GWENT LOCAL HISTORY COUNCIL President: RICHARD HANBURY TENISON Chairman: Miss M. L. GIBBENS, A.L.A. Secretary: ARTHUR DAVIES 8 Pentonville, Newport, Gwent Editor: MRS. E. JANE PEARSON 1 Ashfield Cottages, Chepstow, NP6 5DU GWENT LOCAL HISTORY Formerly "Presenting Monmouthshire" No. 49 Autumn 1980 EDITORIAL This autumn we have an interesting selection of articles in which the themes are people and buildings. Henry Marten, that "fierie" republican who died 300 years ago this September, having distinguished himself nationally by signing Charles I's death warrant, and locally by being imprisoned in Chepstow Castle for twelve years, contrasts with the pious Victorian lady, Elizabeth Harcourt Mitchell, who lived in Llan- frechfa dividing her time between the local poor, the church, the Antiquarian Society and writing children's books. After reading of the very small size of the cottages at Devauden and Chepstow as described in Chris Powell's article "Endangered Species", the fact that these were actually superior to many rural cottages is most surprising. However, the desertion of dwellings in Upper Cwmyoy between 1850 and 1978 was apparently due much more to the economic policies of local land- owners in amalgamating smallholdings than to the size and dilapidation of the cottages. The second part of the history of Friends Meeting Houses in Monmouthshire takes us to Trosnant, Shirenewton, and Llanvihangel-Ystern-Llewern, and then describes how Quakers treat death with the same unworldliness as they regard life. As a change from buildings, in the current article of her series on the history of Caerleon, Eija Kennerley considers the iron and tinplate industry at Caerleon and Ponthir from the late 17th century through its heyday in the 18th century, and into the 19th. Following the article published in the last issue (no. 48) on "Mon- mouthshire and the Welsh Language Censuses, 1901-1971", readers may like to have their attention drawn again to the publication by Griffith John Williams of "The Welsh Tradition of Gwent" (published by Plaid Cymru). This was originally a lecture delivered at the Ebbw Vale National Eisteddfod in 1958 and it demonstrates that "Monmouthshire has always been an essential part of Wales" and "has played an honourable part in the literary and cultural life of the Welsh nation". If readers have any comments on this, the Editorial Board would be pleased to receive them. JANE PEARSON