« PreviousContinue »
lignity. It was nothing more than what was a cause with some minds, namely, that the bankers had presumed to ask for their own; they had discounted a bill of 50/. for Mr. Howell, which lay over due fortwo years, and when at last payment was enforced, Mr. Howell declared, unless half of it was returned, he would carry on eternal war, and, as a prelude to hostilities, he said, he demanded a Bank of England note for a Brighton note, which he produced. From that time forward the system was pursued which he had stated, and the jury would say, whether they would suffer a respectable person to be ruined by so foul a conspiracy.
Mr. Wigney, the senior master of the Brighton Old Bank, stated, that they had discounted a bill for 50/. for Howell, which lay at their house for two years. He had accommodated Howell from time to time j and at last, in February, 1814, he told him his partners complained, that at every settlement of accounts they found that bill unpaid, and that payment must be enforced; in fact, the bill was paid by Izard two days afterwards; from that time their notes came pouring in daily.— Howell, and three persons employed by him, brought in to the amount of 1000/. in the first ten days, and shortly to the amount of 10,000/. He once saw Howell in the bank, after the 14th of Feb. and had some conversation with him on the subject; Howell said, if he gave him back half the 50/. it should be peace, if not, war; but he left the bank before the witness gave him any answer. The clerks then produced the several packets of notes brought in
by Howell, Izard, and persons employed by them, some of whieh were cut, others torn, others- dirtied and defaced, so as not to be re-issuible; others again had writing upon them injurious to the credit of the bank; and it also being proved that the defendants had declared they would so act in concert, the jury found them guilty.
M'kellurv. Bellamy.—This was a bill filed against the defendant to recover from hiin 4,9001. which he had invested in the Bank in his own name, though the plaintiff claimed it as his property.
Air. Clarke stated the particulars of the case to their Lordships, and said, that the plaintiff was a gentleman who had considerable property in India, and when he came to England from his estate, he was recommended to the friendship of the defendant, Mr. Bellamy, who rendered him many services, such as looking after his business occasionally, and once or twice assisted him in furnishing a house, whereby he saved a considerable sum of money; for all these services.Mr.M'Kellar expressed many thanks, and one day as they were going together through (heapside, the plaintiff went into a Lottery-office, and there purchased a 4th of a ticket, declaring at the same time that if it turned out a prize worth dividing, the defendant should have half, as some recompence for the many obligations under which he lay to him. This share, however, turned out a blank, and Mr. M'Kellar declared it his intention to go on purchasing shares, until he should get some prize worth their dividing
ing. He accordingly tried his luck & second time, and again failed. Shortly afterwards Miss Bellamy, the daughter of the defendant, dreamed that No. 5 was drawn a prize of 20,0001. This dream was communicated to M'Kellar, who was at that time in Scotland, upon business, and he wrote up to his wife to request she would purchase a whole ticket, and at the same time to tell Bellamy to purchase a fourth of No. 5 with the money of the former prize, and to add as much as would accomplish that purpose from his own pocket.
Mr. Bellamy accordingly, the next day, repaired to Messrs. Hazard and Co. but found that all No. 5 was sold, and purchased a 4th of No. 17, which most certainly was drawn a prize of 20,000Z. Mr. Bellamy immediately wrote down to the plaintiff, telling him that all No. 5 was sold, and that he had purchased a share of No. 27, fully intending that if the plaintiff had not liked that, and if it had been a blank, to have taken it for himself; but something predicted to him that he ought to multiply his daughter's number in itself, and add 2 to it, standing for 20,0002., and thus he got 17, which was a prize of '20,000/. and the letter finished, by saying, "you are master of 4.9QOJ." observing that at that time he did not consider that he had any right whatever to it. The next day, he went and lodged this iuoney in the bank in his own name, and he now refused to draw it out, and (he money was accordingly assigned oyer to the Accountant-General in the name of the action. He (the learned Counsel) would be glad, to know how
this gentleman could claim this money. There was no contract nor consideration; and upon the same principle this gentleman might have been made to go on purchasing shares for 20 years, until he had the good luck to get a prize. Upon these grounds he submitted that Mr. Bellamy bad not the smallest right to a single farthing.
