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ANNUAL BREWSTER SESSIONS. (See also page 6.) ♦ EDDISBURY. A LICENCE QUASHED. The annual licensing sessions for the Eddis- bury Petty Sessional Division were held on Monday, at Oakmere, before the following magistrates:—Mr. James Tomkinson, Major Wilbraham, Dr. Smith, Messrs. S. H. Wood- house, R. Bate, and G. R. Davies. Superintendent Johnson, in his report with reference to the conduct of licensed victuallers and beer retailers in the division during the year, said there were 78 licensed victuallers, 38 beersellers, and 12 others who sold 6ff the premises, making a total of 128. There was an average of 254 of the population to each licence. Two licensed victuallers had been proceeded against during the year, one of whom was con- victed, being a decrease of four proceeded against and two convicted compared with the previous year. No beersellers had been pro- ceeded against as compared with two proceeded against in the previous year. For drunkenness 107 persons had been proceeded against, and 99 of them were convicted, as compared with 129 proceeded against and 108 convicted in the previous year. The police objected to the renewal of the licence of Pickerings-o'th- Boat, Crowton, held by Martha Burston. The licensee had been convicted twice of committing drunken- ness, and on one occasion her licence was endorsed. The licensee of the May Pole, Acton, had also been convicted for permitting drunken- ness and supplying drink to drunken persons at a fat stock sale on a farm at Crowley, and the Superintendant explained that the licensee had obt&ined an excise licence to sell in a tent, and he abused the power given him. He was con- victed by the Knutsford magistrates.—Mr. A. Fletcher (Northwich) explained that the case was a peculiar one. He defended the licensee on the occasion. His client bad obtained per- mission to sell at the sale, and on going there he found that the farmer was giving drink away promiscuously. He only took 22s.-The Clerk (Mr. Trafford): It was a bad spec for him.—Mr. Fletcher said the magistrates stated that there was drunkenness, that somebody was responsible, and as his client held the licence they should fine him.—The Superintendent, in reply to the Chairman, said that statement was correct.— The Chairman: We think these extenuating circumstances.—The licence was renewed. In the case of the Pickering's-o'th-Boat, Crowton (or the Boat Inn), tenanted by Martha Burston, Mr. Fletcher objected on behalf of the police, and Mr. R. H. Jackson (Northwich) appeared in support of the renewal on behalf of the tenant, and of the owner, Mr. Darlington, of Coventry.—Mr. Fletcher said the licence was objected to on the following four grounds:— That the house was of a disorderly character, and frequented by persons of bad character; that there had been two convictions against the tenant for permitting drunkenness since the last licensing sessions that the house was not required for the accommodation of the district; and that it was difficult for police supervision, and therofore a resort of idle and drunken persons seeking to evade such supervision. It might he that an element of sympathy might come into the case because the tenant had held the licence for many years, but he contended that if this were an original application for a licence the Bench would not entertain it for one moment; and the justices had precisely the same discretion on an application for a renewal as on an original application, excepting, of course, that the burden of proof was removed from one side to another. The house was formerly close to Pickering's locks, but now the locks had been removed nearer Northwich and therefore whatever might have been urged about the proximity of the locks bringing persons into the neighbourhood no longer existed. In addition, there was no fishing there now, as there were no fish in the river, owing, he supposed, to the manufacturing opera- tions up above. Moreover, he was not quite sure if the class of anglers who went there did not go for a I booze' rather than the recreation of fishing. The house stood on a road which was practically a cul de sac, so that it could not be wanted for any extended public purpose, and it was not wanted for the immediate neighbourhood of Crowton. Within a radius of half-a-mile of the public- house there were only 17 houses altogether- 15 cottages and two farmhouses. Not only was the house not wanted, but it was a nuisance to the neighbourhood. It lay in a hollow, and the police could be seen approaching from a long distance. No legitimate business could be carried on there to pay any occupier. Some time ago a police sergeant complained to the tenant about the character of the persons frequenting the house, and she said I am bound to sell my drink to somebody, and I don't take 30s. a week." Therefore by with-holding the licence, the Bench would