Welsh Journals

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she heard Harry Watkins swear 'God damme that he would take his gun and shoot ye officers' but his wife 'reproved him and hindered him'. She could not, however, stop him going out and joining the rioters. Elizabeth Phillips, a spinster also from the town, claimed that she had seen Joseph Lewis the butcher with a cleaver in his hand and thought that he would have hurled it at one of the officers if his daughter had not hindered him. She must have then lost sight of him for several other witnesses swore that he did throw it. The crowd followed the soldiers for up to half-a-mile out of the town, constantly harassing them. The situation became so dangerous and menacing that the soldiers feared that they and the constables caught up in the press of the crowd would be killed. For the second time in a day the officers opened fire but they could not prevent Powle from being freed again. Being so heavily outnumbered, they made no attempt to recapture him but immediately fled to Captain John Dutton Colt's house about five miles out of Abergavenny. They were joined by the chief constable of the hundred who lived in Abergavenny and some of the petty constables 'much frightened and pale as death'. Dutton Colt immediately granted a warrant to apprehend the rioters. He also issued a warrant for a meeting to be held with the chief constable and the petty constables at the Angel in Abergavenny at nine o'clock the next morning. He was anxious to take the statements of the soldiers and constables and other witnesses while the incidents were still fresh in their minds. He hoped that by doing so, he could start issuing warrants for the arrest of named rioters as soon as he possibly could. He wrote to the other justices of the peace in Abergavenny, Mr Gunter, Mr Price, Mr Gwinne and Mr Floyer to notify them of his warrant and to ask for their assistance. He had the letters delivered by the chief constable but his plea for assistance fell on deaf ears. Dutton Colt supposed that 'their occasions would not permit them' to attend or else politely suggested that they 'were not at home'. James Gunter may have thought that he had already done enough in rescuing the soldiers from the Angel and taking them to the mayor's lodgings. His non-appearance may have had deeper, underlying reasons than Dutton Colt thought. He was unlikely to have been put off by the intensity of the riot. He had grown up in a family where his father, like many other men of his status at the time, had not been averse to resorting to violence. Just under twenty years before, in 1687, Ambrose Scudamore claimed he had narrowly escaped from being murdered in Abergavenny when he had been insulted by one of the young Gunter family. This was probably James's brother Robert. The young Gunter boy refused to fight but, later, his father and a group of men came out of a dark alley with knives and attacked Scudamore leaving him in fear of his life. Dutton Colt was dismayed but undeterred by the lack of support. He went to the Angel, taking the officers with him. He examined the matter as best he could and