to, but into charges of insulting and assaulting the officers of the court in discharging the verbal requisition that he, Mr. Whitty, should attend the court, and the resisting them on their attempting to take him to the court by force. And the judge ordered Mr. Whitty to pay a fine of 51. for insulting the court, or to be imprisoned seven days at Lancaster Castle; and to be imprisoned at Lancaster Castle absolutely for two terms of seven days for assaulting the officers; and to pay two other fines of 5l. each for insulting the officers, or to be imprisoned fourteen days. The two penalties of seven days' imprisonment absolutely for assaulting the officers the judge afterwards withdrew, substituting the infliction of fines of 51. each, or seven days' imprisonment in each case in default of payment. The fines were not paid, and Mr. Whitty was sent to Lancaster Castle. Two days after the hearing of the charges against Mr. M. J. Whitty, Mr. John Whitty attended on a summons for assaulting the officers, and, in result, he was fined in four penalties of 40s. each for assaulting and insulting the officers; in default of payment as to the assaults, he imposed an imprisonment in each case; and as to the two penalties for insulting the officers, he stated that the amounts would be recoverable as debts under the County Courts Act, and if not paid, that the defendant would be liable to two imprisonments of forty days' each, Orders were drawn up to send him to Lancaster, when the inhabitants of Liverpool interposed, and paid all the fines of Mr. John Whitty, jun., to prevent his going to Lancaster, and paid the fines of Mr. M. J. Whitty, and procured his discharge from Lancaster Castle, when the following receipt was given to the contributor:


'Liverpool, 2nd October, 1851. 'Mr J. R. Jeffrey has this day paid me, under protest, the sum of 334. on account of Mr. Michael James Whitty, and Mr. John Whitty, viz:

'Mr. Michael James Whitty-5l., for wilfully insulting the judge in going to the court; 57., for wilfully insulting Robert Hartley, an officer of the court, whilst going to the court; 51., for wilfully insulting Roger Charnley, an officer of the court, whilst going to the court; 5., for assaulting Robert Hartley, an officer of the court, in the execution of his duty; and 51., for assaulting Roger Charnley, an officer of the court, in the execution of his duty.

And Mr. John Whitty-21., for assaulting Robert Hartley, one of the officers of the court, in the execution of his duty; 21., for assaulting Roger Charnley, one of the officers of the court, in the execution of his duty; 2., for wilfully insulting Robert Hartley, one of the officers of the court, in going to the court; and 2., for wilfully insulting Roger Charnley, one of the officers of the court, in going to the court.


'Clerk of the County Court of Lancashire. holden in Liverpool."

"That throughout these proceedings Mr. Whitty, sen., exhibited no contumacy, on the contrary, whilst at his own place of business he expressed his readinesss to obey the court, if served with a written request, and accordinly did so as soon as he was served with the summons, and throughout the inquiry against him, which lasted about seven hours, he was patient, respectful, and forbearing. never attering even a single word, although very many observations fell from the judge greatly calculated to wound and exasperate him. "That the judge of the County Court, on the other hand, throughout the proceedings against Mr. M. J. Whitty and Mr. John Whitty, in his various characters of accuser, witness, judge, and jury, was pre-eminently harsh, vindictive, and oppressive.

"That the construction put by the judge of the County Court on the clauses of the County Court Act in reference to cases of contempt, is, as your memorialists believe, unconstitutional and illegal; and if it were otherwise, that his unprecedented assumption of authority, and the temper which he has displayed in attempting to enforce that authority, plainly demonstrate that he has not the moderation and equanimity which are essential to the character of a County Court judge; at the same time, the violent and unexpected measures resorted to by Mr. Ramshay for upholding what he calls the dignity of his court, have alienated the great majority of the trading community, so that his court must be a comparatively useless one, so long as Mr. Ramshay shall be suffered to preside there.

"Your Memorialists, in conclusion, pray that your lordship would be pleased to hold in Liverpool, or its immediate neighbour hood, a Court of inquiry into the conduct of Mr. Ramshay since his acquittal by your Lordship from the former charges male against him, and his resumption of his sittings; And that if the foregoing facts be established against him, as your memorialists confidently believe they can be, that your lordship would be pleased to remove Mr. Ramshay from the office of judge of the County Court of Liverpool, and to appoint another judge, of learning, temper, and moderation, in his


