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FLINTSHIRE ASSIZES. MR. JUSTICE GRANTHAM AND WELSH JURYMEN. The Winter Assizes for the county of Flint were opened at Mold, last Thursday, before Mr. Justice Grantham. The Judge previously attended service at the parish church, where a sermon was preached by the Rev. Watkiil Wil- liams, rector of Nannerch. Addressing the grand jury, of which Mr. Edmund Peel, of Overton, was appointed fore- man, his Lordship said this was the first time he had had the pleasure of coming amongst them to assist in the administration of justice. It gave him very great pleasure indeed to con- gratulate them upon the entire immunity of their county from serious crime, orj at any rate, from crime sufficiently serious to neces- sitate its being brought before him. That was the last place he would have the privilege of going to on Her Majesty's Commission of Assize in the Principality on the present occas- ion; and it gave him pleasure to state that what he had referred to was practically the condition of the whole of the Principality. There had been no serious crime; and in one or two counties there had been no prisoners for trail. He could not help feeling that that was very creditable indeed to the Princ pality, and the people amongst whom they lived. This state of things was owing probably to the fact that there had been an alteration in the law with reference to the powers given to magis- trates for the trial of cases previously sent to the assizes. He had himself been desirous of that change for a long time, and he had advocated in more ways than one the necessity of the change. Magistrates had now power to try burglaries, and some other offences. There was no doubt that this had relieved the list of the judge of assize and if that and other Welsh counties continued as free from crime as they were at the present time, it was pro- bable that some alteration would be needed with regard to the judges coming with so little work for them to do. There was only one subject further he thought he should be jus tified in referring to in connection with this feature, and that was the difficulty which had arisen in reference to the summoning of jurors; and not unnaturally, some of them had felt it rather a grievance they should be called when there was nothing for them to do. In some of the counties the jurors had to travel long dis- tances, and in one of the earlier counties he visited, finding there were no prisoners for trial, he requested the sheriff to communicate with half the jurymen, so as to stop them from attending. There was a Sunday intervening, and they were able to let the jurors know in time. The sheriff or under-sheriff in that county had heard of this, and he had adopted the same plan—half the jurymen having been relieved of the necessity of attending. He saw no reason why that should not be done every- where, and why sheriffs should not have power to act on their own responsibility. He w&m, bound to say this, that there was something in Wales which seemed to attecc the mind of a Welsh juryman in a different way from the mind of an English juryman. Whether the Welsh were more bashful, and did net like dis- cussing things in public, and lil<ed to retire to the privacy of their rooms to discuss things, he could not say, but he was convinced of this, that in Wales they must have more jurymen summoned than in England, for he had found, however easy the case was, or however clear to his mind, a Welsh juryman liked to take it to his private room, and have a rare good dis- cussion over it (laughter). This was a serious question for Welsh jurymen, unless they changed the habit, for more jurymen would have to be summoned in order to have a sufficient number of jurymen to try the cases. The High Sheriff then presented his Lordship with a pair of white gloves, saying it gave him great pleasure to do so, as he found the last time when there were no prisoners was when Lord Coleridge visited Flintshire in July, 1890. His Lordship said he was extremely obliged to them for keeping up an interesting custom, and he was glad to receive white gloves at the hands of the sheriff. There was only one civil case, in which Han- nah Jones brought an action for alleged slan- der against John Jones. Mr. S. Moss was for the plaintiff, instructed by Mr. H. Bradley, and Mr. E. H. Lloyd, instructed by Mr. Wynn Evans, Wrexham, for the defendant. From the statement of counsel, it appeared that the allegations of the plaintiff was that the defendant had made a remark reflecting upon her chastity. After a short argument with counsel, his Lordship did not think it was necessary to carrying the case further, and the action was allowed to be withdrawn, no costs on either side. Mr. Lloyd said his client meant nothing serious by the statement, and he subsequently The parties hailed from Cymmau, near Hope. apologised. —. — in.'n


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