Petty Crime Cases in Rosemarket 

There have been a number of historic Court cases over the years in Rosemarket for petty crime which were reported in the local newspapers. It would seem that many of these petty crime cases were due to drunkenness. The following are summaries of some of these newspaper articles:

Joseph Picton vs. Phoebe Llewellin – A Boundary dispute 

On 9th Dec 1887, there was a “dispute between neighbours” as we would call it today. Taking people to court was the only way to resolve some of these disputes. Disagreements carried on for years in some cases. This is one such case. Joseph Picton from Rosemarket charged Phoebe Llewellin with “Wilfully damaging his property”, that is clothing he had put on a hedge to dry. The value of the clothes was 10s. 

Phoebe was living with her mother and was a neighbour of Joseph. She had an ongoing issue with him leaving clothes todry on a boundary hedge with her mother's garden. Phoebe claimed one half of the hedge belonged to her mother's property and that Joseph crossed “the breadth of a field” to put his washing out to dry on the other side of it. This had really annoyed her for a long time. 

Joseph said that he placed his washing on “his side of the fence” which his wife’s family had done for 54 years.   

At the time of the incident, they had met and had an argument at the hedge, where she told him to take away his clothes “or else upon her soul she would give them a plaster". He refused to take them away and told her to remember that she had a soul! 

He told her he would make the matter known to Mr Stokes, the agent of the estate (implying both were tenants with the same landlord). She replied that he could do what he liked and threw “stuff” from her side of the fence onto the clothes. The “stuff” thrown was tar and filth. About eighteen items were soiled, some of them being completely ruined.  

Phoebe said that if more than four articles were soiled, Joseph must have soiled them himself. Joseph said that Phoebe told him she would do what she did “even if she was sent to Carmarthen Jail!”. 

Charlotte Smith was Phoebe’s mother and said she was the tenant of the property and that the same thing happened the previous year when Mr Stokes, the agent had told Joseph’s wife not to put washing on the hedge. 

This was the end of the hearing for this Court case; however, Charlotte Smith then took legal proceedings in the same court against Mary Picton (Joseph’s wife) for cutting the hedge, insisting it was her property. This case was dismissed by the Bench. 

The Bench fined Phoebe Llewellin 6d, and ordered her to pay 7s. 6d. damages with costs. The total amounted to 13s. 


April 17th 1863 

At the Magistrates' Clerk's Office on Thursday, Thomas Smith, gunner in the Royal Pembrokeshire Artillery Military, was brought up in custody by P. C. John Harries, charged with being drunk and riotous at Rosemarket on the evening of 15th and using threatening language towards Stephen Morris, landlord of the New Inn, Rosemarket, and also with assaulting a P.C. in the execution of his duty. The defendant was handed over to his Commanding Officer to be dealt with. 

16th January 1918Defendant: Katie Thomas

Complainant: William Rhys Jones

Defended: Mr. R. D. Lowless 

A case which attracted considerable local interest at Rosemarket during WW1, judging by the fact that most of the villagers made it a point of journeying to Haverfordwest to hear the evidence, was heard at the Rhose Sessions, when William Rhys Jones, a farmer from Rosemarket summoned Katie Thomas for an assault.


Snippets of the newspaper reporting are as follows and have been largely left unedited to capture the language, locations and people involved.

There was a cross-summons. Mr. R. D. Lowless. Pembroke Dock. defended.

William Rhys Jones

William Rhys Jones said that on the night of the 24th he was engaged in conversation with some of the villagers, and remarked about the Katie Thomas’s son leaving farm work for the railway.

The defendant happened to pass that way at the time, and told him he had better leave her brother alone. Mrs Thomas was then going to fetch water, and on the way back from the well she accused him of immoral conduct, and when he demanded an explanation she threw the can of water over him, and would have done the same thing with the other can but for the fact that he seized hold of her and forcibly prevented her. But she managed to knock him in the head with the empty can.

Defendant subsequently went back to the well to fill her other can, and afterwards waited to see if he was about.

Complainant added that the defendant and her mother were known as the “Huns of Rosemarket” [“Huns” – a term for the Germans during WW1].

The Clerk: Did you strike her? No, I pushed her off.

