Sarah Elizabeth (Howell) Owen continued
includes several pictures - may take a while to load
On Thursday 13th February, the South Wales Evening Post reported:

"Miss Bessie Roberts, who was so dangerously wounded by gunshots at Nantmoel Farm, Pontardawe on Tuesday noght, died from her terrible wounds at one o'clock on Thursday afternoon."

With Bessie's death, the charge against John Thomas became one of
"wilful murder". He was said to have seemed "staggered" at the news of her death.  Ironically perhaps, on 14th February, an inquest was held at Pontardawe after the jury had first visited the farm to view the scene of the crime.  It was revealed at the inquest that Bessie had been in her aunt's care since infancy and was regarded as her daughter.  On Saturday 15th February Thomas was taken to the Swansea County Police Court where he was remanded in custody at Swansea Gaol until the Pontardawe Sessions on the following Friday.  On that date a plea of insanity was entered and Thomas was committed for trial.  He was later apparently found insane and committed to an asylum for life.

Bessie was buried on Tuesday 18th February at Baran Chapel graveyard, only 200 yards from her home.  On the interior North wall of the chapel that had been founded by her great-grandfather, a plaque was erected to Bessie's memory.  It is inscribed:
                              In loving memory of
                                           BESSIE
                                 adopted daughter of
        THOMAS and SARAH ELIZABETH OWEN, Brynwith
     and eldest daughter of JOHN and MARY JONES ROBERTS
                                           Nantmole
              who died February 13th, 1908, aged 24 years 
            interred at Baran Cemetery February 18th 1908
          "Thy way is in the sea, and thy path is in the great  
                  waters, and thy footsteps are not known"
                 This tablet was erected by the Church and
           Congregation of Baran, and kind Christian friends.
Bessie
Following Bessie's death, a heartbroken Sarah and Thomas felt unable to remain at Brynwith.  They built a new house - which was an almost exact copy - and called it Alltygog.   They lived there for the rest of their lives.
Thomas & Sarah Owen
Thomas Owen died on 23rd March 1921, aged 84 and Sarah Elizabeth died 9 years later, on 25th November 1930, aged 86.  They were both buried with Bessie.  Their grave lies next to that of Bessie's parents Mary Jane, who died 4th December 1910 aged 58 and John Roberts, who died 12th July 1921 aged 78.  Later, 2 of Bessie's brothers, Griffith and Frederick were also buried here.
Sarah's Will
This is the last Will and Testament of me Sarah Elizabeth Owen of "Alltygog" Pontardawe in the county of Glamorgan, Widow.  I revoke all former Wills and appoint my nephews Herbert Evan Roberts, William Price Roberts and John Howell Roberts executors of this my Will.  I give devise and bequeath my leasehold dwelling house and premises known as Alltygog and now in my occupation to my nephew the said John Howell Roberts absolutely - subject to the conditions under which I hold the same.  All the rest and residue of my real and personal property whatsoever and wheresoever I give devise and bequeath unto my nephews and nieces following the said Herbert Evan Roberts, William Price Roberts and John Howell Roberts and Lewis Howell Roberts, Anne Maud Thomas, Caroline Winifred Thomas, Frederick Walter Roberts and Eva May Jones absolutely share and share alike.  In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this eleventh day of November one thousand on hundred and twenty nine. 

Signed and acknowledged by me the said Sarah
Elizabeth Owen as her last Will and Testament
in the presence of us present at the same time
whom her presence and in the presence of each
other have hereunto subscribed our names as
witnesses

J C ?Lewis, Bryncaredig, Pontardawe, draper

B. Islwyn Phillips, Fedw Hir, Pontardawe, surveyor
The nieces and nephews named in the above will are all the children of Sarah's younger sister, Mary Jane Roberts.
With thanks to Huw Roberts, (great grandson of Mary Jane Roberts) for his kind permission to copy and use the above photographs and documents.
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Copyright © 2006 Rina Callingham