Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

2 articles on this Page

:.-..--_-THE NEWS BUDCaffiT.…



AN EXTRAORDINARY ACTION FOR SLANDER. In the Court of Common Pleas last week the case of It. Howes (clerk) v. Barber was tried. This was an action for slander, and defendant pleaded "Not Guilty," and that the alleged slander was true. Mr. Coleridge, Q.C., stated the oase. The plaintii II was the Rev. Herbert Taylor Howes, a clergyman the Church of England, and had bean perpetual carafe at B-aeknall, in Berkshire. defendant was 8 farmer in the adjoining parish of Westerham. The tra plaintiff had been married tern yeara, and had one feri child, a»d tbe slander was that he had acted imp?0' ..K perrly with Miss Beeehsy, daughter of a sahoolmast^ at Wokeuham.—The Rev. H. T. Howesi, plaintiff* o said he had known Miss Beechey for four years. had stayed with his wife for days together. S^e visited the sick in her own parish and in hia, and taught in the Sunday-school. He and his wife ft0* quently walked with h$r. On Friday evenings, some months, hehll. seen her home regularly, b!1t ta father or brother meeting her on the way. He was íI1 W the habit of consulting her on an orphanage which .ill was about to found ia November Last. On the 2lsf November he rode on a pony to see a Mr. Wheeler, Woken ham. On his way ha met Miss Beechey, wh" Artic asked him to go to her father's home, as she wished to *t)<i j speak about the orphanage. He rode by her side a^sout three-quarters of a mile, and then left hia pon| at the Plough, a road-side public-house, as he ooaw talk to Miss Beechey more easily if he walked by side. They crossed the fields towards Binfield, aDd 4tr. f followed what appeared fco be a path, which led Thi to a gap in a hedge. They crossed the gap into ^erg; lower field, and then crossed a similar gap, and coB' tinned the track till it seemed to turn away from hft w," destination—the jBinfield-road. He looked through# gate, and through it saw that the road was therd, t wa, They crossed another gap into the next field, and mado If tb, for the gate. Half way across the field there was fr f heavy fallow, which Miss Beechey could not cross- He left her there, and he returned to a bank whici they had crossed, and then finding that the path le^ Afti in a contrary direction, he returned to bring back Mis' :«fr0 Beechey, and in order to help her to re-cross the ga? he sprang on the bank. She said she thought it wa« aTil« a fern. He said it was not. He had hardly these words;, when she said, Some one is coming, Mf- toon Howes." He said he supposed it was a gamekeepW^the and if they were trespassing they would catch it. Tbt pse< defendant came down the hill, .crying out, "What you doing there? and he added, You don't go off (q^i my land without giving your card," and he used groS» Ijjj.1 language, and called out, ".Here, Charlie, come SVA On '¡ identify them; I have got them." Witness, finding [The that defendant was deaf, said to the man, Yoitf Fjtee master ought to be ashamed of speaking to a clergf man in such a way." Not having a card, he gave a# s^,1. envelope containing his address, and then went oØ fees and overtook Miss Beechey, from whose father bA eight days afterwards, heard of the slander. Sabe* rQ quently he wa» saluted with rough music, and in effigy, aad several people left his church. Ontlfely 16th of December the defendant repeated the before three persons, and said to witBeaa, I am readj? to swear it in any court you like to bring me into,.» you dare."—In eroas-examination the witness said b* was a High Churchman, and he celebrated the Bo# Communion weekly at Miss Sellen's. He novel ')a acted improperly with a nurse named Lois Masked \c-<n He had heard a rumour about himself and Lois Ma* kell, and he wrote to the bishop about ifc, bat it, ne^ Ci assumed a tangible shape. After some other evident]' l%i Miss Mary Beeahey, aged 31 years, corroborate JUo, Miss Mary Beeahey, aged 31 years, corroborate JUo, plaintiffs evidence, and denied that anythiDff iJØ. proper occurred between her and plaintiff. She; h !e/J, submitted to medical examination.-—-Dr. HaldfeaW* k tbe College of Physicians, lecturer at Guy's Ho and President of the Obstetric Society, deposed tb«" he and Dr. Barnes, examiner in midwifery at the lege of Surgeons, examined Miss Beechey, and foUfl^wo that she never had immoral relations with any a Dr. Barnes corroborated.—At the close of plaintiff, Mr. Huddleaion, Q.C., for the defence, T that the wordsi complained of, not having been spokej of plaintiff in his character of a clergyman, were See actionable.—Lord' Chief Justice Erie said he sbo# leave that cpieatiau to the jury.