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would therefore look to the 128th section of the first act, which gave a concurrent jurisdiction when the parties lived more than twenty miles apart, and judging from that the intention of the Legislature, would grant this application. The application had already been refused at chambers. By the COURT.-The court are to exercise their discretion, but are to be bound by rules in exercising it. It is for that you contend. Rule refused.
June, 17, 1851.
WILLIAMS and OTHERS v. HOLDSWORTH.-Atherton showed cause against a rule nisi obtained to set aside an order of the County Court judge of Merioneth, which order, dated the 25th of February last, had been removed into this court by certiorari, and was now sought to be quashed. It appeared there had been twenty actions, in each of which judgment was given for the plaintiff, and the above-named defendant was ordered to pay the amount by instalments; default being made, execution issued, and a vessel, or the defendant's share in it, was seized, whereupon M. Griffith Jones Williams gave notice, on behalf of the National Provincial Bank of England, at Dolgelly, that the bank had an equitable mortgage, or claimed a lien upon the defendant's interest in the vessel so seized, and twenty interpleader summonses thereupon issued. On the 21st of February, particulars of the claim set up were given, and the hearing was fixed for the 25th of February; at the hearing, however, the claim by the bank was given up, when the judge made an order upon Mr. Williams, the attorney for the bank, to pay the costs, amounting to 60l. and upwards. This was the order brought up by the certiorari, and now sought to be quashed, as the judge had no more power to make an order upon Mr. Williams to pay than upon a person he had never seen or heard of. It was contended, notwithstanding, that such an order was not removeable, either under the 9 & 10 Vict. c. 95, ss. 90 and 118, or the 13 & 14 Vict. c. 61, ss. 14, 15, and 16, the other side not having availed themselves of a removal under the latter act. Welsby in support of the rule.-The 14th section of the 13 & 14 Vict. c. 61, refers to "either party in any cause," that is, one of the parties to the suit, not a third or an indifferent party to the suit altogether. What possible right could the judge have to make an order upon Mr. Williams to pay the costs? He is neither a party to the suit or to the interpleader summons. (He was then stopped.) Atherton suggested that perhaps the better course might be to move to quash the certiorari. The COURT said a strong opinion upon the Bench now was that the order was clearly bad, and having been brought up by certiorari into this court, should be quashed; but the better plan at present would be to enlarge this rule until next Term, that substantial justice might be done in the meantime by all parties. Rule enlarged.
WHITEHOUSE v. HOWELLS.-Lush showed cause against a rule obtained to set aside an order of Platt, B., and also a writ of prohibition. The affidavit upon which the order for the prohibition was obtained was entitled in the County Court, instead of being entitled in this court, and was sworn before a commissioner of the Court of Q. B. He contended that, under the 1 & 2 Vict. c. 45, either or any judge at chambers had jurisdiction over a subject matter in any of the other courts; and the learned baron having had sufficient material before him to satisfy him the prohibition should issue was quite enough; it is not like an affidavit in a cause, but rather like an affidavit to hold to bail. The statement of the court at the head of the affidavit here was not intended to be an entitling of the affidavit, but as a description of the County Court where the proceedings were. Phipson, contrà, not called upon. The Court thought the affidavit was bad. Rule absolute.
May 30, 1851.
Re REBBECK.-Hawkins moved for a rule for a writ of prohibition, to be directed to the judge of the County Court at Whitechapel, restraining him from further proceeding in a certain plaint, under sect. 122 of the 9 & 10 Vict. c. 95, on the ground that the title to land came into question. Rule nisi.
June 3, 1851.
Ex parte THE LONDON GASLIGHT COMPANY.-H. Hill moved for a rule calling upon the judge of the Middlesex County Court, holden at Brompton, and also upon Thomas Lenstead, to show cause why a mandamus should not issue, commanding the said judge to adjudicate in a certain action brought by the said company against the said Thomas Lenstead. It appeared that the defendant had agreed with the plaintiffs for the supply of a certain quantity of gas at a certain price, and a sum of 31. having become due, the plaintiffs brought an action. for its recovery in the Brompton County Court. At the hearing the defendant set up as a defence want of jurisdiction in the judge to hear, inasmuch as the private act of the gas company empowered the company to recover debts under 201. before a justice. The judge being of opinion that his jurisdiction was thereby ousted, refused to adjudicate. It was now contended that he was wrong, and that the clause in the act did not deprive the company of the common law right of bringing an action, but gave them an accumulative remedy.
June 4, 1851.
WILLIAMS v. DIE.-Francis moved for a rule under the 43 Geo. 3, c. 46, s. 4, calling upon the defendant to show cause why he should not pay the costs of this action. This was an action brought upon a judgment, the debt in the original action being under 201. The defendant had pleaded nul tiel record: (Slater v. Mackey, 19 L. J. 88, C. P.) Rule nisi.
showed cause against a rule herein for a writ of prohibition to the judge of the County Court at Whitechapel, prohibiting him from further proceeding in this cause, Hawkins in support of the rule. on the ground that the title to land came into question. Cur. adv. vult.
