Newport First Stop - 100 Years of News Stories

Newspaper Reports 1840 - 1849

Researched by Derrick Cyril Vaughan

Chartist Trial. 16th January 1840
Sentence pronounced by Lord Chief Justice Tindal on John Frost, Zephaniah Williams, William Jones.

"After the most anxious and careful investigation of your respective cases, before juries of great intelligence and almost unexampled patience, you stand at the bar of this court to receive the last sentence of the law for the commission of a crime, which, beyond all others, is the most pernicious in example, and the most injurious in its consequences, to the peace and happiness of human society - the crime of High Treason against your Sovereign. You can have no just ground for complaint that your several cases have not met with the most full consideration, both from the jury and from the court. I should be wanting in justice if I did not openly declare, that the Verdicts which they have found meet with the entire concurrence of my learned brethren and myself.

And now nothing more remains than the duty imposed upon the Court - to all of us a most painful duty - to declare the last sentence of the law, which is that you, John Frost, and you Zephaniah Williams, and you, William Jones, be taken hence to the place from whence you came, and be thence drawn on a hurdle to the place of execution, and that each of you he there hanged by the neck until you be dead, and that afterwards the head of each of you shall be severed from his body and the body of each, divided into four quarters, shall be disposed of as Her Majesty shall think fit, and may Almighty Cod have mercy upon your souls.

D.V.(Res) 4th May 1840
An Old Custom

We hear from a source, which cannot be revealed, that the gardeners of the Stove area of Newport are highly delighted this year in the acquisition of the services of a young man of more personable appearance than in years past. They are making a great issue of keeping his name secret, so as to avoid their rivals in any other part of the town from obtaining his services, and thus acquiring the largest and most luscious cucumbers which they know will be theirs this year.

On the first of May, as is the custom, the young man, visited no less than nine greenhouses, where, in the "altogether" he planted cucumber seeds. As he was blessed with the body of a young Adonis, the gardeners are certain of a crop of a quality far superior to that of their rivals in the horticultural world who have not taken the necessary steps.

Merlin 23rd May, 1840

"Sarah Temperance Williams begs most respectfully to announce to the ladies of Newport, that she has Just returned from London with a choice selection of millinery, and for the convenience of her business has taken a house at No.4. Great Dock Street, (the first turning in Llanarth Street) where her showroom will be opened on Tuesday 26th inst.

Merlin. 17th October, 1840
An Extraordinary Fact

A few days since no less than twenty five earwigs came from the head of a young female residing at Henllys near Newport. As she had complained of severe pains in the head, she was attended by Mr. James Hawkins, surgeon of Newport. It is supposed that the insects must have been generated in the head.

Merlin 19th October, 1840
Letter from Mr. John Frost

We have been passed a letter from Mr. John Frost who writes from Port Arthur last July:

"I am at Port Arthur, a place to which the very worst of men are sent, and where human misery may be seen. I was not, however, sent here for what is called punishment; the Governor told us repeatedly that we were not sent to Port Arthur as a punishment, but to fill certain offices. Williams is a superintendent at the coal mines, Jones fills a situation at the juvenile establishment, and I am in the office of the commandant, that is the Governor of Port Arthur. I am acting as a clerk, and hitherto the labour has not been heavy. I am in excellent health - I never was better, and my spirits are very good, considering all things - much better than I could possibly have anticipated."

Merlin. 24th October, 1840
Michaelmas Quarter Sessions

Ben Mills 22 charged with having on 13th August stolen a cotton pocket handkerchief from the person of W. Gwynn. Prisoner pleaded guilty. Being his third conviction he was sentenced to seven years transportation to the Colonies.

Merlin. 24th October, 1840
Accident To Mail

The London Mail not arriving for more than an hour after its usual time yesterday, occasioned some apprehension and anxiety, less an accident should be the cause. These fears were sadly realised; the coach was overturned in the night 16 miles the other side of Oxford, the coachman was killed, and about three or four passengers injured, though we believe and hope not severely. As far as we can ascertain the accident arose from the shying of the Leaders at the bottom of a hill, by which and owing to the darkness of the night, they got off the road and the coach was upset.


Merlin. 2nd January, 1841
Clock for St. Paul's Church

This splendid piece of mechanism is now finished, and may be seen at the shop of the maker, Mr. William Latch, of this town. It would have been fixed in place ere this, but the bell will not be completed until next month, when it will be placed on the tower of St. Paul's. We can then "take note of time," besides "by its loss."

