Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

12 erthygl ar y dudalen hon







DEATH or SIR JOSJAII JOliN GUEST* BART., M.P. THE inhabitants of Merthyr and Dowlais heard with regret on Friday last. Nov. 26th, that Sir JOlIN GUEST, the Member for the Borough, and Proprietor of the Dowlais Iron Works, had breathed his last at one o'clock, P.M., of that day. And well migbt the announcement fill them with sorrowful sentiments, for the event was one of no ordinary kind. Merthyr is the creation of a few men Dowlais represents the creative genius and commercial enterprise of one man almost alone-that man being Sir JOHN GUEST, who might well have used the celebrated saying of the great Athenian, I know not how to play a fiddle but I do know how to make a small village a great city;" and what THEMISTOCLES did in one case, our late borough Member did in the other. We care not now to weigh motives, or inquire whether all this was not done for his own interest; for the question would emanate from a popular but sterile philosophy, which overlooks the fact that true self love and social are the same and it is well known that the late Baronet was the least selfish of our Iron Kings, and the one who was the most solicitous for the welfare of his dependants, and the education of their children. We take, then, the concrete fact Dowlais has been developed in propor- tion to his prosperity, and grown with the growth of his fortune and if the population of twelve thousand or more persons, whom he had drawn around him, had aided in developing his greatness, they have in turn been sustained by his genius—some in ease, and most in comfort. In one word, he made Dowlais what it is: that was his achievement; and the inscription upon his tombstone should be that single but pregnant word —CIRCUMSPICE The idea would not be original; but it would be something better,—it would be strictly true. The creation of Dowlais, and its material prosperity, was not, however, his only merit; for he differed from his compeers in being a man of generous instincts and of enlarged sympathies. His care for his workmen did not end with the payment of their daily earnings. He took a comprehensive view of his social duties: he recognised in precept as well as in prac- tice the principle that property has its duties as well as its rights and he extended his care beyond the present generation into the next—beyond the race of men that now is to their descendants destined to replace them in the lapse of time. It is a great thing to be the supporter of twelve thousand men but it is a greater, nobler, and holier thing to be their guide, philosopher, and friend. Messrs. CRAWSHAY, THOMPSON, and HILL have from time to time promised to erect schools for their workmen's children; but they have never put their promises in practice. Of them it may be said that they have in a great measure been the creators of Merthyr; but of which of them shall an honest jour- nalist be enabled to say that they have been the edu- cators of their dependants' children I On whose tombstone shall we inscribe without a blush—He was the workman's friend 1 NINE THOUSAND CHILDREN exist in Merthyr and Dowlais: but of these far less than three thousand are receiving any education. The GUEST family are reported to have come into this district from Staffordshire, others say Shropshire which is the most accurate we are now unable to de- termine: and JOHN GUEST came to Dowlais in the latter half of the last century. The works at that period were very small in comparison to their present magnitude, and were the property of a grandfather of Alderman THOMPSON, the present proprietor of the Penydarran Works, under whom JOHN GUEST is reported to have worked as a moulder. The works being afterwards sold, were bought by a company, con- sisting of Messrs. LBWIS, TAIT, and THOMAS GUEST, who owned respectively, G, 8, and 2 sixteenth shares. It is not necessary to enter more fully into details of this kind; nor will there be any apology required for thus unfolding the humble origin of a great man. Mr. CRAWSHAY, on a well-known occasion, did not disdain to record the fact that his family had been the architects of their own fortunes, and showed in so doing the greatness of his own mind, and his superiority to prejudice and petty pride nor amid all his riches and honours did his brother ironmaster ever forget that he was a Dowlais man. Suffice it, however, to say that the grandfather was a moulder, and his grandson a baronet not unworthy of his title; and that the son was the junior partner in a firm which produced 5,432 tons of iron in 1806, while the grandson died sole proprietor of a works which in 1841 sent 52,230 tons to the port of Cardiff. In 1849, the iron shipped from the Bute Dock amounted to 86,155 tons; and most of that we may presume came from Dowlais. The two persons here named are buried in Merthyr Church; and the inscription upon their tombstone supplies further particulars :—. This marble is inscribed to perpetuate the memory of JOHN GUEST, of Dowlais Furnaces, in this Parish, Ironmaster, who departed