Blog - Building Beginnings

Neighbourhood watch

It’s all very well knowing your neighbours and keeping a look out for strange goings on the vicinity, but when your address is sullied by one of them in the local paper it’s time to pay a visit to the perpetrator and have a few words. The only problem in the case of David Williams, was that he had been detained at Her Majesty’s Pleasure twenty miles away in Shrewsbury and was not ‘at home’ to visitors, neighbourly or otherwise.

Half-full BeerIt began as a regular evening out, a visit to the local hostelry for a pint or two, after a day in the fields in December 1894 for Thomas Davies and his pal Henry Parry. After a lengthy session at the Oak Inn, they moved on to the King’s Head several hours later where they got into a debate with Williams about  how many bags of corn they could each carry. After leaving the pub, the discussion continued, growing more heated until blows were struck and Williams pushed Davies into a ditch. After further struggle Williams got hold of Davies by the nose with his teeth and bit off the end of it. The fracas ended with Davies being punched in the eye after which Williams weaved his way home.

barred windowWhen apprehended the next day by P C Lewis following a brief chase, Williams admitted to having been drunk the previous evening saying ‘I did bite him, and he drove me in that passion that I did not know what I was doing’. In court two weeks later his only statement was ‘What I said to the Police Constable was true’. He pleaded guilty to the charge of assaulting Thomas Davies and two previous convictions of misdemeanour and was committed to Shrewsbury Prison for two months with hard labour.

Perhaps this was the trigger for Williams’s neighbour to change the name of his property from ‘Stone House’ to avoid any association with such shameful behaviour.

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