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Brecon and district
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The case of the missing geese  

When Thomas Arthur was arrested by the authorities he was given the chance to explain himself. He refused to do so. What he simply said is recorded here -

It reads:
"I leave my defence to my attorney [lawyer]"
Refusing to explain what happened did not go down well at the trial where Thomas pleaded not guilty.

  As well as being accused of stealing David Williams' 11 geese he was also accused of stealing four more from John Jones, and five from James Phillips, both men from Llanfihangel Nant Bran.
The jury found him guilty of the charges. The extract below records his sentence...
  extract from Quarter Sessions records
  The entry reads :
"To be transported for the term of seven years to such part of her Majesty's Colonies beyond the seas as Her Majesty by and with the advice of Her Privy Council shall appoint "
  This legal language means that the Queen's advisers would decide where he went.
At this time prisoners were sent to penal colonies at the far side of the world in Australia, where they would be forced to work in the fields under guard. Here they could be whipped and forced to work on the treadmill if they did not behave.
After seven years Thomas Arthur would have been turned loose with no means of getting home to Breconshire.

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