The trial of the accused Rebeccaites fingered by the sketchy informant John Jones begins. From the Cambrian:
In our last publication we announced the destruction of the Rhydypandy and Bolgoed toll-bars, the latter of which had been re-erected but a short time before. On , information was communicated to the Magistrates, relative to the parties implicated in the destruction of the toll-bars, in consequence of which, they issued warrants for the apprehension of several parties of the highest respectability. This circumstance created the greatest excitement in this town and neighbourhood — so much so, that many old residents of Swansea have declared that, on no former occasion, have they seen the town in such a state of effervescence. Early on , Captain Napier, accompanied by Inspector Rees, of the Borough Police force, Sergeant Jenkins and Henry Lewis, of the Rural Police, proceeded to the neighbourhood of Pontardulais, with warrants for the apprehension of Mr. David Jones, son of Mr. Morgan Jones, of Tymawr (formerly of Court-y-Carne), who is a most respectable freeholder, and Mr. Wm. Morgan, farmer, of Bolgoed. After having brought these two persons to town and placed them in custody at the station-house, the same officers proceeded to execute a warrant, signed by J.D. Llewellyn and T. Edw. Thomas, Esqrs., for the apprehension of Matthew and Henry Morgan, the sons of Mr. Morgan Morgan, a freeholder, residing at Cwmcillau, near Velindre, in the parish of Llangyfeiach. The former resides on his own farm, which he rents from J.D. Llewelyn, Esq., and the latter, being a single man, in his father’s house. The officers arrived in the neighbourhood of Cwmcillau about , and apprehended Matthew Morgan at his own house, two or three fields distant from his father’s house. He was left in the custody of Sergeant Jenkins and Lewis, while Capt. Napier and Mr. Rees proceeded to Cwmcillau farm-house, for the purpose of executing the warrant against Henry Morgan. The nature of the warrant was fully explained in Welsh, by Mr. Rees, to the family, who positively declined allowing Henry to be taken by the officers. At last, Capt. Napier and Mr. Rees found it necessary to take him by force, when the whole family assisted in his rescue, and committed a serious assault upon Capt. Napier. As all particulars relating to the attack are detailed in the evidence given before the Magistrates on , a report of which is subjoined, it is quite unnecessary to enter upon them here, and refer our readers to the evidence adduced. However, the family succeeded in rescuing the person against whom the warrant had been issued, but not until one of them (John Morgan) had been seriously wounded by a pistol shot, which Capt. Napier was compelled to discharge in self-defence. With the assistance of Sergeant Jenkins and Policeman Lewis, who had been left with Matthew Morgan, at a distance of three fields from the house, they succeeded in bringing the young man who was wounded, with his brother, to Swansea. In , three vehicles, with a party of the 73d Regiment, and several policemen, proceeded to Cwmcillau, for the purpose of apprehending the rest of the family, who had joined in the attack on the officers. They succeeded in apprehending Esther Morgan, the mother, Margaret Morgan, the daughter, and Rees Morgan, one of the sons. Morgan Morgan was apprehended in town, having come to enquire after his son. All the family were now in custody, with the exception of Henry Morgan. Dr. Bird and Mr. Rogers, surgeon, extracted the ball from John Morgan’s body, and have done everything that was necessary for his recovery. The ball had entered the left side, below the navel, and was extracted from over the third lower rib, but the medical men were of opinion that it had not entered the abdominal cavity. On , Mr. Griffith Vaughan, formerly a draper in this town, but now landlord of the Red Lion Inn, Pontardulais, and postmaster of that place, and Mr. Daniel Lewis, known as a writer in the Welsh periodicals, under the name of Petris Bach, were taken into custody, on a charge of having been concerned in the destruction of the Bolgoed bar. During the whole of the town was in the greatest state of excitement, being filled with a number of respectable country people, farmers, and others, whose countenances betrayed the inward anxiety entertained to know the result of these proceedings. A private meeting of the Magistrates was held during the whole of , in the Petty Sessions-room, in the Townhall. It was the fullest meeting that had taken place for some time. The following