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A CARDIGAN BREACH OF -PROMISE…

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THE TOWYN BIGAMY CASE.

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THE TOWYN BIGAMY CASE. THE MAN WHO PLEADFD GUILTY TO SPITE HIS WIFE. GOVERNMENT ENQUIRY. There is now in Dolgelley gaol a most curious "criminal," whosauhistory will be told among. the hills of Merionethshire and Montgomeryshire for many years to come. Husbands we know have done all sorts of things to spite their loud-tongued wives, but William Jones is perhaps the first man who tried to get the better of his wife by pleading guilty to a charge of bigamy of which he was perfectly innocent. That this extraordinary course should be taken by a man in his senses, is not, however, more surprizing than that it should be possible for him to have the op- portunity to take it. It is almost incredible that in these days a man should be wrongly charged at his own home with an offence of this kind, and that from the time of the investigation before the magistrates at Towyn in July last year, to the trial at Chester in the October following, when he was sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment, no evidence should be forthcoming to show that the accused was not guilty. William Jones must have enjoyed himself immensely since his wife gave him into custody, but his enjoyment would culminate when the judge, the Hon. Sir H. Manisty, Knight, in passing sentence, said "the offence of bigamy had sometimes mitigating circumstances in con- nection with it, but he (the Judge) had looked in vain for any such circumstances in this case. Having married Jane Jones, and by her had two children, he deserted her, and in October, 1876, went through the form of marriage with Elizabeth Williams, by whom he had one child, and to whom he had committed almost the greatest wrong a man could do a woman. He had led her to believe that she was his wife, and she, trusting him, had been wronged. Such a wrong called for very severe punishment, and the law, with regard to such cases, enforced severe sentences, not only as an adequate punish- ment for offences committed, but to deter others from the commission of such offences. He was in grave doubt whether in this case he ought not to pass sentence of penal servitude, and he had come to the conclusion that he must undergo eighteen months' imprisonment with hard labour; and he might say to those who were not now in the dock,atitti if this crime continued to be perpetrated they might depend upon it the law would be enforced in a very muoh more severe manner." How William Jones avoided an unseemly display of levity whilst listening to this very excellent sermon against a crime of which he was not guilty is a question that Jones alone could satisfactorily answer. He must be a wag of no mean order, but the most inveterate waggery is liable to break down under eighteen months'imprisonmnt, and William Jones seems to have found out that he has really cut off his nose to spite his face. He seems to have convinced somebody that he was not guilty of the offence for which he was in prison, and at the last Quarter Sessions the following letter was received by the Magistrates "Whitehall, April 4. -Gentlemen, -lvith reference to the case of David or William Jones, now under sentence of imprisonment in the gaol at Dolgelley, I am directed to acquaint you that, with a view of settling this man's identity, Mr. Secretary Cross is desirous that he should be visited in gaol by certain persons who have been men- tioned by the Chief Constable of Montgomeryshire, and that their testimony as to his identity should then be taken by one of your number. Mr. Cross has desired the Chief Constable to communicate with you on the subject, and to make arrangements with you for bringing these persons to the gaol at some suitable time, when it mry be convenient for some one or more of your number to meet them, and that you will receive their statements after they have seen the prisoner, and forward them to Mr. Cross, with any observations you may desire to offer thereon for his information.âI am, gentlemen, your obedient servant, A. F. O. LIDDELL.-The Justices acting as Visiting Com- mittee of the Gaol of Dolgelly.On Monday an investi- gation was held at the County Gaol, before Mr. Samuel Holland, M.P., Mr. H. J. Reveley, Mr. Lewis Williams, and Dr. Edward Jones. The result of the investigation was to convince the magistrates that the man had never married Jane Jones, who accused him of being her hus- band. and who, he admitted, was his wife. William Jones at the time of his apprehension was living at Bryncrug, near Tofvyn, and was following the humble, but very useful occupation, of a shoemaker. Before be came to live at Bryncrug he lived at Llanuwchllyn, near Bala. At Llanuwchllyn he married, and lived a hard workiug, honest life until his wife died. After the death of his first wife he left Llanuwchllyn for Bryncrug, and after some time married a Miss Williams who was in ser- vice as cook at Ynysymaengwyn. This lady, after the manner of cooks, was of a warm temperament, and Wm. Jones found it as much as he could do to preserve the peace. After the bigamy charge was brought, and William Jones, under the name of David Jones, had been sent to Dolgelley gaol for eighteen months, his wife resumed her maiden name, went off to Liverpool to a situation. Occa- sionally. she has sent to the wicked man languishing in prison sarcastic and reproachful letters, which she never failed to sign as Miss Williams. William Jones, and his wife, who had been cook at Ynys- ymaengwyn, were living together, when Jane Jones, from Llangadfan, came to Bryncrug, and claimed William Jones as her lawful husband, to whom she had been married, and by whom she had two children. She said the truant husband's name was "David," and not William, and she 'manifested every disposition to claim her