Some Selected Reports from The Windsor and Eton Express
26th February 1842
has given £100 in aid of the funds of the Society for the Conversion of the Jews to Christianity (Brighton branch).
Caution to Stealers of Turnips
A quantity of Swede turnips having been stolen from a field of Mr.Watling
, of Warfield, the sum of six guineas, jointly by Mr.Watling
and the Winkfield Association, has been offered for the apprehension and conviction of the thieves.
On Saturday night, about twelve o'clock, the family of Mr.W.Stubbs
, grocer, &c., of Holyport, were alarmed by the attempt of two burglars to force an entrance into the house by the kitchen window, and on going downstairs the fellows made a precipitate retreat. They had nearly succeeded in their object, having already forced open the shutter, and were in the act of cutting the glass when they were disturbed. They are believed to be known, and will probably be shortly apprehended.
Literary and Scientific Institution
On Wednesday evening, Mr.W.Walker
, a member of this society, gave a gratuitous lecture in the Town-hall, on "Superstition." In the course of his observations, the lecturer detailed the origin and progress of superstition , and exposed the popular delusions which, in preceding ages, were the results of ignorance, and fostered and encouraged for sinister purposes, but, with the march of knowledge, their fallacy has been fully proved. Even in the present day, however, superstition is prevalent in various parts, adhered to with a singular tenacity. Mr.Walker
explained the folly of believing in the appearance of fairies, ghosts, or apparitions, and related various interesting facts of self-delusion. The lecturer also illustrated his remarks by appropriate extracts from the works of our great poets. The lecture was well attended, and the audience appeared highly pleased.
On Monday the members of the Royal Albert Club had their third and last meeting for the season at Clewer. The weather was very unfavourable for the sport, but there was nevertheless a respectable muster of the "right sort." The matches (four in number) were all between sides chosen by Messrs Hill
; the first and last was won by Mr.Hill's
party, the second by Mr.Bacon's
, and the third was a tie. A match between Messrs. Wynyard
, at five birds each, was won by the former, who killed the whole of his birds. A sweepstakes was then shot for, at three birds each, the entries were six in number, four of whom tied by killing two; on shooting off Messrs. Bacon
divided the stakes. Mr.Veal
, of the Three Tuns, provided an excellent dinner for his friends, which was done justice to at the termination of the sport. On Thursday a fat hot was shot for at the George Inn, Holyport, by eleven members at five birds each, the two latter again tied, and then divided the prize. A sweepstakes of half a sovereign each, eight entries, was then contested for, and eventually won, after shooting off two ties, by Mr.Hill
. After the shooting, the party set down to a good repast provided by the worthy host, Mr.Compton
On Tuesday last a match came off in the Brocas, Eton, between Mr.G.Hall
, boat builders, the former who is considered a "crack" shot, giving the latter, who is quite a novice at the sport, three birds out of twelve. It turned out, however, that extraordinary good luck attended Mr.Hester
, who shot all his birds but one, Mr.Hall
only killing six. Several other matches afterwards came off amongst the company present.
Windsor Police - Monday
[Before John Clode, Esq. Mayor].
A wretched looking creature, named Eliza Morris
, who was called by the name of "Baton," was brought up by the police, charged with being drunk and sleeping on the steps of a house in George-street.
The prisoner was ordered to be sent to the Union workhouse to be taken care of.
[Before John Clode, Esq
.(Mayor), and John Banister, Esq.
Two urchins, named John Clarke
, aged 10 years, and John Sexton
, aged only 9 years, were charged on suspicion of stealing a piece of iron, forming part of the iron fencing of the enclosure in Clarence Cresent, the property of Mr.Bedborough
, who attended for Mr.Bedborough
, stated that robberies of this kind, and by such little fellows as the prisoners, were very frequent in Clarence Crescent, and they had become very serious.
The policeman who apprehended the prisoners produced one iron rail, which he found on one of the prisoners, and they were both in company.
, the superintendent of police, and Mr.Lovegrove
, the high constable, stated that numerous robberies were committed by such boys as the prisoners, who, under the pretence of offering lucifer matches for sale, take away whatever may be within their reach and their power to steal.
The magistrates remanded the prisoners in order to consider what could be done with them.
A person named Wheeler
, a shoemaker, appeared to answer a charge made against him by Mr.Elliott
, of Thames-street.