June 11, 1851.
SAYSE v. MASON.-Quain moved for a prohibition to the judge of the County Court of Pembrokeshire, to restrain him from further proceeding in this cause, as it involved a question of title to land. Rule nisi.
June 13, 1851.
JONES v. CUNEY.-Dawson moved for a rule for a prohibition to restrain the judge of the County Court of Southwark from further proceedings with the plaint.
DUCHY COURT OF LANCASTER.
[Before the Right Hon. the Earl of CARLISLE, Chancellor, attended THIS court sat for the hearing of statements in support of by Mr. ELLIS, Q. C., Attorney-General of the Duchy.] for the removal of Mr. Ramshay, judge of the County Court at a memorial presented to the Chancellor of the Duchy, praying Liverpool, from the office which he now holds.
The following is a copy of the memorial, upon which the hearing was granted:
To the Right Hon. the Earl of Carlisle, Chancellor of the Duchy of
The humble Memorial of the Members of the Liverpool Guardian Society for the Protection of Trade, and of the Inhabitants of Liverpool generally,
Showeth-That your memorialists are greatly interested in the due administration of the laws affecting debtor and creditor, particularly those passed for the more speedy recovery of debts under the system of County Courts, recently introduced in this country.
That your memorialists had hoped to partake of the general advantage thus conferred upon the country; they considered it was a boon to them, which offered increased facilities for the recovery of debts by less expensive remedies than had theretofore been provided; but in this your memorialists have been grievously disappointed, by reason of the appointment of a judge of whose conduct they are constrained to make serious representations to your lordship.
Your memorialists would beg most respectfully to submit that no system, however excellent or perfect in itself, can work beneficially or advantageously to the public, unless presided over by an individual properly qualified for the office.
That a judge of a County Court should not only possess sound legal knowledge, but also a cool, calm, and courteous demeanour and temper; and be willing to bear with, and assist the poor but unskilful and inexperienced plaintiff or defendant in the management and conduct of his claim or defence. That in this respect, the judges of the Superior Courts
have less to contend with, inasmuch as they are uniformly approached by a bar of learned and competent advocates, whereas the judge of the County Court has the case presented to him by the parties themselves, who are often ignorant of the rules of evidence and of the mode of conducting a cause,
That Mr. Ramshay, the judge of the Liverpool County Court, lacks the latter qualifications above alluded to to a lamentable degree. That he appears to be labouring under some painful and wearying bodily malady, which renders him physically unfit to discharge the laborious duties of a judge. That he is almost carried to and from the bench, being totally
unable to support himself erect. That he is not able to put the questions
to the parties and their witnesses, which office is consequently performed by the high bailiff or some assistant. That he cannot take any notes or memoranda of the evidence adduced, so as to assist his memory, and adequately to discharge his responsible duties. That his mental powers cannot fail to partake, to some extent, of the infirmities of his body. That his temper and disposition seem so soured by these or other infirmities as to render him rude, uncourteous, and positively insulting to the suitors who appear before him, and very many persons will not hazard taking proceedings in his court for fear of personal insult.
That respectable tradesmen, and others, are frequently subjected to gross and unmerited abuse by him; that they are called fools, idiots, described as brainless and senseless, and are, otherwise, the objects of offensive and disagreeable observations, when they happen not to be stating their case, or giving their evidence, in accordance with the taste or whim of the judge. That scenes of this painful nature were almost daily to be observed in the court whilst he presided in it. That in consequence of such conduct the business was greatly diminished. That whilst a deputy afterwards presided, instead of the judge, the business immediately increased to a very great extent, the deputy, having given universal satisfaction. That your memorialists cannot calculate, with any certainty, on an efficient deputy being continued, and are kept in constant apprehension of a return to the unsatisfactory state of things they have before described; and, as the remedy is in your lordship's hands, they appeal with confidence to your wisdom and justice, to relieve them from this state of doubt and uncertainty.
Your memorialists, therefore, humbly pray that your lordship will be pleased to remove Mr. Ramshay from the office of judge, and appoint a gentleman in his stead possessing the necessary qualifications to discharge the responsible duties devolving on a judge in this important community. Whateley, Q. C., and Whitmore appeared for the Liverpool Guardian Society.
Wilkins, Serjt., for Mr. Rainshay.