On Friday, October 24, the following communication, addressed to Mr. Samuel Holme, was received from the Earl of Carlisle respecting the inquiry into the conduct of Mr. Ramshay, the judge of the Liverpool County Court, from which it will be seen that his lordship has decided that the inquiry shall be conducted in Preston and not in Liverpool, as had been requested by the memorialists. This will, of course, increase the expense as well as the trouble of conducting the case, but there is no appeal from his lordship's decision:"Duchy of Lancaster Office, Waterloo Bridge, London, October 23, 1851. "SIR, I am now directed to acquaint you, for the information of the committee appointed to prepare the late memorial to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, that a communication having been received from Mr. Ramshay, repudiating the charges made against him, his lordship has decided to hear evidence in support of and against those charges, on Wednesday, the 5th of November next, at ten o'clock in the forenoon, at the Court-house, at Preston, in the county palatine of Lancaster, when Mr. Ramshay and the memorialists may be respectively represented by counsel, if thought fit. "I am, Sir, your very obedient servant,

FREDERICK DAWES DANVERS." of the committee was called, when it was determined to present a Immediately upon the receipt of this communication, a meeting memorial to the Town Council, on Wednesday next, praying that body to undertake the conduct of the case, conceiving that it is one of so great importance, and involves a question so deeply affecting not only the due administration of justice, but also the personal liberty of every member of the community, that it should be conducted by the authorized heads of this community, and not by private individuals. Petitions from the burgesses of each ward to their respective representatives, urging them to support this opinion in council, have been prepared, and are already in course of extensive signature.


WE extract a portion of the flood of indignant censure which these proceedings have elicited from the press of all parties.

(From The Liverpool Mercury.)

The proceedings have excited in the town an amount of curiosity, indignation, and alarm such as could be scarcely conceived by a stranger. At the risk of giving offence to the gentleman who seems now to hold in his hands the destiny of every man in Liverpool, we must tell Mr. Ramshay that he has entered upon a career in which, were he ten times more powerful than he is, he is certain of speedy and ignominious discomfiture. Even though his interpretation of the law were correct, we unhesitatingly assert that there is scarcely another man in England who would attempt in the name of the law to commit such outrages on that which Englishmen hold so dear the liberty of thought, and of speech, and, as a corollary the liberty of the press. But is there a man in existence, with the exception of the learned gentleman who presides at the County Court, who believes that Parliament has armed the judges of those new and useful tribunals with the enormous and arbitrary powers which Mr. Ramshay claims to possess, and absolutely exercises with an unflinching determination? We solemnly believe that there is not. Of this, at any rate, we are quite certain, that if Mr. Ramshay has acted in accordance with the law, our legislators have unwittingly permitted the passing of a statute under which the most flagrant injustice and the most extravagant violation of personal liberty may be committed with impunity. In this case, it will become the imperative duty of the Government of the country to see that such an act of Parliament is amended with all possible despatch, and, in the meantime, to devise some prompt and effectual measures for the prevention of the Star Chamber tyrannies which may be perpetrated under such an odious and intolerable law. If, however, it be the opinion of the law officers of the crown that the County Courts Acts do not warrant the alarming proceedings which Mr. Ramshay has taken under their sanction-if, in plain words, it be the opinion of the legal advisers of the Government that our County Court judge has utterly misconceived the law, strained his powers to an unwarrantable extent, and, under this misconception, committed acts of gross wrong, which have inflamed a whole community, and made every man feel that his personal liberty is dependent upon the caprice of a petty judge-then, we say, it is the bounden duty of the Government to interfere at once, so as to

prevent the recurrence of such startling enormities.

It is almost impossible to give our distant readers an idea of the excitement and indignation which these proceedings have provoked in Liverpool. Men of all parties and in all classes of life protest

in the most vehement language against our County Court judge, and affirm that it is absolutely necessary, by a public movement and a public subscription, to show their abhorrence of such conduct. and their sympathy with the incarcerated editor of the Journal. Voluntary offers of subscriptions have been already made at our office; and such is the present state of public feeling, that we feel assured Mr. Whitty will have abundance of support in any after proceedings which he may think it necessary to adopt. One portion of the public, however, does not forget, in the midst of his sorrow and indignation, that the main thing to be done is to take steps for preventing the recurrence of the extraordinary scenes of yesterday. A state of interminable hostility and warfare between a judge and the great commercial community in which he presides is one which cannot be endured in the present day. The dignity of the bench, which is nowhere more highly respected than in this locality emphatically forbids the continuance of such an unnatural state of things. The majesty of the law forbids it; the honour of the Government is concerned in preventing it; and the well-being and the peace of the community are directly opposed to it. Be the public right or be they wrong, they have an ineradicable belief that a change is absolutely requisite in order to produce that harmony between judge and people which is so desirable; and they feel that even though Mr. Ramshay were perfectly justified in the crusade upon which he has entered against those whom he regards as his enemies, the state of affairs is so deplorable as to demand a full and speedy remedy. Our readers, therefore, will not be surprised to learn that it is in contemplation to present to the Mayor a requisition, praying his worship to convene a public meeting for the purpose of taking into consideration the whole of the facts connected with this painful but important subject.