The dispute between the parties originated about a fancy dog. Mr.Elliott
complained that on the previous day the defendant behaved in the most scandalous manner towards him, forcibly took a dog he had in his arms from him, and nearly thrust him through his own shop window, and he force was so great that he (Mr.E.) was thrown down.
The defendant declared it was his dog, and he had frequently demanded it.
said that Wheeler
two years ago had given Mr.Saunders
the dog, which was in the habit of going backwards and forwards from Mr.Saunders's
house to his (Mr.Elliott's
The defendant denied he had given the dog away.
stated that the dog was given to him by Wheeler
two years ago, Wheeler
stating that he could not afford to keep it, and that if he (Mr.S) might sell it for £3 they would "go halves." It was never sold, and he had ever since kept it.
The magistrates were of opinion that Wheeler
, even supposing the dog to be his, had gone a very improper way to get it back.
, the magistrates clerk, said to Saunders
, "It come to this, that if you have to deliver up the dog, you will claim the expenses of its keep."
- Certainly; at the rate of 6d per week.
- Then you, Mr.Elliott
, can consider whether you will proceed with the charge of assault.
- I certainly shall.
By the magistrates advice the parties eventually retired and amicably settled "all matters of dispute," and thus the affair of the dog and the assault were disposed of together.
who stated he belonged to Isleworth, Elizabeth Wilcox
, Jane Stanning
, Anne Davis
, Jane Eversley
, and Emma Perry
, were charged as vagrants, in having been found by the police the previous night sleeping in an open shed in Spinner's-field, Clewer.
The female prisoners were all young, and presented a truly deplorable condition from their filthy appearance, and belief that most of them laboured under disease. None of them belonged to Windsor, and they presented a to frequent tale of the misery and distress in which young females are certain to be reduced when they are persuaded to "follow the drum" - that is to follow a regiment - for these unfortunates it was stated, had followed the Highlanders hither, and hence their present melancholy state. One of them was recognised by Mr.Bailey
, the relieving officer of the Windsor Union, who was present on other business, as having about three or four weeks ago been passed to her own parish, but her hankering after the soldiers doubtless seduced her back, and the present appearance of another of them in court was for the third time.
The magistrates discharged the young man Humphries
, on his promising to go back to Isleworth and endeavour to obtain work. They were, however, puzzled what to do with all the girls, for if they sent those prisoners in such a state as they were described to be to the House of Correction, they would be sent back again [for the gaol authorities will not keep a prisoner who is brought in while labouring under disease], and to send them to the Union-house in such numbers was equally bad. The magistrates at last having conferred with Mr.Bailey
, the relieving officer, and that functionary having said he would give them orders of admission into the Union-house, they were handed over to him for that purpose.
Egham, Saturday, February 26.
Testimonial to the Rev.J.Wood
, on behalf of the ladies of Egham, has lately presented the late vicar of this parish, the Rev.J.Wood
, with a silver inkstand accompanied with the following address, signed by upwards of ninety parishioners :-
Egham, Feb.23, 1842.
Dear and Reverend Sir, - On the event of your having ceased your pastoral duties of this parish, and as an humble tribute of our united esteem and respect towards you during the period of your residence among us, as well as a memento of the urbanity of your manners, and your kindness on all occasions wherein necessity, and otherwise, has called upon you to perform those duties compatible with your sacred profession, we, the undersigned female part of your late parishioners, request your acceptance of the accompanying trifle, as a remembrance of their sentiments united with feelings of regard and gratitude.
We are, dear and reverend sir,
Your Very Faithful Well-Wishers
The Reverend Gentleman returned the following answer :-
I beg to return my very best thanks to the ladies of Egham for this mark of their kindness - this very handsome testimonial of their approbation of my conduct while I continued their minister.
After the very complimentary address which I had already received, I certainly did not expect any further acknowledgement of my imperfect service in discharging the duties of my solemn office, and what the female portion of my flock have now done, and the gratifying manner in which they have done it, has been altogether unlooked for.
It gives me unfeigned pleasure to think that such a great number of my parishioners have contributed on this occasion towards this lasting testimonial of their esteem, and I can only say that I shall ever remember with gratitude this act of their kindness, and as I hope it will be daily used by me, the recollection of the past will constantly be brought before me.
