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Aberdare's High Constables.

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Aberdare's High Constables. FROM 1855 TO 1892. Appended is an article giving a list of the High Constables of Miskin Higher from the year 1855 to the year 1892. It appeared in The Aberdare Almanack for 1893, and was written by Mr. D. M. Richards. We reproduce the article by the kind permission of Mrs. W. Lloyd. OUR HIGH CONSTABLES. The office af High Constable, or Con- stable of the Hundred, is one of great antiquity, the name being probably in- troduced into England at the time of the ■Merman Conquest, although the first statute which mentions the office is that of Edward I., ch. 6. The occupant of the office was the head of the parish or Petty constables within the hundred, and was appointed annually. The official designation of the High Constable of Aberdare is that of the "High Con- stable of M'skin Higher," the officer so designated having the charge of the Division, or Hundred of Miskin Higher. When Sir Robert PeeFe Act was passed, appointing Police Constables, the duties of petty constables became to some extent nominal, and so consequently did those of the High Constable, although up to recent times the High Constable had to take charge of the Jury List and the List of Electors in the Division. In 1869, an Act, 32 and 33 Victoria,, "eh 67, was passed authorising the various Courts of Quarter Session to abolish the office of High Constables in their divi- sions at the Quarter Session held the fol- lowing January. However, Messrs. R. K. Rhys, J.P., and G. T. Clark, J.P., of Dowlais, pleaded that as Aberdare and Merthyr were not corporate towns, the office be not abolished, as it had been often found an useful one, enabling towns' meetings to. be called and other joint action of the townsmen to be taken. On their representation this was agreed to, and the office has continued to exist in these two towns and also in the City of Westminster, and can now only be abolished by an Act of Parliament. ihese three townships are the only ones In the kingdom who possess the office of High Constable. .Appended is a list of the Constables S'nee 1855; but we have been unable to obtain the names of those who heid the office previous to that date. We learn, however, that the late Mr. G. Davies, of ^nvslwyd, and Mr. D. EL Williams, J.P., Hirwain, were High Constables some time in the fifties, but have been unable to ascertain the exact dates. 1855, Mr. Thomas Evans, jeweller, now of Pontypridd. 1856. Mr. Evan Thoma.s, ironmonger. 1857, Mr. Watkin J. Thomas, chemist. As High Constable Mr. Thomas presided ^ver one of the first meetings at which «Tr. H. A. Bruce (now Lord Aberdare) ga v, ei an account of his stewardship to his constituents. During his year of office too a serious depression in trade through- out the country took place, resulting in reduetion in wages, and a serious strike in this district, on which occasion the soldiers were brought into town and Jocated in the Town Hall (now the Pub- He Offices). This was the year of the Black Friday, so well known in financial circles. 1858, Mr. William Hodges, outfitter. During his year of office Mr. Hodges pre- sided over one of Mr Brace's meetings, a.nd an election having taken place that Jpar, also presided over a meeting of *lr. Elliston's, who opposed Mr. Bruce at teat election. When he attended at the JpsiEes with the Voters' List he was £ 5 (which was subsequently re- mitted), because the Constable of Caer- philly Higher had not produced his list: the latter official being at that time sub- ordinate to the High Constable of Miskin ligher. 1859, Mr. John Samuel, outfitter.Sub- sequently an auctioneer at Cardiff. 1800, Mr. James Sherborne, jeweller. 1861, Mr. Wm. Griffiths, ironmonger. 1862, Mr. Henry Lewis, draper, now of Cardiff. Mr. Lewie presided this year at 4 meeting convened tOo take steps to pre- sent a toyal address to H.R.H. the Prince of io on the occasion of his marriage. 1863, Mr. Thomas Williams, now of t*waelodygarth, Merthyr. During his y^ar of office he attended a banquet given by the Mayor and Corporation of SwansM to celebrate the opening of the Swansea and Neath Railway, and also Presided over a public meeting convened to sympathise with the President and the people of the Northern States of America. in their struggle against slavery, and for the unity of the United Q- "vares. 1864, Mr. John Lewis, grocer. 1865, Mr. David Davies, Maesyffynon. 1866, Mr. Thomas Evans, chemist. 1867, Mr. Thomas Price, draper. 1868, Mr. Thomas Davies, West of England Bank. 1869, Mr. William Thomas Lewis, -Marcly. 