(From The Times.)

THE lamentable exhibition made last week by Mr. Ramshay, judge of the County Court of Liverpool, imperatively calls for immediate action on the part of Lord Carlisle, as well for the sake of the unfortunate gentleman himself as of the public. We are not now about to reason with Mr. Ramshay as to the extent of his power, or as to the peculiar merits of the case which he dragged before his court. Such a mode of dealing with the matter would prove us to have misconceived the mischief with which the Chancellor of the Duchy has to deal. The removal-the immediate removal of the learned person is of absolute necessity, not because he has mistaken the law, but because from the peculiar state of his mind-from the condition of morbid excitement in which he now is he appears utterly incapable of fulfilling the duties of a judge. Unfortunately the late proceedings which have occurred with respect to himself seem to have taken so forcible a hold of his imagination as to have entirely overturned his judgment. The idea that he has been made the subject of a conspiracy, and that he is in duty bound to undertake the special mission of defending the administration of justice from the machinations of interested opponents, has reached with him that degree of intensity which constitutes monomania, and is whole conduct is affected by this prepossession. His mental state is no longer that which is commonly described by the terms "bad temper," neither does the word "anger" accurately depict it. One notion has taken possession of his brain; an unfortunate train of events operating upon a mind already lowered by illness has exaggerated this notion into a portentous magnitude; all other considerations seem to him utterly worthless and insignificant when compared with this monster of his imagination; and he proceeded to deal with the every-day circumstances of life as if they were really exponents of the things which existed only in his own distorted conceptions. Don Quixote and the windmill is an exact foreshadowing of what occurred the other day at Liverpool.

A County Court judge ought certainly to be deemed a very respectable person; his functions are important, and the qualifications for his office are such as ought to belong to a man of a learned profession and a gentleman, but there is nothing to mark such a man out for persecution. There is nothing in the duties of his office or his relative position in society to make it the interest of any powerful class to select him as the victim of a conspiracy. Mr. Ramshay unhappily thought otherwise. He went to Liverpool fully persuaded that his predecessor had been destroyed by persecution, and he was resolved not like him to succumb or yield to any such attacks. He had conjured up for himself a band of moral assassins, whose every object was to destroy an upright judge; and he fancied that wonderful courage and ever watchful vigilance were required to resist their baneful machinations. His manners were from the first not those of a man of the world, but were abrupt, rude, and coarse. He was easily excited to anger, and being so

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excited, he expressed himself in the first and least polished phrases which the vernacular afforded. This peculiarity laid him open to attack-in fact, invited it; and any one who knew aught of the habits of Englishmen could quickly have foretold that Mr. Ramshay would soon lay himself open to imputation and assault. If a man hesitated, he called him a fool; if he gave an unintelligible answer, he asserted, without further inquiry, that he was drunk. If Mr. Ramshay wished to state that the court entertained grave suspicions of a particular person's honesty, he at once stated that he was " rogue," "a rascal;" and thus he went on from day to day exciting himself as well as those he thus abused, till at length the storm which every man of common foresight must have known would come burst over the angry judge, who was in consequence cited to appear before his superiors. To what took place before the tribunal, if tribunal it can be called, before which Mr. Ramshay appeared, we need not now refer; enough was disclosed to show that Mr. Ramshay ought never to have been appointed. There was not, however, sufficient elicited to justify dismissal. The position of Lord Carlisle was a difficult one, but that difficulty was brought upon him by his own too easy disposition, combined with a failing that belongs to his party as well as himself, he and they being always anxious to support and forward all those who are related to their families, or connected with them as clients and retainers. While the mischievous effects of such a feeling are found resulting only from appointments to inferior positions in the public service, people shut their eyes, or indulge in a little useless grumbling, their displeasure for the most part evaporating in the expression. They treat the proceeding as a foolish weakness, being unwilling to look upon it as a serious evil. But when the same spirit of family patronage affects the selection of men for high judicial officewhen such extraordinary vagaries are practised as those of which we have lately been wondering beholders, then the public indignation is fairly roused, and punishment-we use the word advisedly— must fall, not on the unhappy person chosen, but upon his erring patron. The person really to blame in this matter is, not Mr. Ramshay, but Lord Carlisle.

