THE REGISTRAR GENEBAL'S REPORT.-We learn from this report that in the Neath district there has been a falling off in the number of marriages in the quarter ended the las day of June, as compared with the corresponding quarters of the two preced- iBg years. In 1866 the number was 141; in 1867, 126 and in 1868, 119. The number of births for the quarter ended September 30th presents an increase over the same quarters of the two previous years in 1866, it was 682 in 1867, 600 and in 1868, 697. The deaths in the same quarr er show an increase on those of the same quarter of the previous year, but are far less than the year 1866, in which year they were 933; in 1867, 275 and in 1868, 298. THE EARTHQUAKE AT NEATH.—On Friday week, about half-past ten at night, Neath and its neigh- bourhood experienced a severe shock of earthquake. The earth-wave appeared to run from south to north, and was more especially felt in the parts near the river. The sensations have been variously described, but a peculiar running vibration, accompanied by a rumbling sound, appears to have been noticed by all. The violence of the shock, and the dull heavy "thud" which succeeded it, in the neighbourhood of Ffr-d Vale roused Mr. J. H Rowland, who despatched a mounted messenger to the Bryncoch pits to enquire if an explosion had taken place. At the Roman Catholic Chapel the bells were violently rung, and at the Vale of Neath Junction one of the massive signal posts was split from the bottom upwards. Many of the inhabitants of the town rushed into the streets terrified, and fearful of a second and more severe shock; and in many houses the glass and crockery fell from the shelves. At Briton Ferry the noise heard outwards towards the sea resembled 1bt of heavy gun firing, while in several houses the rooms were seen to move and the chairs appeared to be lifted from the floor, as if by the explosion of a mine underneath. At Resolven and Aberdulais the effect of the shock was more personally felt than in other localities, the alarm created by the noise which preceded the occurrence having produced considerable nervous excitement among the more timid of the inhabitants. The fact of all earthquake of so severe a nature occurring with such startling effects in this country, and extending over so large an area, has given rise to considerable surmise, and news from foreign quarters is anxiously looked for, especially from New Zealand and Australia. ST. DAVID'S CHUlWH.- vVe have much pleasure in announcing that the annual sermons in behalf of Alderman Davies' and Melincryddan Schools will this year be preached at the above church, on the Mayor's Sunday," morning and evening, by the Rev- David Howell, vicar of Cardiff. This will be the first time for Mr. Howell to occupy the pulpit in this church, and it is expected that the great popu- larity of this able and eloquent preacher, so well known in Neath, will secure large congregations on the occasion. His many old friends here will rejoice in having an opportunity of hearing him again. MR. GETHIN'S TESTIMONIAL. The committee entrusted with the management of the above testi- monial have just issued an appeal to their friends in the form of a circular, in which that gentleman's services are most ably referred to. Mr. J. R. Jones, of Aberdulais, is the chairman of the committee. Mr. D. Hopkins, the treasurer, and Mr. Wm. Rees, the secretary. The Baptist Church alone have collected upwards of JE22, and the high esteem in which Mr. Gethin is held by all denominations will doubtless be the means of obtaining a testimonial, not only valuable as a mark of respect, but one which will do credit to those who have so kindly and so nobly set the movement on foot. We shall duly chronicle the progress and success of the presenta- tion. THE WEBN FIELDS.—We are glad to observe that the excellent drainage carried out by Mr. Ghss has been the means of removing the great body of water, which had, through the late rains, accumulated in these valuable meadows. The skating arrangement may therefore be finally considered as abandoned, so far as this spot is concerned. EMMA STANLEY."—On Monday last Miss Emma Stanley gave her popular entertainment, The seven ages of woman," at the Town-hall. The necessity for the erection of a building capable of seating one or two thousand persons was never perhaps more visible than on this occasion, numbers of people being turned away because the hall was so densely crowded. Of the entertainment itself it is impossible to speak too highly the roarvellou3 changes of costume, the truthfulness of the portrait delineated, the hih musical talent displayed, and the general attraetivi ness, in sparkling wit, the tender, the grave, and the gay,—place the fair entertainer in the first rank of histrionic performers. Unquestionably it is the result of much natural genius as well as keen appreciation of character. SCAFFOLD AcCIDENT.-The high wind of Wednes- day last caused part of the woodwork of the new tower of St. David's to come down with a crash on to the roof of the chancel. Providentially no person was injured, but the force of the fall broke away the rafters in the interior of the building, and con- siderably damaged the upper part of the ornamental tiles. NEATH UNION AUDIT.—Edward Jones, Esq., the district auditor appointed by the Poor-Law Board, has announced his intention of being at the Neath Union to audit the books of the various officers on the 14th and following days. We shall duly report the results under the new forms required by the Act. THE GNOLL CASTLE.—Our readers will be gratified to learn that the above residence, formerly occupied by the Calland family, has again been taken by a gentleman named Gordon. The stately mansion is being put in thorough repair previous to the arrival of the new inmates. ORDER OF SERVICES AT ST. DAVID'S CHURCH.- Twenty-second Sunday after Trinity, November 8th. —Morning: Voluntary, Andante, Max Keller; Venite and Gloria, No. 5 (Felton); 1e Deum, No. 10, 11 Jubilate, No. 15; Kyrie, No. 4; Hymns 175, 209; Voluntary, Choral Motett (Rinck). Evening: Voluntary, Selection from Auber Gloria (Houldsworth) Cantate, No. 5 (Mutlow) Nunc Dimittis, No; 14; Hymns 218, 288, 190; concluding Voluntary, Fuga in C (Wesley). MARKET ITEMS—A limited supply of nearly all the usual market commodities was offered on Wed- nesday last, at prices which showed a falling off in the demand. The general complaint appeared to be that business was exceedingly dull. The cattle market was poorly stacked, and but little dealing transacted, even at lower figures tha^i grst quoted. Very few sheep or pigs were penned. MUNICIPAL MATTERS.