Whateley, Q. C., begged in the outset to be permitted to assure his lordship, that he appeared in this case with the greatest pain it had ever been his lot to feel in the discharge of any professional duty. He had had for several years a professional acquaintance with the gentleman whose conduct was now impugned, and from that experience should have said that his acquirements would have qualified him well to fulfil the task imposed upon him as judge of the County Court of Liverpool. Having said thus much, it became necessary that he should offer evidence in support of the memorial just read, a document which had been signed by 3,525 persons of undoubted respectability and character, and which proved what it was impossible to deny, that a great and a very widely extended feeling prevailed against the conduct of the judge therein mentioned, since the date of his appointment in May, 1850. He (Mr. Whateley) was informed that then, or soon afterwards, Mr. Ramshay was afflicted with a severe bodily illness, to which a good deal might be attributed; but whether it was to be attributed to natural infirmity of temper, or whether the temper had been acted upon by the disorders of the body, it would, he feared, be too clear that that gentleman had not conducted himself in the way to obtain, or even to preserve, the respect of the suitors in his court. Witnesscs, however, should be called, and from them his lordship would best learn the expressions and behaviour of which the people of Liverpool complainedcomplained so much that tradesmen having a variety of causes which they wished to bring forward often declined to do so in consequence of their uncertainty of the judge. There were other cases,
not so numerous, but more important, in which Mr. Rainshay, where, as he thought, parties had not brought forward sufficient evidence, had ordered verdicts to be given for the defendant, instead of merely nonsuiting the plaintiff. So that the latter, instead of being able to bring his case forward in a more efficient state, has, in consequence of the temper of the moment, been barred for ever of his claim. Of the witnesses to be called some would be parties who had failed in their suits; some, parties who had succeeded; others, reporters who were present. Of the first section it would be said that they had motives; but this would not, at least, apply to the reporters, and to those who had succeeded, and whom he was about to examine. The matter was one which individuals could not settle; it was in the aggregate these things were important; and the question came simply to this, whether the general demeanour of the judge had not been such as to render the court actually less efficient than it ought to be, and under other circumstances would have been?
John Holbert Joyce, the first witness called, said he was a general commission agent and collector of accounts in Liverpool, and had been in the habit of attending the County Court since the appointment of Mr. Ramshay. He had remarked that gentleman, and observed that his deportment was very uncourteous.
Wilkins Serjt.-Give instances; you are not asked for general observations.
Witness. Had heard him call plaintiffs or their witnesses "fools," 'idiots," "stupid blockheads," and say, "you must be drunk, what are you mumbling about?" That had been frequent. Not on every occasion. He had called him (witness) an "impertinent, stupid fellow." That was in a case of Quigley v. Scott, of which witness gave the particulars. The plaintiff first went into the box to prove the sale and delivery of the goods, and to him the judge said, "You don't understand your own book-keeping. You can't satisfy me." Witness then gave his evidence, and though behaving by no means disrespectfully, but just as on the present occasion, was termed an impertinent, stupid fellow." The plaintiff was nonsuited. In another action the same plaintiff was nonsuited again, and after that Quigley would allow witness to take no more cases into court, preferring to lose his accounts rather than to issue a summons. He told witness to call upon parties and try to get the money, but not again to summon them to the County Court. Witness recollected the case of Dodson v. Eccleston. He attended before the County Court judge with the plaintiff's brother. It was proved by plaintiff's brother that the goods had been delivered to the servant of the defendant. Witness himself proved having called at the residence of the defendant some two months before, and his having seen the lady of the house, who promised payment at a given date The judge on this occasion gave the verdict for defendant. He at first was about to nonsuit the plaintiff, but then immediately recalled his words, and ordered the clerk to enter a verdict for the defendant. The judge said something of the plaintiff's brother, but witness forgot the words. In another case cited by witness, Moss v. Hughes, he had attended at the County Court on behalf of the plaintiff and accompanied by plaintiff's clerk, who brought the daybook and the ledger, first, to prove the receiving of the orders; and, secondly, to show that they were taken from defendant, defendant's wife, or defendant's servant. Witness proved an admission by defendant of his liability, and his having made various arrangements to pay by two instalments, 4l. 98. 1d., being the whole amount. He having given that evidence, and plaintiff's brother having given his, the judge nonsuited them, and called the plaintiff's clerk, an aged man, a member of the Society of Friends, a stupid, mumbling, old blockhead." The defendant did not appear, nor any person from him; but he called afterwards at plaintiff's shop and paii the amount. Witness had since had many cases from Moss, who had instructed him to exert himself as much as he could to recover accounts without proceedings, but if they were large, and not otherwise to be obtained, to issue a writ in the Borough Court. Moss said that witness should not go into the County Court, for he could not depend upon the decisions of the judge. The witness was proceeding to give evidence as to similar instructions which, as he alleged, he had received from various other tradespeople, when
Wilkins, Serjt., asked whether a man was to be allowed to give evidence for some eight or ten people, any two or three of whom might have been called before his lordship? The only way in which his assertions could be met was by calling those people; but it was quite against the rules of evidence that such statements should be made by third parties. The learned sergeant then crossexamined the witness, who, in reply to his interrogatories, denied that he ever gave legal advice, and stated that he was paid in proportion to the amount which he recovered. If nothing was recovered,