Lord Carlisle was bound to be particularly careful in this case. A great experiment was being tried in our judicial system. The success of the new arrangements necessarily depended upon the fitness of the judges appointed to administer justice in the newlyframed County Courts, and a failure in any one instance would be likely to excite doubts, and check our advance in our lately adopted career of legal reform. We know, indeed, that the administration of which Lerd Carlisle forms a part are not, and have not even affected to be, law reformers. But we suppose that, with some exceptions, they are not opposed to improvement in our judicial system, and we cannot suspect any one of them of a desire to throw discredit upon the new plan by means of an incompetent judge, and among the last of those to whom we should attribute such an unworthy motive is the noble Lord himself. His intentions, we have no doubt, were pure, but he certainly was careless; be thought little of the importance of the selection he was bound by his office to make, and under the influence of this want of consideration, and a wish to forward the son of an old client of his family, he risked, with his eyes open, the mischief that was sure to follow an inju dicious appointment. By inquiry-if inquiry had been neededLord Carlisle might have ascertained the habits and the character of the learned gentleman, and he would at once have discovered therefrom that however estimable in other respects Mr. Ramshay might be, he was totally unfit for the office of a judge.

This want of precaution on the part of Lord Carlisle, and his unfortunate selection, resulting from the mixed motives we have described, deserve, and doubtless will receive, severe reprehension. Still, even from this most painful occurrence we may derive a salutary lesson. We are by it driven to ask, why is the duty of appointing a judge left to the discretion of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster? The office is one now purely political; it is held by persons of importance to an Administration merely, and is not conferred with any reference to legal knowledge or peculiar ability. Lord Carlisle is an important person in the Whig party, endowed with many amiable qualities, but he knows nothing of law, and must judge of legal attainments and of a man's aptitude for the performance of judicial duties upon hearsay, and by the opinion of others. We have thus one man responsible, and possessing the power of appointment, and we have another really deciding and selecting, who, though the actually efficient person in the proceeding, is unknown and irresponsible. Such a system ought to be altered. One person, and one alone, ought to have the appointment of the Judges of the County Courts, and that person should be the Lord Chancellor. He is, or ought to be, a lawyer: he has passed his life in the practice of his profession; he must, in some

degree, be acquainted with the characters and capacities of most men practising at the bar; and he is thus from his position able to make the right choice, and responsible if he make an improper one. We hope, then, that hereafter this mischievous anomaly with respect to this important subject-this idle and foolish privilege now belonging to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster-will be immediately done away with, and that the power and duty of selection thronghout the kingdom will at once be imposed on the Lord Chancellor, who we also hope will not, like Lord Carlisle in the case of Mr. Ramshay, be induced by favour or personal feelings to forego public for private ends, or allow prejudice and partial affection to usurp the place of duty and of reason.

(From The Times.)

SOME time ago we called attention to the very inadequate provision
made by the Legislature for the investigation of charges against the
judges of the County Courts, a question which the increase of their
jurisdiction, present and prospective, renders daily of more pressing
importance. We have now to call public attention to a train of
circumstances illustrating most fully the defects of the present law,
and casting, we regret to say, no small discredit on a number of
persons occupying judicial situations, and bound by the nature of
their offices to more than ordinary care and discretion. Some time
ago the judge of the Liverpool County Court was drowned. The
Earl of Carlisle, upon whom, as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lan-
caster, devolved the duty of naming a successor, selected for the
place Mr. Ramshay, of the Northern Circuit, a gentleman who, in
addition to his other qualifications, possessed the merit of being the
son and grandson of two successive land agents for his lordship's
family. The gentleman's conduct in his office gave great dissatis-
faction to a large number of persons in Liverpool, and complaints
rained thick as hail upon Lord Carlisle, who has, by the 18th
section of the County Courts Act, the power to remove the judge
for inability or misbehaviour. So forcibly was Lord Carlisle im-
pressed with the unfitness of Mr. Ramshay for the situation which
he occupied, that he earnestly requested him to resign his office;
and even went so far as to offer that, if he would do so, he should
be indemnified at Lord Carlisle's expense for the pecuniary loss
which such a step would involve. Mr. Ramshay refusing to accede
to this request was prevailed upon to discontinue sitting, and to
discharge his duties by deputy until the complaints against him
should be investigated. In this investigation Mr. Serjeant Wilkins
appeared as counsel for Mr. Ramshay. The County Courts Act
provides no means of enforcing the attendance of witnesses to give
evidence on such an occasion, or of examining those who present
themselves on oath; and the result was, as might naturally have
been expected, that Lord Carlisle, whatever might be his private
opinion of Mr. Ramshay's unfitness, did not find in the evidence
adduced sufficient to warrant him in removing him from his office.
Mr. Ramshay was therefore admitted to his duties as County Court
judge in Liverpool by a superior who felt so strongly the necessity
of his removal that he had actually engaged to pay him 1,000l. a
year for life rather than he should continue in his office.

that England, France, and Hungary would fight again the battle of freedom on the plains of the latter country.

