MERTHYR COUNTY COURT.|1866-06-30|The Merthyr Telegraph and General Advertiser for the Iron Districts of South Wales - Welsh Newspapers Online
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MERTHYR BOARD OF GUARDIANS.

ABERDARE POLICE COURT.

TREDEGAR PETTY SESSIONS.

MERTHYR COUNTY COURT.

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MERTHYR COUNTY COURT. (Before His Honor Judge Falconer.) The usual monthly sitting of the County Court for this district, undttr his Honour Judge Falconer, commenced on Monday," the 18th current, and the list contained:-Ori- ginal plaints, 678; adjourned do., 15; summons after judgment, 139; adjourned do., 40; interpleaders, 3; bank- rupts, 3; total, 881. From these we select such v are of average interest to the public generally, or calculated to afford warning and instruction to all classes of the com- munity. MONDAY. Walters v. Fear.—This was a claim of Sl Is 6d. for drapery goods, alleged to have been sold by plaintiff to de- fendant's wife, who admitted that she owed 5s. 3d. The case was a sad one, as evidencing that hard ingratitude which tends more than aught else to blunt the sympathies and check the flow of the milk of human kindness so gene- rally observable from the one to the other in the humbler walks of life. The plaintiff, a young man of somewhat superior attainments (in the employ of the Merthyr Gas Company) with his wife, some six months ago, went to lodge in defendant's house. She was taken ill. and in a fortnight after the birth of a still-born child she died. During her sufferings the defendant's wife acted the part of the good Samaritan, attended upon her day and night, min- istered to her necessities, and for a week, at her own ex- pense, kept a woman to assist her to look after the house and her own domestic affairs, as her time was wholly occu- pied. Some of the furniture, of the value of £J 4s., was greatly damaged, and indeed rendered worthless. The re- turn for her kindness was this summons, for what the plaintiff chose to call drapery goods and he, in a dogged and stubborn tone, declared he had never employed the de- fendant. His wife was attended by Dr. Dyke, and his as- sistant Mr. Griffiths, also the midwife.—The High Bailiff, in his dry indignant manner, remarked The doctor and the midwife go once or twice a day, but that is not the at- tention a woman in her condition required. Mrs. Fear seems to have waited upon her with such attention as she did require.—Plaintiff: She is the landlady. I did nut engage her, and (producing a book) I sold her these things, and put a price on them coming up to £110s. 6d. She paid me 9s., and I claim the balance.—The defendant's wife, who had listened very quietly, now produced a list of every article which she had received from the plaintiff, divided into two classes, gifts and purchases. The list was almost identical with the plaintiff's book, and she explained that the things in class No. 1 were given to her by the plaintiff for running about for him to procure a box for the child, the parish officers for a coffin and the ground for the poor wife, and the pawn-shop to redeem and get affi- davits of loss of tickets. Class No. 2 were the things which she actually purchased, and on which she acknow- ledged she owed a balance of 5s. 3d. She added plaintiff had never given her a penny as compensation for her own time and exertions, nor did she want it, but he ought to pay for damage. —The Judge, who seemed somen hat be- wildered by the conflicting stories, compared the book and list, which corresponded, the difference being that the list called the gifts were all damaged, though charged for. To plaintiff: Did you pay this woman anything? -No, (in a surly low tone), I never employed her. Well, she has admitted 5s. 3d. to be due, and under all the distressing circumstances, I think you should be satisfied with that sum.—Order for 5s. 3d. to be paid in a month. David V\ illiams, grocer, Dowlais, summoned Edward Henry, and several other creditors for various amounts, and in several of these cases the defendants succeeded in establishing their defence that the debts were barred by the statute of limitation. In the one we have selected the alteration of the date from 1861 to L864 was so palpable tl >t it called forth a very proper reprimand from the judge II.> a scandalous attempt to impose upon the court, and the further remark, that when he first came upon this circuit, he and Judge Herbert found this practice of alteration very common. They both strove, and he had trusted success- fully, to put an end to a system so fearfully injurious to commercial honesty and credit. In dismissing the case, he could not but express his regret that after so many years this instance of the old practice should turn up. Judgment Summons.—Douglas v. Phillips.—It appeared that at the last court the original order had been reduced from 5s. to 3a., but as the defendant had not paid the 3s., plaintiff wanted an order of commitment, but was informed by the Court it had not the power to make conditional orders and commit at the same time. The only course for the plaintiff to pursue was to take out a fresh judgment summons for next court if defendant did not bring in his reduced instalments. Same v. Bryn.—Defendant appeared, and said it was impossible for him to pay 4s. a month. He had a large famiiy (five children), was very weak, and unable to work half his time. — Order reduced to 2s. a month. Same v. Lewis Lloyd.