Symud i'r prif gynnwys

" Old Brecknock Chips." 37 those days had been obtained, persons were not allowed to start in business in Brecon, without paying heavy fines, and after they got a footing, the new comers were, likely enough, killed by prejudice, and discounten¬ anced by the wealthy relations of those who still " traded," and considered they had a monopoly to everybodys' custom. Some interesting records, bearing upon the manner in which " new comers " were fined, can be gleaned from the old Borough Book of Orders. We give one or two specimens :— 1698.—" Ordered that Mr Wm. Lewis, elected to be one of the chamberlains of this borough for the ensuing year, doe pay into the hands of Mr John Jeffreys the sum of three gwynus (guineas) for and towards the reimbursing of several persons, trades¬ men of this burrough, of some costs and expenses att law which they have been lately putt to, in suing the said William Lewis for intruding upon this liberty and putting up a mercer's shop therein, being noe burgess or freeman thereof, and that upon payment thereof the said Mr Lewis be admitted as burgess of this corporation." 1710.—From the following entry it would appear that bribery and corruption was the order of the day, unblushingly committed " Ordered that William Powell, mercer, upon his paying of two gwynus (guineas) into the hands of Mr Aid. James, to be by him laid out for the reparation of the pitching and paving of ye High street, in this towne, be admitted and sworn a burgess of the corporation." [Note.—The frequency with which persons were sworn in as burgesses points to the fact that politics controlled the council, these burgesses being the only persons eligible to vote for the "borough member." London merchants, Monmouthshire squires, and Glamorganshire parsons were elected burgesses with the greatest possible freedom.] This system was not only a business fine, but did away with the necessity of levying board of health rates. The following are the dates when " charters" to various trade guilds in the town were approved by the " bayliffe, aldermen, and common counsell":—The Charter of Ordinances of the Fellowship of Mercers (August, 1667); a charter was granted to the glovers on the 29th Septem¬ ber, 1670. Where are these old charters and ordinances noiv, we wonder ? What a light they could throw upon the ways of the early " trades unions !" The good and pious old monopolisers of two hundred years ago would be slightly astonished if they could revisit these earthly scenes, and view the great preponderance of modern drapers and grocers over the old "glovers" and " mercers." In closing these articles, we may say that " the Town and Trade of Brecon " has no need to be ashamed of the past, and if great estates cannot now be bought with the profits of modern trading, tradesmen can still leave behind them monuments of honour and integrity, of self-respect and personal independence of character. No man is expected to cringe for his bread and cheese now-a-days : our ancestors, we are afraid, or at least some of them, were sad sinners, and went in for "policy" before principle, and "profit" before independence of character. The Editor. FEIDAY, MARCH 9th, 1888. " Old Brecknock Chips " did not appear. FRIDAY, MARCH 16th, 1888. BRECON TURNPIKE ROADS ACT, 1809. I have a copy of this Act before me, passed 30th March, 1809, and although it is entitled the " Brecon Turnpike Roads Act," the preamble clearly points out that it had some connection with two other Welsh counties—Radnor and Glamorgan. It was passed " for more effectually repairing, " improving, and keeping in repair several " roads in the counties of Brecon, Radnor, "and Glamorgan, and for making and "maintaining two new branches of road to " communicate therewith." It appeared that the old toll system had been greatly abused, and the tolls, exorbitant though they were, were quite unavailing to pay off the debts. This new Act was necessary, especially s.o as several roads required widening and taking over as turnpike roads. We must remember this was the day of coach, not steam. The new roads made by the Act of 1809 were : The road from Brecon to Merthyr, which joined the Mer- thyr and Neath road at Hirwain common ; and also the road from Crickhowell to Llanelly was made under this Act. All previous Acts were repealed, and the present Act (of 49 George III., cap. 14) took their place. Clause IV. of the Act describes all the roads under the jurisdiction of the Brecon Trustees ; and Clause V. consists of five closely-printed pages, setting forth the names of the new trustees. It appears by Clause VII. that the qualification for trustee was the enjoyment of £80 clear per annum from a landed estate, or a personal estate of