Taunton Courier 01 Mar 1905 Langport Petty Sessions includes Francis MALE of Curry Rivel Rev and Mrs S JONES Joseph EDMONDS of Fivehead

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Taunton Courier. Bristol and Exeter Journal and Western Advertiser Wednesday 1 Mar 1905

Page 5 Column 7



MONDAY. - Before Colonel F. W. PINNEY (chairman), Mr. E. W. VALENTINE, Mr. C. L. EASTLAKE, Mr. A. DICKINSON, and Mr. F. MEADE.

LICENSE FOR STAGE PLAYS. - Mr. J. HUNT, of Somerton, applied on behalf of the trustees of the Somerton Parish-room for a license for the performance of stage plays for one month. - Granted.

DRIVING WITHOUT A LIGHT. - Oliver SHEPPARD, carter, of Upton, was summoned for driving with-out a light in Bow-street, Langport. - Defendant pleaded guilty, saying that he lost the bottom of the lamp, and could not find it. - P.C. BISHOP gave evidence, and defendant was ordered to pay the costs of the summons.

A STRAY DONKEY. - Charles PEPPARD, labourer, of High Ham, for allowing a donkey to stray at High Ham, and on the evidence of P.C. ROWSELL, was fined 1s and costs, and allowed a fortnight in which to pay.

MAINTENANCE OF PARENTS. - Francis MALE, of Curry Rivel, was summoned by Mr. G. G. LOVELL, relieving-officer to the Langport Union, for a maintenance order in respect of his father, who was chargeable to the common fund. - Defendant said he had nothing to pay. - Mr. LOVELL said that defendant's father was in receipt of relief to the extent of 4s 6d a week. There were three sons, two of them had agreed to pay the certain sum fixed by the Guardians, but the defendant had refused to sign the agreement. - Defendant said his wages were 11s a week, and he also had a house, garden, and cider free. - The Bench made an order for the payment of 1s. - Defendant: I can't pay it. Here I be. If you like to take me and put me in prison so it must be. - Defendant offered to pay 6d a week, and after consideration the Bench made an order accordingly. - Charles BURN of Enmore, near Bridgwater, was similarly summoned in respect of his mother. - The Bench made an order for the payment of 1s a week.

REV. AND MRS. JONES AS PASSIVE RESISTERS. - Rev. S. JONES, Congregational minister, and Mrs. JONES (trading as “C. B. ATYEO”) were respectively summoned for the non-payment of balance of the poor-rate amounting to 1s 2d and 2s 9d. - Mr. W. BANYARD (assistant-overseer) produced the rate-books. He had made a demand for the money, but both defendant's refused to pay. - The Clerk: Do you admit the rate is due? - Rev. S. JONES (who also appeared on behalf of his wife): I admit the rate is due, but I question the legality of the rate. - Mr. DICKINSON: On what grounds? - Defendant: On the ground that in the year 1868 the Act for the abolition of church rates was passed. That Act provides that no Authority has any right to levy a rate for the support of ecclesiastical institutions, and I claim on that ground that, as the Act of 1868 has not yet been repealed, that it takes precedence of the Education Acts of 1902-3. - The Clerk: You have signed the rate. - Defendant: Yes, I have signed it as overseer, but I would remind you that I do not make the rate according to that. If you will kindly read what is written there you will see I simply affirm that the foregoing is correct. I do not make the rate. I think the rate is really due when you, as justices of the peace, sign it. - Mr. DICKINSON: Why dispute what you have already signed – Defendant: I do not dispute what I have already signed. I am obliged to sign the rate as an overseer, and if I did not do so other measures would be taken to make me sign. I am in the position of overseer for reasons which are well known to myself. This has been forced upon me. I do not question the legality in making the rate at all. - The Chairman: You are a “passive resister” to the rate? - Defendant: Certainly I am. My chief objection to the rate, and why I have refused to pay, is that I cannot conscientiously pay for what I do not believe. - The Bench then made an order for payment of the rates in both cases. - Defendant asked the Bench to consolidate both cases, saying that other Benches had done so. - The Clerk advised the Bench to make an order in both cases, observing that he did not see why the county should lose the money. - The Bench adopted this course, Mr. MEADE dissenting. - Defendant: I submit it is rather tyrannous. I shall be here again in less than six months.
SCHOOL CASES. - The following persons were dealt with for not sending their children to school: - Joseph EDMONDS, Fivehead, attendance order made; John BEST, Kingsbury, attendance order made; Abraham GULLEDGE, Stanchester, Curry Rivel, fined 5s; Albert SQUIRE, Huish Episcopi, case dismissed – Mr. LOVELL proved the first two cases and Mr. GILLETT the other two.