—The two retiring Alder- men, Mr. D. H. Morgan and Mr. H. Gwyn, M.P., will, we understand, offer themselves for re-election. Mr. Gwyn's popularity will secure him a seat, but Mr. Morgan's non est proclivities will, it is rumoured, unseat him, and another contest will take place in the Council. Mr. Rowland Thomas is expected to take the civic chair. A CHAPTER OF ACCIDENTS.-On Monday last a youth named Rees was about to proceed to work with his father when he happened casually to go into a neighbour's house, in which there stood a chaff-cutting machine. After playing with the wheel for some moments he unfortunately brought his hand in contact with the knife, and the next revolution of the cutters took three of his fingers completely off. Dr. Croker, of Lansamlet, attended to the sufferer at once, and dressed the injured parts, but the terrible maiming ought to be a warning to meddlesome persons, especially boys.—A serious accident also occurred at the "Red Jacket" level of the Chisselton collieries at Briton Ferry. It appears that the haulier of ihe pit by some means had lost his light, and fell off the trams, breaking his leg in a most serious manner. He was conveyed to his home at Skewen, but the nature of the injury will prevent his returning to his usual employment for some months.—Another sad occurrence took place at Brynddeury, also to a collier. It appears that he was about to lift a lump of coal into a tram, when a stone fell from above, smashing his hands jin a frightful manner.—On Wednesday another narrow escape from serious injury, through the incautious use of firearms, took place at Llantwit. A gun in the hands of a young man accidentally went off, and lodged part of the contents in his companions' arm and chest. THE "YOUNG GENTLEMAN" OF NEATH!—A benefit performance at Hord's theatre took place on Tuesday last, when the bills announced that a "young gentleman of Neath" would give a "step dance." The following evening a "clog dance" was also advertised to be performed by another young gentle- man. The youthful representative of the gentry proved to be the son of Morgan Mainwaring, whose skill and proficiency as an emptier of cesspools has hitherto been better known than his Terpsichorean abilities. A comic song on a living donkey, by Mr. Hord, was also one of the attractions of the evening.
THE MUNICIPAL ELECTION. We briefly stated in our last issue that Mr. G. J. May had decided to enter the lists for a place in the Town Council, vacant by the retirement of four members in rotation. Mr. Irish having declined, shortly after our announcement, to contest the elec- tions, the struggle, therefore, for the honour of a seat was the more vigorous, in consequence of the opposition being limited, and in order to render "assurance doubly sure," Mr. May's friends can- vassed the town, and "open house "was given at the principal committee rooms for all his supporters. Mr. May's circular announcing his intention appeared to have been the signal for the issue of a series of "squibs," harmless in themselves, although shewing in some instances that an educated hand had been at work on them. Mr. H. Lake in a poster repudiated the connection of his name with Mr. May's on the voting papers. Mr. May returned the compliment by a similar poster, and by issuing coloured slips with the words, "Plump for May, cheap gas, and more light." The latter expression forming a bve-word throughout the day. This was squibbed" by the following placard Gentlemen,-As there are six gentlemen nominated for four seats at the Council Board, and only four seats, the best interests of the Borough will be studied by returning the four retiring members. MAY is altogether out of place in NOVEMBER. The other new candidate may he a REGU- LAR BRICK in the Brickfield, but in this instance let him see that NO IRISH NEED APPLY. When their services are required a requisition, signed by the whole of the Bur- gesses, will be forwarded to each of them by your obedient servant, WHO IS HE ? The supporters of the retiring members then received a rejoinder in a "cut direct," which was followed by another poster, signed The Man with the Wooden Leg," when a bill announcing a Grand Cricket Match at the Town-hall, between the Mayor and May, for 1750, and a seat at the Council," capped the climax of the fusilade, which began to assume a slightly personal though amusing character. On Monday Mr. May's committee rooms were at Price's spirit vaults and the King's Head Inn, both houses opposite the ball, where the voters, who had been well worked up by the canvassers and supporters of Mr. May, were allowed refreshments. Excitement and popular feeling began at an early hour to exhibit itself, but only in humourous remarks written and posted on to boards of the Town-hall, informing the burgesses that "Spectacles were wanted to give a correct report that the four old uns were all right that the chain was broken;' that" May was stumped out," and that the mare had won in a canter." At 12 o'clock the first official notice of the state of the poll was issued, when the numbers were- Davies 136 Lake 135 Player 126 Thomas 117 May 68 Irish 0 A dense crowd, which wedged up the approaches to the hall, cheered the announcement of the num- bers most vehemently, a long string of voters, who gave May a plumper," receiving quite an ovation as they left the King's Head committee rooms. The next notice was affixed at one o'clock, when the numbers we,e- Davies 160 Lake 159 Player 152 Thomas 139 May 91 Irish 0 No other announcement was issued before the close of the poll, the crowd increasing every moment, and becoming still more excited. The doors closed at 4 p.m., and at 4.30 the large room of the Town-hall was thrown open, the councillors hav- ing obtained places at the foot of Miss Stanley's platform. Some minutes elapsed before anything like order could be obtained, the impatience of the densely packed crowd finding vent in cheers, shouts, and remarks. After patiently waiting for some minutes, Sankey Gardner, Esq:, the returning officer, said it had been a matter of great satisfac- tion to him to know that the election had so far been conducted with exceeding good temper and absence of feeling throughout. He thought it was extremely creditable to the town, and, though the numbers he should announce were as nearly as pos- sible