discharging the last duties to the departed in the churchyard of St. Woolos. My object is merely to call public attention, with a view to remedy a great and increasing evil in Newport, resulting from the narrow confines of our public burying place - an evil not chargeable to individual neglect, but to public apathy, or at least a want of public exertion.

Yours etc. with sincere esteem.

Merlin 20th October, 1838
A Large Salmon

A salmon was caught this week in the Usk with the following large dimensions. Length 3ft. 9in; girth 28in; and weighing 35 lbs. This noble fish was brought to Tredegar House where it proved a high treat to the numerous and distinguished guests at present visiting that hospitable mansion.

Merlin 30th December, 1838
Election of the New Mayor

We are pleased to hear that Thomas Philips Esq. is our new Mayor. He is a man of the Law and is well respected by all who have had occasion to meet him. We trust his 'Year of Offices will bring stability and peace in our local affairs and we are sure that at the end of his term as our Chief Magistrate we are able to say thank you for a job well done.


Merlin 5th November, 1839
Chartist Insurrection at Newport
Total Defeat of the Insurgents Upwards of 20 Killed and a Large Number Wounded

We have this day to perform the most melancholy duty that ever devolved upon us as journalists and we write with the most intense feelings of regret.

The mania of Chartism which has been produced and actively cherished in this country amongst the great body of the working classes by selfish designing and profligate demagogues has appallingly raged; and the blood of many infatuated wretches has been spilt in an insurrectionary struggle. We have elsewhere in the present number of the Merlin, as well as upon many former occasions, expressed our opinions on the monstrous delusion of what the plunderers of the people, enemies of social order artfully call the "Peoples Charter"; and we now proceed to the sad details of the fatal consequences which have resulted to some of the ill-fated insurgents who have been lured from honest industry and have harkened to the voice of their betrayers.

On Saturday and Sunday last reports had come that the Chartists of the Hills were preparing for an attack on Newport and that in the event of success they intended to march to Monmouth for the liberation of Vincent and the other Chartist prisoners confined in the jail of that town. From the frequency and vagueness of such reports for some weeks little importance (generally speaking) was attached to these rumours until Sunday when Thomas Philips Junior Esquire, Mayor of Newport obtained information to which some credence was attached that an insurrectionary movement had been determined on in the Chartist Lodges. Some well-informed from the manufacturing districts stated that the "Rise" was to have taken place on the preceding Tuesday but was deferred to Sunday night or early Monday morning; that the disaffected had been possessing themselves of arms and that they had sent scouts to Newport to ascertain the state of preparation in which the town would be placed by the authorities. The Mayor from the first moment of serious alarm adopted every precautionary measure which firmness, correct judgement and indefatigable exertion could accomplish in the time and under the circumstances. He swore in a large number of special constables from amongst all classes - and was in frequent communication with the detachment of the brave 45th Regiment stationed at the Poor House and appointed the Westgate Hotel as the headquarters of the little band elected for the defence of the town. At eight o'clock Lieutenant Grey of the 45th with two sergeants and thirty soldiers arrived at the Westgate Hotel from the barracks at the Poor House beyond Stow Hill. The gallant Lieutenant immediately placed himself and men under the direction of the Mayor and the brave determined fellows were judiciously posted through the premises. Business was entirely suspended, the shops were all shut, and a solemn stillness pervaded the town. The shutters of the Westgate Hotel windows were closed but the entrance was open and the passage occupied by several gentlemen with staves who acted as special constables, there being no appearance of military force from the exterior of the house. At about nine o'clock the cheering of many voices was heard in the distance from the direction of Stow Hill producing the utmost alarm as evidenced by the countenances of those inhabitants who appeared at their windows. A few minutes after the front ranks of the numerous body of men armed with guns, swords, pikes, bludgeons and a variety of rude weapons made their appearance and wheeled round the corner of the hotel from Stow Hill with more observance of regularity in movement than is usual for rioters to display; an observer who saw the movement down Stow Hill calculates this body of Chartists must have amounted to five thousand men.

