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Wolfe, Litchfield, Jeffery, and Best, that they would certainly be executed. This gang has for some time been the dread of the surrounding neighbourhood. Wolfe acted as leader always; came to his work on horseback, and the usual rendezvous was at his house at Stortford, where they adjusted their accounts and settled the division of the plunder.
MAIDSTONE, MARCH 17.
Cramp and another v. Bayley, Clerk.—This was a case of rather a singular nature. It was an action of trover by the plaintiffs, as churchwardens of the parish of St. John the Baptist, Margate, against the defendant, as rector of that parish, to recover the value of certain black cloth which had been put up in the parish church in respect to the memory of the late Princess Charlotte of Wales, but which the defendant had converted to his own use by having it made up into coats, waistcoats and other articles of apparel.
It appeared that the plaintiffs, as churchwardens of the parish in question, wishing to pay proper respect to the memory of the late Princess Charlotte, had purchased a quantity of black superfine cloth and kerseymere of a woollen-draper at Margate, for the purpose of covering the pulpit, the reading-desk and the communiontable of the church, during the time allotted to public mourning upon that melancholy event. The cloth cost 371. Os. 9d. and was mailed to the places above-men
tioned, where it remained for six weeks. At the end of that time the plaintiffs sent for the woollen-draper to take down the cloth again, and give them the amount of its then value, to be placed to the account of the parish. The defendant, however, having been apprised of the intention of the plaintiffs, took steps to appropriate a portion of the cloth to his own use, the remainder of which was divided between the clerk and the sexton. The defendant afterwards employed the same woollen-draper of whom the cloth had been originally purchased, to make him a coat and other articles of clothing from the cloth so taken and converted. Some ill-will seemed to have arisen in the parish in consequence of this act of the defendant, who was charged by report with having stolen the cloth. He was afterwards applied to for the purose of accounting to the parish or the amount of the cloth taken; but having declined all communication with the plaintiffs, in consequence of the coarse imputation cast upon him, the present action was brought. The defence set up was, that it was the general custom of all the parishes in the kingdom to allow the rector to take a portion of the black cloth put up in churches on the occasions of public and private mourning, and that in all events such was the custom of the particular parish in question. Mr. Justice Bayley objected to the evidence of general custom, but allowed evidence to be given of the custom of the particular parish. Witnesses. Witnesses were then examined upon this latter head; but their evidence went to show, that in two instances where private individuals had put up black cloth in the church out of respect to departed friends, the rector, the parish clerk and the sexton, had been allowed respectively to take a portion of the cloth so put up. The general impression of the witnesses was, that such was the general usage. Mr. Justice Bayley, in his address to the jury, laid it down as the rule of law, that no person had a right to hang up what are called ornaments in the church without the leave of the rector, because the freehold of the church was in him, and he might make his own terms for that leave. In general, where private individuals hun black cloth in the parish soft with the concurrence of the rector, there was a kind of understanding between them that the cloth became the property of the rector. In the present case, however, there had been no bargain between the plaintiffs and the defendant with respect to the terms upon which the cloth was to be
hung in the church, and conse
quently the latter had no right to take any portion of the cloth, because, by law, he was not entitled to take such a property, unless by matter of arrangement or agreement between the parties to whom it belonged. Under these circumstances the plaintiffs were entitled to a verdict for the value of the cloth which the defendant had converted to his own use. The jury found for the plaintiffs.—Damages 15l.