this life November 25th, 1787, aged 65 years. Also, JEMA. REVEL GUEST, wife of Thomas Guest, Esq., who departed this life Feb. 1, 1791, aged 36. And also the above-named THOMAS GUEST, ESQ., who departed this life Feb. 28th, 1807, aged 61 years. The late Baronet was the son of THOMAS, and grandson of JOHN GUEST, and was born Feb. 2nd, 1785. He married twice. His first marriage took place March, 1817, to ELIZABETH, daughter of WILLIAM RANKEN, Esq., who died soon after, in Jan., 1818, and is buried at Llandaff. He was married a second time, July 29th, 1833, to Lady CHARLOTTE ELIZABETH BEKTIE, only sister of the present Earl of LINDSAY,—that estimable Lady, who is now the hope of Dowlais—whose services to the Literature of the Principality is widely known and profoundly appre- ciated, and whose whole life and commanding talents are devoted to one object—that of doing good. There were several incidents in the life of Sir JOHN GUEST, deserving of special notice on an occasion like the present. One of these was his conduct iu respect of the Merthyr Riots of 1831, which appears to have been due to the slackness of the iron trade at that time, and to political excitement in reference to the Reform Bill, as we are informed in the account of the Riots drawn up by no less an authority than Mr. CRAWSHAY, senr. While the people were crowding around the Castle Inn, then defended by the 93rd Highlanders, they were addressed by Mr. HILL, Mr. GUEST, and Mr. CRAWSHAY. We borrow the words of the latter:—" The HIGH SHERIFF mounted a chair, addressed them, and read the Riot Act. Mr. HILL also addressed them, and cautioned them in the most earne8t aud feeling manner as to the consequences of their illegal proceedings, and implored them to desist from violence. Mr. GUEST followed in the same strain, and was answered by a speech from a most daring rioter. Mr. CRAWSHAY followed, and added the most determined defiance to their attempts at ex- torting by force and violence any increase of their wages, while in a state of tumult, but promised that if they would return to their homes and work, and send a deputation from each mine level to him in fourteen days after, he would investigate their complaints of distress, and do everything ja his power to relieve them." An ear-witness who recollected the last speech verbatim, and has a distinct recollection of the stormy scene, represents Mr. GUEST to have been bathed in tears, and to have implored the men to go away—if not to their work, away from that place—to prevent the effusion of blood. All was vain. The people grappled with the soldiers, aud sixteen persons lost their lives while of the soldiers it is said, though deeply and seriously injured as thev were, not one of their lives has been or will be sacrificed." This was on Friday, June 3rd, 1831. On the following day the rioters posted themselves above COEdyc)"mm¡>r, and in, tercepted th" ammunition from Brecon, with forty of the Canlifi Cavalry that had been permitted to pass, but were not allowed to return and the same morning the illustrious Swansea Cavalry were disarmed on the Swansea road. The same evening a deputation of twelve of Ihe men, at the suggestion of Mr. GUEST and Mr. PERIUNS, waited upon the masters, who ha.! uow taken position at Penydarran House. On SUD- day all was quiet. "On Monday morning a general meeting, not only of the Merthyr, Aberdare, and Hir- waun men, but oi all the works and collieries of Brecon- shire and Monmouthshire, was to take place on the Wain Hill, by Dowlais, and it was more than probable that twenty thousand persons would have assembled. At an early hour men were seen drawing towards that spot in every direction, and at ten o'clock it was an- nounced that there were thousands in the road coining down to Penydarran, armed with bludgeons. The troop, now consisting of 110 Highlanders, 5) of the Glamorganshire Miliiia, and 300 Yeomanry Cavalry, tinder eommund of Col. MORGAN, accompanied by the Magistrates, proceeded to aieet them, and at Dowtais ihe road was tilled with dense masses. Mr. GUEST ably addressed them, but to no purpose, and the Riot Act was read, still no disposition to disperse was mani- fested, but a determined resistance was shown and tDaintainc t. The Hightanderswere at length ordered to level their muskets, but the coolness and forbearance of all parties allowed the words of command to be given so slowly, that the consideration, of the conse- quences intervened between ihem, and the last word —"FIRE!" — became unnecessary, to the great satis- faction of all the geuileinen present, for dreadful would have been the consequences of it ill !lUd1 a mass of resolute and determined riolers." We have here fol- lowed the words of Mr. CRAWSHAY; but from what we have often heard from some ofthe older tradesmen of Merthyr, the pacific services of Mr. GUEST are here understated. They represent him to have interposed his person between the soldiers and the people up to the last moment; hi; conduct according to their account was heroic; aud under the aegis of his pro- tection the people dispersed ill all