When Sir Pryce Pryce-Jones, the then-MP for Montgomeryshire, paid a visit to Llanidloes in the summer of 1892, it was against the advice of his advisers.

But even they could not have imagined that it would culminate in the Conservative member of parliament drawing blood from a young girl while thrashing at an angry crowd with his stick, and having his hat, by then on fire, carried away on a pole by the mob.

But that's exactly what happened on a visit that would go down as one of the worst political visits in county history.

Sir Pryce is better remembered for his entrepreneurial spirit, and he is famously credited with beginning the world's first mail order company in Newtown and, less famously, inventing the sleeping bag.

According to the Montgomeryshire Express's edition from July 26 of that year, Sir Pryce, accompanied by Lady Pryce-Jones, came to Llani on the 5.10pm train and walked to the Trewythen Hotel.

However, on his way there he was spotted by a group of children, who set in motion the events that would make the day one of the most notorious in Powys's political history.

"On the way he was noticed by a group of children, who immediately gave expression to their political training by hooting the borough member, and breaking forth in cheers for Mr Charles Hanbury-Tracy," the newspaper reported.

"This seemed as a signal to other juveniles who flocked in the direction of the hotel, in front of which a small crowd of children commenced to gather, which as time wore on grew to large proportions. Shortly after six o'clock the crowd was reinforced by the arrival of large numbers from the mills.

"As it was known that Sir Pryce and Lady Pryce-Jones intended to leave by the mail at 7.30, the crowd, which was a good-humoured one, remained by the hotel, and whiled away the time by alternately hooting and cheering Sir Pryce and Mr Hanbury-Tracy."

As he prepared to leave for the train, however, the mob rushed ahead of him to the station to await its arrival – and it was here that things took on a more sinister complexion.

"The platform of the station and the approaches leading thereto were well filled in a few minutes," the report continued.

"A moment or two prior to the arrival of the bus a few of Sir Pryce's more ardent supporters gathered at the station entrance, one of whom in his ardour picked up several stones from the roadway and defied the crowd to attack Sir Pryce.

"The crowd, which, up to this time, contented itself by merely hooting and cheering became much excited, and Sir Pryce, his wife, and his several supporters had to scamper as best they could through the station on to the platform and thence into the refreshment rooms, being hustled and roughly used by the crowd."

An awkward stand-off ensued, with Sir Pryce waiting in the station with the crowd "vigorously hooting, hissing and groaning".

"The train being in readiness to go out, Sir Pryce emerged from the refreshment room with a stout walking stick," the report continued.

"As soon as he appeared, the din and clamour became greater than ever, and Sir Pryce, who evidently had become greatly alarmed for his safety, commenced hitting all round with his stick in a most reckless manner.

"The crowd retaliated, and Sir Pryce was very roughly handled and severely hit. In the melee which ensued a young girl received a heavy blow from Sir Pryce's stick, which made a nasty gash close to her eye, from which blood flowed profusely.

"Lady Pryce-Jones' dress was trodden upon and considerably torn, and she was much bustled. Having got into the train, Sir Pryce appealed at the carriage window, and swung his stick defiantly at the crowd despite being requested by his friends to keep quiet, and not further exasperate the crowd.

"However, he continued to do until the train had gone a considerable distance from the station, amidst long continued hooting from those on the platform."

The Llanidloes mob took their revenge as the Montgomeryshire Express reported Mr Pryce-Jones' abandoned hat was "eagerly seized by youths and hoisted upon a pole high enough to enable all to see it, and in this fashion carried down street amidst the cheers of the multitude of boys and girls who followed it. It was afterwards set on fire".

The report apportioned blame between both parties for the violence.

"Sir Pryce's conduct in visiting Llanidloes so soon after the election had been adversely commented upon, especially as he is said to have done so against the advice of his more prominent supporters but that is no excuse for the outrage which took place, and which we are glad to know, is greatly regretted by the Liberals of Llanidloes.

"It is impossible to condemn too strongly actions which only tend in the end to recoil upon the heads of the offended, and the party to which they belong," concluded the report.