The sequel of these proceedings, which explains the threats of the judge and the deprecation of the serjeant, we gave in our impression of yesterday. placard having been posted not far from the court, bearing the heading, "Mr. Ramshay's Opinion of the People of Liverpool," the judge despatched a bailiff to take into custody the editor of The Liverpool Journal, by whose direction this placard, announcing the publication of the paper, had been issued. Mr. Whitty, the editor, asked the bailiffs for their authority, and, upon their being unable to produce any in writing, he, under the advice of his attorney, refused to attend. A scuffle ensued, but the bailiffs were unable to apprehend the editor. Finally, the judge condescended to issue a summons, in obedience to which Mr. Whitty attended, and was fined 57., under the 113th section of the County Courts Act, which imposes that penalty on any person who shall wilfully insult the judge or an officer during their sitting or attendance in court, and three sums of 5. each, under the 114th section, for assaults on the bailiffs in the execution of their duty. In default of payment of each of these sums of 51., Mr. Whitty was sentenced to four terms of imprisonment of seven days each. A reporter for The Albion, who asked for a chair, and on being refused, under the supposition that he was connected with the obnoxious journal, told the bailiff that he was as bad as his master,

was for this sentenced to a similar fine.

Of Mr.

It would be an insult to the common sense of our readers to comment gravely on these outrageous proceedings, or to show by argument what is transparently clear, that the placarding question had nothing offensive in it, and that, if it had, the posting it at thirty or forty yards from the court was not an insult to the judge show that bailiffs seeking, on the verbal command of the judge of during his sitting or attendance there. Nor shall we condescend to in the execution of their duty, and have no claim whatever on the an inferior court, to drag a free citizen from his dwelling, are not to proceed in this unprecedented career, or to get up a small reign protection of the law. Of course, Mr. Ramshay cannot be allowed of terror of his own, for the purpose, as he boasts, of avenging the fate of his predecessor. If Lord Carlisle had not sufficient evidence before, he has it now, and will incur a heavy responsibility if he Ramshay's conduct, we are unwilling to think or write harshly; allow such proceedings to continue for a single moment. there is an eccentricity, an extravagance, and absurdity about it which seems only too poorly to point out that, whatever may have been the case before, the mind of this gentleman is not now in a state for the discharge of his judicial duties; and we sincerely regret that they in whom the authority is vested should have permitted him to retain a situation in which he has, unhappily, had the opportunity not merely of making public his infirmities, but of rendering himself liable to legal proceedings of the most formidable description. We cannot suppose that on a true return to a habeas corpus any judge would permit a person to remain in prison under such a sentence; but it is melancholy to think of the persons, which has been occasioned by the disregard of public scandal to public justice, as well as the inconvenience to private opinion which retained this gentlemen in a situation long after his bodily illness and mental infirmities had become unhappily matters

of notoriety.

The first step of Mr. Ramshay tended to justify Lord Carlisle's private opinion, and to discredit his judicial decision. The judge issued cards for a banquet to be held in his own court, "in honour We cannot conclude without expressing our surprise that the of the great principle of judicial independence, so long and so police magistrates of Liverpool, and the judge of the Chester recklessly assailed in this town." The banquet was held accordingly. County Court, should have been guilty of the glaring impropriety The mayor did not honour it with his presence, though Mr. Ramshay, of attending a proceeding so exceptional and objectionable in its in a carriage drawn by four grey horses with postilions, waited character as a banquet given by a judge in his own court to comupon him with an invitation; but we regret to say Mr. Mansfield, memorate his own acquittal, and which, in addition to every the police magistrate at Liverpool, and Mr. Harden, the judge of accessory which would aggravate its indiscretion and bad taste, the Cheshire County Court, were present at this most unseemly was sure to be viewed as an insult by many of those to whom it is festival. After dinner Mr. Ramshay delivered a long and rambling their duty to administer justice. Singular and mixed also must speech, insinuating, we trust without foundation, that the death of have been the feelings of the learned serjeant who figured so conhis predecessor was attributable to persecution from the press of spicuously on the occasion,-pleasure at the receipt of the splendid Liverpool. He then narrated the circumstances of his own appoint-present, tempered by pain at the speech with which it was accomment, and intimated that, had the decision of Lord Carlisle been panied, and which only too clearly proved that the eloquence which against him, he should have resisted it. He then expressed his it rewarded had been exerted in vain,-exultation at the triumph determination to teach the press of Liverpool to behave themselves of past advocacy, mingled with well-grounded apprehensions of better, and assured them the greater their insubordination, the future indiscretion on the part of his client. Now that all these greater would be their punishment. In conclusion, he presented rejoicings are at an end, it only remains for Lord Carlisle immeMr. Serjeant Wilkins with a piece of plate in token of his services. diately to remove their object from his judicial situation, and save In returning thanks, Mr. Wilkins entreated Mr. Ramshay not to abuse the vantage ground he had gained, reminded him that he last Monday must infallibly bring upon him. could afford to forgive, and begged him while he judged to entertain mercy. On drinking the health of a Hungarian gentleman present, Mr. Ramshay recited some doggrel verses, expressive of the hope

