Benjamin Griffiths (1812-1887)
A married man and father of four from the Welsh village of Cwmshenkin, Benjamin ‘Beni’ Griffiths was charged with the murder.
Seemingly it was a revenge attack. Shadrack Lewis had informed on Beni and two of his mates for poaching. One turned Queen's evidence, was discharged, and shared in the £200 reward. Another was sentenced to transportation for the term of his natural life. And Beni was sentenced to death by hanging.
But Lewis was so widely disliked that hundreds petitioned on behalf of the condemned man, and his sentence was later commuted to transportation for Life. Beni arrived in 1842 aboard the convict transport, the Tortoise.
Beni passed his two years’ probation with the road gang at Bridgewater. In 1850 he received a Ticket of Leave, but he had to wait until 1855 for permission for his family to join him. Sadly, his youngest son Benjamin jnr died within five years of their reunion. Beni was handing him a rifle and it discharged.