North Shields Daily News - 9th March, 1883



Transcribed by Mary Hunter

The following Memorial, (with the accompanying signatures, &c ) has been handed to us for publication and we insert it the more readily, that we have for years past steadily advocated the Stipendiary system of administering the law in our Burgh Courts, for, however estimable and upright local magistrates in general may be, they, of necessity, lack many of the first qualities necessary to guide them in one of the most important functions that can fall to the lot of any man, --- that of sitting in judgement on his fellow sinners. Amongst other important objections that might be urged, it may be stated as a fatal one that they are legally untrained men, and yet are constantly called upon to decide difficult and important questions on law and precedent, of which they have no personal knowledge and consequently are entirely dependant on subordinate officers. This is not a happy state of matters and we humbly think that the sooner an unpaid and untrained magistracy is abolished throughout the country the better for the administration of public justice.

To the Right Honourable Sir William Vernon Harcourt. M.P. Her Majesty's Secretary of State for the Home Department. The memorial of the undersigned inhabitants of the Borough of Tynemouth in the county of Northumberland HUMBLY SHEWETH, that on Sunday night, the 24th day of December, 1882, three young men, named John George Graham, Richard Ponton and Wm Ponton, were returning home, and in passing through Northumberland square, in the Borough of Tynemouth, a police-constable charged them with hounding a dog ( which belonged to Graham ) on to worry a cat. They denied the charge, and an altercation ensued, resulting in blows being exchanged. The police-constable was knocked down, and two of the young men, namely, John George Graham and Richard Ponton, were injured about the head, the later seriously, by the truncheon of the constable. Graham was apprehended the same night and brought before the magistrates on the 26th December, when he was sentenced to two months imprisonment with hard labour, without the option of a fine. The two Pontons were summoned and brought before the magistrates on Thursday 28th December when they also were sentenced to the same term of imprisonment with hard labour. The case of the whole three prisoners rested entirely on the uncorroborated testimony of the police constable. The contestion on the part of the prisoners was, that the constable was the aggressor and they struck him in self defence. At the same court at which the prisoner Graham was tried, a returned convict was charged with an exactly similar offence, and notwithstanding his previous bad character, he was only sentenced to pay a fine of 40s and costs, or in default to be only imprisoned for one month. The fine and costs were paid. We are of the opinion that in the case of the three first named prisoners, against whom there was no previous convictions or complaint of any kind. The sentence was unnecessarily harsh and severe in comparison with the sentence upon the returned convict. We pray you to enquire into the case of the three young men, with a review to remitting at least a portion of the sentence imposed by the magistrates, and we make this request on the ground that the inequality of the sentences to which we have directed your attention is likely to cause a strong feeling of dissatisfaction. And your memorialists will ever pray, &c
Bratton Thomas   M.A. Vicar of Tynemouth
Phelp P.H.   M.A. Vicar of Holy Trinity
Hicks Herbert   M.A. Vicar of Tynemouth Priory
Davison J.T.   Shipowner, Whitley
Kidd R.P.   Solicitor, North Shields
Pilter W.T.   Lieut-Colonel, The Tyneside Artillery
Rikdale R.   Member of Town Council
Elliot Joseph   Member of Town Council
Baker J.   Member of Town Council
Tate R.M.   Member of Town Council
Forrest Thos.   Draper
Ogilvie Jos. T.   Solicitor
Bates J.P.   Surgeon
Robinson J. jun.   Shipowner, North Shields
Short W.   Shipowner, North Shields
Middleton J.   Shipowner, North Shields
Carnaby W.   Shipowner, North Shields
Reed W.   Solicitor, North Shields
Day Richard   Shipowner, North Shields
Brown P.   Shipowner, North Shields.