him from that ruin which a few more such exhibitions as those of

(From The Examiner.)

THERE can be no doubt that Mr. Ramshay does require protection, but it is not of the sort which he has imagined necessary, but protection against himself, and it is for relatives to provide the care which is so lamentably needful. The case is not one to move a spark of indignation, but pity for the sorest of human afflictions. We abstain, therefore, from any comment on extravagances which can only be ascribed to one sad cause.

We much regret, however, the inconvenience and annoyance to which Mr. Whitty has been subjected. All who know the honourable character of his journal will be quite sure that any strictures he may have thought called for have been kept within the bounds of justice and decorum.

There is but one question now, and that is, how the bench of Liverpool is to be delivered from this scandal, and the authority of the law from abuse with the least possible delay? Mr. Whitty's immediate liberation was a matter of course, and has already been effected.

The example, we hope, will serve as a lesson of caution to look to something more than the claims of connexion in making appointments to judicial office. It is no apology to plead, "it was only a County Court Judgeship." The fitness of a County Court Judge is a matter of as much importance within the sphere of his anthority as the fitness of the Chief Justice. Nay, in the province of his jurisdiction, an incompetent County Court Judge may do a greater amount of wrong and mischief than a bad Chief Justice, for he disposes of suits by hundreds for the higher functionary's tens; and though the questions may be concerning small sums of money comparatively, yet those small sums may be the all of the poor, and involve the serious injury or ruin of the parties.

The following has been addressed by Mr. Harden to The Times in vindication of his appearance at Mr. Ramshay's famous dinner in the County Court:


SIR,-In yesterday's Times I find a severe censure passed upon Mr. Mansfield and myself for dining with an old friend and former messmate, the judge of the County Court of Liverpool, on the 20th of last month.

"Leading articles" in The Times are read by all the world; letters in explanation, addressed as this is "to the Editor of The Times," are read by comparatively few; I therefore very much regret that you should have singled me out for attack, though I have no doubt whatever that every one who has a spark of manly feeling in his composition would have acted as I did, and would not have withheld the hand of friendship from one who for more than sixteen years had been his friend, for no other reason than that there had been an attempt to remove, disgrace, and ruin him, which attempt, be it observed, had signally failed.

As, however, you have thought fit to condemn me unheard, I must, in self defence, trouble you with a few observations, and shall trust to your sense of justice to give them insertion in such a way as may enable your readers to judge whether or not I have been guilty of the "glaring impropriety, indiscretion, and bad taste" you impute to me.

I have been on terms of intimacy with Mr. Ramshay, as I have stated, for sixteen years and upwards. I was the first person he consulted after obtaining his appointment, and before taking his seat, and I then most strongly urged upon him the propriety of not attempting so laborious a duty in his then enfeebled state of health, for I candidly confess his life did not then appear to me to be worth a month's purchase. He, however, persisted in sitting when he was both bodily and mentally unfit for it. I reiterated my entreaties that he would retire for a time, and the result was a coolness between us almost amounting to a quarrel, because I could not induce him to think as every body else thought. From that time, until after the inquiry before the Chancellor of the Duchy, a period of several months, I neither saw nor heard from him-his acquit

tal, if I mistake not, took place some six weeks ago, and he imme diately resumed his seat. On the 9th of September I learned from most unexceptionable authority, that of a respectable attorney who has extensive practice in the County Court, and who was one of the witnesses against Mr. Ramshay in London, that he had not only returned in renewed bodily health, but that "if he went on" (to use Mr. Grocott's own words) as he had done that week, he would be the very best judge who had ever sat on that bench "-an observation which strengthened my opinion that the infirmities which had of late been complained of were in a great measure attributable to bad bodily health.

