Newport First Stop - 100 Years of News Stories

Newspaper Reports 1860 - 1869

Researched by Derrick Cyril Vaughan

Merlin. 29th January, 1860
Christmas In Newport

The most uncompromising advocate for things as they used to be must have been content with the weather, which was intensely cold, while snow lay on every side. People, however, a large proportion of whom were evidently from the country, thronged the streets on Christmas Day and probably enjoyed their cosy fireside in the evening all the better. The various places of worship were well filled. On the Mill Pond and elsewhere, skaters and sliders have had ample opportunity for displaying their agility, indulging in a healthful agreeable and exhilarating pastime.

On Christmas Day at the Workhouse, the poor of the Union were regaled with roast beef and plum pudding, the result of a subscription raised for the purpose. The Master and the Matron did all within their power towards the comfort of the inmates on the occasion. In the evening a very nicely decorated Christmas tree was introduced, from the branches of which were suspended little articles of use and interest, which were distributed to the poor inmates, who were much pleased with the manner in which the Master and Matron had endeavoured to amuse them.

N.G. 30th January, 1860
Police court

John Jenkins, Keeper of a brothel in George Street, was charged under the Bye-Laws with leaving a trap-door of a cellar open to the danger of the public. P.C. Pyne said that on Thursday night, about half past twelve, he was called to the spot and found that a man had fallen down, and was bleeding very much. Witness examined the trap and found no bolt or fastening of any kind and that he was told the door was regularly used as a way in and out of the house of ill-fame. He noticed that there were steps to go down. Defendant was fined twenty shillings including costs.

N.G. 11th March, 1860
Sunday Night House Robbery

The house of Mr. Cowbourne, St. Woolos Road, was entered on Sunday evening last and the following property carried away: 38 sovereigns, one five pound Bank of England note, one dozen silver teaspoons, some five shilling pieces (George III), and a number of other coins. Nothing else in the house was disturbed, excepting the box in which the property was deposited. Due to the vigilant superintence of the police, we are happy to say that the house robbery now recorded is the only one which has been committed in Newport during the present winter.

N.G. 24th March, 1860
An Undignified Situation for a Judge

On Monday morning, as Judge Herbert was on his way to Newport to open the County Court, he was obliged to proceed from beyond Little Mill to Pontypool, in a coal truck, the engine having proved defective and unable to proceed with the carriages which were in the rear.

N.G. 19th May, 1860
Fortunate Escape of a Child

On Friday, the nursemaid of the family of Mr. George Thomas, who resides near St. Woolos, was taking one of the children for an airing in one of those blessed perambulators, when, desirous of a chat with a friend in a house on Stow Hill, she left the carriage and its precious contents on the pavement of the highway, without putting on the drag, and while she was in the house, off went the perambulator at a terrific pace, down the steep pavement, which just there, is perhaps 15 feet above the road. A scavenger, at work on the roads, saw the descending carriage, and running to a point to which it seemed to incline, and where it would tumble over the precipice, he arrived just in time to break the fall of the carriage and child therein.

N.G. 30th June, 1860
The Wool Fair

Newport's annual Wool Fair was held at the Cattle Market on Saturday last. A very large quantity was pitched, and exceeding that of any previous year, a fact which must prove very, gratifying to those who exerted themselves in the establishment of the fair and are anxious for its success.

Star of Gwent. 14th July, 1860
Furious Driving

A man in the employ of Messrs Honey and Rogers of Pill gas charged under the following circumstances. P.C. Francis deposed that on Monday evening last defendant was asleep in a cart near Castletown. He woke him up and found that he was drunk and had not the slightest control over his horse. The horse was trotting at the rate of seven miles an hour. He was fined ten shillings and costs of one pound eleven and sixpence or fourteen days.

N.G. 6th October, 1860
The Streets of Newport


Being an inhabitant of the town, and living in the vicinity of Caroline Street, I would state that I have suffered much from the mud of our Newport Streets, and think it is now quite time that the matter should he taken up. Caroline Street and Dumfries Place are badly affected, and I could name a number of other dirty streets. In Baneswell, for instance, there is St. Mary Street, Jones Street, East Street, and numerous others. I think, as I have said, the matter ought to he taken up if it is only for the health of the public, besides the convenience of foot passengers.

I beg to remain, Sir,

A Townsman

Merlin. 10th October, 1860
Gift Of Cannon To Lord Raglan

Two Russian guns, each mounted on a four wheel carriage, have been presented to Lord Raglan as a memento of the great Russian War in which his brave and noble father was engaged. They have lately been forwarded through Newport to the Estate at Raglan, which a grateful nation has recently bestowed on the family. They are to be mounted in a conspicuous place.

N.G. 10th November, 1860
The Fifth of November

The anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot still keeps its hold upon the public mind, though we imagine no good reason could be shown why it should he perpetuated in a manner so flagrantly annoying to good citizens, and highly dangerous to the safety of property. On Monday evening last, the fifth of November, the juveniles gave abundant evidence they had not forgotten their annual past-time, even before darkness set in, and as the evening became more advanced, children of a larger growth took part in the celebration. Some score or two of tar barrels were consumed in various quarters of the town, three or four of these blazing toys being, time after time, drawn through the crowded streets together.

