James Cleland.

Statistical tables relative to the city of Glasgow, with other matters therewith connected online

. (page 13 of 23)
Online LibraryJames ClelandStatistical tables relative to the city of Glasgow, with other matters therewith connected → online text (page 13 of 23)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

' enough to occasion disagreement of the two Firlots. At this day we

* The Dean of Guild Court appointed Messrs. Robert Hood, and James Hood, juii.
Candlerigg Street, adjusters of Liquid ;md Dry Measures ; and Alexander Wood, Stock-
well Street, adjuster of Weights.


* need not regard the error of the linear Measurements ; we have the

* Stirling Jugs in several Burghs ; it is therefore to the measurement by
' the Jug that I shall adhere, and accommodate every thing to the
' making use of the present English Standard of length.' "

Notwithstanding the above statement of facts, and the motives which
there is reason to believe have influenced the parties ; their names are
here concealed in the hope that they will consider well before they again
make such unprovoked and unwarrantable attacks on public characters,
in the due exercise of important duties committed to their charge.

The whole cause came to be advised on Monday the 27th of January,
1823. All the Judges were on the Bench. The objection to the title
of the Fiscal was first taken up. This part of the case was very speedily
disposed of. The Judges unanimously repelled the objection stated to
the Fiscal's title. The Court thereupon proceeded to advise the cause
on the merits. Each of the Judges delivered his opinion at considerable

Lord Hermand thought the objection to so many defenders being
included in one complaint, ought to be sustained, and that the confes-
sion of the party ought to have been signed by him. His Lordship
thought that the Dean of Guild, and not the Magistrates, had the juris-
diction in such a case, and was therefore for advocating the cause.

Lord Gillies considered the case a very extraordinary one. The
Magistrates had a good object in view ; their exertions were perfectly
upright and patriotic, and they had acted very properly in taking the
assistance of Mr. Cleland, as, from his knowledge of that gentleman,
he could say that no person more fit for the office could possibly have
been selected. His Lordship was, however, of opinion that the crime
charged was of so serious a nature, that the proceedings ought to have
been more formal, and not so summary as those adopted by the Fiscal.
He thought the proceedings precipitate. His Lordship was for quash-
ing the whole proceedings, and giving expenses to neither party.

Lord Pitmilly next delivered his opinion. His Lordship thought
the Fiscal had acted leniently in not bringing separate complaints against
each defender, and that the proceedings were sufficiently regular.
There was one point, which, his Lordship said, he could not get over,

and that was, that Mr. had pleaded guilty. It was not necessary

to sign his confession. His Lordship was clear for refusing the Bills of

Lord Succoth expressed himself of the same opinion with Lord

Pitmilly, and so did Lord Meadowbank. The confession of Mr. ,

Lord Meadowbank said, was proved by the record. The Magistrates
of Glasgow had executed the law in a proper manner. The form of
the proceedings was perfectly unexceptionable ; as to their power to
judge in such cases, the act 1661, cap. 38, gives to the Magistrates of
Burghs, the cognizance of offisnccs committed in usinr;- false Weights


antl Measures.* There was nothing at all in the objection of so many
defenders, being included in one complaint, the same thing took place
every day in the prosecution of frauds against the revenue. In these
cases as many parties were often summoned as here, and the procedure
was fully less formal. His Lordship was clear for refusing the Bill
with costs.

Lord Justice Clerk considered the question to be one of criminal

police, not one of criminal process — Mr. pleaded guilty. The use

of Glass Measures was illegal, f and generally complained of. The
Magistrates might have inspected the Measures on the spot, and might
have inflicted the fine without any written complaint. If the present
was a criminal libel, then, no doubt, such a number could not be in-
cluded in it; but this was a matter of criminal Police. All these ques-
tions were however here excluded, for ]Mr. pleaded guilty. His

Lordship had no doubt that the Magistrates had jurisdiction both by
Statute and common law. The advocation was wholly incompetent as

to Mr. , and the advocation of the other parties was, if possible,

still more so.

