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Llangadog PresentLlangadog is situated in the heart of the Towy Valley half way between Llandeilo and Llandovery. A village with a population of approximately 1,000 people it is situated on the western edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park and surrounded by beautiful rolling hills and pasture with stunning views towards the Black Mountains. However, this picturesque tranquil village has not always been so peaceful with two murders being committed there albeit a very long time ago!

Llangadog PastIn 1768, nine men were tried at Hereford for the murder of William Powell, of Glanareth, Llangadog. Evidence was given in Welsh. The following were found guilty, and were hanged on March 30th at Hereford: William Spiggott, William Morris, David Morgan (alias Lacey), William Walter Evan and Charles David Morgan, all of Llangadog, and David Llewellyn of Llandovery. Those acquitted were William Thomas (alias Blink), John Spiggott and William Charles although Thomas, and Walter Evan, who had turned king's evidence, were subsequently hung for other crimes.

 
The instigator of the crime, William Williams, wished to marry Powell's wife and therefore planned her husband's murder. (Mrs Williams claimed that her husband had twice tried to murder her, in one case through poisoning her tea.) Powell was set upon in his own parlour on 8th January 1768 by the accused and received 20 wounds, eight of which were said to be mortal. The footprints of Charles David Morgan and spots of blood were traced in the snow, and Morgan in turn accused several of his accomplices. Powell was buried in the chancel of Llangadog church.
 
Three years later, Williams' brother John and two others were tried on the charge of being accomplices in the murder, and were acquitted.
 
The main culprit, William Williams managed to escape legal retribution. He fled the country to France, keeping a school near St Omer's. However he also met a sudden death; a boat cruise ended in disaster and he drowned, along with some of his pupils.
 
In 1817, there was another hanging of a Llangadog man accused of murder. Rees Thomas Rees, a preacher of Gellibant, near Llangadog, was convicted of administering a poisonous drug to Elizabeth Jones, of Ynystoddeb, Gwynfe, Llangadog, which caused her death.
 
Rees and Elizabeth were lovers, but when she became pregnant, her father refused his permission for the marriage. At her request, Rees obtained a drug to end the pregnancy, which poisoned her. He fled to Liverpool intending to emigrate to America. There he changed his mind and despite the entreaties of his friends, returned to Carmarthen where he surrendered himself, trusting in his innocence of intention to murder.
 
However, the court was not sympathetic, and he was executed a few days later. A sympathetic crowd, claimed to be over 10,000 people, attended the occasion and by all accounts were deeply moved by his last prayers.
 
Article submitted by Nigel Williams (ex Inspector) and photographs of old Llangadog reproduced with the kind permission of Llangadog Community website.