—The wife, a miserably clad and wretched looking woman, wlth tearful eyes and whining accents, declared that all her poor old man earned was 7s 6d. per week, and out of that they had to pay 14s. a month for house and coal to the Dowlais Iron Company.— This statement seemed to the judge something ike a camel in the eye of a needle. Somehow he could not swallow it, and adjourned the case to next court for proof of the wages actually received by defendant and his stoppages. Thomas Davies was summoned by David Jones for ar- rears of ground rent, which he declared he did not owe, and produced a lot of receipts, which apparently proved his assertion. Two of these, however, plaintiff declared to be forgeries. They were marked with a cross and his name. He could write, and did not require to use a mark.—Smith, the father-in-law of defendant, volunteered his evidence, and said that Ebenezer wrote the receipts, as plaintiff was too drunk to do it himself. He added, he got his rent every time he came. I know he did my daughter told me so. The defendant saying there was another witness, and the receipts being very suspicious, his Honour adjourned the case to the Wednesday in the July court for defendant to produce his other witness. William Thomas, late of the Bush Inn, Dowlais, ostler, appeared cn a judgment summons to show cause why he did not pay his landlady a balance of £1 13s. 9d., upon an order made against him for £2 14s. 9d. for lodging. The order was 10s. a month; he had paid £1, leaving this balance.- Committed for 12 days. Order kept back three weeks to allow him time to bring in 10s. TUESDAY. Bankrupts.— Supported by Mr. Plews.—Mr. Lewis, of Cefncoedycymmer, appeared for his discharge. There was no opposition—no assets. After the usual formal ques- tions, his Honour granted the discharge to be issued in 30 days, if not appealed against. The cases -of John Trotman and Roger Price were ad- journed to the July court, as the accounts had not been tiled in time. Craig v. Thomas Evans.— £ 1 1L.-The plaintiff, it ap- peared, had purchased the rounds of Mr. Cochrane, and on the books this amount appeared still due. The defendant made the usual defence—that he had never dealt with Mr. Craig. He added: I was summoned here fifteen months ago and was dismissed. —Mr. Craig explained that that was through a mistake in his name and address. The wife said I and my husband told him that if he could give us any satisfaction he would pay—The Judge (to defend- ant) You cot off last time through a mistake. Mr. Craig will now put that to rights. His assistant proves the payment by you on account, aud the order will be 3s. a month.—Defendant: 1 have the bill at home.—Wife I'll produce it to-morrow.—The Judge: I will look at anything bearing on the case. Forrester v. Pollard.—Claim for £15s., value of a shawl. —Mrs. Pollard appeared to defend, and declared that the plaintiff had been in the habit of dealing with her, and she with him; that there was an old account between them and 5s. due to him, which she paid. He afterwards impor- tuned her for an order, and she told him to let her have a particular kind of shawl. He brought one that did not suit her, and she told him so at the time but he left the shawl, promising «to change it for another such as she wanted. That promise he did not keep, and she had to buy one in the town. In a fortnight the young man called for cash, which she refused, and she then took back the shawl to Mr. Forrester's. He sent it back by his young man netx day, and she heard no more till the summons. The plaintiff said the shawl had been worn, and in fact, would be a drug on his hands. He wished to have some rule laid down about taking back goods.—The Judge: There is no difference between accepting a shawl and a leg of mutton. It would be absurd to ask a butcher to take back meat at a week's end. The principle is the same.—Mrs. Pollard was ordered to pay for the shawl in a month. Forrester v. William Jones and wife.—The wife appeared and from her own showing, there had been several transac- tions between the parties at different times for sums of £3 4s., £ 2 9s., of which she had paid several sums on account, but leaving a balance of £ 2 18s. The wife was very volu- ble in her assertions that she did not owe the money, but his Honour thought differently, and made an order for payment at 6s. per month. Same against George Hier.—The judgment in this case had been made nine years ago, and the wife pleaded that the case was barred by the statute.—The Judge That is a most unhappy mistake people make. They fancy that keeping away for six years clears all debts, judgments, and liabilities. It is not so. Judgments are good for twenty years.—The wife then tried to argue that the goods were never had, but the Judge told her that was all nonsense.— An order had been made nine years since for £8 5s., out of which there had been paid .£1 148., leaving a. balance of £ 6 11s. The order would be 3s. 6d. a month. The defendant had been in America twice, and in gaol on several occasions for debt on judgment summonses. Caird (Newport) v. David and William Jones.—In this case an order had been made against the defendants jointly to pay 5s. a month.—J ust before the rising of the Court William Jones appeared, and said he knew nothiug of the debt, and never had any dealings with the plaintiff, either jointly with his brother or on his own account. He had been over to Rbymney on business, and being detained, could not return in time to answer the summons.—The Judge told him to pay 5s. into the office, the first instal- ment, which would stop an execution, and at the same time, give notice for a new trial, which application would be heard at the next court. The Dog. -Axi amusing interlude occurred by the erratic movements in the body of the Hall of a cur seeking its master, and yelping with delight at finding hlll1.