1870. Mr. Rees Williams, farmer, Cefn- Pimnar. 1871, Mr. Richard Pardoe, ironmonger. 1872, Mr. Evan Thomas, ironmonger, «ryncwnrig. In the whole list Mr. homas's name is the only one which has twice occupied the list as High Constable rwith the exception of Mr. "D. Davies, and Dr. Evan Jones, who have held *t two years in succession) he having Previously held it in the year 1856. 1873, Mr. Arthur Jones, of the Black Lion Hotel, now of London. During Mr. •Jones's year of office, the marriage of H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh took Place; and Mr. Jones, on. behalf of a town's meeting convened by him, pre- sented a memorial of congratulation to H.R.H. He also presided at the public banquet given to Caradog and the officers sjnd members of the "Cor Mawr," on their victorious return from the Crystal l'alace Contest in July of that year. 1874, Mr. David William Jones, chem- let, Commercial-place.' 1875, Mr. David Davies, grocer, Can- ton House. 1876, Mr. Thos. Whitty Evans. chemist, etc., Commercial-street. During his year of office, Mr. Evans presided at a lecture delivered at the Temperance Hall by Dr. Kenealy, on behalf of the notor- ious Tich borne Claimant, then languish- inv in Dartmoor Prison. He also pre- s'ded at a meeting to invite the Glamor- ganshire Agricultural Show to the town. This show was held here the following year, and proved an immense financial Kuccess. One of the visitors to the Show \Vas Lord Mayor White, of London. 1877, Mr. Lemuel Hiley, grocer, Com- H'ercial-street, now of Abergavenny. 1878, Mr. David Hughes, grocer, Com- mercial-street. A serious colliery ex- plosion occurred at Abercarne this year, and Mr. Hughes was instrumental in collecting a large sum of money for the Relief Fund. 1879, Mr. Thomas Phillips, solicitor Mr. Phillips acted as Chairman of the hog Show held this year. During his tenure of office, the General Election of 1880 occurred, which was accompanied by a serious disturbance in the town. The conduct of the police being greatly com- plained of, Mr. Phillips, as High Con- stable, collected a mass of evidence upon the matter. Citing from this in the House of Commons, Sir William Har- court, the Home Secretary, stated that he considered the conduct of the police blameless1. 1880, Mr. Edwin Greater, Danygraig. During his year of office Mr. Gregor in- cited all the ex-High Constables to a banquet at the Black Lion Hotel. At this banquet it was decided to form a ^hamber of Trade for Aberdare, Mr. gregor becoming the first President, and j«r. T. Phillips, solicitor, the hon. secre- tfiry. This Chamber which has passed through many vicissitudes still exists. 1881, Mr. William Thomas, J.P., Bryn Awel. During his year of office Mr. Thomas gave all the children at the In- dustrial School a treat, taking them all to Briton Ferry Road for a day's outing. This was the first occasion upon which the children were so entertained, but the event has now become, happily, an an- nual institution. During this year he also presided at a meeting to agitate for improved County Court accommodation, which resulted in the present Court Room being erected. 1882, Mr. W. D. Williams, solicitor. Canon-street. This was the first occa- sion that the High Constables of Aber- dare and Merthyr were invited, in virtue of their office, to the Lord Mayor's Ban- quet at the Mansion House, when the provincial Mayors are entertained; and Mr. Williams attended. 1883 and 1884, Dr. Evan Jones held the office of High Constable both these years, and during this period convened meet- ings for the purpose of endeavouring to establish a Free Library in the town, an object in which Dr. Jones has been deeply interested. Unfortunately, how- ever, his efforts were not crowned with success. 1885, Mr. W. Thomas. Oak Hill Villa. During this year the National Eistedd- fod of Wales was held in the town. 1886 and 1887, Mr. D. Davies, grocer, Canon-street. In consequence of the ac- tive part taken by Mr. Davies in promot- ing the success of the Glamorganshire Agricultural Show which visited the town in 1887, the Magistrates at the re- quest of an influential deputation in May of that year re-appointed Mr. Davies as High Constable. This being Jubilee year, Mr. Davies took a, very prominent part in arranging for the celebration at Aberdare, which included a dinner to the poor which took place in the Market I Place, and tea to all the school children together with a commemorative medal, Mr. Davies, as High Constable, also at- tended the Jubilee Services at Westmin- i ster Abbey. 