Magistrates were present:– Sir John Morris, Bart. (in the Chair), John Grove, Esq., Rev. S. Davies, W.I. Jones, Esq., J.D. Llewelyn, Esq., L.W. Dillwyn, Esq., L.Ll. Dillwyn, Esq., C.H. Smith, Esq., H. Lucas, Esq., J.N. Lucas, Esq., Rev. John Collins, Thomas Penrice, Esq., Robert Lindsay, Esq., T. Edw. Thomas, Esq., J.H. Vivian, Esq., M.P., J.D. Berrington, Esq., and F. Fredericks, Esq. — Several Reporters made an application for admittance, but were told that the meeting was strictly a private one, to which Magistrates and the necessary officers only were to be admitted, but that reporters should be admitted at the proper time. Soon afterwards, all the prisoners were brought to the Town-hall and were taken to the Magistrates’ room. The large hall, was immediately filled, in the expectation that the examination would take place there. In a short time the Rev. S. Davies appeared, and announced that the examination would be a strictly private one, but when the parties were brought up for final hearing, the public would be admitted. Mr. Powell, the reporter for the Times, who had come that morning from Carmarthen expressly for the purpose of being present, applied for the admission of reporters. Messrs. W. Walters, J.G. Jeffreys, and J.R. Tripp, solicitors, who were respectively engaged to defend the prisoners, made a similar application in writing, and in reply, received the following resolution of the Magistrates — “That all meetings, with a view to the investigation of charges relating to the demolition of turnpike gates in this neighbourhood, be strictly private until the parties are brought up for final hearing.” — From enquiries made, we understand that the information relative to the destruction of the gates was given by a man named John Jones, who has stated that he was present at the destruction of the Rhydypandy gate. On , this man told Mr. Rees, the Inspector of police, that he knew all the parties concerned in the destruction of the gates, and could give their names and residences. This induced Mr. Rees to communicate the circumstance to the authorities, who subsequently issued warrants for the apprehension of the parties. It would be unsafe to offer any opinion as to the correctness of the information until the case is brought forward, but we deem it right to state, that the public place no confidence whatever in his testimony. His wife declares that he was in bed on the night of the destruction of the Rhydypandy gate, at which it is said that he was present. She also stated that, ever since a seizure of his effects for debt, his conduct has been such as to lead her to suspect that he is not altogether sane. It also appears that some of the Welsh have a notion, that if they can erect what they call Ty un nos — that is, if they can build a house on a common in one night unobserved until the following morning — that the house so erected becomes their property. Jones erected a house of this description on a common, belonging to the Duke of Beaufort, over which Messrs. Jenkins, of Cenhordy, and Morgan, of Cwmcillau, had a right of pasturage, and which house they demolished. This, coupled with the fact that the sum of 100l. has been offered for the apprehension of the destroyers of Bolgoed bar, tend to throw considerable suspicion on his evidence; for we understand that he is the informer respecting the destruction of both bars. Various rumours were afloat on , respecting the conduct of Capt. Napier and the police, towards the Morgan family, for which, as it appeared by uncontradicted evidence on , there were not the slightest grounds. Had the assault case been publicly investigated on , those injurious reports would not have been circulated.
Rebecca in North Wales
We find that pulling down toll-gates has become the fashion of the day, and that North Wales is imitating the South. On the turnpike gate of Brynefal, near Tre’ Madoc, was destroyed. It appears that there were from twenty to thirty of the Rebeccaites, some speaking with the South accent, and others in English. They told the toll-keeper that, unless he was silent, they would make him so, and tried to effect an entrance into the house, but he had the presence of mind to place four sacks of salt against the door, which prevented their effecting an entrance. Having pulled off the post, &c., they carried the gate about a mile, and then cut it in pieces, and left the fragments by the river side. We are given to understand that no clue has been obtained as to the perpetrators. We trust that the proper authorities will be on the alert. — Carnarvon Herald.