Skip to main content

Welsh Newspapers

Search 15 million Welsh newspaper articles

Hide Articles List

7 articles on this Page




MONTGOMERYSHIRE ASSIZE, TRIAL FOR MURDER. WILMAM CMJMATT, labourer, aged", bdin at Trefeglwys, Montgomeryshire, was arraigned on the charge of having feloniously, wilfully, and maliciously administered to Elizabeth Davies, a quantity of Arsenic and Blue-stone, With intentto. poison and murder her. A fter the case had been stated by the Attorney- Ceneral, the prosecutrix, Elizabeth Davies, de- posed as follows :— I lived at Maesgwailod, in the parish of Tre- f<-glwys, in June last, and have known the pri- soner two-yeais last October. I have a female child by him, .2 years old 'at! next Llanidloes wakes. Prisoner paid me for the support of the child notillast March rair tit Llanidloes. When he refused to pay, I went to the Parish Officers, who ordered me to swear the child, which I did before G, Meares and J. Brown, Fsqrs, IVIagis- trates. Prisoner has not since visited me until six weeks ago, when he came and called me up at about 13 o'clock, atmidnight, at Maesgwailod, where I live with my mother. Before he came into the house, lie asked me liow the little: girl and I were ? I aski-d him what he wanted at that hour I He answered that he clime to get consent to g'Ïvt> out the banns that We may he married. I replied that I was not unwilling if he 'told me the truth. I tllPn let him into the house; We went into my nwm and sat upon the bed..While sitting there, the prisoner took a cake out of his pocket and told ine to-give it to the little girl, but to let nobody see the cake. I took the cake otit of his hand and put it on the cupboard. He drew from his pocket H or 7 cherries wraptil1 paper, and told tneto give them to the little girl, and h?t"nobody see them; I took the cherries and placed them on tlif ikipboard with fhe ca'ktl,. After he had given me the cake and cherries, I asked him for the money which he owed me for keeping the girt? He said he-would come next Friday nisrilt with the. money, that the banris might be put out on the following Sunday. He told ille. to get np whPlll heard Iiiin next Friday iii ht. lie then went away. When I rose npxt morning about 6 or 7 1 looked at the cherries and the cake they were iu the saine state.and place as I put them overniglijt in the. clipboard in my bed-room. Nobody slept in my room except my child nobody had been in my room after I had received the cake and cherries.. T looked at the cherries first there was some- thing white upon the cherries, and I put my tongue to one of i in-fn and it tasted very nauseous, like a if sally very bad indeed. The white upon the cherries looked 1ikpllour. I then exa- mined the cake it was like a butter-cake sweet, and as large as the palm of my hand it appeared as if it had been wet with something I put my tongue to it as I did I-, the I took a knife and pared off the top it looked wet through I puttnv tongue to the inside again it tasted salty. I did not examine the cake or c!ierrit-s itiiv ni!)i-(- I buried them in the mixed, immediately. I did not give anv to the child. flu the Friday night ttit- prisoner came t,) lit) house ahi'ut 11 o'clock; I was in bed; whert he called I up. dressed myself, and went out to him. lie asked me immediately how tli, little girl was? t told him she was very well. He asked ine to go into the house. I refused to ittlow him to go ill. He said he woul,) go in. I opened the door and we went in. It was not moonlight. My uncle, John OWPII, lives at mv mother'* he s'ept in another chamber near the house-door, oil the Iollnd-tloor; my chamber is also upon the ground-floor. My iiitrie Was in bed when we wtut into the house on fheSaturday night before alluded to, and he was also at home on this (Friday) night. There are.only two ,.chambers one oil each side the kitchen", My mother sleeps with me when she is at home;, but on these nights she was nursing an Glan- v:afoii.Oi) the Saturday my uuele's chamber door was open, and I saw him, while prisoner was in 'the house, sitting up in itis bed as I was coming ,I into the house I also saw him go to bed on the. Friday, about II o'clock, before the prisoner ;tlile. After llrÎsoner and r want into the house, 'he said'he 'would go to the village and have the banns put tip. I told him I was not unwilling, ,if he told me tl-.v truth-. After a little talk about tnarrymg, I asked if he was fend of the little girl ? Me answered, Yes. I said I thought he was not.' He asked what sign I saw of it ? I srtid that I bad sufficient sign. Prisoner again asked me what sign I had seoij ? I said I would not tell it to any body. He pressed me to tell him what I had seen and then I asked him what .he had put on the cake and cherries for the little girl? He asked me what I had seen upon them; I said I had not seen much upon them, but I never tasted any thing*)!' such a taste. He answered, surely nobody has put any thing upon the cake for me? I said there was something on them I did not like to give them to the little girl, so I threw them away. He said, l will take my oath there was no more upon it than is upon this cake which I have now in my hand. "Prisollr had a cake in his hand which he then palled