-The man r I in blue was ordered to captivate the intruder or eject it. As there has been a razzia by the police against the canine race, the High Bailiff humorously observed that the con- stable should consign the animal to the limbo of the police cell, and if not owned, to the river's deep. WEDNESDAY. Wedding Feast.—Matthews v. Pug h.-Plaintiff and de- fendant are sisters. The daughter of plaintiff was lately married, and held the breakfast, or rfcther dinner, at the house of her aunt in this neighbourhood. Some potatoes and cabbage were sent up by plaintiff to defendant for the feast, and it was alleged that two sacks were sent up from Carmarthen to defendant on sale. The plaintiff sent at the same time one to her daughter, and now sued for the value of the two.—The bride, her mother and brother-in-law, all distinctly proved that there were two sacks besides the one for the feast.—Defendant indignantly and vehemently de- nied ever having more than the quantity actually consumed at the dinner, and called the cook, who stated that there was about 1 cwt. of potatoes at the bottom of the sack, with a few heads of cabbage, which were all cooked, and the dinner was on the table from one to four o'clock, and everyone ate and had beer as long as the potatoes lasted. — The J udge This is a sad specimen of family jars, and I make my order upon the evidence of the brother-in-law, which, if untrue, makes him a wilfully wicked man.—Order for (is. a month. Hannah v. Jane Griffiths, administratrix, &c., 19s.—The defendant said her husband died on the 3rd March last, and left nothing behind him. He was a tin smith. He had been very ill, and had no club. Her only means of supporting her husband was a few small things to sell.— Mr. Chisholm, who had purchased Mr. Hannah's round, said there was furniture in the house worth more than three times the value of his debt. — Defendant, half-crying: All that was there is there now. I am sure Mr. Hannah would not ask me to pay anything. -The Judge: It is a misfor- tune in the English law that there is no provision for the support of a widow out of her dead husband's assets. The whole of them are liable to the payment of his debts. In America it is different. There a certain time is given to the widow, and after her maintenance is provided for, the balance only is available to creditors. In this case Mr. Chisholm is the purchaser of a debt, and I shall aJjourn the case to next court for proof of assets. The Duck.—Mary Jones sued her neighbour, David Wil- liams, for damages for the loss of a duck. —From the evi- dence'it appeared, and defendant did not deny it, that he had in March last, hit the duck across the back, and did it because the duck was eating his chickens' food.—The Judge What is the value of the duck ?—It was suggested that 6s. a couple was the market price. Order for 3s. and costs.—Defendant: Well, if 1 must pay I must have the duck. Judge (with a smile) You killed it in March last. You can have the duck if you car find it. Matthews v. D Price.—Claim, £11 -This was an action brought to establish the right of the plaintiff to have his debt paid in full, under a deed of agreement by John Morgan, for the benefit of his creditors. The deed was made in consequence of Mr. Matthews withdrawing a judg- ment he had obtained, and in that deed (which was put in and proved), there was a proviso that Mr. Matthews should be paid first, and the other creditors in rotation, as they stood in the schedule—the debts, books, &c., were handed over to Mr. Price for collection, under an authority produced.—Mr. Price had collected some of the money, and as there was some dissatisfaction expressed by the other creditors, who wanted the money divided pro rata, Mr- Price, for his own protection, requested his Honour's deci- sion, as he did not want to pay twice over.—His Honour said that this really was not a deed for the benefit of cre- ditors such as would be affected by the bankrupt or insol- vent laws. It was, in fact, an agreement by which the parties bound themselves to take their money in the order of their names —Judgment for the plaintiff, Mr. Price to carry out the agrement. W. Harris against several debtors—amounts due for groceries.—The parties sued were mostly of the working class, some of whom were indebted in very large amounts. -The Judge expressed his great disapproval of giving credit to such large amounts to such persons, and practi- cally showed this disapprobation by ordering comparatively very small monthly payments, in some cases smaller even than the defendants themselves stated they could pay. Jury Case. — David Jenkins, brewer, George-town, v. Morgan James, Cefncoed-y-cymmer -Claim, fJ1 10s.— i Mr. Simons for plaintiff; Mr. F. James for defendant.— Jury Messrs. J. D. Williams, Scott, W. Morgan, D. Jones, and T. Roach.