The Reminiscences Of Sir Henry Hawkins (Baron Brampton)
by Henry Hawkins Brampton
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7
Home - Random Browse

These are small memories, perhaps, but to me more dear than the praises too often unworthily bestowed on actions unworthy to be recorded.

But here I pause. Jack rests in his little grave in Hyde Park, and I sometimes go and look on the spot where he lies. Many and many an affectionate letter was written to me bewailing the loss of our little friend.

Only one of these I shall particularly mention, because it shows how immeasurably superior was Jack to the lady who wrote it, in that true and sincere feeling which we call friendship, and which, to my mind, is the bond of society and the only security for its well-being. She was a lady who belonged to what is called "Society," the characteristic of which is that it exists not only independently of friendship, but in spite of it.

After condoling with me on my loss and showing her sweet womanly sympathy, she concluded her letter by informing me that she had "one of the sweetest pets eyes ever beheld, a darling devoted to her with a faithfulness which would really be a lesson to 'our specie,'" and that, in the circumstances, she would let me have her little darling for five pounds. I was so astonished and angry at the meanness of this "lady of fashion" that I said—Well, perhaps my exact expression had better be buried in oblivion.


[Footnote A: It was a well-known expression of Sir Henry Hawkins when on the Bench, "I should be surprised at nothing;" and after the long and strange experiences which these reminiscences indicate, the literal truth of the observation is not to be doubted. This clever ballad, which was written in 1895, seems sufficiently appropriate to find a place in these memoirs, and I wish I knew the name of the writer, that my thanks and apologies might be conveyed to him for this appropriation of them.]

("Mr. Justice Hawkins observed, 'I am surprised at nothing,'"—Pitts v. Joseph, "Times" Report, March 27.)

All hail to Sir Henry, whom nothing surprises! Ye Judges and suitors, regard him with awe, As he sits up aloft on the Bench and applies his Swift mind to the shifts and the tricks of the law. Many years has he lived, and has always seen clear things That Nox seemed to hide from our average eyes; But still, though encompassed with all sorts of queer things, He never, no, never, gives way to surprise.

When a rogue, for example, a company-monger, Grows fat on the gain of the shares he has sold, While the public gets lean, winning nothing but hunger And a few scraps of scrip for its masses of gold; When the fat man goes further and takes to religion, A rascal in hymn-books and Bibles disguised, "It's a case," says Sir Henry, "of rook versus pigeon, And the pigeon gets left—well, I'm hardly surprised."

There's a Heath at Newmarket, and horses that run there; There are owners and jockeys, and sharpers and flats; There are some who do nicely, and some who are done there; There are loud men with pencils and satchels and hats. But the stewards see nothing of betting or money, As they stand in the blinkers for stewards devised; Their blindness may strike Henry Hawkins as funny, But he only smiles softly—he isn't surprised.

So here's to Sir Henry, the terror of tricksters, Of law he's a master, and likewise a limb; His mind never once, when its purpose is fixed, errs: For cuteness there's none holds a candle to him. Let them try to deceive him, why, bless you, he's been there, And can track his way straight through a tangle of lies; And though some might grow gray at the things he has seen there, He never, no, never, gives way to surprise.

By the courtesy of Sir Francis Burnand, who most kindly obtained permission from Messrs. Bradbury and Agnew, I insert the following poem, which appeared in a February number of Punch in the year 1887:—


(A true story, told before Mr. Justice Hawkins at the recent Liverpool Assizes—vide Daily Telegraph, February 8.)

In the criminal dock stood a woman alone, To be judged for her crime, her one fault to repair, And the man who gave evidence sat like a stone, With a look of contempt for the woman's despair! For the man was a husband, who'd ruined a life, And broken a heart he had found without flaw; He demanded the punishment due to the wife, Who was only a Woman, whilst his was the Law!

A terrible silence then reigned in the Court, And the eyes of humanity turned to the dock; Her head was bent down, and her sobbing came short, And the jailer stood ready, with hand on the lock Of the gate of despair, that would open no more When this wreckage of beauty was hurried away! "Let me speak," moaned the woman—"my lord, I implore!" "Yes, speak," said the Judge. "I will hear what you say!"

"I was only a girl when he stole me away From the home and the mother who loved me too well; But the shame and the pain I have borne since that day Not a pitying soul who now listens can tell! There was never a promise he made but he broke; The bruises he gave I have covered with shame; Not a tear, not a prayer, but he scorned as a joke! He cursed at my children, and sneered at my fame!

"The money I'd slaved for and hoarded he'd rob; I have borne his reproaches when maddened with drink. For a man there is pleasure, for woman a sob; It is he who may slander, but she who must think! But at last came the day when the Law gave release, Just a moment of respite from merciless fate, For they took him to prison, and purchased me peace, Till I welcomed him home like a wife—at the gate!