Be assured that the interest I feel in your temporal and spiritual welfare will not cease with my public ministrations amongst you. The name of Egham will always be dear to me, and I shall ever delight to hear of the well-being and prosperity of all its inhabitants.
My best wishes will ever attend both you and yours.
Staines, Saturday, February 26.
On Saturday evening last, the house of Mr.Butler
, of Wraysbury, was entered, and a box containing between £40 and £50 in gold and silver stolen therefrom. It is supposed that the thief or thieves must have secreted themselves under the bed, as Mrs.Butler
went into the room in the evening about seven o'clock and deposited some money in the box, when everything appeared perfectly safe, but on retiring to rest they saw the window wide open, and found a great quantity of dirt about the room and under the bed; it is supposed more than one was concerned in the robbery. The box was found in a field by a boy broken to pieces.
Yesterday week Mr.Wakley
, the coroner for Middlesex, held an inquest on the body of William Crosswell
, aged 63, who died suddenly by the breaking of a blood vessel - verdict accordingly; also on the body of Elizabeth Robards
, aged 67, residing at Bedfont, and Martha Mulford
, of the same place, aged 86, widow, who were found dead. Verdict - "Natural Death" in both cases.
Uxbridge, Saturday, February 26.
The annual concert, got up by Mr.G.Robinson
, at the New Public-rooms in this town, on Tuesday evening last, came off in a very creditable style; he was in excellent voice, although for the last four or five days he had suffered severely from indisposition. He was assisted by Mr.Edney
, and the gentlemen of the choir, Mr Pyne
, and the two Misses Pyne
, the youngest of whom is a lively fascinating girl, with a sweetly powerful voice, and was quite the "star" of the evening, more particularly in the cavatina of Barnett
, "Up to the forest, hie," which she performed in a truly spirited style for a young lady of sixteen, and which was warmly encored. Mr.Pyne
, though now sixty years of age, gave the song by Hodgson
, "Tell me, Mary," with his usual good taste. Two comic songs by Mr.Edney
were loudly encored. The programme consisted of two parts - the first part of sacred music, and the opening, "Kent's Blessed," which was rarely ever better performed, and in which the trebles of the Uxbridge choir bore a conspicuous part. Mr.Jolley
presided in a masterly style at the instrument , which was one of Tomkinson's
forte-piannettes. The company, to a number of at least 250, consisted of the most respectable inhabitants of the town and its vircinity, who were highly gratified with Mr.Robinson's
bill of fare.
Cruel Treatment of a Sick Child
A coroner's inquest was held at the White Hart Inn, Hayes, yesterday, on view of the body of a child, named James Harris
. The inquiry was taken in consequence of a report that the child had died from want of proper nourishment, and from general neglect. From the evidence it appeared that the father of the child is a labourer in constant work, but of dissipated habits. His three children were ill with the measles, and in consequence he would not allow them to be taken to bed of a night. The deceased child died on Monday last, being taken ill the Friday week preceding. The mother of the child stated that for seven nights before the child's decease it had not been to bed, but had laid with their two other children on a deal table, covered; another witness, named Hill
stated, that some sacking and a bit or two of dirty old rag, were on the table for the children to lay upon. The surgeon of the union said the child died from natural causes. The mother stated that on one occasion when the child was writhing with its agony, it kicked its little sister, aged two years, (who was lying ill on the same table) off the table on to the brick floor. Indeed the evidence was such that the coroner observed " he thought half a dozen such investigations would drive him from office; he had no conception that such barbarity could be practised in a country famous for its civilization, and where the laws were especially framed to protect the poor." The jury returned a verdict of "Natural Death," and requested the coroner to point out to the man the enormity of his conduct, which he did in a most eloquent and feeling strain of generous indignation, and then gave the woman, who was much distressed, a sovereign to buy a coffin. The woman (Mrs.Harris
) stated that she went in fear of her life, and she should certainly take out a peace warrant against her husband immediately; and the foreman of the jury, Mr.Fleet
, was requested to embody a short statement of the fact elicited, in a memorial to be presented to the magistrates at Uxbridge on Monday next, which was done and signed by the jurymen.
Marlow, Saturday, February 26.
