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CAPTAIN BARHAM'S CLAIM.

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CAPTAIN BARHAM'S CLAIM. Right of way through Llanstinan Estate. Lord Coleridge and Welsh Names. Lord Coleridge sat in the Shire Hall, Haverfordwest, on Friday last to hear the adjourned case of Barham. v. Griffiths. Considerable interest was manifested in the case, which, it had been stated, might not be finished for a couple of days. The statement of claim set forth that the action was between Francis Robins Barham, John Edwards, Martha John (widow), and Daniel Thomas, plaintiffs, and Mrs. Jessie Griffiths, defendant. The plaintiff, Captain Baiham, is the owner of certain farms and lands known as Llanfairnantygof, and Fronrhydd, as well as other properties known as Bucket, Church Cottage, Cwniwintell, Garndeifo, Garndeifofa,ch, Llysyd'efaid, Pontre- newydd, Rhydyfarchnad, Penlan, Treberfe, Trecwn Mill, Treforiol, Trecwn, and Pendouble, in the respective parishes of Llanfairnantygof, and Letterston. The plain- tiff, John Edwards, is the tenant and occupier of the farm of Llanfair Nantygof, and the plaintiff, Martha John, was until September 29th, 1908, and the plaintiff, Daniel Thomas, has since been tenant and occupier of Fronrhydd Farm. The plaintiffs claimed to be entitled to a right of way for themselves and their servants with carriages, carts, horses, and cattAe, and on foot over certain J roads situate on certain property at Llanstinan belonging to Mrs. Griffiths, for the purpose of access to and frfom their farms and to the public highway leading from Fishguard to Letterston and the public highway leading from Seleddy to Trecwn, namely:—(a) A road commencing at or near a point at or near the north-west corner of Fronrhydd Farm, and running in a westerly direction and terminat- ing at the public highway leading from Fishguard to Letterston; and (b) a-Toad com- mencing at the first-mentioned road and running in a northerly direction into and terminating at the public highway leading from Scleddy to Treewn. The plaintiffs claimed to be entitled to these rights of way by enjoyment thereof as of right and without interruption from time immemorial, or for 40 years or for 20 years before this action. They alleged that the defendant on or about 15th October, 1907, wrongfully obstructed the road by placing trees across it, and had maintained that obstruction ever since to the loss and damage of the plaintiffs, and they asked- (1) A declaration that they were entitled to a right of way; (2) An injunction to restrain the defendant or her servants hindering or obstructing them in the free use of the Toads; and (3) An order directing the defendant forth- with to remove the obstructions to the said roads and right of access. Mr. Abel Thomas, K.C., M.P., and Mr. Villiers Meager (instructed by Mr. V. J. G. Johns) appeared for the plaintiffs, and Mr. T. Sankey, K.C., and Mr. M. Samson (instructed of the farm of Llanfairnantygof, and the by Messrs. Eaton Evans and Williams for the defendant. The following gentlemen were sworn on the special jury:—Messrs. William Joseph James, St. Lawrence Villa, Hubberston; R. LI. Lloyd, Pentyparc; Joseph Phelps, Benjamin George Roberts, John Phillips, Boston; J. L. Llewellin, Thomas Bowen, H. Stewart Jones, St. Issells; George Lawrence, Ludchurch; John Morgan Evans, Bletherston; George Williams, Rudbaxton; J. S. Roberts, Little Milford; and Edward White, Uzmaston. Mr. Abel Thomas said that his client, Capt. Baiham, and three others claimed a right of way in two directions over the Llanstinan Estate, which the defendant denied. As the jury no doubt knew an old turnpike road ran from Haverfordwest to Fishguard, but the material part with which they were concerned was at Llanstinan Lodge. Having crossed the stream and come to the top of the hill and turned to the right they came to a place called Bengal, and Captain Barham claimed for him- self and his tenants a right of way through a double gate and close to the Llanstinan premises. If the people had not a right of way leading down to the lodge and also to the road leading through Llanstinan premises, and if they wished to go to the market town road leading through Llanstinan premises, and if they wished to go to