Hawkins Genealogy Site
The Taunton Courier and Western Advertiser. Wednesday 23 Aug 1871
Page 5 Column 2
TAUNTON POLICE COURT.
WEDNESDAY, before H. BADCOCK, Esq. (chairman), Captain DOVETON, W. A. JONES, A. MALET, J. MARSHALL C.C. WELMAN and J. E. ANDERDON, Esqrs.
INSUBORDINATE APPRENTICE. - Frederick SPARKES, an out-door apprentice in the service of Messrs BRAGG and Son, printers, &c., pleaded guilty to having unlawfully left his work. He had absconded about a month since. On Monday, after thirty-four days' absence, he offered himself for re-admission into the service of his masters, who distinctly declined to take him back, whereupon he sought the intervention of the magistrates to compel them to do so. Mr Frederick A. TRENCHARD, solicitor, of Taunton, appeared for Messrs BRAGG, and stated that this was not a first offence. The young man had before absconded, and frequently had left his work without leave. His example had a mischievous tendency on other apprentices of his clients, and who were well-disposed. He would withdraw the summons against the boy, if the magistrates made an order that the indentures should be cancelled. Having satisfied the bench that they were empowered to make such an order, the indentures were cancelled accordingly.
A HOVEL. - Thos. Edward PRING, a labourer living in a court know as “Boalch's court,” Paul street, Taunton, was summoned by Mr G. STUCKEY, inspector of nuisances to the Taunton Board of Health, for keeping his house in a filthy condition, and with over-crowding it in a manner dangerous to the health of the inhabitants. - Mr F. A. TRENCHARD appeared on behalf of the Board of Health, and informed the Bench that the suit had been instituted under the Nuisance Removal Act, and the case was one which he believed had no parallel in the town. The house in which the defendant lived consisted of one room on the ground floor, possessing a back door, and one room over that. The latter room was used as a bedroom, measuring 12ft. 6in. by 11ft. 6½in., and 6ft. 6in. in height. Into this diminutive room, which was in a state of indescribable filth were crowded, without any regard to decency, two families, consisting of four adults and six children, there being no screen, not even a blanket between them. - Mr C. H. CORNISH, surgeon, of Taunton, inspected the rooms in question. He found the floor of the kitchen comparatively clean, but the stairs and approaches leading to the bedroom were in a most beastly state, so much so that it would require a considerable time to properly cleanse it. On going into the bedroom he found it to be literally covered with dirt and filth, and the mattrass [sic] which was on the bedstead was quite rotten, and black with dirt, the place altogether bearing the appearance of not having been washed for years. The place was in no way fit for human habitation, and the furniture on the whole was in such a condition that it ought to be at once burnt. The room was only capable of accommodating two adults or three or four children at the utmost, and contained 890 cubic feet of air, whereas 750 cubic feet was the quantity generally allotted to each adult by the most eminent medical practitioners. There was one small casement opening out of the room, which was the only means of ventilation it possessed. - Mr G. STUCKEY said that on Thursday last, in consequence of an alarm of fire at the house in question, he proceeded thither, when he first discovered the state of things existing there which formed the grounds for the present prosecution. He found a number of children lying on the floor on a heap of rags, the defendant being on the floor dead drunk, so much so, that the alarm of fire could not arouse him. There was no medical officer attached to the Board of Health, but in consequence of the condition in which he found the place, he communicated with Mr. C. H. CORNISH, from whom he obtained a certificate. He never saw anything so bad as the state of filth existing there. He took the measurements spoken of by Mr. CORNISH. The casement was the only means of procuring fresh air, as the fireplace was wholly obstructed by filth and rubbish. He should consider that it would take a week to properly cleanse the house. - Mr. TRENCHARD applied that an order should issue for the immediate cleansing of the premises, and that the over-crowding should be at once abated. - The Bench, after briefly consulting together, fined the defendant in the full penalty of 40s, including costs. If the cleansing was done to the satisfaction of the inspector, Mr. STUCKEY, within a week, the fine would be remitted, but the costs amounting to 11s must be paid in a fortnight, in default seven days' imprisonment. Defendant was also ordered to get rid of his lodgers today, which he promised to do.