Merlin. 23rd January, 1841
Burial of One of the Rifle Brigade

Last Monday forenoon, the imposing ceremonies attendant upon the funeral of a soldier, were performed over the remains of William Jones, private of the Second Battalion of Rifles, now quartered in this town, aged 24 years. The poor fellow had been lingering two years. The full band of the Brigade was in attendance, and seldom have we heard the "Dead March in Saul" performed with more touching excellence than on this mournful occasion. The Rev. Isaacson officiated and read the beautiful burial service with more than usual sympathy. At the last halting-place of the deceased, twelve of his comrades fired a farewell volley over his remains, and after the sad offices of committing "dust to dust" had been performed, the procession, headed by the Commander of the Company, Captain Napier, marched away with slow and stately tread, from the grave of their departed brother.

Merlin. 6th February, 1841
Fearful Destitution

One of the poor fellows who was recently discharged from the Dock Works, and who has since been unable to obtain employment, is now suffering the most terrible destitution at Pillgwenlly, having a wife and four helpless children almost starving, who have subsisted entirely on boiled turnips and a four penny loaf during the last seven days, and numerous other families are in the same condition. The unfortunate husband went yesterday in quest of employment, but from the severity of the weather, there can be little hope of speedy relief being obtained from his endeavours for his destitute and starving family.

Merlin. 20th March, 1841

On Wednesday evening, as Mr. Harry Fry accompanied by Mrs. Fry were returning from Machen to Newport in a four-wheeled chaise, about a mile and a half from the house of Mr. Woodruffe (where Mr. and Mrs. Fry had been to dinner), the horse which drew the chaise began to plunge and kick violently, and finally upset the chaise precipitating Mr. and Mrs. Fry into the road. Mrs. Fry happily escaped unhurt, but Mr. Fry suffered a dislocation of the shoulder-joint. Assistance having quickly arrived, he was brought back to the residence of Mr. Woodruffe, where he was attended by Mr. W.W. Morgan and he returned to Newport the same night in a fly.

Merlin. 1st May, 1841
The Captain and his Pea-blower

A charge appeared on the police sheet against Captain Capell of the Rifle Brigade, now stationed in Newport, by Mr. E. Buckingham for having on Wednesday night fired several bullets from the opposite side of the street, through a "pea-blower," about four feet long, against the windows of the West of England Bank, by which the windows were broken. It was intimated to the Magistrates that the matter had been settled by the complainant and defendant out of court, upon which P.C. Huxtable was called, who said he was on the beat near the Parrot on the previous night, and saw the Captain blow several bullets through a long wooden tube in the shape of a walking stick, which was now produced, against the Bank windows, by which they were broken. Being taken to the Station House, bail was taken for his appearance this morning; when, as neither of the parties came forward, no further proceedings were taken, Superintendent Hopkins was desired to detain the miniature piece of artillery till Captain Capell should feel inclined to apply for its restoration.

Merlin. 29th May, 1841
Lady-Like Pursuits

The first prisoners placed at the bar this morning were Mary Joseph and Charlotte Jones, two Amazonian figures of the usual slovenly appearance of Friar's Fields, denizens who stood charged with being caught in the act of fighting, creating a mob, and alarming the peaceful residents at the canal side, each staggering under her opponent's blows, and the head overloaded with alcohol. - P.C. Bath detailed the proceedings that took place at the fight, and rendered a faithful portraiture of the melancholy exhibition of women under the influence of gin; Mr. Hopkins gave evidence with respect to the prisoners' mode of living. - Mary Joseph two months, and Charlotte Jones one month in the House of Correction.

Merlin. 4th September, 1841
Departure of the Rifle Brigade

This distinguished corps, which has been quartered here for the last twelve months, took its departure in three or four divisions, which proceeded by packet from this port for Bristol in the early part of the week, and has been replaced by the 11th Regiment of Infantry.

Merlin. 13th November, 1841
Prolific Potato

Mr. Duckham, of the Noah's Ark, Skinner Street, planted a single potato at the usual time last season, and the produce was so great he has requested us to give it publicity. The number of potatoes attached to the root, exclusive of very small ones was 73; the weight of which was 52 lbs. Mr. Duckham has sent one to our office of extraordinary dimensions.