Mr.Dauncey, for the defendant, argued, that part of this money with which the ticket was bought was the defendant's, and that it was to his ingenuity the plaintiff owed his having got the prize;, and he insisted that his repeated promises were quite sufficient to. compel him to divide this money.
Their Lordships, however, decreed for the plaintiff.
Gat Light Company.—'A special adjournment of the London Sessions Was held before the Re* corder, Aldermen, &c. at Guildhall, for the purpose of trying a question of considerable import* ance to the scientific world, as as well as the public at large. It was an indictment preferred against Frederick Sparrow and William Knight, laid in May last, and charging them with a public nuisance, but postponed to the present period. On this occasion, however, Mr. Sparrow only ap« peared in court a* the defendant,
Mr. Arabin stated the indict* iiu nt, which charged the defendant with a public nuisance, by means of a certain manufactory of gas in Dorset-street, Salisbury* square.
Mr. Gurney stated the case to
the Jury. He observed, that the question was one of the most vital importance, not nlone to the individuals who were experimentally engaged therein, and to the public generally, but more particularly to that class of society, whose fate it was to reside id the precincts of the manufactory -which was now so justly preferred to the consideration of the court as a common nuisance aud public offence. The utility of the gas lights none would have the hardihood to deny—its beauty, and brilliancy were equally apparent. The lucrative advantages derived from its establishment were, no doubt, very considerable; yet, under all these circumstances, it was highly necessary that the comfort, the health, and the lives of their fellow-creatures were not to be endangered. The gas manufactory of the defendants was first established in Fetter-lane. There it was conducted, as now, by a joint-stock company; but the inhabitants of that district finding it necessary to have the establishment indicted as a nuisance, the proprietors removed their manufactory to Dorsetstreet, where it was commenced upon a more extensive scale. Here the process became equally offensive, and in proportion as the system enlarged, so the effects became more obnoxious and dangerous. It appeared, that in the present manufactory there were four retorts of considerable size. Beneath these there were fires constantly burning, the vapour from which was conducted by several iron tubes into a globular ve«vl, called a Gasometer. The smell which issued from this part
of the manufactory was of a most offensive nature. There was also a process of coke, which likewise produced an insufferable stench by means of tubes, which carried off the effluvia, and was conducted to the river Thames. This was not alone offensive to the inhabitants and passengers, but even to the bargemen upon the river, in that quarter. Complaints of the evil were made on all sides, and while, in some instances, the most shameful inattention was manifested; in others, the injured applicants were received in a cavalier[sort of way: and although promises had been made of remedying the nuisance so bitterly felt, still nothing had been effectually done to remove it, and it remained in all its pernicious force.
An indictment, however, being preferred in May last, by the inhabitants of the district, the defendants, it was understood, had, at a considerable expense, adopted experiments by way of improvement. These, however, had not the desired effect, and the nuisance still existed in a minor degree, but still with such contagious effects, that the comfort, the health, and the lives of the inhabitants, were exposed continually to danger. Under these circumstances, he was convinced the court would feel it their duty to pronounce a verdict of condemnation upon the party, and if the latter could not succeed in so far improving their manufactory, as to obviate the evil in question, they must then abandon their scheme altogether, however lucrative to themselves, or however beneficial to an admiring public, with .whom the lives, the safety,
and and convenience of a respectable part of the community was not to be compared.