not be doing the tenant any injury. If the tenant was obliged to hare a number of idle vagabonds who did not work, and often interfered with other persons who would work, that was not a proper place to be licensed. The Bench bad their duty to do to people who resided in the neighbourhood. In November last a poor man who had been drinking there from between seven and eight in the evening to 10 o'clock, when going home across the locks fell into the river and was drowned. When the police were prosecuting their inquiries, and went into the house, they found a man drunk on the premises. Miss Burston had on more than one occasion been injudicious in dealing with poachers. In 1895 there was a charge of breaking into a pen of pheasants belonging to Mr. Leycester, of Toft, and one pheasant was sold to Miss Burston. She said she had given 2s. for it, but whether it was in kind or money it did not appear; the man said in kind. Some farmers would tell the Bench the difficulty they had with their men especially on Sunday afternoon. The men went there at the opening time and came back absolutely unfit for work. The vicar of Crowton (the Rer. J. F. Phelps) would also speak as to the character of the house.—Supt. Johnson, P.S. Burgess, and P.S. Carter gave evidence to the effect that the house was the resort of poachers, suspected poachers, and con- victed thieves.—Henry Moreton, Crew-wood Farm; Robert Wade, Ashton Grange; Robert Williamson, Crowton; and John Newall, Crow- ton; all farmers, gave it as their opinion that the house was not required.—The Rev. J. F. Phelps, vicar of Crowton, stated that he could not see that any useful purpose was served by the existence of the house.—Mr. Jackson con- tended that for 45 years the house had been properly conducted by defendant and the members of her family, except on the occasion referred to. It was, he submitted, frequently the resort of pleasure parties, and he asked the Bench not to deprive the tenant of her liveli- hood.—In reply to the Chairman, Mr. Jackson aaid the rent of the house was zEl8, and that of the land attached to it was £ 12.—Eyideace was given in support of the application by the tenant, her sister, and the son of the landlord, and ultimately the Chairman announced that the Bench had unanimously decided not to renew the licence. MOLD. MONDAY.—Before Messrs. P. B. Davies-Cooke, B. E. Phillips, Ll. Eaton, E. H. Wain, C. P. Morgan, W. Catberall, H. St. John Raikes, T. Parry, and A. Potts. THE SUPERINTENDENT'S REPORT. Superintendent J. Ivor Davies, in his annual report, stated that there were in the division 79 fully-licensed houses, 28 beerhouses, three off beerhouses, and five grocers' licences, making a total of 112 licensed houses. The population, according to the census of 1891, was 14,585, thus giving one licensed house to every 130 inhabi- tants. During the year, four licence holders had been proceeded against and convicted, while 48 persons had been convicted for drunkenness, an increase of 12 as compared with the previous year. THE SALE OF DRINK TO CHILDREN. The Chairman read a letter from the Chief Constable (Major R. T. Webber), drawing the attention of the Bench to a resolution passed by the Flintshire Standing Joint Com- mittee, disapproving of the sale of intoxicating liquors to children under 13 years of age, and expressing the hope that the Bench would give effect to the recommendation. The Chairman said the practice of selling drink to young children was a most pernicious one, and he was sure the Bench were anxious that it should be stopped. MEMORIAL FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL. THE CHAIRMAN AND GROCERS' LICENCES. The Clerk (Mr. Keene) was about to read a memorial from the Mold Parish Council when Mr. J. B. Marston, who appeared on behalf of the Mold and District Licensed Victuallers' Association, objected.—The Chairman: The Bench will listen to what the Parish Council have to say and then you can speak afterwards. The memorial which read as follows was then put in:— The Memorial of the Parish Council of the Parish of Mold Sheweth-That your memorialists are the Council elected by the parishioners of the Rural Parish of Mold, and they feel that they will not be going beyond the scope of their duties if they venture to bring before the notice of the Justices of the Division of Mold,sitting as licensing justices for that division, the great and disproportionate number of licensed houses in the Rural Parish of Mold. The popula- tion of that parish (excluding the Urban District) according to the last census is 6,888, and the number of licensed houses to that population is 39, thus giving one licensed house to every 176 of the population. When the census of 1891 was taken, and before the division of the parish into urban and rural parishes took place, the population of the united parish was 11,885, and the licensed houses in the parish, including