ABSENT FROM WORK WITHOUT LEAVE. - Mr FOSTER, a farmer, of North Curry, summoned a labourer in his employ for leaving his service on the 7th inst. without leave. It appears that prosecutor hired defendant to help in completing his hay harvest, engaging him for a month, to be paid weekly, at the rate of 6s per week and his food. Defendant stayed a week, and then left to go reaping. The prosecutor was much inconvenienced by his absence, the consequence being that his hay was not yet gathered in, and he claimed 10s as compensation. Defendant was fined 10s and costs, 7s, to be paid in a week. - Mr FOSTER charged Charles VERRIER with a similar offence on the same day, and claimed £1 as compensation for which, however, he would not press, if the defendant was willing to fulfil his contract. The latter expressed his willingness, and he was merely mulcted in the costs of the case, 8s, and ordered to go back to work.
ASSAULT. - Joseph TUTTIETT, of Taunton, described as a costermonger, was charged by Abraham RICHARDS, a young man, living at Kingston, with assaulting him on the 12th August. According to prosecutor's statement, he was standing in the street on the day in question, when TUTTIETT came behind him, struck him to the ground with his fist, and kicked him in the face and head. He gave him no provocation, and had not seen him that day prior to the assault. Prosecutor's face was covered with scars and bruises, and TUTTIETT, who did not appear, was fined £1 and costs, 8s, or 14 days' imprisonment.
ANOTHER ASSAULT. - The parties reside at Bishop's Hull. The prosecutor, Wm. TUCKER, stated that on the evening of the 11th August, the defendant, Wm. SMITH, a labourer, called at his house, and on his opening the door in answer to the knock, the latter struck him a severe blow in the face, dragged him into the road, and otherwise maltreated him. The defendant said TUCKER had been abusing his wife, calling her offensive names, which the latter admitted, and this incited him to do what he had done. The defendant returned the blows he gave him. The Bench fined the defendant 1s and costs, 7s 6d, to be paid in a week, or three days' imprisonment. - Prosecutor applied for costs for himself and witnesses, but Mr BADCOCK told him he had brought it upon himself, and costs would not be granted.
FRIDAY, before John MARSHALL, Esq.
STEALING A GERANIUM. - Charlotte PARKER was remanded to Wednesday for stealing a geranium in a pot, the property of some person unknown.
THEFT AT BATHPOOL. - John LONG was charged with stealing a pair of brass candlesticks, the property of Mrs Jane BARTLETT, of the Rose inn, Bathpool road. The prisoner went to the inn for a pint of cider, and took the candlesticks from the kitchen mantelshelf. - The same prisoner was charged with stealing a metal sugar bason [sic], the property of Stephen ROGERS. Committed for trial at the sessions on both charges.
STEALING A WATCH. - Charles PALFREY was committed for trial for stealing a silver watch and chain of Walter GULLIFORD. Prosecutor keeps the Swan at Kingston, and on Wednesday evening left his watch on the kitchen table, from which he missed it shortly after the departure of the prisoner, and it was found the next day in the thatch of an outhouse at the rear of the prisoner's dwelling.
SATURDAY, before the Rev. W. J. ALLEN (chairman), Capt. DOVETON, J. E. ANDERDON, W. M. KING, J. MARSHALL, C. N. WELMAN and H. HULME, Esqrs.
MAN AND WIFE. - Daniel TUCKER was summoned by his wife, Elizabeth, to find sureties of the peace for threatening to “do” for her. The parties reside at Staplegrove. The complainant said she had been married to the defendant for 31 years, but his conduct had been brutal during that time. On Sunday last he threatened to horsewhip her because she asked him for 2d, and while he was gone to fetch it she went out. Last night he also threatened to beat her, and while he went out for the stick she left the house again. He locked her out, and said if she came in he would “do”for her. The reason he gave for doing so was that he believed she had robbed him of a sovereign, which, however, she declared she had never seen. She had not been back since, as she was afraid for her life. Defendant asked “what he was to do with a poor drunken woman?” He had nothing to complain of her except her drunken habits, and had found at home last week part of a bottle of brandy, some beer, and three pints of cider, a statement which so affected the complainant with the horrors that the case had to be deferred until she “came to.” Subsequently she said she would be satisfied if her husband promised not to threaten her again. This he was willing to do, and the case was dismissed with costs of 5s. The wife declared she could not pay it, but Mr. PINCHARD said her husband would be liable for it as a debt if she could not pay herself. - Defendant: That I'll never do. I'd sooner go to gaol. -He repented, however, paid the costs, and threatened to bring his wife before “their honours” again next week.