Both Bills of Advocation were refused, whereby the sentence of the

Magistrates against Mr. was affirmed, and the case of the other

Advocators sent back to the Magistrates. The Advocators were sub-
jected in the Fiscal's expenses.


against Simson.

^Ith January, 1823.

The Lord Justice Clerk and Lords Commissioners of Justiciary,

having considered the foregoing Bill of Advocation for ;

with the answers thereto for Andrew Simson ; informations given in for
the parties, in obedience to the order of Court of the 26th May last ;
minutes for the parties on the point of the respondents' title to prose-
cute; sentence of the Magistrates complained of; and the whole
proceedings : repel the objections stated to the title of the respon-
dent, as Procurator Fiscal of the Burgh Court of Glasgow, to
prosecute this action ; refuse the Bill of Advocation ; find the com-

• Sheriffs, Stewards, and IVIagistrates of Burghs, are directed to take trial of Weights,
Metes, and Measures ; and the users of false Weights and Measures, are to tine their
hale goods and gear, Mhii-h are to be forfeited for the King's use. — Act l9, James VI.
in 1607.

•)• The Dean of Guild Court enacted, that all Liquid and Dry ^Measures used in this
City, must have the stamp of the Court put on them by the legal ailjusters ; Measures not
stamped, are therefore, liable to be seized, and tlie owners fined, even although tbe
Measures are conformable to the Standard,


plainer liable to the respondent in the expenses incurred in this Court ;
allow an account thereof to be given in, and remit to Thomas Guthrie
Wright, W. S., to tax the same and report.

(Signed,) D. BOYLE, J. P. D.


, — _^— . and others, against Simson.

21 Ih January, 1S23.

The Lord Justice Clerk and Lords Commissioners of Justiciary,
having considered the foregoing Bill of Advocation, answers thereto ;
informations for the parties given in, in obedience to an order of Court,
date 26th May last ; and having advised the informations in case of

, to which, reference is made in this case, with the minutes

for the parties on the point of the Respondent's title to prosecute ; repel
the objections stated to the title of the Respondent, as Procurator Fiscal
of the Burgh Court of Glasgow ; to prosecute this action, refuse the
Bill of Advocation ; find the Complainers conjunctly and severally
liable to the Respondent in the expenses incurred in this Court ; allow
an account thereof to be given in, and remit to Thomas Guthrie
Wright, W. S., to tax the same and report.

(Signed,) D. BOYLE, J. P. D.

The judgment of the High Court of Justiciary, from which there is no
appeal, establishes, in this case, the following important points.

1st. That Magistrates of Burghs have jurisdiction, and a right to
take cognizance of Weights and Measures used within the Burgh, and
to punish persons guilty of using false Weights and Measures.

2d. That such a case is of the nature of a Police, not of a criminal
process, and may be prosecuted in a summary manner.

3d. That any number of delinquents may be included in one com-
plaint. That it is not necessary to serve a copy of the complaint ; and
that the persons accused may be summoned by an ordinary citation to
appear before the Sitting Magistrate.

4th. It is established, that the Fiscal need not belong to any society
or corporation of Writers, or be admitted a Solicitor or Agent, or pay
the Stamp Duty to Government exigible from Law Practitioners, either
at their admission or the annual Certificate Duty. In short, as the
Magistrates have the power to appoint a Fiscal, they may name any
one they please.

Counsel for the Advocators — Henry Cockburn, Esq. ; John Christison,
Esq. Agent in Edinburgh, Mr. William Renny, W. S. Counsel for the
Respondent: — The Solicitor-General; Francis Jeffrey, Esq.; Agent
in Edinburgh, Mr. Daniel Fisher.

In former years when the seeds of discontent were widely sown in
this part of the country, the Magistrates of this City, in grappling with
radicalism in the exercise of a mild, yet firm, discharge of their duty,



received the approbation of their fellow-citizens, who were eye-
witnesses of their praiseworthy exertions. In like manner the Magis-
trates of last year, have received the just tribute of approbation for
their unparalleled exertions, in enforcing the use of just Weights and
Measures within their jurisdiction, which has since been followed up by
the local Magistrates inthe County. In discharge of the arduous, and
in some instances unpleasant, duty, the Magistrates showed no respect of
persons, nor would they listen to any regulation short of a thorough
renovation, although urged to do so from respectable quarters. The
poor and those who purchase provisions or liquors in small quantities
have reason to be grateful to their Magistrates, for now they have an
equal proportion with those who purchase large quantities. The salutary
regulations referred to, have even extended to the Stable, where the feed
is increased in a due proportion to the Boll.