directions, aud went to work the following day. It is also to be borne in mind that this took place during a period of intense political excitement. On the 1st of March, 1831, Lord JOHN RUSSJJLL moved the tirst reading of theReform Bill; and ou the 22nd he carried the second reading by majority of ONE; but on the 20th of April he was delected, upou the motion of General GASCOIGNE, by a majoiity of eight. Two days after Parliament was dissolved the general elec- tion taking place during the riols; and on the 14th of June Parliament reassembled. The second reading was carried, July 4th, by a majority of 126; and the third, Sept. 191h, by a majority of 113; but it was de- feated in the Upper House by a majority of 41, October 3rd and on the 20; h Parliament was pro- rogued. Once more the bill was defeated iu the House of Lords; but on the 4th day of June, 1832, it was carried by a majority of 84 in the Upper House. The first Pailiament under the Reform Bill assembled January 29th, 1833; aud Mr. GUEST wellt there as the first member, for the newly created Borough of Merthyr, Aberdare, and Vaynor. From that time to this he has kept his seat, though the re- presentation has been twice contested, first, by the late Mr. MEYRICK, in February, 1835, and by Mr. BRUCE PRYCH, in 1837. In these contests it became very clearly apparent that Dowlais and the indepen- dent electors of Merthyr united, can carry their repre- sentative against all opposition; for in the first of these contests, the Cyfarthfa interest was united with Plymouth and Penydarran in opposition and in the latter, Cyfarthfa changed sides, supporting Mr. GUEST, to the great displeasure of the other party, who sported a huge weathercock as a typical imputation upon Mr. CRAWSHAY'S political consistency. From that time forth, the late Member retained undisputed possession of his seat; and on the last occasion all parties con- curred in the address, which afforded him such pecu- liar gratification, and refrained from embittering his last hours with political strife. The title of Baronet was conferred upon him in 1838; and on his next visit the tradesmen of Merthyr and Dowlais went forth en masse to escort him home. Mr. GUEST, however, was not inexperienced in pub- lic life, when he became the member fur Merthyr; and his political career i- to be dated from 1826, when he entered Parliament as member for Honiton. He also represented that horough in the Parliament of 1830 but he lost his seat in consequence of the liberality of his opinions, and the agitation respecting the Reform Bill and the most tremendous excitement known in Merthyr is said to have taken place at the time of the sympathetic reception given to the defeated candidate. Before the Merthyr borough election of 1837, Mr. GUEST, on the retirement of Mr. DILLWYN, contested the representation of the county, in alliance with Mr. TALBOT, and in opposition to Lord ADARE—the pre- sent respected Earl of DUNRAVEN. The attempt was unsuccessful, and the numbers polled were-for Lord ADARE, 1901; TALBOT, 1633; GUBST, 1471. A few days after, Mr. GUEST came in for Merthyr: and it is said that the exertions of Mr. GUEST had been mainly instrumental in obtaining for this borough the privi- lege of returning a member to Parliament to represent the interests of its growing population. Of late years, Sir JOHN GUEST has been chiefly residing at Canford Manor, which estate he purchased some years ago, and which has recently been adorned with many very fine Ninevite sculptors—Mr. LAYARD being nearly related to Lady CHARLOTTE GUEST. On the occasion of renewing the Dowlais lease, Sir JOHN GUEST stated that for his own part he would willingly have relinquished the management of so large a concern in his declining years; but his regard for the large population wuich he had drawn around him, did not permit him to divest himself of his re- sponsibilities. The successful termination of that negotiation was productive of the liveliest satisfaction and when Sir JOHN and Lady CHARLOTTE GUEST next visited this district, the people of Merthyr joined those of Dowlais in giving them a welcome reception. A description of the event was given in the CARDIFF AND MERTHYR GUARDIAN of the second week of July, 1848, aud from that we borrow a few lines;- In passing along we observed that the streets from the station at Merthyr to Dowlais House, were literally thronged, j while the windows, and even the roofs of the houses in many instances, were fully occupied. Our warm-hearted countrymen cheered most lustily; the ladies from windows and balconies waved their 'lily hands;' the Cyfarthfa Brass Band sent forth soul-stirring strains,-in a word, the occasion was one of great excitement and pleasurable feeling. The respected objects of this manifestation of public sympathy and sincere attachment seemed to appre- ciate tbe reception given to them. "At Gellyvaelog, the club-women of Dowlais, and the children of the Dowlais Schools—established by Sir John and Lady Charlotte Guest-joined the procession. Each of the childrcu bore a small banner, and to the utmost of their