"Was it wrong in repentance of Man to believe? It is hard to forget, it is right to forgive! But he struck me again, and he left me to grieve For the love I had lost, for the life I must live! So I silently stole from the depths of despair, And slunk from dark destiny's chastening rod, And I crept to the light, and the life, and the air, From the town of the man to the country of God!

"'Twas in solitude, then, that there came to my soul The halo of comfort that sympathy casts; He was strong, he was brave, and, though centuries roll, I shall love that one man whilst eternity lasts! O my lord, I was weak, I was wrong, I was poor! I had suffered so much through my journey of life, Hear! the worst of the crime that is laid at my door: I said I was widow when, really a wife!

"Here I stand to be judged, in the sight of the man Who from purity took a frail woman away. Let him look in my face, if he dare, if he can! Let him stand up on oath to deny what I say! 'Tis a story that many a wife can repeat, From the day that the old curse of Eden began; In the dread name of Justice, look down from your seat! Come, sentence the Woman, and shelter the Man!"

A silence more terrible reigned than before, For the lip of the coward was cruelly curled; But the hand of the jailer slipped down from the door Made to shut this sad wanderer out from the world! Said the Judge, "My poor woman, now listen to me: Not one hour you shall stray from humanity's heart When thirty swift minutes have sped, you are free In the name of the Law, which is Mercy, depart!"



An announcement in the morning papers of the death of Mr. Richard C. Naylor of Kelmarsh, Northamptonshire, at the age of eighty-six, carried me back to the far-off days when, tempted by the hospitality and kind friendship of Lord Falmouth, I became a regular visitor of Newmarket Heath—an habitue during the splendid dictatorship of Admiral Rous!

I would like to mention the names of some of the celebrities of the Turf of those days, many of them my frequent companions, and no less my real and sincere friends. Time, however, fails. But in looking through the piles of letters with which the kindness of my friends has favoured me from time to time, I come across many a relic of the past that recalls the pleasantest associations. Even a telegram, most prosaic of correspondence, which I meet with at this moment, is a little poem in its way, and brings back scenes and circumstances over which memory loves to linger.

It is nothing in itself, but let any one who has loved country life and enjoyed its sports and its many friendships consider what forgotten pleasures may be brought to mind by this telegram.


DORCHESTER, November 2, '97.

Handed in at QUORN at 9.10 a.m.

Received here at 11.1 a.m.

To SIR H. HAWKINS, The Judges' House, Dorchester.

Just returned from Badminton to find the most charming present from you, which I shall always regard with the greatest value, and think you are too kind, in giving me such a present. Am writing.—LONSDALE.

"At Quorn," I repeat, and then I find the letter which Lord Lonsdale was writing. This is it:—


MY DEAR SIR HENRY,—How can I thank you enough for your magnificent present? It is, indeed, kind of you thinking of me, and I can assure you that the spurs shall remain an "heirloom" to decorate the dinner-table (a novel ornament) and match the silver spur poor old White Melville gave me. Why you should have so honoured me I do not know, but that I fully value your kindly thought I do know.

Is there any chance of your being in these parts? If so, do pay me a visit.

And with many, many thanks for your extreme kindness,

Believe me

Yours very truly,

(Signed) LONSDALE.

Alas! almost all of them have passed away, yet they will live while the memory of the generation lasts which called them friends. They have vanished from the scenes in which they played so prominent a part, and yet their influence remains.

There was the old Admiral himself, the king of sportsmen and good fellows. Horse or man-o'-war, it was all one to him; and although sport may not be regarded as of the same importance with politics, who knows which has the more beneficial influence on mankind? I would have backed Admiral Rous to save us from war, and if we drifted into it to save us from the enemy, against any man in the world. Then there was his bosom friend George Payne, and the old, old Squire George Osbaldeston, Lord Falmouth, W.S. Crawfurd, the Earl of Wilton, Lord Bradford, Lord Rosslyn, Lord Vivian, the Duke of Hamilton, George Brace, General Mark Wood, Alexander, Lord Westmorland, the Earl of Aylesbury, Clare Vyner, Dudley, Milner, Sir John Astley ("The Mate"), Lords Suffolk and Berkshire, Coventry and Clonmell, Manton, Ker Seymer—the names crowd upon my memory; then, alas! a long, long while after, Henry Calcraft, Lord Granville, Lord Portsmouth, and "Prince Eddy," Lord Gerard, the Earl of Hardwicke, Viscount Royston, Sam Batchelor, and Tyrwhitt Wilson.

