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Lampeter house of correction, or lock-up, to tie his prisoners to the public whipping post, when ordered, and there flog them :—
Thomas John, of Llanddewy Brefi, haring been at this present Q.S. try'd and found guilty for feloniously stealing and taking from James Itees, a pair of shoes, and a pair of buckles, order'd that he be stripped naked from the waist upwards, and immediately whipped by the Master of the House of Correction, being first tyed to the whipping post in the town of Lampeter; until his body be bloody.
The post stood by the stocks just opposite to the " Black Lion," on the other side of the street; the front wall of the present Town Hall probably marks the site.
Peterwell, according to the fire-side legends of the county, was often used as a court of justice—(-save the word)—when Sir Herbert had a grudge or a pique against the unfortunate prisoner. The next quotation confirms the old stories in some degree. In 1762 the county treasurer was
0rdered to pay Charles David, gaoler, 20s. for bringing Margaret Williams to Peterwell to be examined, touching the murder of the wife of one Thomas John.
Lampeter must have been excited over an infant murder one winter day, for, at the Epiphany Quarter Sessions, 1773, an order is made upon the treasurer
To pay Henry Jones, of Lampeter, gent, 19s. being money by him laid out in apprehending two women, suspected guilty of murdering an infant, found dead near the river Teify in the parish of Lampeter Pont Stephan.
The county funds were used for many purposes, amongst others for paying the costs of conveying vagrants by pass to their respective parishes, and for taking prisoners to the hulks:—
Easter 1780. Daniel Evans, petty constable of Lampeter P. S. paid 18s. for his costs and charges in conveying two vagrants from Lampeter Parish to Llanbadwrn-fawr, and Kilkennen parishes.
Epiphany, 1782. Treasurer to pay £20 3s. 6d. to David Lloyd, High Sheriff, for conveying David Evan Daniel, a felon to one of the Hulks on the River Thames, for hard labour, pursuant to his sentence.
David Lloyd (p. 41) upon whom fell this duty, was of Alltyrodyn, great-great-grandson of David Lloyd, of the same place, the high sheriff for 1668, a warm Royalist, who had been declared a delinquent in 1638, and had his property sequestered, for which his son afterwards compounded.
One entry of the proceedings of the Easter Quarter Sessions, 1773, stands unique, and is worthy of notice, referring as it does to certain trade customs of the period :—
Upon the further hearing of the appeal of David William of the parish of Lampeter P. S., farmer, against the adjudication of Henry Jones, and Edward Vaughan, Esquires, and it being duly proved that David William, as occupying the trade or business of farmer, had incurred the penalty of £20, by not making true entries with the proper officer of the number and quality of hides and skins taken by him out of the Wooze to be dried, and that Henry Jones, and Edward Vaughan Esquires hid mitigated the penalty to £5, ordered that their adjudication be affirmed, and that a warrant be issued for levying the sum of £5 and likewise the sum of 20s.; being the officer's charges attending the adjudication, by distress and sale of the goods of David William, in pursuance of an Act of Parliament in that case made anil provided.
The registration of meeting-houses for nonconforming worship had formerly to be done at Quarter Sessions. One such in the records refers to a congregation near Lampeter:—
Micluielmas, 1791. On the motion of Mr. Lewis Rogers, ordered that a certain house calied Cribyn Bettws* in the parish of Llanfihangel Ystrad be registered as a Meeting-house for the congregation of Protestant Dissenters.
* This congregation is now Unitarian. Its succession of ministers is probably:—
Evan Davies, Caeronen?
The county of Cardigan has no possession of greater historical value to-day than the series of its Quarter Sessions Records— intact, carefully written, and strongly bound, as they fortunately are, from 1738. Far too little use is made of them by writers who seek to tell parish history, or secure a prize offered at an risteddfod for such an attempt. It is seldom one finds any reference to these volumes in such essays, and equally as seldom that we hear of any judges expressing their surprise that such mines of original matter are left unquarried by those on whose productions they have to adjudicate.
%\tt Parish Church.
