CRICKHOWELL. THE PROPOSED VALE OF CRICKHOWELL RAILWAY. A public meeting in support of the scheme set on foot for the construction of a railway from Aber- gavenny to Crickhowell and thence to Talybont and Brecon, was convened at the Bear Hotel, Crickhowell, on Wednesday, the 14th instant, when tuere were present Thomas Davies, Esq., Neuadd; Davtd Thomas, Esq., Brecon; G. A. A. Davies, Esq., Crickhowell; E. J. C. Davies, Esq. (secretary), E. J. S. Davies, Esq., J. Walford, Esq., Abergavenny Martyn J. Roberts,Esq.J ones, Esq. (contractor),and Messrs. Thompson, Price, Herbert, Bright, Thomas, W. Andrew, Bownas,Williams, Thomas (Llangrwyney) Daniel Morris, Eldred, A. Bright, Martin, Christopher, Jeffreys, Daniel Hope (Brynmawr), R. Williams, Ward, Stevens, &c., &c. T. Davies, Esq. (Neuadd), having taken the chair, the Secretary (Mr. E. J. C. Davies) read the Statement for Perusal to the assembly, as also the notice convening the meeting. The Chairman then opened the meeting. He said that he could have very little to say on the subject before them after the very able statement which had been read to them. He could say, however, that he felt very anxious before he died of seeing a railway to the town of Crickhowell. (Cheers.) He had hitherto stood aloof from the question because he lived some distance from the town, and having a carriage and horse of his own had thus ready access to the towns in the vicinity. It was not a subject of great importance to himself, but he did not forget that there were others in the world who were not in such a position as he was—(hear, hear),—and he thought it would be a very great accommodation. He bad, consequently, stepped forward at the last moment to give the movement his feeble support. He had been told, since he had taken an interest in the matter, and that by some of interest and influence in the neighbourhood, that Crickhowell was an insignificant place, and that there would be no traffic to and from it, and that, therefore, it would be useless making such a line; but he denied that. (Cheers.) A railway would most assuredly create traffic, and it would also increase the value of property, and that to a very large amount. Again, he would allude to the question that if they could succeed in making the line, which he thought there could be no doubt about, one of the two contending railway companies-the Great Western and the London and North-Western Railway Company—would take the line from them at such an advantage as they had already seen in connection with the line to Brynmawr. If they had now-a-days a farm to let, or a house to let, the very first question that was asked was, bow far is it from a railway ?"—(hear, hear),—and if they said, as they could say at Crick- howell, that they were seven miles from a railway, the reply would be that you may as well live in Kam- schatka or in the wilds of Siberia." (Laughter.) Seven miles from a railway in these ages—and here was Crickhowell, which they would suppose would be about the first to have a railway, was without one. Go into the wilds of Cardiganshire and the fastnesses of Rad- norshire and they would find they had their railways, while in the mountains of Breconshire-at Llanwrtyd, Llangammarch, places almost out of the world-there was railway accommodation, while Crickhowell had none. He felt they would now all unite and give the matter their hearty support. He remembered many years ago a great preacher came to Crickhowell-a man who was as distinguished for his eloquence as any man in Great Britain, but he, alas, was gone-a man who was a kind of archbishop amongst the Calvinistic Methodists-a man whose abilities and talents were unequalled. He came to Crickhowell to preach, and such were his zeal and ardour that he took advantage of the circumstance of a storm of rain which fell, to say, "Now, you see the power of one drop is nothing, but with a great many drops united it forms a great storm." He would say to all present, many of whom probably were not in a position to subscribe largely, that if they could only subscribe four or five, or even one share, be hoped they would do so. (Hear, hear.) When all those shares were united they would form a great mass, and give them a great helping hand. He hoped they would not allow th;s opportunity to pass without giving their most strenuous aid to carry out their design. This was the last chance they had, and if they lost that one they would not have another for the next twenty years, and there were many in the room to whom twenty years was a great question. He called upon them to unite hand-in-band to obtain for Crickhowell railway accommodation. He was glad to see so many present, and hoped they would contribute all they could towards this great undertaking. (Cheers) Mr. D. Thomas (Brecon) said that the Chairman's modesty precluded him from saying that he had already subscribed 1300 towards the scheme. (Cheers.) The Chairman said he had forgotten to mention that Mr. Griffiths had promised to support the undertaking, p I and had obtained the names of Mr. Greatorex and Mr. Edward Davies. (Hear, hear.) Mr. E. J. C. Davies said that, in reply to the request of the Chairman, he would enter into an explanation of the position of the undertaking at the present day. He would begin by giving its history. The matter was projected in the year 1864. They then obtained the Act, and had a local subscription, more or less influential, which they certainly had no reason to be ashamed of, neither had they any reason to be ashamed of the efforts made by the town of Crickhowell, in what he considered a matter of urgent necessity. Well, they knew those were the it days of contractors." They saw the Brecon and Merthyr Railway taken up, and they also saw some unknown power come forward to advance this and the Mid-Wales Railway. It was then generally supposed that Wales was a sort of battle-field of railway speculation, where there was a good deal to be got and a good deal to be done in developing the country. Consistently with the prin- ciple which seemed to prevail at that time, a gentle. man came forward, just at the time their Act was ready for the royal assent,-and when they were, as it were, trembling in the balance, as to whether their support was sufficient to justify them in taking the matter on,—and offered to make the line on a principle on which railways were then made. He offered to undertake the whole scheme, ar.d relieve the shoulders of the shareholders of those responsibilities which they had undertaken. He need not tell them that was just the sort of thing they wanted, and a contract, duly signed and sealed, was entered into with him. The line was passed that autumn, as they all knew. It became necessary to consider what they could do to render the scheme a perfect one. It was not enough that the line should run from Abergavenny to Crick- howell. Something more must be done. There were two suggestions, and he acknowledged that, of the two, that urged by Mr. Thomas was superior. It was at the time bruited about that a line was in con- templation from Abergavenny to Monmouth, and that line, as they all knew, had since been authorised, and was to pas3 through Llanthewy Rytherch and Llantiliio I Crossenny. It was then suggest ed that a very good line of railway might be got from their terminus at Abergavenny, in the direction of Raglan, connecting Abergavenny with Monmouth, so as to bring in Raglan, and connect the whole wi'h this district. He espoused the latter scheme, and he believed Mr. Thomas was favourable to the former one. He (Mr. Davies) submitted these two plans, and got a decision in favour of the one he called the Eastern Extension. After this he became involved (in saying so he did not I wish to throw the responsibility upon the contractors) in heavy parliamentary contests, w' ich threw upon him a very large burden of responsibility, anxiety, and j worry, but not much corresponding remuneration. It was after this decided to take another extension- westward, towards Talybont. While matters went on thus he undertook the management of the Eastern Extension, and Mr. Thomas of the Western. They went to parliament in 1865, and they fought a fair fight and were beaten. Parliament considered that, although their gradients were worse and the cost of construction greater, the amount of support given to the line from Abergavenny to Monmouth was very much greater than the support given to them, and parliament rejected theirs, and passed the Abergavenny and Monmouth. There was nothmg more to be said on it, therefore. On the Western Extension another matter prevailed. Every influential landholder came forward and opposed it. Although they professed to go to Talybont, the oppo.ition was assisted by all the weight and influence which Brecon and Merthyr could command—the traffic managers, engineers, solicitors, were all aiding that opposition. He did not mean to advance all the on dits he had heard as facts, but he might say the amount of that opposition might be reckoned by thousands. He did not wish to make use of the names of those landholders-a proceeding which might only cause annoyance to people afterwards, as their object was not to irritate or annoy, but to con- ,ciute people as far as possible but the upshot was thaj tfcg Western Extension was thrown out, and that ] •dispose^ of the campaign of 1865. They lost the two ] bills they WMl for. In proceeding to the bill of 1866, Mr. Davies explained to the meeting the definition of the term "gra^eptg." The gradients on the Aber- gavenny and Brynmawr line were in some places as steep as I in 34, and of course cost more in the con- struction of the line. The flatter the gradient the Jess the expense. They would have no gradients on their line steeper than 1 in 100, If they joined at Talybont they would have to run up a line of 1 in 40 to get to Talylhn station, and they thought that would prove very expensive. It was therefore deemed more expedient to run past the Brecon and Merthyr, -and go to Brecon, and there make a junction with the Neath and Brecon Railway, which had been made by the same gentlemen who had promised to make their line. The proposal to make this line direct to Brecon was, of course, opposed. They were not satisfied that they should join them at Talybont the previous year, and they were not satisfied that they should give them the "go-by"lastyear. He must tellthemthatit was not only opposed but-bearing, smelling, or seeing their move- ments, they brought out a competing line they came out with a scheme by which Bwlch hill was to be tun- nelled, and Pwll-du bridged on the high ground behind Tretower, and so on to Abergavenny. He had been told by some people that that scheme was the right one and theris the wrong one. Although to carry out their project would entail the cutting of two millions more of cubic feet of earth than in their own scheme, their opposition cost them a fearful lot of money. They had to checktfceir surveys, and employ a host of parties, clerks and others, to check their work and to oppose them, but they got such a case against them as thoy knew they could never survive, and they were allowed to effect a junction at Talybont and make use of their line to Brecon. At the time they got their line authorised, which was just twelve months ago, they were acting in concert with their contractor, Mr. Dickson, and although he did not commence the line in 1864, which he was under con- tract to do, he rendered such important and essential services and had advanced sums of money, and had obtained for them those deposits, and backed them, which in the fight they could not find a better. Of the year 1866, they ail knew how Overend and Gurney failed, and how various establishments in London succumbed to the panic, and how the whole condition of bank matters was altered. Their Act was passed in July, 1866, and they were left in power of con- structing their line without any means of doing it. They put themselves into communication with the contractor, and desired to know what he was going to do with regard to them. He frankly confessed that the alteration which had taken place in the market rendered it impossible for him to make the line,— coming to that opinion in consequence of the great crashes that had taken place, the bank panic having communicated itself to the principal contractors, they bad succumbed to the general pressure, and the state of things was so bad that he could not carry on the line under the conditions he said he would. Con- sequent on this determination being come to, he (the speaker) had spent six months of incessant labour, anxiety, and worry, over the matter, and it ultimately became his duty to apply to one of the head com- panies. It was then he experienced the difficulty of obtaining an interview with the directors; of knowing the right person to go to; but he at last succeeded in obtaining a hearing, aud the end of it was he was unsuccessful. He was told that the conditions under which the company would spend money to mke lines was that the places they made them from should offer the temptation of a large traffic their line did net offer this temptation, and therefore they could not undertake it, whatever they could do afterwards in the way of working the line and it at last cime to this that if they could raise the amount of money mentioned in the statement, they could manage. They had canvassed the neighbourhood, with various suc- cess some persons had received them at once in a satisfactory manner they said, "we are prepared to second your measure," but others had required a deal of explanation to show how the matter stood and he really believed they should have succumbed to the difficulties they bad to contend with had it not been for his worthy friend the chairman. (Cheers.) He would never fail to acknowledge his readiness in coming forward he was almost the only landed proprietor in the neighbourhood who had done so. He did not want the railway himself, as he had told them, but he was aware there were others who needed it more, and that it was one of those steps of civili- zation which a country was disgraced by being without he accordingly volunteered his assistance, and he did not doubt that by his help they would be able to carry out their scheme. (Hear, hear.) They would all have to say in such case that he had warmly contributed to their success. He hoped for his own part he should never have to undergo the amount of solicitation, snubbing, &c., (laughter) he had undergone in the matter he hoped, for many reasons, the matter would be successfully carried out. Of course in making their applications they had received some admirable excuses; he had reci-ived a letter that morning, an extract of which he would read it said, I received your letter, and I'm sorry I cannot attend the meeting at the Bear, as I am engaged to be at the same time at another place the scheme has mv best wishes, as railway communication is much needed to Crickhowell I am glad to learn the subject has been revived with some prospect of, being accom- plished the landed proprietors ought to give it their best support." He