These are some of those whom I remember, and, by the way, I ought to add the Duke of Westminster and Tom Jennings, names interesting and distinguished, and indicative of a phase of life ever full of enjoyment such as is not known out of the sporting world, where excitement lends to pleasure the effervescence and sparkle which make life something more than animal existence.

This is true in hunting, racing, cricket, and I should think intensified in the highest degree in a charge of cavalry. Take Balaclava, for instance: the very fact of staking life at such odds must have compressed into that moment a whole life of ordinary pleasure.

I will mention a few more names, and then close another chapter of my memory. There was Mr. J.A. Craven, the Duke of St. Albans, the Duke of Beaufort, Montagu Tharp, Major Egerton, General Pearson, Lord Calthorpe, Henry Saville, Douglas Gordon (Mr. Briggs), Oliver Montagu, Henry Leeson, the Earl of Milltown, Sir Henry Devereux, Johnny Shafto, Douglas Phillips, Randolph Churchill, Lord Exeter, Lord Stamford.

Of the famous jockeys and trainers there were John Scott, Mat Dawson, Fred Archer. There were also James Weatherby, Judge Clark, and Tattersall.



At length the time came when I was to bid good-bye to the Queen's Bench and the Court No. 5 in which I had so long presided, where I had met and made so many friends, all more or less learned in the law. I had been a Judge since the year 1876, and Time, in its never-ceasing progress, had whispered to me more than once, "Tarry not too long upon the scene of your old labours, where your presence has made you a familiar object to all the members of every branch of your great and responsible profession; and while health and vigour and intelligence still, by God's blessing, remain to you, apparently unimpaired by lapse of years, take some of that rest and repose which you have earned, ere it be too late."

Thereupon, without any needless ceremony of leave-taking, at the close of the year 1898 I took my leave of the Bench with a simple bow. Silently, but with real affection for all I was leaving behind me, I quitted my occupation on the Bench. I considered this to be a far more dignified way of making my exit than meeting face to face the whole of the court and its practitioners and officers, and leaving it to the eloquent and friendly speech of the Attorney-General to flatter me far beyond my deserts in the customary farewell address which he would have offered to me. I thought it better to rely upon the expressions and conduct of those who knew me well, and to feel that they appreciated the discharge of the many arduous duties which I had been called on to perform. As some evidence of this, I would point to the good wishes from all kinds and classes of people which have followed me into private life, and the numerous letters which every post brought me, and which would fill a volume in themselves.

But the crowning honour was graciously conferred upon me by her late Majesty Queen Victoria on January 1, 1899, through the then Marquis of Salisbury, who signified that her Majesty intended to raise me to the peerage. His lordship's letter announcing the gracious act I recall with feelings of pleasure and gratitude, and I need not say that it will, while life lasts, be my greatest pride. I was subsequently sworn of her Majesty's Privy Council, and for more than two years attended pretty regularly in the Final Court of Appeal.

It does not behove me to say more on this subject than that the acknowledgment of my long services by the Sovereign must ever be my greatest pride and satisfaction.

On February 7, 1899, I was introduced to the House of Peers, and took my seat.

I chose for my name and designation the title of Baron Brampton, which her Majesty was pleased to approve. My little property, therefore, which I mentioned earlier in my reminiscences, conferred on me what was more valuable than its income—the title by which I am now known.

Speaking with reference to those long years ago when I was dissuaded from my career by those who doubtless had the most affectionate interest in my welfare, and to whose advice I proved to be so undutiful, I cannot help, whether vanity be attributed to me or not, contrasting the position of the penniless articled clerk in the attorney's office and the situation which came to me as the result of unremitting labour.

Let me state it with pride as well as humility that my rewards have been beyond my dreams and far above my deserts.

On February 7, in a committee room of the House, I was met by my supporters and those whose duties made them a portion of the ceremony, and realized the ambition that came to me only in my later life.

Some members of my family would have preferred the family name to be associated with the title. I must confess I had some attachment for it, as it had rendered me such good service, and it was somewhat hard to give it up.

If, however, I had had any hesitation, it would have been removed when one afternoon Lord —— called on me, and in his chaffing manner said,—

"Well, I hear you are to be Lord 'Awkins of 'Itchin, 'Erts."

"Be —— if I will!" said I; "Brampton's the only landed estate I have inherited, and although the old ladies who are life-tenants kept me out of it as long as they could, I shall take my title from it as the only thing I am likely to get out of it."

"Bravo!" said he. "I don't like 'Awkins of 'Itchin, 'Erts. Brampton sounds like a title; and so my hearty congratulations, and may you and her ladyship live long to enjoy it!"

"Mr. Punch" was good enough to furnish me with a beautiful and humorous coat of arms, done by that very talented artist Mr. E.T. Reed.