YEOVIL MAN FINED FOR THEFT. - Frederick CHAINEY, haulier, of Camborne, Yeovil (on bail), was charged with stealing a sack containing a quantity of corn, value 10s; also three wooden hen coops and a wooden chicken run, value £1 5s, the property of Charles John EADES, farmer, of Cook's Farm, Charlton Mackrell. - Prosecutor stated that there was a sale on his premises in February. In an apple loft he had three coops and a fowl run, and in the cider house beneath he had part of a sack of mixed corn, none of which was ticketed or offered for sale. The next day he missed the corn and other articles, but a shutter for the coops was left. He acquainted the police of his loss, and, with P.C. BURGE, he went to Yeovil, where he found the hen coops and the run on defendant's premises. Defendant brought some apples, which were placed in the loft. - P.C. BURGE, of Kingsdon, stated that at Yeovil prisoner said. “I bought some apples. The auctioneer said how much the lot. I bought the lot, and the coops were on the top.” Prisoner denied he knew anything about the corn. Witness failed to find the corn on his premises, and in making further enquiries at Yeovil he saw the prisoner at the railway station at Pen Mill. Witness told him he was not satisfied with his statement regarding the corn, and prisoner replied “I know what it was. It was the drink, or else I should not have stolen it.” Prisoner took him to his son's premised at Pen Mill, where the corn, which Mr. EADES identified as his, was found. Prisoner afterwards said he stole the corn under the influence of drink, but that he understood he bought the coops. Witness went up into the loft, but he did not see any coops on the bags of apples. - Hugh VICKERY, jobbing ostler, of Pen Mill, Yeovil, said after the sale, at CHAINEY's request, he helped him to load the sack into a waggon. He noticed that the hen coops were on the top of the bags of apples in the waggon. There were a number of people about at the time. As far as he knew the prisoner was sober. - In reply to the charge prisoner said he was not guilty of stealing the coops, but if he stole the corn he was under the influence of drink. He asked the Bench to deal with him under the First Offenders' Act. - Prisoner was fined £2, including costs.

SATURDAY NIGHT DRUNKENNESS. - Henry SARGENT, labourer, of Buckland, Dover, was charged with being drunk and disorderly in West-street, Somerton, on Saturday. - P.C. BRIDGE gave evidence, and prisoner was fined 5s.

THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT. - William LEWIS, labourer, of Liverpool, was charged with stealing 28lbs, of coal, value 4d, the property of Mr. C. J. WILLS, railway contractor, at Somerton. - Evidence was given by P.S. GIBBS as to finding the prisoner in a hut near the viaduct sitting round a fire with a lump of coal (produced) by his side. Prisoner told him that no-one had given him permission to use the hut or sit by the fire. He took prisoner into custody on a charge of stealing the coal. - Robert SMART, cashier in the employ of Mr. WILLS, said prisoner had only done an occasional day's work for Mr. WILLS. Witness had seen him prowling about the works for the past four months. - The Bench gave prisoner the benefit of the doubt, and dismissed the case.

USING AN UNLICENSED HALL FOR STAGE PLAYS. - W. G. BROADBENT, proprietor of the Royal Comedy Co., was summoned by Supt. GILLBANKS for “that he, on the 11th February, 1905, at the parish of Keinton Mandeville, did hire, act, and present there a certain part in a certain stage play (to wit) 'Charley's Aunt' in the Temperance Hall, the said place not being a patent theatre or duly licensed as a theatre under the statutes.” - Defendant did not appear, but wrote a letter from Nailsworth, Gloucester, to the Bench, in which he stated that he rented the hall as a licensed hall, and was only told just before the time of opening that it was not so. On the evening of the 10th Feb. he gave songs and recitations. On the following evening he played a skit on “Charley's Aunt,” and not the actual piece itself. He was obliged to do something like a play (though not the actual piece), as he had “East Lynne” advertised for the 11th, and there were several roughs and navvies in the building. It meant either playing something like a drama or having a riot in a small hall packed with men, woman, and children. - P.S. GIBBS stated that about quarter to eight on the evening of the 11th February he saw people paying admission and entering the Temperance Hall. At 8.15 the defendant appeared at the door and announced the sketch “Charley's Aunt” to-night. Witness paid 6d, and entered the building, and saw a stage erected, and scenery arranged as a tea-room. Two persons were performing, defendant being dressed as a woman, and six others took part at various times. He afterwards saw another piece performed. After the entertainment he interviewed defendant, and told him he should report him for using the hall for stage plays without being licensed. Defendant declined to give his Christian name or address. - Superintendent GILLBANKS said the defendant's company had acted at Somerton, and defendant was cautioned against using an unlicensed hall. - P.C. EDWARDS, who corroborated the evidence of P.S. GIBBS,= said he also cautioned defendant on the Friday evening for using the hall for stage plays. - Fined £2 and 8s costs.

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