had many sucli letters, and many expressions of approval, both written and verbal. He had asked his friend, the contractor, who was here, how many cubic feet of earthwork, or how many perches of land the best wishes would obtain (laughter), but he did not seem to think they would go far. They must have something more than wishes many cf them had heard a charity sermon preached—although they were generally asked for their prayers and good wishes in the cause, he never recollected an instance where they were not asked for the cashl (Laughter). Therefore, however desirable their approval might be they could not prornotethe undertaking without the hard cash he hoped those gentleman who had given them their good wishes would take shares, and, if they could not take many, he hoped they would take a few to show their good-will. It was certain they could not carry the matter out without assistance, and he had proved to them, by practical demonstration, every other resource had been tried, and it was a matter of positive fact that unless they could get a certain amount of local support-unless there was an interest shown in the matter beyond good wishes-they could not hope to succeed. He would allude to the position in which they at present stood. Up to 1864 they were authorized to make the line from Abergavenny to Crickhowell, and by 1866 to extend it to Talybont, and under certain contingencies from Talybont to Brecon. His exertions to find a contractor resulted in finding a gentleman who was willing to take the line on the terms of conditions which had been men- tioned in the statement he belonged to the firm of George Bolton and Company, at present writing from Barnard Castle, Durham. They were engaged on the Cockermouth and Penrith line of railway, which had been amalgamated with the Great Western system he believed these works there were expected to termi- nate in the course of a month or two, and they had sufficient confidence in the district, and the elements of traffic which it afforded, to embark a considerable part of their price in the ultimate prospects of success, by taking shares in their ra-ilway. He would tell them at once what the terms were. They had an interview with them on last Wednesday—that is, the directors,, and himself-and the result of that interview was that they agreed, on being put in possession of the land, to make the line from Abergavenny to Crickhowell for X33,000, and they would take nearly one-third in the shares of the company. Now, this was as good a contract as it was possible in the present day to get. The firm was highly recommended as gentleman who would fulfil what they undertook, but tr.ey wanted to see a subscription list such as would offer a fair prospect of having the line carried out. The subscrip- tion list they asked for was XIO,000 they would take £ 10,250 in the shares of the company, and that would leavezC22,250 to be provided in cash-in hard sovereigns. Although it was originally designed to raise it by shares a plan would be resorted to, DOW invariably rpsorted to by railway companies, and that was their borrowing power. They had borrowing powers to the amount of X16 000. The contractors agreed for cash they must remember, but they were quite willing to enter upon the works on condition that the means of raising a fund of X16,000 existed. If they could get possession of the land, and a subscription of £ 10,000 they would be pretty sure to get the line made; but how about the extension of 1866? He must say they could not take all these things at once. They would s, e by experience what was done in other places. He alluded to the extension from Craven ArmstoKnigbton, the whole of which was now open, and constituted a line from Craven Arms to Llandovery. What had that extension done? A few years ago the Central Wales was in great distress, but as sooa as they got down to Knighton somebody began to look at it, and they found they could work it at 45 per cent. on their receipts. He believed they had in connection with their own line the elements of success, and if they saw they had a right to deserve that success in starting their undertaking, they would find, when they had once started, the means of assistance not so far off as they supposed. The line might be made for £ 10,000 per mile. ilfr, Davies, after dealing with a few statistics as to the probable cost, dealt with the prospects of traffic. He thought they were as good as they would meet with in any districts around. Look at the gentlemen's seats there was a population of so many hundred i n the valley, what [jroportion of that popu- lation were what they called first-class passengers ? If they got a great number of first-class passengers, they got a good traffic. They not only, however, travelled themselves, but they received a great number of visitors in the course of the year, and they-the greater part of them-would travel first-class, and along their line. He was talking to a traffic manager, a man of great experience, yesterday, and he said, "Your's will be a capital little line for passenger traffic-you havea lot of people continually travelling." He would not only wish to speak of the passenger traflje, bjjt of the coal and lime traffic. If they sent to Llangatto^k, in nine cases out of ten they could not get any coal, and even admitting there was plenty of soal at Llangattock they could not always get it. As they probably all knew, the London and North Western Railway Company were doubling their line to Bryn- mawr, on the prospect of getting more coal traffic. Well, they themselves had in their vicinity the Radnor- shire, Cardiganshire, and Breconshire coal district, and would get, no doubt, a share of the traffic. There was another very important item of traffic, and that was steam coal. The traffic in that commodity had increased so much that the railway companies could scarcely have believed it themselves. They had the Aberdare district, which was very much increasing, and he did not see why in time they could not carry coal to Liverpool, instead of its being taken as now, down through Hereford and Shrewsbury. They all knew that some parties in Manchester were finding money to effect a line from Manchester to Milford Haven, and he assumed Milford Haven was destined to be a large port some day, and if it were a large port it must have a large traffic. The line they intended to project was the route of the old mail road from London to Milford, and an immense quantity of steam coal must eventually be sent that way. Mr. Davies here referred to a survey of the Monmouthshire coal fields, showing what their resources were. He then read an extract copied from the Mining Journal into the Monmouthshire Merlin of 1861, in which a great future for the Monmouthshire coal fields was pointed out. There was only one place in the world, and that in Prussia, that had a finer seam of steam coal than they. He showed how, by their coal from Abertillery and other places in the district being conveyed down the Brynmawr line to their intended junction at Llan- foist, they might benefit largely by the coal traffic, and the way he pointed out was a great saving of distance on the present route. The line down the Pembroke way was authorised, and they had power to make a line from Whitland to Carmarthen, and from Llan- dovery to the shore of Milford Haven. There was a line between Defynnock and Llandovery, and it was easy to point out the communication between the line they bad powers for and Milford Haven. (Cheers.) With that prospect before them, would anybody say they