Newtown and district
Crime and punishment
  Transported beyond the seas  

In the 1840s the ordinary working people of Newtown suffered great hardship.
The workers in the flannel factories in particular had a hard time. Some of their employers forced them to buy their food at a shop owned by the company, where prices were high. They were sometimes also taken out of the factory to work on the factory owners land without pay.
If they complained they could be sacked and then the whole family could end up in the workhouse.


It is not surprising that some desperate people turned to crime.
In 1843 the house of the Vicar of Llanllwchaiarn was broken into by Thomas Owen, who stole 3 writing desks, a tea caddy, a loaf of sugar (a large block), a gun and a tea chest. He was tracked down by the local policeman Mr Baird, who caught him in a wood across the river.

At court Thomas Owen was sentenced to be transported for ten years. This meant that he was sent to work in chains in the penal colonies in Australia.
It is very unlikely that he ever came back to Montgomeryshire. Two other local men were sent to Australia at the same court hearing.


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