4th February 1856
Reference Numbert18560204-291
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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291. JOHN VAUGHAN was indicted for feloniously inserting in the register of burials of St. Matthew, Brixton, a false entry relating to the burial of Jane Webb.


the Prosecution.

ANN WEBB . I live at No. 53, Park-place, Park-road, Clapham. I am the daughter of the late Jane Webb, who lived at the same place—she died on 6th June last at No. 53, Park-place, Park-road, Clapham—we went there about March, the March before she died—before that we lived in Park-crescent; that is in Clapham parish—she had lived there two years—before that she lived in Manor-street, Clapham, in the parish of Clapham—I was present when my mother died—I attended her funeral—she was buried at St. Matthew's Church, Brixton—Plummer was employed as the undertaker.

Cross-examined by MR. ATTORNEY-GENERAL. Q. Who recommended Plummer to you? A. Not any one in particular—we had no reason whatever for going to him—we merely knew that he was an undertaker, and went to him.

MARY ANN WEBB . I am a daughter of the late Jane Webb. I was not with her when she died—I was with her within an hour of her death—I went to the registrar of the district, Mr. Frost, and gave him certain information with regard to my mother's death—after I had done so, he gave me

a piece of paper, which I gave to Plummer, the undertaker—Plummer was at that time the parish clerk of St. Matthew's, Brixton, and an undertaker; he conducted my mother's funeral—I did not pay him any money for fees, I paid the bill altogether, when everything was settled—the fees were all cast up together, I think it was 1l. 16s.;—I have the account here (producing it)—I paid it after the funeral—I attended the funeral, it was at St. Matthew's, Brixton—it was on Monday, 11th June; the Rev. George Eastman, the curate, performed the service.

JAMES FROST . I am the registrar of the births, deaths, and marriages, in the Clapham district I know Park-place, Park-road, Clapham, very well; that is in my district (referring to a book)—I registered the death of Jane Webb, on 9th June, 1855—this book states the place where the party died—the certificate does not—this entry in the book was made at the time—the residence of the deceased is described here as No. 53, Park-place, Park-road—I gave a copy of the register, a certificate of the death, to Elizabeth Beck, the party that registered the death—I cannot recollect whether two persons came, it is so long back.

Crou-examined by MR. ATTORNEY-GENERAL. Q. In your book you insert, among other things, the place of abode of the party? A. The place they die at, the place where they were abiding at the time of death—in my certificate I do not insert the place of abode at the time of death—this is a duplicate of the certificate I give (producing one)—it is a printed form with blanks, which we fill up according to the circumstances of the case; we have them in books—Park-place is within my district—it used to be called Acre-lane, but it is called Park-road now—I think the name was altered about fifteen or sixteen years back—Park-place leads out of Park-road—they call the whole of Acre-lane, Park-road—the name is stuck up at the end—some of the old people still call it Acre-lane, but very few indeed now—it is about a quarter of a mile long—Park-road is divided into six or seven different streets, Park-place is one of them, and is within that quarter of a mile—part of what was called Acre-lane is in Lambeth parish—I am not aware whether that would be within the district of St. Matthew, Brixton, it would be out of my district.

MR. CLARKSON. Q. Is Park-place in the pariah of Clapham? A. Yes—it was never any portion of the district of St. Matthew's, Brixton.

COURT. Q. Is there a separate district of St. Matthew's, Brixton? A. I am not aware.

MR. CLARKSON. Q. Your district is confined to the parish of Clapham? A. Only for births and deaths—I have the whole of Clapham parish in my district—that defines the boundary of my district as registrar of births and deaths.

MART ANN WEBB re-examined. Elizabeth Beck went with me to get the undertaker's certificate—she was present at the death—I received the certificate from her.

