Christmastime in the Dean (General)

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Thursday, December 26, 2013, 20:36 (2392 days ago)

I've been scouring the Welsh Newspapers site hoping to find joyous reports of Foresters celebrating Christmas festivities, such as carol concerts and pantomimes. However despite my optimism it seems the newspapers were more interested in showing the darker side of life.... perhaps just reflecting the harsh truth that times were very hard for the majority especially during the winter months.
Here's a few of the articles I found, with a bias towards the more pleasant ones, I'll add more as I find them:

Cardiff Weekly Mail, 30 December 1882,
The tenth Christmas show was held on Friday week, and the prizes were awarded in the evening. There were eight classes, and included turkeys, geese, ducks, fowls, apples (dessert), ditto (baking), pears and potatoes- In Class 1, Mrs. Garland of Stowe, took first prize for turkeys. Class 2, geese, Mrs Watkins of Millend, first; table of six ditto, Mrs Watkins was also awarded first; for cottagers, Mrs Watts, Berry Hill, first. Class 3, ducks, Mrs. Watkins, of Millend, first; and Class 4, Mrs. Townsend, of Mark, took first prize. Other prize-makers were Mrs. Miles, Stow; Mrs. Voyce, Whitehall; Mrs. Ebborn, Berry Hill; Mrs. Beard, Coxhuny; Mrs Teague, Trowgreen; Mrs. Vaughan, Cardwell; Mrs. Williams, Oakwood; Mrs Clements, Monk; Mr. H. Fox, Clearwell; Mrs. Townsend, Rock; Mrs Keedwell, St Briavel's; and Mrs Simms, Whitecliff, highly commended. In the fruit classes there were no exhibits worthy of notice. There was a large show of birds, and the poultry generally was of very superior quality. Messrs J.W. Boyce, J. Griffiths, and G. W. Bryant were the judges, and the duties of hon. Secretary were satisfactorily discharged by Mr. Bull."


Cardiff Times, 13 January 1883,
TUESDAY.— (Before Lieut.-Colonel Davies, Mr. Palmer, Dr. Batten, and Mr. Trotter.)—
Riotous Conduct.
— William Taylor, miner, of Clearwell, was fined 20s. for riotous conduct on the 23rd ult., at the Red Lion, Coleford. Assaults.—Eysom Yar- worth and William Merry, young colliers, of Clear- well, were charged with having, on the 23rd ult., assaulted James Baker, an engine-fitter, of Lane- end. Defendants were fined 20s. each and costs.— George Williams, a collier of Lvdbrook, was charged with assaulting Henrietta Powell, wife of Henry Powell, of the same place. Fined 10s. and costs. Trespassing in Pursuit of Game.—George Jones, of Hillersland, near Coleford, was charged with being in pursuit of game on Christmas Day, upon lands the property of the Crown. Ordered to pay costs.


Monmouthshire Merlin, 29 December 1860,
CHRISTMAS AT THE WORKHOUSE. — The poor of this union were regaled on Christmas-day with roast beef and plum pudding, the result of a subscription raised, we believe, for the purpose. The master and matron- Mr. and Mrs. Rogers — contributed all in their power towards the comfort of the inmates on the occasion. In the evening a very nicely decorated Christmas tree was introduced, from the branches of which were suspended little articles of use and interest, which were distributed to the poor inmates, who were evidently much pleased with the manner in which the master and matron bad endeavoured to amuse them.
CHRISTMAS SHOW.- The festive season brought about the usual gay appearance in this town, the grocer's shops being very tastefully set out: while the butchers evidently strove hard to excel each other in their exhibitions of meat. The shops of Mr. W. Cowles, of Church-street, Mr. Webb, of Monnow-street, and in fact all were dressed very prettily with laurels, &c., and the show of meat was extremely good. Mr. William Watkins, of Monnow-street, exhibited a rare assortment of prime beasts. We must not omit to mention that the shops of Mr. Charles Farror, and Mr. Bowen, confectioners, were also tastefully adorned, especially Mr. Bowen' which was a fairy temple modelled out of wax. This structure was composed of six tiers or floors, the fairy being a very conspicuous object in the uppermost. The temple was certainly a novel specimen of confectionary art."


Illustrated Usk Observer & Raglan Herald, 19 December 1863,
DEATH FROM BURNING.— The poor old woman, Davis, whose accident we recorded last week, died on Thursday last, from the injuries she sustained.
VOLUNTEER SUPPER.-On Monday, Major King, formerly Captain of the 6th Monmouthshire, entertained the members of the corps at supper, at the King's Head Hotel. There was a numerous company, above 75, and the evening was most pleasantly spent.
CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS.— The whole of the principal tradesmen of this town, intend closing their establishments the day after Christmas Day, to enable those in their employ, to visit their friends. The great Christmas Market will be held on Wednesday, the 23rd. [See advertisement.]"

Christmastime in the Dean

by MPGriffiths @, Thursday, December 26, 2013, 21:47 (2392 days ago) @ Jefff

In Downloads, Miscellaneous articles - is a copy from the Gentleman's Magazine 1822 - by my x Great Uncle born Awre- which said the Foresters celebrated Christmas 5* January (article on Google Books)

'The Foresters from the secluded sitation of this part of the country, and by not mixing much with their more enlightened neighbours, have a great many superstitious customs among them, of which the following are some of the most remarkable.

They implicitly believe old Christmas (5th of January) to be the real Christmas Day, and no arguements whatever would convince them of their error. On that night (they say) exactly at twelve o'clock, the herb rosemary blossoms, which is proof that our Saviour was born at that hour. The oxen likewise kneel down at the same time and some will go so far as to say they have actually seen these prodigies.

