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BREWSTER SESSIONS. .0 CHESTER CASTLE. The annual licensing sessions for the Chester Castle Petty Sessional Division were held on Saturday at the Castle before Messrs. J. Thompson (presiding), J. Davies, and J. Pover. THE CHAIRMAN AND THE SERVING OF DRINK TO CHILDREN. The Chairman, in addressing the Court, said there were just one or two points to which he wished to allude before proceeding to take the applications for renewals of licences. One was as to the number of people proceeded against during the year. There were three convictions recorded against holders of licences, two for permitting drunkenness and one for selling adulterated spirits. He thought it was rather a large proportion, out of thirty- two licensed victuallers seven beer-sellers, and four other off-licence holders. If that propor- tion were to hold good in the city, it would be a very serious thing. There had not been one single person proceeded against in the city for a breach of the licensing laws, and it was rather a slur on the county that so many cases should be brought before that division. The other point was as to the circular which had been issued at the instigation of the Standing Joint Committee in reference to serving children with beer, and giving them presents of sweets and other inducements. The serving of drink to children who were sent by their parents had been objected to and was becoming the subject of general objection throughout the country. It was not for him to give his own individual opinion; he simply stated what the Standing Joint Committee thought, viz., that it was unfair to young children that they should be sent so early in life to public-houses for beer. Many people thought that there was the other side which ought to be named, viz., that if the children did not go, the parents would go them- selves, and perhaps meeting other people these might be tempted to stop and drink on the premises. That was the other side of the question, but he thought they would all agree that it was not desirable that children should be encouraged to go for drink, and certainly not by presents being given to them. What the result of the circular would be he could not say. Of course he need hardly say that that was not one of the grounds of objection upon which a licence could be refused. No licence, at present at any rate, could be refused simply on that ground, but if a proper objection were laid against a house where this practice was habitual it might weigh with the justices in giving their decision. He felt that the licence-holders would help the Standing Joint Committee to carry out their resolution. The applications for renewals were then heard. THE NAG'S HEAD, BRIDGE TRAFFORD. Upon the application of Mrs. Cheers, widow of the late Samuel Cheers, for the transfer and renewal of the licence ot the Nag's Head, Bridge Trafford, Superintendent Macdonald said he had been instructed by the Chief Constable to point out that in December, 1896, the late tenant was cautioned for permitting drunkenness, and to ask the Bench, if they thought it neces- sary, to caution the present tenant.— The Chairman observed that he did not think it was competent for the justices to caution a person simply because that person had been cautioned by the Chief Constable.— The Magistrates' Clerk (Mr. Churton) Besides, the present licensee was not cautioned.—The Superintendent admitted that there had been no complaints against the present tenant.—The application was granted. THE GREYHOUND, SHOTWICK. James Wilkinson, for whom Mr. E. S. Giles appeared, applied for a new licence in respect of the Greyhound Inn, Shotwick.—Mr. Giles explained that the facts were before the Bench on July 24th, when he called the executor of the late tenant who produced the probate of his will. Temporary authority was granted, because under the circumstances which then exieted they were not quite certain whether the tenancy would go on, but now Wilkinson had been accepted as tenant, and an agreement of tenancy had been signed.—The new licence was granted. HOOLE LICENCE IN JEOPARDY. VURTHEB CONSIDERATION ADJOURNED. The application for the renewal of the licence of the Royal Oak in Faulkner-street, Hoole, was opposed by the police, for whom Mr. E. S. Giles appeared.—Mr. Pugh, barrister, Liver- pool (instructed by Mr. F. B. Mason, Chester), supported the application.—Mr. Giles said the ground of objection was that the house was of a disorderly character, and it occurred to him that if ever the word disorderly did apply to any house licensed for the sale of intoxicating liquor it applied in this instance. I Disorderly' was defined in Webster's Dictionary as con- fused,' 'irregular,' 'net restrained,' I lawless,' and vicious,'—(laughter)—and their worships would be asked to say whether this house came under any of those definitions. He was going to ask them to believe that it had been continually disorderly, but whether it arose from the position of the house, the struc- ture of the house or from the neigh- bourhood in which tke house was situated, he could not say. However, he should ask them to say that the house was disorderly, and to find that from its record.'—Mr. Pugh pointed out that when the case was before the court last year the old convictions and the whole previous history of the house were fully discussed and considered. The Lord Chancellor had laid down that unless something had occurred within the current year, which might lead the magistrates to suppose a house was disorderly, the past history of a house ought not to be re-opened.—Mr. Giles said he was sorry his friend had raised that point, because there was a conviction against the Royal Oak during the current year. It had been ruled in several well-known cases that evidence of offences by former occupiers and the conviction of former occupiers was evidence of the disorder., conduct of a house, and Lord Chief Justice Coleridge had stated that Is disorderly house is a Parlia- mentary phrase, and clearly distinct from the character of the applicant.'