he got nothing, but if he brought an action for 101 and got a verdict he was Mr. Fairclough?" The plaintiff was nonsuited. Before i for 54, he received his full amount. He admitted that he had was so, witness proposed himself to give evidence, and stated to the attended before Mr. James, and had been reprimanded by him. By judge that he knew Mr. Fairclough quite well. That he had Mr. James he had been accused of extortion, but not by Mr. Ram- received the first order from him personally, and that Mr. Fairclough shay. Nor had Mr. Ramshay ever prohibited him from practising had come to the office with the second or third. Then the carter in the court. As regarded the clerk's bringing the ledger and day- proved delivery to a person calling himself by that name. But th book, the attempt was to show by whom the orders were given; and judge said there was no proof at all; the whole evidence was n Mr. Ramshay's objection was to their admission as evidence of any evidence at all. The witness cited another case of nonsuit on the such thing. The name of the clerk whom the judge called a ground of insufficient proof of the identity of the party to whom the stupid mumbling old blockhead," witness did not know. The goods were delivered. The carter had previously delivered a load at principals in the several cases he cited were not present. Mr. Stone, the same place, so he knew the person very well. This was after the high-bailiff (pointed out to him), witness knew, and, after some an adjournment, and the judge-who nonsuited him-appeared to hesitation, he admitted that on one occasion he and Mr. Statham be labouring under an accumulation of bodily disorders, having such had complained openly in court of his extortion. an effect upon his mind. as to unfit him for presiding; and further to be confused in his own mind as to what he was about; it appeared, too, as though he was acting under the influence of wine. All these things together rendered him absolutely unfit to deal with any matters of the kind. When he came into court-carried by two or three men, as he generally was when witness noticed him-and supported by a hair-cushion in front, he sat almost unable to speak for some time, except in a whisper to Mr. Stone, who sat at his left. Wilkins, Serjt., at this point, rose to protest against a continuance of this sort of evidence.-My learned friends are here to convince your lordship that Mr. Ramshay is unfit to discharge the duties of a judge. His present appearance here surely sets at nought all that has been, or can be said, of his infirmity, and I apprehend that common humanity will make your lordship refuse to take these topics into your consideration. They are painful and useless; and, after all, if they are to be admitted, they go to show that Mr. Ramshaý, labouring under the indisposition under which he was said to labour, was yet determined at all sacrifices to do his duty personally, so far as in him lay. But capable though they be of this construction, these topics are of such a character that they ought not to be introduced at all.
In answer to Whitmore, witness attempted, at some length, to explain away the charge, which he admitted had been made, but which he asserted had originated in a misunderstanding, rendered the more easy by the fact that one of the under clerks who communicated the fact to Mr. Stone "was not altogether on the most friendly terins" with witness. The charge before Mr. James he explained as the act of "an illiterate woman, who kept her accounts in chalk."
Mr. M'Connel, draper, of Lord Nelson-street, Liverpool, was the next witness called-About this time last year he had brought an action in the County Court against a person named Wright, the mate of a ship, for goods sold and delivered. Amongst these goods was a muslin dress. He proved the sale and delivery to Mrs. Wright, wife of defendant; but the judge said it was very imprudent in witness to sell a muslin dress to a mate's wife. "A dress of 38. 6d. was quite good enough for her to buckle up her sleeves and scrub floors in." On this ground, her being a mate's wife, and for no other reason that he knew, the claim was reduced from 148. to 48. by Mr. Ramshay, who thought the more expensive article should not have been supplied to a person in her sphere. On other occasions, witness had attended the court, and heard the judge use very uncourteous language to suitors, both plaintiffs and defendants. He had heard him call them "stupid fools," "moidering," and "mumbling fools," and ask "what they were grinning at?" At the same period as that of the first case, to which he had referred, Richard Martin was suing his employer, who said he had turned him away for being drunk. Martin said he was not, and could not be drunk, having been in the open air many hours, and having had only one glass of brandy. The judge then took up the case, and said to the defendant that plaintiff could not be drunk, having only had one glass of brandy, for he (the judge) had had three himself. [This statement Mr. Ramshay appeared utterly to deny-conversationally, however, as he was not being examined.] He nonsuited the plaintiff, and gave judgment for the defendant.
Cross-examined by Wilkins, Serjt.-Witness said he knew nobody present who could corroborate his statement about the brandy. By Whateley, Q.C.-Mr. Ramshay was apparently labouring under great irritability, whether of health or temper he knew not. He had heard him threaten to commit a man if he did not give his evidence as he (the judge) thought fit. His manner was very violent. He sometimes sat up, and then just in the middle of a statement would fall back, shut his eyes, and seem unconscious of all that was going on. Witness had seen him get up and ask what they were talking about.
Mr. Henry Moss gave evidence to the same effect, and said that he had been told by Mr. Ramshay that his cases were got up in a shameful manner, and that he had subsequently withdrawn everything from the court.
On cross-examination he admitted that though, since Mr. Ramshay's illness. Mr. James and Mr. Lowndes had sat for some time, he had not gone before them with his causes; and his explanation of this was, that it was always uncertain whether they or Mr. Ramshay would sit.
