'Newport First Stop' - 100 Years of News Stories
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[ 1800 - 29 ] [ 1830 - 39 ] [ 1840 - 49 ] [ 1850 - 59 ] [ 1860 - 69 ] [ 1870 - 79 ] [ 1880 - 89 ] [ 1890 - 99 ]
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Newport Past
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Merlin. 5th March, 1859
Brothel Robbery

A man named Hoyland, who describes himself as a travelling cutler from Sheffield, has given information to the police that he was robbed in a brothel in Friar's Fields on Thursday night of about £3.

Merlin. 9th April, 1859
Refusal to Work

William Roberts an inmate of the Union Workhouse was charged with refusing to work when required by the master, and also with inciting others to follow his example. He had been previously convicted for disorderly conduct and vagrancy, and was sentenced to 28 days hard labour at Usk.

Merlin. 21st May, 1859
Elevation by Her Majesty

Lord Tredegar was presented to Her Majesty at the Drawing Room on 11th inst., upon his elevation to the peerage, by the Duke of Beaufort.

Merlin. 2nd July, 1859
Alleged Surgical Neglect

An inquest was held at the Handpost Inn, Stow Hill, on Thursday, on the body of Hannah Jenkins, a married woman. Ann Rees deposed that she was a neighbour of the deceased. On the night of the 27th ult., hearing she was ill, she went to her and found her in bed. She sent deceased's son for a surgeon, Mr. Hawkins, but the boy came back and said Mr. Hawkins could not come. The witness then sent for Mr. Woollett but that gentleman said he would not come unless he got a "note". Witness then went to Mr. Woollett herself but he confirmed he would not come without a note. Witness said no note was required as the sick person could well afford to pay. When witness returned she found the woman was dead of a haemorrhage.

The following verdict was returned - "That the deceased died from internal haemorrhage, but the jury blamed Mr. Hawkins for not attending when called upon."

Merlin. 30th July, 1859


I would respectfully suggest that through the medium of your paper to those persons who are in the habit of keeping dogs that by frequently washing them it has a tendency to prevent madness as the following illustration will show.

Some few years since a friend of mine had a valuable dog which was bitten by another dog in a rabid state. The dog so bitten was immediately muzzled and quickly conveyed to the water side whereby frequent washings the dog was completely cured; no symptoms of hydrophobia appearing and the dog survived for some years afterwards.

I am sirs your obedient servant.


N.G. 9th August, 1859
The Newport Murder

The Court opened at nine o'clock and was densely crowded in every part by spectators anxious to hear the trial of the murderer and to get a sight of him. A great number of ladies occupied the gallery and the benches, and on either side of the Judge there was also a sprinkling of the softer sex.

Matthew Francis 26, tailor and haulier, was placed at the bar charged with the wilful murder of his wife Sarah Francis at Newport on the 12th March, last. A long statement was made by the prisoner in which he admitted cutting his wife's throat with a razor before witnesses. The defence turned on the fact that the accused was very much in love with his wife, and that he had no intention of taking her life, but was provoked by the lashing of her tongue, and that therefore there was no malice aforethought. The Learned Counsel then proceeded to lay down the law relating to murder, when His Lordship interposed and said that no provocation could justify the use of such a weapon as a razor, unless the provocation was by blows, or some personal violence used by the person upon whom the murder was perpetrated.

The jury retired, and shortly after returned to find the prisoner guilty of Wilful Murder. The Judge put on the black cap and after admonishing the prisoner, and charging him to look to the saving of his soul during the short time he had left in this world, pronounced the sentence of death by hanging. The prisoner ejaculated something on being removed which we understood to be, "I deserve it; I killed her."

N.G. 13th August, 1859
Matthew Francis

The friends of the condemned man had an interview with him on Monday last in the presence of the officers of the gaol. The unhappy man has made several attempts to destroy himself, and thus deprive the Law of its victim - once by suffocation. He now acknowledges his sentence to be just, and is considered to be now in a proper frame of mind to meet his doom."

N.G. 27th August, 1859
The Execution of Francis

In front of Monmouth Gaol at nine o'clock on Tuesday morning, the fog was so dense that the gallows could not be seen except at a very near distance. The roadway to the Gaol was thronged with a crowd on the whole consisting of young men from the collieries in the Forest of Dean. There was also a large number of women present, with infants in their arms. The frivolous behaviour, the jests of the men, and thoughtless noise of the children, were exceedingly at variance with the appearance of the unfortunate man, dangling before them in the convulsive agonies of death, as a puppet to amuse their morbid fancies.

The prison bell having tolled for a short time Francis appeared on the scaffold dressed in a round jacket and light coloured trousers, supported between turnkeys, Carter and Williams. He appeared utterly exhausted, mentally and bodily. The executioner, Coalcraft, having put a white cap on the criminal's head, and adjusted the rope, Francis clenched his hands as if in prayer, the bolt was withdrawn, and at the same moment his hands fell to his side, he shuddered convulsively about for five minutes, and all was over. The sun broke out, but the poor man was ever blind to its rays. The body after hanging for about three quarters of an hour, was then cut down by the executioner and was buried within the Gaol at two o'clock.

N.G. 28th August, 1859
Cricket Match

Newport Commercial Cricket Club played their first match on Friday last, between twelve married and twelve single gentlemen. The married were victorious, having at the conclusion seven wickets to go down. Considering that this is their first season, we think they have made good progress and the unmarried were singularly unfortunate in their batting, but their fielding was admirable. The bowling on both sides was very effective, thirteen wickets having been taken by the married bowlers, and ten by the single bowlers.

