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HISTORY OF MANORIAL RIGHTS. POLITICAL ADDRESS AT TIRPHIL. Manorial Rights" formed the subject of a very iut resting address delivered by Mr Morgan Hcpkin, Mumbles, Swansea, at the Liberal Club, Ti,hil, on Thursday night, when Mr Robert The nas presided, in the unavoidable absence of Co incillor W Hammond, over a large attendance. In introducing the speaker, Mr Thomas said it wo aid not, be right for him to take up the time by spiking upon a subject which was of such vital imt'orfcanoe to the Liberal Paity in the present cruio. He predicted that Mr Hopkin, like pre v Xj speakers who had taken part in a political prv < X,,1'1'le for the Club during the winter session, wc i.J give them an instructive address. He (Mr TL mas) had been a speaker all his life and would cOhinue to work for Libaralism as long as he lived (hear, hear). It was refreshing to be at tL.se meetings where they learned so much of these great principles which they had at heart. He asked the young men in particular to follow clcsely the subject of that night's address, as it would form a very important factor in the pro- gramme of the Liberal Party in the near future (cheers). Mr Morgan Hopkin, who was loudly applauded on rising said, the subject of Manorial Rights was on) more of political history and which did not savour of party politics. It would be impossible in the: space of time at his command that night, to deal fully with the argument, he therefore, pro- pi-jed to deal with it only from a general stand- point. It would be mor<> interesting, probably, if he could deal with the history of local land owners, such as the Marquess of Bute, Lord Tre- degar, and other estates. They may ask what was Manorial Rights If he talked about it for one Wtjek in all its aspects and technicalities, they would then begin to have some idea of what it was. The custom of Manorial Rights" was introduced ti this country by William the Conqueror, who divided the country into sections and granted tracks of land to those who followed him, such as Barold of Hastings and others. Wales was not cljnquered and would not submit to these rules, but at last North Wales was conquered and the Crown dominated the land under the "Crown I Woods and Forests." The King then gave grants 0: lands to barons of their altegience to him. One of the most important of these barons was Fitz- hammond, who conquered Cardiff and the eastern part of the Severn. In Gower the King sub- jugated the whole of the land and divided it up. Such was the condition of things in the form of a charity. The barons were then told to subjugate tie remainder of the land and to grant manors. The people were to till the soil, and certain com- mon lands were given them to live upon and to rear their own cattle, just sufficient to meet their needs. The people were serfs. After various ages of time monasteries came into existence, and they were granted lands upon which to build a monastery and to cultivate the land. In course of t.me this land reverted back to the King. Even- tually the King appointed a commission for the wale of these lands. It was in this manner that the freehold of the Margam Estate, near Port 1 a.lbot, was sold "by the commission to Sir Edward JMaunsell for < £ 800. To-day Miss Talbot receives "ent of about J»20,000 a year. This condition of i itils prevailed until the turn" of Oliver Crota- 11. Cromwell was a great democrat and he oecided to abolish the manorial rights and create lords of manors as a more democratic institution. For instance, the town where he came from was formerly in the hands of a Steward of the Manor of Swansea, but when they made it a Corporation, that which was formerly controlled by the Earl of Beaufort, Oliver Cromwell had dedicated to the people (hear, hear). When Charles II came to the Throne he established other institutions, amongst them Manorial Rights of private property by the payment of lines. All this meant, generally speaking, that long before the coal was being worked in these valleys it was purely agricultural land, and the farmers were given the lights of grazing on the mountain tops. Sixty to eighty years ago these districts became a great commercial property. When the discovery of these valuable products was made, these people at once levied a toll. Many of those people had never even paid their manorial rights, and even those who had paid had only.paid for herbage, in the same way as the English farmers, This additional wealth in the South Wales coal field was never deposited there by any of the earlier owners, and neither did they ever pay for it. Why then should they receive any benefit for it, or upon what right did they fix a toll upon it ? It was questionable whether any of the people who claimed the royalties for these minerals lived amongst the working men who had toiled hard to produce the coal. More probable they lived at Monte Carlo. The royalties which were now paid should be conserved for the benefit of the toiling people who had to risk their lives to gain it, and not for the individual benefit of those who had neither toiled for or done anything to get the wealth in the land. Referring to the foreshores, he dealt with the Cardiff Docks, and how many years ago the Marshes, which should, and by law, were the Crown lands, had been confiscated- He dealt also with a case near Margam, where the coal had been worked from under the sea, but no royalty had been paid. A case at Gwaencaegurwen, where the miners had to walk for five or six miles to their employment because the Lord of the Manor refused to allow a garden city to be built on the Common, the land which was given to the people and for the people (shame). The people were now awakening to the importance of this gre?*t subject, and he was proud to know that Mr Clem Edwards, the member for the East Glamorgan division was taking a keen interest in the matter. If Parliament appointed a com- mission to enquire into the matter of manorial rights there would be a great awakening amongst the people of the land. He referred to the burlesque of the existing court leets, and added that if the royalties of 6d. and 9d. per ton, which was now paid for the coal to people who claimed it, was devoted to those who toil and moil under- underground, then Wales would be a far more happy country than it was at present (applause). Mr Chas. Collins, in a few brief sentences, moved the following resolution That this meeting, having heard Mr Morgan Hopkins on the subject of manorial rights, are of the opinion that the time has come when the Prime Minister should appoint a Royal Commissoin to inquire into the question which plays so important a part in the lives of the people in the industrial counties of Wales." This was seconded by Mr W. Jones, and carried unanimously. Votes of thanks to the speaker, expressing a wish for a return visit, and also to the Chairman, having been carried, the meeting terminated.
