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#AtoZChallenge: Train Passenger In Court at Haverfordwest

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is for bloggers who wish to participate, by publishing a blog post every day in April except for Sundays. Each blog post will focus on a letter of the alphabet. For example April 1 will be A, April 2 will be B, April 3 will be C,  and on it goes. By the end of April, a blog post for every letter of the alphabet will have been published.   Blog posts are usually on a theme, or you can choose to post each day with no theme at all. My theme for 2024 is “Haverfordwest in the News”. Haverfordwest is a town in the county of Pembrokeshire.

#AtoZChallenge 2024 letter T

from: Potter’s Electric News, Wednesday 12 February, 1868, Page 4

These sessions were held at the Shire Hall on Thursday, before the Mayor, J. W. Phillips, Esq, John Harvey, Esq, S. Harford, Esq, and James Bowen, Esq.
Mr. Benjamin Green, a commercial traveller, was charged by Mr Salisbury Miles, Inspector on the Great Western Railway, with riding in a second class carriage with a third class ticket on the 12th of December, at the parish of Uzmaston.

Mr W. John appeared for the defendant. Cornelius Upton, a guard in the employ of the Great Western Railway, deposed that on the 12th of December, he saw the defendant getting out of a second class carriage of the mid-day train at the Haverfordwest Station. He called the attention of the Station master to the defendant, and asked him to see what ticket the defendant had. In cross-examination, the witness stated that he came from Cheltenham that morning, but he did not know where the defendant got into the train. He saw him walking at Landore. He did not see him in the carriage: he only saw him getting out.

There was a gentleman in the train, whose luggage was taken out at Carmarthen: he gave up his ticket at Ferry Side. That gentleman came on to Haverfordwest: his luggage was taken out at Whitland, and replaced. He was dressed in a brown coat with a velvet collar: he saw him three or four times that day: he was a tall gentleman, quite as tall as Mr Green. He believed the defendant had on a brown coat: the other gentleman was a second class passenger: he (witness) called the stationmaster’s attention to the defendant and the other gentleman in a brown coat. He was quite confident the defendant came out of a second class carriage.

Mr Barham, stationmaster, deposed that in consequence of what Upton told him, he requested the policeman to watch particularly what ticket the defendant gave up. The defendant soon afterwards passed the gate, and gave up a third class ticket. He was quite sure the defendant gave up the third class ticket, which was then produced. He sent the policeman to ask the defendant for his name and address, but be refused to give them. He then asked him for his address, and it was refused. The defendant gave him a great deal of abuse, and called him out to fight him. He talked very loudly, and could be heard at the Queen’s Hotel.

The Clerk: You were not inclined to fight him I suppose ?
Witness: No.
Mr John:  You would not accept the challenge ?
Witness No.
Mr John (in reference to the disparity in the dimensions of the defendant and witness): I think you were perfectly right there.
In cross-examination, the witness said the defendant talked very loud; he did not think the defendant was indignant, for a gentleman, when he was indignant, did not make use of abusive language. He did not hear him appeal to any persons to confirm his statement that he had not ridden in a second class carriage, because when he became very abusive, he (witness) walked away. There was another gentleman there, but he was not so tall as the defendant; he was not above the average height. He (witness) did not think he was of the average height; he considered Mr John to be about the average height.

The complainant was sworn, and in answer to Mr John, said that a third class passenger from Swansea to Haverfordwest by the mid-day train, would have his ticket examined and marked at Ferry Side, but of course be could not say it had been done in the present case. He also produced the bylaws of the company, against the third of which the defendant was charged with offending. Mr Barham recalled said that the defendant returned to the door of the booking office, but he did not ask him to apologize. He was very abusive, and told him that if he would come outside he would kick him. He (witness) said that if he was ashamed of his address, there were other means of finding it out.

Thomas Bolton, a policeman on the G. W. Railway, deposed that he received a third class ticket of the defendant at the gate where the tickets were collected. He asked for his name and address. He asked him what he wanted it for, and he said for riding in a second class carriage with a third class ticket. Defendant told him be had not done so. He (witness) said he believed he had, and the defendant replied that he believed a lie. He would not give his name and address.

In cross-examination, the witness said he saw another gentleman there, but he was not so tall as Mr Green. A gentleman on the platform said that Mr Green had ridden in a third class carriage with him. A young lady also said the same thing. Upton recalled by Mr John, said that he saw the defendant on the 13th at Landore. He asked him to show him the official in charge of that station at Neath, and he did so. The defendant then called him a liar, and made use of very abusive language. He had been thirteen years on the line, and had never been treated in that way before.

In answer to the Mayor, the witness said he was quite certain he saw the defendant coming out of a second class carriage. This was the case for the complainant. Mr W. John, having stated the defendant’s case, called Mr John Burnett, a commercial traveller, of London, who deposed that he was present at Swansea when Mr Green took a third class ticket for Haverfordwest on the 12th of December. He rode with him in a third class carriage to Whitland, where he (witness) got out to go by another line to Pembroke.

Mr W. F. Hadley, a wholesale manufacturer residing at Bromsgrove, in Worcestershire, deposed that he rode in a third class carriage with the defendant from Landore to Carmarthen Junction, on the 12th of December. Mr Richard Sheppard, of Bristol, deposed that on the 12th of December, he came from Carmarthen Junction to Haverfordwest in a third class carriage, with the defendant. He was not in the same compartment as the defendant, but he had a full view of him. He heard him conversing with a lady about Haverfordwest at, he believed, the Clarbeston Road Station.

The defendant did not get out until he came to Haverfordwest. After the stationmaster had spoken to him about his address, the defendant came back, and appeared excited and annoyed at the charge made against him. A lady said he rode in the same carriage as she did, and he (witness) made a similar statement. Two or three other third class passengers said the same. He heard Mr Green ask the station master to apologize, but he would not do so. In cross-examination, the witness said it was quite possible for a passenger to have gone out of the carriage without his observing him, but he was certain the defendant did not. This was the case for the defence.

The Mayor, in delivering the judgment of the Bench, said that the magistrates were of opinion that the defence of the defendant was a sufficient answer to the case, and without impeaching, in the smallest degree, the veracity of the guard, it was perfectly consistent with the evidence that the guard was mistaken in thinking that the defendant was in a second class carriage. The charge would, therefore, be dismissed.

Mr John applied for costs. After some discussion, the Bench allowed costs to the extent of £46 11s, which were ordered to be paid by the company.

**Please notePunctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading.

1868 POTTER’S ELECTRIC NEWS, Wednesday 12 February 1868, page 4. Retrieved on 09 November 2023



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8 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge: Train Passenger In Court at Haverfordwest”

  1. I laughed at “The Clerk: You were not inclined to fight him I suppose ?
    Witness: No.
    Mr John: You would not accept the challenge ?
    Witness No.
    Mr John (in reference to the disparity in the dimensions of the defendant and witness): I think you were perfectly right there.”

    The award for costs were significant. Probably worth over 30,000 pounds today or $60,000 https://www.measuringworth.com/calculators/ukcompare/result.php?year_source=1868&amount=46.55&year_result=2023

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