The Forbidden Fruit

The article transcribed below is from the Merthyr Telegraph 153 years ago today. Do you think this was a fair sentence or totally disproportionate to the crime?

The Forbidden Fruit

John Davies, labourer, was charged with stealing four apples to the value of 1d, the property of the Brecon and Merthyr Railway Co. Peter Stormouth said: “I am carriage and waggon inspector at the Pant station; at six o’clock yesterday morning I was at the station and saw the prisoner on the line; I watched him go to a truck containing sacks of apples, unloose the covering, and I then went to him; he had his pockets full of apples; I asked him what he was doing there; he said “I came after apples;” I asked him for whom; he said “for myself to eat;” I handed him over to the goods clerk”. P.S. Howlett said he received the prisoner from the station master; he told him the charge; he said, “I was passing by, saw the apples, and thought I should like some, and took four.” The station master said that petty pilfering had been going on to a great extent on the line. It was not of course the value which the Company regarded, it was the protection of public property which they sought. His Worship quite agreed with this, and sent the defendant to digest the forbidden fruit in Cardiff jail, where he will remain for 21 days.

Merthyr Telegraph – 15 October 1864

Crawshay’s Tomb

The article transcribed below appeared in the Merthyr Telegraph 138 years ago today.


A stone, weighing nine tons, and being 11ft 2in long, 7ft 2in wide, and 1ft 2in thick, has been placed upon the grave of the late Mr R. T. Crawshay, in Vaynor Churchyard. The stone, which is a conglomerate, was selected by Mr R. T. Crawshay from the Rhadyr Quarry, near Llandaff. Around the sides are formed a kind of rockery, but the surface of the stone is quite plain, although beautifully polished. The laying of the stone has been carried out by Messrs Malliphant and Morgan. An inscription will be placed upon the stone.

Robert Thompson Crawshay’s Grave at Vaynor

A Fowl Crime at Merthyr

The curious article transcribed below appeared in The Merthyr Telegraph dated 21 September 1867. Although amusing, it is also fascinating in that such a trivial piece on the surface tells us so much about various aspects of life in Merthyr at that time.


Sarah Davies, a prostitute, was charged with stealing a duck, the property of Ann Harris, of Brecon Road, brothel keeper. Ann Harris deposed that she bought a duck Saturday night. On Sunday morning the prisoner took the duck away, and witness asked her to pay for it. She said she would give a shilling some time or other, Witness said she should not have it for less than eighteen-pence. The prisoner would not return it, so witness slipped out of the house and fetched the police. The duck was not cooked when she took it.

P.C. Lynne deposed that when he arrested the prisoner, she said she had bought the duck from a woman who stood in the market, but she did not know who it was. His Worship adjourned the case until next Monday in order that both women might produce as witnesses the parties from whom they purchased the duck.


Merthyr Poverty

When looking at Merthyr’s history, it is sometimes easy to forget the crippling poverty that afflicted a lot of people in the town. Below is an article that appeared in the Merthyr Telegraph 139 years ago today about a group of local dignitaries who tried to alleviate the situation….

Merthyr Telegraph – 28 December 1877