correct, the official declaration would not be made for a day or two, when he had no doubt there would be but a slight alteration in the figures- Mr. Philip Davies 339 „ Henry Lake 324 „ W. J. Player 311 „ R. Th mas 283 George May 224 The number of burgesses who voted is 477 The usual scene followed, and calls were made for the successful candidates. Mr. P. Davies then rose to address the meeting, but the continued uproar prevented anything like a fair hearing. He said Fellow burgesses,—I am indebted to you again for this honour of re-election. I am indebted to no less than 339 gentlemen who have voted for me to day, and have, for the fourth time, allowed me the honour of addressing you and thanking you. It shall be my study to serve your interests, and to watch over your health and the means of improving it for, gentlemen, health briags wealth, and health and wealth together should bring happiness, and without that you can do nothing. It has been the study of the council to get you that great boon. [A voice What about the drainage ?] (Roars of laughter.) Of that you shall hear again, only be patient. A little feeling has sprung up in reference to carrying our measures, but that will subside, and what is necessary, depend upon it, we shall d6 in the coming year of 1869. A little fresh blood will then be infused, but let it come forth with a good feeling in the contest, and we will support it. (Cheers.) I can only say I thank you for the honour you have conferred upon me, and I shall unflinchingly do my duty. A Voice: We want to hear about the sewage. (Cheers, and cries of "Lake, Lake.") Mr. Lake attempted to speak, but was almost inaudible. He said he had ever done his duty in the council, and had always acted for the benefit of the public as well as for himself, and that all the improve- ments carried out had been done in the most economical manner possible. He was glad they had returned the old members, for they had done their best, and their return was a proof that the electors thought so. (Cheers.) Mr. Player, on being called for, responded. He said I am extremely obliged to the burgesses for this instance of their renewed confidence. (Cheers.) It proves at least that you are not insensible to my efforts to make the town more as it should be (inter- ruption), in carrying out improvements and useful alterations. (Cheers.) I do not wish to give offence: my aim has been to benefit the place, and it shall still be so. (A voice: What about the sewers?) Some gentleman has alluded to the sewers. A great deal of that work has been done, but to-night I can only hope none will be found in the gutters. (Roars of laughter, amidst which a call was made for Mr. Thomas.) Long and continued cheers greeted Mr. Thomas as he stood up to reply. He said I sincerely thank you for the honour conferred on me by this re- election. I wish to pursue the same course for the welfare of this town as I have hitherto done. It has been my study to carry out improvements-(A voice: What about the income tax?" The inter- ruption was good humouredly taken, and amidst a tremendous roar of laughter Mr. Thomas shook his umbrella playfully at the noisy crowd, and retired.) Mr. P. Davies then said Gentlemen,—We are largely indebted to our chairman, the assessors, and principally, I must say, to the Town Clerk, for the trouble they have taken and the impartiality with which they have conducted this day's proceedings. I beg to move a vote of thanks to them. Tire proposal was seconded by Isaac Morgan, Esq., and carried nem. con. Loud cries of "May, May," then followed, and his appearance was the signal for a terrific round of applause and cheering from all sides. After a few moments he attempted to speak, but the reception had evidently affected him, and his emotion was too much for his utterance. He at length said Gentlemen Allow me to thank you for your kind support to-day. (Cheers). Although I am not successful this time, I am not beaten yet. I intend to come forward again. (Cheers.) Although I have lost,—(A voice It is vour own fault you've lost to day,")—I hope next time I shall have fair play. I am greatly obliged for the support you have given me, and only hope for the same next time. (Cheers, and cries of You shall have it," amidst which Mr. May left ihe room.) The proceedings then closed at the hall, but on Mr. Davies making his appearance at the gates he was honoured by a "chairing" to his house. A few hours afterwards the town resumed its usual quiet appearance, and all traces of the day's excite- ment appeared to have vanished.
BOARD OF GUARDIANS. The following gentlemen were present at the Neath Board of Guardians meeting on Tuesday last Howel Gwyn, Esq., M.P. (chairman), G. Lewellyn, Esq., (vice-chairman), the Rev. T. Walters, the Rev. M. R. Morgan, Messrs. W. J. Piayfr, 0. Price, P. Davies, R. C. Fisher, R. Parsons, P. Williams, T. Jenkins, J. Morgan, W. Griffiths, P. W. Flower, D. Maddock, D. Bevan, L. Griffiths, T. Rees, F. T. Gibbins, B. Evans, C. Thresher, W. B. Sloane, the Rev. D. Thomas, W. Jones, Dr. Russell, and Mr. A. B. Campion, surveyor. THE RELIEF LISTS. The despatch of business was hastened by the formation of a second Board, of which G. Lewellyn, Esq., was the chairman. PUBLIC BUSINESS. The public business commenced by the clerk read- ing a letter from the Poor-Law Board, in which formal assent was given to the increase of salary of Mr. M. Matthews, from Y,25 to £ 40. No remarks followed the reading of the letter, the particulars having previously been before the meeting. THE VAGRANT QUESTION. The Clerk read the following letter from Mr. Jas. Johns, in reference to a claim for remuneration for attending to the vagrants of the parish of Aber- avon :— Police-station, Aberavon. Gentlemen,-For the past three years I have acted as assistant relieving officer for the Aberavon district. The duties consist of a careful search and examination of vagrants who are passing through Aberavon, the particulars of which I enter in a book called the "Vagrant Relief List." After such examination I give a ticket wherever necessary, which entitles the holder to a night's lodging; and on the other side I beg to submit a return of the vagrants I have examined for the years 1866-7-8, with a view that you will kindly make me some remuneration for my past services as such assistant relieving officer, and that you will also apportion me whatever you may deem necessary, which I may hereafter look upon as a salary. Apologizing for thus troubling you, I am, gentlemen, your most obedient servant, JAMES JOHNS. To the Board of Guardians of the Neath Union, Neath. Number of vagrants sent to 'common lodging-houses with tickets from the Aberavon district for the years 1866-7-8. Date. Men. Women. Children. Total. 