grocers' licences, were 103, which shews a proportion of one licence to every 116 of the population. Your memorialists submit that these numbers are greatly out of pro- portion with a healthy state of things, and that this disproportion should be remedied..Your memorialists are strongly of opinion that facilities for obtaining intoxicating liquors encourage their consumption, and that the first step in the great object that all have in view, namely, the diminution of drunkenness, is to remove some of the temptations for indulgence. With this object your memorialists submit that the licensing justices should exert the power which it has been decided that they possess, and should exercise their judicial discretion in deciding not only as to the fitness of licensees to have their licences renewed, but should also take into con- sideration the question as to the necessity of the licensed premises for the accommodation of the locality, and your memorialists urge that the justices shall not renew licences without due consideration of the requirements of the neigh- bourhood. They confidently hope that such a course as that indicated if cautiously, but per- sistently, acted on, would in a short time be attended with the most satisfactory results. Your memorialists also beg to draw attention to the Sunday traffic, which they believe still exists in spite of all the vigilance of the police. And your memorialists will ever pray.—EBENEZER BITHELL (Chairman of the Parish Council), HENRY PARRY and THos. JONES (Members). The CHAIRMAN said that his brother magis- trates would agree with him that the police had hitherto done their duty, and he had no doubt they would continue to do it. They as magistrates had no power to take away licences unless there had been some gross misconduct on the part of those conducting the house. Then they would be only too ready to look carefully into the matter and consider each case on its merits. That there was a great deal of drunken- ness he had no doubt. It was very deplorable, because men who earned large wages, and who might live comfortably, were induced by various means to spend their money, and thereby bring themselves and their families to poverty and ruin. It was the wish of the Bench that the people of the neighbourhood should be prosper- ous-prosperous in knowing how to respect themselves and others, and in spending as little as possible upon the vice of drinking. In regard to drinking, he considered that one of the worst things was the Act passed to enable grocers to have licences. He did not think it was requisite that they should have power to sell intoxicating liquors, as there were plenty of places where liquor could be obtained. From his own observation he could say that in many districts it had induced people who would be ashamed to go into a public-house to go into a grocer's premises, and their get intoxicants to take home. The consequence was that, among women especially, drunkenness was increasing. He hoped the police would assist the memorialists in trying to look after these places as well as (if not better than) they had done hitherto. ALLEGED THEFT OF A RABBIT TRAP. Walter Hurst, farmer, gamekeeper, &c., Tryddyn, charged Wm. Rogers, collier, with stealing a rabbit trap of the value of 4s. between the 26th July and 7th August. Mr. Marston appeared for the prosecution, and Mr. G. H. Simon for the defence.—Mr. Marston said that about a month ago Hurst set some traps on his land, and next morning, between four and five o'clock, he found several of them missing. Defendant was some little distance away the same morning at the same time. On August 13th he saw one of his traps on other land, and after watching, saw defendant come in the evening and take a rabbit out of it. Hurst, in giving evidence, stated that he set about 30 traps and found three missing on July 26th. When defendant took the rabbit out of the trap on August 13th witness went up, and they quarrelled. Defendant had thrown the trap down after shouting to a companion as to whether he should set it again.—For the defence, Mr. Simon said that his client had permission from Mr. Morgan, who had the land next to Hurst's, to take the rabbits on his (Morgan's) land. On August I 13th he found a rabbit in a trap set on the land, and he took it out. He could not tell how the trap came to be set in the place where it was found.—Evidence was called, and after some consideration it was announced that the Bench thought there was an absence of technical proof with regard to the larceny. They could not commit defendant on that charge, but they would commit him to the Sessions on the charge of receiving the trap, knowing it to have been stolen.—Arising out of the case were cross-summonses taken out by Hurst and Rogers, one against the other for assault.—For Rogers Mr. Simon said that Hurst struck him on the head with an oak stick when he took the trap from him.