out of his pocket and broke me a piece of, and told me to put it In'my mouth. I took it and put it in my mouth, and spit it out very quietly I could not eat it. He was pretending to eat some before he gave it to me. I could not tell whether he eat it or not; he then gave-me the rest of the cake, and told me to eat it at that "time, I sivid I w"Fl not have it, he pressed me hard to take it. I took it and put it into the box, he said don't put it -there or the cat #tll get it; I replied i would eat it pre- sently. He said perhaps you will not rely upon jt to eat it; you see I have eaten a bit of it my- self. He afterwards went away having been with me half an hour. He said he wouid come to the house early from the village after he had put the banns next day but he did not come. I left the cake in the box till morning, and then found it in the same place and state. No person had been In the roomiiU the mean time. On examining the cake, there was something blue upon it. Priso- ner had broken it, and I observed something white in the„middie of it. I did not eat any. There was nothing except within side where he had pinched some of it off the surface before he save it me. I saw him do something with the cake, but could not tell what. The cake had been broke as if by the hand. I saw nothing in the part where it was bitten. I locked it up. I shewed it on Monday morning to my aunt and two tailors who were in the house. I took it to shew to Mrs. Bennett, of Glanrafoii, were my mother was nurs- ing the child. I also took it to Mr. David Evans, doctor, at Llanidloes, and left it with him. I am 25 years old, not married. .1 Cross-examined by Mr. TFIAPLE.-I reared my fchild at home, and worked at spinning and knit- ting to support myself. I was out of service from before the birth of the child, and not an hired servant for 8 years lust May. I work at harvest. I get spinning from the country people; Icannot tell how much I have earned during the last 2 years. I cannot do much on account of the child. I have received more than 20s. within the last 2 yenrs. I have received a good deal from Mrs. Bennett, but nothing from the parish. Probably my mother assisted me. (had received Is. (id. per week for the child. Prisoner came to see me after the child was born, but not so often as be- fore. Wo continued friends. I never went after him except three times for money. Prisoner lived at Cefu rennarth with Edward Edwards. I was not iu the habit of going to woods or hedges to meet him. He used to come to our house on Sun- days to pay; often early, some times late. I let him in on Sunday, and we weutiulo the bed-room. X saw my uncle sitting up iu bed, his tutor beuier open; it was only moon light. Uncle saw us eome into the house, but not to go into the ber. Prisoner staid three quarters of an hour; I had my petticoat and shift on. My uncle slept in the house, and had his meals abroad at his work. He did not steel) in the house every night; he is a married man, his wife lives with me at my mother's my aunt and myself had our meals to- gether. I did not tell her about the cake and cherries. I did not tell any body about them till Monday. On the nights of Saturday and Friday the prisoner promised to put up the banns on the succeeding Sunday. I did not hear on the Mon- day whether they had or had not been published. I now know they were not published. I partly knew on Monday night that they had not been put up. I went to Mrs. Bennett, of Glanrafon, about 2 o'clock on Monday, and did not inquire about the banns. I did not believe, on Monday morning that the banns had been put up. I do not know where prisoner could make a cake. I was afraid to swallow any ofit. Prisoner pretended to eat some of it he put something into his mouth and afterwards said, perhaps you will not credit or venture to eat this cake,, hut see I have eateif some of it to shew you there is nothing upon it." I put my tongue to it; I known not thatar.,enic is put in bread or flour to poison rats I did not know at the time that I was in the family way. I know Mary Jones, and had heard that prisoner was going to be married to her before May. Did not hear since May that the prisoner was to be married to Mary Jones. Never quarrelled with Mary Jones about going to be married to the prisoner. Recollect a Methodist Association at Llanidloes. Never said that she (inliii-y J'oiit!s) I should never be married, to the prisoner. Did not scold Mary Jones about being married, but aid," why did you prevent the falhar ofmy child from brining my money ?" I told the prisoner that he was at liberty to go to her for I did not want him. I consented to have the-prisoner vvheii he told me he did not intend to have Mary Jones. Hèalways denied going after Mary Jones when I charged him about it. Jlr Evans. Surgeon & Apothecary, of Llanid- loes, was called, and staled tiiat lie ww the pre- ceding'witness in July last, and she had a hand- kerchief with some white bread. She bit it for my examination. I found it contained sulphate of copper. 