—Instating the case, Mr. Simons said j that the. defendant was a family connexion of one John Jones, of the Cefn, on his wife's side, but not a blood re- lation. He should produce the probate of John Jones's will, in which ample provision was made for the defendant, and would have to contend that the sum sued for proved part of the personal estate of the deceased, was not disposed of by him in his lifetime, and that the appropriation of that particular fund by the defendant Morgan James, was an illegal act, which he, "organ James, was bound to make good by repaying to the plaintiff, the residuary legato and one of the executors, £ 31 10s., the sum now sued for. The will of John Jones was put in and read, which bequeathed to Morgan James a house and £.5; to William James and Margaret his wife, a house and E5, and gave several other legacies, leaving the bulk of his property to his nephew, the plaintiff. -Mary Ann Jenkins, wife of the plaintiff, said My husband is the nephew of the testator. That is his i will; it is dated March 6th, 1866. He died on the 17th of April, and the willl was proved on May 17th. So far back as the 28th February, and on several subsequent occasions, my uncle told myself and husband, in the presence of my daughter, that there was £ 25 in a jug in the corner cup- board some notes deposited in a tea pot, a lease, and an agreement, and to mind this he also said that there were two sums of C3 and X3 10s. coming to him on the 3rd and 9th of April for interest, and he would wait for that and the price of a side of bacon sold to Margaret J ames before he came to live in my house, as I wanted him to do. I saw I him the night before his death he was searching his pUCK- ets, and in answer to me, said he missed the key of the corner cupboard. Margaret James produced it, and said ( she had got it from his other clothes. I went to the Cefn next day, on hearing he was dead. Mr. Henry Thomas next day, on hearing he was dead. Mr. Henry Thomas J came there and read the will. The cupboard was opened, and my husband said there was more than this in the cup- board. Morgan James said the money that was there uncle divided between me and Margaret on Sunday morn. ing about six o'clock. My husband went to the cupboard and drew out a lease, an agreement, and a deposit note by itself, and £2 in silver in a tobacco box. My husband I said it was very strange uncle had not shared the silver as well as the gold. The sum alto- gether was £ 32 10s., viz £ 25, £ 3, £ 3 10s. After the funeral, as some relations had arrived from Carmarthen and Monmouthshire, the will was read a second time at the Crawshay's Arms, on the Cefn. On the Friday following my husband asked Morgan if he was going to give up the money, his reply was-" what I've had I've had, what you've had you've had." The witness was crosi-examined at some length, but her evidence in chief was not shaken, and Mr. James got, at one fact (which seemed not much to his liking), that Margaret James was not present on the Sunday morning, and did not know how much she was to have for a fortnight after the old man's death.—Margaret Davies, step-daughter, aud|the plaintiff in their several ex- aminations corroborated in detail the evidence of Mrs. Jenkins.—This was the gist of the plaintiff's case, and for the defence Mr. James called the defendant: I am a collier, single, and live in my own house near the old man's house. My sister-in-law lives close by. For six weeks I used to sleep with him, changing my working clothes night and morning. On the Sunday morning before he died he made me get up about six o'clock, open the cupboard, and take out all the money and notes. I was sitting on the foot of the bed. I read the notes one by one to him, and he tied them up, and I put them back in the teapot. He told me to take out the purse. He counted out f29 10s. in gold into my hand. The money was put back in the purse, and he told me to take it and divide it between me and Margaret my sister-in-law. I put it in my pocket and went to bed again. I told Margaret I had got some money for her and me. It told Mr. Henry Thomas, the morning of his death. I had some of the old gentleman's money, but I did not say how much. I told my mate, William Gould, on the road all about it. — Cross-examined: There was no one in the house but uncle and me. He was quite sensi- ble, but fidgety like- did not tell Wm. James that half what I had was his wife Margaret did not tell Margaret till after Jenkins came, and then I did not name any sum. —Re-examined, Jenkins told me to give him the money and he would divide it between us. I told him he might when he got the chance of my money. Wm. Gould said defendant told him after the old man's death that he had £29 10s, for himself and Margaret. Morgan Hall spoke to hearing the old man that he would take c <re of Morgan and Margaret James for ther kindness. -Dr. Wills said that Mr. Jones was in imperfect senses, and capable of disposing of his number. Mr. Simons in a very exhaustive and argumentative address to the Judge and Jury conten- ded as at the outset that this manceverirg part of the testator assets that it had not been given but appropria- ted, and if there were any doubt on that point, the doubt must be for the plaintiff as in cases like the present -the very converse of the practice in cases of lar- ceny prevails.—The Judge This is a very proper case for the consideration of a jury-that the money belonged to the testator is admitted. The wife does make provision for both parties but it is possible that he having this money in the house might on the spur of the moment wish to give the young man aud hi" sister-in-law something additional as a reward for their attention.—The statement of the defendant is not attempted to be vouched, there was no one in the room and the only fact i1 he got and kept the money.—It will be for you gentlemen of the jury to decide whether or not the testator did before his death give the money to the defendant. The jury retired and in a few minutes returned with a verdict for the defendant, thus bringing a protracted trial of five hours divertion to a close at 8.35. p.m.

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