Page images

her sister had not been much in the information, was placed by the habit of walking out.

them in a hop-kiln, belonging to To questions from Lord El- a gentleman named Ryde, in the lenborough, she said, that she neighbourhood, where it remainhad no reason to believe that the ed from the time the seizure was Key, in Chandos-street, was a made, under the care of a trusty house of ill fame before she went guard, to await the decision of the out with her sister to buy linen magistrates. Mr. Cowley and for the journey to Bath. They Mr. Beerings now appeared as only saw one man there, and no counsel, in support of the inforbeds were ordered ; they were mation, and Mr. Nolan, for the shown into a sitting-room, and defendants. The information, she thought that the brothel was which was founded on the act a family hotel.

of the 12th year of the King, Mr. Topping addressed the entitled “ an act for regulating jury on behalf of the defendant, the making, keeping, and carry. pressing all the topics in his fa- ing of gunpowder by the makers vour allowed by the case, and par- thereof,” (the 7th section of ticularly the facility with which which provides that no greater he had gained the favour of the quantity of gunpowder in a finishlady.

ed state, or in a state of process, After a short charge from Lord shall be kept in any gunpowderEllenborough, the jury found a mill, or places belonging or adverdict for the plaintiff-Damages joining thereto, at any one time, 500l.

than is necessary for carrying on

the said works ; and that any exNUISANCE AND TRRSPASS. cess above such necessary quantity

shall be liable to seizure and forThe King v. Tinkler and Mount- feiture, and the proprietor of such ford. This was an inquiry which mills be further liable to a penaltook place before a special Bench ty of 25. per lb. upon every lb. of of Magistrates assembled at Guild- powder so forfeited,) having been ford on Saturday last, Lord Mid- read, and which information dleton in the chair, relative to the charged the defendants with havseizure of 16,576lbs. of gunpuw- ing the abovementioned quantity der, at the Chilwell powder-mills, of powder, namely 16,576lbs. in of which mills the defendants are their works, contrary to the reguproprietors, on the 8th and 9th lations of the act, unlawfully, and instant. The inquiry was one of to the imminent danger, hazard, great interest and importance to and peril of the neighbourhood; the town of Guildford, and its and the defendants having pleaded neighbourhood ; and more espe- not guilty to the charge, cially to those persons residing in Mr. Cowley proceeded to adthe vieinity of Messrs. Tinkler dress the Bench in support of the and Mountford's works, and oc- information. After adverting to cupied the Magistrates during the the importance of the question whole of Saturday and Monday which he had now to submit to last. The powder, when seized the consideration of the Bench, by the constables employed under one involving nothing less in it


than the safety of the property house, in which to deposit the and even the lives of the inhabit- powder as fast as finished, there ants of the town of Guildford and to remain till called for by the its neighbourhood, observed, that, consumer. A further provision looking at the ainount of powder of the act was, that there should seized, he was persuaded he be buildings of a certain descripshould have but little difficulty in tion and construction, called showing to the Bench that what charge-houses, to which the powhad been called the nervous fears der, whilst in the different states of the complainants on this occa- of process, should be received, so sion, was at least not fears with that not more than 40lbs. of fine out foundation. As little difficulty ished powder should be in any should he have in showing that building where there was machifor a length of time past, these nery at one time. This was ingentlemen, the defendants, had, tended to prevent the explosion from a love of lucre, been carry of a large quantity. These were ing on their trade, negligent soine of

the provisions of this act, entirely negligent—of the safety He understood it was to-day to of their neighbours and of the be contended, that the Chilworth public, and in open defiance of the mills were ancient mills, erected provisions of the Act of Parlia- long before the passing of this ment upon

which the present in- act, and not liable to its regulaformation was founded, and on tions. He (Mr. Cowley) must the 7th section of which he should deny that position. He had lookon this occasion principally rely. ed over the various acts of parliaThe manufacture of powder was ment on the subject, and he cernot only a necessary one, but a tainly found exceptions in favour politic one ; and further, the Le- of some private mills in Sussex, gislature had made it a legul one. mentioned by name, and exempAt the same time, aware of the tions relative to his Majesty's dangerous nature of it, they had works, but in none did he find surrounded it with precautions; any mention made of the Chiland the act in question, the 12th worth-mills ; but allowing it had of the King, was in fact a precau- been so, none of the mills in ques. tionary act. Notwithstanding all tion were exempted from having the precautions which could be