1866 636 73 41 750 1867 1293 146 94 1533 1868 2036 224 194 2454 The Mayor What is the course generally pur- sued ? The Clerk A payment is made Superintendent Phillips has j65 per annum. The Rev. T. Walters How many does our officer search ? The Clerk You can see the list; they are increas- ing also. There were 85 adults, 8 boys, and 3 girls last week. The Rev. Mr. R. Morgan But can you tell how many altogether ? Mr. J. Francis (relieving-officer) There is a paper pinned in the front leaf of the book which will show the numbers. During the past fortnight the expense has been £3, and there have been 243 vagrants. The Mayor That is about 120 weekly. Mr. G. Lewellyn: Do any good results follow the searching ? What effect has it on them ? Mr. Jones (relieving-officer) Stolen property is sometimes found on them, and sometimes they are not relieved, as money is also found upon them. If the police did not assist me I could not manage the numbers who apply; they are so many. Mr. G. Lewellyn I think it desirable to make some allowance. Mr. R. C. Fisher Does he make any memo- randa ? The Officer Oh, yes the memoranda are made in the book- (The book was produced and read.) Mr. Sloane: Was the work undertaken by order of the Board ? The Board Yes, undoubtedly. Mr. Price I move that a sum of money bepaid him equal to that given to the superintendent here. The Board From what date? Mr. Price From 1866. Mr. P. Davies You can't do it. You can't go back. It was then moved by Mr. Charles S. Price, seconded by Mr. R. Parsons, "That Mr. Johns be allowed Y,5 for his services, and also a gratuity of £ 10 for past services, subject to the approval of the Poor-Law Board." AN APPLICATION FROM MR. MILLER. The Clerk read the following letter from ex-police Sergeant Miller Water-street, Neath, Nov. 3rd, 1868. Gentlemen,-On the 6th inst., I addressed a letter to your honourable Board on the subject of my being employed in the removal of paupers, and I am anxious to know if you will kindly employ me in that capacity. I then took the oppor- tunity of speaking to many of the gentlemen, who seemed quite in favour of my being so employed. May I the)? earnestly solicit the favour of your support and commands.— Gentlemen, your obedient servant, EDWARD MILLER. To the Board of Guardians of the Neath Union, Neath. The Chairman Do we want an officer for the pur- pose mentioned? Mr. P. Davies I think not. In this case we have two active assistant overseers, Mr. E. Jenkins, of Coedfranc, and Mr. W. Jenkins, of The Abbey. They are all to give us such information as we may want, at any time, respecting the paupers to be removed, and it, in some slight degree, increases their salary. I don't know why this case should be so pressed upon us. I am inclined to the other parties because they are so well known, and I think a change is undesirable, unless some fault exists with them. Mr. G. Lewellyn Is it not the particular duty of the overseers ? Mr. P. Davies Yes I do not think we can make the appointment. Should he do any work for us he can send in his bill and have it paid. THE MEDICAL OFFICER'S COMPLAINT. The Clerk read the following letter from Dr. Rus- sell, the medical officer to the Union Neath, 2nd November, 1868. To the Chairman and Members of the Neath Board of Guardians. Gentlemen,-Permit me to call your attention to an award made on your last Board day, for surgical attendance on a case of compound fracture which happened in the hamlet of Neath Lower, by which a most unjust remuneration was granted, and a gross injustice suffered by myself. The par- ticulars of the case are as follows:-A messenger was despatched for myself, with instructions (I believe) that if I should not be at hand to bring the first surgeon he could find. Encountering Messrs. Thomas and Ryding, he asked if either was Mr. Russell, and stated his errand. They, accompanied by the messenger, drove to my house, and, finding me at home, communicated the circumstances to me, and we had a most distinct understanding that I should attend to the case, and upon that understanding they left my house. I set about my duties immediately, but before I could set off I received a note from Dr. Ryding stating that he had gone to the case. This is a plain statement of the facts, but I beg to add, that if such over-reaching conduct on the part of neigh- bouring medical men is to meet with reward at your hands, none of your appointed medical officers will be secure from being deprived of their just dues, at any time, by an intrud- ing neighbour. I conclude that all casualties like the above- mentioned are, by right, the just dues of the regularly appointed medical officer of the district.-1 am, gentlemen, yours faithfully, (Signed.) JOHN RUSSELL,' Medical Officer. The Chairman Have you any statement to make, Dr. Russell, in reference to this letter ? Dr. Russell Nothing but what is contained in the letter. Mr. P. Davies I must explain the case of the bill being signed. It came before the second Board, of which I was chairman. It was brought in by the Rev. D. Griffiths, and I objected at the time to its payment, because it was not introduced through the relieving officer's book in a regular manner. The Mayor By whose authority did Dr. Ryding attend the case ? Mr. Davies (relieving officer) I gave no order till after he had attended. The Mayor If no order was given wnat becomes of it ? Mr. L. Griffiths May I be allowed to explain the case of this poor woman. She was working for me in the hay season, the horse took fright, and the 1 cart ran over her, breaking one of her legs, and seriously injuring the other. I sent at once to Neath, as she was lodging on the side of the road, with a request that Dr. Russell should be fetched, but, as it was a very urgent case, I gave orders that if he could not be found the messenger was to bring the first medical man he could find. The Mayor Why did he continue to attend the case? Mr. Thresher I believe Dr. Ryding attended at the request of the Rev. D. Griffiths, who, with Mr. Lewis Griffiths, are the guardians of the parish. Mr. Price: Before deciding the case against Dr. Ryding, would it not be more just to hear what he has to say? (Hear.) The Chairman then moved that the subject stand over for consideration until the next meeting, and that Dr. Ryding be requested to attend. NOTICE OF MOTION. The Clerk read the following circular issued to the Guardians Neath Union, 21st October, 1868. Sir,—Underneath I beg to send you, by the directions of the Guardians of this Union, copy of order and notice of motion, given at their Board meeting yesterday, and which will be taken into consideration at the next meeting of the Board.