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A WELSH CHARON.

(From the Bxaminer.)

ABOUT two hundred years ago, when the Welsh Bap-

tists were denied interment in the parish church, j yards, in Pembrokeshire, one Griffith Howell pre pared a place at Trevangor, near the town of Nar berth, for the Baptists of Ffynnon Meeting-house to bury in. The Trevangor estate lies on the road from Haverfordwest to Carmarthen, and in a corner of the Trevangor estate lies the little enclosure thus conse- crated to the use of the Baptists. The land always seems to have been sold with reservation of the Bap- tist rights to the gravevard. A map of the estate, made m 1072, defines 'its boundaries, marks it with letter A, and addB a note that it is " a burying-place belonging to the Baptists, and belongs to Ftynnon gwell-na-bwich Meeting-house." There is distinct record of this poBteesion in the minutes of tne Meet- ing house itself, dated as far back as 1720. In 1838 the Trevangor estate was bought from a Miss Napier by a Mr. Arthur Williams, whose widow testifies to the'distinct explanation by Miss Napier to her husband and herself that the burial-ground was not sold with the property. Mr. Williams sold the estate afterwards, with a like reservation, to a Mr. Roblin, who sold it again to a Mr. J. L. P. G. Lewis, of Henllan, and declares that he not only never possessed, claimed, or sold the cemetery, but then when selling the land he lent Mr. Lewis's soli- citor the map before referred to" that the fields sold and the burial ground excepted from sale might be properly delineated on the purchase deed.

That being the case, the body of a somewhat dis- tinguished Baptist minister and a Pembrokeshire man -the Rev. David Griffiths, late of Accrington-who had died expressing as plmost his last wish " that he should be buried in the old yard at Trevangor," was brought, some days since, out of Lancashire into

Pembrokeshire for burial. But his funeral pro- cession was arrested at the Narberth Road Station by the intelligence that Mr. J. L. P. G. Lewis had caused the grave to be filled up, and locked the graveyard gate, claiming the ground as his own, and demanding recognition of his right by a halfpenny toll for the passage of the dead. Uncer- tain what should be done, the mourners dropped the body into a temporary grave at Narberth. A Mr. Rees, as representative of the Baptists, then under- took to show the facts to Mr. Lewis, and bring him to reason. When the actual and forcible burial took place, Mr. Rees explained how he had sped.

He used every argument with Mr. Lewis that he

could think of. He showed him how valueless to him the property really was-that he could do nothing with it-that he had greviously outraged the feelings not only of all the religious denominations in Pembrokeshire, but of the entire public, and that it would be an act of grace and propriety were' he to give a piece of land to enlarge the present burial place ; that he would thus retire with some dignity from the contest he had provoked, and would con- vince the public that he had ened only through a mistaken impression. Mr. Lewis, however, said he was resolved to persist in this coime, that he would not allow the burial to take place, unless there was a small payment-a halfpenny-made to him. To this, he (Mr. Rees) replied that he certainly should not advise the denomination te follow any such courte-the mere payment of the halfpenny was in- significant in itself, but it would be an acknowledg- ment of Mr. Lewis' right, which he for one would never admit. That the Baptists claimed the burial ground as their own, and should maintain their light, if he, Mr. Lewis, was so ill-advised as to per- sist in his present course. Some further conversa- tion ensued, and Mr. Rees then said to Mr. LewiB, that on meeting with his friends in Narberth that afternoon, he should strongly urge them to take possession of the yard. Mr. Lewis then said, " You can bring your action against me, if you like ;" to which Mr. Rees replied, " No, I shall not advise that couree, but I shall urge my friends to take possession of the burial-ground, and you can bring your action if you like." Mr. Lewis said, " If yo'u attempt this, I shall oppose you." To which Mr. Rees answered, " We shall certainly attempt it, and if you interfere by force, you will then be breaking the peace," which he did not think was a very seemly thing for a magistrate to do. Mr. Lewis then said, " But you perceive that there ia a lock on the gate," to which Mr. Rees itplied, " But that can be removed." Mr. Lewis then enquired, " Do you really mean to say, that you will break this lock┬╗" Mr. Rees said, " Certainly, we shall do it. The property is ours. You have no right to the burial ground, and are only a trespasser." Mr. Lewis then said, " will you break the lock, and remove the obstructions, ' that I may have a proper person against whom to.bring my action r""*Mr. Rees replied " Certainly, I will give you that opportunity ; I will break it myself." Mr. Lewis then Baid, "You will pledge your word to this ?" to which Mr. Rees answered, " I will." They then parted. Mr. Rees returned to Narberth, and saw the friends there, to whom he related the conver- sation, and strongly urged them to take possession of the burial ground, which they resolved to do.