—Mr. Pugh again submitted that unless something had transpired during the current year to suggest that the house was badly conducted, the Bench should not go into the records against the house. The offence this year was not a serious one.—The Magistrates' Clerk (Mr. Churton) ruled that a conviction this year was sufficient justification for inquiring into the previous character of the house.—Mr. Giles (proceeding) said the record against the Royal Oak was as follows:—On October 31st, 1891, the then tenant, Chas. Green, was convicted of permitting gaming, and ordered to pay the costs; on October 22nd, 1892, Chas. Roberts, a succeeding tenant was convicted of selling beer to a drunken person and fined £1 and costs; on March 11th, 1893, Robert Clinch Parker, another tenant, was convicted of per- mitting drunkenness and fined 10s. and costs; on April 25th, 1896, the present tenant, Thomas Lockley, was convicted of permitting drunken- ness and fined 10s, and costs; and again on July 17th, 1897, Lockley was convicted of permitting drunkenness and fined 20s. and costs. He (Mr. Giles) ventured to say that so far as public- houses in this district were concerned the Royal Oak held a unique record. The police had tried warnings and they had tried prosecutions, and now they had to ask the Bench not to renew the licence again. The tenant was a clerk in an office in Chester, so that it seemed obvious he could not eke out a living at the house without outside employ- ment. Where a tenant was absent in another occupation he (Mr. Giles) was bound to suggest that the house could not be properly conducted. If the police could not rely upon the assistance of licensees, they would find it an impossibility to cope with the vice of drunkenness.—The register recording the convictions having been produced, P.S. Finchett, stationed at Hoole, was called. He said he had been at Hoole 4! years, and during that time the Royal Oak had not been properly conducted at all. Men frequented the house who had been con- victed of drunkenness many times. Witness had appeared twice in that court against Lockley, and on both occasions defendant had been convicted. He could not give any reason why the house should not be properly conducted. Cross-examined by Mr. Pugh: The defendant on one of those occasions had the benefit of Mr. Giles'advocacy? (Laughter.) Witness: Yes.—Mr. Pugh: And I think you heard Mr. Giles say there was nothing that could reasonably direct attention to the condition of the man who was alleged to be drunk ? (Laughter.)— Witness did not reply. He admitted that the magistrates in 1896 said the case was not a serious one. The licence was not endorsed upon either occasion.—Mr. Pugh, addressing the Bench for the application, con- tended that if the Bench did not feel justified in finding the house disorderly' 12 months ago, the trivial conviction and fine of 20s. and costs during the present year would not be sufficient justification for refusing the renewal. It was sometimes the most difficult matter to determine whether a man was drunk or sober, and he said without fear of contradiction that there was not a single publican who at one time or another did not commit such a slip as applicant had committed this year. Mr. Pugh also pointed out that if the Bench took away the licence, they would be depriving the owners of a valuable property. If they thought that sufficient care was not exercised by the present applicant, they would undertake to have the licence transferred by the adjourned sessions. Thomas Lockley, the applicant, gave evidence, stating that he entered upon the tenancy of the Royal Oak in 1894. For the first year there was nothing against the house at all. When he was fined in 1896, he was away from home, and the Bench, in giving judgment, said the offence was not a serious one. With regard to the second offence, he served a man who was sitting down on one of the benches. He noticed nothing wrong with him, and when the police sergeant said he was drunk, witness asked to have him examined by a doctor. The doctor said the man had had a little drink, but he was all right. He admitted that in court he said he was drunk. Witness had been in the same employment as a clerk for 22 years.—Mr. Cooper, a resident in Faulkner-street, Hoole, gave evidence to the effect that the house was well conducted. He only lived four doors off, and had never seen anything wrong.—A witness named Woods said the house was as decent and respectable a house as any in Hoole, and a man named Ashley, formerly a cab proprietor, informed the Bench that there was not a better conducted house in Chester.— The Bench having held a short consultation, the Chairman said they had decided to adjourn it to the Adjourned Licensing Sessions. They could not shut their eyes to the fact that there had been two convictions against the present tenant. DRINKING REQUIREMENTS OF BOUGHTON GARDENERS. APPLICATION FOR A NEW LICENCE. Mr. Giles, on behalf of James Gow Smith, applied for an off licence to be attached to a grocer and pro- vision dealer's shop at Boughton Heath. Mr. Giles stated that applicant was the son of Alexander Smith, who was for some years owner and occupier of the White House, and who was the fee simple owner of the premises in respect of which the licence was sought. The shop was situated in the centre of the market gardening industry, and it was felt that facilities for supplying beer for off- consumption would be a great convenience. Applicant, giving evidence in support of the application, stated that during the five months he had been at the shop he had been asked by at least a hundred people to supply beer, because they did not like to send their children out on dark nights.