PEMBROKESHIRE SUMMER ASSIZES.|1845-08-02|The Cardiff and Merthyr Guardian Glamorgan Monmouth and Brecon Gazette - Welsh Newspapers Online
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PEMBROKESHIRE SUMMER ASSIZES.

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PEMBROKESHIRE SUMMER ASSIZES. [Before Sir Thomas Cultman, Knight ] HAVERFORDWEST, THURSDAY, JULY 24th.—The Rev. Richard Buckby pleaded not guilty to an indictment found at the last assizes, charging him with having, at. the parish of Begelly, built a house across a certain public path leading from a place called Langdon to Begelly parish church. Mr. Chilton appeared for the prosecution. The prosecutor is Mr. James Mark Child, a gentleman of property aad a magis- trate of the county. The defendantis the Rev. Richard Buckby, the rector of the parish of Begelly. He (Mr. C.) regretted exceedingly that Mr. Child, who is the squire" of the parish, should be under the necessity of taking those proceedings against the parson. He apprehended that the great and principal business of a parson was to give all his parishioners every pos- sible facility on their way to heaven, and he thought the church was the first stage thereto. Then, if the parson stops up the road they run a very great risk of going to another place. There was no doubt whatever that the path in question leads from a place called Langdon to Begelly parish church. It is a foot path. There is a road by which the parishioners might go to church without any inconvenience in the summer; but in the winter, if they had to wade through that road, they could not decently appear in church. It appears that Mr. Buckby has recently erected a mansion on the gIche belonging to the parish of Begelly, and through wl'.ioh the path in question ran. Mr. Buckby intended to divert the path in another direction; but before he got any order to do so he built his house across the path, and then, after having committed this blunder, he adopted very curious means of remedying it. lie hit on the notable expedient of turning the path out of his house by g t- ting himself appointed surveyor of highway s. This was quite a new office for a dignitary of the Church, because, up to this time, it was considered that a parson had enough to do in kok- ing after the ways of his parishioners, without taking upon him the care of the parish ways, lie then gave a notice of his in- tention to apply at the Quarter Sessions, to be held on the Lith of October then following, for an order to divert the path into another course, and he gave his consent to the diverting of the old road. On giving this notice he deposited, as he was require 1 to do by the act of parliament, a plan of the old road and cf the intended new one, from which it very distinctly appears on his own showing, that his house is built directly across the old path. Mr. Child and some of the other parishioners g'lve notice of their intention to oppose the granting of this order, whereupon Mr. Buckby withdrew his application, and in this state the matter now remains. All attempts to compromise this unfor- tunate afl'air have hitherto been unavailing, and no other resource remained than to submit the case to a jury. The simple question for their consideration would be whether Mr. Buckby had built his house across the public footpath leading to the church, and Mr. C apprehended they would have no difficulty in answering that question in the affirmative. George Hugh was then examined by Mr. Y. Williams I am a labourer, born in the parish of Narberth, but have lived in the parish of Begelly since my childhood. I have known the path referred to since that time. It is the church road, and I have known marriages and funerals go that road. This pathway goes through the property of Mr. Childs and Mr. Buckby. I know Mr. Buckby's new house: it is built upon the path in dispute. Sure the house is upon the pathway. Spoke to Mr. Buckby when they were digging the foundation about the right of path. John Mathias examined: I am 53 years old. I lived 2G years at Small Drink, but now at Tomlins-hili. 11;now the pathway in dispute it leads from Thomas Chapel, Hackct, and other places, to Begelly Church, and does not end at the church, but goes further. It was my best and only road from Small Drink to the pubiic-house. Cross-examined by Mr. Evans I recollect the Rev. Mr. Thomas making a new path. The present path is much straighter than the old one. The stile, which was formerly in the fold, is walled up now, and a different entrance made. John Jones examined by Mr. Chilton 1 am in my 67th year. I was parish clerk of Begelly for 31 years, until Mr. Buckby became rector. I have known the path through the Wynch field since 17 J6, I remember parson Thomas taking away the soil where the path was, to mix it with lime, and put some coal- pit earth in the old path to keep it dry. It was put in the old path, as near as 1 know. 1 know Mr. Buckby's new house. A part of the house is built over the path, and covers it. 1 have seen seven funerals go along that path. The first funeral I at- tended was that of John Leech, who died at Langdon Brake, and was brought from there along the path to the church. The path is the church road from the Langdon side of the parish to the church it also leads to the mill. Thomas Phillips examined by Mr. V. Williams I am a car- penter, and work with the Tenby and Begelly Coal Company. I am 57 years of age. Forty years ago I lived with my father near the field called Small Drink. I used to go over the path in question it was a public footpath. I know Mr. Buckby's new house part of the house is on the path. Mr. Buckby sent for me to the house about last Christmas. I went. He asked me if I remembered the path. I said I did. He asked me to walk it, and I did. I began a few yards from the house, on the Langdon side, and went towards Begelly. I was stopped by Mr. Buckby's new house. Mr. Buckby then came and said he had done with me. I think I am quite sure as regards the path. Cross-examined by Mr. Evans I did not tell Mr. Buckoy that I was sure the house was on the path. The first time 1 tuld him I thought I could not tell the path. He then desired me to walk it. When I went, I saw the old path at both sides. 1 thought the old path went direct from Small Drink held to the old fold. I never remember that it curved down towards the Wynch. John Phillips examined I am a collier. About 18 months ago I was going from Small Drink to Mr. Buekby's. I met him in Wynch meadow. 