A stout resolute poacher, by the name of John Perry
, was surprised in his bed at Great Marlow, yesterday week by the constables. Promising, however, to go quietly with them, he was permitted to dress himself and walk peaceably out of the house, but he had no sooner reached the street than he tore away from Stallwood
, threw him over the shafts of a cart, and made a temporary escape; but on Sunday Stallwood
again seized upon him in a beer-shop, and, on his attempting to get away, advised him to go quietly, or he would find what virtue lay in a constable's staff. He was however deaf to advice, and it was not until his head had been cut open in several places, and his arms and body severely bruised, that he was secured in a dungeon for the night, a numerous rabble of disorderly women and bad characters of the vilest description, villifying the constables, and endeavouring as far as they dare, to excite him to another escape; their attempts, however, failed. He was taken before the magistrates on Monday, and committed, on various informations, for poaching on the property of - Freeman, Esq.
, of Fawley; G.Dashwood, Esq.
, of West Wycombe, and others, to Aylesbury gaol for 14 months, in a very feeble and somewhat dangerous state, from the treatment his own imprudence had brought upon him.
High Wycombe, Saturday, February 26.
At a petty sessions on Monday, Edward Scott
and William [?] Dafter
, both of Wycombe Marsh, the latter of whom has, till lately, been a respectable young man, were committed to Aylesbury gaol for trial at the next assizes, charged with having stolen a sheep from the fold of Mr.J.Stuchbery
, of Town Farm, in this parish.
Hounslow, Saturday, February 26.
Explosion at a Powder Mill
On Saturday one of the extensive powder-mills on Hounslow heath was blown up in the course of the forenoon. The works at which the explosion occurred are those belonging to Messrs.C.B.Curtis
, the gunpowder manufacturers of Skinner-street, which are situated on Hounslow heath, about two miles from the town of Hounslow. The enclosure on which they stand is of vast extent, and abuts upon the river Colne. The erections are numerous, and consist of mills, corning-houses, dry-house, &c., each being some distance detached from the other, and all of them by the side of the water. The portion destroyed was a corning-mill, erected about two years since, upon what was considered most safe principles, and was one of the exterior buildings. About seven o'clock on Saturday morning, the two men, named Henry Finch
, aged 40, and William Woolman
, aged 35, whose duty it was to work in that mill, commenced their duties as usual, at which time there were 13 or 14 barrels of dry powder, each containing 100lbs weight, in the mill. From the time of entering the mill they were not seen by any of the other workmen, so that no clue can be obtained as to the cause of the explosion, which occurred a minute or two after ten o'clock. The report occasioned by the explosion of so large a quantity of gunpowder was tremendous, and shook the houses for miles round to their very foundation, to the great alarm of the inhabitants, numbers of whom instantly rushed out of their dwellings, believing it to have been an earthquake. The true cause, however, soon became known, when hundreds of persons proceeded to the spot for the purpose of ascertaining the extent of damage, none of whom, however, were admitted within the gates.
Within the grounds the scene was a truly distressing one; the mill was blown to atoms, and the remains were scattered about in all directions to a considerable distance. Mr.Harvey
, one of the firm, was instantly on the spot, and by his directions the other workmen on the establishment began searching for the unfortunate sufferers, when it was found that, in addition to the two men, Finch
(who were ultimately discovered to have been blown across the stream, where they were picked up quite dead), three other men, accidentally passing the mill at the moment, had received most serious injuries, from which their lives are despaired of. Their names are Peter Thomas
, William Caldwin
, and Alfred Malthouse
, surgeon of Hounslow, who, with his assistant, Mr.Saunemann
, was early on the spot, on examining their injuries found them to be most serious, and Thomas
was removed to his residence at Hanworth, and Caldwin
to his house at Twickenham, where every necessary attention was paid to them. Malthouse
, however, who was 26 years of age, was too severely injured to be removed, and he died in the course of the evening. All the sufferers have wives and families. The bodies of Finch
were frightfully disfigured. On Tuesday an inquest was held before Mr.Wakley, M.P.
, on the bodies of the three deceased persons, when, after hearing the evidence, the jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death." Caldwin
, the other two sufferers, still remain in a precarious state.
Another Fatal Accident
On Saturday evening a man named Thomas Groves
, a carter in the employ of Mr.Tillyer
, farmer, &c., of Harmondsworth, Middlesex, was proceeding with his waggon and team along the Bath-road, when between Cranford and Hounslow, he fell from the shaft on which he was riding, and before the horses could be stopped the wheels of the waggon passed over him. The unfortunate man was immediately conveyed to a beer-shop close by, where, on examination by Mr.Saunemann
, assistant to Mr.Frogley
, surgeon of Hounslow, it was found that life was quite extinct, and that the ribs on the right side were fractured, and that the elbow joint was completely crushed.