The space in front of the Westgate Hotel was as usual the centre of the nuisance. A fire ball was thrown through the upstairs window of No.2 Commercial Street, where the Museum has just opened. The foreman of the New Bank Buildings, named Morris, while looking after the safety of the erection in his charge, observed the course of the fiery missile, and without taking time to descend by a ladder, jumped to the ground at great risk, and made his way across the road and rushed upstairs. It was most fortunate that timely assistance was thus rendered as the result would probably have been serious. The attention of the Police was almost instantly directed to the spot, but by the time they arrived, the fire had been extinguished. During the commotion a man who ought to have been better employed, threw a large squib at the Chief Superintendent of Police and split up his hat.

Merlin. 10th November, 1860
Newport Town Council

Constable Gurney was reported for drunkeness on Sunday morning while on duty. Superintendent Huxtable said the man had been on trial for four months. Generally speaking his conduct was good. The constable was called in and expressed his regret. Some conversation then took place; his dismissal being ultimately ordered.

Merlin. 10th November, 1860
Police Court

Thomas Edwards was charged with being disorderly on Saturday night in Market Street and causing a crowd of persons to assemble. P.C. Winmill said defendant and his wife were quarrelling, and making use of very bad language at half past eleven o'clock. He refused to go home saying it was not 12 o'clock. He is a painter by trade, but keeps a brothel in George Street. The defendant denied the offence and accused the police of making a false charge against him. He said the row originated in the Trout and was continued in the street. Mr. David Harrhy who was in Court was requested by the Magistrates, to state what he knew of the matter, such a flat contradiction being given to the statement of the constable. Mr. Harrhy said every Saturday night there were disturbances in the locality; and upon this occasion he was induced to go there. There was much confusion, and although he could not speak positively to the defendant, the most prominent was taken into custody, and that he was using awful language to a woman. The policeman said he was the individual referred to and that he even struck his wife down after he was apprehended. Defendant was fined five shillings and costs or to be imprisoned for fourteen days.

Merlin. 10th November, 1860

Henry Reynolds appeared before the Police Court on a summons for assaulting Maria Paske of Canal Parade. She stated that she asked him for the rent of his apartment, when he pushed the door against her and "broke the key in her bowels". His statement was that when she was abusing him in his own home, he told her to go away and merely put his "fingers across her nose". Fined five shillings.

Merlin. 6th December, 1860
St. Woolos Ringers

Who is there within range of the pleasing strains distributed far and wide from the tower of old St. Woolos, every Monday evening, would object to the ringers receiving some remuneration for their trouble and the pleasure they afford to others? The ringers, we believe, are paid nothing for their services, but rely solely upon the liberality of the public at Christmas. Well that festive season is close at hand, and we trust the bell- ringers' efforts are appreciated, they certainly deserve it.

Merlin. 15th December, 1860
Police Court

Thomas Percy appeared to a summons for taking an illegal toll from William Morgan. Complainant deposed that his cart and two horses, passed on the 5th November, to Church Farm Henllys, through the Marshes Gate. Four sacks of thrashed wheat were being conveyed, upon which he claimed exemption, as it was intended for seed; he had previously passed through three Turnpike Gates without charge. The grain had since been sown at Henllys. Defendant admitted taking the toll but pleaded that the wheat was not legally exempt. Defendant was convicted in the amount of toll taken and costs.

Merlin. 15th December, 1860
Sir Charles Morgan's Statue

The removal of the late Sir Charles Morgan's statue to make room for the elegant new office and bank in High Street, has produced one good effect, the statue now looks respectable where it appears at the summit of Park Place, the fairest eminence and the finest panorama that we possess in the town. It is surrounded by a square of tastefully designed palisades, and the whole of the little park in its front is being encircled by a low wall and railings, and will immediately be planted with shrubs. This delightful spot will hereafter, and not long hence, become quite an oasis in our not too elegantly built town.

Star of Gwent. 15th December, 1860
Frightful Accident

On Thursday morning last a frightful accident befell George Clarke the son of Mr. John Clark, Corn Merchant of 66 High Street. The lad who is about ten years of age was playing with some other children in the store loft of Messrs Williams and Evans. They were on the top storey and it appears that the unfortunate lad fell right down a distance of 35 feet through the trap doors; the way by which the grain is brought up. He was immediately conveyed home in a cab and Dr. Christie has been most assiduous in his attendance upon him since. We understand that the skull has been fractured in two places, the brain actually protruding at the base. At first there were no hopes for his life but under judicious medical treatment he is this (Friday) morning in a state of consciousness and there are slight expectations of his recovery.

N.G. 22nd December, 1860
Attempted Suicide

On Saturday morning last Mr. Clouter attempted to commit suicide by cutting his throat. He went into the back yard of the Bull Inn, Stow Hill, and while there, a servant of the house hearing a fall, went out, and found Mr. Clouter with a gash in his throat and in the act of inflicting a second. With great presence of mind she rushed forward and prevented any further injury. Medical assistance was promptly rendered, and there is hope of the unfortunate man's recovery.

Star of Gwent. 29th December, 1860
Accident to son of Mr. John Clarke

In our impression of 15th inst. we announced the lamentable accident which had befallen the son of Mr. John Clarke by which he suffered a fracture of the skull in two places. Dr. Christie has been most assiduous in. his attendance upon him since, and for the last few days he has been slightly conscious. The unfortunate lad however, is still in a very precarious condition, one side being completely paralysed and there are but faint hopes of his recovery. Since writing the above we have been informed that the poor lad is dead.


