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Llanfyllin and district
Crime and punishment
 
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The case of the two strangers  
 

The two accused men identified themselves as Henry Smith of Birmingham, a drover, and William Shaw of Huddersfield, a weaver. They were staying in Llanfihangel but we do not know how they came to be there.
They were asked if they had anything to say and their response was recorded...

 
  extract from court records
  They said that they had "found the several articles named on the other side in a field near the road at Llansantffraid".
The court did not believe their lame excuses and the two men were found guilty. The extract from the court records below tells us their punishment
 
  extract from court records
 

It reads:
"Ordered that the said prisoners Henry Smith and William Shaw be severally transported beyond the Seas to such places as Her Majesty by and with the consent of her Privy Council shall direct for the term of ten years."

This complicated legal language means that the government would sign an order sending the two men to the penal colonies in Australia for ten years. They probably never came back. And all for stealing items worth less than £2 ! They were clearly guilty but this seems a very harsh punishment compared to today's fines and community service.

 

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