JOHN WILLIAM PLUMMER . I am an undertaker—I was until recently the parish clerk of St. Matthew, Brixton. I was employed as undertaker to bury Jane Webb on 11th June last—she was buried from Park-place, Park-road, Clapham—that is not within the district of St. Matthew's, Brixton, it is in the Clapham district—I received a certificate on that occasion I believe from one of the relatives—I could not say whether it was Mary Ann Webb or one of the others; there were several at the house at the time—(Mary Ann Webb—"I handed the certificate I got from Mr. Frost to this witness on the Sunday evening")—I gave that certificate to Malby, the

sexton, outside the Church gate on the following Monday morning—I think I received it on the Sunday afternoon when I went to screw the coffin down—I gave it to Malby the next day—on that occasion I paid him some fees—I paid him 1l. 15s.; those were double fees—I paid him double fees because it was out of the district—I believe the burial took place on the Monday afternoon, the same Monday that I paid him in the morning—Mr. Eastman performed the service—the double fees I paid to Malby extended to mine as well as the minister's—I deducted the 3s. 4d., which was my fee, from it before I paid him—I saw Dr. Vaughan on the morning of the day on which I paid Malby the fees, on the Monday—there was a wedding or two weddings—I saw him in the vestry—I saw Malby pay him some money, but I am not able to say what amount—I believe there was not any other funeral on that day, not to my knowledge—there was a wedding and I think there were two, but I know there was a wedding that morning—at the time I saw Malby hand Dr. Vaughan some money, there was Dr. Vaughan, myself, and Malby alone in the vestry; no one else was there—I saw the money handed to Dr. Vaughan and the certi-ficate—I could not say whether Malby gave it to him, but I know that the certificate was given to Dr. Vaughau—I saw it, and I likewise put it on the file—I saw it in Dr. Vaughan's hands, and saw him enter it in the rough book—that was the registrar's certificate—this (produced) is the rough book—this entry is in Dr. Vaughan's handwriting—"Jane Webb, Acre-lane, 65 years. G. E.," Mr. Eastman's initials, and "6s." against it—there is a date, "11th June"—the "G. E." is in Mr. Eastman's handwriting.

Court. Q. You saw him enter it in the rough book, how much of that is Dr. Vaughan's writing? A. The "11" is, also "Jane Webb, Acre-lane, 65 years."

MR. SERJEAKT WILKINS . Q. And the 6s., whose writing is that? A. Well, it looks like Dr. Vaughau's, but I should not like to say positively it was—the 6s. comes after the "G. R"—the "G. E." is Mr. Eastman's handwriting, I cannot say whose the "6s." is—6s. is a single ground fee—I am quite sure that "Acre-lane "is in the handwriting of Dr. Vaughan—I have seen the book since then, before I came here—I do not remember when my attention was first called to that entry—the certificate was handed to me, and I put it on the file at Dr. Vaughan's request—he handed it to me, and I put it on the file by his desire (looking at a file produced)—if this is the same file that those certificates were on, this was the file—it was such a file as this certainly—I have received my account from the relatives since—this is it (looking at it).

Q. I find in this account, "Paid dues at Brixton Church, 2l. 1s. 6d.;," what is the meaning of that? A. There was turfing the grave—Mrs. White, the pew opener, was paid half a crown by Dr. Vaughan's orders, and the bell and two or three other things—I have got the full account in Malby's handwriting at home—I paid for the bell, 2s., turfing the grave, 4s., grave digger, 1s.—I do not know what the items were, but I have got the full account of it in Malby's handwriting at home.

COURT. Q. But you were the man that paid? A. Yes; I did pay Malby, the sexton, for it.

MR. SERJEANT WILKINS. Q. Can you tell me from your recollection what that 2l. 1s. 6d. was for? A. There was 1l. 15s. for the double fees.

Cross-examined by MR. ATTORNEY-GENERAL. Q. You are not the parish clerk of St. Matthew's, Brixton now? A. No; I think I became clerk in Aug.—I think it was Aug. or Sept.—my father was clerk before me; he died

on 17th Apnl, 1855—I never got a regular appointment—I was allowed to go on—I was tnere in Aug. or Sept, 1854, in consequence of my father's illness—I acted for my father during his illness—I continued to officiate as clerk after my father's death, without any regular appointment—Dr. Vaughan went abroad, I think, in Aug., 1855.

Q. Before that time, I think he had occasion, I do not say whether rightly or wrongly, to find fault with you, in more than one instance? A. Not to my recollection—he never did find fault with me—he dismissed me in Sept., 1855—I will give you the date (referring to a memorandum), Sept. 6th—my father carried on the business of an undertaker before me, and I went on with that business while I was officiating as parish clerk—I continue to act as an undertaker now.

COURT. Q. How old are you? A. Eighteen.