N.G. 2nd March, 1861
Improved Ordnance

James Brown Esq., the worthy Mayor of this Borough, has been engaged during this week in making experiments, under the arrangements of the Authorities at Woolwich on a piece of ordnance, improved after a plan suggested by Messrs Brown, Hughes and Lancaster. The gun with which the experiments are now being made is one of the ordinary smooth-bore guns, provided by the Government, and the improvement consists in planing down the breech end, and fitting over it a jacket of superior made wrought iron.

The present experiments are not adopted with a view to test the range or accuracy of the gun, but simply its strength. With this in view the weight of shot is increased after every series of rounds, and up to Wednesday evening the experiments had afforded every satisfaction. Sixty rounds were fired on that day. On Thursday the experiments were resumed, with an increased charge, and heavier load. At the seventh round the gun burst all round above the trunnions, and from thence to the muzzle, leaving the improved portion of the gun intact.

N.G. 30th March, 1861
Marrying a Brother's Widow

At Monmouthshire Assizes Edward James surrendered to take his trial on a charge, that on 19th January 1861 he made a certain false notice of marriage, before the Registrar at Newport, for the purpose of marrying one Jane James, who was his brother's widow. By the advice of his Counsel he pleaded guilty. The prosecution intimated that there was no wish to press for punishment. All that was wished for was that the law should be made known and vindicated. Mr. Justice Blackburn said, as the object of the prosecution was that the law should be made known, it would be sufficient to pass a light sentence - viz, one months imprisonment with hard labour.

N.G. 20th April, 1861
Canine Nuisance

We observe that the usual notice has been issued against dogs being allowed at large unmuzzled. Is this not a farce? We would ask if any proceedings have been taken for years past against owners of dogs, who have treated the notice with contempt. If not, why not? It is a scandal to the town that hundreds of snarling, thieving curs should be allowed to traverse the public streets, to the manifest danger to the lives of the inhabitants.

N.G. 13th July, 1861
A Band of Musicians Upset

On Thursday, a band of musicians belonging to the theatre, now stationed in the Cattle Market, was returning from a drive through the town in a ricketty vehicle; by some misfortune they were thrown out by a collision and several received rather severe contusions.

Star of Gwent. 15th July, 1861
Assaulting The Rev. Williams

William Cauldron Parker was charged with assaulting the Rev. Chancellor Williams M.A. at Bassaleg on Saturday last. The Rev, gentleman said he was very sorry to have to make a complaint against a parishioner. On the morning of the day named he went to a butcher's shop to order some meat as usual. He was met at the shop door by the defendant who said "All parsons ought to be hanged and the Baptists too'. The Rev, said "Parker you had better go away". "Ho I shan't" said he "What business have you got to order me from here?" Witness replied that if he didn't go away he would send for the police to take him. "I defy the police" was the rejoinder, "I don't care for the police or you either." Defendant held his fist in his face and threatened to knock his nose off his face. The Reverend gentleman went out of the shop to get out of his way and told a passer by to get a policeman.

N.G. 9th November, 1861
Ship Launch

On Tuesday last a fine vessel was launched from the shipyards of Messrs W. & J.H. Williams of this town. She is to be part rigged, and is destined for trading in the China Seas. At twenty minutes past eight she began to move gently on her "Ways" and was named the 'George Rutstone' by Miss Rutstone, the daughter of the owner, and then dipped gracefully into her future element amidst loud cheering from those on board, and the hundreds of spectators that lined either shore.

N.G. 16th November, 1861
Letter to the Editor


I was present at the Mayor's re-election on the 9th inst. when a great deal was said of his good qualities, great abilities, and faithful discharge of all his public duties. In this I entirely concur, barring one very gross omission which the Mayor, while presiding over the meeting, allowed the audience to be insulted by the celebrated Bacchanalian Champion, George Bateson, who unblushingly took out his flask of spirits, poured its contents in a vessel, and drunk off before the whole audience, exulting in the act, as "achieving a triumph over the tee totallers".

The Mayor I am sorry to say witnessed the disgusting scene without administering a timely rebuke to the perpetrator of this outrage. I should have thought the Mayor would only have been faithfully discharging his duty, by ordering his arrest, charging him the next day with an act of indecency, and thus taught the inhabitants of this town that he (the Mayor) would not allow them to be insulted at their public meetings by an ignorant dram-seller

I remain Sir

N.G. 21st December, 1861
Death of Prince Consort

The intelligence of the death of Prince Albert was made known in this town early on Sunday morning last. Copies of the telegram were posted at the Church doors and other public places, and the shipping, with few exceptions, exhibited their bunting at half mast. At St. Paul's Church by the Rev. J. T. Wrenford, and at Trinity Church by the Rev. S. Fox, touching allusions were made to the sad event, and prayers offered up that Her Most Gracious Majesty might be supported under her heavy affliction


N.G. 4th May, 1862
Take Care of your Pockets

During the fire which broke out at Mr Corner's shop in Commercial Street on Sunday evening, Mrs. Jackson of Park Place, who was among the crowd of spectators in front of the premises, had her pocket picked of a purse containing four sovereigns and some silver, the thief was not detected.

N.G. 11th May, 1862
Characteristic Bunkum

A very swaggering Yankee Captain, off a ship in the port, was inspecting firearms in the shop of a ship's chandler in Commercial Road. Not contented with uttering a string of abusive epithets towards this country, he began to brag of the execution he could accomplish among the Britishers, with the excellent weapons he was handling. A valiant son of Newport happened to call at the shop, overheard the language, and the expressions of the sanguinary skipper, and taking up a couple of cutlasses that lay near, he introduced himself, and politely offered one to the fire-eating Captain, asking him to try what he could do with it. Immediately a change came over the spirit of his dream, and he was scarcely able to stutter out an apology, in consequence of the nervous trepidation with which he was seized.