—I am, Sir, your obedient servant, HOWEL CUTHBERTSON. [NOTICES OF MOTION.] To take into consideration an application which has been received from Mr. George Jones, relieving officer of the eastern district, for an increase in his salary." The Rev. David Griffiths gives notice that at the next meeting he will move, when Mr. Jones's application is brought forward for discussion, that the question of the re-distribution of the releiving officers districts:be taken into consideration, and such orders made thereon as may be determined upon." Mr. Lewis Griffiths: Mr. Chairman and gentle- men,—I beg to say on behalf of my son that he is unavoidably prevented from being here to-day, and if you would kindly adjourn the discussion until the next meeting we shall feel extremely obliged. The Chairman (to the Board) Is it your pleasure that the discussion be adjourned to the next meeting? The Board unanimously consented. PRIVILEGE. The Clerk I have just had a letter put into my hands from Messrs. Jones and Curtis. The Chairman Respecting what matter ? The Clerk I will read it, as it refers to a report of the last meeting of this Board. Neath, 3rd November, 1868. Dear Sir,-Mr. James Long has consulted us upon the very serious imputations upon his integrity as overseer of the hamlet of Neath Lower, which were made at the last meeting of the Board of Guardians of the Neath Union, and which resulted in your writing him a letter requesting that he would call upon you with his rate book and cash book. This he immediately did, and your careful examination of them resulted in its being found that a sum of £5 6s. 6d. only remained to be accounted for by him, while Mr. Thresher is full y aware that Mr. Long is himself a ratepayer to the extent of one-fifth of the rates of the entire hamlet, the two poor rates for the present year amounting to £99 8s., of which Mr. Long's quota is £19 14s. Under the circumstances we trust you will to-day report to the Board"'the result of your investigation of Mr. Long's accounts, and the readiness with which he submitted the same to you for examination; while, if the Board should so desire, Mr. Long will be happy, on receiving an intimation to that effect, to attend them at any time with his books and vouchers. With regard to Mr. Thresher's statement as to the holding of vestry meetings at midnight, and then always breaking up in a drunken brawl, we shall have to make that charge the subject of public enquiry upon the trial of an action, which we are instructed to bring against him for his slanders of Mr. Long but of course that is a matter which the Board of Guardians can have no power or inclination to go into. In conclusion, we may well call the attention of the Board to the conduct and proceedings of Mr. Thresher with refe- rence to the vestry minute book of the hamlet, containing the record of its meetings for many years, which was taken pos- session of by him, but when it was got back from Mr. Thresher in March last, through Mr. Long's predecessor (Mr. W. Rees), all such records were found to be cut out of the book, and the same was a perfect blank throughout.-We remain, dear sir, yours truly, JONES & CUBTIS. Howel Cuthbertson, Esq., Clerk to the Board of Guardians Neath Union. Mr. Thresher By your kind permission I will endeavour to explain to you that my statement is quite correct. You will first observe that in my remarks I did not mention any names. I did not say "Mr. Long," but as there were such gross irregularities taking place I thought it my duty to bring the matter before you. I shall show you that- Mr. Price: Pardon me. Could we not be informed of the meeting, or the minutes of it, which caused the so-called slanderous remarks to be made. Mr. Thresher There is no slander there is no charge made against any person by name. The charge is against an overseer, and no name is men- tioned. But perhaps you will hear the figures read first, and I shall be glad if you will check them, sir. I went over the list with Mr. Jones, as it seemed rather a heavy charge to make against anyone; and he at once pointed out that the overseer was a defaulter but, as there was a fortnight longer to run, we thought perhaps he would pay in the amount, and I said I would do all I could to get him to do so. Seeing this, Mr. Jones reduced the call 121 per cent. 2 I wrote to Mr. Long on the 3rd of October, and sent the note by my little boy. I received a reply, which I will read to you. [Letter read]. I must now explain to you that a ninepenny rate is more than sufficient for the call made on the parish, and when I see a former rate still unpaid to the treasurer, and a new one demanded, I feel that I must come before you to seek that redress which such a state of things ought certainly to demand. I therefore made remarks which I felt justified in doing, and I received in return the following letter. [Mr. Thresher read the letter and continued] I must now refer to the minute book. In former times there was nothing of the sort; there was in fact no such thing in the parish till three years ago. And as to the midnight meetings, it is a fact that at one of them there was nothing less than a drunken brawl, ending in a challenge to fight; and yet, on the following morning, there was brought to me a torn sheet, signed by five or six names, all in the same handwriting, and I was requested to enter the same as a minute of the vestry meeting. I refused to do it. Why, sir, for two-and-a-half years that book was in my house, and never used And now another thing, sir. No overseer has a right to depute others to collect his rates or obtain his money. Then, sir, look at that (handing in a receipt). There you have a receipt which is not legal: it is written in pencil, and the money was fetched by a man named Lee, who, after taking my rate, told me that was what he was ordered to give me and then, sir, being on horseback, he flew off like a sparrow. This is but one instance of his sending foreigners" to collect his rates, and let me ask you, sir, if-- The Chairman I think it will be