could not do what the Cambrian and the Brecon and Merthyr had done, and take Y,20 per mile per week. If they could do that he thought that would be a safe return for them. With regard to the con- struction, his friend Mr. Jones, the contractor, was present, and he had remained from Wednesday to attend the meeting. He was very much p,'eased with the country, and very much satisfied with the prospects the line offered. He believed he would tell them the line ought to be constructed for £10,000 per mile. The Chairman remarked that the road from Little Mill was constructed for Y,5,000 per mile. Mr. Davies continued that there was another ques- tion he would wish to speak on, and that was the question of preliminary expenses. Now the prelimi- nary expenses were large. There was no doubt about that. Perhaps if he were to tell them the amount, they would be startled, but they had made arrange- ments about them. They would not come upon the backs of the shareholders of 1864, and they would not be called for until the time the line was made. They were certain to get their railway, because the sub- scriptions they had made would be applied to the making of the line at once. They would not be mopped up to pay preliminary expenses it would not go to pay lawyers (laughter) and so on, so that whatever happened they would get their line. Mr. Davies then stated that the Board of Directors was subject to their approval, as was also the secretary if they could not place confidence in them they could remove them and supply their places with others. He con- cluded by hoping that the alternative mentioned in the directors' statement would not have to be resorted to —that they would have to go to Parliament in the ensuing session to abandon the line. The directors, Mr. Thomas, and himself, had undertaken a great risk, aDd had placed themselves under a heavy liability, and the large sum they bad stood for would be forfeited if the line were not made. They might escape by going to Parliament for power to abandon the line, and it now remained with themselves to say whether they would give them their support to go on, and he called upon all to render what aid they could in taking shares. (Cheers). Mr. Walford asked if they would require, over and above the sum they had to raise, anything to put the contractors in possession of the land. Mr. E. J. C. Davies said they apprehended the LIO,000 would cover the expenses of the land. Arch- deacon Davies, through whose grounds the line would probably pass, had taken fifty shares, and would take half of the land in shares. (Hear, hear.) Mr, Martyn J. Roberts (cheers) rose to propose the first resolution. He said that in the original resolution the words used were, "that in the opinion of this meeting it is a great shame," and he had altered it to it is to be deplored yet he thought he could, with truth, have allowed it to remain as originally worded. The resolution he had to propose was as follows That, in the opinion of this meeting, it is greatly to be deplored that the town of Crickhowell, formerly one of the most important in the county, should be the only one left without railway communication." He thought that after the trouble Mr. Cox Davies had taken in the matter it would be a great shame to allow it to drop through. Most of the undertakings in this country bad been projected by the English here was one in the hands of Welshmen, and he hoped they would take the matter up with spirit. Mr. Davies had taken the wind out of his sails and had said all that was necessary on the subject, and he could certainly endorse all he had said. Railways always introduced into a country intelligence, business, wealth and com- fort, and he thought this little nook (Crickhowell), which had been so long without a railway, should be provided with one. At the present time there was in railway matters a swing like that to a pendulum at one time there was a mania for railways, and then again it falls to the other side." At this moment there was a slowness in railway matters, but better times were coming. He thought, as a matter of business, a good plan would be to have a committee of investigation to see whether there were any chances of success and to report on the same. Regarding speculation they always looked too much at the direct advantages to be obtained. Now that little bridge at Llangrwyney, although it yielded 4 per cent., the great indirect advantages derived from it were incalculable. The same it was in railways. To estimate fully the advan- tages and form an opinion as to the utility of the speculation, they should look as well to the indirect as to the direct prospect of advantage. Mr. Christopher briefly seconded Mr. Roberts's proposition. He thoughta railway the first and greatest benefit a town could have at the present time. Places that had them not went back instead of forward. Crickhowell, he thought, was receding instead of pro- gressing, Their markets were much less in importance than formerly. After a few other general remarks, he concluded by seconding the proposition, which, being put from the chair, was carried with acclamation. INIR. Walford (Abergavenny) then rose, and in the course of his remarks he said that since the discon- tinuation of the mail coaches Monmouthshire and Breconshire seemed without communication, and was nothing like it was in former days. While the desire of going from place to place was increasing, they had less facilities now than they had before the invention of railways. He thought a railway between Aber- gavenny and Crickhowell could not fail to be re- munerative. (Hear, hear.) He proposed That this meeting recommends the necessity of one final and energetic effort to prevent the abandonment of all hope of the railway during the present generation, and will use every exertion to raise the subscription list to the required arnount-Y,10,000." Mr. Price (Crickhowell) seconded the resolution, which he had much pleasure in doing. The question was, could they raise the subscription to £10,000 in this neighbourhood, and was it worth while to make an effort to do so? From the statement made by Mr. Davies and Mr. Roberts it seemed desirable that they should make this effort. They all experienced the great inconvenience arising from the want of railway accommodation, and those especially who did business out of the place felt it. He felt convinced that the obtaining of a railway would be a benefit to every class of persons in the place, from the richest man to the Irish labourer, and he was sure there was no man but would effect a saving in the course of the year if they could obtain the railway. Therefore, the only thing for them to consider was, whether they were undertaking more than they could do? All he could say was, the neighbourhood was a rich one, and a beautiful one. In the different parishes along the vale there was a population of 25,000 people, and the rate- able value in this parish was from E60,000 to £ 70,000. He was of opinion there was only one thing wanted far the success of this scheme, and that was what Mr. Roberts proposed. (Cheers.) In reply to Mr. Roberts, The Chairman informed the meeting that those gentlemen who took shares were only liable for the amount of their shares and no more. Mr. Thomas Wiliiams thought the people of Crick- howell should show a little public spirit, and they should not only consider their own good but that of their neighbours—they should also consider that it was a public duty, and a patriotic duty, to do all they could to further the interests of the