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THE AKEMAMT BURIAL SCANDAL, —♦ VERDICT FOR THE PLAINTIFF. In the Common Pleas Division at Westminster, on Monday (before Mr. JuBtiee Denman and a special jury), the trial was resumed of the action ill whioh the Rev. George Drnry, rector of Aken. ham and Claydon, Suffolk, songht to reoover damages for alleged libels in the East Anglian Timest published at Ipawich, ariaing out of a tcene in Akenham churchyard, when an unbap- tised child, the son of a labouring man, named Ramsey, was brought to be buried there. Mr. Day, Q.C., Mr. Merewether, Q.C., and Mr. Poyer appeared for the plaintiff; Mr. Serjeant Parry, Mr. Bulwer, Q.C., and Mr. Kenelm Digby for the defendant. The case for the plaintiff having been oonoluded, Mr. Serjeant Parry briefly addressed the jury for the defence, indicating thenature of the evidenoe he intended to produce, ne contended that the alleged libel was substantially correct, and, at the same time, admitted that it waa written by the Rev. Mr. Tczer. Mr. Frederick William Wilson, who had been editor of the Fast Anglian Daily News since ita establishment in 1874, said he was also proprietor of the paper. The manuscript of the alleged libel was sent to him by the Rev. Mr. Tozer, who was an Independent minister at Ipawich. Mr. Tozer had a son who was a clergyman in the Church of England. His manager informed him that before the report was inserted it was read by Mr. Smith, churchwarden at Akenham, who guaranteed its entire authenticity. Cross-examined by Mr. Day: Mr. Tozer did not ordinarily contribute to his paper. C piea of hia paper containing the report, were forwarded to several of the religiona journals. He looked at his file of old newapapera in order to learn some- thing about the antecedents of Mr. Drary. The matters were of auch notoriety, however, in the district that there was no necessity for discover- ing them." Mr. Wykeham Tozer said: I am an Indepen- dent minister at Ipswich, and on Friday, August 23,1 went to Akenham for the purpose of perform- ing a funeral service. I arrived at akenham at five o'clock, and at once went to the meadow fronting the church. Mr. Gooding accompanied me, and we went to the churchyard to see if the grave was ready. Soon afterwards the cart containing the coffin came up, and stopped near the churchyard gate. The plaoe where it stopped was a bridle road across the meadow. The corpse was placed on a sheet on the ground, there being no bier; the relatives gathered around and formed a semicircle, and I stood in the centre. I commenced reading the narrative of the death of David's child. After I had been reading several minutes, Mr. Drury eame outside the churchyard gate, and addressed himself to the parents of the child. He requested them to go immediately to the grave, but I went on reading. Mr. Drury said that 1 was a Baptist, and had come there to perform a ser. vice over an unbaptised child. He added that it was not a Christian, and he objected to a service of that kind being said over it. I earnestly begged him not to repeat that statement, adding that if he did he might have cause to regret it, and that I would bowl him out of the meadow if he did. He was then outside the churchyard, and on the bridle path. The father of the Guild interposed and said, Come, Mr. Drury, if you don't allow the service to pro- ceed I shall have something to Bay." Tae mother begged me "to go on and never mind the parson." The plaintiff said he had been there half an hour, and he thought it was very unreasonable for him a to be kept waiting longer. Mr. Gooding made a further appeal to him to be quiet, as the service would not last long, and then he said that the service was an unwarrantable one. He said he had as much aight on the path as we had, and I replied, "Just as much and no more." He said that if we die not proceed with the interment he would'leav immediately, and Mr. Gooding said his presence was neither sought nor needed. He again threatened to go away, and I said he might ge to heaven if he pleased the sooner the world was rid of such as he the better. He at once locked the gate and went away. I had my hat on while I read the Scriptures, but the frienda of the child had not. After Mr. Drury had gone I finished the service. Mr. Smith scaled the hedge, and we entered the ohurchyard by a gate and put the child silently into the grave. We afterwards, left the churchyard, returned to the meadow, and there read the remainder of*' the Church of England service. I never said as I was going away that I would give Mr. Drury such a dressing as he hadjieyer had before. On the same evening I draw up a report of what had occurred, as Mr. Gooding and Mr. Smith considered it was a matter of publio interest, and ought to be published. I said it was a difficult and disagreeable duty for me to perform, but still I did it. We went into Mr. Smith's house, and made notes on what each of us remembered. Mr. Smith gave me a history of the church, and thought that ought to be incorporated in tho report. I also went to see the church, and took notes of the condition of the place.. I then re- turned to Ipswich, and wrote the report. The next morning I went over to Akenham, and sub- mitted the report to Mr. Smith, who went with me to the office of the paper: I have read the. report in the East Anglian Daily Times. All that was written waa aaid and done, but I cannot swear whether all that was said and done was down. The Bisliop of Norwich, examined by Mr. Bulwer, said: The plaintiff is a clergyman in my diocese. The alleged libel was published on Aug. 18 last. I have a monition with me, but I plead that it is