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NISI PRIUS COURT, ....,

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NISI PRIUS COURT, TUESDAY, JuLY 18. J AMES V. ROBERTs.-This was an action brought by Mr. Chris- topher James, of Swansea, against Messrs. Roberts, hotel-keepers, Rhyl, North Wales. Mr. Pulling opened the pleadings, and Mr. Richards stated the case. The plaintiff had an interest in a sloop which stranded on the coast of Rhyl. The interest of the plaintiff was sold to the defendants. A note was gives for £;40, but which was never paid. A witness was called to prove the handwriting of the de- fendants. He had many opportunities to witness their signature in the custom-house. He had no doubt of its being theirs. Mr. Grove declined addressing the j ury for the defence. Mr. Richards applied for an execution, which was granted if the sum is not paid within a fortnight, with interest of £2 5s. CHARLES V. EDWARDS.—Mr. Chilton, Q.C., and Mr. Richards conducted the plaintiff's case. It seemed that the plaintiff is a carpenter and builder residing at Aberdare. He sought to recover the sum of £ 26-3 17s. 2kl. for building three cottages in July, 1846. The defendant is a farmer residing in the parish of Mynyddishvyn. The sum of £ 60 has been paid. Failing to get his money the plaintiff had called in competent surveyors and appyalsers. Mr. Chilton addressed the jury for the plaintiff, and claimed a verdict from them for the whole amount, subject to deduction of the C60 already paid in. Mr. Wynne, of Treforest, was examined as to the value of the work done. He was cross-examined by Mr. Grove with the view of showing that many of the items were excessive. As Mr. Wynne's estimate was different from that of Mr. Saunders, the first surveyor, considerable time was taken up in going through each item separately. He admitted that he had not been to more than two of the houses, and that he had only measured one house, and assumed that the rest were completed. Mr. Saunders, of Pontypool, was also examined on the same point. He had made the first measurement. Defendant had called on him, and said that he thought it a great deal too much. Mr. Grove addressed the jury for the defendant. He principally rested his case on the fact that a contract had been made by the parties to have four houses built for £ 5S each. The contract fur- ther provided that the plaintiff was not to have the houses mea- sured by any sworn appraiser. He would also prove that instead of £60, £ 164 had been paid. The fourth house had not been built, and the other three were not entirely finished. On behalf of the defendant, Llewelyn Elias was called, who proved that an agreement had been made and signed between the plaintiff and defendant. Mr. Chilton objected to the agreement. It was on a paper stamp for 2s. fid., whereas in January, 18-16, a £ 1 stamp was necessary. Mr. Grove proved that the act repealing that part which would require a*E I stamp had been repealed in 1844. The agreement was then put in and read. The witness Elias deposed that the houses were not completed as Lewis Thomas's houses, which had been taken, as patterns. He had paid Charles at different times the following sums; August 29, 1848, ;CIO September 4, t-20; September 12, £ 20 October 10, flo; October 15, no; Nov. 3, £ 10 Nov. 15, E40 Nov. 23, £ 3 December 26, f5; January 23, 1847, LG 10s.; January 30, £ 10; Feb. 11, £ 1 Ð; in all EI64 10s. The witness was cross-examined by Mr. Chilton with the view of showing that the parties were not acting under the agreement. Mr Chilton replied, and endeavoured to show that the agree- ment had been abandoned, and that the real defendant was the witness Elias," ho had overstepped himself in providing that no measurement should be made by a sworn appraiser. The learned gentleman took some pains to prove that many men who could write their names and some common words in business transac- tion could not read atall. He also endeavoured to show that the sums of money, said to be paid by Elias, were entered in a very su^iicious manner. 3S,e learned judge summed up, and laid particular stress on the contract, which been made, and that the specification was Lewis Thomas's house. He was really a,t a loss for any proof that the contract had been abandoned. Perhaps the plaintiff thought he had made a hard bargain, and was desirous to give it, up. The sum of money paid was quite, as much as he was en- titled to qnder the contract. The jury gave their verdict in favour of the defendant. John. Norris was then put up to answer to the coroner s inqui- sition of the wilful murder ot John illiams.and Jenkin Ji,Yan. Prisoner pleaded Not Guilty to both charges. Mr. Grove, on the part of the Crown, proposed to offer no evi- dence. The jury returned a verdict of No "'Guilty. MOSTYN V. R. LL. REECE.