* * * * *

Since the commencement of this volume many of the old friends mentioned in it with affectionate remembrance have gone to their rest, and I am steadily approaching my own end. Trusting to the mercy and goodness of God, I patiently await my summons. I can but humbly add that to the best of my poor ability I have ever conscientiously endeavoured in all things to do my duty.

And now, as I lay down my pen, dreamily thinking over old names, old friends, and old faces of bygone years, I live my life over again. Everything passes like a picturesque vision before my eyes. I can see the old coach which brought me from my home—a distance of thirty miles in eight hours—a rapid journey in those days. This was old Kirshaw's swift procedure. Then there was the "Bedford Times" I travelled with, which was Whitehead's fire-engine kind of motor; but generally in that district John Crowe was the celebrated whip.

Then passes before me the old Cock that crew over the doorway in Fleet Street, a Johnsonian tavern of mighty lineage and celebrity for chops and steaks. And I see the old waiter, with his huge pockets behind, in which he deposited the tons of copper tips from the numberless diners whom he attended to during his long career.

Then I observe the Rainbow, by no means such a celebrity, although more brilliant than the Mitre by its side; and in the Mitre I see (but only in imagination) Johnson and Goldsmith talking over the quaint philosophy of wine and letters till three o'clock in the morning, finishing their three or four bottles of port, and wondering why they were a little seedy the next day.

And there sits at my side, enjoying his chop, Tom Firr, described as the king of huntsmen—a true and honest sportsman, simple, respectful, and respected, whose name I will not omit from my list of celebrities, for he is as worthy of a place in my reminiscences as any M.F.H. you could meet.



There is no part of a Judge's duty which is more important or more difficult than apportioning the punishment to the particular circumstances of a conviction. As an illustration of this statement I would take the offence of bigamy, where in the one case the convicted person would deserve a severe sentence of imprisonment, while in another case he or she might be set at liberty without any punishment at all. Such cases have occurred before me.

The sentence of another Judge upon another prisoner ought not to be followed, for each prisoner should be punished for nothing but the particular crime which he has committed. For this reason the case of each individual should be considered by itself.

I dislike, also, the practice of passing a severe sentence for a trifling offence merely because it has been a common habit in other places or of other persons. For instance I have known five years of penal servitude imposed for stealing from outside a shop on a second conviction, when one month would have been more than enough on a first conviction, and two or three months on a second conviction. For small offences like these the penalty should always be the same in character—I mean not excessive imprisonment, and never penal servitude. As often as a man steals let him be sent to prison, and it may be for each offence the time of imprisonment should be somewhat slightly increased, but not the character of the punishment.

Years ago, in my Session days, I remember a poor and, I am afraid, dishonest client of mine being transported for life (on a second conviction for larceny) for stealing a donkey; but I doubt if that could happen nowadays. It seems incredible.

Nobody who has carefully noted the innumerable phases of crime which our criminal courts have continually to deal with, and the infinite shades of guilt attached to each of those crimes, will fail to come to the conclusion that one might as well attempt to allocate to its fitting place each grain of sand, exposed to the currents of a desert and all other disturbing influences, as endeavour by any scheme or fixed rule to determine what is the fitting sentence to be endured for every crime which a person can be proved, under any circumstances, to have committed.

The course I adopted in practice was this. My first care was never to pass any sentence inconsistent with any other sentence passed under similar circumstances for another though similar offence. Then I proceeded to fix in my own mind what ought to be the outside sentence that should be awarded for that particular offence had it stood alone; and from that I deducted every circumstance of mitigation, provocation, etc., the balance representing the sentence I finally awarded, confining it purely to the actual guilt of the prisoner.

I have noticed that burglaries with violence are rarely committed by one man alone, and that when two or more men are concerned in a murder, one or more of them being afraid that some one, in the hope of saving himself from the treachery of others, is anxious to shift the whole guilt of the robbery, with its accompanying violence, on to the shoulders of his comrades. It is well that this should be so, and that such dangerous criminals should distrust with fear and hatred their equally guilty associates.

Except for special peremptory reasons, I never passed sentence until I had reconsidered the case and informed my own mind, to the best of my ability, as to what was the true magnitude and character of the offence I was called upon to punish.

The effect of such deliberation was that I often mitigated the punishment I had intended to inflict, and when I had proposed my sentence I do not remember ever feeling that I had acted excessively or done injustice. I am now quite certain that no sentence can be properly awarded unless after such consideration. I speak, of course, only of serious crimes.

It has more than once happened that even after all the evidence in the case was before the jury, as was supposed, I have discovered that an accused man, in mitigation of sentence, has pleaded that which would have been a perfect defence to the charge made against him! One of these instances was very remarkable. It happened at some country racecourse.

