Hide Articles List

17 articles on this Page







THE TITHE AGITATION. POUND BREACH CASE AT LAMPETER. At Lampeter county-court on Monday—before Judge Beresford the Rev J. E. Evans, of Hafod, Talsarn (administrator of the Rev Evan Evans, late vicar of Llangeithio, deceased), sued John Davies, Crynllwynmawr, Llangeithio, farmer, for £ 5, being treble damages and costs for pound breach of goods distrained for tithe- rent charge. Mr A. J. Hughes, solicitor, Aberyatwith, was for the plaintiff, and Mr Ivor Bowen (instructed by Mr Ivor Harries, from the office of Mr James Morgan, solicitor, Cardiff) defended. This case was entered for the last court, in April, but owing to the absence of the judge, it was, with other cases, adjourned. The case was reached on Monday at 1.15, when the witnesses were ordered out of court. Mr A. J. Hughes briefly stated the facts of the case, and called Mr J. E. Lloyd, who gave I formal evidence as to the tithe and the serving notice for tithes on the 24th January, when 13s 4d was due, and, with 2s 6d for the 10 days' notice, he levied for 15s lOd. The treble damages and costs might amount to more than R5. The tithe and costs amounted, he thought to JE2 17s 6d. David Owen, bailiff, Tregaron, said that on the 24th January he visited defendant's farm and saw two steers. He handed notice of distress to defendant's wife. The two steers were about 200 yards off and in sight on defendant's land. There were no other steers in sight, but there was a heifer and two cows there. He told defendant's wife that he had levied on the two steers. He did not remain in actual possession— no man could do so. He visited the farm on January 27th and 29th and the steers were not there, but they were there on the 30th. He visited the farm very early in the morning before the. people of Llangeithio got up. On the 1st February he went to the farm to sell. He looked over the land for the steers and did not find them. He went to the house, and the defendant showed him the outhouses. The steers were not there. Defendant asked him if he was satisfied. He asked defendant to produce them, and he made no answer. Witness then withdrew. He (Owen) watched the place afterwards. He saw them on defendant's farm on the 24th and 27th of March.—Cross-examined by Mr Bowen I have been a bailiff four or five years, and ain used to that sort of thing. When I went to the farm on the 24th January I asked Mrs Davies to pay the money, and she refused. I cannot speak Welsh, I can understand some of the language. I saw the steers in the field, and after making an inventory I read it to Mrs Davies. I did not see the defendant. I did not ask Mrs Davies to whom the steers belonged. That was not necessary. Mr Bowen Did you not think two steers rather in excess of your claim? The Judge—That has nothing to do with it. Mr Bowen said he wanted to bring out Owen's conduct. The Judge—I don't want to hear it. I want to hear the case. Mr Bowen-If defendant had said the steers did not belong to him you would not have agreed with him ? Witness—He should give, me a notice to that effect. That is my opinion of the law. I saw the steers on the land of the defendant after the day of the proposed sale. They were below the house on the flat. The Judge—He said this in his examination in chief. Cross-examination continued I have traced the farm on the parish map. It is an upland farm. It has no hedges, but high banks, over. which cattle could not go without being forced. I do not say that cattle do not stray on such farms. Mr Bowen-Do they not commonly stray in the country ? Witness—Yes. After some further cross-examination of this kind, the Judge again interposed, and Mr Bowen said his point was that the steers seized were not the property of the defendant *I They belonged to a neighbour, Mr Morgan, of Fron, and if they were removed after seizure, the defendant did not commit a pound breach. He could prove that. Mr Hughes asked whether the game was worth the candle ? Was it worth fighting the case out ? Here was a well-to-do farmer who owed 15a lOd. Would it not be better to leave the court and try to settle it The cross-examination of the witnesses for the defence would have to be very direct and pressing, and though lie did not sug- gest they had anything to fear, yet he would pre- fer not to prolong the friction. Mr Bowen, for the defendant, said he was willing to come to any sensible arrangement. The Judge said the defendant had not acted straitforwardly in not saying that the cattle were not his. Mr Hughes said he had made the same remark on his notes. Mr Bowen said he could prove the steers belonged to Mr D. Morgan, of Fron. Mr Hughes held that as the powers of distress under the law of landlord and tenant were given owners of the tithe rent-charge, the steers being on the defendant's land, though belonging to another person, were liable to be seized. The Judge thought that under the statute Mr Hughes would be obliged to show some wilful act of the defendant by which the cattle were taken away. After an argument. The Judge said the claim should be amended so as to include Morgan as defendant. Mr Bowen said in that case the action against the present defendant must fall through, and a new action be commenced against Morgan. The Judge soid no, and added that he gave plaintiff leave to amend. Mr Bowen objected, as that would raise an entirely new question, and they might need fresh evidence, The Judge said he was acting in accordance oil with common law procedure. He would adjourn the case to the next court, reserving the question of costs. The further examination of the bailiff Owen was also adjourned.


[No title]



----.---------TRADE REPORT.


[No title]