Hide Articles List

7 articles on this Page

.--HUNTING A PPOINTMENTS.

CHURCHMEN IN COUNCIL. -

MONTGOMERY COUNTY COUNCIL.

THE WELSH LAND COMMISSION.

News
Cite
Share

THE WELSH LAND COMMISSION. SITTINGS AT BALA. On Tuesday the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the conditions of laud tenure in Wale, opet.ed an inquiry at Bala. Lord Carrington pre. sided, and the<e was a large attendance of the public Tfte Chairman said that he deprecaUd unfair l ftttftpks upon individuals, and ail witnesses would be i pr",teted. I Col. Lynes, owner of the Garth Melts cÜate, in I Denbighshire and Merionethshire, said that for the laat five years he had been spending tue greater part of his income ia improving his property. He came into possession of the eitate five years ago, the buildings being then in a very bad state. Replying to Mr Richard Jones, witness said he appeared in a purely individual capacity. In answer to whether he was elected because he was able to present the bet case for the landlords he said that he had not the least idea. Replying to Mr Vincent witness said politics, language, or religion never influenced the belectiou of his tenants. The Rev Loan T. Davies, Congregational minister, also, gave evidence on (1) landlordism and common land and (2) landlordism, Dissent, and politics. In lespecfeto the first matter, Mr Davies read a long list of cases bearing on his point. In 1838 Mr John Davies, of Brynglaa, built a house on Rhos Uoha Common, Llanuwchllyn, and enclosed an acre of ground surrounding it. He paid no rent for a long period, and subsequently Sir W. W. Wynn's agent ordered him to pay 2s od per year. A few. additions were made, and he had to pay 30s per year. Iii sup- port of his argnment witness related several other cases similar to the above. Witness then read a list of Nonconformist tenants of Sir W. W. Wynn, who having voted for the Liberal candidate wore victed from their farms. He cited tne ca^e of Mrs Mary Jones, Gveirgloddnien, who was evicted, at the age of 76 years. the was evie.e,t because aer son, the Rev Principal Michael D. Jones, took such an active part in politics as a Liberal. He quoted several other c-ises, and gave one in which i'hom»;i Rowlands, of Hafodyrhaidd, voted for the Liberal candidate. The roof of his house fell in and the agent refused to repa.ir it. He was therefore obliged to live in a stable, where he and his tamily remained for eight and a half years. He received notice to quit, and removed to Tjnywdrn, wherw he died. The widow obtained permission to build a house, and paid her rent regularly until July last, wiien fhe found it impossible toserapo the rent together. Witness was very pleased to understand that uie widow's c^se was under the consideration of the landlord's present agents, and could not brieve that the late Sir Watkin was aware of wi a- was going on on his estate, for it was inconceivable t.) him that any OLe stiould have so cruelly persecuted an old Liberal v ana should have continued lus revenge on his help- leas widow and fatherless utiiidrtn (applause). Pro- ceeding, witness quoted eight oih^rcase», and said that Nonconformist applicants for tarrnn, who pjsBessed nxyerieuca and capital, were rejected in favour of Church applicants who had neither. In reply to bir Jehu Lae*ei yu, Air Davies said that it- was very hard tmf these poor mell should have their hoarses taken trom tilm without compen- eation. Witness said t'iat tie could not jorove that Nonconformists were LUCUO-I out to make room for Churchmen. In answer ta a quist.oti put by Mr deebohm, witnets sa.d Lie presumed the common iMoud belonged LO the Governmeut. He could not say whetner the lurd of the manor was the owner r not. Answering Mr Brynmor Jones, vmness said that he believed Sir Wa..kin did not take auy personal i-iterost in the oLe-io!,o; of i.is a.gent. Witu regard to common land it would have been otily fair if the <audL.rd« list told th « people WjQ bailr. tie,.ion that they would have to pay rcti!. Th KnUord stood by while they were buitaing improving the land, &c., and tneu oarne forvai7 i a:.d detnandtsU lent. He supposed the evictions for reiig ous or political reasons pointed to iusecu ity tenure. Witaees said that the condition of th fartne. s in bis district I wax the reverse of p. operOllg and worse than it was formerly I In reply to Lord Kanyon, witness Ea;d he could not give no other instances of the persons evicted for religious reasons on Sir Watkin's estate. In the case of Thomas Rowlands, he b-iievei that he never saw thoi late Sir YVatkin, aud would have b en better treated if he had complained personally. Sir Watkin had given land for building chapels of had sold it for a nominal price. John Rowlands aud another of the evicted tenants were in Court. The first ",ittles in the afternooD was Mr Thomas Jones, (..C of LItLnuwchllyi, who -aid that tenants compUine 1 of high rents. Owing to want of fixity of tMuure, poasant prop ietors had died out, while farmers and their families ha.1 to wore excessively ha d. tin said that farmers' children bad to b3gin w nk at ulne or ten years of ag-, before and after school hours. No direct or indirect pressure, riiigioady or politically, was u-)w pat on tenants. tie cited a oaae where the estate age at had acespted money for allowing a certain peraoa to become tjfiant. In answer to Mr Vineent, witn^-s said that this took j»i*ce on Sir Watkin's estate The ageno who had aoucpted the money was Mr Jkihn Williams, and the nauie of the applicant was Mr Eras Jones of iihy.ljfcint. 