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Crime and punishment
  The case of Rachel Morgan
  In January 1842 the Breconshire Quarter Sessions came together in Brecon to try cases brought before it.
A list of prisoners to be tried was published and among these was Rachel Morgan, a poor woman of Ystradgynlais.
She was accused of stealing from the till of a shop owned by Richard Davies.
The entry below is that for Mrs Morgan from the published list.
Justices of the Peace educated property-owning men who ran the affairs of a county for the Queen.

The three names at the head of the entry are the three Justices of the Peace who felt that there was enough evidence against her for her to be tried.
The first witness against her was Rees Davies the shopkeeper's son, who was minding the shop on the 23rd August 1841 when the money was stolen.
He said that Mrs Morgan's son John Morgan came into the shop to buy some oil. When they both went down into the cellar to pour it out, Rees closed the shop door. When they came back up, the door was open, and Mrs Morgan was just outside moving quickly away to where her other son was waiting across the road. Rees then discovered that a bag of money was missing from the till.

That same evening Rachel Morgan visited the shop and spent two half-crowns. Rees felt it was unusual for her to have so much money. This amount is only about 25p today, but her son was only paid about 7p per day at work.

More on the case of Rachel Morgan...


drawing by Rob Davies
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