What do we know of the parish church which was pulled down about the year 1821 1 No description of it seems to be extant, and so it is necessary to rebuild it in writing, using for the materials of such reconstruction various references to it which are contained in the Registers and Vestry Book, and certain scattered notes in divers places.
The earliest reference to Lampeter Church is probably in the Taxation of Pope Nicholas, about the year 1291, in the reign of King Edward I. Here, under the head of the Archdeaconry of Cardigan and the Deanery of Sub Ayron, the entry,
gccCesta be JLainpebe, £-5,
occurs immediately after a note on the church of Llanddewi Brefi. We know from what Giraldus says that he and Archbishop Baldwin both passed a night, in 1188, at Pons Stephani —(note the absence of the prefix in this place name)—on their way from Cardigan to Strata Florida Abbey; and that on the morrow the archbishop, the archdeacon, and the abbots of Whitland and Strata Florida, delivered addresses at Pons Stephani— (here note the absence of allusion to any church building). In the year 1317, King Edward II. makes a certain grant to Rhys ap Griffith, and here we get the name,
LLANPEDER TALPONT ESTEPHEXE.
I agree with Mr. R. W. Banks in thinking that Talybont or Pont Stephan was the original name of the town, and that the prefix of Lampeter was added as a distinctive one after the erection of a church here. Further, I think we may conclude that a church was erected here between the years 1188, when Giraldus omits reference to any such building, and 1291, when Pope Nicholas distinctly alludes to the church of Lampeter—in other words, the building was a thirteenth century one.
Bishop Basil Jones had been told that the church razed was "a Norman one, consisting of a nave and chancel, with a single aisle throughout its length." He, however, rather doubted the building being a Norman one, and was only able to recall one bit of true Norman work in south-western Wales, viz., the fine chancel arch at St. Clears. It is just possible that the thirteenth century building did survive to the nineteenth, especially when we know that in the year 1724 the sum of £2 lis. 2d. was assessed towards Repairs of ye church, and that £2 10s. 7d. was the amount expended on such repairs, the account being settl'd 11 May, 1725 att a publick meeting of ye pishners, by Eras. Lewes, vicar, Da. Jones of Newadd, Evan Thos, of Moelfrey, Thos. Lewis, Morgn. Evan Thos., Lod. ffrancis, Dd. Wm. ffrancis, and La. Evan Grifilh, Cwmmerthin a lys. The account was submitted to the meeting by Evan Da. of Llettytwppa, and Ion. Evan, of Hen [gone], churchwardens.
For the next fifty years the vestry proceedings are missing, and it is not till 1777 that we get any further reference to the structure. Fortunately, however, a few particulars of the church life and doings of this parish can be gleaned from scattered entries in the Register Book, bought at the expence of the parish in the year llJfi; John Phillipps, Vicar, Morgan Thomas, and Evan Morgan, being Churchwardens, and Thomas Williams, Curate.
On the 23rd February, 1744-5 (that is 1745 modern reckoning), Vicar Erasmus Lewes was buried. He had been collated on the 17th December, 1695, but it was not until the Easter Court Leet of 1742 that he was admitted a burgess of the town, in company with Walter and John Lloyd, Esquires.
Oakley Leigh at this time played a prominent part in parish matters. He was churchwarden in 1753, portreeve in 1757-8 and 1767-8, and busy in Quarter Sessions, being frequently described as Gent. The registers have also some facts recorded about him, as when, on the 15th January, 1766, there were baptized David and Jemima, being Twins, the reputed children of Oakley Leigh, by Mary Price; and also on the 28th, 7ber. 1778. Bridgard the bastard dan. of Oakley Leigh, upon the Body of Anne, the dan. of Dd. Thos Lewis. The sweetest entry about him is that on the 21st December, 1788, Mr. Oakley Leigh, of Brongest, bury'd.
The church had two painted doors, one faced south; windows —one known as the south window—glazed and wired, with shutters on the outside; the whole building, without and within, 'was periodically whitewashed; the tiled roof frequently needed mending; and, in 1798, the steeple is ordered to bo repaired; in it swung the bell, stamped,
E. E. 1721,