1 1888, Mr. Leonard Acomb, Brecon Old Bank, Aberdare. Mr. Acomh presided over a lecture delivered at the Presby- terian Church, the outcome of which was the formation of the very successful Naturalists' Society which, now exists in tho town. He also presided over a public meeting at which it was decided to make collections throughout the Parish in aid of the famine in China, caused by a. dreadful inundation. 1889, Mr. John Morgan, huilder, Monk- street. During Mr. Morgan's year of office he was instrumental in starting Re- creative Evening Classes in the town. He also presided over a public meeting which was called to consider the best means of relieving the distress caused by the calamitous explosions of Llanerch Colliery, Abersychan, and at the Morfa Colliery, Taibaoh, and a very substantial sum was collected by him for the Relief Fund. He also presided at the first meet- ing held for the purpose of securing one of the proposed Intermediate Schools at Aberdare, and has been throughout an ardent supporter of the movement. This year, through the liberality of Sir Wil- liam and Lady Lewis, the Deaf and Dumb connected with the Glamorgan- shire Mission were entertained at Aber- dare on Christmas Day. This has been continued annually since that date, and we understand that m Boxing Day this year, Mr. Edward Davies, Llandinam, will entertain them. 1890, Mr. Herbert C. Lewis, The Mardy. Unfortunately during this year Mr Lewis was unavoidably abroad for the benefit of his health, and he took no active part in any public movement. 1891, Mr R. Jenkm Rhys, Pla-s Newydd, Coroner. Mr. Rhys was the chairman of the committee, and an ardent supporter of the movement which resulted in a very successful May-Day Show being held. He also presided over a meeting calling upon the G.W.R. Co. to provide better station accommodation in the town; and also -over a meeting convened to express the sympathy felt in Aberdare, as well as throughout the country at large, on the occasion of the lamented death of H.R.H tfhb Duk<» of "Clarence!. I 1892. Mr. Frederick William Mander, the present High Constable of Aberdare, was born in Gloucester in 1859. His father was a builder and contractor in that town. and carried on a similar business at Lydney. The subject of our sketch in 1870 came to Aberdare, where be wa,8 apprenticed to Mr. Lemuel Hiley, grocer and provision merchant, now of Abergavenny, a gentleman who, a few years after, also held the office of High Constable of Aberdare. After serving his time as an apprentice to Mr. Hiley, he was shortly promoted to be manager of one of his branch shops; and in 1882 he opened business on his own account at 42, Commercial-street, a shop previously occupied by Mr. David Hughes, grocer, who had a few years before also occupied the post of High Constable in the town. Shortly afterwards Mr. Marnier opened a branch establishment at Hirwain, and also added to his business at Aberdare that of a meat salesman. For this purpose he took over No. 43, Commercial- street, re-building the whole of the block of houses. He was some years ago elected a Free- mason and a member of the St David's Lodge in the town, in which he has held several minor offices. While eschewing politics, he has taken a fairly prominent part in all movements having for their 1 g object the improvement of the town; the intermediate school and other movements having found in him a generous sub- scriber. Mr. Mander is a director of the Black Lion Brewery Company and of the Aberdare Steam Laundry Company, and is interested in a number of public com- panies in South Wales. He is the secre- tary of the Aberdare Grocers' Associ • ation, and, in fact, the society princi- pally owos its existence to Mr. D. Davies. J.P., Canon-street, and himself. Mr. Mander is married, and has a son and daughter. Early in this career, as High Constable, Mr. Mander was the recipient of an invi- tation to the Welsh Banquet given at the Mansion House by Lord Mayor Sir David Evans. Subsequently he opened a Fund for the relief of the sufferers by the Park Slip Explosion; and took a prominent part in the agitation for improved rail- way-station accommodation. This latter movement has been so far successful that the line for the convenience of passengers using the, down platform, and also" to erect a waiting-room on that platform. On the occasion of the visit of the chil- dren from Mr. Spurgeon's Orphanage, Mr. Mander presided at the concert given by them, and generously defrayed their railway fares. He is also arranging, at present, to secure a New Year's Dinner to the indigent poor in the Parish.

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