the market town of Fishguard they would practically have to so two miles round. Some years ago, risn- guard Market was more important than it now is, and was much frequented by the farmers of this locality. The rights of way now in dispute were usedl by them, and culm used I also to be. carried over them to all the houses there requiring it. Funerals also passed over them, and long ago that was considered by I the people absolute proof of a right of way, though, of course, it was not. Still, it was an instance as showing that the people generally used the road for all purposes. Counsel explained in detail to the jury the points affected, but this could only be followed by the aid of maps with which the jury were furnished. Council mentioned incidentally that Captain Barham and his immediate predecessors had been the owners of TTecwn sinco 1832, whilst Mrs. Griffiths purchased Llanstinan four years ago. As showing the right of way claimed, counsel mentioned that when the post was taken by cart from Haver- fordwest to Fishguard, the people living on the farms affected in this case used to send down to the lodge to meet the postman. He emphasioodl the tremendous advantage of these rights of way to the plaintiffs for certain purposes, and pointed out that from the time of the first owner, who, he believed, was Colonel Owen, the people had never been interfered with in the exercise of their Tight. Mr. Douglas Wilcox gave evidence as to the inconvenience which would be caused to the ;plaintiffs if they had not these Tights of way, and to the distances which they would have to travel round. In one case the excess dis- tance would be 2,861 yards. Mr. William Rees Carver, estate agent, said he had been agent for Captain Barham since 1905, and knew the property for about 18 years. Before the trees were felled and left across the road it was quite a good road, but now, of course, there was some grass and fallen leaves and perhaps ferns on it. Still, except for a part near Llanstinan House, over which timber had been carted recently, the road was excellent. Witness mentioned that only one tree was felled at first, but now there were forty or fifty down. A very high wall, perhaps 12ft■ or 14ft. high for about 40 yards, had) been erected long ago in front of Llan- stinan House, 110 doubt to secure the privacy of the mansionotherwise people passing along-the road could see right to the front door. As to the utility of the rights claimed, witness said the roads were of great conveni- ence He believed this case arose out of the driving of the stock along the road to get to Fishguard Market or to the butchers. Mr. Sankey (cross-examining): You are rather keen on this case-No, I am not. Rather keener than Mr. Barham? No, I am Is Mr. Barham in court?—Not to my know- ledge, but lie may be.. A solicitor siated that Captain Barham wa now in court. Mr Sankey (to witness): Is this lawsuit dis- tasteful to him?-He tells me it is, and I have seen his instructions to his solicitor. During the 18 years you have known the place was Llanstinan House for a very con- siderable time vacant?—It was vacant for some time. Uhtil Mrs. Griffiths came into occupation Dr. Harvey was the only man he •remembered! there. 0 t Dr. Harvey was there from 1804 to 1900 f—I think so, but I am not sure. Being vacant with that exception during the time you kriew it, there was no one at Llan- stinan to stop people using the road? Do you know whether Captain Barham and Dr. Harvey were very good friends?- I don't think Captain Barham was at Trecwn at the time. Mr. Yorke occupied Trecwn for about two years good Mr. Yorke and Dr. Harvey were very good friends t—They were.. And did not stop one another using this road?—I don't suppose either of them ever used the road\ except, perhaps, to visit each 0tAsked as to the condition of the road, wit- ness said that any two ordinary farm horses would carry a load of a ton much more easily over it than over parts of many main roads that he knew. Mr. Abel Thomas: You were asked if you were keen on this action; as a matter of fact, have you done your best to settle this action? —I have. Is Mr. Barham quite well?