Berks Lent Assizes
On Wednesday afternoon these assizes were opened in due form by Mr.Justice Patterson
and Mr.Justice Cresswell
in the Town-hall, Reading, when they arrived shortly after four o'clock. Their lordships were met at Sunning-hill by H.B.Bunbury, Esq.
, the high sheriff of the county, and the procession was there formed. It was more numerous than last year, the number of horsemen was greater and the dresses of the javelin men and the elegance of the High Sheriff's equipage were universally admired.
On Thursday morning their lordships attended Divine service at St Lawrence's Church; they then proceeded to their lodgings, and having partaken of refreshments, they then proceeded to their respective courts to commence the business of the sessions. Mr.Justice Patterson
presided in the nisi prius court, and Mr.Justice Cresswell
in the Crown Court.
The grand jury having been sworn, they were addressed by Mr.Justice Cresswell
. His lordship expressed his gratification upon seeing so large a number of gentlemen present to assist in the administration of justice. Although the number of prisoners for trial was rather large, yet he (Mr.Justice Cresswell
) was pleased to observe that the nature of the crimes were not of an aggravated description, nor of such a character as to require any lengthened explanation from him. After alluding to one or two particular cases in the calendar his lordship concluded his charge by expressing his conviction that from the lightness of the offences they would be enabled to discharge their duty without any great difficulty.
The following cases that were tried come more immediately within this immediate district :-
, 34, labourer, and William Allum
, 26, labourer, charged with having at Maidenhead, stolen 18 fowls, the property of John Whiting
said - I live at Maidenhead and am a physician. On Sunday the 16th of January, I found that my hen-house had been broken open and eighteen fowls were gone. There was snow on the ground, and there were footmarks near the house.
, the constable, searched the house of Mary Allum
, who lives at Boyne Hill, but found nothing. On the following Wednesday I found two fowls, which had been picked, in a room which was pointed out to me as Wm.Allum's
room, and in the same place I found twelve fowls alive. I met the prisoners as I was leaving the house on Sunday.
addressed the jury for the prisoners, and the jury found William Allum
guilty, and acquitted John Allum
. The former prisoner was sentenced to six months imprisonment and hard labour.
, 15, charged with having at Maidenhead, stolen a gown piece the property of John Whittle
; also with having, at the same place, stolen three gown pieces and one pair of boots, the property of T.T.Soundy
; also with having stolen two waistcoats and a pair of shoes, the property of Daniel Stone
examined - I am a linen-draper, and reside at Maidenhead. I missed a piece of print on the 20th of January, which I wanted for a customer. I had not sold that piece of print to any person, nor had I seen it for ten days previously.
, shopman to Mr.Whittle
, deposed that he had not sold the gown piece in question.
, pawnbroker, at Maidenhead, stated that the prisoner brought the cotton print to his shop and pledged it in the name of Payne
. Witness advanced 2s 6d on it. Prisoner came with other new goods to pledge which awakened witness's suspicion, and he gave information to that effect to Daniel Sexton
, the constable.
The prisoner was found guilty, and was again tried on an indictment for stealing a gown piece. The second prosecution was of a similar nature. Prisoner was found guilty, and sentenced to 6 months imprisonment on each charge.
Nisi Prius Court
Special Jury Case - Gwynne v. Sharpe
The following gentlemen were summoned as a special jury:- R.J.Southby, Esq.
, John Hughes, Esq.
, John G.Rowley, Esq.
, Francis V.Bullock, Esq.
, R.Compton, Esq.
, Wm.Stephens, Esq.
, Edmund Currie[?], Esq.
, Edward Tull, Esq.
, Henry Addington, Esq.
, Edward Brace, Esq.
, J.Loder Symons, Esq
. A tales being prayed, Mr.Thomas Nash
were counsel for the plaintiff, and Mr.Sergeant Talfourd
for the defendant.
opened the pleadings. This was an action brought by Mrs. Marie Antoinette Gwynne
against James Birch Sharpe, Esq.
