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Knighton and district
Crime and punishment
  Transported beyond the seas  

In the summer of 1844 three labourers from the parish of Beguildy were ordered to present themselves at the court of the Quarter Sessions in the Shire Hall, Presteigne.
The men were Richard Chandler, Francis Bowen, and Morgan Bowen. They were all poor men who could neither read nor write, and they were accused of stealing 53lbs (about 23 kilos) of wool from Thomas Roberts of Llangynllo.
When the day of the trial came, Morgan Bowen did not turn up and the constable was sent to search for him. Francis Bowen was found not guilty, but Richard Chandler was found guilty. The entry from the records below records his punishment...


It reads:
"Ordered that the said Richard Chandler be transported to such place beyond the Seas as Her Majesty with the advice of her Privy Council shall direct for the term of 10 years"

This legal language means that the Queen's advisers would decide where he went.
At this time prisoners were sent to penal colonies 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.
Morgan Bowen later gave himself up to the authorities and at the following court he was also sentenced to transportation. After ten years Richard Chandler and Morgan Bowen would have been turned loose in Australia, but with no means of getting back to Wales.

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