best to appoint a committee to investigate the affair, and that com- mittee to make a report to the Board. Mr. Turberyille: I have seen the books, and they appear to be correct. All I find fault with is, and it certainly is irregular, that part of the last call should be paid out of the current rate. Mr. Thresher Is that legal ? Is it right ? Mr. Turberville I can't say that it is right. The Mayor Had he 928 in hand by the books ? Mr. Turberville He had not; there was a balance, I think, of about £ 8. The Mayor If I understand rightly, two rates were made for X99 before the whole of the first rate was collected. Mr. Thresher Did he name any one who had not paid ? Mr. Turberville He did not name any one. Mr. Thresher He could not! Mr. Price Mr. Thresher appears to accuse the overseer of making an excessive rate without having a proper order for doing so. There may be ground for complaint, but it seems rather ungenerous to take proceedings against the officer, without giving him notice in a plain way. Any one may make a mistake, but if an observation on that error is to form a reason for litigation no man is safe. I think, however, Mr. Thresher should say what he has to complain of, and then we should know what steps to take. The Rev. Thomas Walters Don't you think it is a question for the auditor ? Mr. Jones Mr. Chairman, I wish to make a state- ment in reference to this matter. I know Mr. Long very well, and he seems to be a very gentlemanly man. There is no fault to find with his appearance, and he is not, I should think, the man who would misapply the parish money- The Chairman There is no accusation of that kind made. Mr. W. Jones It amounts to that. Mr. Thresher Nothing of the kind. (Loud cries of "No, no.") Mr. W. Jones He is a large ratepayer, paying one fifth of the rates of the whole parish, and he is allowed to make a rate in excess of his expenditure (the money going to his successor should it be required) to meet small disbursements. Mr. Price Are we to consider that an overseer may make a rate in excess, if it is not wanted ? Mr. Turberville He is obliged to, to meet petty disbursements. Mr. Price My conscience what next ? Mr. Thresher What I complain of is, that the money collected is not paid in. The Chairman: That being the case, we will appoint a committee, viz: G. Llewellyn, W. J. Player, F. J. Gibbins, William Jones, C. S. Price, and Philip Davies, Esq.s., to meet and investigate the books of the officer, and report to the Board at their next meeting. THE DEFECTIVE LIST OF VOTERS. The Mayor At the last meeting of this Board I requested that if Mr. Morris was an assistant over- seer, he might be called on to attend and give us some information about the large number of voters whose names were left out of the burgess list. In municipal cases I know it is his duty to make a proper and correct return, but here we have nearly four pages of foolscap full of names omitted in the list for this year. I think the error has occurred partly because the idea is entertained that the Mayor and the assessors have power to insert the names of those who claim a vote at any time. This, how- ever, is a mistake. No name can be inserted unless p proper notice be given. [The Mayor read an extract from a work on the Municipal Act to prove the same.] Some steps must therefore be taken to get a more perfect list. There have been continual complaints as to the omissions, especially in the par- liamentary lists. Last year it was pretty fairly correct, but this year it is very incorrect. What I wish the Board to do, therefore, is this: if Mr. Morris cannot do the work himself, let us employ some one else the Act gives power to pay the cost of such a step. [Extract read.] Mr. P. Davies We have always done so. The Mayor I hope in future there will be no more irregularities, and that 114 names will not again be omitted. Mr. R. Parsons Will you allow me to express my opinion in reference to this charge ? The Board Certainly certainly Mr. R. Parsons I think, then, that the steps we are taking are quite beyond our province. Muni- cipal affairs are clearly not connected with this Board, and I do not believe that it is our duty to attempt to put matters right for the authorities of the borough. I am one of those who ought to feel aggrieved, and whose name has been omitted from the voters' list. I have, however, had ample time to remedy that if I thought proper to do so. I did not remedy it, and therefore, like many others, I have no right to complain. I thank my friend here for the term "foreigner." I am one of those indi- viduals, and the overseer The Mayor We employ an assistant overseer who, I understand, is not amenable to this Board. Mr. R. Parsons We have no authority to compel the assistant overseer to attend a meeting like this at our pleasure. We have no right to— The Mayor The assistant overseer must. Mr. R. Parsons It is puerile and paltry to attempt a power not our own. Mr. Turberville I read the clause at the last meeting, and that was quite conclusive on the point. I can read it again. The Board No, no the minutes of the last meeting. [The Clerk read the minutes.] The Mayor I ought to mention that they supposed the Mayor and assessors could insert the names. Mr. P. Davies Nonsense That was merely to stop you from making a complaint. It will go for nothing. Mr. Turberville He is paid by this Board, and is amenable to the Board. Mr. G. Lewellyn I must say that this is rather an unpleasant business to bring before the Board. Here are a large number of voters excluded from exercising their privilege through one person's neglect. All persons entitled ought to be on the list. Morris is an assistant overseer to this Board, and it seems incredible that 113 names should acci- dentally be omitted. Suppose an election took place, the votes would be lost. It therefore becomes us to enquire, as he occupies the position he does, whether he is properly qualified for his office. This is a sad omission of duty. He is present I see, and it is for him to give, if he can, a satisfactory account of the neglect. Mr. Morris then handed in a paper, of which the following is a copy, and the Chairman read the same to the Guardians:- THE BURGESS LIST FOR 1869. The 113 omissions complained of by Mr. Player would arise from the following causes In the first place the last year's burgess roll was not taken as a guide in making out the lists for the present year, therefore there would appear, in com- paring the roll for 1866 with the