N.G. 21st June, 1862
Police Court

Hannah Hunt was charged with being drunk and disorderly on Saturday in Commercial Street. P.C. Hall stated that he was called to the Salutation to remove the defendant, as she had broken a jug and glass. He had great difficulty in removing her, and her conduct induced a crowd of several hundred persons to collect around. Her husband had been in the house and had endeavoured in vain to persuade his wife to go home. Fined five shillings.

N.G. 28th June, 1862
Harbouring Bad Characters

Mr. Miller was charged with permitting persons of notorious bad character to assemble in his beer house, the Sailors Return, Commercial Road. The defendant's daughter who is virtually the landlady of the house appeared to answer the charge. P.S. Bath deposed that he visited the house on Wednesday night about eleven o'clock and found six prostitutes in the house with several men, with cups of beer before them. It was the practice of such females to assemble in the house and music was constantly played for their entertainment. Defendant said, to the evident amusement of the Court, that she was much obliged for what Sergeant Bath had done. She did not require the girls in her house at all. The Chief Superintendent proved two previous convictions during the present year. Mr. W. James, surgeon, on being sworn stated that he lived opposite the defendant's house and that the general conduct of the girls in the house and outside was disgraceful and proved such a nuisance that he was compelled to vacate his front apartment. The defendant was fined five pounds and costs and in default of payment to be imprisoned for one month.

N.G. 28th June, 1862
The Roman Catholics Bury Their Poor

A valuable institution in connection with the Catholic Church in Newport - a Burial Society for the poor who for a halfpenny contribution per week secure for their dead a wood coffin, a shroud, a private grave, a Gothic headstone, a pall and the use of 24 funeral dresses; the pall being beautifully decorated with crimson and having the inscription in deep Gothic lettering "Eternal Rest grant to them Oh Lord and let Perpetual Light shine upon them". The family of the deceased are thus relieved from all expense, and the Catholic poor are held to be without excuse, if they get into pecuniary difficulties on account of death.

On Tuesday afternoon we observed the funeral procession of a young girl. The male and female mourners were all becomingly dressed in mourning cloaks, hat bands, bonnets and veils (very nun-like) etc.; and a striking feature in the procession was a dozen young girls, all arrayed in white, with white veils covering their heads and falling nearly to the ground. The public were naturally surprised at the spectacle, the cause of which we have thus explained.

N.G. 19th July, 1862
Fatal Termination of Wedding Festivities

A most lamentable occurrence, which resulted in the death of a man named Thomas Powell, took place on Wednesday evening last, at Pillgwenlly. The deceased was in the employ of Mr. Charles Jordan, iron founder, one of whose daughters had that morning been led to the hymeneal altar. The workmen were naturally desirous of celebrating the event, and adopted the common practice of firing cannon at frequent intervals throughout the day. At about seven o'clock while the deceased was standing as a spectator, one of the pieces exploded and a fragment struck him in the bowels, causing death in a very short period.

The deceased was about 37 years of age and has left a widow and two young children. After the accident the Rev. F.S. Fox was sent for, and remained in prayer with the deceased until the time of his death.


N.G. 6th April, 1863
Frightful Death

On Saturday last an inquest was held on the body of an Irish woman named Hannah Coglan who, on Thursday week last, was engaged in stealing (or picking) coal out of a truck on the dock, when other trucks, being driven against that one in which she was so engaged, unperceived by her, the collision caused her to fall over, and the wheels passed over her head and so frightfully mangled it, that she was picked up quite dead. Verdict - accidentally killed.


Merlin. 2nd January, 1864
New Year's Eve

The appropriate custom of holding 'Watch Night" services bidding farewell to the departing, and hailing the advent of the coming year, amid the sacred engagements of prayer and praise, was observed by several of the religious communities in Newport on Thursday night. The ancient practice of ringing the old year out and the new one in was adhered to by the bell ringers of St. Woolos Church.

Merlin. 9th February, 1864
Court Held Before Sir Thomas Philips Knight & Deputy Chairman The Rev. Thomas Prothero

Ann Wylde on bail pleaded guilty to stealing two sixpertny loaves, a piece of cheese, a teapot and a piece of bacon, the property of Edward Bayerley on 24th October. The prosecutor recommended the prisoner to mercy, and the Deputy Chairman having made some enquiries sentenced her to one month hard labour, urging her when she left prison to remember, if she had no regard for herself, there were others, her children, affected by her conduct.

Merlin. 9th February, 1864

John Farr, 30 a pig dealer was charged with unlawfully obtaining by false pretences from Mary Lewis at the shop of Mr. Edward Horner one leg of pork with intent to defraud on 9th December, 1863. The witness said he called at the shop and asked for it and the little girl handed it to him; he did not steal it. He told his wife to call and pay Mr. homer the next morning. The Chairman observed that the case rested on the evidence of the little girl Mary Lewis. If they believed her statement that the prisoner had actually taken the meat without her consent then it amounted to a felony just as though he had taken it from the counter; but if she had let him have the leg of pork trusting to his statement, then it would only have been obtained by false representation. The jury returned a verdict of guilty of having obtained the pork by false pretences. The Chairman then sentenced the prisoner to nine calendar months with hard labour.

