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PENTRE. THE LATE EXPLOSION.—ADJOURNED INQUEST. On Tuesday last, the adjourned inquest was held at the Cross Keys, before B. H. Thelwall, Esq., coroner, on the bodies of John Kelly, storekeeper, aged 20, and Margaret Catherine Parry, aged 16, who were killed in the late explosion at the Pentre. Mr. James was fore- man of the jury. There were also present—Major Ford (Government Inspector of Explosives), Deputy Chief Constable Wilde, and Mr. Acton, who appeared for Mrs. Howard, the tenant of the house which had been demolished. John Kelly, father of the deceased youth, was called first. He stated that he was a collier, working at Cae- pen-ty. Deceased, his son, was storekeeper for Mrs. Howard. On the 30th ult., the day of the explosion, he saw deceased about six o'clock in witness's house, which was next door to Mrs. Howard's. He did not see him afterwards, until he saw him a corpse. He did not know where he was, or what he was doing that night. He used to buy powder from Mrs. Howard, in quantities of about 4 lbs. He always got the powder for the store- room, which was by the Moss works. It was a general shop. He always had the powder in cartridges except the last 4 lbs., which he carried home in two linen bags jf the makers', each containing 2 Ibs.. He swore he lever had any powder from the dwelling-house of Mn. Howard. By Major Ford: He knew that men were in the labit of getting powder from Mrs. Howard, but they were sent to the store at the Moss for it. He had never seen men buy powder at the house, nor have any powder from there at all. His son never told him what his business was. By Mr. Acton His son was a very steady young man. He hid 4s. per week, but did nothing else tut help Mrs. Howard. He managed the stores at the Moss for her. These stores were only opened for a short time each day. The last cartridges were of Curtis and Harvey's manufacture, not home-made ones, but the last 4 Ibs. of powder he made into cartridges himself down th" pit. By Major Ford The reason he got the powder and made his own cartridges was that some of the men were grumbling about the size of the manufactured cartridges, which were not suitable for all kinds of work. He did not know that Mrs. Howard had exhausted her stock of Curtis and Harvey's cartridges. Br the Foreman He did not order any powder or cartridges from his son when he saw him before the explosion. By Major Ford Remembered the explosion, which took place about ten minutes to ten. He did not know how it occurred, but he had never seen his son make cartridges in the house. Miss Julia Anne Pierce, daughter of Mr. William Pierce, Wrexham, stated she had been lodging with Mrs. Howard since last Christmas. She was away from the house on the day of this explosion, being at her school instead of going home to her tea, until a few minutes after ten. She had never seen any cartridges in the house, but had seen some empty cases there. She had never seen anyone come for them. By Major Ford She occupied the parlour and a bed- room over the kitchen. She had seen some cases which she believed to be filled with powder. These were p-aced in a box and taken from the house it was in the same week as the explosion. These were being packed in the kitchen. She believed it was on the Wednesday previous. The box in which they were packed was a wooden one. Deceased Kelly was packing them. There was a tire and a light of some sort in the room at the time. Mrs. Howard and Margaret C. Parry (deceased) were present. Margaret C. Parry was a niece of Mrs. Howard, and was living for a short time with her. She did not apprehend there was any danger. She had seen cases being made both by Mrs. Howard, the de- ceased Kelly, and a little girl named Maria E. Roberts, daughter of Mr. Seth Roberts. She had not seen them filled. The cases Were not made so frequent of late as formerly. She had seen some made several times since June last. By Mr. Acton She had never seen powder in the house. She would not swear that the cartridges being placed in the box were filled ones. Thomas Kelly, uncle of deceased Kelly, stated that he was a collier, working at Cae-pen-ty. He saw his deceased nephew on the day of the explosion. He came to witness's house about a quarter to six. They had no conversation about powder, nor about what time he would finish his work. By Major Ford He did not know what his nephew was doin: at Mrs. Howard's house. He had had powder from the store at Moss. It was in manufacturer's bags, and he made the cartridges in the pit. Mr. Joseph Barker, accountant, and Wm. Barker, deposed to purchasing powder at the house. William Davies, blacksmith, Cerney, stated that he went to the scene of the explosion a little before ten. He did not see any powder removed from the ruins. There were a great many people there. He helped to find the bodies. He was present when they were found. They were quite dead. He saw a live dog in the ruins. Edward Ellis, Kings Mills, owner of the house stated on the day of the explosion he was with a carpenter doing some repairs at the house. Mrs. Howard was there. He saw John Kelly and a young girl, now dead, there. He saw Kelly bring a box to the house. It appeared to be heavy, but he could not tell whether it was gunpowder or not. Superintendent Wilde, who examined him, said "he came to see me on Wednesday, and told me that the box contained powder." This witness now