Merlin. 13th November, 1841
Gunpowder Plot

Evan Davies, alias Evan the Milkman, with a broken beak and villainous countenance; William Walford one of the "crack files" of Friar's Fields; Jeremiah Driscoll not at all the better for his present notorious company; and one Edward Lewis; were respectively charged with pulling about tar barrels on fire, and aiding and abetting in riotously disturbing the public peace on the night of the 5th of November last, in commemoration of the Gunpowder Plot, contrary to the public notice issued by the magistrates of the borough on the previous day. - There was no evidence offered against Lewis and he was accordingly discharged with a suitable reproof, and Driscoll could not deny that he had been most actively engaged in hauling through the crowded streets a tar barrel in flames; he was fined ten shillings and costs or one months imprisonment with hard labour. His master Mr. Davies, landlord of the King William paid the fine and he was discharged.

Evan the milkman and Walford were proved to be about the foremost in the fiery sports of the evening and while their examination was proceeding, Mr. Noah Bowen, blacksmith, stepped forward to charge them both with stealing a barrel containing about 26 gallons of coal-tar, his property, and called a young lad in his employ to substantiate the accusation. Morgan proved that he saw Walford go towards the barrel with a shovelful of fire with which he lighted the tar; and afterwards he saw Evan Davies engaged in hauling the flaming barrel away assisted by Walford. A fellow known as "Jack the Mouse," a brother to Evan the milkman, was said by witness to have stolen a pot of tar, containing about two gallons from Mr. Bowen 's premises and poured it into the barrel. - His Worship severely censured the conduct of the prisoners, saying it was clearly made out that they were actively engaged in the riot of the evening, and he sentenced them to each pay a fine of forty shillings or be imprisoned in the House of Correction with hard labour for the space of three months.


Merlin 29th January, 1842
Prince of Wales Charity Ball

A grand ball will take place under the patronage of Sir Charles Morgan, Bart. at the Great Room of the National School, which will be decorated for the occasion, on the seventh of February in celebration of the Christening of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales. The Prince was christened Albert Edward and was born on 9th November, 1841.

Merlin. 16th April, 1842
New Road

Mr. Townsend of Queen's Hill, merchant, has opened a communication between Stow Hill and Hill Street, by which persons residing at that end of the town have a much shorter walk than through Charles Street, and have also the finest prospect from the top of Hill Street of the Channel and the surrounding country that is presented from any other position. The ground in the immediate vicinity of the new road is to be let for building, and a healthier spot we think could not be found.

Merlin. 10th September, 1842
Row Among the Pigs at Pill

Mrs. Ann Rowcroft appeared on a summons, to answer the complaint of Mrs. Bridget Granville for an assault. The parties in the case are residents of Pill, Mrs. Granville being the wife of a corporal of the 11th Regiment, and Mrs. Rowcroft the spouse of an industrious hobbler on the wharfs. It appears that the defendant keeps a number of pigs, which occasionally take the liberty of transgressing the limits within which they ought to confine themselves, and roam about in the neighbourhood of Mrs. Granville's residence, much to the annoyance of that lady, who, upon the occasion complained of, was so incensed at their intrusion, that she gave one of the grunters a blow on the back with a stick; but the dumb "crittur", as Mrs. Rowcroft designated it, not liking such striking marks of the military lady's favour, raised a terrible outcry immediately, which brought its owner to the spot.

High words ensued between the parties; Mrs. Rowcroft was determined to have satisfaction for the insult offered to her pig, and without more ado, she put herself in a boxing attitude and delivered a hit on Mrs. Granville's ivories which brought first blood. Jeremiah Carey being called, corroborated the statement of Mrs. Granville, and by an incidental observation, let us into Mrs. Granville's enmity to the pigs; - he stated that in front of the row of houses in which the parties resided, there are no less than four great dung hills, for which Mrs. Rowcroft's pigs have a particular penchant, and which they root up with all possible industry on every occasion, by which means they raise such an intolerable odour, that as Mr. Carey addressing the Magistrates said, "if your Worships smelled it this hot weather, you might as well be fumigated as wanst .

The town commissioners who never penetrate the terra incognita of Pill, cannot be supposed to be aware of the abominable nuisances and pestilent pools which abound in those parts of the borough, which are exclusively inhabited by the poor; but if they would allow us to suggest that if those centres of contagion be allowed much longer to exist they may produce an epidemic disease, which, after sweeping away numbers of the poor, may at last reach themselves and their families, they may awake to a sense of their duty, which perhaps nothing but an apprehension of personal danger could urge them faithfully to discharge. - Mrs. Rowcroft was convicted in a penalty of ten shillings and costs or to be imprisoned for a month.

Merlin. 10th September, 1842
The Red Cow

The Magistrates having some time since refused to renew the license of this infamous house to Chapman, the person who has kept it for some years, intimated, at the same time, that they were desirous that the refusal should be accompanied by as little loss as possible to him, and that they would not object to renew the license to any person of respectable character whom he might get to take it. It is to be hoped that this receptacle for all the wickedness of Friar's Fields will be now shut up.