MR. ATTORNEY-GENERAL. Q. Eighteen are you? A. Hardly eighteen—when this matter first came to be talked about, there was a good deal of excitement in the parish about it; there were meetings held, and a good deal of angry talking, and hand bills were circulated about the parish (looking at a hand bill)—I did not stick such hand bills as this about the parish—I will take my oath I did not stick about such hand bills as this—I did stick about some hand bills near the Doctor's house; one just opposite—they were left by Mr. Edwards, one of the churchwardens, at Mr. Eastman's—I was not there when Mr. Edwards left them—I got them from Mr. Eastman, Dr. Vaughan's curate—I do not know that the Doctor and his curate had not been on good terms before this—I did not hear anything about it at all—it was between 9 and 10 o'clock on the Monday morning that I paid these fees to Malby, outside the Church gate—a wedding was going on at the Church at the time—I think there were two—Malby was always there at weddings; he had to open the Church—this was outside the Church—Malby told me what the amount of the fees was, and I paid it—he gave me an account, and I have got it, but I have not brought it with, me—I did not know that it was required, or else I am sure I would have brought it—I was asked about the account at the police office—I never gave it a thought about bringing it here—I did not think it was necessary, although it was inquired about there—I paid him altogether the same as the bill states; I think it was 2l. 6s. 6d.—I do not remember in what sort of money I paid it—it was before the wedding was over—Dr. Vaughan officiated at the wedding—Malby had the certificate when I paid the fees—I handed it to Malby when I paid him the fees—I think I had mentioned the funeral to Malby on the Sunday—I really do not know whether I did; I really cannot tell—I had seen him before Monday morning.

COURT. Q. Had you told the sexton there was to be a funeral? A. Well, I had mentioned it to him, I know I had.

MR. ATTORNEY-GENERAL. Q. Had you,; will you swear that? A. Well, I would not swear positively whether I had or not, I really do not remember it—I do not remember whether I did or not, but I fancy I did mention it to him, that I had got a funeral to take place at the Church—I do not know that I told him whose funeral it was—he was perfectly aware where it came from when I paid him the fees—I do not remember whether I told him about the funeral or not on the Sunday—how can I tell you a thing I do not remember?—I am sure I cannot recollect whether I held any communication with Malby before the Monday morning, upon the subject of this funeral—it was before the wedding that I went into the vestry withi Dr. Vaughan—I saw Malby pay the money, but I did not see the certificate

passed—I saw the certificate, and I handed it myself, by Dr. Vaughan's orders, and put it on the file—I had handed the certificate to Malby outside the gate, so I saw it before I went in there.

COURT. Q. Did you and Malby walk in there immediately? A. Yes; we followed Dr. Vaughan into the vestry—that was immediately after I had given it.

MR. ATTORNEY-GENERAL. Q. Was your attention further directed to it after you got into the vestry, until Dr. Vaughan gave it you, and told you to put it on the file? A. No; it was not—I do not know whether the doctor took up the rough book or not, he made the entry—when we got in Malby might have said there was a funeral out of the district, or something of the kind, but I did not hear exactly—I do not know whether he did say so or not, but of course Dr. Vaughan must have known it was out of the district by the money that was paid—I remember Dr. Vaughan asking me whether I had allowed half a crown for the pew opener, and I told him I had—it is no good my saying I do remember anything that was said when we first got into the vestry, for I do not remember—I cannot remember who began the conversation, who took part in it, or anything that was said—I remember the certificate being given to me—I do not know that anybody mentioned anything about Acre-lane—I do not remember whether Malby mentioned Acre-lane—I do not think Malby mentioned Acre-lane, as the place from which the funeral had come—I will not swear anything—I did not notice at the time what the doctor wrote in the rough book—I mentioned it, perhaps, about a month or so afterwards, to Mr. Eastman, one Sunday afternoon; I mentioned that it was put down "Acre-lane"—I looked in the book and saw it on that Sunday afternoon—I looked in the book because I found there were two or three funerals out of the district, and I had only received my single fees for it instead of double; so I taxed Malby with it, and he did not give me any answer, and I looked at the book to see what was put down to the churchwardens, and so I found out what was in it—that was when the doctor was in France; it was after Mrs. Harrison, and her son in law, Mr. Meynell, had come to complain of having been charged double fees, or that there had been an incorrect entry made—I was not present when Malby begged them to take back the difference, but I heard of it—it was not after I heard of that that I went and looked at the book; I think it was previous to that—it was their coming to make the complaint that first caused the inquiry.