ability joined the cheering, which resounded on all sides, and which had by this time become almost deafening. As the head of the procession reached Dowlais House, a dis- charge of cannon took placc from an eminence at a short distance, which was repeated until the carriage had reached the front door. The horsemen drew up five deep in lines; the clubs ranged themselves in order; amI as we looked on from an elevated position, which, we were kindly permitted to occupy— We thought we lived in days of ancient time,' And that the retainers of some great feuda1 chief had assem- bled to do him honour. It was a moment of warm enthu- siasm and deep feeling. Sir John and Lady Charlotte had once more reached HOME; the young members of their family crowded round the carriage; the workmen were de- lighted at seeing their- excellent employer, patron, and friend amongst them after a very considerable absence, and after a period of deep and trying anxiety to all." An address appropriate to the occasion was presented by the Rev. E. JENKINS. It is not, then, to be won- dered at that the late Baronet ever connected with Dowlais the associations of HOME, and that his latest desire was to draw his last breath among the scenes of his childhood. The place of his burial has been de- termined by his amiable Lady, in perfect unison with these aspirations He was born in Dowlais, he died in Dowlais. and he shall be buried in Uowlais." Sir JOHN GUEST died in the 68th year of his age, and will be buried on Saturday morning next. Sir JOHN GUBST leaves ten children by his second marriage; and he will be succeeded in his title and estate by his eldest son, IVOR, who has been so named from the chivalric IvoR BACH, and who is now between 17 and 18 years of age. The constituents of the late Hon. Baronet have pretty generally evinced their respect for the character of their departed member by partially closing their shops since his demise; and on Saturday, in accordance with a resolution adopted at a trade meeting at the Bush, on Thursday morning, the shops will be closed from 11, A.M., to 1, P.M., in honour of his funeral. He was a man of great mental capacities—a good mathematician, and a thorough man of business, not without a taste for the refinements of literature. He was a man of generous impulses; but performance did not always wait on promise. As a politician he was not consistent: he began his career as an ultra- Liberal; and we well recollect seeing VOTE BY BALLOT" floating in the breeze, at the last contested election, upon the Dowlais flags; but he concluded his career as a Whig and a general supporter of Lord JOHN RUSSELL. In his relation to the people of Dowlais, he ever showed the warm interest he felt in the cause of education the Dowlais Schools are very highly spoken of for their efficiency: and we have reason to know that the building of new and spacious schoolrooms has been for some time, and is now, in contemplation. As a member of Parliament, Sir JOHN GUEST, while health permitted, was not inattentive to his political duties. He was not much given to oratory, and seldom spoke in the House; but he was something better than a fluent speaker,—he was a clear-headed man. He served frequently upon important committees, generally voted upon the great questions of the day, and, upon the whole, did his work fairly; and judging some such memorial as the present to be due to his character and position, we have been at some pains to compile this biographical notice. MERTHYR POLICE COURT SATURDAY. [Before Wm. Thomas, Esq.] Robert Townsend, a collier, was charged by P.C. Webber with having stolen a quantity of picks and miners' tools, the property of the Dowlais Iron Company, which were found in his house. It appeared that the prisoner had intimation that the police were coming to search, and he theu went to one of the agents, and in- formed him the tools were there, and requested him to fetch them. This was considered sufficient to upset the felonious part of the charge, and the prisoner, after a suitable warning from the bench, was dismissed. William Houlton and David Davies, two boatmen, in the employ of Mr. Edward Roach, were remanded to Monday, on a charge of stealing oil, the property of their employer. Thomas Brown, an Irish tramp, was charged with having stolen a small quantity of bread, the property of Benjamin Evans, of Dowlais, and with having assaulted the complainant. Mr. Evans did not press the charge of felony, and there being no second magistrate to hear the assault, the case was dismissed. MONDAY.—[Before H. A. Bruce and Wm. Thomas, Esquires.] Thomas Fitzgerald, a powerful looking "navvy," was charged with having assaulted police constable Samuel Mealham whilst in the execution of his duty, on Satur- day night. It appeared in evidence that Mr. Lynch, landlord of the Three Mariners, in Caedraw, had a num- ber of forged railway shop tickets passed upon him by a "butty" of the prisoners, and having discovered the cheat, gave him iuto custody. On the officer conveying him towards the station, he was followed by prisoner and a great number of others, who struck and kicked him, and rescued the man from his custody, and so vio- lent was their conduct that the officer was obliged to take refuge in a house until Sergeant Rees came to his assistance, when the prisoner was captured, but the man originally taken had got off.