Smith J.E.   Solicitor, North Shields
Whitehorn Augustus   Solicitor, North Shields
Younger T.   Accountant, North Shields
Detehon M.J.   Accountant, North Shield
Clarke Henry   Secretary of Water Works Co
Morisson John   Assistant Overseer
Robinson Charles W.   Surgeon
McCoull Robert   Grocer
Scott Geo.   Assistant Overseer
Oxten W.   Shipowner
Foreman Thomas   Merchant tailor
Johnson Luke   Law student
Johnson William   Shipowner
Horton G.G.   Councillor
Dodds Philip   Shipowner
Young Septimus   Shipbroker
Lowry George Frederick   Solicitor
Heppell John   Merchant
Elsdon W & Sons   Manufacturers
Grieve & Gillespie   Ironmongers
Otta George   Shipowner
Lilley Richard G.   Grocer
Hogg G.H. & R.J.   Leather merchants
Byers T.   Draper
Rogers J.   Draper
Robinson John C. & Son   Chemists
Baker Joseph & Co   Grocers
Irvin W.G.   Grocers
Kirkwood John   Draper
Stobbs Robert   Pharmaceutical Chemist
Wesencraft R.H.   Accountant
Francis W.   U.M.P.C. minister
Peters John A.   Merchant
Collinson Joseph   Draper
Snowdon T.J.   Wholesale confectioner
Eskdale Jas.   20, Tyne St. Ironmonger
Sanderson Henry   15, Tyne St Grocer
Dawson John   Shipowner
Collins Geo.   Provision merchant
Spence W. jun.   Grocer
Hall John jun.   Grocer
Robson Chas.   Draper & Tailor
Clark W.J.   Bookseller & newsagent
Gilroy Jas.E.   Tobacconist
Massey Thomas S.   Gilder &c
Waugh T.G.   Boot & shoe dealer
Pettigrew J.   Draper
Dodds J.   Grocer
McCallum J. jun   Newsagent & stationer
Turnbull John   Grocer, Saville Street West
Grierson N.   Ironmonger,Camden street
Ayton Robert   Saddler
McCallum George H.   Grocer, &c.
Pettigrew C. S.   Jeweller, &c.
Rogers James T.   Chemist & druggist
Bavidge Henry   Commissions agent
Harrett Henry   Butcher
Middleton W.C.   Painter &c.
Mason Frederick   Provisions merchant
Chapman W.   Cabinet maker
Park S. & son   Painter &c.
Mackill George   Glazier &c.
Jones Charles   Leather dealer
Reynold Richard   Butcher
Heslop George   Bookmaker
Dickinson S.   Fruiterer
Mitcheson J.G.   Watchmaker
Thompson B.   Butcher
Rutherford C.   Butcher
Hogarth G.S.   Cabinetmaker
Hogarth J.W.   Cabinetmaker
Frazer John A.   Agent
Atkinson George   Boot merchant
Eskdale Alex.   Shipowner
Knowles Robert   Agent
Hall William   Grocer
Horton T.   Butcher
Hornsby J.   Hatter, 4 Tyne Street.
Potts Jno. P.   Shipowner
Armstrong J.W.   Shipowner
Stephenson Richard   Contracter
Mainland J.   Housepainter
Brightman H.W.   Shipowner
Lamb George   Butcher
Gray Robert   Fruiterer
Weller William   Agent
Walton John   Butcher
Jennings T. J.   Stationer
Walton R.   Contracter
Blackburn Thomas   Draper
Dick George H.   Draper
Bainbridge R.S.   Auctioneer
Maw Jos.   Cab proprietor
Maw Peter   Coach do.
Shotton Jas.   Architect
Coulson John jun.   Accountant
Fairbairn J.W.   Auctioneer
Clark Archd.   Provisions dealer
Lowrie Jas. A.   Accountant
Kent J.P. Sen.   Builder
Gibson W.   Agent
Dawson Jas. M.   Draper
Maxwell R.   Fruit & potato merchant.
Scothard J. B.   Butcher
Laing Robert   Tug owner
Stoker John   do.