A man was charged with robbing another who was in custody in charge of the police for "welshing." The prisoner had undoubtedly, while the prosecutor, as I will call him, was in custody, and being led along the course, rushed up to him, after jumping the barriers, and put his hand in his coat-pocket, pulling out his pocket-book and other articles. He then made off, but was pursued by the police and arrested. He was indicted for the robbery, and the facts were undisputed.

There was no defence set up, and I was about to ask the jury for their opinion on the case, which certainly had a very extraordinary aspect.

Suddenly the prisoner blurted out, as excusing himself,—

"Well, sir, he asked me to take the things. I was a stranger to him, and the mob was turning his pockets inside out and ill-treating him for welshing."

I immediately asked the prosecutor, "Is that true?" and he answered, "Yes." The prisoner said, "I only did it to protect his things for him."

Of course I instantly stopped the case and directed an acquittal. I then gave both parties a little advice. To the prosecutor (the welsher) I said, "Don't go welshing any more;" and to the prisoner, "If you ever again see a welsher in distress, don't help him."

I should like to say one word more. It should not be supposed that a man, when sentenced, is altogether bad because he uses insulting language to the Judge. He may not be utterly bad and past all hope of redemption on that account.

The want of even an approach to uniformity in criminal sentences is no doubt a very serious matter, and is due, not to any defect in the criminal law (much as I think that might be improved in many respects), but is owing to the great diversity of opinion, and therefore of action, which not unnaturally exists among criminal Judges, from the highest to the humblest, numbering, as they do, at least 5,000 personages, including Judges of the High Courts, commissioners, recorders, police magistrates, and justices of the peace.

When one considers the conditions under which the criminal law is administered in England, and remembers that no fixed principles upon which punishments should be awarded have been authoritatively laid down, and that the law has stated only a maximum (but happily at the present time not a minimum), and each Judge is left practically at liberty to exercise his own unfettered discretion so long as he confines himself within the limit so prescribed, it is no matter for wonder that so great a diversity of punishment should follow so great a variety of opinion.

Even in the most accurate and useful books of practice to which all look for guidance and assistance during every stage of the criminal proceedings, down to the conviction of the offender, no serious attempt has been made to deal, even in the most general way, with the mode in which the appropriate sentence should be arrived at.

The result of this state of things is extremely unsatisfactory, and the most glaring irregularities, diversity, and variety of sentences are daily brought to our notice, the same offence committed under similar circumstances being visited by one Judge with a long term of penal servitude, by another with simple imprisonment, with nothing appreciable to account for the difference.

In one or the other of these sentences discretion must have been erroneously exercised. I have seen such diversity even between Judges of profound learning in the law who might not unreasonably, prima facie, be pointed to as safe examples to be followed; and so they were, so far as regarded their legal utterances. Experience, however, has told us that the profoundest lawyers are not always the best administrators of the criminal law.

Practically there are now no criminal offences which can be visited with the penalty of death. Treason and murder still remain. For the latter offence the Judge is bound to pronounce sentence of death, which is imperatively fixed and ordained by Act of Parliament, and any other sentence would be illegal.

There are certain principles which I consider ought never to be lost sight of.

In the first place, it must be remembered that for mere immorality, not made criminal by the common or statute law of the land, no punishment can be legally inflicted, and, in my opinion, no crime ought to be visited with a heavier punishment merely because it is also against the laws of God.

Take, for example, the crime of unlawfully knowing a girl under the age of sixteen years, even with consent. Assume that with her invitation the man committed himself. Go further, and establish the sin of incest. The latter sin ought to be totally ignored in dealing with the statutory offence.

I must not, however, be understood as intending my observations to apply to cases where the immorality is in itself an element of the crime. My view is that the rule ought to apply only in cases where the immorality is only a sin against God, and is severable from the crime committed against the laws of the land.

The case I have suggested is an illustration of what I mean.

Secondly, a sentence ought never to be so severe as to create in the mind of reasonable persons, having knowledge of the circumstances, a sympathy with the criminal, for that tends to bring the administration of the law into discredit, and while giving a Judge credit for having acted with the strictest sense of justice, it might give rise to a suspicion of his fitness and qualifications for the administration of the criminal law—a state of things which ought to be avoided.

The same observations apply, but not with equal force, to sentences which may to reasonable persons acquainted with all the circumstances appear to be ridiculously light, for it is more consistent with our laws to err on the side of mercy than on the side of severity.

The object of criminal sentences is to compel the observance by all persons, high and low, rich and poor, of those public rights and privileges, both as regards the persons and property common to all their fellow-subjects, the infringement of which is made criminal.