COURT. Q. Had you looked at the book before or after; which, because you have said both? A. Looked at the book, what for, Sir!

MR. ATTORNEY-GENERAL. Q. I did not say a word about what for, I asked you whether you had looked at this rough book? A. Oh! I had looked at it a good many times.

Q. But looked at it with reference to these out district funerals? A. I looked at it a good many times after Mrs. Harrison came.

COURT. Q. Was it after Mrs. Harrison came that you went to look at the book, with reference to these entries? A. Well, I do not know—I have looked at the book a good many times—I have seen the book both before and after Mrs. Harrison came.

MR. ATTORNEY-GENERAL. Q. Pray did the book always lie open on the vestry table? A. Yes, it did, where the churchwardens or anybody else could look at it—Malby and I had a running account for fees—we never settled them at a public house—it has gone on for longer than a month—the 2s. 6d. which the Doctor said the pew opener was to have, was for the out district

funerals, that was not to come off my fees, it was an extra thing, the parties had to pay it themselves—I paid it and charged it to them—I got double fees for out district funerals, when they were my own funerals, and when I could not be deceived by it—I do not know as Malby ever acted dishonestly with me, if he did with any one else—the fees were always paid to Malby as far as I know—it would be Malby's business to hand over to me the fees that were due to me, and I looked to him for the money—I kept a sort of running account with him, he never used to pay me after the funeral was over—I did not know at that time that the churchwardens were objecting to having so many funerals from the outlying districts—I will swear I never posted one of the handbills that you put into my hand—I posted some on a Sunday, but not of that kind—I went about in a cart posting them—I received orders from the churchwardens to post the bills, from Mr. Eastman—the first bills that were posted were left—no—the bills were left at my house, and I had to go to Mr. Eastman's the next morning to receive directions where to post them, Mr. Edwards was there at the time—I did not receive instructions from Mr. Eastman to go and poet these bills on a Sunday, but when I found that the bills were pulled down on a Saturday night, I thought I had better put them up the next morning, which I did; so I went about on the Sunday morning posting them up again.

MR; SERJEANT WILKINS. Q. Is that the bill you posted (handing one to the witness)? A. Yes, it is one of them, that was the first bill I posted; (looking at another) this is one that I posted—I think I posted altogether three lots, or it might have been four—I do not know whether that might have been the second or not, at all events I posted that one—the bills I posted announced a public meeting of the inhabitants—that was the object of the bills—(These bills being read, announced that meetings were to be held on 20th Sept., and 22nd Oct., respectively)—meetings took place upon these, and a committee was appointed—I believe I know who the members of the committee were—they were some of the most respectable inhabitants of the district—one of the committee was Mr. Evans, a friend of the incumbent—I was present at all of the meetings—Dr. Vaughan sanctioned my officiating as clerk after my father's death—he removed me on 6th Sept, 1855.

Q. What reason did he assign for so doing? A. Will you allow me to read his letter, it is in his own handwriting, it is dated 6th Sept., after he came back from Paris—(Read: "Tulse-hill, Sept. 6, 1855. The Rev. Dr. Vaughan begs to inform Mr. J. Plummer that, in consequence of his late mysterious conduct, and great disrespect to him as Incumbent, he hat this day duly appointed a qualified and competent person to perform the duties of parish clerk of St. Matthew's, Brixton. To Mr. J. Plummer.")—he never explained to me what the mysterious conduct was—I had never behaved disrespectfully to him in my life that I know of—I certainly assisted in inspecting the books during his absence in Paris, by the churchwardens' orders—I never recollect his having found fault with me during the whole time I was in office.

Q. I want you to explain a little more fully what actually took place on the Monday when you paid Malby the money; I understand you to say that you met Malby at the church gates on that morning? A. Yes—we stood there waiting for Dr. Vaughan at the church gates—when Dr. Vaughan came, he walked through into the vestry—Malby and I followed him—there was no one with him when we got into the vestry, I sat down filling up the heading in the marriage book—I believe that marriage book is here—whilst I was filling up the heading in the marriage book Dr. Vaughan

and Malby were settling about these fees; Malby was paying them to Dr. Vaughan—I saw him hand some money, but I could not say what amount it was.