Merlin. 16th February, 1864
The Half Holiday Movement

Surely if slowly the practice of suspending business on Thursday afternoons seems to be extending. For some months the Drapers and Hatters have, not withstanding that other branches have not yet adopted the practice. This week we are glad to find that their praiseworthy practice is being followed by others. The principal stationers and shoe shops etc. having closed their establishments on Thursday afternoon at 3 o'clock. Several brokers and merchants have also agreed to close their offices at the same hour.

Merlin. 12th March, 1864
The Incumbency Of Pillgwenlly

The Rev. Samuel Fox has been licensed by the Bishop of Llandaff to the Incumbency to the newly formed eccliastical Parish of Holy Trinity, Pillgwenlly. It is the intention of the new incumbent to "read himself in" on Sunday momning.

Merlin. 12th March, 1864
Fallen But Penitent

These words describe a class of females on whose behalf an effort is about to be made in Newport. Statistics advised from time to time by the Chief Superintendent painfully show how pressing is the need for some systematic attempt to rescue frail and outcast women from present and final ruin. Cardiff whose criminal ills are perhaps more foully stained with the records of female debasement than our own, has already taken some steps in the path of reformation with gratifying results. The object at present aimed at in Newport is to provide a temporary home for females who weary of their bondage and shame of profligacy may be willing to return to virtuous habits of life. It is hoped that the intended institution at Newport may thus become an auxiliary to the Home at Llandaff and that by the united labours of Christians, without regard to denominational distinctions, some good may be done among a class who have particular claims upon the sympathy of the benevolent.

Merlin. 16th April, 1864
Gilby Wine Importers And Distillers

Various Sherries - One shilling and two pence a bottle.
French Red Wines - One shilling a bottle.
Brandy from - Two shillings and two pence to Four shillings a bottle.
Irish Whiskey - One shilling and ten pence a bottle.

Merlin.23rd April, 1864
The Christian Sabbath
Isaac Lyons the photographist of Commercial Road was summoned for exercising his worldly calling on the Lord's Day. Dougle Campbell said he was boatswain on board the ship 'Grenock'. On Sunday last he took a child to the shop of the defendant to have its likeness taken. The shop was open and the defendant took the required photograph. Witness offered payment but the defendant told him he could settle when the picture was ready. Defendant admitted that he had taken the likeness but stated that it was not customary to open his shop on the Sabbath Day. Chief Superintendent Hextole said that he had sent an officer round the town last summer cautioning photographers not to open their shops on Sunday. Mr. Evans said that although the defendant was a Jew he must obey the laws of this Country. The feelings of Christians must not be outraged by Jews exercising their worldly calling on the Sabbath flay. Fined five shillings and costs, or seven days imprisonment.

Merlin. 28th May, 1864
Serious Damage To Ship

On Thursday morning the smack 'Maria Louise' (Captain George) was coming up the river and about to anchor at a wharf near the Steam Packet landing stage; when by some means she drifted against the bridge. The main-mast was carried away and the rigging sustained serious damage.

Merlin. 11th June, 1864
A Match Of Cricket

The match between the Newport Athenaeum and the Cardiff Clubs was played on the Newport Marshes on Tuesday. The result was in favour of the Athenaeum Club, notwithstanding that the Cardiff gentlemen had the assistance of a professional.

Merlin. 6th August, 1864
Mad Cow

On Wednesday morning a cow ran away from the drovers in Dock Street, and after butting at a number of people, ran at an Irish woman named Prixley, with a child in her arms in Cross Street; knocked the woman down and trampled on her, and tossed the child into the air some ten or twelve feet. Before the woman could get away she was again caught and much injured. The cow then made for Commercial Street, pursued her way to the bridge, and thence to the country. The animal belonged to Mr. Stock, butcher. Hopes are entertained of the child's recovery.

Merlin. 24th September, 1864
The Lost Child

The body of the boy Pring, who was missed from his home at Pill two or three weeks since was discovered on Friday evening last lying on the mud on the east side of the Usk. At the inquest a verdict of "found drowned" was returned.

Merlin. 24th September, 1864
Band Of Hope

The members of this useful institution to the number of 800 enjoyed an afternoon's sport in the field adjoining the Gaer on Monday. The pleasures of the children in the party were much enhanced by the distribution among them of a plentiful supply of apples and milk. Mrs. Powell being the generous donor.

Merlin. 31st December, 1864
Christmas Holidays

Monday was observed as a general holiday in Newport, a large number of strangers visited the town and the streets presented a busy aspect throughout the day. It is gratifying to note on the authority of the Chief Superintendent of the Police that the public houses were generally cleared at an early hour and that the amount of dissipation and disorderly conduct was much below the average.


Merlin. 2nd January, 1865
Rather Aggressive

An open air Temperance Meeting was held on Monday night last, in Baneswell Road, near the new bank, and the speakers who had the pleasure of addressing a large concourse of people, had the audacity to hold forth from a brewer's cart. Probably the owner was unaware of the salutary purpose to which his vehicle was appropriated.

Merlin. 7th January, 1865
Garibaldi Temperance Lifeboat Crew

Under this title a society has lately been established in Newport whose object, we believe, is to visit and seek to reclaim the immoral and dissipated of both sexes. There are three "boats" - one in Newport proper (Mr. C. Matthews, captain), one in Pill (Mr. D. Prewett, captain) and one manned by a female crew with Mrs. Firbank as their commander. The first appearance of the Garibaldians was celebrated on Monday last, by a tea at the Temperance Hall and a public meeting in the evening at the Town Hall presided over by the Mayor when there was a large attendance, many probably being curious to inspect the uniform of the 'crews' which consists of the emblematical red shirt and other decorations.