—Mr. Krune said that to rescue a prisoner from the custody of an officer was a very grave offence, and if that was pressed, they should have to send Fiizgerald to take his trial at the sessions. The charge, however, before them was for the assault on the constable and as it was the. magistrates' duty to pro- tect the police when iu the proper discharge of their dangerous duties, the prisoner would be fined the utmost penalty the law empowered them to inflict, viz., Twenty Pounds, and in default of payment he would be committed to the house of coriection to hard labour for two calendar mo:;ths. William Houlton and David Davies, remanded from Saturday, were brought up.—Sergeant llees deposed that as he was going his rounds, between twelve and one on Wednesday night, he noticed the prisoners doint; some- tiling to a cask, on Mr. Roach's wharf. He hi,1 himself aud watched them, alld saw they were drawing some- thing Irom a hole in the ca>k, and taking it on board their boat. He got the assistance of another oilicer, and c lu.;ht them in the act of drawing off oil. He searched the boat, and found a quantity of oil in a pitcher, into which he had seen them emptying it.— p^e prisoners, who had nothing to say in Iheir defence, werc convicted under areoent act of parliament fur the protection of pro- perty 011 canals. Houlton was lined £ .3, or one mouth's hard labour, he being in Mr. Reach's employ; Davies Was lined £'2, or fourteen dajs' h,1rd labour. Patrick Jordan was charged with having stolen three brass candlesticks, from the Bridgend Inn, Hnwain, on Sunday uight. The stolen candlesticks were found ill his possession by P.O. Matthews, who apprehended him. —Committed tor trial at the sessions. Benjamin Howell, tl smith. was charged with having stolen n quantity of files, the property of Richard< 1 Fothergill aud others comprising lh<- Aberdare Iron Com- pany. The prisoner was met by P.(J. JaDcZ Maithews, this morning, on the Hirwain road, cairying a rush basket which, in reply to a qlJ"8ti"lI from tne constable, he said contained clothes he was about to send to his father, in Pembrokeshire. On lifting the basket, however, it was found to contain something heivier than elo.hes, and it, together with the prisoner, was taken to the Station- house, where the basket was found to coutain a quantity of new files. — He was committed for trial at the Session?. Grimth Powell, a mason, was brought up by Serjeant Parsons, charged with having stolen the slim of £ 1 IDs. 2d. from the person ol .1 ohn Samuel, whom he had helped home in a state of intoxication on Saturday uigUt. — The evi- dence beiug conclusive, he was committed for trial at the 1 Sessions. Benjamin Williams, of the Thompson's Arms" beer- house, for refusing to admit P.C. John Howlett into his house when desired, was fined -iOs. and costs. David Owen Davies, of the" Fricndship" beer-hcuse, charged with having kept open his house at an illegal hour, was fined IDs. and costs, John Jones, of the "Farmers' Arms" beer-house charged with having supplied out beer to women of ill- fame at three o'clock on Sunday morning, was lined £2 and costs. John James, of the Carriers' Arms" beer-house, charged with having had his house open at an illegal hour, was fined .£ 1 and costs. William Jonas, of the "Castle" beer-house, Dowlais, for a similar oil'euce, was fined £ I and costs. WEDNESDAY.-[Before H. A. Bruce, Wm. Thomas, and Chas. Croft Williams, Esqrs.] Solomon Bloom, pawnbroker, summoned for refusing to restore goods which had been pledged, arranged with the plaintiff. Ann Williams, single woman, living in Atkin's Houses "The Rookery," at Dowlais, was charged by Superin- tendent Wrenn with having sohl beer without licence. The offence was pruved by Timothy Davies, who h;id paid for beer, and was robbe,1 in the house of his watch and money.—Fined £ 2 and costs or oue month's im- prisonment. Rees Thomas, of the White Horse" beer-house, in China, was charged with having permitted convicted thieves aud other notorious characters to assemble in his house on the 14th ult.—Fined £2 and costs. Rees Jones, of the Penydarran End" beer-house, Merthyr, and Thos. Williams, of the "Blast Furnace" beer-house, Rhymney, were charged with having kept their houses open at illegal hours.— l he former was tined Is. and costs, aud the latter 10s. and costs. Thomas Davies, a tailor, was charged by Sergeant E. Rees, with drunken and riotous conduct.—Fined os. and costs. William A Igernou Davies, a cabinet-maker, was charged with having stolen a quantity of tools, the property ot J ohn Watkins, his employer. The evidence was conclu- sive, the tools having been found at a pawnbroker's, where they had been pledged by the prisonerf-Commitled fur t»i»l at 8ei«iyu«i



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Family Notices