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ATTEMPT TO SjdOOT fHEfMASTER OF THE ROLLS. An attempt has been made to shoot the Master of the Bolls. On his lordship's arrival at th. court the other morning, as he was alighting from his carriage the Rev. Henry John Dodwell, who was standing nnar, fired deliberately at him with a pistol, but the bullet (if any) most providentially missed him. Mr. Dod- well, who is apparently insane, was at once taken into custody. When Sir George Jessel afterwards took his seat in court Mr. Roxburgh, as the senior Queen's Counsel present, said that he rose to express on be- half of the Bar and the profession their deep sympathy with his lordship in reference to the dastardly attempt on his life, and their thankfulness to God that a life so valuable to the profession and the public had been spared, and their earnest hope that he might continue for manv years yet to preside in that court. The Master of the Rolls, in reply, said that he thanked Mr. Roxburgh and the rest of the Bar most heartily for their kind expressions. His escape had certainly been very providential, and he was very thankful for it. He was glad to say that the man who had made the attempt was probably not respon- sible for his actions. it appeared that he had re- cently presented a petition of right to Vice Chancellor Malins, which that learned judge had refused to re- ceive, and he had then come to the Appeal Court. When the petition came on in the latter court his lord- ship happened to be sitting there, and the Court had confirmed the decision of the Vice Chancellor. The man had since that time attended regularly in the I Appeal Court on each motion day and made most ridiculous motions, which had been uniformly refused. Lord Justice Thesiger only mentioned to him re- cently that the man was insane, and on the last occa- sion of his appearance in court had told him that unless he was quiet he should be obliged to order his removal. This last circumstance had probably aggra- vated the wretched man and hence the attempt had been made. Such attempts had been made before; still, it was extremely rare that such a thing occurred against any of her Majesty's judges for anything done in their judicial capacity. He desired again to express his thanks to Mr. Roxburgh and the Bar for their kind sympathy. His lordship then proceeded with the ordinary business of the court. Mr. Dodwell was taken before Mr. Flowers, IjtBow- I street Police- court. He is 52 years of age, and was described as of 19, Moor-street) Sobo. The charge against him was that of having discharged a pistol at the Bight Hon. Sir George Jessel, the Master of the Rolls, one of her Majesty's judges, with intent to murder or to do some grievous bodly harm, in the Rolls-yard." William Hayes, court-keeper and usher of the Bolls Court, Chancery-lane, said that the prisoner spoke to him ia the Boils Court and asked him when the master arrived. He told him he sat at ten o'clock, but usually he arrived ten minutes or so before that time. The prisoner left the court, and a few minutes afterwards Sir George Jessel arrived in a hansom cab. According to his custom, witness wen to meet him at the door. His lordship had barely alighted from the cab when there was a report of a pistol fired so close to witness's ears that he was made deaf for some time afterwards by the noise. He turned sharply round and saw the prisoner standing with a pistol in his hand. He called for the police, who came and took the prisoner into custody. The pistol produced was the one the prisoner had. It was a simple single-barrelled pistol, which could not be fired more than once without being reloaded. Witness said the prisoner made no attempt to run away; he offered his card to Sir George Jessel, who, however, did not take it, and walked up the steps into the Rolls Court. He had pre- viously seen the prisoner at the Bolls Court, where prisoner had had a caae, and Sir George Jessel decided against him. That was in or about November last. He had not heard the prisoner express any feeling in the matter, except in court, when he argued very angrily with his lordship. William Whitebread, police-constable 511 E, said that when he heard the report of firearms be at once ran up the steps of the Bolls Court. He saw the prisoner with a pistol in his hand. The prisoner said, I have done it." Witness asked him what he had done, and the priaoner aaid, I have shot the Master of the Rolls, which. I wanted to do." .He also said the Master of the Bolls had did him out. of two rights. He found on the prisoner a powder flask and a few percussion caps, bnt no bullets. He also had a letter which he particularly wished to have posted. Chief Inspector Wood handed the letter to the magistrate, remarking that it was of import- ance to the case. The prisoner requested that the address at least should not be made public. Mr. Flowers said that he did not think any part of the letter need, be made public, although it must be kept as part of the evidence. The prisoner appearing still- very anxious that the letter should be forwarded, Mr. Flowers ordered the