Merlin. 18th January, 1865
Property of a Deceased Captain

Before the Divisional Petty Sessions, a Mr. Seys applied to the Bench for advice under the following circumstances: The bodies of two sailors had been washed ashore at Goldcliff, one of whom was Captain of the 'Andrea Matilda', a Danish brig. There was nearly £20 on the person of the latter; and the applicant wished to know if he had the right to deduct the expense he had gone to in burial etc. out of the £20.

Inspector Sheppard said he had communicated with Mr. Moses, the Danish Consul, and that gentleman considered all expenses should be deducted from the money found on the captain.

The Bench advised Mr. Seys to see Mr. Phillips, the Receiver of Wrecks, and at the same time suggested he should not part with the money until he was paid for his trouble.

Merlin. 21st January, 1865
Clergy and Balls

Dear Sir,

From the heading of this letter some of your readers may perhaps be inclined to suppose that I am about to meddle with a subject which does not concern me; but I make bold to say that such is not the case. The attendance of clergy at balls is a matter that deeply concerns me. I am a clergyman myself, and have no hesitation in saying that those clergymen who patronise such vain and frivolous pastimes give great offence to the large majority of their brethren, both clerical and lay: it is therefore my duty to reprove the offenders.

I am far from condemning altogether any rational or necessary amusement, provided it be used in subservience to the higher obligations and duties of man; but I do maintain and fearlessly declare that the minister of Christ outsteps that line of demarcation which distinguishes him as a man of God when he identifies himself with the "mixed multitude" of the ballroom, knowing as I do that those ball-going clergy, who sanction amusements at variance with the sacredness of this high calling, do set a bad example before their flock, shock the feelings of all true Christians as well as lower the ministry of the Gospel in the eyes of the world, I feel I am bound to warn them, whether they hear me or not.

An Evangelical Vicar - January 18th, 1865

N.G. 15th June, 1865
Singular Occurrence

An accident of a very singular character occurred to the nurse at the Kings Head Hotel on Sunday last. In the afternoon it seemed that she had indulged in a siesta, on awakening from which, she found that her set of four false teeth, with the Silver Plate attached, which was worn by her, had slipped from their position into her throat. Her fright was considerably increased when all her efforts to extricate them proved in vain. Messrs Jhoida Brewer McArdle and J. Hawkins surgeons were called to aid in relieving the sufferer, but their skill proved also unavailing, in removing the obstruction. After repeated attempts a consultation was held, and it was arranged that the case being of such a peculiar nature and rare occurrence, that the female should proceed to London accompanied by Mr. Hawkins, and seek the most experienced assistance of a hospital surgeon. No time was lost before the patient was in the precincts of St. Bartholemew's Hospital, and here after no less than seven tries with a variety of instruments, of the most unpleasant kind, and many lacerations, the teeth were abstracted.

N.G. 29th June, 1865
If I had a Mule

Sandra Benhur, whose case had been adjourned since last Saturday, was charged with breaking open the Pound and taking a mule therefrom, lawfully impounded. From the evidence given it appears the prisoner broke the lock of the Pound with a hatchet, took her mule out, and afterwards dealt it sundry blows with the hatchet. Mr. Partridge was present and she gave him the length of her tongue. Inspector Fowler said she had given him a great deal of trouble when he took her into custody. She first refused to walk and after he had secured a conveyance, she would not come with them, and they were obliged to drag her for half a mile. Mr. Pope severely lectured her for her ungovernable temper and in consequence of her family, she was only committed for seven days to the House of Correction.

N.G. 21st September, 1865
Error of the Press

There is an old saying that mishaps will occur in the best regulated families. A lady wrote to the Editor of our sister paper 'The Star of Gwent'. In the course of her letter she made the following choice line "as sweet as the fragrance from freshly blown roses". Judge her unmitigated horror, disgust and rage, when she later read, "as sweet as the fragrance from freshly blown noses."

N.G. 2lst September, 1865
A Pugilist in Trouble

The celebrated Bill Benjamin, the pugilist, was arrested for debt in this town a few days since and conveyed to the County Debtors' gaol for detention.


Letter. Merlin. 25th April, 1866
Mr. Box-Brown's Entertainment


On Tuesday evening I was accompanied by my wife and a lady friend to Mr. Box-Brown's mesmerism entertainment in the hope of witnessing some of the wonderful phenomena produced by the modern mesmerism, but was obliged to leave the room in consequence of the abominal vulgarity of the subjects under Mr. Brown's influence. That gentleman did not think of it to restrain himself, though tokens of disapprobation were sufficiently audible from various parts of the room but I am sorry to add seemed to be appreciated and laughed at by the majority of the audience.

May I ask, Sir, is it right, is it decent anymore; is it allowed by the law of the land that a man should give a public entertainment to which no right minded could go without having his sense of propriety shocked, and his moral feelings outraged? How far worse is it then for a man to take his friends for an evening's entertainment and be compelled to leave the room because of the foul language and revolting indecency of the performers. If such things are allowed to pass without comment, or any token of disapprobation on the part of those whose duty it is to set a good example to the rising generation. Public amusements will in time get such a bad name that no ladies will be able to attend them, without incurring a character for levity and lack of common decency. Every woman who values her good name will rather deprive herself of the pleasure of attending many really good entertainments, lest she should meet with that which would insult her ears, and be assailed with bad language, and her eyes with revolting and indecent gestures.