Merlin. 8th October, 1842
"Mary the Cripple"

Mary Garwood, better known as "Mary the Cripple" was called on, and forthwith this hideous creature descended from a bench in the dock, on which she had been erected, to the floor, along which she crawled with a gait absolutely not human. Having reached the table at which the Magistrates were sitting, she coiled herself upon the floor and gazing around her with a shameless look of mixed triumph and defiance, she awaited the enquiry. - We understand that active measures are about to be taken to remove, if possible, the disgraceful houses which abound in Friars' Fields; and with this view, proceedings are ordered to be taken against the keepers of them. The "blue-eyed hag" now before the bench, being the most notorious and infamous, was the first chosen and this was on information against her for creating a breach of the peace on the morning of Sunday the 4th of September, by cursing and swearing and inciting two men named Farr and Griffiths to fight upon that occasion. The charge was proved by P.C. Huxtable and the prisoner was convicted in a penalty of £2 and £1 costs which she immediately paid and disappeared.

Merlin. 29th October, 1842
Newport Cemetery

The first interment in this Cemetery took place on Wednesday morning, when the infant child of the Rev. Thomas Parry, minister of the Hope Chapel, in this town, was buried there, the Rev. Messrs J. Jones, and D.R. Stephen officiating. The chapel and keeper's house are in progress of erection; in a short time it is expected the works will be completed, and the cemetery opened for sepulture to all classes, creeds, and colours, without distinction or preference.

Merlin. 26th November, 1842
Child Dropping

On Tuesday night last, about nine o'clock, a labouring man in the employ of Charles Morgan M.P., of Ruperra Castle, was sitting in his cottage when he was disturbed by the cry of an infant, he arose without delay and went out into the open air, when he observed a basket lying under his window from which he soon ascertained that the cries proceeded. On examining the basket he found its contents to be a very fine male infant, well dressed, together with two good changes of apparel and three remarkably neat caps. The poor cottager and his family treated the little foundling with kindness, and he is so well pleased with the helpless stranger that he has expressed his determination to rear it up as his own - thus furnishing a pleasing instance of the generous feeling which characterizes the peasantry of our country, and a very striking contrast to the heartless conduct of the cruel parents, who abandoned their tender offspring to perish or be supported by public charity. The infant remains under the care of the kind cottager.


and a letter recently received by Mr. Harris, the Relieving Officer of Newport, was thus directed:

Merlin. 11th November, 1843
Police Court

Charley Porky was charged with obtaining £l.16.3 under false pretences, of Captain Richard Hearce, of this port. It appears that Porky is employed on one of the old stages of the Canal Company, on the east side of the link, by one John Williams, who has the use of a certain ballast jetty. Captain Hearce's vessel discharged her ballast at this jetty, and the prisoner, on pretence of being the proper person to receive this money due to Williams the "ganger" for discharging her, applied to Captain Hearce for the amount, who immediately paid him. As Porky was not the proper person to receive this amount, and Captain Hearce was still liable to Williams for it, the charge was preferred against him. The Magistrate strongly recommended Porky to adjust the matter with Williams, but if they were determined on proceeding with the case, they would find the expenses very heavy, and perhaps a settlement in court might not be so satisfactory to them.

Merlin. 11th November, 1843
Letter to the Editor


Will you be pleased, through the columns of your journal, to intimate to the contractor for the postage stamps, the necessity of putting on the back sufficient gum to make them stick to the letters. I presume that is part of the contract.

I remain Sir,

Your obedient Servant - Mercator

Merlin 2nd December, 1843
Sudden Death

A poor old man named Tout, late haullier (sic) in this town, has been in a had state of health during the last twelve months, but last Sunday evening, being desirous of hearing a new minister of the Primitive Methodist body, in, Llanarth Street, he attended the service, though much against the wish of his friends. Near the close of the service he was seized with serious illness, and being removed from the place of worship, he expired in a very few minutes. The poor old man's wife was present at the same evening service, and saw him die.


Merlin. 13th January. 1844

On Tuesday the family of Mr. N---, resident not far from the King's Head, were in a state of great consternation in consequence of the daughter Miss N--- and the daughter-in-law Miss D--- having eloped. It appears that after the ladies had lunch they went for a walk; and not appearing at 7 o'clock they received information that they had gone off in a hired chaise to be married. Their parents immediately commenced pursuit and whether they were successful or not we have not yet learned. One of the young ladies is only 14 years old. The two gallants are stated to be Lieutenant S--- of the last regiment which was stationed here, and the other Ensign C--- of the regiment now on duty.