neighbourhood. (Hear, hear.) They were not a-sked to do a great deal, as they had been shown that they could take as few as three shares, and if they could not take two they could, i at least, take one. There were very few persons, he i thought, who would not sacrifice £ 10 if only to see a railway there. He was sure it would benefit him to some extent. He would rather than X20 see a railway at Crickhowell. It gave a character to a place. The only thing that could, in his mind, save Crickhowell was a railway. They were sinking lower, and lower, and lower every day. He had lived there forty years, and he did not think the prospects of the place ever appeared more gloomy than they did at the present. They had lost a considerable portion of their markets. Some people said they were gone to Talgarth, and he believed they were right. The traffic of the place was nothing to what it used to be, because of the inconvenience of getting into the town. Commer- cial travellers found it inconvenient to get there and instead of coming into tho town they wrote to ask if it were worth their while to come (laughter), and if they had an order to give them. People in the higher class of life did not know the difficulty they had to get in and out of the place. He was glad the Chairman had accorded his sympathy to the movement. Provi- dence had so far favoured him that he did not know the difficulty they had to contend with. They had no regular conveyance to Abergavenny now, and they had been unable to start one. There was one gigantic scheme started-to run an omnibus, but it came to nothing. (Laughter.) He himself was prepared to sacrifice 91 for tho concern (laughter), but it was of no avail. They werc- destined to go do wn unless they had a railway. There had, he knew, been tremendous labour in the parliamentary proceedings, and he wondered Mr. Davies looked so well as he did. (Laughter). He concluded by proposing, "That this meeting respectfully and earnestly appeals to all land- owners and neighbours who have wealth, influence, or power, to give their hearty assistance to the final effort now being made to secure to the town of Crick- howell the great advantages of railway communication." Mr. William Thomas had known Crickhowell 23 years, and it used to be one of the briskest places in Breconshire. There was a good trade done there 20 years ago, and plenty of traffic was carried on but now he was afraid the place was going down. He approved of the idea of getting a railway, and thought it would be the best thing to be done for Crickhowell. At the request of the meeting, Mr. Jones, the con- tractor, spoke, and said that if they could only get the funds the line would v, ry soon become a fact. Mr. Jones then explained the circumstances under which he became acquainted with the railway. As regarded the cost he thought zE33,000 would make the line, and indeed perhaps a little less. From a conversation he had cn Wednesday last, he concluded that £30,000 would prove sufficient. There were things unforeseen they could not anticipate, which might affect the contract one way or the other. They should be quite prepared to enter upon their arrangements, and he thought that it must prove satisfactory to the sub- scribers to know that the preliminary expenses would be postponed. He thought, too, that the suggestion that an investigation should be made was a good one, and would be a guarantee of good faith to the public. Mr. Thomas Do you think the line favourable? Mr. Jones I think it is very favourable. If it can be carried to Brecon I think there will be no difficulty in making it a profitable line. In making the offer we stipulated as to how many shares we would take, and if we find, in carrying out the concern, we can by taking more shares facilitate the matter, we shall be glad to do so. (Hear, hear.) Mr. M. J. Roberts: I think nothing can be more satisfactory than that. Mr. D. Thomas could not sufficiently express his gratitude to their worthy friend, the Chairman, for the part he had taken to further the prospects of the line. He had done what he could, and he now called upon them to do their part. Mr. Thomas's speech was in support of the line, and contained arguments and facts much the same as those adduced in the foregoing speeches. Mr William Lewis (solicitor, and one of the directors) next spoke. He agreed with the idea of having an investigation made, as it would strengthen the confi- dence of the public, and urged the necessity of doing their best at this time to carry out the undertaking, seeing that if it fell through they would not have another opportunity for some years. He did not believe in what some urged, that the appearance of the valley would be impaired by the formation of a railway in it. He thought, on the contrary, it would rather improve the appparance of it. (Hear, hear.) He was glad to see Mr. Pratt present, and hoped the circum- stance ef his attendance would be productive of good results. He hoped the landowners would re-consider their determination, and give their support to the undertaking. (Hear, hear.) There was no doubt about this, that no class of persons would be benefitted to a greater extent than the landholders. Mr. G. A. A. Davies (one of the directors) spoke of the important benefits that would be conferred on the neighbourhood, and concluded by proposing a vote of thanks to the Chairman. Tais closed the meeting.
THE EHYMNEY MURDER, SPECIAL SESSIONS, BRYNMAWR, TUESDAY, AUG. 20, before Dr. BEVAN and H. BAILEY, Esq. William Protheroe was brought up in custody, and the following evidence taken Rosanna Thomas deposed on oath I am the wife of Walter Thomas, who lives near Tavarnabach, in the parish of Llangynider the deceased, Martha Thomas, was the sister of my husband; and up to nine weeks previous to her death she lived with me; on Tuesday, the 18th of June, she was with me my husband was not at home on that day, and deceased went out about half-past ten, or from that to eleven in the evening I asked her where she was going, and she replied I shall not be many minutes, I am going to one of the neighbour's houses previously, from seven to half- past seven o'clock, I had refused to allow her to go to Pontlottyn she told me she had a little quarrel with Protheroe on the Monday evening, and wanted to go out she said Protheroe had accused her of having had three children, and she remonstrated with him for saying such things; he replied Youdevil,you would say anything to save yourselfowing to this quarrel I refused to let her go on the Tuesday night; she went, notwithstanding, at the time I mentioned, but did not return that night when she left me she was as con- tented as she ever was in her life there had been no unpleasantness of any sort between us I know that the child she had recently had was affiliated at Merthyr, on Protheroe, the previous Saturday; I was in the court during the hearing of the case about 10 days before Protheroe went to gaol he assaulted the deceased in my house this was some months before the child was affiliated. Mr. Smith objected to this testimony being admitted. The Bench ruled that it was admissable, and The examination continued The assault which was made took place at 3 o'clock in the morning he called her up and she went to him he caught hold of her by the hair of the head and dragged her into the road I know that prisoner was imprisoned for -a sub- sequent assault upon deceased; prisoner has not been in the habit of coming to my house late at night; he was in the habit of coming there up to 10 o'clock at night I did not see