On the 16th or 17th of September, I received, not a card, as you state, but a most friendly note from Mr. Ramshay, whom I had not seen since his return, pressing me to dine with him on the 20th, to meet Mr. Serjeant Wilkins and commemorate "the great principle of judicial independence" which had been rudely invaded in his person. That the dining-room he had selected was singular, and not very convenient, certainly did strike me, but that there could be anything "exceptional" or "objectionable" in my meeting a few old brethren of the bar-for such I supposed would be the guestsat the bidding of one who had not only been honourably acquitted by one of the most highminded and conscientious of British noblemen, the Earl of Carlisle, assisted by T. J. Ellis, Esq., Q. C., but whose conduct since that acquittal had been pronounced by one whose bias, if any, was against him, to be that of a most able judge, certainly did not occur to me, and I do not believe it would have occurred to any one else, but for the outrageous proceedings of Saturday last and this week.

When I accepted Mr. Ramshay's invitation, I knew not who were nothing of the "carriage drawn by four gray horses," or other to be invited, with the exception of Serjeant Wilkins. I know eccentricities which have since come to my knowledge. I knew nothing of Lord Carlisle's most generous offer, but I did know Mr. Ramshay, with all his peculiarities, to be a man of high honour and integrity, of more than ordinary ability, and of unbending firmness; and I know, moreover, that he was then, on the 17th of September, not only in strong bodily health, but in the opinion of those capable of judging "the best judge that ever sat on that bench." Why, then, should I refuse to dine with him? Why should I stifle those feelings that link professional men together? Above all, why should I withhold my approval of one of the greatest of our constitutional principles, that in this couutry the tenure of judicial office is quamdiu bene se gesserit?

For myself I am at a loss to answer why, and it is some consolation to me to reflect that if there had really been any "glaring impropriety" in my conduct, it would not have escaped the Argus eyes of The Times from September 20 to October 1. I remain, Sir, yours, &c.,

JOHN WILLIAM HARDEN. County Court, Warrington, October 2.

NEW REGULATION BY COUNTY COURTS.-Some of the County Courts, under one of the new rules, have sent their notice to the messengers of the Insolvent Debtors' Court, to be served in the same manner as the notices of hearing by that court. It is expected that other County Courts will adopt the regulation.

SUITORS IN COUNTY COURTS.-An interesting return, and one of general importance, respecting the expenses of actions in County Courts, was printed among the papers ordered by the House of Lords. It will be seen that considerable fees can be saved by suitors agreeing without a public hearing. The costs of an ordinary defended action, for any amount between 20%, and 507, are 37 11s. Sd.; for any action not exceeding 1. the costs are 2s. 11d.; not

exceeding 21. the costs are 6s. 4d; above 27. and not exceeding 207. the expense is 3s. 7d. in the pound, About half only of the causes in which plaints are entered are tried, and by that means the suitors in cases between 201. and 507, save the hearing fee of 21. 38. 4d. and the bailiff's fee of 1s. 8d., together 21. 58., thereby reducing is employed, the above costs do not include any fee paid to them, the costs to 17. 6s. 8d. In any case where a counsel or an attorney nor do they include the costs of witnesses. In no case under 51 are the costs of counsel or attorneys allowed.


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Re TAMERLANE v. BOWEN. Prohibition-Insolvency-Petition for protection-Debts under 3001.-Mode of calculation.

An erroneous decision in point of law, as the misconstruction of an act of Parliament, is not a sufficient ground for issuing a prohibition to the judge of an inferior court, even though his jurisdiction to deal with the case may depend upon that decision, when another immediate remedy is open to the applicant. Where, therefore, a County Court Judge decided that an insolvent trader owed debts to a less amount than 3001. although if his debts under a former petition were added to his present debts the amount would exceed 3001., the


Held, that even if the judge was wrong in excluding the former debts from the calculation, they ought not to interfere by prohibition, as the applicant, who was a judgment-creditor, might enforce his judgment if the County Court judge proceeded without jurisdiction. Quere, whether under 5 & 6 Vict. c. 116, upon a petition by an insolvent trader for protection from process in ascertaining whether the debts are less than 300l. the judge ought to take into calculation the debts still unpaid, from which the petitioner had some years before obtained a final order of protection.