Merlin. 2nd March, 1844

A lecture was delivered on mesmerism at the Temperance House, Commercial Street, to a small and respectable audience Wednesday evening last.

The attendant of the lecturer was placed upon the table, and after some little expression concerning collusion, which the lecturer disavowed, he was thrown into what was termed the mesmeric sleep. In that state two medical gentlemen examined the pupils of his eyes, and declared him, after some hesitancy, to be asleep, according to their opinion. His eyes being closed, he was then practised upon.

The mesmerist touched certain organs - principally organs of amativeness, destructiveness, and combativeness, and by turns he exhibited great indications of the amatory passion - regard for a particular nymph, much anger against a supposed rival, and many threats of doing him or her, personal violence. On the organ of veneration being touched, it did not appear that the previously mentioned organs were quiescent, in as much as he still uttered threats etc. against the imagined rival. On the organ of tune being touched, he struck off with a merry song.

Meanwhile a gentleman present was slyly practising upon the leg of the "subject" with a needle, which he thrust about an inch into his limb, without his betraying an emotion. Various modes of pinching, pricking etc., were then practised upon his arms, legs and body, but he bore all without the slightest emotion. He had been in this state for about half an hour when they expressed themselves satisfied that the subject had been exhibited long enough; and he was accordingly awoke, when after rubbing his eyes and staring about him very wildly for a few moments, he described his perfect unconsciousness of all that had transpired, save that his leg, arm, hand, ear, and some other parts of his body had been most "gallusly pinched up" by somehody, and should "just like to know who done it."

The company had certainly tested the experience of the lecturer to some considerable extent and he went through it with the boldness and bearing of a man, who believed at least, that his doctrines were based on truth.

Merlin. 16th March, 1844
Dreadful Calamity at the New Passage

On Tuesday last about half past two in the afternoon the passage boat "Dispatch" whilst beating across from the Bristol to the Monmouthshire side of the Severn, having on board five persons, about mid-way was gallantly breasting the waves, when she encountered a squall, so resistless as to sink her. The catastrophe was the event of moments, and was distinctly seen by persons in the Passage House.

The unhappy passengers, who had no opportunity to make a struggle, were Mr. James Whitchurch, with Watkins, Jones (leaving a wife and family), and Davis, (his boatman), and J. Weston, passenger.

Paul Davis was engaged to be married this day. The superintendent of the boat (leaving a wife and child), Mr. Whitchurch, was brother to the respectable bootmaker of that name in Newport, and the eldest son of Captain Whitchurch, who together with another son, was drowned on the lamentable occasion of the loss of the Old Passage boat, on 1st September, 1839, when Mr. Crawshay, Mr. Bland and others lost their lives in a similar way.

Merlin. 6th April, 1844
Closing the Shops


It will doubtless be in the remembrance of yourself as well as many of your readers, that the grocers of this town had agreed to 9 o'clock, as a fixed hour for closing business, thus affording to their assistants a portion of time for mental or bodily recreation. This highly commendable rule has been tolerably well kept, but it is to be lamented that there is a disposition on the part of some amongst them, now to break it, by keeping the doors open after the shutters are closed.

To say the least of it, this does appear shabby to others, who adhere to the rule, and I hope this hint will prove sufficient.

I remain,
Yours etc.

Merlin. 2nd June, 1844
Qualifications For Matrimony

No woman ought to be permitted to enter upon the duties of connubiality without being able to make a shirt, mend a coat, seat a pair of unwhisperables, bake a loaf of bread, roast a joint of meat, boil a steak, make a pudding and manufacture frocks for little responsibilities.

Merlin. 18th August, 1844
Rabid Dogs

On Monday last two children one nine and the other two years old were bitten by a dog, supposed to be rabid, they were "dipped" under the Newport Bridge as an infallible remedy against hydrophobia!

Merlin. 9th November, 1844
Steam Communication Between Bristol And Newport

The new packet steam company iron built schooners propelled by the screw.

The Avon and Severn Company is run by Ebeneezer Rogers of Newport. Sailings most days of the week, on certain days, mainly Saturdays and Mondays there is a 'to and fro' service. The after cabin two shillings; for a cabin one shilling; Vehicular shipping and landing charges 4 wheel eighteen shillings; 2 wheel ten shillings. Phaeton or gig and horse fifteen shillings; horses each five shillings; rider six shillings.