, for slanderous words uttered by the defendant imputing perjury to the plaintiff.
stated the case. The defamatory words which were the subject of this action, charged the plaintiff with fabricating a charge of felony against her servant. It was unnecessary to enlarge on the general importance of character, and the injury of aspersions was more especially severe when the subject was a lady holding a certain rank and moving in an elevated sphere of society. The defendant had pleaded the general issue only, he had declined to put on the record any plea of justification that the slander was true, he had silently acquiesced in the fact that the aspersion was groundless and scandalous; this appeal was a challenge which defendant did not choose to accept, but contented himself with a denial of having used the words in the sense complained of, it would therefore be necessary for him only to prove the utterance of the language set forth in the record, to entitle him to a verdict. Mrs.Gwynne
was the widow of the late Lieut-Col.Gwynne
, of Carmarthen, who was of an ancient and respectable family in that county; she had one daughter and four other children, and lived at one of the Canon's houses at Windsor. Last year plaintiff went to Jersey, and there engaged a maid servant named Heaton
, whom she brought over here. One night a rosewood box containing jewellery was left on a table in the drawing room, the following day it was missing; suspicion fell on Heaton
; the police were called in, and Heaton
was examined before the magistrates. It would not be necessary for him to fix the charge on Heaton
, circumstances had justified a suspicion - that suspicion had not been proved to be well grounded; Heaton
was discharged; it was therefore to be inferred that she was innocent. At the examination before the magistrates, Mrs.Gwynne
made depositions of the facts which caused her to suspect Heaton
interested himself on behalf of Heaton
. He (Mr.Sergeant Ludlow
) did not complain of that - his motives might be good, but surely it was not necessary for him to disparage the character of Mrs.Gwynne
, or to assail her reputation; he had, however, chosen to do so, and in the words which would be detailed. He said Mrs.Gwynne's
statement was a fabrication got up for the purpose,
and asked what credit could be given to a woman who had perjured herself, swearing articles to be gold which were only copper, and representing trumpery and glass ornaments to be valuable jewels. Defendant afterwards called on Mrs.Gore
and repeated these or similar charges. With reference to damages, regard must be had to the situation in life of the parties. Defendant was a magistrate of more than one county, a person of good estate and considerable influence; his bad opinion was therefore likely to do plaintiff considerable injury. It was scarcely possible that any one should not in the course of his life do or say something which he at a subsequent time might wish that he had not done or said, but the next best thing to not committing an injury was to exhibit a desire to make compensation for that injury - had this been done they would not have been here that day. Damages were not the plaintiff's object; for character was dearer than money. Defendant would neither retract his calumny, nor give plaintiff an opportunity of rebutting it by having issue joined on the truth or falsehood of his assertions. As however he had declined to do so, it remained only for him to prove the utterance of the words complained of to entitle his client to their verdict.
- Surely his learned friend must be mistaken - his client denied having uttered the words, he therefore could not attempt to justify an assertion he never made. He (Mr.Serjeant Talfourd
) was instructed not to cast any imputation whatever on Mrs.Gwynne's
character; and if any anything he had said had been misunderstood, and occasioned pain to the plaintiff, he regretted it.
said this was no satisfaction, and proceeded to address the jury. There could be no doubt about the facts - defendant by not traversing the facts alleged in the record had admitted their truth. He admitted the plaintiff had been robbed, that she had reasonable and good grounds of suspicion against Heaton
. The learned counsel said he presumed his lordship would not consider it necessary for him to prove all the circumstances of the robbery, and the events connected with it.
said certainly not; the court sat to try the issues, and could not go into matters not in dispute. The defendant had only pleaded a denial of using the words, and that was all there was to prove. The first witness called was -
Major James Brine
, examined by Mr.Carrington
, who deposed that he lived at Windsor, and was acquainted with the plaintiff; knows defendant a little only, he is a magistrate; remembers having seen him in Oct or Nov last in Peascod-street; defendant spoke first; he said "have you seen the Times." I said "No"; went on to say if I had I should have seen about Mrs.Gwynne's
business - where it says, "The robbery, if any, had been committed;" he laid great stress on the word "any." I asked what he meant, to which he replied that no robbery had been committed at all; that the whole was a got up business. I asked by whom, I believe he said , 'by Mrs.Gwynne
," I feel certain he meant her. He then asked if I had heard of her sending for wine under false pretences; and added, "What credit can be given to a woman who has perjured herself by swearing that was gold which was only copper, and those jewels which were only trumpery and glass; or, what credit should be given to a woman who drew a cheque when she had no effects" I certainly understood he referred to the plaintiff, and remarked, that it only showed with what animus he had taken up the business.