-Evidenco was given on both sides, and the magistrates fined Hurst Is. and costs, and dismissed the cross-summons. LICENSING PROSECUTIONS. Alfred Mather, a young man formerly residing at the Bowling Green Inn, Mold, was summoned for being found drunk on the licensed premises of the Leeswood Arms, Wrexham- street, Mold, on August 11th. Mr. G. H. Bradley prosecuted and Mr. T. W. Hughes (Flint) defended. Mr. Bradley in his opening statement said the police received information about one o'olock on the day in question that defendent bad had to leave the Bowling Green Inn, at which place he formerly resided, and had been seen to go to the Leeswood Arms. Acting- Sergeant Jones, accompanied by P.C. Ferguson, went to the Leeswood Arms and found prisoner there drunk. The landlord in answer to a question denied that Mather had been served with drink in his house, but that statement was subsequently contradicted by the landlady, and also by defendant himself, who admitted having had one glass of beer there. A conversation then took place as to the reason why a man apparently drunk was served in the house, and the landlord thereupon informed the officer that Mather had asked him to write a letter for him. Mather, who was in an almost comatose condition, said he could write as well as the sergeant, and subsequently, for the purpose of shewing that he was capable of writing, Mr. Jones provided him with paper and a pen. He (Mr. Bradley) had the document, and he would produce it. (Laughter.) He saw Mather on this day, a con- siderable time after, and he was bound to say in fairness to defendant that he then seemed to know what he was talking about.—Acting-Sergt. Jones stated that at 1.30 on the 11th of August he visited the Leeswood Arms, and found the defendant there drunk. He said to the landlord, How do you come to serve this man and allow him on your premises ?" The landlord replied," He has not been served here," and also denied that Mather was drunk. Mrs. Jones, the wife of the land- lord, then came on the scene, and after asking what the bother was about, said her husband had been writing a letter for Mather. Witness made some observation, whereupon the defendant jumped up and asked, Do you mean to say that I cannot write ?" He (witness) replied, No, you cannot write now, you are too drunk." Mrs. Jones then gave defendant a pen, ink, and paper, for him to write his name with. He wrote it very badly, whereupon Mrs. Jones said it was not a good pen, and started to hunt for another one. (Laughter.) He produced the writing for the Bench to see. While they were searching for another pen Mather admitted that he could not write then. —Cross-examined by Mr. Hughes: There was no doubt about Mather's being drunk, but wit- ness did not go to the Leeswood Arms with his mind already made up. He supposed there was some doubt in the minds of Mr. and Mrs. Jones as to whether he was intoxicated. He did not know at the time that defendant was lodging there, but he knew now.—P.C. Ferguson, who accompanied the last witness, corroborated.— John B. Marston, solicitor, Mold, who attended on subpoena, stated that he was solicitor to the executors of the late Mr. Andrew Mather, and that on August 11th, in consequence of what was communicated to him, he went down to the Bowling Green Hotel about 12 o'clock. He saw the defendant there, and he told him to leave the premises because he considered he was drunk. He thereupon left the hotel.—Mr. Hughes, for the defence, contended that defendant was not drunk, and said he should submit a direct negative to the whole of the evidence for the prosecution.- Defendant him- self first gave evidence, and denied that he was drunk on the occasion in question. He could not write his name well because he was nervous after the unpleasantness with his relatives. He walked through the passage into the yard, and he afterwards went for a drive, and was quite capable of getting in and out of the trap. -John Jones, landlord of the Leeswood Arms, corroborated, and explained in cross-examina- tion that what he said to the sergeant was that he had not personally served defendant.— Gronwy Owen Thomas, hairdresser, Mary Ellen Evans, sister to the landlady of the Leeswood Arms, Mrs. James, landlady of the Cambrian Hotel, and Edward Meredith, landlord of the Griffin Inn, were called to state that defendant was not drunk.—The Bench considered the case proved, and imposed a fine of 2s. 6d. and costs (21s. 6d.) John Jones, landlord of the Leeswood Arms, was then charged with selling drink to a drunken person.—Mr. Hughes, for the defence, said defendant had to plead guilty in the face of the last defendant's conviction, but it was not a serious case, inasmuch as Mather was only served with one glass of beer, and doubt did exist in the mincLof the landlord as to whether he was drunk or not.