'I Robert Morris, Tynycae, Llanuwchllyn, said that he occupied two small farms, which Sir Watkin hald under will in trust for charitable purposes. When witness first took the farm tfcere were no suitable buildings upon it. The house was also very bad. He had applied several times for new buildings. The officer served him with a notice that the house was not fit for habitation. He took the notice to Sir Watkin's agent, and he eventually allowed him a snon considered to be half the expense of building a hcmee. Instead of repairing buildings landlords were only too glad to consolidate farms. Edward Edwards, agricultural labourer, Bala, gave evidence as to the condition of the labourers in the parish of Llaudysil and Llanfair. The wages gave evidence as to the condition of the labourers in the parish of Llaudysil and Llanfair. The wages were about 118 per week, with an extra 9* during the harvest. Single men received R20 to A-26, and worked 13 and-14 hours per day Witness complained of high rents and scarcity of cottages. By Prolessor Rhys: The reason labourers went into the towns was because the cottages went into rum, and the landlords would not repiir thena. Mr Owen Slaney Wynne made a statement. He said that the- land referred to was not a qjaasi common in the nsnal sense. Witness was agent for the late Sir Watkin, when 16 years ago he made an offer to fence the land to keep the cattle on it, no rent to be claimed for three years, when the question of rents would be considered. As to Mr Rowlands' house it was in a wretched state, and was not worth rebuildiiig. They bad built new houses; only to find tenants which wouitl not move into them. To Mr Richard Jones: Witness admitted that the dealing with Mr Rowlands' farm might be called con- solidation. Mr Brynmor Jones asked if he ever served any notice to quit.—Witness said that he had. Mr Jones: What about these evictions?—There was none in my time. Mr Jones But yousay there were notices to quit- But by an eviction I mean turning a man out neck and crop. Mr Jones: I do not quite understand the opera- tion of this waste land. What is the extent of it About 200 acres. Mr Jones: Do you not know that the enclosures can only be effected in regard to the wastes of the manor by leaving sufficient pasturage by agreement under seal, or by Act of Parliament?—Yes, but I do not know that it was a waste. Mr Jones: If it was in the manor of Penllyn- What right had Sir Watkin to enclose it? (loud applause).-Sir Watkin bought it. Mr Jones: I suggest these points to you, Mr Wynne, and perhaps you will think them over and clear the matter up for us. It looks to me as though it was waste land.—Witness No, it is not. Mr Jones Well, if you can shew me any documen- tary evidence to prove your statements I shall be glad. Witness: I do not think I can produce such evidence. Mrs Rowlands was called, and corroborated the Rev Ivan Davies s statement respecting the treat- ment of her late husband. Mr John Williams, of Gwernhefin, denied that the tenants had been turned out on ncconnt of religion or politics, and corroborated Mr Wynne respecting John Rowlands. The commission adjourned until Wednesday. At the resumption on Wednesday, Mr John Williams, formerly sub-agent of tne Wynnstay estate, was recalled and examined. He admitted re- ceiving the ^lo0 from Evan. Jones to let him go into Rhyddybwl farm, and gave-as his reason for doing so that witness's father owed him money, and his son was liable for his debts. During his term of agency. which lasted for 21 years, only 22 farms changed hands. Mr Slaney Wynne, late chief agent of the WynB- stay estate, stated that Sir Watkin bad purchased all Crown rights in the parish of Llanuwchllyn. John Thomas, farmer, living at Gloddia, parish Llanycie, said that he was a tenant of Sir Watkin, but had been ejected because he voted for the Liberal candidate. He received notice to quit two months after the election in 1859. He sold his stock and bought a farm, but was forced to give it up on account of a heavy mortgage which was upon it. He again became a tenant of Sir Watkin, at P;as Mabon, The landlord rebuilt the farmhouse, and witness had to do the haulage, for which he received £ 13. He stated this was not sufficient, as he carted enough timber to fill a dock (loud laughter.) Witness sub- mitted a table of figures, shoeing the increase ill the price of labour. They were nearly all Nonconform- ists, aad therefore had to support two religions. Ti e consolidation of farms was a grievance, and in the parish of Llanycici 28 small farms had thus been swallowed up, and 120 cottages had fallen into ruin against 13 erected new. Col. Hughes, of Yetrad, chief agent to Sir Watkin, said that fivc3 he had taken over the agency he had gone over 52 rarms, and his valuation in 48 years hE d been accepted by the tenants. In each case he valued according to the average of years. Thomas Davies, Beawllyd, Bala, said that the practice of consolidative holdings prevailed largely, the object being to save expanse ia rebuilding homt- steads, and the result was that the land of the home- steads was not properly ealuvafced. The tenants h. d often to borrow mouey to pay the rent. The Rhiwlas t-nants one year sent a petition to the landlord aek- ing for an abatement. Those who signed the petition received X5 abatement, while those who did not sipn it received .