I am Sir, most inexpressibly shocked and disgusted and I cannot allow this opportunity to pass without doing what lies in my power, to prevent others from suffering under the same insults.

I am Sir, yours obediently,

D.J. Wood
Bridge Street,
20th April, 1866


Merlin. 1st June, 1867
Death of Sir Thomas Phillips

We this week record with deep regret the death of Sir Thomas Phillips while engaged before a Committee of the House of Commons on a Railway Bill. Sir Thomas as a young man was articled to the late Thomas Prothero, solicitor of this town. He was afterwards a partner in the same firm in which he had commenced his career. He was Mayor of Newport in the year 1839 at the time of the Chartist Riot. On that occasion his prompt and judicious efforts on behalf of the peaceably-disposed inhabitants, his firmness in the hour of trial and his resolute resistance of lawless aggression won him the esteem and admiration of the people of Newport. Sir Thomas was born in Llanelly and was 66 years of age at the time of his death.

Merlin. 20th June, 1867
The Miser's Prayer

"Oh Lord, thou knowest that I have nine houses in the town of Newport, and likewise that I have legally purchased an estate in fee simple in the County of Monmouthshire. I beseech thee to preserve this county, and Newport, from fire and earthquake, and as I have a mortgage in Glamorgan, I beg of thee likewise to have an eye of compassion on that County; but as for the rest of the counties, thou mayest deal with them as thou art pleased. Oh Lord, enable the Bank to answer all their bills and make all my debtors fit men. Give a prosperous voyage and return, to the "Mermaid" sloop because I have insured it, and as thou hast said that the days of the wicked are but short I trust in thee that thou will not forget thy promise, as I have purchased an estate in reversion, which will be mine on the death of that most profligate young man Evan Jones. Keep my friends from sinking and preserve me from thieves and housebreakers and make all my servants so honest and faithful, that they may attend to my interest and never cheat me out of my property night nor day."


Merlin. 9th January, 1868


Will you allow me a small space to complain of the continual annoyance caused by children ringing on door bells. It is a source of much additional labour to the servant who has to leave her work ever and anon to answer these wanton ringings, especially where there is a flight of steps to mount, or when from the top room she has to come down; and then there is the unpleasantness of having the door constantly opened unnecessarily and in the bargain the bell wire snapped or damaged by this hurried ringing. I should be glad if those lines should merit the eye of our Chief Superintendent and I feel sure he will, with his efficient force, put a stop to the nuisance.

I am Sir,
Yours truly an inhabitant of the town.

Merlin. 9th January, 1868
Painfully Sudden Death

Just before the close of the rapidly expiring year, a melancholy sudden death occurred at Cwmbran. The deceased was Miss Eliza A'Court who formerly resided as barmaid with Mr. W. Watkins of the Ship and Pilot in Newport. She was on a visit from Somerset to pass her Christmas holiday with Mr. Watkins. While there, on New Year's Eve, and immediately after partaking of a hearty supper, she died with appalling suddenness from the effects of a rupture of an arterial vessel. Miss A'Court had been suffering from a pulmonary complaint. Her age was 22 years; she had resided for some time in this town and had secured the esteem of a large circle of friends, by whom her death is much lamented.

Merlin. 8th February, 1868

On Wednesday evening a fire occurred in the shop of Messrs Jones and Thomas, woollen drapers, of Commercial Street, during the absence of the inmates; but fortunately it was discovered almost immediately by Mr. Pearce, a neighbour, who succeeded in extinguishing the flames before much property was destroyed. A hose and reel were taken to the premises by the police, but they were not required.

Merlin. 15th February, 1868
Anniversary of Victoria Hall

The Mayor, together with the committee, who have undertaken the arrangements in connection with the Anniversary of the opening of the Victoria Hall, have engaged Mr. and Mrs. Howard Paul the world famous impersonators, who will give their new entertainment. When last those talented delineators and accomplished musicians appeared at the Town Hall, hundreds of persons were unable to gain admission; and it is anticipated that even the spacious proportions of the Assembly Rooms, will be none too great, for the audience by whom they will be welcomed on their re-appearance at Newport.

Merlin. 15th February, 1868
Monmouthshire Hunt Dinner

This took place at the Westgate Hotel on Wednesday evening. W. R. Stretton Esq. and L. A. Homfray Esq. occupied the Vice Chair. Lord Tredegar and about 25 gentlemen were present.

Merlin. 15th February, 1868
Newport Industrial Home for Fallen Women

The annual meeting of the supporters of the Industrial Home for Fallen Women was held at the Borough Court on Thursday evening, the Mayor presiding.

The Mayor said the Institution on whose behalf they had met had extensive claims on their benevolence. It had been in operation several years with satisfactory results. Its object being the restoration of women who had fallen from their high estate of virtue. The Rev. J. T. Wrenford read the following report.

"The Committee of the Industrial Home in presenting their fourth annual report are thankful to be able to say that their work in reclaiming the fallen has been continued during the last year; not without some measure of success. They are thankful to be in a position to report that of those under their care in the past year, ten cases may well be regarded as having been reclaimed."