ExETER ASSIZES, MARCH 18. Before Mr. Justice Holroyd and a special jury. Rez v. Sir Manasseh Lopez, bart.—This indictment charged the defendant with having, by himself and by certain agents, corrupted and bribed several of the electors of the borough of Grampound. Mr. Sergeant Pell opened the case on the part of the Crown. —The borough of Grampound contained sixty voters, claiming that right in respect of being freemen. ” In November, 1815, a meeting took place between sir M. Lopez and a man of the name of Hoare, who would be called as a witness. Hoare being a voter of Grampound, the object of the meeting was, to adjust terms for bringing Sir M. Lopez in for the borough. This was to be effected by a loan of 2,000l. to the electors; this loan being really a ift, and the price of their votes. n addition to the evidence of Mr. Hoare and other gentlemen, letters would be produced from Sir M. Lopez himself, which would leave no doubt upon the nature of the transaction. A number of letters were then read from Sir M. Lopez and from Mr. Hunt, his solicitor, addressed for the most part to Mr. William Hoare. By these letters it appeared that Mr. Hunt was the confidential solicitor of Sir. M. Lopez, and that he was the agent employed to manage the business of this election; that 2,000l. was to be paid upon securing fortyfive voters; that the 2,000l. was to be a loan, and to be paid by Mr. Hunt. After expending considerable sums it j that - as
as to his interest. Mr. Teed, the present petitioner for Grampound, go a visit to the borough, and
ir M. Lopez declared, in one of
his letters, that far from being alarmed by Mr. Teed's journey, if that gentleman would place him in the situation in which he stood before the commencement of the negotiation, he (Sir M.) would resign his interest to him. One of these letters, in which, speaking of the electors of Grampound, Sir M. Lopez says, “If ; can find any gentleman who will pay them É. they may transfer their services to him:”— And another, in which Sir M. ; he shall not be put to the additional expense of a dinner to the voters, excited considerable merriment. William Hoare swore that he was an alderman of Grampound; that in Nov. 1814, he went to London and saw Sir M. Lopez at his house in Arlington-street; that he gave Sir M. Lopez a letter of introduction from Sir John Derring; that Sir M. f.opez said he heard there was an opening in the borough of Grampound, and that he should be coming down soon and would see witness on the business; that Sir M. Lopez requested witness to consult the rest of the magistrates and freemen on the subject and write him word; that witness then told Sir M. Lopez that the electors must be satisfied, and 2,000l. would be necessary for that purpose; that after he returned to Grampound he wrote to Sir M. Lopez on the subject, and received an answer. In the begin. ning of the month of December he met Sir M. Lopez at Ply
mouth; that he went with him to Mr. Hunt's office, where he saw Mr. Hunt; that he then explained to Sir M., in the presence of Hunt, that the freemen wanted 2,000l., and that Sir M. Lopez said Hunt should come down; that Hunt was at Grampound twice; that on the first occasion he did not see so many of the freemen as he expected, and only stayed a few hours; that he afterwards met Hunt by appointment at St. Austel, and Hunt came again to Grampound, where he saw about forty of the freemen; that he told Hunt that the freemen expected 50l. each; that Hunt said that could not be; that they could have only 35l. each; that Hunt then desired him (witness) to send the voters into the room (a room, at an inn) one by one; that he did so; that Hunt’s clerk, Mr. Rawle, was in the room, and John Brown, a voter, when witness left it; that Symons was not introduced at this time; that he saw Sir M. Lopez some months after, at his seat near Plymouth, and that Sir M.Lopez then said, “I have secured Symons; I have done something for him here;” touching the palm of his hand. That he afterwards introduced Allen, a voter, to Hunt, who did not seem inclined to receive him, as they had already got a majority. • -> * On being cross-examined by Mr. Adam, he said, that when Mr. Teed and Mr. Lambe, his solicitor, came down, he told them that he had a letter from Sir M. Lopez, in which Sir M. said he would relinquish his claim to any gentleman who would do better by the borough. That * P 2 e