deceased after she left the house on the 18th until the body was found. Cross-examined by Mr. Smith She did not tell me on Tuesday night, the 18th.of June, she was going to see Protheroe on Monday afternoon she was out about 4 or 5 o'clock she had gone down to Rhymney she had not, to the best of my knowledge, gone out to meet Protheroe; I objected to her going out on Tuesday night, but we had no words about it; I had told her about 7 o'clock she should not go did not tell her so when I asked her a second time she was quite happy and contented in her mind; she was vexed very much at one time she had not vexed at all lately she had plenty of victuals and drink, and had nothing to be vexed about; after the child was born she did not vex at all; she might have vexed because prisoner would not marry her she did not vex about his going to gaol; she vexed after she was beaten; she did not vex after he came out of gaol; I saw him after he came out of gaol he came up to the Nag's Head about the child; about four months before her death there was a general row in the house prisoner got the mastery of my husband, and he was crying out for mercy they did not drink tea in my house after that; he had before that time, but not after we did not take tea at Dowlais was not with him at Susan J mes's or anywhere else in Dowlais. Walter Thomas, husband of the last witness, remem- bered prisoner coming to his house some months before the birth of the deceased's child it was then 3 o'clock in the morning he assaulted deceased after that; he was in Merthyr when prisoner was convicted for a subsequent assault upon her, and committed for three months imprisonment I heard deceased say it was about 300 yards this side of Dowlais, on the mountain the assault took place it was late at night. Mr. Smith objected that what took place at a pre- vious enquiry could have anything to do with the present case. Mr. Simons contended that what had taken place a year before could be heard. Ihe Court overruled Mr. Smith's objection. Examination continued For some time previous to the time she left she was in a perfect state of mind, and quite contented; she was well off for means, having a considerable amount of money by her she had some- thing over P,10 by her; I know that Protheroe had promised to marry deceased; Protheroe told me so either in January or February I am not certain which. James Joseph deposed; I iire at Rhymney, and am a carpenter; I remember being called to Meredith pit on Saturday; Sergeant Markham was there; I went into the pit, and found a body down there; I went by myself; it was the body of a female I found in the pit I sent the body up by the rope; the bottom of the pit was covered with stone and rubbish; it had been unworked about 18 years some of the stones appeared to be wall stones from the top of the pit; could not say the stones were fresh tumbled. By the Bench: I could not say there was one stone on the body, or under it j nor one touching the head. Examination continued I did not search anywhere except under the body; I examined carefully under where the body lay; there were small stones and rubbish under the body the rubbish was mostly coal rubbish; I saw two carcase of dogs there and some old rags, which were very black I left the old rags there I sent the body up in the same state I found it; the clothes upon it I sent in the same state I found them. By the Bench: The body lay with the face down- wards, and the head seemed rather under her. Mr. Bevan: Did you notice anything about the head? —I did not notice anything particular I noticed three scratches on the side of her leg. Was her head injured? —I thought her head was all to pieces. Mr. Bailey: It is hardly worth while to say what he thought—let him say what it was. Examination continued: One side of the wall was very low at the top of the pit; it was above a foot high. Mr. Bevan: Has this pit been left open for 18 years for any one to tumble into? Examination continued: I saw Mr. Redwood, the surgeon, there. Cross-examined by Mr. Smith: I saw blood under the head I cannot say whether much or little about as much of the rubbish was discoloured as the size of the crown of my hat; I tied the rope round the body under the shoulders; I put my hands under the body to put the rope round; I did not move the body; there were small stones under the head; flat ones, about the size of the ink-stand. Elizabeth Benbow sworn: I am a married woman, the wife of Thomas Benbow, of Tavarnabach, miner; I laid out the body of deceased; I took the clothes off the body for the purpose; the bonnet was put over her face, and tied behind; I did not see the body directly it came out of the pit; the body was at Walter Thomas's house when I saw it; the face was hidden by the bonnet she had a sort of grey coat on we could not get it off; we had to cut it off, because her arms were broken; her dress was not torn, but the hooks and eyes were burst—(the clothes were produced, and identitied)-the dress had given way. By Mr. Smith: All the buttons remain on the dress. Examination continued: The hooks were on the front of the dress; the sleeves were cut by me one of the shoes was off and the other half off; it was over the heel; she wore boots with elastic sides; the hair was down over the wound; I washed the wound, cleaning the coal from it; there was coal upon her knees, and on her arms and hands; her sleeves appeared to have been drawn up tight, and there was a wound on the back of her hand. By the Bench The coal marks on her hancs were fresh, and not what would be caused by neglect. Examination continued The stockings were stained with coal, and there was blood upon them. Cross-examined by Mr. Smith There was not a great deal of coal marks upon the under-linen her thighs were covered with coal dust; there was not much more coal dust upon the clothes that is pro- duced I was told by the police to take particular notice of wounds on the bodv I saw three marks on the neck her two sides were black and blue there was a wound under the knee there was also a wound on the groin, towards the bowels, from which the flesh was coming out; there was a wound on the back 0 of the hand the net she had on was inside the bonnet. James Joseph recalled. By Mr. Smith When I found the body it was naked from the waist down I could not see the bonnet. By the Bench The clothes appeared to be turned up, not torn off. Sergeant Markham, of the Glamorganshire consta- bulary, sworn I am stationed at Rhymney I was at the top of the pit when the witness Joseph went down for the body it was Saturday, the 22nd of June, about one o'clock at noon; it is commonly called, "Billy Meredith's pit I saw the body brought up after freeing it from the rope we put it on the tip, and we tied a cord around the bottom of the skirt of the dress to keep it down I also opened the jacket; I searched the dress pocket, and found 11s. in silver and 11-d. in copper, and a white pocket handkerchief; the bonnet was on the back part of the head, and the hair matted in the wound on the left side of the head the hair was loose, and dishevelled I can't say that I saw the net I took care not to tear the dress I noticed the hooks and eyes burst, and two pieces of whale-bone projecting from each side the holes in the dress I did not notice, but they might have been there and I not have seen them. By the Bench The deceased was brought up from the 'bottom of the pit with her face downwards; I remember an Irishwoman being apprehended at Pont- lottyn for cutting and wounding this was on the 19th of June (Wednesday); her