substance of the letter to be com- municated to the person to whom it was addressed. In his cross-examination the prisoner asked the con- stable whether he did not, on the way to the station, say that he should be able to produce evidence that would startle the public and make the case of the detectives appear trivial; that he could produce a letter in which his lordship refused him his right of petitioning against forged returns and that he had been turned out of two life appointments by forgery and false returns. The constable stated that he had not heard any of those statements. The prisoner then asked for the attendance of the second constable who went with them, as he, at least, must have heard. Mr. Albert Thomas Watson, superin- tendent of workmen at the Public Record Office, then came forward and said he had heard the statements of the prisoner. Having corroborated the evidence with regard to the prisoner being found with a pistol, he stated that the prisoner said he had petitioned the Lord Chancellor on a petition of right, and through forged letters had been deprived of two life ap- pointments. The prisoner here began to cry; This being all the evidence proposed to be called for the prosecution, unless any traces are found of where the bullet, if there were any, which is very doubtful, went, the prisoner asked if he had not the privilege, of askIng the Master of the Rolls a few queatioaa. Mr. Flowers told him that if the Master of the Bolls were present he, of course, would have had, but, as it was, the case was complete without the master's evidence. The prisoner could renew his application at the trial. The prisoner wished to read some notes he had made in a book, but Mr. Flowers said he should be obliged to remand him, and then when the case came on again he would have an opportunity- The prisoner, again very much moved and in sobbing tones, said: For five years and a quarter I have not been heard. Oh! pray hear me at last. This is a free country, and you are obliged to hear me now I am in the dock. If I were not in the dock, you would put me down. I appealed to this Court some time back, and Sir James Taylor Ingham said there was no appeal from the corrupt dismissal of a petition of right by the Lord Chan- cellor." Mr. Flowers again reminded the prisoner that he would be heard on remand, and then ad- journed the ease. On the prisoner being placed in the dock on the following day, Superintendent Thomson said he had a witness who saw the prisoner fire the shot. The prisoner interrupted, and said he had noticed in a news- paper that morning that Sir George Jessel had made an tie parte statement. This, he thought, was most unfair. He also had to complain that he had not been allowed to see the reports of this case. Mr. Flowers said that could scarcely be, as he had just complained of one of the reports.. The prisoner stated that one of hia, friends had put him up to that, but the prison regulations prevented him seeing the papers. Lord Justice Thesiger had also made state- mentslibelling him. Mr. Flowers said these were matters he could not exerciae a control over. The prisoner had better not enter into those matters; he would find the present case quite enough for him to meet. The evidence was then proceeded with. William Parsons, law stationer, Chancery-lane said: I saw a cab arrive at the Bolls Court, and as Sir Geo. Jessel got out I heard a pistol fired. It seemed to have been fired at the side of his head. Prisoner is the man who fired, and he was taken in charge. I should think, from the report, that there was no bullet in it. I have had, as a volunteer, great experience. Croea-exammed Yen were aboat a yard from Sir George Jewels cab. Prisoner; You are mistaken. I particularly allowed for the windage. (Laughter.) They are laughing at what they don't understand. I mean for the wind to carry the paper, which was very light. I am sur- prised the paper went so far as it did. By Mr. Flowers: A pistol fired without a bullet would make a noise liKe a bad cartridge. Mr. Flowers: Is there any evidence of a bullet being found ? Superinten- dent Thomson: There is evidence of the bullet not being found. Charles Atherton, usher of the Rolls Court: I had occasion to go into the hall of the court, and heard a vehicle coming up. I went to assist Sir George Jessel, but found the other officer was doing 110. I saw the flash, and ran to assist his lord- ship. I did not see the prisoner s face. Cross-exa- mined: I heard a voice calling; but I did not know who called. r.(bd not hear you say" Sir George, I am Mr. Dodwell." Mr. Flowers: I call upon you for your answer to this charge, and I would particularly call ycur atten- tion to these words of the witness Whitehead. He says: I asked him what he had done, and he re plied I have shot the Master of the Rolls, which I meant to do. Now, it is those words which made me decide to send you for trial on the more serious charge of intending to kill. The witnesses were all formally bound over to appear and give evidence at the trial, and the case then terminated.





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