Cross-examined by Mr.Sergeant Talfourd
- Knows Mr.Sharpe
a little only; has not been in the habit of going to his house to read the papers. Once during the election, saw him reading the Examiner in his green-house and spoke to him; had always shunned his acquaintance; had dined once only with him, but that was at a public dinner. Believe Mr.Sharpe
asked him to subscribe towards sending Heaton
back to Jersey; he thought her innocent; witness thought her guilty, and said "I subscribe? I would rather subscribe to have her hanged" Saw Mr.Sharpe
a week after, when he denied having charged Mrs.Gwynne
with perjury; and said it was usual when a gentleman denied using certain language that his denial was accepted. Witness said however that might be, he would swear defendant said so.
Re-examined by Mr.Sergeant Ludlow
- Has held the King's commission nearly 30 years - 25 in active service - Major of the 7th Fusileers. Has no other motive nor object than to speak the truth on the matter.
- Is wife of the Rev.J.Gore
, a Minor Canon of St.George's Chapel; remembers Mr.Sharpe
calling 1st of November; talked of Mrs.Gwynne's
affair. I said it was a very strange business, he said it was very strange; I remarked there was no doubt the servant had robbed Mrs.Gwynne
; he said it was quite erroneous; there were others in the house. Witness then detailed a conversation respecting the jewels, similar in tendency to that between defendant and Major Brine
. In answer to a question from Mr.Sergeant Talfourd
, witness said she retained the same respect for Mrs.Gwynne
This was the plaintiff's case
addressed the jury for the defendant, and begged them to dismiss all recollection of the facts which had been before the public from their minds. It appeared that Mr.Sharpe
having been present at the examination of the servant Heaton
, took compassion on her desolate and defenceless state. She was a poor servant girl, far from her home, without money, discharged from her place, in almost a foreign land and comparatively without a friend in the world. Defendant interested himself in her behalf, and soon after meets Major Brine
, who puts forward a voluntary opinion of her guilt:- the jury, recollecting the vehemence which Major Brine
had displayed, would perhaps be of opinion that in the heat and irritation of the moment Major Brine
had conceived an inflamed and exaggerated idea of Mr.Sharpe's
language. After a week they met again, and then, he would ask, after time had elapsed and reflection came, did Mr.Sharpe
persist in accusing Mrs.Gwynne
- no - he disclaimed in the strongest possible manner any attempt to cast an imputation on her character, and this ought to have been sufficient, but no, although Mr.Sharpe
denied, and believes now, that he did not use the words imputed to him - one memory must be set against another, in order that this action might be maintained. Why was not his offer to publish a disclaimer accepted ? Major Brine
would not act as a peace-maker; he appeared to labour under some dislike to defendant. There was no proof of malice, therefore the disclaimer ought to have been received. It was not just nor fair to charge Mr.Sharpe
with not putting a justification on the record - how could he ?
now believes he never used the words in question - how, therefore, could he be expected to justify them. Why was not an action taken against the Times, the statement in that paper was strong enough - "robbery if any ?." It was impossible for him to offer any evidence, the whole matter being a conversation between two gentlemen. He would ask had Mrs.Gwynne
suffered any injury or loss of character by Mr.Sharpe's
words ? It was strange that after the notice which the public prints had taken on the subject, all this should not offend the plaintiff so much as a simple conversation between two persons. If the plaintiff had suffered in mind by these circumstances whom had she to blame but her injudicious friends who took the case up and pursued it with such pertinacity, rejecting all offers of retraction, and forcing on this case to the present appeal. The learned gentlemen concluded a very able address by saying he was sure the jury would see that his clients had done all in his power to compensate for a hasty observation which had been misconstrued, and left the case with confidence in their hands.
summed up, and said this was an action for slander, and the defendant pleaded that he did not utter the words imputed, and urges that he had no intention to bring any scandal or disgrace on plaintiff. His Lordship went through the evidence of Major Brine
, the former of which must be held conclusive as to the words being used, though defendant might still believe he had never used the words in an offensive sense. If the Jury thought Major Brine's
evidence was not conclusive they would find for the defendant, but if they had no doubt of the words having been used, they would find for the plaintiff with such damages as they would think the justice
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