PULPIT AND POLITICS. I Tho recent speech of Mr Thomas Joues, J. P., of Swansea, on vacating the chair at the annual meeting of the South Wales Congregational Association, at Swansea, ,,t.,jt week, in which Mr Jones stated amongst other things that it is injurious to the influence of a minister to enter the arona of party politics, has been the subject of much criticism. BARGOED MINISTER'S VIEWS. I The Rev. D. Leyshon, Evans, C.C., Welsh Congregational minister, Bargoed, and president of the local Liberal Associa- tion, said:—I think that the objection raised by Mr Jones to ministers of religion entering the arena of politics rises from two sources :—From the traditional feeling that the pulpit's proper appeal is to the in- dividual only, and not to this individual as a member of society. To mo such an indi- vidual does not exist. To be born is to come into relations. A man has no ideas, has no feelings, has no life at all which do rot belong to society. If he is to be saved at all he is to be saved as a member of society, and in the relations in which he lives. He cannot be a saved soul and a dis- honest employee, or a harsh, unjust employer. The objections spring also from using the word politics in a secondary and degraded sense. By politics, in the first and best sense, is meant the science and art of government, the regulation of public rela- tions of men within the nation and of the nation within other nations; it is the con- sideration and working out of the best moans of securing the civil end of society as perfect as possible. Now anyone can see how intimately related that must be to questions of character; how it must influ- enco men in a hundred most important ways. For a minister not to touch politics in that sonse would be the disgrace of the minister. The difficulty comes when by lt politics is meant something else, viz., the endeavour to realise the Government through the or- ganisation of parties. In the contests be- tween parties we know that there are many unlovely things, bitterness and acrimony, and of ten mean tricks unworthy of honour- able men are resorted to. The minister, however, must not shirk the object; he has a definite function in the opposite direction —to soften the asperities of men to urge that these contests shall be conducted on honourable principles, and by honourable means.
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MAXIMUM PENALTY FOR MINES' ACT OFFENCE. GILFACH MAN FINED 95. A number of cases of offences against the Mines' Act were heard at New Tre- degar on Saturday, in onA instance tTie maximum penalty being imposed.—Mr W. Kenshole, Aberdare, appeared to prosecute in each instance.—Thomas Thomas, 28, a fitter, of Gilfach, was summonud for having a box of matches in his possession at the Bargoed Colliery. Defendant pleaded guilty. Robert Barry, a fireman, gave evidence that he found a box of matches ia his coat pocket.—Defendant expressed his sorrow, and said he was a non-smoker. He said he had been working on the pit-top for two years. He searched himself on the morning in question. He lit the fire in the house that morning, and had put the box in his pocket instead of on the shelf.—He was fined 25. George Williams, 21, collier, Brithdir, was summoned for having a cigarette in possession on March 6th. When informed of this by the searcher, defendant said he could not explain how it got there. No matches were found upon him.—Fined 40s. William James, 17, collier, Brithdir, was summoned for having part of a cigarette in his possession on March 4ih.-Thomas Cowley, timberman, proved the case.—De- fendant said he did not know how it got there. He was wearing a new waistcoat, which he thought he had thoroughly searched.—Fined 40s. For a similar offence, Aneurin Pritchard, 21, collier, Bargoed, was fined 40s.- Frederick Can.-ion, an official searcher at the colliery, proved the offence.—Defendant could not account for its presence, as he had searched himself before going down the pit.
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NEGLECTED ROADS AT BARGOED, ESTATE OWNERS SUMMONED. At last has the Gelligaer Urban Council taken action in the matter for compelling Estate Owners t;} put their sheets in order. The case was beard at the Bargoed Police Court on Friday, when the owners of the McDonnell Estate appeared as defendants undor the Public Health Act of 1875. Mr Pulleybank (Messrs F James & Sons), who appeared for the Gelligaer Council, said that these were three summonses against the owners of the McDonnell Estate in respect to Baldwin Street, Llancayo St., aud McDonnell Terrace, Bargoed, and he would take the three together. The sum- monses were in respeot of nuisances under the Public Health Act, and was tb",t the streets are an insanitary condition, and the owners had been requested to abate the nuisance by removing all inoffeusive matter and ballasting and metalling the roads. After referring to a judgment of Justice Stephens, as to what constituted a nuisance, Mr Pulleybank said there had been con- siderable correspondence between the Council and the defendants, on the subject, in which the latter had disputed their liability in regard to certain matters with a view to see, it seemed, how easily they could get out of it.—Mr Frank Road, surveyor to the Gelligaer Council, gave evidence as to the state of the streets. In Baldwin street he had found mud six inches deep, and the mud contained various kinds of house refuse, old tins, umbrellas and other refuse, potatos, cabbage leaves and leeks, also pools of water. Llancayo street was as bad or worse, and had to be passed by numbers of children before they could get into school. He bad known of the nuisance for 12 months. The surface of McDonnal terrace was washed away. Mr Richard J Davies, sanitary inspootor, corroborated, and also Dr Dan Thomas, Medical Officer of Health. gt,Mr Cone, who appeared on behalf of the owners, said that be had met the surveyor at the spot and had talked things over with him, and that a communication from the Council had been expected in regard to I certain suggestions made. The owners I were quite prepared to carry out the repairs. il An order was made to abate the nuisance in three months, and to pay ooets.