lists for 1869, to be about 113 omissions, but which omissions were, with the exception of a few accidentally left out, all legally made, viz., persons who had not paid up their rates, paupers entered on last year's roll, persons who have left the borough, persons who have died. Mr. P. Davies That latter part will not do. The first is right, the other incorrect. The Mayor In answer to that, Mr. Morris has stated to me that every name he has omitted ought to have been on the present list. Mr. Morris It was my son's fault. The Mayor You were present when it was stated, were you not? Mr. Morris Yes, I was with him. Mr. P. Davies He received a letter from this Board, and treated it with great disrespect. The Mayor If he is reprimanded by this Board I do not think it will occur again, but you will see by the Municipal Act that the overseers are also liable to a penalty of £50 for the omission. A private consultation then' took place in reference to the case before the Board, after which The Chairman said It is very evident that great negligence has taken place, but Mr. Player has consented not to press the chirge, so as to bring a motion before the Board on the subject. You have been in office for many years, Mr. Morris, and we think if you send in your resignation it would per- haps be better. We would take into our best con- sideration your application for a pension. The work has much increased, double or treble perhaps, and that is one reason why we think your resignation would be best. The Mayor All I want is an assurance that the omission shall not occur again. Mr. Morrh I will take care that it shall not. I will employ a proper person to draw out the list. The Mayor You ought to, as the Town Council pay him. Mr. P. Davies I should still advise him to resign, and retire on a pension of something like X50 a year. THE ALTERATIONS OF THE HOUSE. The Surveyor laid on the tables the plans and specifications for the proposed alterations. The discussion on the same was postponed till the receipt of tenders for the work. RELIEF LISTS. Mr. T. Howells, assistant overseer of Lansamlet Lower, and who resides at Foxhole, attended the Board to explain why he considered many persons who were receiving parish relief, in some instances to the extent of 12s. weekly, were not 2ntitled to the same. \r p -d In the course of the investigation, R. Parsons enquired whether Mr. Howells was the public pro- secutor, a question which evoked a slight "scene." The Chairman, on behalf of the viuardians, thanked Mr. Howells for bringing the cases under the notice of the Board.. The remaining relief lists were then disposed of by both Boards. The master's journal showed an increase in the number of paupers over the corres- ponding week of last year.
BEAUFORT. POPULAR READINGS.—We reported last week the formation of a committee to carry on these enter- tainments during the coming season, and we have now great pleasure in giving a report of the first meeting, which was held in the British Schoolroom on Monday evening, and proved to be a perfect success and had the weather not been so stormy, we have no doubt the large room would have crowded to excess. As regards the behaviour ot the audience it was all that could be desired: not a single complaint was there of any disorder, but, on the contrary, all did their utmost to maintain order, and the greatest attention was paid to both readers and singers, who performed their duties to the intense delight of their hearers. Great praise is due to Messrs. Phillips, Greenland, and Davies, who recited the dialogue" Earl Warwick." The dramatic force which these gentiemen threw into the recitation was really admirable. The chair was occupied by Mr. Llewellyn P. Jones, chemist, who, in opening the proceedings, made the following introductory remarks:—Ladies and gentlemen,— Thp committee named another gentleman to preside at this our first meeting, one whom, I am certain, you would have been glad to see on this platform this evening, and would have given him a hearty welcome; but prior engagements prevented him from accepting the post, and circumstances over which I had no control have called me to act as chairman. But of this I am sure, I have your sympathy in the position I now hold, and as chairman of the first popular meeting I am expected to make a short address. I shall only detain you for a few moments, so I hope you will listen to what I have to say. I am supported by many who wish to see this class of entertainment succeed, and I hope we shall not be disappointed, but that our efforts will be backed by you, and if so we need not fear danger. Ladies and gentlemen,—We all know the great drawback of last season's Readings, and that was their noisy character. It was really too bad to hear the whistling and noisy clamour of some who attended, I should think with no other purpose in view but to annoy and disturb. May I appeal to you all to help me as chairman of this evening's meeting to put all that down do not "encore," because the programme is drawn out with the intention that so much time should be given to each performer. The encores generally given are far from creditable to those who demand them. Let each reader aud singer have a fair chance to gain your approbation, and when you applaud a per- former be moderate with your cheering. No doubt the readers and singers will require your cheering and applause to sustain them, but do, I pray you, keep silence when silence is required, and you are quite welcome to applaud when applause is necessary. Do not let us have a bad name at the commence- ment if we commence well, in all probability well will follow, otherwise it will be hard work to carry them on in future. It is intended that this class of entertainment should amuse, but in amusing let us be on oar guard not to lose the instructive. The readings will not be expected to be of too serious a kind, nor yet too comic an affair, so let us do our utmost to steer a middle course, instruct by amus- ing, and in amusing let us by all means be instruc- tive, so that good may result from our efforts. These readings have been the means of doing a vast deal of good, in bringing young persons out to be public men. I believe I can with truth say this in many cases here with us in Beaufort. Many I know give the cold shoulder to them, and wish them to be naimd the "Noisy Readings." Let us try and keep up the credit of Popular Readings, and also disap- point those clever men who think nothing will succeed