D. D. Keane moved for a rule nisi for a prohibition to the judge of the County Court of Surrey, held at Dorking, to prohibit him from proceeding in the matter of a petition for protection, presented by the defendant, an insolvent trader, whose scheduled debts amounted to 2411. The ground upon which the application was made was, that the debts owing by the petitioner exceeded 3001, there being still unpaid old debts to the amount of 2171. from which the defendant had obtained a final order of protection upon his petition to the Bankruptcy Court in London in 1843. The judge of the County Court had held that the debts under the former petition were not to be taken into the calculation, and that consequently he had jurisdiction to entertain the present petition, and grant fresh protection.

Keane now contended, that upon the true construction of the Insolvent Acts, all existing debts were to be calculated; and that the debts under the old petition were not extinguished by the final order for protection made in that case, though the remedy was barred.

Lord CAMPBELL, C.J.-But suppose that the County Court judge makes a mistake in this calculation, or even misconstrues the statute in respect to the mode of making it, is that any ground for a prohibition?

WIGHTMAN, J.-If the judge acts without jurisdiction the protection which he grants will be of no avail. You can enforce your judgment.

Keane.-It would be a hazardous experiment to issue execution, notwithstanding the order for protection. Lord CAMPBELL, C.J.-I give no opinion upon the point whether the old debts ought or ought not to be County Court must decide, and if he decides erroneously, reckoned; that is a question which the judge of the We are not to interfere by prohibition. You must be left to take any other remedy which the law gives you. PATTESON and WIGHTMAN, JJ., concurred. Rule refused.

November 14, 1851. GRANGE v. TRICKETT.

Stat. 1 & 2 Vict. c. 110, s. 44-Discharge of insolvent by detaining creditor.

The discharge out of custody of an insolvent petitioner, under stat. 1 & 2 Vict. c. 113, by his detaining creditor, before any adjudication, has the effect of divesting his estate from the provisional assignees, and revesting it in the insolvent.

This was an action upon a promissory note made by the defendant, payable to one Johnson, and by Johnson indorsed to the plaintiff. Plea-that before the indorsement Johnson being detained in prison under an execution upon a judgment, recovered against him, petitioned the Court for the Relief of Insolvent Debtors, under stat. 1 & 2 Vict. c. 110, s. 35, that thereupon a vesting order was made by that Court, by force of which all the estate and effects of Johnson vested in the provisional assignee. Replication-That after the making of the said vesting order, and before any adjudication under the statute, and before the indorsement to the plaintiff, Johnson was discharged from custody by the consent of the detaining creditor. Demurrer and joinder. Crompton for the defendant. Millward for the plain


The point in dispute was, whether the discharge of creditor, had the effect of superseding the vesting order Johnson from custody by the consent of his detaining

in the Insolvent Debtors' Court, or whether that order still remained in force in such a manner as that the assignee was entitled to distribute Johnson's estate under it among his creditors.

Stat. 1 & 2 Vict. c. 110, ss. 35, 40, 44, 61, 69, 72, 92, were referred to. Drury v. Hounsfield (11 A. & E. 101), was relied on by both sides.

Lord CAMPBELL, C.J.-I am of opinion that the plaintiff is entitled to our judgment. It is true that Johnson's estate and effects under s. 37 of that statute fully vested in the provisional assignee, and that there is no express enactment that under circumstances like the present the property shall revest in the petitioner. But the meaning of the Legislature may be gathered from s. 44. That section provides "that in case any prisoner as to whose estate and effects any such vesting order shall have been made, shall, by the consent or default of his detaining creditor or creditors, be discharged out of custody without any adjudication being made in that behalf by the said court, all the acts done before such discharge by the said provisional assignee shall be good and valid, and that in such case, or in case such vesting order as aforesaid shall be avoided by any fiat in bankruptcy thereafter issuing against such prisoner in manner therein provided, no action or suit shall be commenced against such provisional assignee, except to recover any property, estate, money, or effects of such prisoner detained after an order made by the said court for the delivery thereof and demand made thereupon." It seems by this that the effect of this discharge is to revest the property, because it supposes that the petitioner may get out of the hands of the assignee any of his property that is there, and that he may keep that which is not in the hands of the assignee. Indeed, it is difficult to see how the provisional assignee could go on to distribute the assets without any schedule and after the discharge of the insolvent. I think the replication shows that at the time of the indorsement the property in the note was in Johnson, and that he could make a valid indorsement.

PATTESON, J.-I am of the same opinion. The effect of this discharge is ascertained by sect. 44. That provides, not that the vesting order shall be void, because then the assignee would be liable to an action for everything done under it; but that no action shall be brought against any assignee, except to recover property detained,

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