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PENCOED FARMER'S WILL AMUSING COUNTY COURT CASE AT BRIDGEND. TROUBLESOME WITNESSES. An amusing case was heard at Bridgend County Court yesterday, before His Honour Judge Gwilym Williams, the plaintiff being Mrs. Elizabeth Mary Davies, who claimed 99 46. 6d. from Mrs. Mary Preston, the adminis- tratrix of the estate of the late Thomas Williams, a Pencoed farmer. Mr. E. T. David (Bridgend) appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. H. J. Randall, junr., for the defendant. Mr. David said the plaintiff was a. neigh- bour of the deceased1 man, and had been nen- gaged by him to keep house for him, and to do his washing. He agreed to pay her 6d. a day, but she had never received anything, and the amount of £9 4s. 6d'. was now due. Plaintiff gave evidence in support of her solicitor's statement. Thomas Williams was an old man. and had kept a little farm, but he lived by himself. He engaged her to do his housework, and she used to wash clothes for him, and do "many thinms about the house every day." The old man did not give her anything, and it was not until some time after his death that she sent in a claim, having seen an advertisement in the "Gila- morgan Gazette" that all bills should be sent to Mrs. Preston, who was deceased's niece. Deceased had agreed to pay her 6d. a day, in the presence of Thomas David and Margaret David. Mr. Randall: Were you a great friend of the deceased' r Witness Yes, sir. Did you not make a will for the old gentle- man ?—Yes, he told me to do it on the night of his death. I thought so. That will was entirely in your favour, was it not ?—No, sir. It had nothing to do with me. It was for his step- son, sir. I wasn't in it. Who is his step-son?—Thomas David. Do you swear that you did not benefit at all under the will which you made ?—Yes, sir. As a matter of fact that will was no good on account of its not being properly wit- nessed?—Yes, sir. It was not signed pro- perly, and the doctor said he was not in his right senses when he made it. (Laughter.) His Honour Dear me. Witness: Yes, sir; the will was made in the night, and dIe died at a Quarter to ten. His Honour Yes, but we won't go into that matter now. You are funny people at Pen- coed. (Laughter.) Replying: to Mr. Randall, witness said that Thomas Williams paid her nothing during the whole of the time that she worked for him. Did you not demand payment during the whole time?—No, sir. The old man was very funny, the same as everybody else I suppose. (Laughter.) Why did you leave matters eo on in that way?-Because I loved the old man as if he j was my own father, and there was nobody to do anything for him. His niece never came there once in two years to see whether he was getting food or drink. She didn't care. His Honour: Were you living with him al- together ? -Yes. sir. But I left him for a few weeks, and I said I wouldn't go back un- less he paid me. and! he said he would pay me 6d. a day. In reply to further questions, she said the man was 76 years of ace, and was blind. She denied that Enoch Williams had been living with him for many months, and a neighbour known as Mrs. Watkins had not been doing much for the old man. Mrsi. Watkins's children did not help him, either, and they were sent off the premises once for breaking all the crockery in the house and a 1 chest of drawers. His Honour: Dreadful'. (Laughter.) Proceeding, witness said one of the neigh- bours had been sent off the premises by the old man for telling lies. (Laughter.) She (witness) was "the only person in the district who did anything worth talking about for the old man." She denied that she ever bor- rowed money from him, but another neigh- bour did. Mr. Randall: Did you not have E4 or C5 after his death?—Me! No, I didn't. Didn't know he had it. (Laughter.) Mrs. Preston said she had E6 or E7, and that she sewed them up in a bag. You had a couch ?—Yes, but there were no legs to it—(lanugher)—and it is in the yard now, and Mrs. Preston can have it. But if it came to that it didn't belong to the old gentleman. Margaret Davies, who described herself as "mother-in-law of the plaintiff and! the wife. of the deceased's step-on," spoke to the ar- rangement made that plaintiff should be paid 6d. a day. Mr. Randall: Do you know anything about the will the plaintiff prepared?—That isn't our business here to-day. We are here about the money and that's all. But you surely know something about it — It isn't our business here; I know nothing about it. His Honour: There's a lot of talk for no- thing. You should say "No." Witness (indignantly): Very well, Mr. Williams; no. His Honour There now; you need not go att the rate of 20 miles an hour over it. (Laughter.) Witness: He (Mr. Randall) shouldn't ask such questions, sir. His Honour: It is your business to answer questions. Mr. Randall: Do you know that a will was made?