Welsh Journals

Search over 450 titles and 1.2 million pages

of the deserted mines in Cardiganshire, but in spite of their lordships previous order Sir Richard Pryse and others had destroyed his engines and works and re- fused him turf for making into 'charke' by a method of his own invention. On this occasion the petitioner mentioned that his works at Talybont, Cwmerfin, and Goginan had suffered great damage. He and his agents had been hindered in their tasks of setting up engines for drawing water, while watercourses which made for the ease and benefit of the works had been stopped and dug in. Attached to the petition were the affidavits of Walter Barsbee, 'Saye-master' of His Majesty's Mint in the county of Cardigan, and John Husson who stated that when Richard Newell, who formerly worked the mines, heard that Bushell had bought the lease he hired deponent and others to pull up the pumps, inundate the mines, and stop them up with rubbish.1 The House was in no mood to suffer contempt of the order it had made the previous August, and thereupon sent for Sir Richard Pryse and his servants. On 18 April Sir Richard Pryse, Richard Newell, Thomas Lloyd, James Vaughan, and John Fox were taken into custody and remained so until 6 May when they petitioned the House for their release on bail. Their lordships however had more weighty matters in hand' on that day, and their plea was held over until the morrow when they were released on bail for £ 500 to appear before the Lords on 10 May to answer the complaints submitted by Thomas Bushell. There was a still further delay on that day for the Journals of the House record that on the nth it was decided that the case 'be heard Friday morning next'. When it was finally called on the 13th, both sides were represented by eminent counsel. For the prosecution it was argued that Bushell, being His Majesty's farmer of the mines in Wales, had been disturbed in his possession. Ditches which formed essential water-courses had been thrown down, sheds spoiled, and all destroyed out of envy. After evidence was given by John Edwards that the Order dated 14 August had been served by him upon Sir Richard Pryse at his house, Gogerddan, on Sunday, 17 October, Joseph Exeter affirmed that thereafter the workmen at the mines were threatened, and on Michaelmas Day James Vaughan had thrown rubbish into the works. A letter from Pryse to witness was then read, wherein he was forbidden to work on land belonging to the Gogerddan estate. It was further stated that Sir Richard's servant commanded Exeter and the workmen, in the King's name, to give up working. Walter Basby affirmed that Sir Richard Pryse was about four or five years previously a partner with Bushell but he gave over the work as 'a thing desperate'. Five or six weeks previously Sir Richard had forbidden the workers to cut turf upon the King's common, and denied water to drive the engines at the mines with the result that the works were flooded 'for want of the going of that engine'. This witness further affirmed that as lord of the manor of Llanfihangel Genau'r Glyn Sir Richard Pryse had held court every fortnight-far oftener than was necessary-to draw the miners away from their work. 1 Reports Hist. MSS. Comm., App. 5, p. 16.