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Foreign and Colonial Intelligence.

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«.— To the Editor of the Monmouthshire…

To the Editor of the Monmouthshire…

To the Editor of the Monmouthshire…


To the Editor of the Monmouthshire Merlin. SIR,—In a recent number of your paper, I find my name and legal avocations set out in extenso by Mr. Thomas Woollett, town clerk, who appears to be afraid that your readers should labour under any misapprehension as to my teal position in life. Now, know ye all men," if it be necessary to announce it in the legal form. that 1 am the deputy clerk to the borough magistrates of Newport, and to the magistrates of the divisions of Newport and Christchurch, and that I attend to the criminal business of Messrs. Birch aod Davis at the assizes and sessions. There is "TlOTiiysiery in all tiiis; but a base insinuation -has gM-abioad, and is encouraged by inteiested parties, that there is some illegal pecuniary connexion between the borough and county magistrates clerk, with regard to the criminal prosecutions at the assizes and sessions. It is utterly false and untrue that there is any such connexion. I ieally am at a loss to understand the cause for Mr. Wool- lett's very lengthened lucubrations—with sundry parts of it I have nothing to do, but I must say, I think an unwarrantable liberty has been taken with the names of several gentlemen who are in no way connected with the dispute between Mr. Woollett and Mr. Phillpotts. Even the dead are brought out of the tomb to look on. and old Pyke, who has been transported for Ills delinquencies, cannot be allowed to rest in exile. Old time, too, is raked over, and the year 1844 ransacked for instances of pro- fessional misconduct. The faculty of memory is made to revolve. "Well remembers sundry little "touting" goes opposite Pyke's office, which attracted civic notice and aldermanic cen- sure. Why is all this ? Criminal business, to the discredit of Newport, appears to be of a very thriving description otherwise we should hardly see learned gentlemen emerging from their private residences, before breakfast, on "touting" errands-touting for retainers like cab. drivers for passengers. Mr. Woollett insinuates that when 1 issue a warrant for felony, I ask 101 a retainer. I defy him to prove his assertion. He writes most pitifully of the serious inconvenience it puts him to that ray office is held under the same roof as that of Messrs. Birch and Davis. Why, he might just as well complain that the county court office was held under the same roof. Mr. Woollett has extraordinary facilities for procuring business. The police are, in a great measure, under his mnuence he always defends them whereas theWatch Committee ought to have his unbiassed assistance—and his office is immediately over the police station. No sooner are the fastenings, which secure an unlucky tlllet, heard in the town clerk's room, over head, than the prosecutorts eagerly sought after. The public ought to know that Mr. Woollelt, as town clerk is not "officially entitled to the conduct of prosecutions, but that the prosecutor can select his own attorney." It is not only amusing, but absutd, in the learned gentleman, to whine about the office ot magistrates' clerk, when he knows that the very locus in quo he now occupies is the one where the magistrates' clerk ought to be. The two rooms, now occupied in the town hall by Mr. WooOett, were originally marked out on the plan of the building as magis- trates rooms, for their accommodation and that of their clerk, and it is really surpiising to me that the mayor and magistrates ot Newport, will submit to this want of accommodation, especially so, when the Municipal Act requires the town council to provide them with such accommodation. 1" every borough of any impoitance, the inagistraies' cleik's office is to be found in the town hall. Mr. Woollett qnofes a clause from the Municipal Act, mfhct" inr; a penalty of £ 100 on every borough justices'clerk, who is directly or indirectly interested in the piosecution of any offender at the assizes or sessions, and says a similar provision was some time ago introduced into a bill for the regulation of county ma- gistrates' clerks, but that the bill was shelved. Yes, it is well- known that the county magistrates' clerks have great influence in the House of Commons, and that to pass any measure affecting their interests, will always be found a matter of some difficulty. But Mr. Woollett is totally wrong about the bill in question. It dId at first contain the provision alluded to but was shelved, containing a clause giving the magistrates powerto appoint their clerk to conduct all the prosecutions so that instead of a penalty for conducting the one, the clerks were to conduct all So much for the learned gentleman's correctness. I would here remark. on the exceeding unfairness of allowing county clerks to conduct prosecutious, and restricting borough clerks under a severe penalty from doing so. I have commented on the influence Mr. Woollett has over Ihe police. Perhaps he will remember, the other evening, admit- ting to the watch committee, that one of the police, named Lloyd, asked a prosecutor for a retainer for him, but, of course, it was altogether a mistake There is no monopoly in Newport as to the business of prose- cutions. They go Inlo five diffeient offices in the town, and Mr. Woollett, through touting, &c.. &c., generally hay more than half. W hat rii;lit has he to complain ? I know that to adhere to any understanding not to tout, would not answer his purpose. He complains that no printed notice was delivered to the pro- secutors, in pursuance of the arrangementcome to, but a written one was. 1 delivered a few at the town hall myslt, but as soon as Mr. W,oollett resumed the unprofessional practice, 1 discon- tinued doing so, as they were then of no use, and, besides, the solicitors ought to have furnished the clerks with the printed notices in question. Mr. Woollett complains of my being used," as he calls it in his own sweet way, to procure business for Messrs. Birch and Davis. Pooh! pooh! it is all moonshine. I would scorn to be "used "in an unfair way, by any man or set of men, and am ready to perform my humble part in any arrangement to put down a disreputable practice. With this letter I bid the subject farewell. I am, Sir, your most obedient servant, THUS. KESSICK.




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