—Mi. Barber, of B9*J o(?Hl Oak Farm, the defendant, deposed that on the 2F November saw somebody standing near his oQ-W Vh? and he went, for assistance. On Returning he lW something black lymg down, and then he Bawv,w,omoo Irth face raised up. He next saw a man's hat rise off # ground; he then walked slowly towards them Icha were adjusting their dress. The maa began to ft3: away sideways, and the woman made two or fc°e skips and to»k his arm. They walked to go a<5J!d^wi)flfaL field ia which the wheat was just shooting, afld called out, "You can't, go that way," and stopped. The woman looked aside at him and ran by him like a. rabbit. The man walked with I £ 61 face turned away from witness. As they were away in that sneaking way witness thought to f-tk- self, I will see your face." He caught sight of$*! A part of the man's face where his whiskers ought to (laughter), his neckcloth, and his coat, and he ft pushed him round, and said, Why, —- it, oloth ought to have protected you from this." said this, he was obliged to say something else> Mt* he did not know what to say. What he did say^LS that he must have a card. The woman, who stopped, then came running back, and said in a j, voice, Mr. Barber, he has no card." Witness said he must have hia addressv The plaintiff wrote his address. Witness did not tell anyone el a, rq his wife what he had seen.—Cross-examined: He not say what plaintiff waa doing. He might have 'j^ci confessing the kdy or giving her absolution (laug&K jfe1 —Charles Griffin, labourer, and John Kane £ « similar evidence.—Mrs. Smith said she was ina X den, and saw the plaintiff and Miss Beechey M j field. They then got to a large oak tree near copse, and they got over the hedge into Mr. A field. One of them laid a. cloak down, and down » sat. They could not see witness. She got so n6\, that only a hedge parted them, when she left After she left she saw MT. Barber come across field. They passed witness after they left Mr. Ba.r11 and she heard Miss Beechey say to Mr. Howee, will be known now;" andhe said, "No no it i Miss Beechey's father came to witness' and she jC him what she had seen.—The court then adjott^vU till next day. On Friday the trial was pa. Ann Ranee, of the Plough beer-house, to plaintiff having left his pony there, and went away with Miss Beechey. Thay were £ °»r', ^Ir* J* Wigg, of Birfield, surgeon, deposed t he had freque atly Been Mr. Howes and Miss fj 111 walking together so late aa half-past ten o'clock- J May, 1864, he saw them in a ploughed iiord Downshire's, where there was no Ihey were behind a hedge, as if they had straight down the field. He thought they sa"^ JaJ"1 They then came on. towards Bracknell; that five o'clock in the afternoon.—Bendigo Wilson, a P fjj^Pe layer, on the South-Western Railway, deposed saw Mr. Howes and Miss Beechey on the 0|M( November cross the line, and go into a coppi^rfajAB Lord Downshire's, where there was no footpath. ITIJM lost sight of them as they turned through the vr°0<< Jr, Henry Hibbery, a ganger on the line, corroborate(,y\t ■ Frederick Charlton, gamekeeper to Mr. J. Laurej^t said he saw Mr, Howes and Miss Beechey some dW.U<* before Mr. Barber saw them. They were in a ditch (laughter), in a meadow, near the Coppice. Mr. Howes s left hand was round her and his right improperly elsewhere. Witness aa* kiss her above twenty times. Mr. Howes's hat lay (■ him. Witness was about fifty yards off. They «■ +0kq i?^ accouilt of a bigh hedge. seen them walking about there several times, f or nve aa73 affcer fche occurrence he had spoken saw them m Mr. Jemmett's field, which was Jwo.8 00P8e> They saw witness. There was no path there.—Cross-examined: Of coarse he wato^ M Alter some further evidence, counsel on both Summed up, Lord Chief Justice Erie said chief question for the jury was whether Mr. saw what he thought he saw.—The jury, after locked up for two hours, sent a communication t° lordship, about whioh he had a consultation with learned counsel, but expressed a hope that what Jiry had stated would be kept secret.—After further delay, his lordship sent a message in ^rl £ ,0| to the counsel in the cause.—Mr. Coleridge 6 ,,l6'ns^H quently said that he had agreed that the jury be discharged upon the terms which had been enggeB$ by his lordship.—The Lord Chief Justice: To SeC those terms, there will be a stay of suppose ? — Mr. Coleridge: Yes; anything tba» necessary to carry these terms into effect shall done.—The Lord Chief Justice And there will be farther action.—The jury were then discharged *1#$ out having- given a verdict, and without the »-eI which had been agreed upon being made pablio. V