a magazine. Yet the defendants taken, however, cxplosions would had been going on for years withfrequently occur. And in the out one : and, if suffered to go manufactory of the defendants, on, must still do so without that two such events had occurred necessary safeguard for the pubwithin the last five years. The, lic. They would never be allowobject of the present act was to ed to crect a magazine, because render these unavoidable accidents they were in a situation where as little dangerous as possible. they ought not to have one. For To effect this object, one of its this reason they carried on their provisions was, that attached to business without one, hiding their every powder manufactory there powder in holes and corners; so should be a magazine, or store. that instead of having only 40 or


50lbs. of powder in a place liable the defendants were also liable to a to explosion, they had accumula- penalty, amounting to a further ted 16,000lbs. which might all ex sum of 7601. 12s. The 7,616lbs. plode in an instant, and spread they were to select from the finruin and destruction around. The ished powder, and the remainder charge against the defendants now seized was to be returned. was, for having this accumulation of powder stowed in impro Lancaster Assizes, Sept. 5.per places. The 16,576lbs. had Thompson v. Harris.--This was an been taken away, and he had now action to abate a nuisance. to contend was forfeited. Besides Mr. Scarlet stated the case. this quantity, the seizing officer The plaintiff is a cheesemonger, left behind him 1600lbs. of finish- and the defendant a farrier, in the ed powder, which he ought also town of Preston. A new street to have taken, as well as a quan was lately built in that town, call. tity in process in every part of the ed Lune-street, composed of reworks, amounting to several cwt.; spectable houses, and inhabited all of which, he submitted, was, by respectable people. Among strictly speaking, forfeited, had these were a clergyman, an attorthey taken any account of it. The ney, the plaintiff, and several other quantity seized and brought away, individuals of wealth and considerhe should be able to show, by ation in the place. The defendant contradictory evidence, was likewise purchased a portion ofthe excess above that allowed by act ground in the vicinity of this of Parliament. He now had to street, and built upon it; as he ask of the Bench the forfeiture of had a right to do. He built first it, and the penalty of 25. per lb. a small house for keeping a cow, upon it. He should prove, that about 8 yards from the back court excessive quantities of finished of the plaintiff. To this erection powder, which should bave been the plaintiff could have no possideposited no where but in a ma ble objection, and he made none; gazine, were found in places the but he was rather surprised when most dangerous and exposed, in in April last he saw a chinney the inidst of machinery in the rising over this cow-house, and corning-house, dusting-house, still more surprised and annoyed drying-house, and even in a build. when smoke began to issue from ing within a few feet of the stove- it, and hammers to play within it; places, where none but the small in short, when he saw the cowquantity immediately in process touse converted into a' smithy, should be deposited.

involving his premises in smoke After the examination of wit- and stunning his family with nesses, and liearing tlic pleadings noise. Nothing could be conceivon both sides, the Court retired ed a greater annoyance than the for about 10 minutes, when they incessant din of this forge, or the i eturned, and Lord Middleton volumes of smoke that issue from declared their opinion to be, that it, blackening every thing around 7,616lbs. of the powder were for- it, and forcing the plaintiff

' to have feited; and upon which quantity the linen exposed to dry in his Vol. LVIII.



yard, often to be washed over sible to their deafening roar, again, and his windows shut when but the plaintiff in the former he would choose to have them

