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DOLGELLEY. ANOTHER VESTRY MEETING. A vestry was again held on Thursday afternoon week, 14th instant, at five o'clock in the afternoon, at the County Hall. The chair was taken by the rector, the Rev. Evan Lewis, who read the notice alling the meeting. Dr EDWARD JONES said that the notice read showed that the obiect of the vestry was to elect a churchwarden. It was not their object to interfere with the church at all; but as the churchwardens were appointed trustees of the Green, they were not prepared to give up their right of appointing one. He wished to ask the chairman if the Charity Commissioners were informed, at the time the churchwardens were suggested to them to be trustees, that it was the custom at Dolgelley for the rector of the parish to nominate both churchwardens. (Great applause.) The CHAIRMAN appealed to them as fair men to act fairly, and he would give the question a direct answer. On the 4th of September last a public meeting was held in this hall, at which certain resolutions were passed, among which was one declaring that it was not expedient that the churchwardens should be appointed trustees of the'Green, because in this parish both were appointed by the rector. That resolution had been forwarded, he be- lieved, to the commissioners, and was in itself a direct an- swer to the question. (Great uproar, shouts of "No, no," "it's not true.") Mr D. PUGH Said that no resolution conveying such Tneaning was ever passed, and it was certainly never sent to the Charity Commissioners from any public meeting held in this town. The CHAIRMAN said he had the resolution in his hand, and that it was passed at a meeting held on the 4th of September, at which Mr Walker, the chairman of the Local Board, was in the- chiir. Mr Pugh there sent for the minute book of the proceed- ings of the Local Board, and in the interval the excite- ment increased, as one party affirmed and the other de- nied that the resolution referred to 'was correct. Some time elapsed before Mr Pugh could "Snd whether the pro- ceedings the meeting in questaoR had been entered in the book, as it could not properly be called a Local Board meeting. Eventually the following resolution was found and read by Mr rtigh-" That "the Green having been allotted for the use of the inhabitants of Dolgelleyana the re-creation ofthe public, this meeting is of opinion that the trustees should be elected and appointed from the principal owners and ratepayers of houses and land resident in the town and township. That John Vaughan, Esq.of Nannau, Hugh John Reveley, Esq., of Bryn- I bu ygwin, and Cf. William Henry St. Pierre Bunbury, C. B., <jf Abergivynarit, who have been recommended .to the ^Charity Commissioners for appointment as new trustees, not being owners or ratepayers resident as aforesaid, are -not in the opinion of this meeting (but for that reason only) proper persons to be appointed trustees of the Green, and also that in the appointment of church waidens of Dol- gelley the ratepayers take no interest, and that as one is absolutely and the other virtually appointed by the Rector, the nomination of the churchwardens as trustees of the Green is most objectionable, as it may lead to the Rector having a preponderance of influence in the man- agement of the trust fund." (Immense applause.) Mr Pugh said he should like to know who, in the face of -what he now had read, would dare to continue to say that the paper which was read by the rector contained the tneanink of the resolution. (Great cheering.) Mr R. M. RICHARDS said that the resolution, as read by the rector, had been sent to him in a letter by a gen- tleman who was present at that meeting, and who was also present on that day, and he had every reason to be- lieve that the report of the proceedings, as sent to him by that gentleman, was correct. He also read a report of the proceedings in the Cambrian News, and he believed the report in that paper corroborated what his friend had written to him. Mr OWEN REES said that the paragraph referred to, which had appeared in the Cambrian News, would not avail Mr Richards to found his argument upon, as it was not written by any one who was present at the meeting referred to. He wrote the paragraph himself some days after the meeting, and it did not profess to be a report of the proceedings. But, if he recollected right, the wording of it was very carefully considered, and would be found very different from what Mr Richards hinted. The RECTOR-Then there is not much dependence to be placed upon reporters. Mr 0. REEs-Quite the contrary, as the chairman knows too well. Still reporters sometimes are glad to avail themselves, like other people, of the ordinary sources of information, when anything takes place in their absence, and without their knowledge. Dr EDWD., JONES said that, owing to something which had come to their knowledge within the last few days, they were unfortunately obliged to re-elect a church- warden, but he felt proud to be in a position to propose a gentleman for whom they all had the highest regard, and Who was most highly and universally respected-one in whom they had the most implicit oonfidence-(me who had always shown himself to be the people's friend-a gentleman to whom the little town of Dolgelley owed almost all its modem improvements-he scarcely need say that he referred to Lewis Williams, Esq., of Vron- wnion. (Great cheers.) He wished to say that the parishioners in this matter wanted nothing but justice, and that they would not be satisfied with anything less than justice. They were determined not to give in until they obtained the justice they demanded, and when they succeeded, they would waive a white banner in the centre of the Green, and they would not write upon it in black letters "Paradise Lost;" no, but they would inscribe .upon it, in letters of gold—"Paradise Regained." (Great cheers and laughter.) 