contradicted. Coroner Was your house insured ? Witness: Insured? No. By Major Ford He did not talk to Kelly nor to the girl. Mrs. Howard had occupied the house for two years, and knew she traded in powder. By Mr. Acton He dxl not know what was in the box in question, neither did he look into it. The Coroner asked if the carpenter, who was working with witness, could be got. Witness If you get him he will say nothing. Witness, in answer to the court, said the joiner's name was John Roberts, but he did not know where he lived. Major Ford It seems to me that this man, instead of trying to assist this court, is trying to do all he can to hinder it in its work. A Juror: He told me outside, a few minutes ago, a very straightforward tale about his interview with Mr. Wilde. Mr. Wilde said Ellis had come voluntarily to him, and told him that the box contained powder. P.C. Henshaw said the same thing. Major Ford asked the witness if there were any marks on the box ? Witness: No, I cannot say that there were. If there were it would be just the same to me, for I cannot read. Superintendent Wilde was called by Major Ford, and stated that the house occupied by Mrs. Howard was not registered under the Explosives' Act. By the Coroner She had a store at Moss licensed under division B of the Act, which would allow of l,0001bs. being kept. She had also been registered for the sale of powder, which would allow of oOlbs. being kept for sale. Mr. Ellis was recalled by the coroner, and asked "Did you see the box, mentioned in your evidence taken into the house." Witness: It was not my business to watch it. Deceased might have called in the house with the box on his way to the Moss to rest himself, or to have some bread and butter. Mary Howard, who appeared to be in a very weak state, and who was accommodated with a chair, stated she was tenant of the house which was blown up. She was in the house at the time. She was in the kitchen, in which room no one else was. The two deceased were in the parlour. She had been out during the evening, and was only in the house about ten minutes when the explosion took place. She sat near the tire in the kitchen, and in a few minutes saw a flash in the parlour, which was followed by a noise like thunder, after which she remembered no more. Kelly was her store- keeper, and she considered him a steady, upright man. Sometimes he would bring a little powder to the housej l but it was never left inside. She had never cautioned him about making cartridges in the house, for he never did so. She would not have allowed him to do so. She remembered seeing William Barker come for some powder. Her house was not insured, nor had she pro- mised anything to her landlord. By Major Ford The explosion took place in Miss Pierce's room. By Mr. Acton Sometimes Kelly, on his way to the store used to call for his meals. If he had any powder in his hand, he would have placed it in the coal-house Major Arthur Ford, of the Royal Artillery, stated that he was Government Inspector of Explosives, and had been directed by the Secretary of State to hold an inquiry under sec. 66 of the Act. He also visited the place where the explosion occurred. He had little doubt, from the appearance of the parlour, that the ex- plosion was one of gunpowder, and took place in that room. It would be difficult to fix the amount of powder, but 25 lbs. would probably have caused the damage. It might have been more or less it depended very much whether or not the powder was confined. It would be very difficult for powder contained in a box, such as it is generally packed in, to ignite. He was of opinion that there must have been some loose powder in the room. As to the cause of the explosion he ex- pressed no opinion, but there was a fire and a candle, either of which would have ignited the explosive. From the appearance of the room the powder must have been ignited on the left hand side of the fire place. If Mrs Howard had registered her house under the Act she would be entitled to carry on the sale of powder there just as well as at the store, at the Moss, and the registration could have been de- manded as a matter of right on sending a notice in proper form to the Clerk to the Magistrates, together with a fee of one shilling, then she would have been entitled to keep 501bs. in her house for sale. But she would have been required to keep it in a proper manner, and she would not be allowed to break the bulk of the packages exceeding lib. And if she had used it for private use she would have been allowed to keep 301bs. on the premises, if she did not keep any other explosives. But neither license nor registration would permit the manufacture of cartridges. The Coroner having summed up the evidence, The Jury, after a brief consultation, returned the following verdictThat John Kelly and Margaret Catherine Parry were killed by the explosion of gun- powder on October 30, 1879, on unlicensed premises, but how or by whom the explosive was brought on the premises there was no evidence to show, nor how the explosive was ignited." They also added that the man- ner in which some of the witnesses gave their evidence was exceedingly unsatisfactory. The Foreman stated that the jury wished, through him, to thank Major Ford for the information he had given them, and also for his kindness. The Coroner also endorsed the remarks of the jury with regard to Major Ford's courtesy.


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