To the learned sergeant's next question, why, with this uncertainty in his mind, he had not hesitated to sign-as he had signed -the memorial, which stated that during the sittings of those other gentlemen the business had increased, the witness gave no
Alexander M'Cay, examined by Whateley, Q.C., said he was a coal agent, living at Paddington, Edgehill, Liverpool. In December last he appeared for some parties in some cases at the County Court one against a person of the name of Fairclough, for coals supplied by Robert and William Ford. This case had been brought forward twice, once in June, once in December. The first time it came before Mr. Ramshay, the carter was called, and proved the delivery of the coal. He stated that a man was present who called himself Mr. Fairclough. To that the judge said, "How do you know that
The Earl of Carlisle thought there must be some inquiry on this point, as one of the allegations involved it; but he agreed with Mr. Serjeant Wilkins that the witnesses should confine themselves to answering positive questions, and not volunteer statements on the subject.
By Whateley, Q. C.-Mr. Ramshay seemed very fretful and peevish, and rather violent than otherwise.
Wilkins, Serjt.—I labour under this immense disadvantage. I cannot cross-examine these witnesses, for I have not been furnished beforehand with the charges which, on behalf of Mr. Ramshay, I have to meet. If we had known what they were to be we might have had opposing witnesses present, and I might have been ready with topics and points of inquiry.
Whateley, Q. C.-The charges would have been furnished if an application for them had been made.
Cross-examined.-The witness said he had not had very many cases in the court. He had only twice been before Mr. Ramshay at all. He had had six cases nonsuited in all.
Mr. John Grocott, a solicitor (of Liverpool), was next examined, and said he had heard Mr. Ramshay apply to persons appearing before him such epithets as "Fool," "You might be a fool," Your conduct is more like that of a lunatic than anything else," and in one case," You appear to be a fool for the purpose of covering your knavery." Both words were used. He also recollected a man of the name of Price, a collector of debts in Liverpool, coming into court with six or eight cases. Price's enunciation was not very distinct, so the judge said to him, "Don't go on mumbling and jumbling there; what are you talking about?" "What do you say? You are a mumbling old fellow; what business have you here? I suppose you are a hedge lawyer?" The colloquy proceeded thus:-" Witness-No, sir, I'm not. Judge-Have you ever appeared here before? Witness-Yes, sir, for several years; I have a right. Judge-I shall dispute your right; you are a great nuisance, and it is a practice I will put a stop to. Witness-I look at the statutory law, and find it stated that the plaintiff may appear, or some person for him. Judge-Who are you to talk about that; you seem to be eating your tongue. Witness-I am too honourable to be stupid. Judge-Walk out of court; bailiff, turn him out." Two other cases the witness mentioned, in the first of which he alleged that the judge, in reference to an insufficiency of evidence said, "I smell a rat; I don't believe the defendant or her witness;" whilst in the second, witness stated him to have remarked, in reference to the accent of an Irishman who appeared, "You are an Irishman, I don't understand Irish; I must swear in an interpreter." These were all the remarkable words he used in those instances. He recollected a man, a very respectable tradesman, and His Honour said to him, among other matters, "You seem to have
no more sense than a child of two years old."
Witness was sorry to say that in temper the judge had seemed " indomitable, capricious, and self-willed." Witness had never "had any sparring" with him, except twice, and then it passed off with the occasion. Witness considered him an excellent nisi prius lawyer, with an admirable memory. He had never known him lose a point in summing up. He had met every one, and sifted exceedingly complicated cases in a most extraordinary manner.
Alfred Jacob, accountant and estate agent, examined by Whateley, Q.C., gave evidence of the same character as that which had preceded it.
Cross-examined by Wilkins, Serjt.-He stated that Mr. Ramshay had said, "You agents, without any knowledge of the law, are ten times more expensive to suitors than solicitors would be." Their scale of charges was, it appeared, 3s. 6d. for every case in which they recovered, and, besides, ten per cent. on sums under 51.; seven and-a-half per cent. from 51. to 107.; and five per cent. above 107. They did not charge anything when they did not recover.
Wilkins, Serjt." No cure, no pay?"-Exactly so. Mr. John Macfarlane, by Mr. Whitmore, deposed, inter alia, that the judge, in the course of an examination, had told him he was a stupid, drunken fellow, only fit to be a lumper about the docks."
In cross-examination by Wilkins, Serjt., the witness added nothing to the information he had given, but explained some of his own antecedents.
William Edwards, a cart-owner, examined.-Had been reprimanded for apparent though unintentional disrespectful demeanour towards Mr. Ramshay, and was given into custody, where he was kept from one till half-past six o'clock, and then pardoned on an apology.
Cross-examined: The witness admitted that, after having been told to stand up and change his deportment, on the occasion in question (when he was giving evidence), he was walking away, and saying "I came here to speak the truth, and if you won't hear me I shall go away." He had kept a public-house. He had fought when he was put out. He could not say how often he had fought. He was getting a great age. Was forty-seven years old. He had
been married since 1829.