In a matter of this kind, the names of the Magistrates who have
rendered such service to the Community should be kept in remem-
brance; they are as follows :

The Hon. JOHN THOMAS ALSTON, Lord Provost.
Laurence Craigie, Jiinr., Esq. I William M'TilTR, Esq.
James A. Bbown, Esq. William Snell, Esq.

William Graham, Junr., Esq. | Stewart Smith, Esq., B. R.

WILLIAM SMITH, Esquire, Dean of Guild.
JAMES HUNTER, Esquire, Convener of the Tradei House.
Im Conclusion,
It is remarkable that notwithstanding the unwarrantable opposition
which has been made to the Magistrates in the due discharge of their
duty by the retailers of Malt Liquor ; the Standard for the sale of that
article in Glasgow, is smaller than in any of the great Towns in the
United Kingdom.

In Glasgow the Beer Pot contains cubic inches, 55.5

In Edinburgh the Beer Pot is nearly six per cent. larger than
in Glasgow. And,

In London * the Beer Pot contains cubic inches, 70.5

as appears from the following certificate.


^ ^ " The fVeisht and Measure Office,

"■ James Clelaxd, Esq. ^, ^ ., ,, „ „. ^ . ,

" Guildhall, Westminster.

" Sir,

" The Pewter Pots used in London for the Sale of

" Beer, are not relative to the Wine Gallon, but of a larger dimension,

" as the Beer Gallon contains 282 cubic inches. I am^


Your most obedient Servant,

Mh November, 1822. (Signed,) M. Marchant."

♦ A Quart w PiK is tlie fourtli part of a GaUoii.— ^k/A.



Thefollomng is the Copy of a Letter addressed to the Hon. the Lord Provost.

My Lord,

My official situation giving me frequent opportunities of observing
the inadequacy of the Jury List for the Circuit Court in this City,
which does not for the whole County of Lanark contain more than 200
effective names, by which, persons are often called upon to serve on two
or three successive Juries, while other qualified persons, who have been
in business for upwards of 40 years in the City, have never been called
on to take a share of that duty. Under these circumstances, I applied
for leave to extend the List, without putting the public to any expense.

Some difficulties having been removed, I was at length authorized by
the chief Magistrate of the County, on 21st October, 1821, to take
such steps as to me appeared proper, for accomplishing the object I
had in view.

As ray offer for preparing the Jury List extended not only to the
City and Suburbs, but to the whole of the under Ward of the County,
I corresponded with the parochial Clergymen in that district, who very
obligingly furnished me with the names and designations of such
persons in their respective parishes, as appeared to them proper for
serving on Juries ; so that now there is for the under Ward a List of
2,372 effective names engrossed in a book in alphabetical order, with
their designations and places of abode ; if the Lists for the middle and
upper Ward amount to 628, the aggregate will be 3,000, from which 30
Jurymen are to be taken twice in the year. The book which contains
the names of the town residents, and the landward parochial Lists were
handed to the Sheriff on 1st March, 1823. The deficiencies which
will annually occur by deaths, removals, and incapacities, may now be
supplied without much trouble.

Without inquiring how, or by whom the Jury Lists were originally
taken up, and from time to time extended and corrected in the
respective Counties connected with the Glasgow Circuit ; the following
will give some idea of the mode practised in Edinburgh. In that City,
the Jury Lists from a icniolc period have been made up and t.'xtendtd


from time to time by the Society of High Constables, which at present
consists of rather more than one hundred members. This Society is
very respectable, its members being taken from the middle class of the
Community, who serve without pay. Each Constable has a certain
portion of the Town assigned to him, over which in these matters he
presides, and from that district he selects and keeps up his proportion
of Jurymen ; when the number wanted over the whole Town is com-
pleted, the List is presented in the first instance to the Lord Provost
and Magistrates^ (the City of Edinburgh being a County within itself.)
In the instructions given to the Constables, as appears from their
records, 15th May, 1771, they are directed " to return no other than
" Tradesmen and Merchants of good fame, to exclude Surgeons,
" Butchers, Publicans, Lawyers, and Writers of every deyiomination."