Merlin 16th November, 1844


The causes of its premature decline, with plain directions for its perfect restoration, addressed to those suffering from the destructive effects of Excessive Indulgence, Solitary Habits, or Infection, followed by observations on Marriage, and the treatment of Syphilis, Gonorrhoea, Gleet, etc., illustrated with cases etc., by J.L. Curtis & Company, Consulting Surgeons, London. Published in a sealed envelope price three shillings.

Merlin. 16th November, 1844
Improvement in Dental Surgery

Most important improvements in Dental Surgery, by Mons. Le Dray, Surgeon-Dentist of 28 Parker Street, Bristol. Patent incorrodible terra metallic teeth fixed on the most scientific principles, without springs, wires, or ligatures. At Mons. Le Dray's usual Paris charges, commencing at five shillings a single tooth, and thus continuing their scale of prices. Scurvy in the gums effectually removed, loose teeth fastened and filling decayed teeth with their Mineral Marmoratum.

Merlin. 16th November, 1844

Hunt's Family Pills

Hunt's Aperient Family Pills, most excellent medicine for Bilious Complaints, Disorders of the Stomach and Bowel, Habitual Costiveness, Indigestion, Heartburn, Pains and Giddiness of the Head, Influenza, Worms, Spasms, Nervous and Dropsical Complaints. Officers of the Army and Navy will find these pills an invaluable appendage to their medicine chests as they retain their medicinal virtues in all climates.

Merlin. 16th November, 1844
The New Mayor

A party of gentlemen sat down to an excellent dinner to celebrate the election of the Mayor of Newport, Mr. Dowling, for the ensuing year, at Mr. Charles Desmond's Coffee Rooms, on Monday night, and enjoyed themselves to a late hour. It would be superfluous to add that Mr. Desmond did not fail to supply a dinner of the very best description, or that the guests did honour thereto and to the occasion that had called them together.


Merlin. 11th January, 1845
Omnibus between Newport and Pill

We are very much pleased with the appearance of this vehicle, so long a desideratum. It is substantial and comfortable, drawn by good nags, and provided with careful attendants. It is now doing well, and we feel confident - time will only increase its supporters.

Merlin. 11th January, 1845

On the 1st instant, after her confinement of scarlet fever, aged 26 years, Rachael, the beloved wife of T. Turner Lotherington, Esq. Verily, "man is but a vapour that appeareth for a little time and then vanishes away."

On the 5th instant, at his sister's, the William IV., Captain William Edmonds, of the brig Edward Prothero, of this port, aged 47.

Merlin. 11th January, 1845
An Unpleasant Smack on the Lips

Master Rearden, a son of the Emerald Isle, was brought before their worships' notice, for showing that as "an Irishman's heart is made for the ladies," an Irishman's fist is also occasionally formed, as well for their annoyance as their protection. "The Battle of the Grains" occurred in Mr. Penny's brewery yard where a number were waiting for a supply for their pigs. Among others jostling for first places were the gallant Master Reardon and the captivating Miss Crawley.

In the witness' language "a great deal of bad jaws'' passed between them. Master Rearden declared that she called him a "nasty old scamp", but she asserts she only called him "a nasty old fellow," and then Rearden thrust his "mawley," against the "chops" of Ellen Crawley.

Reardon asserted he was first pelted with mud, and had to go to the canal to wash the dark clots from his begrimed face; but the fair Ellen said it was her indignant companions that thus treated the man who raised his hand against a woman.

Both parties reside in that fashionable part of the Emporium, yclept Fothergill Street. Mr. Reardon found 'twas dangerous to touch a woman's lips, as many a man has found before, for he was fined half a crown and had to pay fourteen and six costs or be imprisoned a fortnight in Usk House of Correction. - Paid.

Merlin. 4th October 1845
Attempted Suicide by a Cow

On Wednesday last a fine cow being driven over Newport Bridge to the Market, perhaps having some prescience of the fate that awaited it and perceiving a certain fat butcher approaching, with a sudden bound absolutely cleared the parapet in fine sporting style and unhurt reached the waters of the Usk. A boat was instantly manned and a rope was soon thrown round the horns and head of the animal, which after much squelching and sucking was dragged from the mud and hauled ashore. We understand that a promise of beef-steaks was the reward of the active sailors by the owner of the animal.