N.G. 10th September, 1859
Death of Mr. Brunel

Isambard Kingdom Brunel is no more. He died in London last week and we have only recently heard of his decease. Newport has indeed to be grateful to this outstanding engineer who did so much for the railways in our area. We consider the Clifton Suspension Bridge to be one of his greatest achievements and which is shortly to be completed.

N.G. 10th September, 1859
Deception at Newport

On Monday evening last, the inhabitants of Newport were stirred, in consequence of an announcement having been extensively placarded about the town for some days previously, that a monster "balloon ascent" would take place by Professor Laurent.

This was the great object which drew together the thousands of persons who assembled at the Cattle Market. The placards further announced that there would be a grant fete and gala; that the celebrated company would enter the town in procession at one o'clock, with Professor Laurent in the car of his balloon, headed by their famous brass band.

We may at once state that the whole affair was a gross delusion. Instead of the procession entering the town at one o'clock the company made no appearance until nearly four, when a wretched turn-out drove through the streets to the Cattle Market. After their arrival, the preparations for their performance had to be made, and the people who had been admitted had to patiently wait before the entertainments began. Two hideous looking men and a juvenile, with blackened faces, then ascended the platform, and it was at once apparent that the men were far gone in liquor, being incapable of performing any part of the programme which had been allotted to them. Their attempt at singing was odious, and their language obscene and disgusting. Singing by other parties followed, and a foot race for a tinsel pencil case took place, and about half a dozen rockets were discharged. The Royal Wizard was not seen, nor were the effects of his prescience visible, and the Professor's balloon had deflated to the size of a pumpkin.

The crowd became visibly angry and commenced sacking of the scenery and the property. The "bobbing and dipping" was of a different kind promised in the bills, and the performance was limited to the members of the company in endeavouring to escape the hustling of the enraged spectators, when on the second appearance of the celebrated "Buffo Troupe", they were unceremoniously driven from the stage by a party of "roughs", who perhaps were more keenly alive to the value of the sixpences which they had paid for admission than their neighbours in broadcloth and muslin, who wandered about, unable to conceal their disgust at the whole exhibition. Gaining possession of the stage, the chairs were overturned, the canvas awning and scenery torn down, ~and the lamps extinguished. An attack was made on the man who had taken the money, by a party who demanded the return of their sixpences; after being well shook, he was rescued by his confreres who made their escape and took shelter in the White Hart near the Market. They were followed by a crowd into the back room, and the fear of violence returned. The Police here intervened and afforded protection.

N.G. 5th November, 1859 Letter to the Editor
The Russian Gun


On reading your journal of 29th ult, the principal subject of discussion of the St. Woolos Burial Board was the placing of this war trophy in the cemetery. Those members of the Board who so strenuously oppose such a proceeding, as well as the Chairman's remarks, fully coincided with the sentiments of the numerous body of ratepayers, who have relatives or friends interred therein, and who are at a loss to form the least idea how such a thought could float across the minds of any member of the Town Council to make such a proposition.

Was the Cemetery private property the case would be otherwise; the gun alluded to they might place among the graves of their relatives or friends, indicating destruction to resurrectionists.

I remain yours etc., P.S.

N.G. 12th November, 1859
The Fifth of November

The annual celebration of the discovery of the 'Popish Plot', took place on Saturday night. The affair has now come to be discovered as an annual nuisance, and it is a reproach to the authorities that the thickly-peopled streets of a town like Newport, should be given up to the unrestrained proceedings of a rabble. We believe no one would regret it if the "strong arm of the law" was exerted for the prevention of its recurrence.

Merlin. 3rd December, 1859
The Mysterious Telescope

The Proprietress of the "Mysterious Telescope", Mary Allart, was fined five shillings, having been found drunk and incapable at midnight in Commercial Street. The defendant, who terms herself "Madame", occupies a room in that street. She has, she says, just arrived from Paris for a short time only, with the Mysterious Telescope by which persons may see the likeness of their future partners in life. The Magistrates cautioned her that the continued practice of such deception would render her liable to three months imprisonment, and that they would certainly convict her as a vagabond.

N.G. 24th December, 1859
No Work in the Frost

'I've got no work to do' has been the cry of many unfortunate labourers at the docks and wharves. The prevalence of easterly winds prevented many ships from entering the port, and on Tuesday last a few were left in the harbour. However, with the break-up of the frost, a large fleet came up river and consequently has given a slight impetus to trade. Many of the working men will thus, by a few days work, be able, we trust, to provide a few of the good things so temptingly offered to their notice at this season of the year.

N.G. 24th December, 1859
Distribution of Soup

The recent inclement weather has rendered all the more seasonable and welcome, the laudable efforts of H. Phillips Esq., to provide a supply of excellent soup for gratuitous distribution among the poor.

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'Newport First Stop' - 100 Years of News Stories
[ Contents ] [ Acknowledgements ] [ Preface ] [ Postscript ] [ Chronology ]
[ 1800 - 29 ] [ 1830 - 39 ] [ 1840 - 49 ] [ 1850 - 59 ] [ 1860 - 69 ] [ 1870 - 79 ] [ 1880 - 89 ] [ 1890 - 99 ]
[ 1850 ] [ 1851 ] [ 1852 ] [ 1853 ] [ 1854 ] [ 1855 ] [ 1856 ] [ 1857 ] [ 1858 ] [ 1859 ]

Newport Past
[ Picture Gallery ] [Home Page ]