—This case occupied the attention ( F the court for the greater part of the day..The plaintiff was Ms- Thomas Mostyn, late superintendent of the police at Pontyp-'uld and the defendant Mr. Richard Llewelyn Reece, solicitor, oT the same place. The actiou arose from a series of letters written by the defendant to Captain Napier, superintendent of the Glamor- ganshire constabulary force, imputing drunkenness and other im- moralities to the plaintiff. The defendant had first pleaded the general issue, and secondly a justification of some portions of the libel. Mr. Richards and Mr. Chilton were for the plaintiff, aisd Mr. Lloyd Hall and Mr. Evans, Q. C., for the defendant. Mr. Chilton opened, with along address, on behalf of his client. He read such portions of the letters as were considered libellous, and commented upon them with great severity. The charges against Mr. Mostyn were, that he was habitually drunk—that he had had adulterous intercourse with a Mrs. Anne Jenkins, of Wrexham, alias Mrs. Wynne, and several other minor particulars. After the defendant had written to Capt. Napier, it seemed that, in consequence of an investigation into the conduct of Mostyn. instituted and conducted by two superintendents, Mr. Reece wrote again, and said that the inquiry was a humbug and hun bugging concern, as he had not been called upon to produce hi, witnesses. He also threatened to have his letters published weekly in small print, such type, the learned gentleman supposed. as the Cardiff and Merthyr Guardian would condescend to pub- lish the defendant's letter. Upon this Mostyn commenced an action for libel and Mr. Richard Lewis Reece, of Cardiff, the defendant's brother, wrote a letter to Mr. Montague Grover. the solicitor for the prosecution, offering on behalf of his brother to make an apology, but refusing to give S-SO damages and costs which were claimed. It turned out however that this letter was written without the defendant's authority, though he did not object to it afterwards when his brother told him about it,. Mos- tyn, in consequence of this, resigned his office, and brought this action. The learned counsel, in concluding his statement, thought the jury ought to give the plantiff, not £ 60 damages, as he once proposed, but £200. Mr. Dalton, clerk of the peace, was then called to prove the handwriting of the defend i it. [Several letters were examined by him.] With the exception of some marks on the sides, he thought they were all in his handwriting. R. L. Reece, Esq., was then called, and said that the letter written by him was not written at his brother's request, nor by his authority, that he did it of his own accord after hearing of the action from Mr. Montague Grover, the solicitor for the prosecution. His brother did not object to it when he told him of it afterwards. Mr. Evans, Q. C., addressed the jury at great length, and with much eloquence, for the defendant. He complained that his learned friend Mr. Chilton had drawn largely on his imagination, and had deseribed Mr. Reece in terms ten times more abusive than the defendant had ever employed towards the plaintiff. He dwelt strongly on the fact that defendant had received no provo- cation whatever, and that whatever he had done was done as a duty due to the public and to Captain Napier. His letters, there- fore, should be regarded as a privileged communication. It was necessary for the public good that they and similar communica- tions should lIe held so. He would call witnesses before them who would prove not only particular instances, but habitual drunkenness, on part of the plaintiff, and total unfitness for the situation he held at the time. He would also ask why Captain Napier was not called to give evidence ? He (Mr. Evans) would have asked him some questions, tending to show who and what Mostyn was; but he was not allowed to do that—his learned friend had wisely abstained from calling any witnesses. The learned counsel then went over all the transactions minutely, and argued that the defendant had done a service to the public, as it was not every one that would venture to bring charges against persons in public office, such as the plaintiff then was. He be- lieved the jury would see that he was actuated by no malicious designs, and that they would protect him.. Walter Edwards resided about 3 miles from Newbridge, in 1840. He had a pie in his house on Monday, 9th November, 1846. Plaintiff came in. He saw him going away; he mounted his horse without assistance. He came back in about twenty minutes without his hat, and had his head cut. Asked me to go for ins horse and his hat. Witness met the horse at some distance the hat was found just by our garden. He ordeied me to. give the men 2s. worth of beer. He drank with witness. He left my house in a manner capable of doing business. Left about nine or ten at night. The learned judge This dpes not touch the justification. Mr. Chilton: I think it does, my lord, in, a most important manner (loud laughter). Edward Griffith examined by Mr. Evans Lives at Wrexham. Knows Anne Jenkins; she is a married woman living in lodgings; her husband does not live with her. Saw her at Swansea at the last assizes. Communicated to Mr. Rees wha. happened when he had an interview with her. Mostyn was in the police force at Wrexham.