From the Cambrian comes this account of the examination of Rebeccaite prisoners. This part of the examination mostly concerns attempts to bail out the prisoners, but also touches on the national publicity and local concern about the proceedings.
, the hall was as densely crowded as on the preceding day. The following Magistrates were present:– Sir John Morris, Bart., in the chair; J.D. Berrington, Esq., Colonel Cameron, Rev. S. Davies, Rev. John Collins, L.Ll. Dillwyn, Esq., John Grove, Esq., W.I. Jones, Esq., H. Lucas, Esq., J.N. Lucas, Esq., J.D. Llewelyn, Esq., C.H. Smith, Esq., and J.H. Vivian, Esq., M.P..
The prisoners were placed at the bar, and the charge read over to them.
Margaret Morgan, the daughter, was charged with having feloniously and maliciously assaulted and wounded Captain Charles Frederick Napier, with the intention of preventing Henry Morgan from being lawfully apprehended. [The coverage of this hearing in the Monmouthshire Merlin says that this charge was against Esther Morgan.]
Morgan Morgan and Esther Morgan (the father and mother), and Rees Morgan, were charged with aiding and abetting Margaret Morgan, in the commission of the felony.
The nature of the charge was explained to the prisoners in Welsh, and the usual questions put, whether they intended making any statements — at the same time they were cautioned by being told that whatever they said would be used in evidence against them if necessary.
The prisoners, by the advice of Mr. Walters, declined making any statements. They were then committed to take their trial at the next Assizes.
Morgan Morgan, and Esther, his wife, then bound themselves in the sum of 200l. each, and the two surities, Messrs. Isaac Jones and Robert Williams, in the sum of 100l. each, to produce the two former at the next Assizes.
Rees Morgan and Margaret Morgan, also bound themselfes in the sum of 200l. and the two surities, the Rev. Daniel Davies, of Swansea, and Mr. Wm. Thomas, of Llangafelach, in 100l. each, to produce the prisoners at the next Assizes. — The parties were then liberated.
[The Merlin adds: “The whole family were then discharged out of custody, and left the hall accompanied by large numbers, who pressed to shake hands and congratulate them.”]
Captain Napier was then bound over to prosecute, and Inspector Rees and Sergeant Jenkins to give evidence against the prisoners.
The Chairman then announced, that the Magistrates had come to a decision to liberate the parties who were in custody on a charge of destroying Rhydypandy and Bolgoed toll-bars, on their binding themselves respectively in the sum of 100l., and two responsible surities in 50l. each, to appear on
Mr. Walters applied to the Bench, for the liberation of John Morgan, the young man who had been wounded, and who was then in the Infirmary of the House of Correction, on his finding surities to the same amount as the others.
Mr. Attwood observed, that he was charged with a more serious offence than those who were in custody at the station-house, and who were charged with misdemeanor only.
The Chairman observed that as far as his own opinion went, unless there was a technical objection, the young man might be discharged on entering into the same recognizances as the rest of the family who were charged with a similar offence.
Mr. Attwood suggested that the only objection to the adoption of that course would be, because the rest of the family had been committed, whereas the case of John Morgan had not been heard.
Mr. Walters then stated that the medical men were of opinion that the young man was in a fit state to be brought forward, and that the investigation of the case should be proceeded with. He (Mr. W.) would certainly prefer the adoption of that course, if bail could not be taken for his appearance whenever required.
The Chairman expressed his readiness to accede to Mr. Walters’s proposition of proceeding with the examination. He would have admitted him to bail before examination were not that course informal. The Government and the whole kingdom watched their proceedings, and it was necessary they should avoid any technical informality in their proceedings. The Chairman then expressed his readiness to proceed to the Infirmary, and take the examination on .
After a lengthened conversation, the Chairman’s suggestion was agreed to.
The Chairman, and several of the other Magistrates, then proceeded to the Station-house, for the purpose of receiving bail for the appearance, on , of the parties charged with the destruction of the toll-bars. Should the investigation be then proceeded with, we shall give a full account of the proceedings in our next publication. — Each of the principals then entered into recognition in the sum of 100l. each, and the following surities in the sum of 50l. each:–
For Henry Morgan, Messrs. Thomas Glasbrook and Joseph Rees; the same persons were surities for Matthew Morgan. For Mr. William Morgan, of Bolgoed, Messrs. Morgan Jones (Courtycarne), and Griffith Griffiths. For Mr. David Jones, Messrs. Isaac Thomas and Jacob Lewis, draper, Swansea. For Mr. Griffith Vaughan, Messrs. John Cadwallader and Wm. Sayer, of the Bush Inn; and for Mr. David [Daniel? –♇] Lewis, Messrs. John Alexander and Edward Williams.
The Chairman, and several of the Magistrates, then proceeded to the House of Correction, to take the examination of John Morgan, the young man who had been wounded. After remaining for some time in the Committee-room, it was suggested that the Magistrates had better proceed to the bedroom, to avoid disturbing the invalid; to that suggestion the Chairman readily assented. On our entering the room, the young man, who is fast returning to a state of convalescence, and did not appear very ill, though he was much paler than when in health, was preparing to meet the Magistrates, who desired him to return to his bed, when the depositions made on were read over to him, and explained in Welsh, by his attorney, Mr. Walters. When asked if he wished to put any questions to Captain Napier, he stated in Welsh, that he did not attack Capt. Napier, but merely ran towards him, after having been wounded, to prevent his shooting him the second time. That being a mere statement, Mr. Walters did not give it in English, but advised his client to say nothing at that time — His father, Mr. Morgan Morgan, then entered into recognizances in the sum of 200l., and Messrs. Jacob Lewis and David Bevan, in 100l. each, for his appearance at the Assizes. — The Magistrates then left.