a judicial dooument, and should not be produced unless I am ordered to do ao by the learned judge. Mr. Justice Denman I order you to pro. duce it. The monition was read. It was dated May 28 last, and peremptorily directed the removal of certain unlawful ornaments from Claydon Church. The Bishop Mr. Steward was employed by me to serve the monition on the plaintiff. In the previous spring I visited Akenham Church, the plaintiff being also present. I found that the in. terior of the church was not so cared for as it ought to have been. I saw on that oocasion Mr. Smith, who was spoken of as the churchwarden. I directed the plaintiff to give Mr. Smith the key of the church whenever he required it fer any lawful purpose. This ia the first time the plaintiff haa been under monition, but proceedings were taken against him in 1883 and 1864. Other witnesses were examined, including the father of the child, and the Court adjourned. The evidenoe for the defence having been con- cluded, Mr. Waterman, the sexton at Akenham, was recalled, and in answer to questions from the learned judge said be dug the grave on the Thurs- day; the plaintiff told him the child was to be buried on the north side of the church. He was informed of the postponement of the funeral until the Friday; but he understood throughout that it was to take place at five o'olock, not half-past. Mr. Serjeant Parry then addressed the jury, remarking that the plaintiff complained of the publication of a libel which had been injurious to him and his character, while the defendant alleged that the matters stated were true in sub- stance and in fact, and were nothing but a fair oriticism on a subject of public interest. He submitted that the defence had in every respect been established. # Mr. Day, in addressing the jury for the plain- tiff, denied that this case had originated out of the unfortunate scene in Akenham Churchyard, and maintained that it had another and very different origin. The scene had been described beforehand by people who knew what the sentiments of the plaintiff were on the subject of baptism. It was an opportunity too good to be lost. The service in the meadow wHB not intended to soothe the feelings of the parents of the child ao much as to irritate and annoy the plaintiff. It was remark. able that Mr. Tozer should have been selected to perform it, he havirg been previously unknown to the parents, and being of a different denomination to that to which they belonged. If the plaintiff went to the churchyard to insult the living and defame tha dead he was indeed a monster but in truth he went simply because the law required him to do 80 in order to fulfil the functions which the Prayer Book and the Statute Law demanded of him. He was bound to be present for the pur. pose of receiving from the undet taker a certificate that the child's death had been duly registered. JEIe would have accompanied the coffin to the grave and seen it reverently interred, but he could not have read the service of the Church of Eng- land over it, as the law prohibited such a thing being done; A uorvice in the meadow, however, was a far more effective political picture. The display was intended not for any comfort to the living, not for any good to the dead, but to promote the political agitation for throwing open the churchyards of. the Church of England uncon- ditionally to Dissenters. The plaintiff was grossly insulted by Mr. Tozer, whose demeanour might have brought about very different results had the plaintiff not maintained a creditable composure throughout. Everybody would denounce the brutality of a man who, at a grave, could declare to parents that their child was suffering endleaa torture, but the plaintiff asserted in evidetfee, not only that he bad never taught such a doctrine, but that he had never thought of harrowing the feelings of the parents of this child with it. Re. ference was made in tho libel to the nunnery, but although the defendant now denied that anything immoral was intended, the style of the writing was calculate4 to corvey such an impreBsion. For the last 30 or 40 years the plaintiff had lived in the full glare of hostile criticism, but the defendant could not sustain the odious imputations which he had made against him. The plaintiff himself had not sought for damages, but the course which the case had taken entitled him to substantial compensation. Mr. Justice Denman, in summing up the evi. dence, deplored that the case had not been tried by the learned judge by whom it was com- menced, not only on account of the melan- choly event which happened, but because it was difficult for a person who had come into the in. quiry in the way he had to do it full justioe. The jury must guard themselves against thinking their duty was to champion any particular doctrine, their task being simply to administer justice in accordance with the law aa it existed. The ques. tion which they had to decide was whether the report complained cf was calculated to hold the plaintiff up to hatred, ridicule, or contempt. If they considered the newspaper had baen guilty of libel, they would then have to determine whether what had bean stated ^was free in eubstsxce and ia fact, in which easathfir verdict worud have to be favourable to the defendant. The history ot the scandal had been fally developed by the evidence which had been adduced. It would have fcoeu better had Mr. Tozer sent hia communication to the news- paper in the form of a letter i&atsad o! in the shJl poeof an article. I ') he jury, after aa sbsaneo of 75 miiialo??, re- turned a verdict for the plaiatifF, damages 40s;

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