From the Order Book of the Montgomeryshire Quarter Sessions Midsummer Session 1831 (p132)
Mr Richard Baxter the Surgeon to the Gaol having written a letter to the Visiting Magistrates stating that John Williams a Convict in the Gaol under Sentence of twelve months imprisonment nine of which are unexpired is in a very dangerous state of health so much so that he is of the opinion he cannot survive the allotted period owing to the
Insalubrity of the Prison in his complaint and the Gaol being so full that if it is possible his Sentence could be itigated probably it may be the means of restoring him to health And the Visiting Magistrates having certified to this court that the said Prisoner has conducted himself Orderly in the Gaol, that his health is in the precarious state mentioned in the said Letter of Mr Baxter and that they think the said Prisoner should be reported for a Commutation or remission of the remainder of his Sentence. The Justices now here assembled (having taken the said Letter and report into consideration) are of opinion that such a commutation or remission of such Sentence is much to be desired and they recommend the said John Williams to the Royal Mercy and the Clerk of the Peace is hereby ordered to communicate with the Secretary of State for the home Department on the subject.
This case shows that even in a time of harsh sentencing the authorities could show genuine concern for the well being of a convict.
The "Newtown Three" in Tasmania
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Text and documentation supplied by Powys County Council Archive Department