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The Western Gazette. A weekly newspaper for Somerset, Dorset, Wilts and Hants. Friday 17 Oct 1879
Page 7 Column 3 and 4
SOMERSET QUARTER SESSIONS.
The business of the Somerset Sessions was commenced at Wells on Tuesday. Major PAGET, M.P., presided, and there were also present Lord BROOKE, M.P., Sir A.B.P.A. HOOD, Bart., Sir P. J. MILES, Bart., M.P., Hon. E. J. BOYLE, Major ALLEN, Captain SEELY BRIDGE, Major BARRETT, Colonel LUTTRELL, Captain ERNST, Messrs. S. GORE LANGTON, M.P., F. H. DICKINSON, T. E. ROGERS, Charles EDWARDS, M. F. BISSET, R. NEVILLE-GRENVILLE, H. G. MOYSEY, H. J. MIREHOUSE, T. P. BROADMEAD, Vincent STUCKEY, R. NEVILLE, E. J. STANLEY, J. T. NICHOLETTS, E. C. BATTEN, J. FORD, E. T. D. FOXCROFT, C. A. HOMFRAY, W. SPEKE, E. H. LLEWELLYN, W. ADLAM, C. BARTON, H. G. BENNETT, S. BUTLER, W. J. BRAIKENRIDGE, H. H. P. BOUVERIE, W. BUSFEILD, E. BRODERIP, J. T. H. BUTT, E. H. CLERK, R. DUCKWORTH, E. H. ELTON, C. L. F. EDWARDS, W. H. HARFORD, J. HIPPISLEY jun., A. F. A. HOOD, F. H. HARTWELL, W. KNATCHBULL, E. L. LOVELL, W. LONG, jun., J. A. F. LUTTRELL, J. G. MOGG, G. B. MUNBEE, T. M. DODINGTON, E. B. NAPIER, W. NEAL, F. W. PINNEY, A. T. PERKINS, T. H. ROACH, H. D. SKRINE, R. C. STRACHEY, W. SPARKS, H. M. SKRINE, C. H. S. SAINSBURY, J. D. SHERSTON, J. B. THWAITES, C. C. TUDWAY, J. W. W. TYNDALE, J. WOLLEN, and G. WALTERS, and the Rev. J. A. YATMAN.
NEW MAGISTRATES. - Lord BROOKE, M.P., and Mr. T. M. GUEST, of Henstridge, qualified as magistrates.
FINANCE. - Mr. Vincent STUCKEY read the report of the Finance Committee, which stated that the committee expressed their deep regret at the loss which the county has sustained by the death of Mr. MESSITER, county treasurer. The long-continued and valuable assistance he rendered to the court and to the members of the committee was deeply impressed upon them, and they must feel that they had lost a most valuable officer. (Hear, hear.) The report then went on to state that the receipts for the past quarter, including a balance in hand at the commencement, was £17,433 9s 4d, and the expenditure £9,900 6s 9d; balance in hand, £7,534 2s 6d. The committee recommended that bills amounting to £2,492 13s 2d be paid. The estimated expenditure for the ensuing quarter was £12,382; to meet this they had a balance of £7,534 2s 6d, and other probable receipts £2,373, making a total of £9,907 2s 6d, leaving a balance against the county of £2,474 17s 6d, which might be met by a rate of ¼d in the pound. The committee had considered the petition referred to them by the justices' clerks at Bridgwater and Keynsham, and they saw no reason to recommend that any action be taken in the matter. They had examined the various accounts and claims under the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Act, and they had ordered the Clerk of the Peace to prepare an abstract showing the total number of swine slaughtered in which compensation had been recommended, distinguishing those affected and those not affected, but which had come in contact, such abstract to be used in each petty sessional division. - The report was adopted, and a rate of ¼d in the pound agreed upon.