The Earl of Carlisle.-Have not you fought since you were married?-Witness: No, Sir.
John Jones, clerk to Watson and Webster, Liverpool, offered some evidence similar in character to that which preceded it, and of which it was remarked by Wilkins, Serjt., that, if taken at all, the parties themselves should have been called to prove it.
Messrs. Charles Aldred, Moore, and Baker, Liverpool, reporters, were examined as to the truth and animus of various reports by them, which appeared from time to time in The Liverpool Mercury and Journal. These they verified, and asserted to be free from bias.
At the request of Wilkins, Serjt., an adjournment was then granted. The learned serjeant not being prepared to defend this week, and the noble earl having to be out of town next, the hearing was postponed till Tuesday, the 17th of June.
June 17, 1851.
Mr. D. Quigley, shoemaker, was the first witness called. He stated that he was living at 15, Dean-street, Liverpool, and had had dealings with a man of the name of Scott. He remembered having put Scott in the County Court for a debt of 78. 1d. for boots and shoes delivered to his daughter, whom witness had known since she was a child. Defendant had a small set-off for dyeing some silk for witness's wife. Witness appeared before Mr. Ramshay to prove the debt. Mr. Ramshay was cross with him, and called him a "stupid old fellow," and said he could not understand him. This was in September, and witness was nonsuited. He had proved the amount and the supplying of the goods. The case came on again, perhaps three weeks or a month afterwards. Mr. Ramshay, who was very poorly, dilatory, and cross, went on in like manner as before, and nonsuited the case again. He said witness was not fit to keep boooks. Witness was explaining the admission ..of 38. 6d. for this piece of silk, but the judge would not take time to understand him, and nonsuited him again, because he was willing to take that 38. 6d. from the debt. Mr. Joyce, witness's agent, was called on the second occasion, on the Saturday before which the girl had gone into his (witness's) shop, and asked him to take the money. This he refused to do, telling her at the same time to go to his agent, who would take it from her. He did not mention this fact to the judge before he was nonsuited, the reason for this apparent neglect being that he had not time. The judge called Joyce an impertinent fellow. Witness had heard the judge say to
a young man of the name of Postlethwaite, a draper, who was also an agent for some other parties, "Mind what you are about, sir; you are drunk-go down." Witness thought the man, whom he had known for years, was perfectly sober at the time. He had had several other cases of small debts owing to him in Liverpool, amounting, perhaps, to thirty, and these he had not put into court, because he was afraid his honour would nonsuit him.
Wilkins, Serjt. observed that this possibly might redound to Mr. Ramshay's credit, and that had there been another judge as good as him, and the same deficiency of evidence, the plaintiff would still have been nonsuited.
The witness further stated that, in the cases mentioned, Joyce had been employed, but that, as soon as his honour nonsuited him in Scott's case, he withdrew them all from Joyce, and directed him not to go forward.
The Assessor.-You told us you had proved furnishing 7s. 1d. worth of goods-what was the proof you gave?--I came up and stated the delivery of the goods to the daughter by myself. Did you tell Mr. Ramshay you had been in the habit of doing so, and that you had known her from childhood?-No, sir; I was explaining, in answer to questions put by Mr. Stone, when his honour told me to go down. What had Joyce said when he was told he was impertinent?-He stepped forward to give explanations. Mr. Ramshay must have known he was my agent, for it was he who got the summons out.
By Wilkins, Serjt..-It is Mr. Ramshay's clerk, not Mr. Ramshay, who issues the summonses. The daughter, to whom I furnished the goods, is about twenty or twenty-one. I don't know that she is more than twenty-one. I have known her since she was a little girl. I have known her twenty years or thereabouts. She was a baby, not able to walk, when first I knew her. I have never seen her out at service, but she has assisted as a shopwoman behind the counter, at her father's-not at another person's, as far as I know. It was one of the daughters, not the one who got the shoes, that offered the money in payment. Joyce, when called an "impertinent fellow," had got up to show that he had proved the debt, at which Mr. Ramshay-I don't like to speak vulgarly-told Joyce, in fact, that he was calling him a liar. Mr. Ramshay put that construction upon it.-Did not Joyce offer to supply the deficiencies of your evidence-did he not offer to prove what you have failed to prove? I did not fail to prove.-Did you prove what you prove here? I was not there one-sixth of the time I have been here.— Did not Mr. Ramshay say you had not proved your case? He did, and Joyce then offered his evidence, to show he had served the summons and such like. And did not Mr. Ramshay say he was determined to put an end to that system of collectors coming into court to watch a case, and, when they saw a deficiency of evidence, supplying it? Not on that occasion; but I have heard him do so. The Guardian Society paid my expenses up here. I am not one of its members. I am staying just by the station. Joyce is there also. I have known him close upon two years. I did not know him before he was a collector. When the debt is not recovered he gets no commission. In Mr. Lowndes's court I used to get my debts without any trouble. I heard of Mr. James coming to sit as deputy, but did not know for certain when. In Postlethwaite's case I had no interest, and I do not know its nature. I saw nothing particular in the man's manner. On my oath, I could say the man was sober. His Honour was very cross at him, and that made him stupid. What books did you produce?-I produced none. I showed the bill of delivery. I forget its name-(suggested by Mr. Whateley)
the invoice. The goods were supplied to one of the daughters, who used to come repeatedly and buy for the family. I delivered them in my shop. Some were for the daughter to wear, some for the lesser children.