ABSENT WITHOUT LEAVE. - Thomas BUTTLE was charged by Mr J. EVERY, of Leycroft farm, West Monkton, for absenting himself from his master's employ without leave. - Mr. EVERY produced the agreement which was made at the time, with the mark of defendant attached, and stated that he engaged the latter as a labourer to cut and bind corn for him. He worked for him about three months, and Thursday last he informed witness that he wanted to go into the town. Witness told him he was going to cut peas at West Hatch the next day, and should expect him there according to his contract. He promised to be there, if not he would send a substitute. On that day witness went to his field, and on the road thither he found defendant in a field belonging to Mr HITCHCOCK, mowing barley. He spoke to him about it, and told him if he did not come to West Hatch he should summon him. Defendant said he might if he liked. He did not send a substitute, nor had he been there since. - Mr. F. A. TRENCHARD appeared for the defendant, and in answer to a question witness declared that nothing was said about his working for Mr. HITCHCOCK at the time of the agreement, except that he thought he might be wanted to cut his corn, and witness gave him until the next evening to decide who he would work for – him or Mr HITCHCOCK. The peas at West Hatch were not cut, and were falling out in consequence. Witness did not wish to press the charge. - Mr TRENCHARD contended that his client was an illiterate man, and was clearly under the apprehension that he engaged with Mr EVERY upon the understanding of being allowed to cut Mr HITCHCOCK's corn. He was now perfectly satisfied to go back and finish his work. - Mr EVERY said he would rather be without him, as his coming back would make the other men dissatisfied. - Defendant stated that he was under contract with Mr HITCHCOCK to cut his corn at the time of making the agreement with Mr EVERY, and this the latter understood, but nothing was said in the agreement about it. - Mr George HITCHCOCK, a farmer at Ruishton, stated that defendant agreed with him in June last to cut his grass and corn. - The defendant was fined £1 damages, and 10s costs, a month being allowed for payment.
ASSAULT. - Wm. FLOOD was summoned by John NAPPER for an assault at Ruishton on Wednesday week. Mr TRENCHARD appeared for the defence. According to plaintiff's statement they were proceeding from Haydon to Ruishton, and when at the latter village defendant asked him to treat him to a glass of beer, but he refused, and he then demanded 2d, which he declared he owed him. He said he would ask his mother for it, and on proceeding home for that purpose defendant ran after him and struck him a violent blow in the mouth, cutting his lip through. He had to have it sewn up at the Taunton and Somerset Hospital, and he had not been fit for work since. - The defendant was fined 8s, and costs, 10s 6d.
ASSAULT IN THE HARVESTFIELD. - Mr Edward MORRIS, of Creech S. Michael, was charged by James HUGGINS, a labourer in his employ, with an assault on Thursday, the 10th inst. According to his (complainant's) statement, he was following the machine, his du y [sic] being to bind the sheaves. As he was proceeding with his work, Mr MORRIS asked who left the sheaf unbound which he pointed to. Complainant said he had, whereupon defendant told him to go out of the field, struck him in the stomach with his fist, knocking him down, and threatening, if he got up, to do him further mischief. He had not threatened to put a flint stone in the machine. - A witness named Edward WILKINS said that HUGGINS had not been doing his work, and the machine had to stop in consequence of three sheaves being left unbound. Mr MORRIS ordered him out of the field, and in pushing him he fell over a sheaf. Fined 6d and 9s 6d costs.
OBSTRUCTION. - Supt. GOLDSMITH summoned Wm. H. S. NOBBS, a young man in the employ of Messrs. W. M. Cook and Co., drapers, Fore street, Taunton, for setting out and leaving articles in the street. Defendant was mulcted in a fine of 5s, and costs 5s.
MONDAY, before H. BADCOCK and W. M. KING, Esqrs.
FRAUD ON THE RAILWAY COMPANY. -A man who gave his name as John Newton LAMBETH, hailing from Bristol, was charged with riding in a carriage of the Bristol and Exeter Railway Company without having paid his fare on Saturday last. - Henry NICHOLLS, ticket collector at the Taunton station, proved the case, and said that, on applying to defendant for his ticket he told him that he had none, and the last he knew of it was at Bristol, where he had it between his teeth while pushing a horse box. He said he had purchased a ticket there, giving a cabman 12s to procure it for him. Witness demanded 7s for his fare from Bristol to Taunton. - John WOOD, another employé at the station, stated that defendant told him a similar tale. He mentioned the names of several person in the town whom he knew, one of whom proved to be his step-father. In accordance with instructions witness took him to those persons to endeavour to collect the fare, in which, however, he failed. Witness was the worse for liquor. Fined £1, with costs, or seven days.
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<NOTES: Thomas Edward PRING son of James PRING and Joan TOLLER, married Sarah Ann ADAMS>