Cross-examined, complainant said he was unaware of the defendant's approach when he made the remark concerning her brother. The observation was, however, of no harm.

Mr Lowless: Didn't you say you had sent the other brother to France, and that you would send this one too?


Complainant denied having said so; but alluded to a recent quarrel with a brother, in which he said it was quite right he should be in France bayoneting Germans, and not trying to push the evil into him.

Mr Lowless: Didn't you say when the defendant was returning from the well "Sneak didn't hear us this time, boys?

I did not: Did she tell you that she accused me of going with other women?  Mr Lowless: I am not here for you to ask me questions.

Complainant said defendant addressed him thus: "Thou'st better leave Jack John's name alone." He denied having struck the defendant, nor did he catch hold of her by the throat. He merely prevented her throwing the other can of water over him.

Mr Lowless: You caught hold of her and dragged her across the road? No.

Can you suggest why she should have "bruises about her? I never saw them.

Did you cause them? I did not.

Did she scream? No

I am going to bring a witness that she was badly bruised and knocked about; can you. suggest how she got them?

I don't know how she got them. When she screamed some people came running down the village and you made off did you not.

Where are the people? She wanted people to come and give false evidence against me, but they would not come.

Mr Lowless said that Pte. Warlow was one of those who heard the screams, and he had returned to France.

Harry Davies

Harry Davies, labourer, Rosemarket, said he was with the complainant when the remark was made about defendant's brother leaving farm work. On the return journey defendant taunted Mr Jones with going with women, and she also threw a can of water over him.

Cross-examined, witness said he never heard complainant make use of the remark "Sneak never heard us this time, boys." It was a dark night.

Mr Lowless: I suppose the real truth of the matter is that this conversation was intended to annoy the defendant? No not that I am aware of.


In further cross-examination witness said he never saw Mr. Jones strike the defendant. He denied that they were unfriendly to Mrs Thomas. The only scuffle he saw was the complainant shoving away the can of water. He heard no scream. PC Warlow came down when it was all over. As to the alleged assault by the complainant, witness said he would not have stood by to see a man kick a woman, adding "I have a woman of my own."

Rees Bowen

Rees Bowen, a shipwright apprentice in the Dockyard, gave evidence and in answer to the Clerk said he never saw the complainant strike or kick the defendant. Cross-examined: It was a dark night. I did not hear the defendant scream.

Andrew Davies

Another youth, Andrew Davies, carpenter, Rosemarket, also gave evidence on behalf of complainant. He said he heard defendant accuse complainant of going with women and she also taunted him with not being able to do his own work right, on the farm.

A farm labourer named Rees, employed with Mr. Jones, admitted having had a conversation with Mrs. John, defendant’s mother, about this case, but denied having said that Mr. Jones I struck the defendant.


Catherine Thomas

I Catherine Thomas, the defendant, said she I was a widow. On the night referred to she l was going to the well for water when she heard, Mr. Jones refer to her brother. She broke in with a remark that her brother, had been in France for 12 months and he had better leave his name out.

Complainant said he would send the other brother there as well. Complainant added that he supposed she had been listening in the hedge like a sneak. On the return journey complainant said "Sneak didn't hear anything this time boys," and came across the road and accused her of saying something about him and the servant girl. He then struck her in the chest, and she threw a can of water over him.

Complainant then kicked her about the body and caught hold of her by the throat. She screamed and Miss Jennie Morris ran out. PC Warlow also came down to see what was the matter.

She told the defendant, that he had not assaulted her for nothing. Defendant added that she had -lived in the village for 28 years.

Dr Dundas

Dr Dundas, Neyland, gave evidence of having examined the defendant, and found three scratches on the left side of the neck, a bruise on the top of the chest, and also on the inner side of the left thigh. These bruises were consistent with the defendant's story.

Cross examined: The mark on the neck had the mark of a finger print.

Complainant: Would they be by me? (Laughter).

Mr Lowless

Addressing the bench Mr Lowless said it occurred to him that it was a rather scandalous thing that a respectable farmer like Mr Jones should be in court in a case of this kind.

Here, a man who could find nothing better to do than stand at the village corner discussing other people with a lot of boys. The boy who had left the farm was not yet liable for military service, and the complainant obviously made use of the remark for the purpose of annoyance.

