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THE PEMBROKESHIRE SPRING ASSIZES. THE Spring Assizes for the County of Pem- broke, which terminated on Thursday week, was remarkable for the number and gravity of the cases presented for the consideration of judg-e and jury. The charge against the youthful Mac Lan for the murder of a fellow- seaman at the port of Milford was one which attracted general attention, and the crowded court which eagerly watched the progress of the trial and heard in almost breathless silence the homicide's condemnation to penal servitude for twenty years, testified to the wide-spread interest felt in the case. There were other cases in the calendar, not of such grave importance as Mac Lan's, but yet of a painful and serious character. In one of these an uncle was the prosecutor and a nephew the prisoner; and the charge-that of stealing a large sum of money—having been brought home to the accused by the evidence of his relatives, he was condemned to impri- sonment for six months. Another serious charge—that of sheep stealing, which not many years ago was punishable with the same penalty as the crime of murder,—was also investigated, and the offence being proved by a number of witnesses, the crafty and active sheep-stealer was sent to penal servitude for five years. But if the criminal business was unusually heavy and interesting, the civil list was also numerous and attractive. An abun- dance of civil suits, according to the dictum of a learned Jud^e who not very long since presided on the South Wales Circuit, is indi- cative of the prosperity of a county; and Pembrokeshire, judged by this standard, must be held to have made considerable advance- ment since the last assize in 1867, at which there was no civil business transacted. Last week there were four cases entered for hear- ing two were compromised, and two were fought to an issue before a jury. The most interesting, and to the county generally the most important, was a contest between land- lord and tenant, in which Mr Meyrick, the well known proprietor of the Bush estate, was the plaintiff, and Mr Whicher Davies, the popular Town Councillor of Haverfordwest, was the defendant. A landlord and tenant case has always great attractions for an agri- cultural community; but it is rarely indeed that public curiosity in this county is indulged with the details of a dispute of this kind; for it must be recorded to the great credit both of the landowners and tenantry of Pembroke- shire, that their differences are, as a rule, amicably adjusted, and without resort to a court of law. According to the information ZD supplied us, efforts were made on this occasion in the defendant's behalf to obtain a friendly settlement of the dispute, and now that the case has been fully heard and all its details carefully investigated, we think it must be regretted that the attempts at a peaceful ar- rangement were not successful. The repoil that the deservedly respected proprietor of the Bush Estate, who is no lover of litigation, was going to law, excited general surprise; and that feeling was much increased when it was known that his opponent was to be no other than his tenant Mr Whicher Davies. Why these gentlemen should fight an expensive battle in a law court the local public could not well understand. Mr Whicher Davies was a loj al tenant: his sympathies, political and otherwise, ran strongly in the same direction as his landlord's; and it was in an active sup- port of his landlord's interest in a political contest at Pembroke that the courageous tenant received some severe personal injuries. With these circumstances fully known to all conversant with local matters, it was some- thing to excite wonder that these gentlemen should have deliberately made up their minds to spend no inconsiderable amount of money in a wrestle in a law court, and to give their differences the widest possible publicity. The circumstances, out of which litigation arose, were comprised in veiy narrow limits, and may be stated in a few words. Mr Davies is the tenant of a farm called Steynton Green, a few miles from Haverfordwest, and has held it for a number of years. Some time before the 25th of March last a notice to quit the farm was prepared for despatch to Mr Davies. The notice, according to the first witness examined for the plaintiff, was enclosed in an undated letter, which he alleged he posted sometime between the 19th and 23rd of March at Pembroke Dock. The defendant, who was seriously ill about this time, asserted that he never saw or heard of the notice, and his con- fidential clerk, by whom the defendant's busi- ness was mainly transacted during his illness, also declared" ith the utmost positiveness that the notice was never received. The plaintiff, with the object of proving that the letter was received, produced one written by the defendant's clerk on the 27th of March, which acknowledged the receipt of some letter that morning, but made no re- ference whatever to the notice to quit. It, however, we believe, alluded to the sale of the farm, to which a reference was made in the letter which was said to have contained the notice to quit. The defendant's clerk, who was the writer of the letter, was quite certain he had not seen any notice to quit, and the allusion to the sale of the farm was accounted for by the circumstance that the defendant had frequently conversed with him respecting the purchase of the farm, and that the enquiry made by him in reference to the price of it originated in these conversations. The fact that the letter of the 27th commenced with the words—Tours to hand this day,' was sufficient in itself to destroy the assumption that it was written in answer to the notice to quit, because, according to the plaintiff's case, the letter was posted at Pembroke Dock on the 23rd, and must have been delivered at Haver- fordwest the same day, or at all events several days before the 27th. The attorney for the plaintiffdeposed that the defend ant admitted, in a conversation with him, that he had received a notice to quit; but this the defendant em- phatically contradicted, and stated, in expla- nation of the misapprehension, that he said he had received three or four notices to quit the farm, but that to the best of his belief he had not received one within the last two years. These were the facts adduced in evidence on both sides, and a very cursory review of them must have enabled any one to perceive that the case for the plaintiff was extremely weak. The evidence as to the posting of the notice was not satisfactory, and proof that it reached its des- tination rested upon versions of conversations with the defendant, the accuracy of which was disputed. The jury, at first, were unable to come to a decision but on a second delibera- tion they returned a verdict for the defendant, who now adds his landlord's name to the list of those whom he has defeated in litigation. The action, we cannot help thinking, was a most unfortunate one, and its influence for ill will not end with the verdict of the Jury at the Pembrokeshire Assize. We have been in- formed that the plaintiff has bean served with notice of two or three actions, all springing out of the same dispute. Mr Davies, though unwilling in the first instance to close with an engagement at law, has now resolved to change his position, and in the next proceedings he will appear as plaintiff and his landlord as defendant. One of the actions is brought for heavy damages alleged to have been sustained by him by his landlord interfering with his possession of Steynton Green and by his in- troduction of bailiffs on the premises. Mr Davies is not of a temperament to be scared by threats of legal proceedings: it is not in his nature to turn his back on an opponent how- ever powerful he may be, and once it is decided that there is no other mode of settling il a difficulty than the issue of the very uncertain and speculative game of law, we may be sure he will not turn tail, but fight out the battle to defeat or victory. What the result of these several suits may be it is impossible to con- jecture but it is very easy to conclude that they will not conduce to the restoration of that good feeling which is so necessary for the welfare and prosperity of landlord and tenant.-Pem- brokeshire Herald.

, Z *1° °AL T ELI^GE NCE7""

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