Prior to the year IS 10, the High Constables had in some solitary
instances inserted the names of individual members of the College of
Justice in Edinburgh in the Jury List ; this was considered an infringe-
ment of rights and privileges, and tenaciously resisted by the College.
Having agitated the question in the proper Court and confirmed their
exemption, they thought proper to submit a case to the Attorney
General of England, inquiring how far Barristers and Attorneys in
England were liable to serve on Juries.

The Attorney General's Answer is in the following words :

" Lincdns Inn^ June 26, 1810.

** As far as I am acquainted with the usage upon this subject, neither
" Sergeants nor Barristers at law, while they continue to practise their
*' profession, nor even Attorneys, are ever summoned to serve on Juries.
" There is no Statute or Charter which exempts them ; but as the
*' general practice of their profession is to a great degree inconsistent
" with such service, and as they may, in many cases, from their pre-
•* vious professional employment, be the most unfit of any to perform
" the office of Jurymen, they are never called upon to do so: this ex-
*' emption, whether it be matter of right, or of convenience, has in no
" instance been called in question.

(Signed,) V. Gibbs."

Since 1810, no member of the College of Justice has ever been call-
ed on to serve on Juries in Edinburgh.

It has been customary for a considerable time past, to summon two
members of the Faculty of Procurators, or Writers, on the Jury at the
GlasLfow Circuits,


In preparing the Glasgow Jury List, care has been taken to omit the
names of persons under age, and those above sixty-five years, or those*
who, from mental or bodily infirmities, could not easily discharge the
always important, and frequently difficult duty of a Juryman. The
exemption also extends to Surgeons, Fleshers, Clergymen, Professors,
and Teachers of every description.

The mode which has been very prevalent in this place, of designing
Merchants and Tradesmen, as landed Gentlemen, merely because they
are proprietors of villas or small landward properties, has been avoided
for several reasons which need not be enumerated.

Till very lately, it was the practice for the Sheriff of Lanarkshire,
to send a List of the names of forty-five persons to the High Court of
Justiciary, from whom thirty were selected in Edinburgh, to serve on
the Glasgow Circuit ; this practice is now so far changed, that the
Sheriff returns only the names of the thirty persons who are to serve
on the Jury. The Sheriff of Renfrewshire returns the names of ten
persons, and the Sheriff of Dumbartonshire five ; making an aggregate
of forty-five persons, which constitutes the Glasgow Jury.

Notwithstanding that it has been usual for Jurymen (many of whom
came from a considerable distance) to serve at the Circuit Court of this
City, jvithout remuneration for the loss of time, and unavoidable ex-
pense, it does not seem reasonable that the practice should continue
any longer, while in Edinburgh, where the ordinary Juries are chiefly
taken from the City and Suburbs, (comparatively few being taken from
the Counties of Haddington and Linlithgow,) each Juryman serving in
the Justiciary Court since the year 1797, receives the sum of Ten
Shillings and Sixpence for his services on each Trial, no matter how
many take place in one day. In the Civil Jury Court in Glasgow, where
the duty is generally less arduous than in the Criminal Court, each Jury-
man receives One Pound for his services on each Trial ; there can,
therefore, be no doubt, but that on a respectful application to the
Honourable the Barons of his Majesty's Exchequer, an equal Sum will
be allowed to Jurymen serving in the Criminal Court in Glas"-ow, as is
given to those discharging a similar duty in Edinburgh.

I remain,

My Lord,

Your Lordship's very faithful and obedient Servant,


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 13 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

Online LibraryJames ClelandStatistical tables relative to the city of Glasgow, with other matters therewith connected → online text (page 13 of 23)