—Superintendent Ivor Davies, replying to the Bench, said defendant had only been at the Loeswood Arms six or seven months, and there had been no complaints against him.—The Bench fined defendantgl la. and costs (12s.) The renewal of the licence being formally opposed by Superintendent Davies, was postponed to the Adjourned Licensing Sessions. Richard Jones, landlord of the Rose and Crown Inn, New Brighton, near Mold, was charged with having his house open during prohibited hours. Mr. G. H. Bradley (Mold) conducted the prosecution on behalf of the police, and Mr. T. W. Hughes (Flint) defended. Police-constable Spencer stated that at 11-45 on Saturday night, the 14th inst., he found the back door of the house open, and on entering he discovered two men in the bar, whom he had previously followed across some fields. Lamb said "I hope you will excuse us this time," and as they were leaving the premises, Davies remarked It's a fair catch this time." The house should have been closed at ten o'clock. -The men had each been served with a pint of beer.—For the defence, it was urged that the landlord went out to get firewood and coal, and that while he was out the men walked in at the back. The landlord thought it best to give them a pint of beer each, and let them go.—The Chairman (Mr. P. B. Davies- Cooke) said this was an extremely bad case. Defendant had also admitted having upon his premises a woman and a man. He had been cautioned by the police, and he (the Chairman) thought it was one of the worst cases he had ever heard. The defendant would be fined L5 and costs, and his licence would be endorsed.— Mr. Bradley: I apply for the advocate's fee.— The Chairman: That you shall have.—Mr. Bradley: I also ask that the police have directions to oppose the renewal of the licence at the adjourned licensing sessions.—The Chair- man Very well; it is one of the worst cases I ever heard.-Addressing the Court, the Chair- man said he hoped the decision would serve as a caution to all present to be careful how they used public-houses, and to publicans to see that they conducted their houses properly. The constable deserved commendation for the way in which he had discovered the offence.— William Lamb and Richard Davies, the two men who were found upon the premises, were each fined 40s. and costs, with the alternative of a month's imprisonment. Neither Lamb nor Davies put in an appearance. THEFT OF HALF-A-SOVEREIGN. John Marston, employed at Messrs. Summers' ironworks, Hawarden Bridge, was charged in custody with stealing half-a-sovereign belong- ing to Thomas Jones, labourer, Golftyn.— Prosecutor stated that between two and three o'clock on the previous Saturday, he was in the New Inn, Connah's Quay. There were six others there and prisoner, the latter sitting next to a table. He (prosecutor) called for four pints of beer and put a half-sovereign down in payment, but when Mrs. Bennett came to pick it up it had gone. Prisoner, on being questioned, said he had no gold on him, and offered to allow himself to be searched. He (Jones) put his hand in one pocket, but prisoner would not let him search in the other. He then went for a police-officer, and the officer and he met prisoner.—Andrew Lawsy gave corroborative evidence.—P.S. Pagan deposed to apprehending prisoner, and searching him at the police station, Connah's Quay. He had two florins, a half- crown, and some small money in his trousers pocket, and witness found that he had also a half-sovereign in the lining of his coat.- Prisoner was order to pay £ 1, or go to gaol for a month. NANTWICH. THE MAGISTRATES AND TIED HOUSES. The annual licensing sessions for the Nant- wich division were held on Monday, Mr. James Bayley presiding over a full bench of magistrates. Superintendent Meredith's annual report stated that there were 96 licensed houses in the division, the average of the population to each house being 278. Seven licensed victual- lers were proceeded against, five of whom were convicted, against three pro- ceeded against and two convicted in the preceding year. Of 100 persons proceeded against 96 were convicted of drunkenness, against 98 proceeded against and 93 convicted during the preceding year. Superintendent Meredith called attention to the circular of the Cheshire Standing Joint Committee as to the serving of children under thirteen years of age, and reported the Shakespere Inn, Naatwich, where a child, seven years of age, had been served, The magistrates called the landlord before them, and cautioned him, the Chairman remarking that he regarded the offence as a very serious one.-Mr. Roundell asked for the pro- duction of tenants' agreements in the case of houses which had changed hands during the year. The agreements were submitted, and Mr. Roundell called attention to a clause in the agreement with the tenant of the Bowling Green Inn, Nantwich, which rendered the tenant liable to be turned out if he should do or permit to be done any act whereby the licence was liable to be forfeited. This was a clause bearing with great hardship upon the tenant, and it ought not to be in the option of the brewer to turn out a tenant except solely upon conviction by the magistrates. Personally, he regarded the clause as a most objectionable one.