The bench- found the assault proved, and fined Mrs Thomas 5s, with the witnesses' costs. The cross-summons was dismissed.

Rosemarket Vicar takes legal action against debtors
March 7th 1851

Plaintiff:                 Rev. Wm. Edwardes (Vicar)
Defendants:          David Rees (Inn Keeper of the New Inn) and Henry Nash (Shipwright)

William Edwards v. David Rees and Henry Nash, for £ 10 18s 10 ½d., fourth instalment due on a promissory note [loan], and 10s. 7 ½d.

Mr Parry, for the defendant Rees, admitted the debt. Mr Lloyd appeared for the plaintiff.

Joseph Morris; I am a farmer, residing at the Big House, Rosemarket. I know the plaintiff, the Rev. Wm. Edwardes, he is the vicar of Rosemarket. I know David Rees and Henry Nash, both of Rosemarket. 

The Note of Hand produced I saw was signed by both Parties- The signature thereto is mine, as the attesting witness.  Nash is a shipwright in the Dock-yard, Pembroke-dock and keeps a small farm at Rosemarket. David Rees keeps a public house in the village, called the “New Inn”. One years interest is due, with the exception of 10 days .

Judgement for the Plaintiff (i.e. the vicar): to pay in a month.

Assault by Job Llewellin
July 18th 1889

Defendant: Job Llewellin

Job Llewellin of Rosemarket, was charged with assaulting William Davies.

The complainant deposed that on the day named in the summons he was at the house of W. John, who lived next door to defendant.

Mrs John invited him and a companion to go into the garden to have some gooseberries. They went into the garden, which was divided from defendant's garden by a path. The defendant said he was not one foot or four feet off his premises, and struck him with a spade twice on the shoulders. He (complainant) went out into the road, and the defendant came and struck him on the side of the face.

James John and Mrs John corroborated the complainant's evidence. The defendant said he spoke to complainant about crossing his garden, and the complainant used strong language to him. He (defendant) got into a temper, and gave complainant two strokes with the blade of the spade upon his shoulder.

The Bench fined defendant 5s. with costs. 

