Shoni-Scyborfawr and Dai-y-Cantwr Sentenced

From the Cambrian, continuing the reporting on the Assizes:


John Jones alias Shoni-Scyborfawr and David Davies, alias Dai-y-Cantwr, were then placed at the bar, for the purpose of receiving the sentence of the Court.

In passing sentence his Lordship addressed the prisoners as follows:–

John Jones, you have been convicted of shooting at a fellow subject with intent to do him some grievous bodily harm; and you have also pleaded guilty to a charge of having riotously and tumultuously demolished a house. I have too much reason to suppose that you have been guilty of other offences of the same character as those which I have mentioned. And you David Davies have pleaded guilty to a charge of demolishing a house, with others who were riotously and tumultuously assembled, and I know from your own statement that you have been guilty of many similar outrages. As far as I have been able to judge from the facts laid before me you are both strangers in this part of the country. What motive induced you to come into this county I know not; but I assume from your appearance in this part of the country shortly after those riots had begun, which have so much disgraced, and entailed so much misery upon the inhabitants, that your designs were highly inimical to public order and tranquillity. Whether you came here in pursuance of your own wicked objects, following out that which you have done elsewhere, intending to make profit for yourselves by the existence of the disturbances in this part of the country, I know not. It may be so; or, it may be that you were known to be men capable of outrage and violence; that you were known to be men who disregarded the law, and to be ready to brave its vengeance. You may have been the instruments of others in committing the offenses which you have committed. If you have been, what must their feelings be at this moment when they see those whom they have employed brought into this dilemma — about to receive sentence, they themselves as yet unknown and unharmed! You need hardly envy their feelings, if they have any, when they reflect on the sentence that is about to be passed upon you; and when they reflect, and tremble under the reflection, that although the law is slow it is for the most part sure; when they think that they will never go to sleep at night without feeling that their guilt may be discovered before the morning. I know not whether or not there are such persons; if there are, I am sure no one can envy their position or their feelings. It matters not for you whether there are not. It can make no difference to you, for it is plain you were willing agents, and not seduced into a breach of the law, but perfectly knowing all that you were about to do and its consequences. As for you John Jones you may be grateful for one thing — most thankful for it — that that gun which you fired at Walter Rees did not take effect on him, otherwise instead of sentencing you to banishment from this country, it would have been my painful duty to have pronounced upon you the punishment of a dreadful and violent death. But after the proof that you have given of your utter disregard of the law — of the rights of property — of the personal safety of your fellow subjects, it is utterly impossible I can allow you any longer to remain in this country, or ever to return to it. You David Davies may not be sent away for so long a time, but still a long term of years — probably the greater portion of those which remain to you — must be passed in a foreign land. How different will your position there be from that which it has been here. Here you were at liberty to choose your own master — sort of service — and to quit it if you did not like it; earning wages which you might enjoy and dispose of at your own option. No such liberty remains for you. You will be placed under a task-master, not chosen by yourself. You will hate to do the work which you are ordered to do, and not work chosen by yourself. You will not be allowed to quit it however irksome to you. Payment for it you will have none, except as much food as will preserve your strength, and enable you to continue your forced and unpaid labour. You will be not in name but in fact slaves; for to that I must sentence you for your guilt and for the protection of the public of this country. The sentence of the Court upon you John Jones is, that you be transported beyond the seas for the term of your natural life; and the sentence of the Court upon you David Davies is, that for this offence to which you have pleaded guilty, you be transported for the term of twenty years. — The prisoners heard the sentence with smiles of indifference. — They were handcuffed and removed from the dock.

The Riot at Pound.

Philip Philip and William Philip father and son, who were convicted on of having committed a riot, beaten the bailiffs, etc., at Pound, were then placed at the bar to receive sentence.

The prisoners having been called upon by the clerk of the arraigns, were addressed by the Learned Judge as follows:—

 Philip Philip and William Philip,— You are now to receive the sentence of the Court for the very serious offence of which you have been found guilty;– of a riot and an assault upon the persons of the bailiffs that came to distrain for rent on the premises of you, William Philip. A sad thing it is to see an old man like you — a father and his son — brought up together to receive sentence for an offence of this description; an offence not committed in haste or unadvisedly, but an offence committed after mature deliberation, and which you had prepared yourselves for. You Philip, the father, warned the bailiff the day before, that if he dared to come to execute the process which he told you he was armed with on the part of the landlady of your son’s farm, that this attack would be made upon them. Instead of bringing up your son in obedience to the law, and to respect the rights of his landlady, you, no doubt, encouraged him in the commission of this offence. And you, William Phillip, if you have any feelings at all, what must be your feelings at hearing your aged father sentenced to imprisonment for that offence which arose out of your own delay and neglect to pay the just debt due to your landlady, and which claim you attempted to resist by force. It is a shocking, shocking thing to see father and son in such a disgraceful position — disgraced and degraded in the face of the whole country — and to be still more disgraced by the punishment that you must now undergo. If people, taking advantage of the disturbed state of the country, forget the duty they owe to the law — to themselves — and to their Maker, they must be taught to remember it by the example of suffering in others — which suffering is the result of disobedience to the laws of their country and to the dictates of honesty and virtue. You Philip Philip and William Philip availed yourselves of the disturbances in the county — of the heat and excitement which then reigned predominant in men’s minds — men who went prowling about reckless of order and of disgrace, assuming names which have become a bye-word of alarm and violence — and by their means sought to evade the payment of a just debt, but whether just or otherwise the means you adopted were highly discreditable and dangerous, as you had a right to question the legality of the demand in a court of law, but in no other manner. For this offence, the sentence of the Court upon you Philip Philip (the father) is that you be imprisoned for twelve calendar months and the sentence of the Court upon you William Philip is that you be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for the term of twelve calendar months.

The Pantycerrig Outrage.

David Evans, farmer, and James Evans, labourer, who were found guilty of the assault on the person of the late Mr. Thomas Thomas, of Pantycerrig, were then brought up to receive sentence. His Lordship addressed them as follows:—

 David Evans and James Evans, you are brought before the court to receive sentence for a riot — a riot attended by circumstances of great cruelty to a very old man, who has since that time by some means or other, lost his life. You behaved with great cruelty to him and to his family, for you went with others armed and disguised, conducting yourselves in such a manner as to cause terror in the minds of the peaceable inhabitants of the old man’s residence. You dragged that old man from his house in the dead hour of the night, and took him to a distance from his wife and family. You James Evans personally ill-used him during the progress of this riotous proceeding. What must have been that poor old man’s state of feelings when be found himself in the hands of such people, in such a place, and at such an hour of the night; and what must have been the feelings of his aged wife when he was dragged from his bed and from his house by an armed and disguised rabble! I have seldom seen or heard of an instance of greater cruelty — of a more total want of feeling than in this particular case. The jury who tried your case recommended you to mercy. I wish I could think that that recommendation rested on satisfactory grounds. The Learned Judge then commented in strong terms on the conduct of the witnesses for the defence (a brother and sister of the younger prisoner), in deliberately swearing a willful falsehood, and sentenced the prisoners severally to be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for the term of twelve calendar months.

Other sentences included:

David Jones was then arraigned on the charge of attempting to suborn and instigate one Daniel Lloyd to commit perjury, or to withhold his evidence against John Thomas, then under charge for riot and assault. — The offence was clearly proved against the prisoner, and he was sentenced to Twelve months’ imprisonment.

William Williams, for destroying Pentreback Gate, six calendar months’ imprisonment. His Lordship intimated that he gave the prisoner this lenient punishment by the recommendation of the Attorney-General.