—Subsequently the magistrates adjourned the renewal of the licence in order that a com- munication might be addressed to the brewers calling their attention to the clause.—Mr. Martin applied for the transfer of the licence of the Black Lion Inn, Nantwicb, from John W. Adams to Edward Joinson.—Mr. Martin said that the case was one in which an ex-police sergeant, named Woolley, applied for temporary authority a month ago. On that occasion the magistrates refused the application, because Adams had been convicted of selling to a drunken person, holding that he must appear at the annual licensing sessions. He did not wish to question the wisdom of that action, but he pointed out that that was the first case in which the Nantwich bench had refused temporary authority upon the grounds stated.—Ex-Police Sergeant Woolley entered the box, and said he had not yet given up possession. He took the house from Mr. Heaver (the brewer), and he was objected to now as a tenant because of what was stated in the letter which he had received from Mr. Heaver, and which he had handed to the magistrates. He paid a deposit securing the arrangement, and he was now objected to because of what had come from the Manchester police inquiry. Mr. Martin said Messrs. Heavers' action arose out of the Man- chester inquiry, relative to ex-policemen as publicans.—The transfer was granted to Joinson, but Woolley was informed by the magistrates that no objection was taken to his application because of his having been a police officer.-The police objected to the renewal of the licence of the White Hart, Hough, the principal grounds of objection being that between 1894 and 1897 the landlord Jabez Maddocks, had been fined for permitting gaming, for being drunk on his own premises, and for permitting drunkenness. There was a further objection that the house was not required.— Several policemen gave evidence to prove that the house was little used, and one of them, P.C. Royle, stated that the conviction for gaming was for playing dominoes with a police constable, the latter being the witness, who visited the house in plain clothes.—Evid- ence in favour of the renewal was given by the Chairman of the Parish Council, who said the latter body held their meetings at the White Hart, and several residents. The applica- tion was granted, but the defendant was cautioned as to the future conduct of the house.—Superintendent Meredith called atten- tion to the licensed house known as the Basford Hotel. This house had not been used as a public-house for the past thirty years, although ttte certificate had been renewed each year. The house was occupied by Mrs. Thomas Emberton.—The police having served no notice of objection, the certificate was again granted. —An application for permission to extend the Railway Inn, Nantwich, belonging to the Wilderspool Brewery Company, was made, in conjunction with an application for the transfer of the licence to a new tenant.—The magis- trates elicited that the house was one for which an application for a licence had already been refused.—The transfer was granted, but the Bench declined to express any approval as to the extension. RUTHIN. Before the Rev. Chancellor Bulkeley Jones, chairman, and other justices, on Monday, the annual Brewster Sessions for the Ruthin petty sessional division was held. Superintendent Hugh Jones, of Denbigh, reported that there were 61 licences in the division, and the popula- tion as in 1891 would give an average of about 167 persons to each licence. Forty persons were proceeded against for being drunk during the year, including one Sunday case, and there were 39 convictions, shewing a decrease of four. Two convictions had been recorded against the White Bear Inn, Ruthin, in the twelve months, and in the last case the licence was endorsed. The King's Head Inn, Ruthin, had been empty for over twelve months. In view of a repre- sentation from the Denbigh branch of the Church of England Temperance Society, the Chairman intimated to the licence-holders in the division that the bench desired that they should exercise a careful discretion as to the serving of liquor to children of tender age. The case of the King's Head was adjourned for notice to be served on the owner, Mr. Gilbert, of London, that it was proposed to withdraw the licence. Mr. Edward Roberts, for the Old Mold Brewery Company, Limited, applied for the transfer of the licence of the White Bear to T. R. Jones, of Mold, but this was refused, the effect being to take away the licence from the house. The remaining licences were renewed.











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