For the infringement of other rights of a private character the law has provided civil remedies with which we are not at this moment concerned.

Punishments, then, should be administered only as a necessary sequence to the breach of a criminal law, with the object of deterring the offender from repeating his offence.

Of necessity it operates to some extent as a warning to others; but that is not its primary object, for no punishment ought to exceed in severity that which is due to the particular offence to which it is applied. To add to a sentence for a very venial offence for which a nominal punishment ought to suffice an extra fine or term of imprisonment by way of example or warning to others would be unreasonable and unjust. Vengeance, or the infliction of unnecessary pain, especially for the sake of others, should never form part of a criminal sentence.

Reformation of the criminal by and during his imprisonment should be one chief object of his punishment, but a just sentence for the offence is not to be prolonged either for education or reformation, unless expressly sanctioned by law, as in the case of reformatories.

With regard to crimes of violence, it sometimes happens that long periods of restraint and imprisonment are imperative—where, for instance, the criminal is persistent in his threats, or has made it evident by his actions or words that on his liberation from imprisonment for criminal violence he intends to resume his criminal course, and will do so unless restrained.

Take, for instance, the case of a persistent burglar, the great majority of whose robberies are committed under circumstances calculated to create terror and alarm, and upon whom imprisonment, however long, has no restraining effect after his liberation. Take the confirmed highway robber, who to secure his booty does not scruple to use deadly violence upon his victim. It is rare that one short term of imprisonment, or the fear of another, induces him to abandon his criminal course. In such cases it is essential for the protection of the public that he should no longer be at liberty to pursue his dangerous and alarming course of life. For him, therefore, a much longer term of restraint is necessary than in the case of mere pilferers, whose thefts, although causing loss and vexation, are not productive of personal injury.

Lastly, I am strongly averse from abolishing the sentence of death in cases of deliberate murder. Even when the crime is committed under the influence of jealousy, I should take little pains to save the life of one who had cruelly and deliberately murdered another for the gratification of revenge or the purpose of robbery.

In the case of poor creatures who make away with their illegitimate offspring in the agony of their trouble and shame, there were, in my experience, almost always to be found very strong reasons for commutation, even to very limited periods of imprisonment.



Cardinal Manning was a real friend to me, and I often spent an hour with him on a Sunday morning or afternoon discussing general topics. At my request, when I had no thought of being converted to his Church, he marked in a book of prayers which he gave me several of his own selections, which I have carefully preserved; but I can truly say he never uttered one word, or made the least attempt, to proselytize me. He left me to my own free, uncontrolled, and uncontrollable action. My reception into the Church of Rome was purely of my own free choice and will, and according to the exercise of my own judgment. I thought for myself, and acted for myself, or I should not have acted at all.

I have always been, and am, satisfied that I was right.

As to Cardinal Manning, his extreme good sense and toleration were my admiration at all times, and I shall venerate his memory as long as I live. His kindness was unbounded.

It was after his death, which was a great shock to me, that I was received into the Church by the late Cardinal Vaughan.

When the latter was showing Lady Brampton and myself over that beautiful structure, the new Westminster Cathedral, I thought I should like to erect a memorial chapel, and made a proposal to that effect. We resolved to dedicate it to St. Gregory and St. Augustine. It was afterwards called "Our Chapel."

The stonework was accordingly proceeded with, and afterwards the plans for decoration were submitted to the Archbishop and myself. For these decorations I subscribed a portion. The rest of the work was our own, and we have the satisfaction of feeling that Our Chapel is erected to the honour and glory of God.

The style of decoration adopted is Byzantine. The walls are embellished with many and various beautiful marbles. The eastern side has a representation of Pope Gregory sending St. Augustine with his followers to preach the gospel in England. Another scene is St. Augustine's reception by King Ethelbert and Queen Bertha in the Isle of Thanet.

The panels of the reredos contain pictures of St. Gregory and St. Augustine, with their four contemporaries, St. Paulinus, St. Justus (Bishop of Rochester), St. Laurentius, and St. Mellitus (Bishop of London).

On the north are figures of St. Edmund, St. Osbald, and the Venerable Bede; while opposite are St. Wilfred, St. Cuthbert, and St. Benedict.

On the west are St. John the Baptist and St. Augustine, and below these, figures of women pouring water from pitchers, symbolical of the river Jordan.

Under the arch of this side are most artistically designed panels containing the names of the four rivers of Paradise.

The floor is inlaid, and the windows, which are of opalescent glass, throw over the structure a soft white light, admitting of the perfect harmony of colours which everywhere adorn this very beautiful chapel.

* * * * *

Almost all whose names I have mentioned in these reminiscences are gone. There are many others equally dear about whom I cannot for want of time and space write here; most of them have also passed away.