—No, he has been under doctor's treatment for some time, and I did not know if he was back or not yet. William Ediwards gave evidence as to the use of the rights of way now claimed for over sixty years to his memory. None of the occupants of Llanstinan House whom he had known—Colonel Owen, Captain Edwaxdes, J u,de Crumpton, or Mr. Bowen—ever inter- fered with the people, or with the people from other directions, who long ago used to go to prayer meetings in Fronrhydd and Llanfair. Mr. Sankey: Your father and you worked for Colonel Owen -y e. And he never interfered with you using the road .?-Nu. He was a good neighbour ?—Yes, one of the best; we'll never hav<* as good there again. < Laughter.) Alwavs very homely and no opposition: Yes, all good friends, no need to be better. We used to go coursing together. Lord Coleridge: I must say I never before heard of such a delightful society. (Laughter.) Mr. Sankey: It is an amazing picture of social life. Mr Abel Thomas: The witness means that he" use(J to go to the famous coursing matches on the Trecwn property, which was full of hares. Everybody knew of the matches there year-, ago. Mr. Sankey: You will be giving evidence as an ancient inhabitant soon about this happy family party. (Laughter.) Mr. Abel Thomas: I know about the cours- ing there. (To the witness): I suppose people are not so friendly now as they were 50 or 60 years ago?—No. Colonel Owen, Captain Edwardes, and Mr. Justice Crumpton were Churchmen? Yes. And the services you and the other people attended at these farms were Nonconformist? -Yes. Mr. Sankey: I don't follow those last two questions, but perhaps they have some cryptic meaning. John Edwards, Llanfair, gave his evidence in Welsh (the Rev. E. Nicholson Jones acting as interpreter). In one question Mr. Abel Thomas mentioned the string of Welsh names of Townlands given in the statement of claim, including Llysy- defaid, Pontrenewydd, and Rhydyfarchnad, whereupon the judge with a despairing gesture said, "I pant after you in vain." The only way out of the difficulty was the num- bering of the various places on the ordnance sheet. A mass of further evidence bearing out the case for the plaintiff and the user of the right of way was given, and The case was resumed on Saturday morning. Like evidence to that on the previous day was given in detail. The first witness William James, Pantycoch, said he remembered the funeral of David and Amy Jenkins, of Fronrhyddfach, and both funerals went Llanstinan way, past the Palace to Bengal. The funeral of their daughter previously went by the Lodge to Letterston. Mr. Sankey, in his cross-examination, asked him had; he not a large number of relations abou.t. this place. The witness replied that he had an aunt Martha at Fronrhydd, aunt Peggy near Llan- stinan, and aunt Mary in the Farm. Mr. Sankey: So you had three aunts—Aunt Martha, Aunt Peggy, and Aunt Mary. Witness said one was a sister of his father. Mr. Sankey: Well, call her your aunt for the purpose of this case only. (Laughter.) Now let us have your uncles. Witness said he had two uncles, Uncle Thomas at Nantgwyn, and Uncle Hugh, be- sides a sister named Mrs. Owen. None of his aunts had been married. Continuing, witness described how fre- quently he drove cattle, etc., along the roads affected during the 30 years he lived at Fron- rhyd. His uncle sometimes went to Fish- guard, but witness went oftener, and used to go everywhere. Mr. Sankey: Oh, everywhere. You were the predecessor of the 4Anay man. (Laughter.) Cross-examination was next directed to the gates, which had been erected across the road, but the answers could only be followed by the aid of a map. As to the religious services held at Fronrhydd, Bet Williams, the lodge keeper, was one of those who attended, and there was no opposition to anyone coming. David Richards, Llanfair Cottage, another old inhabitant, was calledl. Mr. Abel Thomas: He must be Welsh by the look of him. When sworn and asked his age, the witness said in Welsh 57 years, which, when interpreaed, oaused a general smile, the Judge remarking that the witness looked at least 77. In his evidence, witness described how he and other people used the roads, now the subject of dispute. Evidence as to the use of the alleged rights of way during Dr Harvey's occupancy of Llanstinan was given at the resumption of the hearing on Monday morning. Dr Harvey's coachman said