—The examination of this witness was objected to. William Morgan Is a smith, lives at Newbridge. Remembers going to Mostyn to bail his brother, on the Monday night in ques- tion, about half-past nine. Did not find him at half-past eleven; found him at twelve o'clock. Saw him in his lodgings at that time. He was drunk he could not speak plainly he did not stand upright. Brought me a paper to sign. Witness was there from half-an-hour to three-quarters of an hour. He, spoke to me in Welsh. This witness was cross-examined at some length by Mr. Chilton., but without shaking his testimony. Wm. Patty, of Newbridge, deposed that he lived at that place in 1846. Mr. Mostyn, the plaintiff, was then superintendent of police in that district. He had seen him several times under the influence of liquor, so as to be unfitted for transacting business. It was a subject of general conversation in some circles. Cross-examined Had been in the police force himself. and was discharged. It. might, have been on a charge of beiiig intoxicated. but it was a false report, Arthur Owen Davies, mineral surveyor, of Newbridge, 1. said he recollected plaintiff being appointed superintendent, of police. From, February to August, 1846, he had met tli3 plaintiff .at the New Inn and the Tredegar Arms inn sometimes he was under the influence of liquor. About the 1st of June in the above year, a lady, who gave the name of Mrs. Wynn, went to reside at plaintiff's lodgings. His lordship here interposed, and said there was nothing about this, or about any lady in the libel. After some conversation, The witness's examination was resumed. He said he asked permission of the person who lived on the opposite side of the street to that on which plaintiff's lodgings were situated, and out of curiosity watched the parties, and on one occasion saw, Mr. Mostyn kissing Mrs. Wynn on the sofa. Robert, Morris said in 18.46 he was clerk to Mr. Phillpotts, soli- citor. He had been his clerk for several years, and in that ca- pacity used to attend the Llantrissant petty sessions. Mr. Mostyn also attended there. Witness had many opportunities of knowing Mr. Mostyn's habits; he was rather too fond of drink; and he remembered on one occasion he was so far ijjT toxicated that. he was unfit to go home. Witness advised- him not to do so; but he went. He rememberod Mr. Mostyn .hav- ing a fall from his horse, and on expressing astonishment that such should have been the case, Mr. Mostyii said he was ra- ther top-heavy, referring to Monday night. Witness still ex- z!1 pressed his surprise, when plaintiff remarked, "The fact is, I was rather in fur it the night before. Cross-examined Witness was living at that time at Swan- sea as clerk to Mr. Phillpotts. ite liad now virtually ceased to be clerk to Mr. Phillpotts for two or three months, although he had been occasionally employed on his account since; He believed however, now, that his connexion with Mr. Phillpotts had closed. William Price, Esq., cf Newbridge, surgeon, deposed to meeting the plaintiff one evening in October, 1846, as he be- lieved 111 a state of intoxication. Witness spoke to him, but only heard an attempt to articulate in reply. The witness was cross-examined as to his qualification to uct as a surgeon by. Mr. Chilton, in so humourous a style as to call forth repeated bursts of laughter from the audience. T. G. Phillpotts, Esq., solicitor, of Cardiff, said he had fre- c.a2 quently occasion to go to Llantrissant, and had seen Mr. lIp- tyn there. He had occasion to go to the West of England branch bank one day, when he met Mr. Mostyn there, and told him that Mr. Rees had charged him with putting a bill, cir- culation which he ought not to hare done. He said he had oc- casion for some, money which he intended to raise on -some property of his, and Mrs. Jenkins had remitted him. the "bill instead." Witness said it would then be very easy for- him to produce the bill. lIe said that unfortunately he had destroyed it. Witness said that was an extraordinary circumstance,' :and nineteen people out of twenty -\yould say it was a forgery. c Plaintiff said that could all be made right. Edward Hart said he was a clerk in the West of England bank, and recollected a bill of exchange for E37 lO.being brought to their banking-house in June. It was made "payable at the London and Westminster bank was accepted b £ Mrs. Jenkins, and endorsed by Mr. Calvert. When the nour .came to maturity it was paid by the pl-,iintiff. Cross-examined: The bill would not have been. dIScounted had. it net been for the name of Mr. Calvert. v

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