On Sunday 11th March 1854, two men, James Sheridan and William Bruce were begging on the streets of Cefn. They may have gained the sympathy of passersby, as they had the appearance of soldiers that had fallen on hard times, as they were both wearing regimental uniforms. Begging, as now, was an offence, and these two men had been previously warned about begging on several previous occasions. These warning were obviously not heeded, and their persistent begging, led to both men appearing before the same court charged that offence.
The court found that both of the men were vagrants. William Bruce had previously served with the 28th Regiment in Bombay, India, but he had been discharged from the army after being wounded. However, the court learnt that James Sheridan had never been in the military but had borrowed his regimental uniform for the purposes of begging.
For this offence of begging, the court sentenced William Bruce to three weeks imprisonment, and James Sheridan to two weeks imprisonment.
Source: Written and researched by Wayne Piotr Cronin-Wojdat – Historical Gems.