Merlin. 22nd February, 1868
A Melancholy Occurrence

A disturbing fatality occurred on the river on Thursday night. The sloop 'Victoria' was lying at the yard of Messrs. Powell without anyone in charge, when two sailors named Every and Tripp went aboard and lit a fire. They appeared to have been the worse for drink and fell asleep. About half past four Every was awoke by pain, when he found the vessel on fire, he himself severely burned and his companion lifeless being burnt to death. An alarm was raised and Captain Drake of the 'Dove' extinguished the flames. The body of Tripp was taken to Devonshire House and Every was conveyed to the Union Hospital.

Merlin. 11th June, 1868
Important to Electors

Some of our readers need to be reminded that the nonpayment of Inhabited House Duty, due on 5th April last, on or before 20th July, will disqualify all defaulters from voting at the ensuing elections.

Merlin. 25th July, 1868
Serious Attack upon a Solicitor

At the Borough Police Court yesterday before the Mayor and E. J. Phillips Esq., William Morgan was charged on remand with assaulting and wounding Mr. T. Colbourne solicitor. It appeared that on Tuesday morning Mr. Colbourne had left his office on Stow Hill and when he had gone but a few steps he received a succession of blows about the head and face which, though not rendering him insensible, considerably stunned him. He turned round and saw the prisoner and said "What have I done to you?" The prisoner then charged Mr. Colbourne with keeping a machine in his office to annoy him. The result of the attack was a severance of an artery on the temple, a gash on the right cheek and a severe blow to the nose. A formidable pocket knife was found in the prisoner's possession. The prisoner who is evidently of unsound mind made a statement to the effect that English people kept electrifying machines in their houses to annoy people. They kept the description of the machine a secret - but it caused him much pain, and he could not stand it much longer. The Chief Superintendent stated that several times the prisoner had complained to him of the "machine" and wanted to know what remedy he could have for the annoyance. The Bench having consulted, agreed the prisoner was of unsound mind, and remanded him for medical tests.

Merlin. 25th July, 1868
Burning Mountains

About six miles from Newport, the mountain known as Mynydd Maen, continues to burn. Columns of smoke can be observed from great distances. The mountain between Risca and Machen is also on fire. The destruction of birds has been considerable, and in some instances, sheep have strayed either to be lost or burned. As the drought continues and a strong wind prevails, further devastation is expected. It is thought that nothing but a heavy fall of rain can check the progress of the fire.

Merlin. 28th October, 1868
The Election

The struggle, which for some months has been waged by contending parties for the honour of representing Monmouthshire in Parliament, and which has kept the county from end to end in unabated excitement, has been at last brought to a close. The result has brought no surprise. It has, in fact, fulfilled confident expectations; the Radical Party have doubtless achieved a painful source of discomfort. Conservatism has obtained a complete victory, and we offer hearty congratulations to all who have aided in securing it. The party in this county, whose avowed aim is to overthrow a fundamental principle of the Constitution, have received a check from which they will not speedily recover.

Proof has been given that Radicalism is a foreign plant which in Monmouthshire finds an uncongenial soil.

Merlin. 24th November, 1868
Voting Day

Tuesday, the 24th November in the year of Grace 1868 was the testing day and it will be long remembered for the wanton outrages in which the lower order of Radicals indulged.

In the Newport Division there were few noteworthy incidents calling for record. Among the earlier voters at the Victoria Hall we observed Mr. John Frost, whose name is prominently associated with the history of this county. On the scene was a zealous Radical addressing a knot of Conservatives, and jeeringly reminded them that in a few hours, they would require a fresh supply of sackcloth with a sprinkling of penitential ashes. We commiserate with our friend on the failure of his prophecy and trust he found himself ready furnished with the signs of mourning when the occasion arose in the evening.


Merlin. 2nd January, 1869
The Christmas Pantomime

The thanks, of all who enjoy a budget of fun, gorgeous transformations, scenery most picturesque, and fairy lights, are due to Mr. Rousby, the enterprising lessee of the Victoria Hall. He has at immense cost produced a pantomime, such as for excellence in all aspects, is seldom witnessed in a provincial town. Its title is Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. Abounding in incidents and spectacular occasions, the pantomime opened on Boxing Night, when the house was crammed from floor to ceiling; and during the week has been extremely well patronised

Merlin. 22nd April, 1869
The 6th Royals

This Regiment, which arrived in Newport on Friday morning, succeeding the 23rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers, attended Divine Service at St. Paul's Church on Sunday morning. The brass, and fife and drum bands played to and from church. Thousands of the inhabitants accompanied the Regiment on the march through the town.

Merlin. 6th July, 1869
Anniversary of The Queen's Accession

In honour of this event, the splendid band of the 6th Royals performed after the service at St. Paul's on Sunday, the congregation joined in singing the National Anthem right royally. We are informed that this excellent band will play at the Barracks on Thursday afternoons, from three o'clock till five during the summer season.

Merlin. 30th August, 1869
Floral Gems

We have had a peep into the greenhouses of Tivoli, the residence of Mr. H. J. Davies. In one of these is the choicest collection of chrysanthemums we have witnessed this year. With reference to two or three of the specimens, we have not seen any to excel them. The most remarkable measures 5 inches across. Others are distinguishable for colour and bloom.

Merlin. 4th October, 1869
Serious Accident

Mrs. Young of Caerleon met with some serious injuries on Monday evening by being thrown out of her wagon in High Street, Newport. The horse had taken fright in Commercial Street, and the driver, who failed to take hold of the reins as he got into his gig, jumped out. Shortly afterwards the gig came into collision with Mrs. Young's wagon, throwing her out, and causing her serious injury. The shaft of the wagon was broken but both horses escaped injury.

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