Q. As far as your memory goes, was there or was there not one word said about Acre-lane by anybody? A. I believe not, I have not the slightest recollection of anything of the sort—I handed the certificate to Malby that same morning—after I had given it to Malby, I next saw it in Dr. Vaughan's hand—he told me to put it on the file—the rough book was there.

Q. Had anything been written in the rough book before you put it on the file? A. No: yes, it had—Dr. Vaughan made an entry in the rough book at the time—I did not see the entry, but I saw him writing—I certainly saw him writing, in the act of writing.

COURT. Q. You saw Dr. Vaughan write in the rough book before he told you to put the certificate on the file? A. Yes.

MR. SERJEANT WILKINS. Q. I did not catch exactly what you said just now about the occasions upon which the pew opener received half a crown, upon what occasions were those? A. It was when a funeral was out of the district, and also it was written on the rules of the church by Dr. Vaughan that when there was a vault funeral she was to have half a crown—it was not mentioned in the rules that she was to have half a crown for an out district funeral, but he said to me that monring, "Plummer, I hope you have allowed Mrs. White half a crown"—I said I had, and he said, "Oh, that is right, John"—this was not a vault funeral—it was only in vault funerals and out district funerals that Mrs. White was to be paid half a crown, but I never had an instance of it before, not out of the district.

COURT. Q. All that the Doctor said was, "I hope you have allowed Mrs. White half a crown? A. Yes—she was allowed something when a person in the district was buried, when it was a vault funeral—I do not know anything further than that what Dr. Vaughan said on this occasion was, "You have allowed Mrs. White half a crown?" or "I hope you have allowed Mrs. White half a crown?" something like that—I said, "I have, Sir," and he said, "That is right, John"—that was all that I heard him say, at least all that I noticed.

MR. ATTORNEY-GENERAL. Q. Is not a portion of Acre-lane in the Clapham district, and a Portion in St. Matthew's? A. It is.

MR. SERJEANT WILKJNS. Q. Do those portions adjoin each other? A. Yes they do—the boundary of Clapham ends at the corner of Park-road, Clapham-park, and opposite Bedford-road—one side of Bedford-road which lies on the right, the right hand side, is in the Brixton district, and the opposite side, and likewise both the sides on the left are in Clapham—Parkplace is about a quarter of a mile from the boundary, or rather more I should say.

GEORGE MALBY . I was the sexton of the district parish of St. Matthew, Brixton. I became sexton about four years ago I think, two years as sexton and two years deputy sexton—I recollect a funeral of a person of the name of Jane Webb in the month of June last—I received the application from Plummer about the funeral—I cannot say at what date exactly—I do not remember the date—I do not know exactly whether it was on the day of the funeral or not, I do not remember—I do not recollect which day it was I heard that the funeral was to take place—Plummer was the undertaker in that funeral—I do not recollect the day upon which the funeral took place—I do not recollect the day of the month—I do not

remember what day of the week it was—I recollect the fact of the funeral—I saw Plummer on the day of the funeral—I first saw him at the Church that day—I cannot say exactly at what time of the day it was—it was in the afternoon, from 2 o'clock to half past 2, on the day of the funeral—I met him at the Church, in the Church I believe—I cannot say whether it was on the day of the funeral or not that I received something from him—I received 1l. 15s. from him prior to the funeral, deducting the clerk's fee, 3s. 4d.

COURT. Q. Where were you when vou received it? A. Outside the Church—I received 1l. 15s., the funeral fees.

MR. CLERK. Q. Were those single or double fees? A. Double fees—he did not give me anything besides the fees that I recollect at all—I do not recollect whether he gave me anything else at some time before the funeral took place—I do not recollect whether I received the certificate from the undertaker Plummer, or whether he delivered it into the vestry—I was at the vestry on the day of the funeral—half-past 3 o'clock is the usual hour—the funeral took place at half past 3 o'clock—I do not recollect whether I was at the vestry at an earlier hour that day.

Q. Did you, on the day the funeral took place, or at any other time, give any proportion of the fees you had received to Dr. Vaughan? A. Either the day before, or the same day, or the day after—I do not recollect the day it was on—I gave it to him in the vestry—Plummer, the clerk, was in the vestry when I gave the fees to Dr. Vaughan—there was not any one else there that I recollect—I did not at any time, that I recollect, have a certificate with regard to that death in my possession—I do not recollect seeing the certificate, either at the vestry or elsewhere—the fees I gave to Dr. Vaughan in the vestry were 19s.