case, as strangers in the latter, open. There could be no doubt must feel the

annoyance intolerthat the law would consider such able. Till it could be proved that a building so placed and so used sinoke, noise, and dust, in their as a nuisance. Every man has a mostoffensive degrees, and brought right to enjoy his own property, as near as possible to a man's but he must use it with a refer dwelling, were not a nuisance, so ence to the rights of others. So long must a smithy situate like ciety could not exist without such the one in question be declared a a principle. Society is held to- nuisance, and entitle the plaintiff gether in a sort of compromise of to a verdict. He asked no damamutual restraint and compensa- ges-he merely asked a verdict, tion. If a man, in the exercise of to remove the annoyance of which his rights of property, builds his he so justly complained. house and establishes himself in The learned Counsel then call. a particular situation, no other ed several witnesses to prove the man has a right to destroy his nuisance, both of the plaintiff's comforts, or to molest his posses own family and from among his sion, by bringing an offensive neighbours. His servant deposed, trade into his immediate neigh that the clothes hung out to dry bourhood. If, on the other hand, in the yard were often so covered the offensive trade is established with sinoke and dust that it was first, no man has a right to order necessary to wash them over again, its removal. The only question and that she was frequently obligin law is the priority of establish- ed to shut the windows to exclude ment; and it either abates the such offensive annoyances. She nuisance, or permits its cortinu stated farther, that the noise was ance according to this principle. intolerable, and often made the The law does not consult a man's floor and windows shake. Several whims, or caprices, or imaginary of Mr. Thompson's neighbours wants; but it allows no invasion confirmed this statement, and adof his real substantial comforts, ded their own complaints to his. nor any exercise of the rights of Mr. Williams, for the defendproperty, however just in other ant, denied that this smithy respects, that diminishes them. could be termed in law a nuisance. There could be no doubt from the He would bring witnesses to prove evidence he would produce that that they did not consider it as a the plaintiff was seriously aggriev- nuisance; that the noise was by ed : several of the other inhabit no means what it was represented ants of the street likewise felt the to be, and that fewer coals, coals injury as their own. The defend- of a better quality, and yielding ant, accustomed to such noises, less smoke, were burnt in this might not be so sensible of the smithy than on any kitchen or disturbance they give, as those parlour fire of the neighbourhood. who reside near the falls of Nia- This insignificant smithy had been gara are said not to be at all sen- dignified with the name of forge,


and the noise of this forge had hope to enjoy in Manchester or been talked of as if Vulcan and Preston the same good air as on his swarthy brothers incessantly the site of Lancaster-castle or the plied their thundering hammers top of Skiddaw. The learned within it; but it would surprise counsel called several witnesses the jury, when he showed them for the defendant, with the design that all this mighty noise was pro- of showing that the smithy was duced, not by a congregation of not considered as a nuisance giants, but by the nerveless arm that the noise was not distressing of a boy of 14. When the noise - that fewer coals, and coals of a and the smoke of this little smithy better quality, were burnt in it were made the subject of com- than in many private houses-plaint, it was forgotten that there that the plaintiff himself did not were in the small town of Pres- consider it as a grievance neceston, and within 800 yards of the sary to be remedied by law, till plaintiff's house, no less than the defendant had refused to nine steam. engines, and four oblige him by allowing him to fix foundries, which really did send his joists in defendant's wall-and forth volumes of sound and smoke that the foundries and steam-enthat were formidable and annoy- gines of the town were nuisances ing. These, indeed, might with which, if the plaintiff allowed, some propriety be declared nui- took away all ground of complaint sances : but it was difficult to against this trifling smithy. It describe what a nuisance was in appeared much in favour of the law, or to determine that degree plaintiff that all the witnesses callof discomfort which amounted to ed to disprove the offensive nature one. Much would depend upon of the smoke and noise lived at a what people considered as the es- greater distance from the smithy sentials of their comfort or en than himself, or those whose evijoyments. Some thought a fine dence he adduced in his support. prospect necessary to their enjoy The learned Judge, in addressments; and according to them it ing the jury, and summing up the would be a nuisance to cut down evidence, explained to them fully a tree in your park that added to the state of the law respecting the beauty of their landscape, or nuisances. It proceeded upon to build a wall that obstructed in this principle—that no man in the the least their view; some would exercise of his own rights of prodeclare a school a nuisance, be- perty was entitled to endanger the cause it had noisy boys; others a security or diminish the enjoyjoiner's shop; others a steam-en- ment of his neighbour in the lawgine, and so on. But when people ful use of his. A nuisance in law determine to live in towns, they was not what affected the possesmust submit to the inconvenience sion and enjoyment of property of towns; they are not to expect, through the medium of a man's amid the noise and smoke and whims, caprices, fancies, or inadust of a manufacturing place, ginary wants, but what destroyed the same quietness and retirement or diminished his real, rational, as in the country; they must not and substantial comforts, such as



« PreviousContinue »