unless they are tbe controllers of things. Let them, if they think proper, keep away, but we will do all in our pewcr to advance moralisation, and if Popular Readings will be the means of doing that, then we will be repaid for our trouble. You also know towards what object the profiis arising from these readings will be devoted. Dir, ctly education has to do with all of us, and by giving a helping hand at our entertainments you will also be helping the committee of the British school. There is a debt due to the treasurer, and the committee of these meetings came to the unanimous conclusion that no object in Beaufort was more worthy of receiving a helping hand than this fund. With these remarks I shall sit down. Subjoined is the pro- gramme of the evening's entertainment Overture (Harmonium) Miss Lewis Duet—" Come to the meadows"Messrs. Green and Williams Reading-" Only ten thousand" .Mr. Edward Griffith Song and Chorus—" The life boat"Messrs. Gulliver and Party. Reading—"The battle of Bunker's hill" .Mr. Joseph R. James. Song-" Blue jackets" .Mr. David Bowen Reading-" Mrs. Brown's petroleum well" .Mr. G. Phillips Song-" Annie of the vale" .Mr. Green Son; Ymweliacl y Bardd" .Mr. W. Williams Reading-" A little hair" .The Chairman Duet (Violin).Messrs. Phillips, Greenland, and Davies Song-" Beautiful isle of the sea" Mr. D. Bowen Pianist Miss Greenland. THE EARTHQUAKE.—The shock on Friday night was only slightly felt here, and it only lasted a second or two. We have heard of no damage being done, but people were congratulating each other upon their deliverance from the fate of the sufferers in Peru, where so much damage was done. \O"r::T.1I.<1'
SALMON CULTURE, AND THE DIVERSION OF THE USK. To the Editor of the BRECON COUNTY TIMES. Sir,—I have read your article on this subject in your last week's paper with much interest, both for the information which it affords, and for the very necessary example which it sets of the fair and courteous manner in which a man of good sense and gentlemanly feel- ing can discuss a difference of opinion. Allow me to notice some of the points on which you disagree with me:- 1.—My statistics were intended to meet the exag- gerated sanitary importance which it was attempted to give to the low state of our river during some months of the last summer of almost unprecedented drought. I stated the bare facts, leaving others to draw from them such inferences as those facts might fairly Iwarrant. 2.—I think that the number of patients resorting to iour Infirmary for any period is a very fair approxima- tive index to the sanitary state of the district for that period; and especially as regards those parts of the population most likely to be injuriously affected by certain conditions of the river, the point at issue. 3.—I do not claim for my figures that they prove the health of the town to be better when there is little or no water in the river bed than when it is full." They only show that in the wet summer of 1865, when the river was exceptionally high, there was 32-28 per cent, more illness than in the dry summer of 1868, when the river was exceptionally low. I have not pretended to offer any explanation of this difference. I remain, sir, yours truly, T. PRESTWOOD LUCAS. Brecon, Nov. 4th, 1868.
THE USK AND ITS SALMON. To the Editor of the BRECON COUNTY TIMES. Sir,—Judging from the space devoted to this subject, you consider and I believe rightly consIder-that much interest is felt in it. May I therefore add a few WIf we at Brecon have enjoyed greatest health when the river bed was dry, it may perhaps be conceded that it is not urgently incumbent on the health authorities to move, merely because some think we might have been yet more healthy. But it will be borne in mind that if there were no abstraction from the Usk, the Honddu bed would yet be dry—and as the course of the latter is the most confined and crowded, it would seem to be a first duty of the Board to secure the flow of a fresh current along its natural course" through the town. I am aware that the owners lower down on the Usk, are not injured by the diversion, and hence, possibly, the reason why the injury to our health from this cause is not so forcibly pointed out to us. I believe every man in Brecon would wish to see the beds of both rivers full in dry summers, but I should think also that every one must be satisfied that the Board of Health would not be justified in using any of the ratepayers' money in litigation, as desired. Individual members have followed the Mayor In expressing their desire to help, but in attempting to carry the matter still further, I was surprised to find that the three proprietors owning nearly the whole of the five miles of river immediately below the town held aloof.. The information contained in the c° sen" tence of your last week's leader, that i,0001bs. of salmon had been sent up through the agency of the Usk and Ebbw Association during the last summer, and disposed of at an average of Is. 4d. per lb., is new to many of us. I am not very clearly informed as to the difference of identity of the association and the conservation; but, surely, neither act as agents to fish salesmen, or desire to find a cat's paw in a struggle the better to enable them to compete with Wye dealers. To ensure seasonable fish above Brecon would repay a great effort. It strikes me, however, that all principles of justice are opposed to a further taxing of the 130 square miles above for the benefit of the few below, who seem disinclined to help themselves to any- thing, except the "bits of silver," either from the river or from the pockets of the men of Brecon. I believe the best way in this, as in all others, will be found in mutual advantage if those who get the fish, or rent the fishing below, will participate, or aid those above, who, as the law now stands, are only injured by the river having salmon in it-wet nurses without reward-I doubt not the labours of the water-bailiff would be lessened, and the salmon producing powers of the river greatly increased. I concur, however, entirely in the belief you express, that the Brecon and Merthyr Railway, now open to Newport, will for the future supply us almost entirely with Usk salmon.—Yours obediently, J. R. COBB. Brecon, Nov. 4th, 1868. Printed and published for the Proprietors by HENRY CLARK, at the 19 Brecon County Times" office, Church-street, in the chapelry of St. Mary, and borough of Brecon.-SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7, lobe.