rights. She said since David" left her two years before with two children to keep, he had dis- guised himself somewhat by cutting his hair differently, and by his mustaches and beard, but she had no doubt whatever about him. Then there was a John Davies, a I smith at Towyn, at the time, and he swore firmly that "David" was the husband of Jane Jones, who had so suddenly turned up to mar the domestic peace of the wife who had been married at Bryncrug. The charge brought by Jane Jones naturally enough disturbed the minds of David" and his wife, but he seems to have taken the matter very coolly and to have carefully enquired from Jane Jones where her relations lived, and where her hus- band had lived, and where his relations were to be found. She said her husband was David Jones, the son of Richard Jones, from somewhere near Llanidloes. David," who had been living as William, consulted with his wife-the woman who would be ousted by Jane Jones if her story was correct, and suggested that he should go to Llan- idloes and find out this Richard Jones, the son of David Jones, and get him to come to Bryncrug, and say that the accused man was not his son. Nothing could be simpler, but the proposed journey to Llanidloes had a suspicious look about it in the eyes of the women both of whom claimed him. Perhaps he was goin "'to disappear again. To pre- vent anything of the kind the wronged wife went to Towyn, and gave the police information which led to the apprehension of David" Jones, and put a final stop to what appeared his deep-laid scheme for getting away to Llanidloes, and leaving his two wives to console each other as well as they could. David," after his apprehension, and knowing his in- nocence, was deeply hurt at his wife's want of confidence in him. That she should have believed Jane Jones in preference to him, and perhaps also remembering how warm her temper was, William Jones decided that he would take to the woman who claimed him, and would be "David" Jones to the end of the chapter. He decided from the first to plead guilty, and thought probably that he would be tried at Dolgelley, and might get off, 'if not scot free, at most with a month's imprisonment. When brought before the magistrates he pleaded guilty, and was committed in due form to take his trial at the assizes. Unfortunately, perhaps, for him, he was tried at Chester and after pleading guilty was sentenced to eighteen months' imprisonment, and only just escaped five years' penal servitude. A man who knew the real David Jones and also knew the sham "David" Jones, was working not far from Towyn, and if he had been called to the To examination he would have been able to prevent the com- mittal of David Jones. This man, however, was not called, and no wonder. Who would think of calling wit- nesses to prove that a man who pleaded guilty to a charge of bigamy was lying. On Monday there was a brother of Jane Jones's who gave evidence, and said that the prisoner was not the husband of Jane Jones, whom he was alleged to have married. A brother-in-law of the prisoner came from Llanuwchllyn to give evidence. He said the prisoner married his sister and lived and worked at Llanuwchllyn until his wife died. He was known then as William Jones. Afterwards he went to Towyn, where he married Miss Williams. At Towyn he was also known as William Jones.âMr. Danily Chief Constable of Montgomeryshire, said that he saw Jane Jones, and she said she believed the prisoner was her husband until her real husband came home. He had been away four or five years. They lived at Cann Office. Fortunately the proof did not rest upon either the prisoner, who certaimly is not to be believed, nor upon ⢠the real David Jones's brother, who might be as far out of it as Jane Jones, who did not know the father of her two children. The real David Jones himself was present, and unless he is as queer a character as the sham David^ gave a satisfactory account of a very unsatisfactory life! He said that he was married to Jane Jones in the year 1870, at Saint Mary's Church, Dolgelley. He lived with his wife for two years, and she had two children. About two years ago he left her, and did not tell her where he went to. After the conviction of the prisoner, he read in the papers that a man was in gaol as the husband of his wife, on a charge of marrying another woman. This was a piece of news that seems to have appealed to the honour of David Jones and he, prodigal like, resolved to return home and put matters right. Had he, however, known that the prisoner had virtually adopted the wife he had deserted two years before, he would probably have remained at a distance and left him to serve out the eighteen months' imprison- ment he had so voluntarily undertaken. It was on the 15th of December that David Jones reached home to astonish his wife who, of course, thought he was safely lodged in Dolgelley gaol, as the officials are accustomed to keep their prisoners. It appears as if David Jones had experienced some difficulty in convincing his wife that he was really her husband, for he went to the police at Llanerfyl, near Cann Office, and related his story to them. Since December the processes have been in operation to obtain the release of William Jones, who will come out of prison, the husband of Miss Williams, who in future will be csfceful how she believes evil of her husband even when there Jis a good deal of circumstantial evidence against him. When the two men were together on Monday it was re- marked how great the likeness was between the two men. The enquiry occupied about two fyours, and the result was that the magistrates were thoroughly convinced there has been no bigamy and that the prisoner is the lawful hus- band of one wife and that he never saw Jane Jones tiK she accused him of bigamy.

MACHYNLLETH.

PWLLHELI.

PENRHYNDEUDRAETH.

LAMPETER.

DOLGELLEY.

ABERYSTWYTH.

BALA.

CRICCIETH.

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