1 was on the footpath, lie told me that was not the path at present, and that he was going to stop it, and would suffer nobody to pass by the house, I told him it was au old path, and that Mr. Thomas had kept the path correct. I then went back. In Mr. Thomas's time he employed me to plant thorns alongside of the path to prevent people going on the grass. Mr. Buckby's house is built four or five feet on the path. Mr. Potter, jun. I am the publisher of the Pembrokeshire Herald. I inserted this abvertisement in the H\etjx\d by Mr. Buckby's order, (Advertisement read;, Cross-examined by Mr. i.vans The a' ivertisement wus >■.ere • by Mr. Buckby to be inserted four times. it was inserted on! three times bv mistake. Mr. Win. Phillip" clerk to Mr. Leach, the clerk of the p?acr», produced certain papers which had been deposited at the u the pevec's oiffce. They were lodged by Mr- i'uekby's attorney. This was the case for the prosecution. Mr. Evans then addressed the jury for the defendant to the following eiVect: He intended to occupy as small a portion of the jurv's time as he couM in stating to them the questions thev would have to consider in this C1,se and in making intcHi'dble the controversy between the parties. lIe had oiten heard tell of differences which had arisen between neighbours hi the country, and the way in which they hate each other; but for himself he had passed l1H¡;t of his time in citit's, :1111 was not at all prep .red for the bitterness and animosity whit-hprc- vail among people in the country, particularly if they are persons of large property and great interest in the place. They then think they have a right to exercise every sort of vindietive- ness towards those who have offended them. He (Mr. E. ) thought there never was a ease brought before a jury itS un- founded as the present. It was brought forward, not to vindicate a public right, hut as a means by which Mr. Chilleonld harass Mr. Buckbv, and put him to expense. ]f Mr. Child had brought an action a'rainst I»Ir n. for the injury sustained by him, or any of his tenants, and had failed in his action, of which there could be no doubt lie would have h id to pay the defendant's costs. But instead of taking this step, he comes forward on pretence of vindicating a public right, But he plr. E.) thought that when the jury heard the statement of the cir- cumstances of the case, they would be of opinion that so far from these proceedings being taken for the purpose of vindicat- ing a public right, they were taken solely with the view of gratifviii-1- personal animosity, and annoying the oei 'iid.-ji. RocKby succeeded '• 1 homss as rector of tiie palish (if Ih'ijplly ■the roctorv house had become dilapidated and Mr Buc;,bv 'elected the'b<t spot on which to rebuild it One of the. witnesses had said that Mr. B. had as lied him where was theb-st and diiest situation for the house, and he advised hun i' was the sp"t where the house now stands. That happened to he the spot over or near which the path in qii"s:iou ran. In cder, therefore, thai Mr. B. might erect the house without any obstruction to the. parish, Mr. Buckby ttot notices prepared to turn the path in another diieciion It never was his inten- tion to slot) the path altogether, but only to divert it a liitle on one side. The roa ran at first through IWr. B.'s fold across tlm Wynch meadow, and then into the field calle.. Su.idi Drink. The lcn'(lh oi' the path was 85 yards from the piace where it eetered the ynch meadow to the ro id. ATr. Buckby proposed to carry the path alitile from the house, and go into one of the corners of his fnid-yard, and had lie not been pre- vented doing so by the inteiference of air. Chiid, he would have made the distance 77 yards instead of oo, as it used to be; and now Mr. Child, a magistrate of the county, comes j forward End says, "You shall have your hou^e pulled (town, because vou have covercd the path. Mr. Bui khy savs, "If I have, I will make a better and shorter path," and nobody on eaith could be prejudiced hy it but !\ir. Ch Id savs, \h>; it is true vou havis dnne no misdlief, bllt yon hate OiiCiidcd against the law. and therefore your house shall come down." If Mr. Child had brought an action, he would not have got half a farthing damages, but he says, -'No; I wiit treat you as a criminal, and indict you for a nni-ance." Now, he (Air. Evans) thought that when the jury looked at these circum- stanccg, they \\ioul,! say that more cruel and vindictive, pro-, cc'dings were never brought under their notice There were two questions which the jury would have to eonsi ler first, whether the padi is a public h'ghway, and, secondly, whether, if it be a public hiihway, there had been an obstruction of it by Mr. Iiuekbv* Now, wi:h respect to the first question, he submitted there was no evidence whatever to show that it M.r-. ever used as a public highway. There was no dispute that it wa- a church road lor the tenants of Small Drink an t Lang- don; but further than this tlicie was no proof at all •>( she use of the road by the O'ibiic. In regard to 'he second question he (.M-. !■) submitted the cvi lence on this p-unt, produced on die other side, v. as vorv inconclusive and unsatisfactory, some <>f the wi'ness s having stated that the house covered rhe path, and others that the path curved down out of the traight line when it came near the spot on which the house wascrect-d. It was not denied that the Small i )i ink people bad a rhrht to go to Church that w ay, bill it had notbcen attempted to be shown that the public ever used the. path, or th -.t it had ever been repaired at the public expense and if it ha.1 been shown to be* a public highway, the prosecutor ought to be ashamed of himself in bringing such a case as this before a jurv, and in saying that the house shall be pulled down merely bec.ie.se tie-. Small Drink, have to go six steps round the corner, instead of six steps in a straight line. The learned counsel concluded by expressing his confident expect- ation that the jury would re'urn a verdict of acQuinai. His lotdship then summed up the evidence, alli L.ft it to the jury to say, ifrst, whether they were satisfied the. pa h was a public highway, and secondly, iif it was, whether the defend- ant had caused an obstruction of it by the erection of his house, jf ijiey were satisfied that it was a highway, and that the defendant had made the obstruction, they would tlnd him guilty j if, on the contrary, they were not satisfied on either of those points, they would return a verdict of acquital. The jury then retired, and in about two hours relurned a verdict of tinilty. Sentence deferred until next assizes. It is expected that an arrangement will take place between the parties.

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