Somerset County Gazette 22 Oct 1864 Taunton Guildhall Rebecca KEIRLE Joan PEACH Stoke St Gregory James TUCK Jane OATEN Pitminster PALFREY Sugar Loaf Inn

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The Somerset County Gazette, and West of England Advertiser. Saturday 22 Oct 1864

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SATURDAY. - Magistrates present: Rev. W. J. ALLEN, W. E. SURTEES, W. E. GILLETT, C. N. WELMAN, and F. W. NEWTON, Esqrs.

SUMMONS FOR WAGES. - William BENNETT, a labouring man, sued Francis FOX, a builder, living at Sunnybank, for wages. Complainant said that he had first been engaged by the defendant to work at the rate of 18s. per week; but on engaging him to work at Kingston he (defendant) had promised to increase his wages 2s. per week. Complainant remained working for twelve weeks, but defendant had refused to pay the increase, on the ground that complainant had not bee employed the whole time stated. - Defendant said he had always paid the complainant his own charge, and it was too bad that he should be brought to court. - Mr. PINCHARD (to complainant): Did he always pay you your own charge? - Complainant: Yes; up to this time. - Defendant: Why did you not charge your overtime? - Defendant on being sworn said: I don't owe him the sum claimed, and I never promised it to him. - Complainant: Oh, Lord have mercy on your soul! (laughter) – Defendant: I simply told him that if the job turned out well and he minded the work I would make him a present. But instead of that I am out of pocket. - Complainant said the defendant had told him not to tell the other men of the promised increase, or they would be expecting a similar favour. - Mr. PINCHARD: Is that true. - Defendant: No, I could swear it before a thousand magistrates – (a laugh). - Complainant: Do you deny that on the day I went to Kingston you promised me 2s. or 3s. increase? - Defendant: I do. - The Bench said they must dismiss the case.

EXTRAORDINARY CASE. - A well-dressed young man, named A. ROSSITER, was summoned at the instance of Mr. William KNIGHT for £3, damage sustained by the defendant having maliciously killed a dog. - William GOULD, a labourer man in the employ of the complainant, said the dog was a large mastiff. On Wednesday he saw the animal pass over a field belonging to defendant's father, who at the time was driving some cows. The cows chased the dog some distance until they arrived at a hedge, where the dog stood at bay. Defendant was on the other side of the hedge picking fruit; and on seeing the animal he ran to his father's house and brought a gun. Witness then saw the defendant approach within three yards of the dog and fire at it. On going to the spot witness found the dog bleeding profusely from the head. It died shortly after. - Mr. KNIGHT said: I could not replace the dog for £3, as it was a good animal for the yard. On Wednesday morning I took it with me to Ruishton House and returned home about one o'clock, but as I rode very fast it did not return with me. On getting home I missed it, and about three o'clock, on going into a field, I walked over a piece and found the dog dead in a ditch. The wound in the head was a very large one, and the person who shot it must have been very near. I said to the defendant, “You have shot my dog,” and he answered, “I have.” I said, “I'll summon you for it,” and he replied, “You can if you please.” The dog was kept for the protection of my property, and was never used for sporting purposes. - Defendant, addressing the magistrates, said: The reason I shot the dog was, that I thought it mad. I heard the bellowing of the cows and the terrific howls of the dog, and I saw that it was injured, or I believed that it was so. He was running towards the hedge, and then, on looking over, I saw one of the cows rolling it over and over with her horns. He tried to get over the hedge, but fell back. - Dr. GILLETT: Have you seen it before? - Defendant: I might have seen it before, but I am not certain. I did not know it belonged to Mr. KNIGHT. - Defendant then called his father (Mr. Joseph ROSSITER), who said: About five o'clock on Wednesday evening I went into a field to drive out some cows, and had got to the bottom of the field, when I saw a dog enter and jump at them. I was so far off that I could not say whether he attacked one or two, but after some time the dog rambled away from them as if his hinder parts were of no use, and soon after I heard dreadful roars proceed from near the hedge. The cows had followed, and were rolling him over with their horns. - Complainant: Did you not say to me the dog was mad, and when I said “No,” did you not say I was mad? - (laughter). - Witness: No, sir, nothing of the kind. Witness, in reply to Mr. PINCHARD, said:- The reason I thought the dog was mad was, because he rambled – (laughter). - To Dr. GILLETT: My boy complained to me about the dog. - Complainant submitted that if the dog had been gored by the cows' horns there would be marks on the skin. He could produce the skin at that moment, and show that there were no marks beside the gun-shot wound. - Witness to complainant: Will you tell the magistrates how many threatening letters you have sent to me? - Mr. PINCHARD: What has that to do with the matter? - Witness (excited): I beg your pardon, allow him to answer, for it shows the feeling. - Complainant: I have written him one letter, because he took the liberty of turning the water out of its course. - P.C. POOLE said he had examined the dog's skin, but had not observed any marks such as would be produced by a cow's horns. - The complainant said the dog was a remarkable quiet animal, and at the time he was killed it was evidently trying to get away from the cows. - Mr. ALLEN, addressing the defendant, told him that the Bench believed he had been guilty of a malicious and wanton act, and they consequently ordered him to pay the full sum claimed, £3, with a fine of £1 including costs. - The money was at once paid.