—I know nothing. His Honour: Then you had better get out of the box ao-ain if your knowledge of affairs is so limited. (Laughter.) Mr. Randall: Do you know that you would benefit under the will?—No, I know nothing about it. We must keep to the subject be- fore us. (Laughter.) His Honour: Answer the question. Your feathera are getting up finely. (Laughter.) You evidently didn't like that will. Still, there is no need to get in such a temper over it, you know. Witness: Well, indeed, I know nothing aoouv 1(;. His Honour: Don't ta:1.kt woman. You must know. Witness: I say I don't, your Honour. His Honour Well, I don't believe you. Witness: Then, of course, you must do the other thing, sir. His Honour (sharply): Yes. Do you mean to say that a matter of this kind', which has no doubt been creating such a big sensation in a little place like Pencoed, didn't reach your ears? I guarantee there is not a per- son there who is ignorant of the affair, and you ought to know. Witness (to Mr. Randall): Do you think it much to pay 6d. for washing and cleaning P I have done a lot for the old gentleman my- self; many loadls of food nave I carried in there mystelf. His Honour: And you are not in the will after all! (Laughter.) That's an awful in- justice. Dear me, there's no justice in this old world. (Renewed laughter.) Witness: I didn't know anything about it then. I used to call and see the old man every day. I never saw Mrs. Preston there though. Mrs. Preston made a remark which was quite inaudible, and the witness said heatedly "1. can talk with you, so there. I know something about you, and I can talk- His Honour: I should just think you can. (Laughter.) Thomas Davies was then called, and he said he was the husband of the last witness. His Honour: Then you must be a happy man. (Laughter.) Witness spoke to the arrangement made. He admitted! that he was "mentioned on the bit of paper called a will," which was read in the vestry after the old man's funeral. All the property was left to him, but the will wasn't valid. His Honour: It wouldn't hold water, you mean. (Laughter.) Witness: I don't know whether it would hold water, sir. (Renewed laughter.) Mr. Randall: At any rate, you got nothing out of it?-No, sir. You didn't attempt to prove it at Llandaff ? —No, sir. And it was after you found it was invalid that this claim was put in P- Yes, sir; and she ought to be paid for her labour. Mrs. Preston again interposed, and the Judge remarked that if she did not keep quiet she would have to go for a walk into the fresh air. (Laughter.) For the defence, Mr. Randall contended that there was no agreement, and the service was not continuous. John Watkins, a Pencoed collier, and a next-door neighbour of the plaintiff, and who attended to the old man's correspondence, declared that plaintiff only went to deceased's house "when she wanted something, especi- ally for meals." She did not go there every day; in fact, the Davieses were the biggest enemies that the old man had, and they were always quarrelling. "Plaintiff oughn't, in my opinion, to have anything," he added; "she's had enough out of it already.' His Honour: Really. (Laughter.) Witness: Quite so, and I am not ashamed to tell you all about the shillings and two shillings she used to get and borrow and never pay back. His Honour: Never half-crowns., I suppose. Witness: No, sir; not so large sums as that. In further evidence, he said he did not know how deceased made his money. He had a lot of money. His Honour Where did it come from ? He didn't bring it with him when he was born, and he didn't take it jvith him when he died. (Laughter.) Mr. David: Now, Mr. Williams Witness: Please, my name's not Williams. (Laughter.) It's Watkins. His Honour: It does not matter. Wat- kins is just as good as Williams, you know. (Laughter.) Witness: Oh, no. sir; Williams is by far the best.. (Renewed laughter.) Yes, indeed. Witness, in reply to Mr. David, said plain- tiff used to help with the farm work, but not much. Mrs. Preston said her uncle complained to her on one occasion that plaintiff hadn't been near the house for a fortnight. Mr. David: She was ill then. Witness: She was not ill. I heard her singing on the common. His Honour: That's not a sign. Swans sing when they are dying, you know. (Laugh- ter.) Witness added that all the neighbours had been kind. His Honour held that plaintiff was entitled to succeed on the evidence of Mrs. Preston, who appeared to be the person interested. No intelligent man or woman, whether he or she had a vote of not—(laughter)—could fail to come to the conclusion that the woman was in the habit of going to help the old man. All the people were evidently trying—he would not say unfairly-to pluck the old man, and to get him to contribute towards their comfort. The present claim was not exces- sive, and he allowed it with costs.


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