When the head of the column arrived at the Westgate, the rear ranks were at the house of Mr. Sallows and they appeared to be almost twelve abreast. The leading ranks then formed in front of the house and a large body made an attempt to enter the yard leading to the stables but found the gates strongly secured against them. They then wheeled to the portico of the inn holding their guns and other weapons in a menacing manner and called out as t'was understood "Give us up the Prisoners" (those that had been captured during the previous night by the special constables). A volley was immediately discharged at the windows of the house which broke almost every pane of glass within the frames on the lower floor and they made a rush into the passage a dense crowd forcing the special constables to fly from the points of their pikes. At this critical moment the soldiers who were in the large lower room of the eastern wing fired over the shutters which were nearly mid-way up the window but it was supposed that the balls passed over the heads of the visitors. The shutters were soon removed and Mr. Philips the undaunted Mayor, Lieutenant Grey and Sergeant Daly of the 45th appeared at the window. The Mayor had the Riot Act in his hand and appeared as if about to address or exhort the insurgents when he received a slug through the left arm (a rather severe flesh wound) near the wrist. Sergeant Daly was wounded in the forehead (with two slugs made from lead apparently taken from a window frame), he was hit on the peak of his cap the stiff leather of which prevented his being killed on the spot. The firing of the troops was steady and murderous both on the rioters in front of the hotel and on those who rushed into the premises. Several unhappy wretches fell in view of the people inside.

During the melee the Mayor was again wounded and had two providential escapes of life. A Chartist was about to pierce his body with a pike when he was shot by a soldier and secondly he was near being shot by one of the military who in the smoke produced by the firing mistaking Mr. Philips for one of the foe levelled his piece at him (then only at half cock) and would have fired but for a person who happily turned the muzzle of the gun aside and the Mayor announcing himself. The heat of the conflict lasted about a quarter of an hour when the defeated Chartists took to their heels in all directions, throwing away their arms and abandoning their dead and dying, and we are credibly informed that the Chartists at the rear of the column up Stow Hill fled across the fields below the church and in all directions scattering their weapons as they went and appearing panic stricken on hearing the roll of the musketry. Many who suffered in the fight crawled away, some exhibiting frightful wounds and glaring eyes wildly crying for mercy and seeking shelter from the charitable; others desperately maimed were carried by the hands of humanity for medical aid, and a few of the miserable objects that were helplessly and mortally wounded continued to writhe in torture, presenting in their gory agonies a dismal and impressive example to any of the political seducers or the seduced who might have been within view and a sickening and melancholy spectacle for the eye of the philanthropist.

Besides the injuries which were unfortunately sustained by Mr. Philips and Sergeant Daly we regret to state that Mr. Henry. Williams, Ironmonger of this town was wounded severely and Mr. Morgan, Draper, of the Waterloo House, Commercial Street received a gun shot wound, the ball was extracted and it is consoling to hear that at the latest moment of our enquiries that the wounded are doing well.

After the dispersal of the rioters, the slain chartists nine in number at the Westgate were placed in the yard of the inn and. presented a deplorable sight. Many of the inhabitants of the town went to see them and curses both loud and deep were uttered against the men who brought the unfortunate wretches to be thus sacrificed in the criminal purpose of forwarding by murder their infamous and destructive projects.

While witnessing this scene a withering passage in the catalogue of human woes took place, a young woman who had forced her way through the crowd of spectators in the yard no sooner got a view of the dead than she uttered a heart-rendering shriek and threw herself upon one of the bodies. The gush of fondness and of sorrow was great, she was dragged from him she loved, the blood of the fallen rioter having smeared her face and arms. There were other pitiable circumstances that might be set down as episodes the recital of which might cause a sigh even from the bosoms where the flame of hate burns but time urges to the recital of the leading facts.