'Mr DAVID PUGH said he would explain why they were called together on that day to elect Mr Williams, of Vronwninn, as the parishioners' churchwarden, when they had so recently elected Mr Griffith Williams to that office. They had doubts whether a question in law might not arise, by which Mr Griffith Williams might be prevented from exercising the duties of the office, even after being properly elected, as he did not actually reside in this parish, although he was a householder and a ratepayer in the parish. Mr Griffith Williams was, as they all knew, highly qualified for the office of churchwarden, and .had no doubt during the years he had already acted as churchwarden in the parish, executed the duties of his office to the satisfaction of everyone, the rector as well as the parishioners. But in order that no legal difficulty might arise in the matter, it was thought advisable that another person should be nominated in his stead. He (Mr Pugh) had the greatest pleasure in seconding the pro- position moved by Dr Jones, that Lewis Williams, Esq., •Vronwnion, 'be the parishioners' churchwarden for the ensuing year. The RECTOR said he wished to know whether the resolu- tion which had been read to them by Mr Pugh had been sent to the Charity Commissioners ? Mr PUGH said that no resolution as such had been sent to them, but that a report which had been drawn up by a ,committee appointed at a public meeting held on the 20th of May, was presented by that committee for approval at s meeting held on the 4th of September, last year, and the resolution he had read was a part ot that report, which was then approved of and passed, and a copy of that report was sent to the Charity Commissioners, and there was a material difference between the wording f that part of the report which he had read, and the one which the Rector had read to them at the commencement. The RECTOR admitted that the difference was material. Dr EDWARD JONES said he again pressed for an answer to his question-when were the churchwardens suggested to the Charity Commissioners as proper parties to be trustees of the Green, and who made that suggestion? It was evidently made before the public meetings referred to, as they then protested against such appointment. Mr R. M. RICHARDS would tell why the church- wardens were appointed, and where the suggestion came from. In the Recreation Ground Act, the churchwardens, in one of its clauses, were designated particularly as fit and proper to be trustees of all recreation grounds, and that being so it was but natural that they should be ap- pointed as trustees of the Green. The suggestion was first made in a letter dated July 22nd, 1869, signed by the secretary of the Charity Commissioners, when the church- wardens were recommended to be made trustees, as it might tend, if they were appointed, to facilitate matters greatly in future. The suggestion, therefore, was made in the first instance by the commissioners themselves, and not by the old trustees. As regarded the minute read to them by Mr Pugh, he was now made aware of its existence for the first time. He had no reason to know, except that they were told so by Mr Pugh, that this minute had ever been sent to the commissioners. The resolution passed at the meeting, as sent to him by a gentleman now present, materially differed from that minute. He would now refer to what had been sent from this town to the Charity Commissioners. He held in his hand a copy of the letters and documents which had been supplied to him by the commissioners. Not having examined them for that pur- pose, he should like Mr Pugh to point out to him, in those documents he had-in his hand, the resolutions he had read from the minute book. Mr Pugh reached out his hand for the bundle of docu- ipents. Mr RICHARDS said he preferred not to let them out of his hands. (Great uproar, and cries of Shame, shame," "Too bad, too bad.") Mr PUGH-There is a policeman present, if I do any- thing to them but knowing from where the observation comes I treat it with contempt. Turning to the people he added—I don't complain, and continued his examina- tion qf the papers in Mr Richards's hands amidst the greatest excitement, and after looking through them Mr Pugit said he could not see among those papers the documents sent by him to the commissioners. The .resolutions and reports, extracts of which lie had read, were certainly sent by him; but what those papers pointed .out to him by Mr Richards were he did not know, nor did lie icare. He would however read to the meeting another paragraph, No. 9 in the protest sent to the Charity Com- missioners, which in fact was only an echo of the resolu- tion No. 2 already read. That paragraph was as follows For many years the said inhabitants and ratepayers, about three-fourths of whom are not members of the Church of England, have taken no interest or part in the appointment of the churchwar- dens of the said parish, both of whom have been appointed by the rector, who by law is entitled to appoint one of them, and who is also under the provisions of the said Act one of the trustees of the Green the effect there- fore of the appointment of the said churchwardens for the time being to be trustees, as proposed by the present trustees, as we submit on behalf of the inhabitants, would be most objectionable, as if the churchwardens continue to be appointed as at present, the rector would in effect have the appointment of two trustees, while if the churchwardens shall hereafter be appointed according to law, he would have the appointment of one trustee, and the other would be appointed by the inhabitants and ratepayers alone who are members of the Church of Eng- land, and the inhabitants and ratepayers who are not members of such church would not be represented in the trusi unless they interfered in the election of church- wardens, which they have not hitherto done. For these reasons we submit that the saicj churchwardens are not eligible, fit, and proper persons to be and should not be appointed as such trustees." (Cheers.) That was a part of the protest sent to the commissioners, aud he main- tained that it was impossible to use stronger terms to shew the injustice of the appointment. The RECTOR said that in the very woixis of that protest, as it was called, an acknowledgment was made that the appointment of both churchwardens was vested in him. ("No, no.") These were the words—"Both of whom have been appointed by the rector." (Cries of No, no," Read on.") Mr PUGH--It is not right to detach a word here and there the whole paragraph must be taken together. The