Sir M. Lopez felt rather insecure he was looking for this letter among others from Sir M. Loez, Mr. Lambe said, “ I will ook for it;" that Mr. Lambe then took all the letters and said he would return them; that they had not been returned; that he was anxious to have them back, lest people should suppose he had sold them. When Hunt came to Grampound the second time, and witness sent in the freemen one by one, he did not see any one receive any money. Did you receive any money?— Yes, I did. Mr. Justice Holroyd.—I ought to tell you, you are not bound to answer any question which may criminate yourself. Mr. Adams-I now put the question again: Did you receive any money?–Witness. I do not choose to answer. Mr. Teed (examined by Mr. Sergeant Pell) said, that he was an unsuccessful candidate for Grampound last election, and was at the present moment a petitioner. That in August, 1817, he received from Isaac Watts, a voter of Grampound, a paper containing the names of the voters who had been bribed by Sir M. Lopez; and that Watts told him the respective sums which had been paid, which he put down against the respective names; that he called on Sir M. Lopez in London; that he told Sir M. Lopez that he called at the , desire of Watts, to know what he (Sir M. Lopez) intended to do respecting Grampound. If he (Sir M. Lopez) would be content with one seat, he (Mr. Teed) might have the other; that wit
ness then told Sir M. Lopez he was acquainted with his proceedings at Grampound, and produced the list he had received from Watts; that Sir M. Lopez merely expressed his surprise where the witness could have got so correct a list. That Sir M. said the sums were very correct, except that he had paid more to some than was put down. The witness told Sir M. Lopez that he and the electors were subject to a prosecution; that Sir M. Lopez then said, he would protect the electors if it cost him 100,000l. That he had taken counsel's opinion; and that the electors were not liable because two years had elapsed since the transaction.—On his cross-examination by Mr. Adams, MrTeed said that he did not tell Sir M. Lopez that he should be prosecuted; but only that he was liable to prosecution. That the letters were taken from Hoare by Mr. Lambe, with the consent of witness; and that he (witness) did not choose to return them when he discovered their contents. Mr. Moore argued on the part of the defendant, that the money in question had been given from charitable motives, to assist the borough of Grampound, which was at that time in great distress. He commented at considerable length upon the testimony of the various witnesses who had been called on the part of the prosecution. The Mr. Hoares, he said, stood convicted, by their own confession, of the very crime which they were attempting to charge upon Sir M. Lopez. They were quite unworthy of credit. The jury should be cautious. If a landlord a landlord lowered his rents to assist his tenants, and was afterwards returned by their votes to parliament, would that constitute bribery? Where was the difference in the present case? The learned counsel then commented with some severity upon the evidence of Mr. Teed; and concluded with a hope, that if the jury entertained any doubt upon the case they would give the benefit of that doubt to the accused party. Mr. Justice Holroyd summed up the evidence at considerable length, and expressed his opinion, that if the witnesses were to be relied on, the case had been already made out. The jury, without leaving the box, found the defendant Guilty.
HIGH court OF ADMIRALTY, MARCH 25.
In the matter of the Ship Asia.- Sir William Scott proceeded to give judgment in this case to-day; the facts of which, as far as he was enabled to judge from the very contradictory affidavits which had been exhibited, were in general these: —That the Asia private East India ship, laden principally with cotton, on her homeward voyage from Bombav was overtaken in the Downs by the memorable storm of the 4th of last March, and which lasted through several succeeding days; that she broke from her anchor, and her windlass was so damaged as to become useless; that in passing Ramsgate lights were hoisted, the one party says, 'in order to obtain assistance, and guns fired for th
same purpose; that after passing Ramsgate it was determined on consulting with the pilot, and for the purpose of saving the lives of her numerous crew, amounting in all, including the officers, to 28 men, besides some Custom-house officers who were on board, to run her ashore; it being then some time after high tide, which was falling fast, the wind setting in fresh in shore. This was done without any material injury to the vessel, except unshipping her rudder. Now a matter in contention between the parties was, whether lights were so hung out and guns fired, before she was ashore or after. But it was admitted that guns were fired. The resumption was, he thought, and in that he was supported by the opinion of the nautical gentlemen by whom he had been assisted, that lights were hung out before. In that condition of the ship, it must have been impossible for her to proceed without making signals for assistance from the shore, and therefore she passed Ramsgate with lights hung out. It was asserted, that after being run on shore she lay firm and secure; in that case it would be difficult to account why guns were fired at that time, by the direction too of the pilot, a person charged expressly with the safety of the ship. The boatmen of Roo. in the neighbourmood of the pier, were on the look-out for accidents of this kind, in order to render their useful but perilous services, various ships being at that time supposed to be in distress. One boat was at length got along the shore and dragged opposite *