THE COUNTY TREASURER. - On the motion of Mr. F. H. DICKINSON, seconded by Mr. NEVILLE-GRENVILLE, it was resolved - “That the Chairman be asked to write a letter of condolence to Mrs. MESSITER, expressing the high appreciation the court had entertained of the manner in which the duties of her late husband's important office had been carried out.” The Chairman expressed his entire sympathy with the resolution. He said Mr. MESSITER had held the office for 31 years, and during the whole of that time no voice was raised against the manner in which he had performed his duties.
JUSTICES' CLERKS' SALARIES. - Mr. T. E. ROGERS said it was thought to be of advantage to the clerks for them to receive a fixed salary of a certain amount rather than a fluctuating one by fees. He thought the revisions should take place at long intervals and then as a whole, unless in special cases of an increase of population or an enlargements of area.
DEPUTY COUNTY TREASURER. - It was resloved to appoint Mr. Herbert MESSITER to carry out the duties of county treasurer until next session.
BRIDGES AND MAIN ROADS. - Sir A. A. HOOD, Bart., presented the reports of the Bridge Committee and the Main Roads Committee; the former recommended that the question of the liability of repairing Bishop's Lydeard culvert be referred to counsel mutually agreed upon by Mr. GIBBS and themselves. - Sir ALEXANDER presented a memorial from Taunton, asking that certain bridges be made county bridges, but he said he did not support the memorial, and the committee advised that it be not acceded to. The Main Roads Committee stated that a draft of the by-laws had been under the consideration of the Local Government Board, and they (the Roads Committee) recommended that a sub-committee be appointed to settle the terms with the Highway Board. - Both reports were adopted.
PRELIMINARY EXPENSES IN PROSECUTIONS. - The Chairman said that, in compliance with a resolution passed last session relative to the hardship of the expenses of preliminary prosecutions being borne by the county, he had seen Mr. CROSS, the Home Secretary, who admitted that as a matter of principal it was very difficult to distinguish between those expenses which were allowed and those which were not, but it was an old rule that those earlier expenses of prosecutions had not been so allowed hitherto; but Mr. CROSS expressed himself generally favourable to an alteration in that respect, and he (the chairman) was not without hope that a change in that direction might take place. The legislation of last session, under the Public Prosecutions Act, would largely do away with the necessity, as in the serious cases, where heavy expenses were incurred, they would be entirely undertaken by an assistant director of public prosecutions, and the expenses would be undertaken by him, and under his authority, and would be no longer chargeable to the county rate.
COUNTY POLICE. - Mr. V. STUCKEY read the report of the Police Committee, which stated that the receipts for the past quarter, had been £10,027 9s 6d, and the expenditure £6,102 5s 8d, leaving a balance in hand of £3,925 3s 10d; probable expenditure for ensuing quarter £8,620. To meet this they had the balance in hand of £3,925 3s 10d, and probable receipts £618, leaving a balance against the county of £4,076 16s 2d. To meet this deficiency a rate of ½d in the pound would be necessary. The report was adopted.
ADULTERATION OF FOOD. - Mr. W. W. STODDART (county analyst) reported that he had analysed during the past quarter 251 samples of food, and out of that large number only ten were found adulterated.
CHIEF CONSTABLE'S REPORT. - Mr. Valentine GOOLD (chief constable) presented the following report:- “In compliance with the rules of the Secretary of State, I have the honour to present to the court the criminal returns for the year ended the 29th of September, 1879, and I request you will be pleased to direct that these forms be transmitted to the Home Office, in accordance with the 16th sec. of 19 and 20 Vic., cap 69. The following is a summary of these returns:- There were 303 indictable offences committed, 299 persons apprehended, 204 committed for trial, and 95 discharged. There were also 6,478 cases determined summarily by the justices, and 5,314 persons were convicted. In comparing these returns with those furnished for the year 1878 I find there is a decrease of 43 in the indictable offences, and an increase of 362 in the offences dealt with summarily. The decrease in the indictable offences will be found under the head of simple larcenies, and the increase in summary convictions is to be attributed to prosecutions under the Elementary Education Act, of which there were no less than 1,339 during the past year, as against 579 in the previous year. I have to report that 38 persons have been sentenced to police supervision within my jurisdiction; of these, nine are earning an honest livelihood, nine doubtful, eight in gaol, two in the workhouse, and seven unknown. There are also 11 license holders, of whom seven are earning an honest livelihood, two doubtful, one in gaol, and one in the workhouse.” The Chief Constable also recommended a grant to Sergeant Charles MUNDY, who had become incapacitated for further service, of a pension of £32 per annum, and a pension of £24 per annum to Constable Henry BRIMBLE, who has served for 19 years and six months.