—Mr. R. Cecil Davies architect, produced plans of the premises, and stated that they were 700 yards away from the White House, and 416 yards from the Cherry Orchard.—Alexander Smith and Geo. Green gave evidence to shew that the house was required, and Mr. Giles presented a petition signed by 72 local residents, including 21 gardeners. The Chairman remarked that market gardeners were a very thirsty lot. (Laughter.)—The Magistrates' Clerk: As a rule they go to the public-houses themselves. (Laughter.) Col. Cope (Deputy Chief Constable) objected to the application on the ground that no new licence was required. The house in question was only six yards outside the city boundary, and there were plenty of facilities for obtaining drink at hand. As to the convenience of sending children for beer, publicans were now warned against supplying beer to children. —Mr. J. W. Travis, temperance agent, also opposed the licence.-The Bench, after a short retirement, decided that the licence was not necessary. CAERGWRLE. THURSDAY.—Before Col. Roper, Messrs. R. H. V. Kyrke, W. C. Jones, Wm. Davies, and H. H. Hughes. THE SUPERINTENDENT'S REPORT.—Supt. J. Ivor Davies in his annual report stated that there were in the division 19 fully-licensed houses, three beerhouses, and one off beerhouse, a total of 23 licensed houses in the petty sessional division of Hope. The population of the division according to the 1891 census was 4,446, this giving one licensed house to every 193 of the inhabitants. Two innkeepers had been convicted and fined 20s. and costs in each case, while there had been four convictions for drunkenness, a decrease of two on the previous year. LICENSING APPLICATIONS. — Mr. Maddocks, Chester, applied on Ifehalf of Thomas Jones and -John Probert, executors of the late John Davies for a special licence to sell at the Royal Oak, Kinnerton, until next transfer day. Granted.— Joseph Wright, applied for the transfer and renewal of the licence of the Crown Tavern, Tyn-y-cyffion, Hope. Granted.—Eli Humphreys was granted temporary authority to sell at the Crown Inn, Penymynydd. IT RAN IN THE FAMILY.—The fact of the de- crease in drunkenness, mentioned in Superin- tendent Ivor Davies' report, is rather curious, when it is seen that there were no fewer than six cases of drunkenness on the charge sheet for the day. The charges, except in one instance, were against members of the same family. In the first case, Daniel Parry and David Parry, with Robert Williams, were charged with being drunk and disorderly, at Pontybodkin, on July 3rd. Richard Darbyshire, a resident near the bridge at Pontybodkin, stated that the bridge was a regular place where such men came to have their fights out. Shortly before eleven o'clock on the night of July 3rd defendants were fighting on the bridge. They were drunk.—Dr. Jones gave corroborative evidence. The men were making such a row that he had to get out of his trap to keep his pony, which was rather a restive one,from clearing the square. There were men, women and children collected, and they were all making a noise. Defendants were drunk.— Sergeant Hughes saw David Parry after eleven o'clock. He was in the condition described and was using language of the most fearful description.—In this case Daniel Parry was fined 10s. and costs (16s. lOd. in all).—The next case was one in which Robert Williams and David Parry, two of the previous defendants, were charged with similar behaviour on the 16th.—Mr. Darbyshire and Sergeant Hughes again gave evidence, and Williams on this, and on the previous summons, was fined 91 and costs altogether; while David Parry, who did not appear, was sent to gaol for 21 days with- out the option of a fine.-J ohn Parry was the next of the family to appear. According to Sergeant Hughes' evidence John was at the Bridge—which, at this rate, will soon become historical-after ten o'clock at night. He addressed himself in a particularly obnoxious manner to the Sergeant, his grievance being the fact that his two brothers had been summoned. He wanted to fight, and even kill Hughes.—The Chairman: Well, what have you got to say ?—Defendant (tapping his forehead with his forefinger in a particularly respectful manner) Sir, to your worship, I don't know what I was doing. I was drunk.—Anything more ?-No, worship, sir to your worship, I—.—Ten shillings and costs. WHAT ARE LICENSED PREMISES: A POINT FOR PUBLICANS.—William Piercy, landlord of the Glynne Arms, Caergwrle, was summoned for unlawfully selling intoxicating liquor in a place where he was unauthorised to do so, on August 2nd.-Mr. G. H. Bradley, Mold, who appeared on behalf of the police, said that for some time the annual club festival had been held in the Glynne Arms, and defendant had been selling in a tent erected in the field at the back of the house.—Defendant, in reply to the Magistrates, admitted selling on the field in a temporary tent.—Mr. Bradley, continuing, said this was simply a test case, taken by the police because other licence-holders were in the habit of selling in crofts near the houses on similar occasions. Defendant having admitted the selling of the liquor, no evidence was called. In his defence, Piercy stated that the liquor had beeneold under similar conditions for 20 years, and he contended that the croft was a portion of the premises, as the house and land were assessed together. The Licensing Com- missioners had based the licence upon the assessment, and it had never been questioned as to whether the land was part of the premises or not until the summons had been taken out.- Mr. Bradley suggested that that defence was rather a dargerous one, as defendant would not like to be accused of permitting drunken- ness, if a drunken person went into his field after having got drunk at some other place.— The magistrates concurred.—A nominal fine of one shilling and costs (19s. 6d. altogether) was inflicted.