AN AGED, BUT NOT HAPPY FAMILY. - Rebecca KEIRLE, an old woman apparently verging on “three score and ten,” was charged by her sister a widow named Joan PEACH, evidently very little younger, with having smashed twenty-three panes of glass. The old ladies conducted their own cases, and from their conflicting statements it appeared that they had a mother aged 94, who owned two houses at Stoke St. Gregory. Some time ago a brother, now in Australia, left the complainant one of the houses, which joins one occupied by the defendant and her mother. The latter claimed that ownership of both houses; and though she permitted the complainant, “her youngest daughter,” to dwell in one rent-free, it was understood the defendant had a right to enter when she pleased. On the 10th October the complainant had a few select friends to tea, and in order to secure peace and freedom from intrusion she locked the door. In the meantime the defendant discovered that one of the party was indebted to her mother for some fruit, and she essayed to gain admission. The old ladies, however, paid no attention to the defendant's demands for admission; and she, in order to convince them that she 'meant something,” seized a stone and smashed the window-glass. - Mr. ALLEN asked the defendant why she did such a foolish act? - Defendant, apparently astonished, replied, “Because she didn't open the door” - (laughter). - Mr. PINCHARD: But you had not right to have the door opened? - Defendant: Yes I had. Mother has things there, and I have a right to go there at any time. - Complainant said it would cost seven shillings to repair the damage. An old man in the body of the court, who turned out to be a brother of the litigants, said he “could make the windows as good as ever for 3d” - (laughter). - Mr. ALLEN, in inflicting a fine of 13s., including the damages and costs, said the Bench would remit the sum levied as damages if the defendant had the window glazed to the satisfaction of the complainant.

A GAOL BIRD. - James TUCK, a rough-looking man, who had only been liberated from gaol that morning, where he had been imprisoned for neglecting to support an illigitimate <sic> child, was brought up on a similar charge, preferred by a young woman named Jane OATEN, of Pitminster. - The defendant said he ought to have been allowed time to earn money before he was called upon to pay it. He had not a shilling, and knew no person who would lend him money. - In reply to the Bench the prosecutrix said she had no objection to give the defendant a few weeks; but he had never paid her one farthing, either of the costs or the sum due in a previous case. - The Bench at first seemed inclined to allow the defendant time to pay; but on the mother being spoken to she said she did not believe her son intended to pay. - Mr. ALLEN then said the Bench was sorry he should persist in refusing to pay, but he would find in the end that he would be no better off than at first, because the charge would only be increasing daily. He would have to go to gaol for 21 days unless he paid. - Defendant (carelessly): Then I must go again. - Mr. ALLEN: If you like to live in gaol, you can. - Defendant: You had better give me six months at once, then. - Mr. ALLEN: Perhaps the next time you come here the magistrates will do so – (laughter).


IMPUDENT THEFT. - George JENKINS, a labouring man, was charged with having stolen a sheet, some calico, and a quantity of meat, the property of Charles FARLEY, a farmer, residing at Buckland St. Mary. - Ann FARLEY, wife of the prosecutor, said on Saturday she purchased the goods mentioned in Taunton. She left the town a little before dark to return home. At the Holmen Clavel Inn, her husband having joined her at Blagdon Hill, they retired to have “something to drink,” leaving the goods in a cart in the road. On returning she found that a shirt, and a piece of calico had been stolen. She then remembered that she had observed JENKINS enter the public-house, and leave very quickly. - Daniel BEALE, a little boy left in charge of the cart, said that soon after the prosecutor and his wife entered the inn the prisoner sent him for a pint of ale. On returning soon after he found JENKINS gone, and he did not see him about afterwards. - P.C. John PERRY said he had searched the prisoner's house, and found the calico, &c., scattered about the rooms. On asking the prisoner how he came by them, he replied that he had found a piece of beef and some calico lying on the road. - The wife of the prosecutor identified the calico found in the prisoner's house, and he was committed for trial at the sessions.

WEDNESDAY.. - Magistrate present, Rev. W. J. ALLEN, H. BADCOCK, W. E. SURTEES, and W. E. GILLETT, Esqrs.