CONTAGIOUS DISEASES (ANIMALS) ACT. - Mr. Valentine GOOLD (chief constable) presented the following report:- “I have the honour to report, for the information of the Executive Committee, that since the last quarter sessions we have had no cases of pleuro-pneumonia, and only one of foot and mouth disease, which occurred on the farm of Mr. Henry CREED, at Charlton Musgrove, but I am happy to say that only one animal was affected; but during the same period we have had no less than 119 outbreas of swine fever, and 722 pigs affected. Of these, 586 were slaughtered by order of the local authority, 135 died, and one recovered; but I find by recent returns that there is some abatement of the disease. There were also seven outbreaks of sheep scab, and 390 sheep affected, of which three have died. During the past quarter three persons were proceeded against for an infringement of the Act, and fines to the amount of £20 0s 6d imposed.” - Mr. Vincent STUCKEY stated that during the past quarter £760 11s 9d had been paid for pigs that had been slaughtered, and the total expenses under the Act were £1,206 2s 11d. - The Chairman said that the districts of Taunton, Dulverton, Wiveliscombe, and Bishop's Lydeard were free from swine fever, which was, however, prevalent in other parts of the county, and he thought every precaution should be taken to prevent the county rate from being overburdened.
COUNTY LUNATIC ASYLUM. - Mr. F. H. DICKINSON reported that the late chaplain of the asylum having resigned, the committee had appointed the Rev. Mr. JOHNS to succeed him. He gave notice that at the next session he should move a resolution on the subject of the custody of criminal lunatics.
HIGHWAYS. - Mr. BRAIKENRIDGE moved that a provisional order made for the appointment of two waywardens for each of the parishes of Bedminster and Long Ashton be confirmed. - Mr. D. M. SKRINE, on behalf of Mr. H. J. MIREHOUSE, presented a memorial from the inhabitants of Long Ashton against the confirmation of the order, as they deemed that it was not necessary to have more than one waywarden. - The memorial was not acceded to, and the provisional order was confirmed, as it was also in the case of Chard, Ilminster, and Combe St. Nicholas. - The following motion by Mr. A. T. PERKINS was agreed to:- “That the approval of the county authority be given, under sec. 7 of the Highway and Locomotives (Amendment) Act, 1878, to a resolution passed by the Wells Highway Board to divide their district, as from the 25th day of March, 1879, into two parts, to be called the Upper Division and Lower Division, and to charge exclusively on each of such parts the expense of maintaining and keeping in repair the highways situate in each such part.”
Some formal business having been transacted, the court adjourned.
FIRST COURT. - WEDNESDAY.
(Before Messrs. R. H. PAGET, in the chair, and E. H. CLERK.)
The following gentleman were sworn on the grand jury:- Messrs Edmund Peter HOOPER (foreman), James Motes ATKINS, Thomas BARBER, William BESSEL, Robert BAILEY, John BROOKS, James CLARKE, William CLARKE, James COLLINGS, Bevis COLLINGS, James DUCKETT, James DREDGE, Arthur GREENHILL, James HOWELL, Edward HARDWICK, James LONG, Stephen MULLINS, George MORTON, William OBORN, Thomas PIKE, Alfred SMITH, Thomas W. SHELLING, and Harry LEEK.