Story of a Missing Bicycle.  
November 19th 1919 


On Saturday last, at Roose petty sessions, Lewis Davies, of Rosemarket, was charged with stealing a bicycle, value £5, the property of William Rees, of Hayston Hall, at Neyland on the 1st inst.  
Col. W. J. Jones appeared for the defence.  
Complainant, a labourer in Pembroke Dock- yard, stated that on Saturday, 1st November, he cycled to the Farmers' Arms, Neyland, arriving there in the evening between 7 and 7.30. 
He stayed there about 2 hours. He left his bicycle outside the door.  
Defendant was in the public-house when witness got there. Witness went to the door on several occasions to have a look at his bike, the last time being at 20 minutes past 9, when it was all right and was the only bicycle there.  
Defendant and William Kelly left the Farmers' Arms together about 10 minutes before witness, who left at 20 minutes to 10 and discovered that his bicycle, was missing.  
Witness said the bicycle (which he valued at £5), at Neyland police station the following Wednesday. 
William Kelly, of Burton, stated that he left the public-house about 9 o'clock in the company of defendant, and they went home together.  
Defendant was then in possession of a bicycle, and witness had one also.  
While in the Fanners' Arms witness left his bicycle outside. He and defendant wheeled their bicycles home, witness not having a light.  
Cross-examined, Defendant had his own bicycle when he went home with witness.  
Witness never saw William Rees nor his bicycle. He knew defendant's bicycle.  
By the Court: He identified defendant's bicycle by the handle bars, which were very big, being extremely wide.  
It was an old bike; Samuel George Lay, husband of the licensee of the Farmers' Arms, remembered defendant and complainant being in the house on the night in question.  
Defendant came there about half-past 6 and complainant a good half-hour afterwards.  
Defendant left about 9 o'clock, but witness could not say when complainant left; it was probably about half-past 9.  
Witness saw two bicycles outside the door, one on each side. He did not know whose they were.  
William George Picton, of Norton Hill, near Rosemarket, said that on the 1st inst. he fancied he saw defendant passing his door about 6 o'clock.  
By the Court: Witness "fancied" it was pendant, but defendant afterwards told him it was his brother and not him at all.  
Witness, continuing, said the man he "fancied was defendant Had no bicycle. P.S. Morgan stated that at 11 p.m. on the 1st inst. he received information from complainant that he had lost his bicycle from outside the Farmers' Arms.  
Witness took a description of the bicycle and made enquiries.  
At 7.30 p.m. next day, in company with P.C. James, he visited Rosemarket village, where they found the missing bicycle (produced in court) on the side of the road about 146 yards from defendant's house.  
Witness called at defendant's house and told him they were making enquiries about a bicycle stolen from the Farmers' Arms at 9.30 p.m. and took my bicycle cautioned defendant, who said, I took my own bicycle down to the Farmers' Arms.  
I arrived there at 6.30 p.m. I placed my bicycle on the upper side of the road. I left the Farmers' Arms at 9.30 p.m. and took my bicycle with me. 
" The bicycle found by the roadside was identified by complainant as his property.  
By the Court: Defendant showed witness a bicycle which was very similar to that of complainant's; the handles were a little bit wider.  
Col. Jones, for the defence, submitted he had no case to answer.  
The magistrates, however, held that there was a case to answer.  
Defendant was thereupon sworn, and on being formally charged, pleaded not guilty, and asked to be summarily tried.  
He gave evidence that he was now employed in the Docks at Milford Haven.  
He was at the Farmers' Arms on the night in question but touched no other bicycle but his own. He went down on his own bicycle. He left it outside the inn, and on coming out found it there and took it home in the company of Kelly, who knew the bicycle well.  
Cross examined: Kelly and witness left at the same time. Witness left his bicycle on the Rosemarket side of the door.  
Witness's brother saw him riding his bicycle down to Neyland that night, but witness saw no one else on the road.  
By the Court: Witness was married and had eight children. He caused great amusement in court by adding, there will very shortly be another there, by the look of it. 
"His youthful appearance made the remark all the more striking. He had not brought his brother as a witness because he thought it would be of no use the relationship.  
The Chairman, in announcing the decision of the court, said it was a very suspicious case, but ¡ the bench were going to give the defendant the benefit of the doubt. 
They dismissed the case. 


27th November 1908
ROOSE-Saturday. Before Messrs. W. Howell Walters (in the chair), J. T. Fisher, SJ Roberts, and S. W. Dawkins.

Furiously Riding a horse on the highway


[Note:  John Gilpin was in a comic ballad from 1782 by William Cowper where John Gilpin became separated from his wife and children when his horse bolted and carried him 10 miles without stopping.  It is assumed that this was an amusing common term-of-phrase at the time relating to someone riding a horse recklessly.  A link to the entertaining balad is here]

 James Palmer, Rosemarket was charged with furiously riding a horse on the highway.

A constable stated that the defendant was galloping a pony furiously along the road. He was riding the animal without saddle or bridle.

He scattered three cows along the road, and a horse and trap had to pull out of the wayward and a cyclist was forced to dismount from his machine.

When stopped the defendant said that the pony did not belong to him. He had taken it from a field.

The police had kept the pony for a week, and it had not yet been claimed by the owner.

The Chairman said the defendant would have to pay a fine of 10s. and costs.


Assault of a Child
2nd October 1867

Esther John was charged with assaulting Hannah Evans.

The defendant denied the charge. The complainant deposed that she lived at Rosemarket, and that the defendant came to the school, and, accusing her of beating her child, seized her, and pushed her down on the form. She slapped her in the face, and struck her several times.

Miss Scott, the schoolmistress at Rosemarket, deposed that the defendant came into the school, and complained respecting Evans, but as the affair took place out of school, she told her she had nothing to do with it. She turned away to attend to her duties, and thought the defendant would leave the school; but instead of doing so, she seized the girl, and thumped her with her hand. She separated them, and she saw blood upon the complainant.

The defendant said that the complainant had beaten her children, and she spoke to the schoolmistress about it. On the day in question, the complainant struck her with stones, and abused her.

The Bench fined the defendant 5s and costs, amounting altogether to 18s 6d, which she was allowed a month to pay.