They can no longer sing the old songs, or tell the old tales, but their memory remains, and the pleasant melody of their lives. I enjoy their companionship now in the quietude of my home, and their memory brightens even the sweet twilight of the evening hours. But it all reminds me that the signal has been given to ring the curtain down.

I therefore make a last and momentary appearance in the closing drama, only to bid all and every one with whom I have been associated in times past and in times recent, as the curtain falls,




Holden at the Castle of Lincoln on Saturday the 7th of March 1818, before the Right Honorable Sir Vicary Gibbs and the Honorable Sir William Garrow.


1. William Bewley, aged 49, late of Kingston upon Hull, pensioner from the 5th Regt. of foot, committed July 29, 1817, charged on suspicion of having feloniously broken into the dwelling house of James Crowder at Barton, no person being therein, and stealing 1 bottle green coat, 1 velveteen jacket, 3 waistcoats, &c. Guilty—Death.

2. John Giddy, aged 22, late of Horncastle, tailor, com. Aug. 5, 1817, charged with stealing a silver watch with a gold seal and key, from the shop of James Genistan of Horncastle. Six Months Imprisonment.

3. George Kirkhan, aged 25, } } both late of Stickney, 4. John Colston Maynard, aged 19, }

laborers, com. Aug. 22, 1817, charged on suspicion of feloniously entering the dwelling house of W'm Bell of Stickney, between 9 and 10 o'ck in the morning, and stealing one L5 note and 8 L1 notes. Acquitted.

5. George Crow, aged 15, late of Frith Ville, com. Sept. 23, 1817, charged on suspicion of having entered the dwelling house of S. Holmes of Frith Ville, about 7 o'ck in the morning, breaking open a desk, and stealing three L1 notes, 3s. 6d. in silver, and a purse. Guilty—Death.

6. Thomas Young, aged 17, late of Firsby, laborer, com. Sept. 23, 1817, charged with having, about 11 o'ck at night, entered the dwelling house of John Ashlin of Firsby, with intent to commit a robbery. Guilty—Death.

7. Robert Husker, aged 28,} } both late of Glamford Briggs, 8. John Robinson, aged 28,}

laborers, com. Oct. 13, 1817, charged with burglariously breaking into the dwelling house of Chas. Saunby, of South Kelsey, and stealing therefrom several goods and chattels. Guilty—Death.

9. John Marriott, aged 19, late of Osgodby, laborer, com. Oct. 18, 1817, charged with maliciously and feloniously setting fire to an oat stack, the property of Thomas Marshall of Osgodby. Guilty—Death.

10. Sarah Hudson, alias Heardson, aged 25, late of Newark, Nottinghamshire, com. Oct. 24, 1817, charged on suspicion of feloniously stealing from the cottage of James Barrell of Aisthorpe, in the day time, no person being therein, 6 silver tea-spoons and a pair of silver sugar tongs. Discharged by proclamation.

11. Elizabeth Firth, aged 14, late of Burgh cum Girsby, spinster, com. Nov. 22, 1817, charged with twice administering a quantity of vitrol or verdigrease powder, or other deadly poison, with intent to murder Susanna, the infant daughter of George Barnes of Burgh cum Girsby. No true Bill.

12. John Moody, aged 28, late of Stallingborough, laborer, com. Dec. 24, 1817, charged with having committed the odious and detestable crime and felony called sodomy. Indicted for misdemeanor. Two years imprisonment.

13. William Johnson, aged 28, late of Bardney, laborer, com. Dec. 29, 1817, charged with having burglariously entered the dwelling house of W'm Smith, of Bardney, and wilfully and malliciously beating and wounding, with intent to murder and rob Wm. Kirmond, a lodger therein. Seven Years Transportation.

14. Richard Randall, aged 27,} } both late of Lutton, 15. John Tubbs, aged 29, }

laborers, com. Dec. 29, 1817, charged with feloniously assaulting Wm. Rowbottom of Holbeach Marsh, between 11 and 12 o'ck in the night, in a field near the king's highway, and stealing from his person 3 promissory L10 notes, 8 or 10 shillings in silver, one silver stop and seconds watch, and various other goods and chattels. Both guilty—Death.

16. William Hayes, aged 20, late of Braceby, weaver, com. Jan. 6, 1818, charged with feloniously stealing a mare, together with a saddle and bridle, the property of Ed. Briggs of Hanby. Guilty—Death.

17. Thomas Evison, aged 24, } } both late of Alnwick, 18. Thomas Norris, aged 28, }

laborers, com. Jan. 21, 1818, charged with feloniously setting fire to a thrashing machine and a hovel, containing a quantity of oats in the straw, the property of Thos. Faulkner, jun. of Alnwick, which were all consumed. Guilty—Death.