AN OLD OFFENDER. - Chas. DEAN, 30, gardener, was indicted for stealing a coat, value 5s, a basket, value 4d, and also a wooden bottle, value 1s, at Yeovil, on the 12th and 21st June. Prisoner pleaded guilty, and having been convicted several times previously, he was sentenced to seven years' penal servitude and seven years' police supervision.
ASSSAULT AT CREECH ST. MICHAEL. - Thos. KIDNER, 19, was indicted for feloniously assaulting, with intent to rob, Mellony Jane KING, at Creech St. Michael. Sentenced to 18 months' hard labourer <sic> and three years' police supervision.
WATCH ROBBERIES. – Samuel DARLY was indicted for stealing a silver watch and chain and other things, the property of John HORTOP, at Taunton. Not guilty. – James WILLIAMS was indicted for stealing a silver watch, value £2, from the person of Alfred HANCOCK, at Weston. Sentenced to five years' penal servitude and to five years' police supervision.
NO BILLS. - The grand jury returned no bills against Henry WARING for obtaining food, &c., by false pretences, at Taunton; and against Thomas KING and William CRIDLAND, for stealing straw at Milverton.
THEFT OF SUGAR. - James BROOM was indicted for stealing a loaf of sugar, value 4s 9d, the property of the Great Western Railway Company, at Wiveliscombe. Nine months' hard labour.
SECOND COURT, WEDNESDAY.
(Before Messrs. T. E. ROGERS, W. SPARKS, and H. E. BENNETT.)
ROBBERY BY A SERVANT. - Mary GOULD was indicted for stealing two counterpanes and other articles, value £2 3s, the property of John Perrin HOPKINS, at Milverton. - Six weeks' hard labour.
ATTEMPTED SUICIDE. - William ABBOTT was indicted for hanging himself, at Coker, on the 24th September. Prisoner pleaded guilty. - Two months' imprisonment.
STONING A WIFE. - Solomon PALMER was indicted for maliciously wounding Ozett PALMER, his wife, at Othery, on the 9th of August. On the night in question, prisoner went home about half-past two, and commenced swearing at his wife. She ran away, and he pelted her with stones. Her daughter saw him strike her mother on the head with something, and she saw that he had a knife in his hand. The doctor said there was a wound on her head which might have been caused by a knife. The jury found prisoner guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm, and he was sentenced to nine months' hard labour.
HOUSEBREAKING AT SAMPFORD ARUNDELL. - Henry BAKER, for breaking into the dwelling-house of James SHEPPARD, at Sampford Arundell, was sentenced to eight months' hard labour.
ANOTHER ATTEMPTED SUICIDE. - Eliza CARD was indicted for suspending herself by a rope, with intent to murder herself, at Wells. Three months' imprisonment.
CHARGE OF STEALING COAL. - Walter BEDFORD was indicted for stealing certain quantities of coal, the property of William DRAYTON, his master, at Wells, between 5th July and 10th August. Not guilty.
STEALING A SKIRT. - Emma STEVEN was indicted for stealing a shirt and shawl, value 15s, the property of Alexander SYME, at Wells, 21st July. - Mr. NEVILLE prosecuted. - Pleaded guilty. Twelve months' hard labour and three years' police supervision.
UNLAWFULLY WOUNDING. - Geo. and Jas. POULSON were indicted for unlawfully wounding John HENLY, at Wick St. Lawrence, on the 5th October. James, 12 months' hard labour, and George six months' hard labour.
STEALING A GOOSE. - Henry HARFORD was ndicted <sic> for stealing a goose at Brislington. Pleaded guilty. 14 days' hard labour.
TENDERING A BASE COIN. - Henry PITMAN was indicted for tendering a piece of metal resembling a current sovereign, at Witham Friary, on the 30th Aug. - Pleaded guilty. - Six months' hard labour.
This concluded the business of the Sessions.
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<NOTES: Solomon PALMER son of Joseph PALMER and Elizabeth SOUTHWOOD, married Isett RICH
Isett RICH daughter of James RICH and Sarah PALMER, married Solomon PALMER>