Merlin. 20th March, 1846
St. Patrick's Day

The natives of the Emerald Isle who sojourn amongst us, celebrated the natal day of their Patron Saint on the 17th inst., with usual eclat. A large number of respectably-dressed tradesmen, wearing green sashes, walked in procession through the town, preceded by a full and efficient band of music and accompanied by an immense concourse of people. At three o'clock, a numerous company sat down to a sumptuous and abundant dinner at the Ship and Pilot, where a few honorary members were invited to meet them.

Merlin. 28th May, 1846
An Irishman in Love

There are no men like the soldiers for love, - real scorching hot, unquenchable, and spiced largely with madness; and just such love as this inflamed the heart of one Dennis Sullivan, a tall Grenadier of the 37th, who today doffed his cap to the Bench, charged with having caused an annoyance on the premises of Messrs Zouch & Evans, drapers, High Street, this morning, between nine and ten o'clock. It appeared that Dennis had seen the bright-eyed Nancy Lewis, servant at Mr. Zouch's, and had been immediately smitten with love. He "sighed like a furnace," told of his burning regard and quite melted her down by telling her what a hero he had been for his country's sake. He pressed her pretty waist and obtained her consent to be his.

Having settled these tender preliminaries, Dennis last Saturday walked into the shop and asked Mr. Zouch, "if yer honner wid be afther letting a dacent boy (that's mesilf) have the spache of ye for a minit or two." So Mr. Zouch showed him into the private room and closed the door. "An' shure, sir," said Dennis boldly, "its Nancy Lewis, yer servant, I'm afther axing your lave and the clargy's to make Misthress Sullivan." Thereupon Mr. Zouch, now looked upon in the light of a father, gravely informed Dennis he would look into the matter and see how things stood. Mr. Zouch then examined the girl, who declared her indifference for the Grenadier and wished he had been "sent up to Injey, to be spitted by the Sikhs!"

The worthy gentleman supposed the artful maiden's statement true, and when the Grenadier came to receive the consent he fondly dreamt of, he was ordered to beat a hasty retreat. On Monday morning with immense determination he escaped from barracks, and rushed to his "blessed darlint's" scullery, like a war-horse to the battle, forced his way in and smothered poor Nancy with his thousand-and-one kisses. He again was ordered to withdraw but he determined nothing should get him to leave for he loved the girl, he'd have her yes! So the police were sent for, but Sergt. Huxtable found that a tall Irish Grenadier, brimful of love, was a foolish matter to cope with. "Off the premises this minite wid ye, ye blue spalpeen," shouted Dennis; but all his might and courage availed him nothing; for the "darbies" were produced and Sergt. Harlow also appeared, and between the officers of the civil force, this man of love and war was marched off to the cells and was later escorted to the barracks to be dealt with by the military authorities.

Merlin. 7th July, 1846
A New Water Works

We are given to understand that a much needed facility in the town of Newport is about to be put in hand, namely, the establishment of a water-works. For far too long we have derived our water from the public pumps at Baneswell, Mill Street, Corn Street, Stow Hill, and the Salutation. Of late years Baneswell has been suspected of receiving its water supply through drainage from the overcrowded cemetery around St. Woolos Church.

Merlin. 5th December, 1846
Death of Sir Charles Morgan

It is our melancholy duty to announce the death of Sir Charles Morgan Gould of Tredegar in the County of Monmouth born on 4th February, 1760 and who passed away on the 5th inst. He has long been revered as a public benefactor.

He is succeeded by his son Charles, now Sir Charles Morgan Robinson born on 10th April, 1792.


Merlin. 24th April, 1847

The Irish in Newport

A poor Irish woman was this week begging from door to door with the corpse of an infant in her arms. Several cargoes of Irish people have been sent back to Ireland from this port during the week. Hundreds yet remain in a starving condition; and Hill Street, in which the Relieving Officer resides, is daily crowded by whole families, who present the appearance in general, of famished and diseased men, women and children.

Merlin. 5th June, 1847
St. Paul's Church

On last Sunday evening, during divine service, the congregation were alarmed by the sudden illness of the Rev. Henry Wybrow. The Rev. gentleman, near the close of his sermon, had just enunciated the sentence, "Sin is the element of a wicked man; but the disease of a spiritual one," with the action of uplifted arms, when his head suddenly declined upon his shoulder, and he fell in the pulpit. Several females screamed, and the men turned pale, it being supposed that their pastor had sunk in death. Dr. Young instantly rushed up the steps followed by Mr. Birch and others who bore him to the Vestry and under the anxious eye of Dr. Young, Mr. Wybrow partially recovered and was conveyed home. We are happy to state that the Rev. gentleman was seen out in his carriage the following day and is quite recovered.