By the Assessor.-The invoice was copied from the book, which I kept in my own writing. I did not tell Mr. Ramshay so. He asked nothing about it, as far as I can recollect.-You say some money was actually paid to you; who had paid the former part of the bill? The daughter.-You had no payment from Scott himself? No, sir.
Mr. Edward Kirkby examined by Whitmore, said:- I live at Liverpool, and am at present a wine merchant. For some time, two years ago, I acted as an accountant. During that time I was employed to make out the balance sheet of Mr. Cole who became bankrupt. I proceeded against him in the County Court for what was due for that business. My account had been previously taxed by the officer of the Bankruptcy Court. That paper (showing one) is the allocatur of Mr. Lee. The balance, 5. 128. 7d., is the amount for which I proceeded against Mr. Cole. I appeared and gave evidence in support of my claim. I brought forward that document, and with it a letter from the defendant, whose hand
writing I proved. The judge was astonished at the amount, and asked how many sheets the balance-sheet consisted of. I could not recollect at the moment, and put my finger thus (illustrating his manner), to my forehead, to remember. Upon this the judge said, in a sharp tone, "Come, come, I want to know what it does consist of-is it six sheets or is it sixty?" Still I could not remember, and I went on to explain that the number of sheets was on the document. To this he would not allow me to refer. He told me I must not pretend to such "mock modesty"-that a great inany parties came into court wanting to show their dignity, and displaying a degree of mock modesty which was ridiculous. In reply, I, who myself had suffered a good deal of ill health, the same as his honour, was perhaps a little irritable, and said that a man of my size, six feet two inches in my stockings, need not pretend to such excessive modesty; at least, I did not pretend to such. Upon that, I was told that, if I did not hold my tongue, I should be committed. I think I answered that I could not afford to be committed. I meant to say that it would not do exactly for me to be lodged in prison. The termination of the case was a verdict against meas I expected, from the way that I had been treated. In fact, I left where I was standing fully prepared to pay the necessary fees. The defendant was not there. I was indignant at the insult, and went immediately to the Albion office. I afterwards wrote to the Earl of Carlisle.
By Wilkins, Serjt.-My original bill was 227. 10s. Mr. Lee, in taxing it, took off 30s. I had been paid 157. I had been in the habit of making out balance-sheets, and of charging at that rate. I had, indeed, too much of it, and suffered from confinement at the desk. Are there no clerks in Liverpool? I could get none to suit me.-Did not Mr. Ramshay criticise your bill? He mumbled something when he gave the verdict.-Did he ask you a great many questions about it? He asked several.-Did Mr. Lee scrutinise the bill? I suppose he did. I never saw him. He did not ask any questions. The bill was sent him by post, as usual in these cases. It might have been sent by hand.--You were rather flippant with Mr. Ramshay, were you not? Not that I am aware of; I don't sce why I should. Did you not say you were rather peevish yourself? I might be; but that was after he subjected me to the insult. Certainly, I talked about being six feet two inches in my stockings. Have you told us all you said? To the best of my belief. I said nothing that could offend till after this took place. I went to the Albion, and suggested to the editor that some notice should be taken of it.
Mr. Evans, solicitor, Liverpool, said: I applied to Mr. Statham for these official returns of cases from April to December, 1849, and from May to December, 1850. He furnished me with them. They show that, in the former year, Mr. Lownde's time, there were 7,932 causes entered; in the latter, Mr. Ramshay's, 5,256; being a diminution in 1850 of 2,676. By the Earl of Carlisle-The difference of a month in the two periods quoted was just at the change, when Mr. Ramshay came in. Of causes tried by Mr. Lowndes there were 5,377 in one year; by Mr. Ramshay, in the other, 2,285. Mr. Lowndes had 10,755 plaints entered in 1849; Mr. Ramshay 7,624 in 1850. The witness having adduced some other figures, illustrative of the alleged decline in the business of the court since Mr. Ramshay's appointment,
Whateley, Q. C., said that was the case for the memorialists. Wilkins, Serjt., then proceeded to cross-examine Mr. Evans, who said:-I have been solicitor to the Guardian Society for the last sixteen years.-The object of that society is, I believe, to expose swindlers? Partly so.-What, then, are the other objects it has in view? To watch bills in Parliament, and to see that the trade of the country is protected.-What do you mean by that? To see that no bills pass through Parliament which will injure the trading interest-Let me ask you, as you have brought here a statement instituting a comparison between Mr. Lowndes and Mr. Ramshay, did Mr. Lowndes give entire satisfaction? No.-Did not the society three times memorialize against Mr. Lowndes? I recollect that they did once; that they did so twice or three times, I do not recollect. You have been their attorney sixteen years, and don't know? I do not.-Have they not presented three memorials? I think not; I can only speak from memory, and I don't remember more than one, but it is possible they might.-Have you not had a conversation with Mr. Stone, and did you not say to him that you wondered what was the complaint, as Mr. Ramshay had always behaved to you with great courtesy and propriety? I did not say so; but I will tell you what I did say. I stated to Mr. Stone, as I have done to other parties, that I had no feeling against Mr. Ramshay personally, for that he had conducted himself towards me with uniform courtesy; but I said to Mr. Stone also, that I believed he stood alone in the support of Mr. Ramshay.-Is not Mr. John
Smith, president of the society, an accountant? I don't know.Did you see that article in The Liverpool Mercury of July 12, 1850? No, I never did.-Have the Guardian Society a reporter of their own? No.-Did they ever send a reporter to the court? I cannot tell. I drew up the present memorial, but cannot recollect that I was a party to that against Mr. Lowndes. Mr. Reay, the secretary, managed the present one as to signatures. Whateley, Q. C., said he would produce Mr. Reay if his learned friend wished it.