1 believe there was something else, but I cannot swear what. I am not a chemist. I showed it to Mr. Jervis, of Llanidloes. Icon. sider him the best chemist. Sulphate of copper appeared TO hltve been inserted subsequently to the Cake being made. It appealed as if i loafhad. been broken open, and sulphate of copper put within side. I put the loaf up in the handker- chief again, and took it up, according to her re- quest, to the Magistrates Clerk, Mr. Edward Lewis. Cross-examined by Mr. TEMPLE.-—1 left the bread with Mr. Lewis, and cannot tell what was done with it. I believe it was the same bread that is now produced. The sulphate of copper is very nauseous, and its natural effect is to pro- duce violent vomiting. It generally acts as an emetic. [Witness here produced the bread, with the exception ora portion which had been given to Mr. Blunt, chemist of Shrewsbury, and Mr. Jervis, to analyse.] Mr. Richard Jervis. Surgeon, Llanidloes, re- collects accompanying the last witness to Mr. Edwd. Lewis's, to examine some bread, and saw Elizabeth Davies there. T observed portions of sulphate of copper, and also the appearance of some other deleterious substances. I next morn- ing received some of the bread from Mr. D: Evans, and analysed it in his presence, and in the pre- sence of Mr. Owen, Surgeon. Sulphate of cop- I per was apparent. I submitted it to several tests, ad found that it contained white arsenic besides sulphate of copper. Stilpha-te of copper is ti ,I)oi,oii but its effects depend upon thg quantity, and the st-ite of tito constitution. I am not posi- tive 'that the quantity was sufficient to cau-gti, death. Cross-examined by Mr. TFmpir,Whe-n saw the bi-ead I observed sulphate copper, but was notcertain ofthe arsenic, which could not be -discovered, without a niee examination. Arsenic -is a poison, but it depends upon quantity it is sometimes given as a medicine. Sulphate of cop- per is frequently given as all it produces violent retching and sickness, and may produce. abortion. If arsenic and sulphate ofcopper were taken tog-ether, the arsenic would he emitted from the stoinath if the vomiting should be violent and continued, it may produce other bad conse- quences, but would naturally relieve the stotylactli from the arsenic. The poison appeared to have been mixed when the bread was very new, and then pressed together. Mr. Thomas Blunt, Chemist, of Shrewsbury, examined.-I live with my father 1 have been eight years a chemist, and my father has been a chemist forty years. I analysed soine bread which I received from Mr, Davies, and found it contain- ed sulphate of copper and white arsenic. I have reduced them to their metallic stales. I do, not; suppose there was a considerable quantity in the bread. John Owen, uncle to Elizabeth Davies, lives in the same house with her and her ntplher at Maes- gwailod. Recollects the prisoner with Elizabeth J Davies in June last, and many times on Sunday J nights. A month or five weeks ago, almost Id O'clock at niglrt, I was in bed at home, aiiii heard a knocking some time before the pi-isoiiei- came in. I got up to the chamber-window and saw him. I saw him come in, and after I went back to bed I rose to see who he was. It was a fine night. I was also at home on the Friday following, and heard somebody knock tilitillight, about the begin- ning of the night, but did not see who it-was. Thomas Edwards, son ofMr. Edwards, farmer, of Cefn-penuarth, deposed that the prisoner lived with witness's father. On July 7th, witness slept in the some room as prisoner. Witness went to bed about 10 or 11 o'clock, but did not See or hear prisoner during Sunday night; saw him next morning about-6 or 7 o'clock, when prisoner said he was going to Llanidloes next Friday. Witness went to bed on Friday night about W, hut (11(i not see prisoner or hear of him got up about 6 next morning; prisoner had not been in bed, but witness saw him in the field molding potatoes. Elisabeth Owen, aunt to the young woman, and William Williams, a tailor, corroborated parts of the.precading evidence.—This closed the case for tile pi-osecotioii. On the part of the prisoner, several witnesses were called ip support of his character.—Mr. TKM PLE, on his behal f, "made an ingenious ad- dress, in which he contended that the case could not go to the Jury, because "theàdministering" of the alleged poison hnd not been proved agree- ably to the letter of Lord EUenborough's Act, on which the bill was fouuded; I:> The JUDGE, in reply, said, that if the Jury found a verdict of Guilty, the case should stand over for the opinion of the 12 Judges. His Lord- ship then recapitulated the evidence, which.oc- cupied nearly two hours; and the Jury, after consulting upwards of half an hour, pronounced the verdict-Gui],TV Mr. Justice JERVIS earnestly addressed the prisoner (by a Welsh Interpreter), saying' that the point noticed by his able Counsel should be referred to the consideration of the la Judges; but he implored the prisoner not to rely with strong .¡ hope upon their determination, as his Lonisiiip was fearful it would not be in the prisoner's fa- vour. He was afraid there was no hope for the l prisoner ou-this side the grave. Let him there- fore make the best use of the now allotted him to 111ake ,his ,peace with his God, and to pre- pare for another w.ot-id.-At the conclusion ot the sentence the prisoner was much affected. This trial lasted nearly 12 hours.


[No title]

[No title]