19. William Walker, aged 20, laborer, } } both late of Boston, 20. Elizabeth Eno, aged 19, spinster, }

com. Jan. 28, 1818, charged with burglariously entering the dwelling house of Wm. Trentham, and stealing a sum of money in gold and silver, several country bank notes, and a red morocco pocket-book. Guilty—Death.

21. William Bell, alias John Brown, aged 30, late of Alvingham, laborer, com. Feb. 19, 1818, charged with burglariously breaking into the shop of Wm. Goy of Alvingham, and stealing 1 pair of new shoes, 1 half boot, and 1 half boot top. Guilty—Death.

22. John Hoyes, aged 48, late of Heckington, com. Feb. 24, 1818, charged with feloniously stealing 2 pigs of the value of L3, the property of John Fairchild of Wellingore. Acquitted.

23. Christiana Robinson, aged 24, } } both late of Glamford 24. Mary Stewart, aged 26, }

Briggs, com. March 7, 1818, charged with breaking into Chas. Saunby's shop, &c. (same as Nos. 7 and 8). Not prosecuted.


George Houdlass, convicted at Lammas Assizes, 1815, of mare stealing.—Ordered to be transported for the term of his natural life. (The Prince Regent, in the name of His Majesty, having graciously extended the Royal Mercy to the said convict, his said sentence is commuted to two years imprisonment, commencing July 1, 1817.)

Martin Dowdwell, convicted at the Lent Assizes, 1817, of perjury.—Ordered to be impillored once and imprisoned for two years.

Susanna Pepper, convicted at the Lammas Assizes, 1817, of secreting the birth of her bastard child.—Ordered to be imprisoned for one year.

William Whitehead (the younger); at the Summer Assizes, 1817, was found by a jury to be of unsound mind.—Ordered to be imprisoned until His Majesty's pleasure be known.

Edward Croft, convicted at the Louth quarter sessions, held Jan. 12, 1815, of a felony.—Ordered to be transported for seven years.

John Caminack, convicted at the Spilsby quarter sessions, Jan. 17, 1817, of a felony.—Ordered to be transported for seven years.

William Busbey, convicted at the same sessions of a felony.—Ordered to be transported for seven years.

William Nubert, convicted at the Lent Assizes, 1817, of burglary.—Ordered to be transported for seven years.

William Patchett, convicted at the same Assizes of burglary.—Ordered to be transported for seven years.

Richard Clarke, convicted at the Summer Assizes, 1817, of having forged bank notes in his possession.—Ordered to be transported for fourteen years.

Thomas Maddison, convicted at the same Assizes of burglary.—Ordered to be transported for seven years.

James Donnington, convicted at the same Assizes of stealing a lamb.—Ordered to be transported for seven years.

Samuel Brown, convicted at the same Assizes of stealing a mare.—Ordered to be transported for the term of his natural life.

Joseph Greenfield, convicted at the same Assizes of stealing a heifer.—Ordered to be transported for fourteen years.

William Johnson, convicted at the Spilsby quarter sessions, July 25, 1817, of a felony.—Ordered to be transported for seven years.

William Willson, convicted at the Kirton quarter sessions, Oct. 17, 1817, of a felony.—Ordered to be transported for seven years.

Henry Thorpe, convicted at the Bourn quarter sessions, Jan. 13, 1818, of a felony.—Ordered to be transported for seven years.

George Croft, convicted at the Boston quarter sessions, Jan. 13, 1818, of a felony.—Ordered to be transported for seven years.

William Betts, alias Bungs, convicted at the Spalding quarter sessions, Jan. 16, 1818, of a felony.—Ordered to be transported for seven years.

James Tidwell, convicted at the same sessions of a felony.—Ordered to be transported for seven years.

Samuel Chapman, convicted at the Spilsby quarter sessions, Jan. 16, 1818, of a felony.—Ordered to be transported for seven years.

David Jones, convicted at the Kirton quarter sessions, Jan. 20, 1818, of a felony.—Ordered to be transported for seven years.


1. Daniel Elston, aged 34, late of Waddington, cordwainer, com. Sep. 22, 1817, charged with feloniously stealing from the dwelling house of Rd. Blackbourn, of Waddington, one silver watch, and a pair of new quarter boots.—Guilty of stealing only—7 years transportation.

2. William Kehos, aged 22, a private soldier in the 95th Regt. of foot, com. Nov. 17, 1817, charged with feloniously slaughtering and stealing from the close of Matthew White of Lincoln one wether hog.—Guilty—Death.

Printed by DRURY & SONS, Lincoln.


Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7
Home - Random Browse