Wilkins, Serjt, would like to ask him a few questions.
Mr. Evans (continuing)-Mr. Lowndes was a very unpopular judge.
Wilkins, Serjt.-God forbid that popularity should ever be the criterion of a judge's worth. Never, perhaps, was there a more popular judge than Pontius Pilate.
Whateley, Q. C.-I can never hear that said in my presence without feeling the deepest abhorrence.
The Earl of Carlisle.-This is not before us.
Mr. Reay. I have collected debts for the society, which collects for its members. I only recollect one memorial presented against Mr. Lowndes. It is surely most extraordinary of you two officers of the society to know of only one, when I shall prove three. Are you sure of the fact? I cannot recollect three, nor two: one I distinctly remember.-Were not persons solicited to sign this memorial? I saw no one solicited.Did you solicit anybody? I do not think I did. I will not say that I did, or did not. I sent people from my office to get signatures, giving them a direction to take none from persons who could not write; not to write for them, or to take crosses; to read the memorial to them before allowing it to be signed.-Are any of these men here? No. I know Mr. Taylor, and believe he is a merchant. I did not get his signature. He came to me to ask to withdraw his name, which I said I could not let him do, without the authority of the committee. He did not tell me that his signature had been obtained by a misrepresentation, nor that the memorial contained falsehoods. The reason he assigned for wishing to withdraw his name was, that he thought we were going too far by permitting the sheets to lie in the Exchange. He read me a letter which, he said, he should send to the Earl of Carlisle, and publish. I think this (in The Courier) is the same. take any pains to contradict that letter. I would not take any pains whatever about what that man says, because I know his peculiarities.-You had better take care what you say of Mr. Taylor. Do you know that the Guardian Society paid a reporter, in Mr. Lowndes's time, to report the proceedings of that court? We did. It was not for any paper, but for our own use.
I did not
By Whateley, Q.C.-I know of no signatures being obtained fraudulently.
The EARL OF CARLISLE here asked Mr. Ramshay whether he had taken any steps about the next sitting of his court. Mr. Ramshay said, this was not till next Monday, and he had not yet moved in the matter, but that the gentleman who sat last time, would, he was sure, do so again at a moment's intimation.
Wilkins, Serjt., then called-Dr. Thomas Addison, of Guy's Hospital.-I have been attending Mr. Ramshay. I saw him yesterday, when I took great pains to ascertain the state of his general health and constitution. In my opinion, his health, both of body and mind, is at present such as to enable him to discharge the duties of his office. I had a long conversation with him, and found him acute and intelligent, and his bodily health so far restored as to fit him competently to discharge his duties. Of this I have no doubt.
Dr. John Graham said: I practise at Brampton, in Cumberland; am well acquainted with Mr. Ramshay, and have attended him in his illness from February up to this time. During the whole of the period I have attended him, he has appeared to possess in full vigour his mental qualifications.
Whateley, Q.C., said he entertained no doubt on this point. The EARL OF CARLISLE.-But one or two of your witnesses have. Witness.-In my opinion, he is capable at present of discharging his duty as a judge. He is well in mind and body.
Wilkins, Serjt., here begged to be allowed to retire for a few minutes' consideration before he entered on the defence. In a short time he returned, and proceeded to deliver a speech of extraordinary power, but of which, occupying, as it did, about three hours and a half, we can scarcely afford space for a summary. At the onset, he begged, to put the case upon its proper ground, to state that it was not a question of the capability or the incapability of Mr. Ramshay or of Mr. Lowndes, but it was a continuance of a consistent and most improper interference with the patronage of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, on the part of a few selfish, conceited individuals, who had thought proper to dictate to others.