Stobbs R.   Boat builder
Pearey M.   Master smith
Stevenson John   Shipowner
Leslie Mr.   Painter
Sutherland W.   Fish salesmen
Bell John   Iron founder
Tuff R.J.   Baker & grocer
Doeg Robert W.   Tailor & draper
Ellwood W.   Saddler
Forsyth R.   Fruiterer
Maudlin M. J.   Jeweller
Thompson H.   Builder
Stansfield George W.   Clerk
Hogg Jas.   Ironmonger
Lonsdale John   Grocer
Chator Thomas   Builder
Hall Joshua   Merchant tailor
Rook (?) James T.   Cashier
Robinson Thomas   Cashier
Brouse J.D.   Grocer
Thorn W.H.   Engineer instructor
Coates William   Auctioneer
Christie J   Grocer
Aiston James   Joiner
Ramsey John   Cutter
Lofthouse Majier   Plasterer
Harvey William Y.   Builder
Stobbard W. A.   Clerk
Coats G. C.   Auctioneer
Forrest Tom   Contractor
Coulson John   Ship surveyor
Welsh T. W.   Agent
Shotton R.   Quantity surveyor
Wilson R. H.   Chemist
Norris H. M.   Grocer, &c
Coull John   Shipowner
Burt James   Surveyor
Phillips Edward A.   Bank Agent
Frew John   Daily News agent
Philipson George   Music seller
Borkwood J. B.   Coal merchant
Dodds Thomas   Wine & Spirit merchant
Bolton Robert   Contracter
Appleton Walter   Accountant
Roddam Jos.   Master marriner
Scott Septimus   Accountant
Miller T. N.   Accountant
Dallas J.   Agent
Johnson William   Bookseller
Robson W.   Bootmaker
Williamson James   Pharmaceutical chemist
Hall John   Bookseller
Bell J. G.   Grocer, &c
Irvin Thomas C.   Shipowner
Nolan John A. F.   Missionary rector
Haswell F. R. N.   Architect
Sawyer George R.   Builder
Scott Thomas   Agent
Moffat John   Draper
Fawcett Hogg Jos.   Chemist
Taylor R. H.   Drysalter
Twizell J. sons & Reid   Ironmongers
Robinson J. E.   Jewellers, &c
Ewart R.   Wine merchant
Gibson Jas.   Chemist & druggist
Scott George jnr   Butcher
Elsdon John   Butcher
Lough Joseph   Grocer
Williamson G.   Chemist
Williamson J. B.   Chemist
Robinson Wm.   Engineer
Berry Samuel   Clerk. M. M. Office
Tindle J. G.   Surgeon
Lishman J. G.   Surveyor
Turpie David   Shipowner
Shotton George   Contractor
Knox Tait R.   Physician & surgeon
Dunn Wm.   Butcher
Gibson Charles   Merchant, North Shields
Callender J. H.   Surgeon
Rhods P. L.   Shipowner
Towns R.   Builder & contractor
Watson John E.   Surgeon
Jackson Thomas jnr.   Land agent
Grieves Joseph   38 Linskill Terrace
Henzell R. B.   Dockwray Square
Traill A.   Schoolmaster
Wesencraft C.   Agent
Dodds W.   Shipbroker
Armstrong J.   Confectioner
We, the three young men alluded to in the Memorial to the Secretary of State, Sir William Vernon Harcourt, feel an everlasting debt of gratitude to the clergy, nobility, gentry, and other leading inhabitants of the Borough of Tynemouth, whose signatures are attached to the memorial. The high honour conferred upon us by having their sympathy and written protest of such wealth and intelligence against the decision of the magisterial Bench of the Borough constrains us to publicly acknowledge that the punishment inflicted upon us is far more than compensated for by the result of such an expression of public feeling. We beg also most respectfully, and most courteously, to intimate to the memorialists that each of us will retain a copy of the memorial, with the weighty list of signatures, as a momento of our high appreciation of their kindness and good intentions towards those who they believe to have been sentenced beyond the merits of the case. We beg further to intimate to the young gentlemen who devoted so much of their valuable time in drawing up the memorial, and obtaining the signatures to the petition, that their kind and spontaneous labour will be long remembered with many pleasing reflections by us who have been undoubtedly the recipients of a miscarriage of justice.
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