that while Mr Yorke was at Trecwn he was a frequent visitor to Dr Harvey. In cross-examin- ation, he said he could not remember seeing a notice board at Bengal. Thomas Richards, Letterston, tailor, said he formerly lived at Penparc. Forty-one years ago he remembered his father buying timber at a sale at Trecwn. In order to fetch it they went through Llanstinan Lodge, as did six or seven other people. Daniel Thom&s, Fronrhyddd, said he had failed to get a tenant for Fronrhydd Fach on ac- count of the closing of the road He himself went to Fishguard every week, and had now to go a round of about a mile and a half. James Evans, who used to live at Fronrbydd Fach, said he bad left the place two years ago because he was not allowed to pass along the road. For the defence, Mr W P-evan, Surveyor of Haverfordwest, was called, and described the present condition of the alleged right of way, on which there was no recent tracks. Mr Abel Thomas: Did you expect to see any recent tracks there ?—Yes, if there was a right-of- way there. Did you know that the road had been absolutely closed for two years and a quarter before your visit ?- Yes. There are 400 yards of this with fences each side, 25 feet apart most of the way and 50 feet in one place-do you think that was not a road ?-I do not think it was a road. Are you prepared to say it is not metalled ?-No my lord. James Williams, now of Prendergast, Haver- fordwest, cross-examined by Mr Samson, said he was 77 years of age and had been a sailor. His parents were living in Llanstinan Lodge to his memory when witness was between two and three years of age. Witness first left home when he was between eleven and twelve but went back from time to time down to 1880 when his mother died. He first remembered Colonel Owen living in Llansti. Ian House. Nothing ustd to pass through the gates then except coaches to Llanstinan-that was the order. He never saw carts from Fron- rhydd on the Lodge road or the Bengal road. Mr Abel Thomas Did the Llanstinan people try to stop everybody going that way ?—Yes. Dr James Wilson, Haverfordwest, said that he wns a friend of Dr Harvey, who had been at Llan- stinan, and frequently called there. He had nevav seen any cart traffic along the road, and only recalled seeing one county gentleman riding a pony on it. He had stopped there for about a week on one occasion, and never remembered see- ing any traffic. Benjamin Thomas said that he had charge of the Lodge since 1900, and had been tliere for 23 yeais. He had occasionally seen the tenant of Llanfair on the Bengal road, and had warned lien John that the road was private. Witness put up notice boards in Dr. Harvey's time—one at the Gate Lodge, another at Bengal, and a third at the point leading from Fronrhydd. He had frequently turned people back. Mr Thomas Did you say recently to Mr Car- ver that in your opinion there was and always had been a public right of way. there ?—I can't remember saying it. Mrs Ann Thomas, wife of the last witness, gave corroborative evidence. During the 23 years she had been at the Lodge there had not been much traffic over the road. She had seen carts from Fronrhydd passing that way a few times a year. They had stopped strangers passing and told the Fronrhydd people it was private. She had seen Fronrhyddfach people pass once in a way, and Tom Williams from Trecwn with a parcel. Elizabeth Lewis, who is now labour superin- tendent at Kingston-on-Thames Workhouse, said she was born in Llanstinan Lodge in 1863, and lived there till 1880. Her grandmother was lodge-keeper, and when she was away witness took charge when old enough. Whilat there she never saw people passing along the road in dis- pute, except going to Llanstinan or Nantgwyn. She had seen the gate going from Llanstinan into Fronrhydd locked on several occasions. Cross-examined, witness swore that during the seventeen or eighteen years she was at the Lodge she had never seen culm being brought through the Lodge for the cottages. (The foregoing report is continued on page 3 of this issue).

I The County Member.

MOYLGROVE.

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ER SERCHUS GOFFADWRIAETH

ETHOLIAD 1910.

The Welsh Language Society.

MAENCLOCHOG.

TREVINE.

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