RECTOR-" Both ot whom have been appointed by the rector who by law is entitled to appoint one of them" —that he denied—he had the right to appoint both. (Oh oh and great laughter.) Dr EDWARD JONES said that Mr Richards having re- ferred to the appointment of the churchwardens as trustees, in conformity to the provisions of the Recreation Ground Act, he wished to remark that, if the church- wardens were pointed out in that Act as proper persons to be trustees, it was done so because they were considered by the framers of that Act as representatives of the Earishioners. It Was not likely the Legislature would ave looked npon them, in that connection, in any other light. And he had no doubt whatever upon his mind that the Charity Commissioners, when suggesting that the churchwardens should be nominated as trustees of the Green, did so under the same impression, that they were the representatives of the parishioners; and considering the matter in that light, he thought that the Commis- sioners at the time they did so never thought that the rector intended to keep the appointment of both in his own hands. Mr R. M. RICHARDS had no doubt that the intention of the law was as stated by Dr Jones, and that the church- wardens were locked upon as representatives of the parishioners. He was, however, told by the rector that the custom in this parish was different; that the rector had the right to nominate both. And he was told, also, that morning by a lady, whose father was one of the oldest in- habitants of this parish, that her father had told her that the rector always appointed both. In that case the rector was in the right'in maintaining the custom, and he would do all in his power to support him. The RECTOR said that Mr Williams, of Vronwnion, having been proposed by Dr Edward Jones, he would say that there was no person in the parish, nor in the county, whom he more highly esteemed than Mr Williams, nor any one whom he should have preferred before him, to be his churchwarden, but he would not accept of any person, whoever he was, who was nominated by the vestry; and however highly he esteemed Mr Williams, he would be obliged to refuse him on that account only. Mr Pugh will you, as chairman, put the motion to the vestry ?, The Rector said he was by law the chairman of the vestry, and was bound to see that its proceedings were carried on properly. He was advised, by a dictum of Lord Denman, that he could refuse to put any motion, unless it was a proper one, to the vestry. He declined to jrat it. Mr D. PUGH said then he would be obliged to serve the rector with a notice of their intention to apply to the Court of Queen's Bench for a writ of mandamus calling upon him to show cause why he refused. The notice was signed and read by Mr Pugh, and a copy served upon the rector amidst the greatest excite- ment, after which Mr PUGH continued—Now, having served the rector with that notice, he begged to move that Mr Griffith Williams, one of the churchwardens of the parish of Dol- gelley, should now take the chair for the purpose of con- ducting the business of the vestry. Mr EDWD. JONES, Ship Hotel, seconded the motion. The motion was put, and declared to be carried unanimously. Mr GRIFFITH WILLIAMS took the -chair, the rector vehemently protesting against such a thing, and declaring he was the chairman, and Mr Williams keeping posses- sion of the chair, and stoutly declaring he was the elected chairman. The Rector reaching his arms down towards the vestry book, the book was immediately slipped off the table by Mr Pugh, and handed over to Mr Griffith Williams, who, with the vestry book under his arm, amidst one of the most excited scenes ever witnessed at a public meet- ing, put the motion, for which a forest of hands was held up; and asking again for the show of hands of those who were against, and no hand being raised, he declared, amidst tremendous cheers, that Lewis Williams, Esq., of Vronwnion, was unanimously elected the parishioners' churchwarden for the parish of Dolgelley for the ensuing year. Mr DAVID PUGH proposed, and Dr ED. JONES seconded; That the thanks of the meeting be given to the rector for his conduct in the chair during the first part of the meeting, and to Mr Griffith Williams during the latter part," which was put amidst great laughter and cheering, and the crowd began to disperse; but the rector and Mr Richards calling upon them to wait a moment, a large number stopped, and were addressed by The Rev. E. LEWIS, who said he wished to add one remark. It was admitted by all law books that -the rector was by law chairman of the vestry; and in all Acts of Parliament relating to the conduct of vestries, it was always admitted that he was chairman to the end of the meeting, an,l that no one had the power to turn him out of the chair. It appeared that the rate- payers were anxious to appoint a churchwarden simply on account of the Green. He (the rector) did not care so much about the Green; but he cared for the church, and for the property of the church. The fairest way for the ratepayers would be to get a voice in the management of the Green through the proper criannel-that of the Charity Commissioners. There were three ways of electing churchwardens. It was usual for the ratepayers in vestry and the incumbent to elect them con- jointly and in case they could not agree, tor them to elect one and the rector to elect the other. In other parishes it was the custom for the ratepayers to elect two, and that custom where it existed could not be destroyed. In others, the rector ap- pointed the two, and in some places, other persons appointed them. The custom was law, and in the first Act of Parliament regulating the proceedings of vestries there was a section pro- viding for the continuance of existing customs, whatever they might be. Though the Act was passed, not a word was said in it about the appointing of churchwardens, the reason being the custom was so different in various parts of the country. He (the rector) had opened the vestry, and he would -also. close it. What had taken place was only an interruption, and could not be recognized as part of the proceedings. He. would therefore dissolve the vestry.1






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