Charles Ashton was known as the literary Welsh policeman. Born in Trefeglwys, Montgomeryshire in 1848 he became a policeman in 1869 and was stationed in Dolgellau and Barmouth amongst other places. He retired in 1894 following 25 years of service.
He was a valued contributor to the magazine, Bye-Gones and the journal, The Montgomery Collections and won several Eisteddfod prizes for his essays. Amongst his publications are, A guide to Dinas Mawddwy (1893) and Hanes llenyddiaeth Gymreig : o 1651 O.C. hyd 1850 (1893).
In the months preceding his premature death, Charles Ashton spent most of his time conducting research at the British Museum and the Cardiff Free Library, compiling a Bibliography of Wales in the 19th century. On 13 October 1899 he attacked his wife and then committed suicide. The newspaper articles which reported the incident described him as the most successful essayist Wales had produced since the days of Thomas Stephens.