Merlin. 5th June, 1847
Malicious Damage

On Monday evening, a load of hay was left upon a waggon in Pentonville; and before the inhabitants of that quarter had retired to rest, they were alarmed by a blazing fire in the street. On rushing out, it was found that some person had maliciously ignited the hay, which burned furiously, defying all attempts to save the property, which was nearly all consumed. We hope the perpetrators of this wanton and perilous act may be discovered and visited with condign punishment.

Merlin. 24th August, 1847
Lynch Law in Newport

On Tuesday evening last, the inhabitants of the town were startled from their fire sides by noises, and shoutings and boisterous laughter of some three hundred men, women and children, who were careering down Commercial Street at a startling pace, in the midst of whom might be seen, elevated across a pole, with his legs tied below, and held up on each side by stalwart "navvies", a wicked member of the "profession" who had broken the fifth commandment, at the expense of his late master's marital rights; and in this summary way, the friends of the injured husband were avenging the wrongs of his house. Down commercial Street and up by Canal side where they proposed dipping him - but wanting more fun - up High Street and around in cruel triumph they bore this inglorious martyr to illicit love; every now and then giving his unlucky carcase an extra lift which brought his physiognomy in contact with the pole and injured his chief facial organ, that the "claret" smeared his face. When near Bane's Well the pole on which he was carried broke in twain and after great addditional struggles, he was taken to the railway stables and there the fun was declared over. Thus they served the transgressor with advice to be a better boy - and he toils on now at his spade and barrow "a sadder but wiser man."

It was intended to have exhibited his frail inamorata on a ladder the ensuing evening; but perhaps she had wisely betaken herself off.


Merlin. 14th July, 1848
The Usk Lighthouse

The Usk Lighthouse was, on Monday last, visited by Captain Gordon, Captain Box, Captain Shepherd and Mr. G.J. Redman of the Hanourable Trinity Corporation. These gentlemen, who are on vigilant inspection in the Argus yacht, are, it is said, much pleased with the scrupulous attention paid to the lights on our shore.

Merlin. 14th July, 1948
Military Reward

On Wednesday last, the deputy curator of the Newport Exchange Room, Patrick Murphy, received a silver medal "for long services and good conduct". Murphy joined the Militia in 1915; continued with it until the reduction in 1816; and in 1826 joined the 87th Royal Irish Fusiliers, which regiment was stationed in our barracks in 1847; in the October of which year, after serving his country dutifully for nearly 22 years, Patrick was discharged on a pension of one shilling (5p) a day, and is now enabled to wear his service medal with becoming pleasure and pride.


Merlin. 27th January, 1849

"Gee-up Jenny" is well known to all the boys of Newport and esteemed by those who employ him with his donkey and cart; and rumour said he was a happy man in his domestic circle. But unfortunately, or perhaps otherwise, he, in a fit of anger, had recourse to the necessary castigation of his rib; after which stung with remorse, he rushed out and bought her a span-new gown as a recompense. Shortly after, to the consternation of poor "Gee-up Jenny," he found that his unconciliated spouse had eloped with her cousin! Poor fellow! He ran up and down the street crying for his better half; but she was beyond his wailing accents, and he called on his love in vain. Rumours stated that she had entrusted her unworthy self, for indeed she was a dame of singularly unnatractive features, to the "protection" of the "cousin" and that they had fled towards some port where they might find a vessel to bear them to the golden sands of California.

The report, we understand, is greatly strengthened by the fact that the unprincipled relative, who is a "navvy" had been seen shouldering a spade and pickaxe; while the faithless wife had an iron melting-pot tied to ber hack, as they sneaked out of town on their lawless flight. We have since heard that the deserted husband found his faithless rib, with her "dear cousin" at Swansea. When the police refused to apprehend the couple "Gee-up Jenny," in his rage, seized the "valuables" she had stolen from him, and then with all his old love softening his heart, he besought her to return to the arms, the bed, and board she had forsaken. But she scorned all his earnest entreaties, and the poor fellow has come back to this town a heart-broken man.

Merlin 27th January, 1849
The Marshes

Two or three meetings have lately been held by the freemen of the Borough of Newport, relative to the letting of their property, the Marshes, to Mr. Moses Scard, that person having offered one hundred pounds for it, for grazing purposes, and for depositing thereon the mud of our streets, he being the town scavenger, by contract.

Merlin 31st October, 1849

Captain Hertrude, of the Cleopatra lugger from France, fell among female thieves in Friar's Fields a few evenings ago and was robbed of £3 in French and English money.

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