The areas about Newport had literally swarmed with workmen from mining districts armed in various ways and it was said that upwards of ten thousand men within twenty minutes march from the town were waiting orders from the Chartist Chiefs. The Pontypool Road teemed with them and in one quarter alone the hills about Pen-y-lan farm there could not be less than three thousand. Several persons were stopped in coming to town and taken as prisoners and as far as we can learn not injured. A gentleman connected with the Merlin coming from Crindau to Newport was stopped and questioned, he expostulated with the men who had his collar and jostled him but did not experience much violence at the request of a person who seemed to have some influence with the detaining party, he was allowed to enter Newport. Mr. Brough of Pontypool and others were brought from the country and kept as prisoners all night. Numerous houses of parties on the hills were entered and searched for arms and all weapons found there were taken. Some Videttes who were sent from Newport to observe the state of the roads met with rough handling by the Chartists. Two gentlemen had a very narrow escape with their lives after being pursued by armed men in a wood who were urged on to kill them. Mr. Walker of the Parrot was badly wounded in the thigh.

The night was most tempestuous and the rain fell in torrents. The state of the weather, providentially, was a great cause of the failure of concentration amongst the thousands of disaffected. Had the night been favourable there would have been according to numerous concurring statements probably twenty thousand men within an hours march of Newport by three o'clock in the morning. The Chartists and the host of the poor unwilling creatures whom they forced along with them were exposed to the inclemency of the night for hours. Their ammunition was spoilt, and hungry and spiritless they sought shelter in vain.

Many of the scouts who had been prowling about Newport for information during the night were captured by the special constables who in this respect did good service and shall have honourable mention when we are able to ascertain the names of the most active. And above all as fortunate for the cause of Order and justice the insurgent leaders seemed to have egregiously blundered with respect to the movements of their most effective and best armed Chartists.

Had the attack been made as it was resolved upon in the middle of the night or even earlier in the morning before a single soldier was on duty in Newport our readers may judge what would have been the fate of the town. Among the precautionary measures taken by the Mayor on Monday morning were the distribution of public notices, the following with many other bills issued as soon as possible from the Merlin office were circulated through the town and neighbourhood:

Borough of Newport - County of Monmouth

The Justices of the Borough strictly require all persons who have been sworn in as Special Constables of the Borough to attend at the Westgate at nine o'clock this morning in order to perform active duty.

Dated this 4th day of November, 1839
By Order of the Justices.

Our Sovereign Lady the Queen strictly chargeth and commendeth all persons being assembled immediately to disperse themselves and depart to their habitations or to their lawful business upon the pains contained in the Act made in the first year of George for preventing tumults and riotous assemblies.

God Save the Queen

Borough of Newport 4th November, 1839
The Riot Act has been read by Order of Justice.

Merlin 5th November, 1839
Arrest of John Frost

In the course of the evening John Frost the prime mover of Chartism in this Country, Waters a ship's carpenter and others were brought in custody before the Magistrates and depositions were taken.

The capture of Frost was extraordinary and unexpected. It having been deemed advisable to search the house of a man named Partridge, a printer, situated in Pentonville, Mr. Thomas Jones, Mr. Phillips a Solicitor and Mr. Stephen Rogerson went accordingly and forced the door upon refusal of admission. On entering the house the first person that appeared was Mr. Frost refreshing himself with bread and cheese. He was then captured under the circumstances mentioned in the depositions and word was sent to the Magistrates for reinforcements. Mr. Blewett, some gentlemen and special constables went down and brought Frost and a man named Waters to headquarters. Frost was wet and appeared much fatigued and subdued in spirit. He asked permission to he allowed to go in custody to his home but this request was of course at once refused by the Magistrates.

He handed from his pockets three new pistols, about fifty bullets and a flask of powder. On Waters was found four pistols and an immense quantity of bullets. The prisoners were placed under a strong guard of special constables in a well secured room and a large number of special constables remained up all Monday night; Lieutenant Grey and his brave fellows being vigilant and well armed.

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