CHEATING THE BOBBIES.” - William PALFRY, proprietor of the Sugar Loaf Inn, near Cann-street, was charged with keeping his house open at prohibited hours on Sunday evening last, between three and four o'clock. - Mr. Superintendent GOLDSMITH said: On Sunday afternoon as I was standing on the grounds of the Shire Hall and observed a man come out of a back door in the Sugar Loaf Inn, and re-enter, bolting the door after him. I walked to the front door, and as I was approaching I saw another man move as if to enter, but on seeing me he walked away. I took a short turn to the back door and knocked several times. Some one spoke from the inside, saying “It is at the front door,” followed by scuffling; and on looking through a window I saw two men walk from the kitchen. I stood for a moment, and the man I saw go in said to the second man as the door was being opened, “We had done the bobby this” - (laughter). On going into the house I found small quantities of drink in glasses, and a man who appeared to be drunk sleeping in one of the rooms. I then asked to see the landlord, and the defendant came down stairs to whom I pointed out the state in which he kept the house. He said the man found sleeping was a lodger. I knew this to be wrong, as the man I found in the house does not reside three hundred yards from the inn. - For the defence Ellen VALES, sister to defendant's wife, was called and she stated that the parties found in the house by Mr. GOLDSMITH had a right of way to the yard, where there was water. On entering they asked to be supplied with some drink, but she at once refused to give them any, and they left. Soon after Mr. GOLDSMITH entered, and witness told him that the two cups which he found with drink on the table were for the man who was asleep and for her own use. - Mr. PINCHARD: How long was the man lodging in the house? - Witness: He took lodging on Saturday night. His people live, I believe, in Shuttern. - Mr. GOLDSMITH: You say he took lodging. When did he go to your house? - Witness: About two in the evening – in the night – in the morning – (laughter). - Mr. GOLDSMITH: In the evening, night and morning! Which? - Witness: He came early in the evening, left at twelve, and returned about two o'clock. - Mr. GOLDSMITH examined the witness closely with reference to a row which took place at the house on Saturday night, and in which a person named VICKERY took part. - Charles VICKERY stated that he had had a falling-out with his friends, and in consequence he took lodging at the Sugar Loaf Inn at seven o'clock on Saturday evening. On Sunday he had some beer to drink, but before he had finished drinking he fell asleep. He had not disputed with a policeman in Upper High-street on Saturday morning about half-past one o'clock, neither had he been ordered home several times. - Mr. GOLDSMITH said he could produce a witness to contradict these statements. - Mr. ALLEN said the Bench were satisfied, and they would convict the defendant in a fine of £2. - Mr. PINCHARD mentioned some matters to the magistrates connected with the house, and the defendant was informed that on making application for a transfer on next licensing-day the facts deposed to regarding the conduct of the inn, would be remembered.

STEALING A HAT. - A young man named Robert SANDY, a labourer in Norton Fitzwarren Brewery, was charged with having stolen a hat from the shop of Mr. Samuel FLETCHER, of East-street. Complainant said he was a hatter and carried on business in East-street. On Saturday evening, between six and eight o'clock, the prisoner entered the shop and asked to see a hat. Several hats were on the counter, and among them was one of which had just been sold. Complainant had occasion to leave the shop for a few moments, and on returning he sold the prisoner a hat. Immediately after the prisoner left complainant missed a hat which he had sold to a gentleman. Information was given to the Norton police, and the prisoner was taken into custody. - P.C. TROLLOPE (163), said that on Monday night he received a message regarding the prisoner, and in consequence he went to “Hopkins' Farm,” in the parish of Bishop's Lydeard, where the prisoner's father lived. He there received two hats – one a felt turban and the other a French silk hat. They were handed to witness by the prisoner's sister, and soon after he arrested the prisoner, who on seeing the hats claimed them as his property. He then stated to the witness that he bought the turban of Mr. FLETCHER, and the silk hat in High-street, Taunton, and added that “He hoped if he stole it he might die that moment.” On being brought to Taunton he pointed to Mr. GOODALL's shop, High-street, and said “I brought it there, and gave 6s. 6d, or 6s. 9d. for it.” The hat was then shown to Mr. FLETCHER, who identified it as the one he lost. The prisoner was afterwards taken to Mr. GOODALL, but he knew nothing of him; and said there never had been a hat similar to the one produced in stock in his establishment. - The prisoner pleaded guilty and was ordered to be imprisoned for six weeks.

DRUNK AND DISORDERLY. - Maria MULLENS, a married woman, was charged with being drunk and disorderly on the previous night. - P.C. Wm. MARTIN (38) said about twelve o'clock on Tuesday night he was on duty it <sic> East-street, when he heard a loud noise. A man rushed up and asked witness to take his part against the woman, as she had threatened to beat his brains out. The officer endeavoured to get the man and woman to go off the streets, but they followed him and began abusing each other. The man struck the woman and knocked her down, and then the woman knocked the man down – (laughter). He was ultimately obliged to arrest both. - Henry WILLIAMS, a man who lives in St. James's Square, said he saw the prisoner severely abused by a man named JEWELL. - The prisoner was sent to gaol for seven days.

ANNOYING THE INHABITANTS. - Henry JEWELL, the person referred to in the last case, was charged with annoying the inhabitants on Tuesday night. - P.C. MARTIN said the prisoner created a great noise in the streets, abusing the woman MULLENS in filthy and profane language. - Mr. ALLEN said there could be no doubt the prisoner had been guilty of very gross conduct, but they had decided not to convict him.

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<NOTES: Jane OATEN daughter of William OATEN and Jane HOW, associated with James TUCK and William GRILLS>