£10. abatement. His landlord, often in addition to rent. exacted labour from him in hanlii g coal, manure, etc. Many tenants had emigrated to English colonies, and were doing much better than in staving in this couutrv. John Jones, late of Tyncelyn, L'anfair, said he had to fence his land to protect it from rabbits, and as traps were set in the wood he had lost three dogs. This resulted in an enormous increase in rats. The Ground Game Act was of little use to them, as the farmers could only kill on their own land, whilst the rabbits were reared in the surrounding woods. Pheasants .caused much loss. in corn and potatoes. J. R. Pricf. owner of the Rhiwlas estate, said that he had over -17,000 acres on his Merionethshire estate* which was let at an average rental of 9s 4d per acre. He had made several rabbit warrens, which were effectually wired. SITTING AT DOLGELLY. On Thursday the Welsh Land Commission sat at Dolgellcy, Lord Carrington presided. The f-tat witness was Mr Owen Slaney Wynne, who eaid, that he had been agent for Sir Watkin for 17 yeaps, and on his retirement the tenants presented him with a portrait of himself as a token of cordial relations existing between tnem. Witness advocated the enclosing of shee-p. runs where practicable, as it prevented dispute. He said that no consideration of politics or religion interfered with management of estates. There were not many commons, but there were rights of pastuirage, whieh were always taken into account when the rent was settled. Rents were soinetimea fix-ed, by valuation, but generally by pri- vate arrangement. Holdings were not let to the highest bidders. Farms were sometimes consoli- dated for convenience, but some holdings hd been divided, and sheepwalks given to lowland farms, f Landlords did aM the improvements, and the tenants did all the carrying; but if they left the farm L-oon afterwards they were compensated. Compensation was given for damage doue by game. Daring 16 years of his agency on Sir W. Wynne's estate, com- prising 140,000 acres, j6113,460 was spent in building and repairing. Witness had no authority to give the income during that time. On being examined, witness said that if the tenants had not their money ready on the audit day the land. invariably waited. The tenants did not sell their lords stock at a loss to prepare for the audit day. Tenants did not take advantage of sires introduced by the landlords to improve the breed of stock, although the fees were moderate. Witness replying to a ques- tion, said that he could not give any specific in- ■ stance where compensation had been given for damage done by game. Witness considered it would be an advantage to have Acts of Parliament traiv- slated into Welsh. Charles Alfred Jones, solicitor, Carnarvon, owner of 500 acres at Trawsfynydd, said there wera oon. Isiderable sheep rnns over his two farms, and the tenants were privileged to use of them. All improve- ments were done by him, and the rents had not been raised for the last 50 vears. William Pngh, Pantglas, Trawffynydd, gave evi. denoe relating to the estate of Mr Vanghan, of Nannau. He said they were chiefly pasture and sheep farms. He had been tenant of the farm for 20 vears. and paid .£90 for it. When Mr Vaughan came into possession it was re-valued, and the rent was raised J>40 without proper notice being given. Witness subsequently applied for a reduction of rent which was refused, and he received a notice to quit. While tenant he dtd foores of improvements in draining, and also paid .-£50 for a wall to be built, but never received a penny of compensation. David Evans, Caer Einion, Dolgeliey, said when he was a tenant he went to considerable expense, in 1 carting for rebuilding his farm-house, on an agree- ment that if he was to be turned out, he would be compensated. He received notice to quit in 1881 on the farm being up for sale. On their being a new! agent, he was not able to get any compensation be- cause he had not got the agreement in writing. Cadwalladr Roberta, Ynyø Cyfylog and Tyddyn Back, complained that some years ago land was taken from his farm for the purposes of the Cambrian Railway, and no reduction was made in his amt. That meant a low of about Xi per acre to him Bill rent had also on several occasions been raised Other witnesses also gave evidence with respect to the game deeftroying their grain and crops. Griffith Price, jnn., Gors-y-Garnedd, also gave evidence tonohing on the parish of Llanfaohreth, in which the chief landowner WM Mr Vaoghan of Hanriita. He also stated that Churchmen had a better dtaaoe of obtaining farms than Nonconfor- mWI. 1D sower to queitioog he said tbat titt (majority of tenants were Nonconformists. He di £ not know of any Nonoonfc rmist lanyoweners. He suggested that the present notice of Bix months 'should be extended to twelve. Dr Jones, of Caerffynon, Doigelley, contradicted Dr Jones, of Caerffynon, Doigelley, contradicted the last witness on several points. The Court arose at half-PIL;ot five, and met at Barmouth on Friday.

BOARDS OF GUARDIANS. -

SHROPSHIRE AND DISTRICT LEAGUE.

PENSTROWM