name was Bridget Callaghan I have no note in my diary of the shows staying on the 19th I know that it was on that date they came there it was Edmonds's (late Womb well's) wild beast show; I was present when the prisoner was examined before the coroner's jury he made a statement there he was cautioned before he made that statement by the coroner when the body was brought out of the pit the fingers of the left hand were clenched, and a portion of the sleeve was left in it. Cross-examined by Mr. Smith When the body was brought up the face was downwards the clothes were down about her the body was brought up very steadily it was drawn up the centre by a pulley being placed over the centre I don't think it struck against the side of the pit the clothes were in the right position I found money in the side-pocket of her dress; it was a shallow pocket; it was in the dress itself; the money was loose I did not notice that her arms were covered with coal dust; there were sleeves to her dress there was a slight wound on the back of the hand, which I noticed I can'r, say whether there was any coal dust on that hand; there were no appearances of coal dust upon her arms or hands her hair would be considerably disordered by her being brought up out of the pit in the way she was Protheroe made a lengthy statement before the coroner, and gave an account as to his whereabouts on the Tuesday and Wednesday, and what he had been doing. By the Bench I did not see marks as if anyone had been dragged towards the pit; there is a footway near it. Re-examined by Mr. Smith I particularly noticed the wall around the pit; there were no evidences of a struggle, or of any stones being misplaced. Mr. Lewis Redwood sworn I live at Rhymney, and am surgeon of the Rhymney iron works on Sunday, the 23rd of June, I was called to examine the body of ttae deceased; it bad then been laid out the head was frightfully smashed to pieces I was told the depth of the pit (42 yards), and the appearances were such as I should expect to find in a person falling from so great a height if the body was thrown down shortly after death there would likely be some blood supposing the body had fallen down the pit alive there would have been discolouration of the hips, notwith- standing that death was instantaneous I made a post mortem examination of the body on the Tuesday after- wards (the first day of the inquest) the head was frightfully smashed, particularly on the left side the left part of the face was also smashed the whole upper part of the skull was utterly taken away there were many marks of bruises about the body the injury upon the hand I did not observe; on the neck I observed two or three bruises, marks slight, which I did not take much notice of; there was nothing to make me suspect there was strangulation the skin on the neck was not broken the largest bruise might be above the size of half-a-crown a person might be strangled and not leave marks. 11 By Mr. Smith I did not arrive at the conclusion that the girl destroyed herself from the appearance of the body it was for the satisfaction of the brother I made the examination the appearance in both cases, whether she went down alive or after having been dealt with unfairly, would be the same I felt no doubt at one time that she had destroyed herself; I did not observe anything to lead me to think there was foul play used when I made the post mortem examination the brother was present, and he bad a suspicion that the girl had been murdered; there was nothing in the appearance of the body other than I should expect to find in a person who had fallen such a depth; certainly not; three out of the four limbs were broken there were discolourations on the body; there might have been bruises I could not see. In answer to questions from the Bench, Mr. Red- wood said that there were marks on the right side of the neck, and two or three similar ones on the left side of the neck. Mr. Bailey We must have it as nearly as ever you can give it, you see Mr. Redwood. Well, have you examined these marks on the neck, because the brother called your attention to fern ?-Mr. Redwood Y(:s of course I dil-Now, in your opinion, were those marks such as would be left by a man's hand clutching one by the neck, or not ?—Witness I can't give a decided opinion on that; my opinion at the time was that they had in all probability been produced by the head being doubled down so violently from the fall; that was my impression at the time. Mr. Smith I should like to have that down. Mr. Bailey: Of course, put it down, because we have some difficulty in getting it. Dr. Bevan Did you give that impression to Walter Thomas ? Did you state to him what you state just now ?—Witness Yes, sir probably so. At any rate I made an assertion that I thought that really if such a fall had occurred it would not be anything more than I expected to find. Mr. Smith From that arose then your expression to the coroner "I examined the head to see if there were any marks of strangulation, and I found none you say that now ?—Witness That does not refer to my answer to the coroner I alluded in saying that to what you ordinarily understand by strangulation that is something tight being passed around the neck a person might be destroyed in that way. Mr. Bailey You infer that before a person could be strangled he must go with a cord provided for it that is your argument.—Witness I do not exclude the possibility of a grasp of the hand producing death or insensibility it might havellbeen done, of course I should think it not an unlikely thin». Mr. Simons You think it not an°unli&ely thing ? Mr. Smith From the appearances you saw'? — Witness Not particularly from that; it might have been done and no appearance be shown that is what I stated before I should say a person might be throttled in a way to produce insensibility and yet leave no marks. Mr. Smith Do I understand you now to say that from all appearances of the body you would say death by suicide was quite as consistent as death by other injuries ?—Witness Yes, that is precisely what I have to say. Mr. Smith Then you have no opinion one way or the other, speaking professionally ?—Witness said he did not say professionally that the girl was murdered, but his private opinion was that she was. Mr. Smith (with some surprise) Do I understand you to say that your non-professional judgment is that she was murdered I hope I don't understand you I was so startled by it.—Witness I may have said some- thing wrong in doing so I beg to express my regret for having made such an expression. ° Mr. Smith I was very much startled indeed to hear a gentleman of ,;your position making use of such an expression it is quite a foregone conclusion it seems. tic Mr. Simons said the witness wished to give him the benefit of his professional opinion unbiassed, and was therefore speaking in his favour. Mr. Smith: As a medical man you are able to ascertain prttty clearly whether injuries are caused before death, or after death?—Witness: Yes to a certain degree. Mr. Smith: Did you, in any way, endeavour to ascertain whether any of the injuries had been caused before, or after death ?