The issue ofthe quarrel waa a second funeral on the fouilh of thirf month, which crowded the road for thiee miles with carnages, horses, andloot passengers. Mr. Lewib.not content with the locking ofthe church j aid gate, which would have been sufficient demon stiationof his light, had he possessed one, went so tar us to throw up a fence of thorns at the entrance of the field in which the burial ground stands, he and some of his friends standing behind the works they had thus thrown up.

Mr. Rees, accompanied by some of his friends, walked at the head of the prooession, the coffin being immediately behind them, and on their reaching the outside of the thorn fence Mr. Lewis approached it on the inside. Mr. Rees then inquired "whether Mr. Lewis was present, and on Mr. Lawis himself an- swering in the affirmative, the following conversation

ensued :

Mr. Rees : Did you put up this fence, Mr. Lewis ?

Mr. Lewis : 1 did.

Mr. Rees : We are come to bury our dead ; will

you remove it ?

Mr. Lewis: I will not.

Mr. Rees: Then I shall proceed to remove it myself.

Mr, Lewis : Pray stop a moment ; let me have my witnesses present to Bee what you do.

The witnesses having succeeded in forcing their way through the crowd, which by this time had filled the intide of the field about the entrance, Mr. Rees again asked the questions of Mr. Lewis, and having received similar answers he (Mr. Rues) said, " I now proceed to remove this obstruction." He then took hold of an upright stake, and having pulled it out of the ground, said, " Are there any persons here who will help me to take this obstruction down ? In stantly a score of persons from inside and outside field laid forcible grasp upon the fence, and in less than a minute the whole of the obstruction was thrown beeide the hedge, and the entrance to the field

was free.

_ The fence having been tom down, Mr. Lewis re- tired on his second position at the gate ot the grave-

yard.

His second defence was forced, and then spades, pickaxes, and brickB being procured, the grave hud to be dug and bricked while the time of waiting was employed in a religious service, in an adja- cent field that was not the property of Mr. J. L. P. G.

LewiB.

A TRAFALGAR HERO.-John Fea, one of the few remaining Trafalgar heroes, died on Sunday evening, at the Bge of 96. He was bom in Orkney, and was great-grandson ol John Fea, of Clestran, who was an extensive landed proprietor. His great-grand-uncle, also of the Orkneys, captured the notable pirate Gow, an account of whom may be seen in Peferkin's Notes. The property belonging to hiB great-grandfather having been lost in his father's minority, he was brought up in childhood by the Trails of Orkney. When a boy of eight years he fled from the roof of his guardians, and embarked on board a merchant- man. Having served an apprenticeship in the mer- chantman, he was pressed as an ablebodied seaman in the naval service during the Peninsular war. He served under Nelson at the battle of Trafalgar on board the Indefatigable, commanded by Captain Graham Moore, brother of Sir John Moore, the hero of Corunna. He was also at the taking of three Spanish galleons laden with gold and silver. One of the three having been blown up during the engagement, the remaining two were takeu as prizes to England. Having been pressed against his will, and not liking the service, Fea embraced the first opportunity to de- sert. The consequence of this step was that he lost all participation in the prize money, which was consider- able, was debarred from applying for a pension, and precluded from enjoying BO much as the honour of wearing a medal, which he would otherwise have done. During all his voyages (and some of his cruises extended over a period of five years) he never had the ill-luck to receive a single mishap, save that once, during a storm, while aloft, he was struck on the foot by a yard-arm, which left a mark through life. Qult tpg the seafaring life, he entered the employment of the Forth ana Clyde Cual Company, in whose service he continued for forty-eight yean, during which time be provea feimielf ┬╗ fcthfid HnuU-JMkirk Herald.

Digitisation generously supported by
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Digitisation generously supported by

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