On old Christmas Day they will not suffer any females to enter their houses, and during the above day and the eleven succeeding ones, they will not suffer any fire to be taken out of their houses. If you ask them their reasons for observing the above customs, they will tell you it is unlucky to break them, and recount several strange accidents which have happened to persons who have been presumptuous enough to do so'.

Old Christmas Day (Calender Act 1751) -

In 1752 our Calender skipped 11 days……

Christmastime in the Dean

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Thursday, December 26, 2013, 22:19 (2392 days ago) @ Jefff

Monmouthshire Merlin, 3rd January 1871,

SHOCKING DEATH OF A CHILD.— An accident of a most harrowing kind happened on the morning of Christmas day to a little boy, the youngest child of Mr George R. Hyam, of Monmouth. The nature of the occurrence will be understood from the evidence given at the inquest, on Thursday last. After taking the evidence of the surgeon, who deposed that the child was severely scalded, and died on the 26th ult. the Coroner called Mary Walby, cook in Mr Hyam's service. She said she was engaged in the kitch-en on Christmas day, and had taken from the fire a large pot in which she had boiled a pudding. She placed the pot on the ground, and was untying the pudding, when she heard a scream from the child. She had her back towards the child at the time. She immediately turned round and found that the child had fallen backwards into the boiling water. She took the child out and began to take his clothes off. The nurse was in the kitch-en at the time. —
In reply to questions from the coroner and members of the jury, it was elicited that the nurse was not assisting in the cooking, but had charge of the child.— The Coroner: It appears to me to be a case of gross neglect on the part of the nurse.— The jury unanimously concurred. - The Coroner, continuing, said: And it is such neglect that it amounts very nearly to actual manslaughter. If a railway official neglects his duty and a death occurs, you would have no hesitation in finding him guilty of manslaughter. It is the same case with this girl. How old is she ? Is she old enough to know better ?— Superintendent Wheeldon: Yes, Sir.-The Coroner: Why she should so neglect her duty as to allow a child eighteen months old to tumble into--& pot of boiling water, I cannot conceive. — Superintendent Wheeldon: The information I received was that she was fetched down into the kitch-en to assist the cook in getting the dinner ready. On inqury, it appeared that the nurse had been discharged on the morning of the accident, and the Superintendent, not being able to ascertain her whereabouts, It was impossible to summon her as a witness.— The Coroner expressed dissatisfaction at this, adding that most likely had she been present the jury would have thought proper commit her for manslaughter.— Mrs. Hyam, sen., being called in, these things were explained to .......
[Apologies for hyphenating "kitch-en", but this forum excludes the use of certain words particularly it seems those relating to rooms in a house]

From FoD PRs,

Record_ID: 315892
Entry_Number: 606
Year: 1870
Month: Dec
Day: 30
Surname: HYAM
Forenames: George Reginald
Residence: Monmouth
Age_at_death: Infant
Event: Burial
Parish_Chapel: Monmouth
Soundex: H500


Cardiff Weekly Mail, 15th January 1887,

BOARD OF GUARDIANS.— At the first meeting of the New Year Colonel Davies presided, and eleven other guardians were present. The Master reported that the inmates had had their Christmas dinner as ordered; also that Mrs Everett had sent mince pies for the old women and tobacco for the old men on Christmas Eve, and that Dr Prosser had presented the men in the Infirmary with tobacco and the children with sweets. Mr Hall had also given oranges for the inmates.
SEASONABLE BENEVOLENCE. His Worship the Mayor (Dr Willis) convened a special meeting of the corporation for Monday morning for the purpose of considering the condition of those thrown out of employ by the severe weather. After some little discussion in committee, it was resolved that the sum of £20 be expended in coal and bread, and that amount was placed in the handa of Mr Wheeldon, the corporation almoner.


Cardiff Times, 6th February 1886,

A GAME TRESPASS.— For trespassing in pursuit of game on Christmas Day, James Pitchers, Albert Williams, and Charles Williams, labourers, of Brockweir, were, at tho Coleford police-court, on Tuesday, fined 10s and costs.
ROWDYISM.—At the same court, Alfred Roberts, Geo. Charming, Martin Dowell, Wm. Driver, and John Perkins, colliers, of Coleford, were summoned for being drunk and disorderly at Coleford on Saturday night. They seemed to have behaved in a very disorderly manner. Roberts was fined 10s, and Channing and Perkins 5s. Dowell and Driver were discharged.
A LICENSING OFFENCE,—George Wilding, of the New Inn beerhouse, Bream, was charged with keeping his house open during prohibited hours on the 25th January. P.C. Hall deposed that at half-past ten he saw Samuel Preest, a former landlord of the house, and Mr Edwin James, solicitor, of Bream, enter the house. He listened outside, and overheard a conversation between the two men and the landlady as to supplying the drink. He also heard some money pass. Defendant came to the door once or twice and looked up and down the street. Witness afterwards went into the house and found James and Preest sitting by the fire with glasses, which had contained drink, before them. The magistrates fined the defendant 40s and costs.

For Samuel PREEST pls see this prior thread which I think is the same man.
Oh those beery Breamers, eh !? ;-)

Christmastime in the Dean

by downunder @, Friday, December 27, 2013, 13:41 (2392 days ago) @ Jefff

I just knew those beery Breamers would make an appearance somewhere before too long....

hee hee! and great tales of Christmas yore


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