Old News

Hemel Hempstead Gazette - 28th June 1890

Open after hours at Frithsden


June 25th

Before T. Gooch, Esq., in the chair; J. Marnham, Esq., and Captain Cooper.


John Vern Major, landlord of the public house at Frithsden, was charged with keeping his house open in prohibited hours on Sunday the 15th inst., and William Clifton and Joseph Simmons were charged with being in the house in the time in question.

Mr Penny watched the case on behalf of the owner of the house --- Mr Batchelor. The case against the landlord was taken first.

P.c. Francis said he, in company with P.c. Poney, went to the house at 3.35. Witness knocked at the door, which was locked. Major opened the door, and they went in. Witness saw the two men named in front of the bar. Before them was a jug with beer in it and some glasses. Witness asked Major who the men were, and he replied that they were travellers, and that Clifton came from Hempstead, and Simmons from Berkhamstead, but that the latter belonged to London. He also said that he knew Simmonds from Berkhamstead. Clifton said he lodged in George Street, Berkhamstead, but he did not know the number. Defendant stated that he said to the men "now gentlemen the time is up. I only allow twenty minutes in closing time." The time was closing was 2.30. Clifton said he came from the Boat Inn, Berkhamstead. It was about two miles from the Boat Inn, and also from George Street. The defendant did not speak to the men. He did not say "you told me wrong, you told me you came from Hempstead."

P.c. Poney said he asked Clifton where he came from, and he said from Hemel Hempstead. P.c. Francis said that the men came from within three miles. Major said "what protection have I got." Witness answered "you do not appear to want any in this case, you knew Simmons came from the Boat Inn, Berkhamstead.

Major said that both policemen were present when he told the men they had deceived him.

The defendant being sworn, said he came down stairs and opened the bar window. The two men asked for refreshments. They said they came from Hempstead. He said to them "don't tell me a lie. You will have to bear the blame, if there is anything wrong." Simmons said he came from London, and he showed witness the half of his railway ticket.

Joseph Simmonds being sworn; said that his father kept the Boat Inn, but witness worked in London. He came to Berkhamstead on Saturday evening. Clifton came to the Boat Inn at 12.30 on the Sunday morning. At 1.12 witness and Clifton went for a walk together. They walked round Crouchfield, and then to Frithsden. They went to Major's house and asked him if he would serve them with some refreshments. He asled if they were travellers, and how far they had come. They said they had come from Hempstead. Witness, who gave his evidence very indistinctly, said that he told Major he came from London on the previous evening.

Major was fined 1, and 16/6 costs.

Clifton and Simmons were each fined 15/- and 8/8 costs.

Clifton was allowed 14 days to pay in.

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