—Witness (after considerable hesitation): The injuries that I observed about her had either been caused before death, or soon after, I should say; that would be my opinion. Mr. Smith: Then, I understand you to say, in answer to my second question, that the injuries must have been occasioned either immediately before, or shortly after death? Witness: Either before, or shortly after d-'ath. Mr. Smith: Now, tell me, did you observe any appear- ances upon the body as of a person being draggeJ? Witness, No> noi Mr. Smith; Were there stny appear- ances as of a person being tightly grasped, say about the arms Z- Witness: No; nothing that I could refer to that. Mr Smith: Then, Mr. Redwood, in a word we come to this, that all the appearances you observed were precisely such as those that would be found upon a person who stood upon the brink and threw herself down?—Witness: Yes; certainly. Mr. Smith: As a medical man, were not all the appearances more con- sistent with accidental death than with a forced death? —Witness: No; I don't think they were. Mr. Smith: You don't think they were?—Witness: No. ill r. Smith: I am asking you as a medical i-nan ?-Witness: Of course; I have said over and over again what I observed was equally consistent with her having thrown herself down, or having been thrown down, whether violently or of her own accord. Mr. Smith: Can you give us any single indication by the appearance of the body of anything like violence? —Witness: No, I can't; I am saying the same thing over and over again. Mr.' Smith: Yes, Mr. Redwood, I am aware of that; but my client's life depends upon it. If there was nothing like violence, are you not led to the con- clusion that death was caused accidentally?—Witness: No; such absence of those appearances are not in this case at all conclusive; I just said her skull rnwht have been smashed. Mr. Smith: I did not ask you that; but I ask you, as a medical man—as a scientific witness-whether absence of appearances of violence would lead you t,) suppose that death was accidental, and not otherwise? -Witness: You could hardly say from the appearances, as the skull was smashed all to pieces. Mr. Smith: You know this place, don't you ? —Witness: Yes. Mr. Smith: Would you not expect to find some marks, such as grasps by the htuds ?- Witness: Marks. Mr. Smith: Yes, or that of a per- son's hand grasping—it would leave a mark, would it not?—Witness: It might, or might not. Mr. Smith: Does not the fact of grasping immediately before death almost invariably leave a mark, sir ?—Witness: I don't say that it does. I am not aware of it. Mr. Smith: You mean to say you would not expect to find marks, assuming for a moment that the deceased had been grasped by the arm and thrown violently down the pit, would you not expect to find that mark ?-Witness: I would not expect to find anything. I could not particularly see or particularly suspect anything to be produced by that I have said over and over again that the body bad many marks of bruises about it in all directions. Mr. Smith: Very well. Dr. Bevan: Supposing the body had been thrown down in a senseless state, would the fall produce all the bruises you saw?—Witness: I think so. The examination of this witness occupied a great deal of the time of the court. Margaret Jenkins, White Row, Rhymney, widow, sworn I remember going over the bridge into the Balaclava road on the day the show was held; the road leads from Rhymney to Merthyr this was on Wednesday, the 22nd of June; after going through the bridge I turned on the sward by the road side^o walk some distance from the road this was on tho right side, going to Merthyr the road is in a hollow at the place on the grass I saw some blood it was irt a circle, and it was quite fresh; I stood some time to look at it; a short way from there (nearly opposite) is the footway leading to Billy Meredith's pit if a person had come on to the Merthyr road, and wished to go to the pit, they would have to come past that place the blood was ia a lump, and would be nearly a handful I went there on the Saturday after the inquest; I went to look after the blood; nobody went with me, and I did not see any one there; I spoke about finding the blood the first Sunday after finding the body I mentioned it to two women named Mrs. Davies and Mrs. Ho wells I did not mention it to a police officer, but I afterwards went with a police officer to the place; it was to Police-sergeant Markham I mentioned the fact. Cross-examined by Mr. Smith I went with Mark- ham after I was examined at the inquest; I had not told Markham I had seen this blood until I was examined at the inquest; I was examined at the inquest this day three weeks I showed him the place as near as I could I could not &ay how large the sward was; I moved one stone near where I thought the blood was the grass was near the stones, and it might have run under them, but I did not find any the blood was quite fresh, and not very liquid, and I could have picked it up with my hand; it was like milk that had been spilt; I did not notice where there was any blood sunk into the ground it was about twelve o'clock or a little after that I saw the blood could not tell the size. of the grass plot; I tried to show the spot to Markham, and because I could not show the exact spot, he blackguarded me; I told him I could not show him the exact spot. Ann Thomas, sworn: I know the pit where the body of deceased was found I live in Evan Price's row we can see the wall around the place where the body was found from our place I know the roadway to the pit from the main road on the Tuesday night before the body was found I was standing on the step of the door it was past 12 o'clock I heard some one screaming I think it was from the direction where the pit was they were frightful screams I am sure of three screams I cannot say any more the screams were those of a woman quite plain, and as if some one was in distress the door of the next house was open, and I went in and said it was very strange girls were out at that time of night; screams are not usual there at that time of night; I saw a policeman about it after the finding of the body- Cross-examined by Mr. Smith I know that it was Tuesday night I heard tho screams did not know when the policeman came it is not a common thing for a policeman to come into my house I said before the coroner it was a common thing for girls to scream on the tips there, but they are not such screams as those, and not at that time of night I thought it strange girls should be out at that time of night, and making such screams I did not think it was the girls from the tip I thought it was somebody in distress i never heard such screams before the e I never said that screams of that kind were heard there only one voice I heard the voice did not follow one another rapidly there was a scream now and a scream another minute they were near but not exactly the same time; I said it was in the direction of the railway I did not think of tbe pit, but the both are in the same direction I did say the screams were from the railway I can't remember whether it was a week or nine days, or more after the night of the screams that I told the policeman' Re-examined by Mr. Simons I havo a good reason for knowing Tuesday was the night;; a man met with an accident that evening 5 r hftd gone, and they went to meet the man that had tho accident. By Mr. Smith I did not say before the coroner my daughters were gone to bed I said one was In bed no one heard the screams but myself. The prisoner was remanded until Wednesday next. The interest 111 this most mysterious case has not abated in the least; during the holding of the court crowds of people were assembled outside, and the court itself was as crowded as it possibly could be. ø'C'¡" Printed for the Proprietors by William Henry Clark, at the Office,in Church Street, and published at the Office in High Street, both in the parish of Saint Mary and borough of B)-econ.-August 24, 1867.