Extract from the Breconshire Quarter Sessions 1853

Extract 1853At each Quarter Session the gaoler was required to present a Calendar of all the prisoners currently being held, whether detained awaiting trial or convicted and serving a sentence. At first hand-written, these were by the 1850s printed lists. The list show here has both types of prisoner. The outcome of the cases tried on that day has been filled in by a clerk.

By 1853 whipping has disappeared from the sentences, although as in the case of prisoner Caroline Powell, women were still being sentenced to hard labour.

The convicted miner David Lewis was probably still awaiting passage to be arranged before being transported. Few prisoners made the journey home to Wales after their sentence in the penal colonies was completed.

Although the interests of the landed classes were very much to the fore when it came to representation on the bench and in the juries, nevertheless the records show that those accused of theft were often acquitted if the evidence against them was not strong enough. Prisoner John Griffiths had undergone a preliminary hearing to determine if there was a case to answer and this had gone against him, the Justices Henry Allen and Lord Hereford committing him for trial. As the record shows he was subsequently acquitted at the trial itself.

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Text and documentation supplied by Powys County Council Archive Office