After several witnesses, had been examined, Mr. Gurney was proceeding to call others, when Mr. Pooley, on the part of the defendant, rose, and observed, that after hearing such, a body of evidence from the most respectable individuals, and which he was not at all prepared to controvert, it would be at once disrespectful, and a waste of time to the court, to enter into a defence, and submitted that a verdict must be recorded against his clients. He would, however, beg leave to observe that the defendant, Mr. Sparrow, had little or nothing to do with the concern in question until the middle of March last, and that the evil complained of was rather before than after that period. This gentleman had since then manifested the most anxious desire to remove every ground of complaint, and had gone to a most enormous expense, in adapting plans for that purpose. Some of these had succeeded, but for those other improvements that were meditated, he contended there had not been time. In submitting also on the present occasion to a verdict of conviction, he promised, that the evil complained of should be most effectually removed within a given time, and trusted that the court would forego judgment upon the party until, at least, the Sessions in January next. Mr. Knight as well as Mr. Sparrow, should plead to the conviction, and both gentlemen would adopt every means which art and money could effect in obviating the nuisance. This
was an object as dear to themselves as their existence, inasmuch as the establishment promised to be one of the most lucrative nature. To obviate any serious ground of opposition to their pursuit, must be, therefore, an object of vital interest.
Mr. Gumey, on the part of the inhabitants who had preferred the indictment, consented that the judgment of the defendant might be respited until January next, when, if the nuisance was not removed, he would certainly pray the sentence of the court upon them. He had no hope, however, that they would be enabled to effect the promised improvement; for the apertures from which issued the foul air, the extensive fires, and the consequent bodies of smoke, were connected with the very nature of the establishment itself.
The Recorder shortly addressed the Jury, and observed, that it only remained for them to pronounce their verdict, the justice of which they would be satisfied with when he read to them the opinion of Lord Mansfield upon the question of a nuisance. This was delivered in the case of two men who had commenced a chemical process in Whitechapel, the effects of which had caused noxious vapours and smells. On that occasion his Lordship held, that it was not actually necessary mat the nuisance be unwholesome, or tending to indisposition; it was quite sufficient to prove, that it rendered the life of any individual or family flncomfortable
The defendants were then found Guilty, their recognizances ordered to be respited, and themselves selves ordered to appe«r at the Sessions in January next.
Lancaster Assizes. Before Mr. Baron Richards and a Special Jury.—Holt v. Meddotncroj't.—This was an action for diverting the water of a river called the New Koach. The plain till" and his partners were the proprietors of several fulling and carding mills, and it was stated that they had been for upwards of 40 years in the exclusive employment of that portion of the waters of the river which flowed to their mills, and for the purpose of appropriating the waters, had erected a wear of the proper standard height. The defendant, a professional gentleman of eminence, became, by the death of a relation, possessed of a corn mill, which was situated near the plaintiff's mill. . The defendant's mill was fed by a scanty 6tream, called Cathead Brook, but of so inefficient power that the mill could not be worked above one day in a week. The consequence of this was, the defendant could with difficulty procure a tenant for his mill, and if he found one, he was obliged to let it at very low rates. He therefore endeavoured to add to the power of the mill, and this he effected by cutting a sluice from the river to his own mill. By doing so, he greatly improved his mill, and rendered it of considerable annual value'; but it was soon found that in proportion as the sluice added to the power of the defendant's, it deteriorated those of the plaintiff's, ami made it impossible for the wheals, for want of water, to work the same quantity of machinery they had done before. Such was the na
ture of the injury for which the action was brought. The cause extended to a very great length, owing to the number of witnesses examined on both sides. On the part of the plaintiffs it was proved that their mills were frequently unable to work at their usual speed, while the water was running flush down the defendant's sluice. On the other hand, it was contended by the defendant's counsel, that his client had done no more than he was by law entitled to do. He admitted that the person who became the first occupant of the waters of a river, by erecting a wear, had a right to the enjoyment of what he had so appropriated without interruption; but he was entitled to no more, and if it was observed that he had more than he wanted, and a part of the water ran over his wear to waste, in that case his neighbour had a right to take the overplus for his own use. This, he contended, was all that the defendant had done. He had so constructed his sluice above the level of the plaintiff's wear, that the water would not enter it, till after it had flowed a certain depth over the plaintiffs wear. It appeared, however, by the testimony of the plaintiff's witnesses, that the greater the body of water was that flowed to waste over a wear, the heavier was the pressure upon the wheel, and of course the more facility was given to all the internal operations of th« machinery. Of this opinion were the jury, and they accordingly returned their verdict in favour of the plaintiff. The question was considered of very considerable importance to persons interested