Q. How was that sum of 19s. made up? A. The ground fee is 6s., single fees; and double fees, it is 12s.—I paid Dr. Vaughan 12s., the ground fee—the remaining 7s. was the desk fee, as it is called, the minister's fee; that was a double fee—the desk fee is the same as the surplice fee—I do not recollect whether Dr. Vaughan made an entry in the rough book of that burial—I did not see any entry made at any time—I do not recollect whether there was a wedding on that same day, or not—the entries in the rough book were in general made by the Doctor, and the Curate of course—the curate used to write the full address—there was a file kept in the vestry for the certificates—the certificates were placed on the file after the entry was made—I did not see it done this time—I do not recollect whether I was present when any entry was made by the Doctor of the death of Jane Webb in the rough book—I do not recollect whether I was there or not.

Cross-examined by MR. ATTORNEY-GENERAL. Q. You say it was about half past 2 o'clock, as well as you recollect, that you saw Plummer on the day when he paid you the fees? A. No, it was in the morning, at the time of the funeral, the day of the funeral.

COURT. Q. But that was the time you mentioned? A. Not at that time in the day; it was in the morning that I received the fees from Plummer.

MR. ATTORNEY-GENERAL. Q. What did you do with Plummer then at half past 2 o'clock? A. He was there to meet the funeral—I received the money from him in the morning—he was at the Church at the time of the funeral—it was on the day of the funeral that I saw Plummer, and got the money—I do not remember whether it was on the day of the funeral, or not, that I received the money.

COURT. Q. You said just this moment that it was; what do you mean; was it on the day of the funeral that you received the money? A. I cannot say whether it was or not—Mr. Eastman officiated at the funeral—I received the money of Plummer—I do not recollect whether it was on the day of the funeral or not.

MR. ATTORNEY-GENERAL. Q. Was it one of the three days, the day before, the day of the funeral, or the day after? A. I do not recollect what day it was—the Doctor was there—at the time Plummer paid me, I cannot recollect whether there was a wedding there—at all events, the Doctor was there, and Plummer and myself were there, the day that I received the fees—I do not recollect whether it was before or after the funeral—it was before the funeral that I received the fees; the day before—I cannot say whether I received the fees on the day of the funeral or not—it was not the day after—it was either that day or the day before; I cannot recollect.

Q. When were the entries made in the rough book, in the course of business, at the time of the funeral, or before the funeral? A. Before, sometimes: they have been made by the Doctor, sometimes before the funeral—they are not more frequently made after the funeral—there are some entered before, more frequently after; sometimes before, and sometimes after the funeral, and sometimes at the time, the same day as the funeral—Mr. Eastman sometimes enters them—this was made after the funeral, the same day of the funeral, but after the interment had taken place—I do not recollect the entry of Jane Webb, Acre-lane, at all—the name of the place where the party lived at the time of death is generally entered in the rough book—it does not appear from the certificate which the undertaker produces.

Q. How does the clergyman get at the information as to the age, and the place where the party was abiding when he died? A. Sometimes the certificates have it on—when the registrar's certificate is given to the undertaker it does not contain the place of abode or the age, the minister obtains that information from the sexton—sometimes I have given that information, when it is not on the certificate—when it is not on the certificate I always give it.

COURT. Q. You tell the clergyman, when it is not on the certificate, where the party died? A. Yes.

MR. ATTORNEY-GENERAL. Q. That is always the case? A. Yes, and he puts down according to what I tell him—that would be just the same whether it was Dr. Vaughan who made the entry in the rough book, or Mr. Eastman—I do not recollect seeing this certificate—on the day this payment was made, Plummer met me outside the Church, gave me the money, and then us two and the Doctor went into the vestry—sometimes the Doctor was accompanied by his son, Mr. Joseph Vaughan, when he came to the vestry on these occasions; sometimes he was not; sometimes he came by himself—it varied; sometimes Mr. Joseph was with him, sometimes he was not—when he came he used to stop a very little while, therefore I might not see him—I was not aware that the family were anxious about Dr. Vaughan's health, because he had had a fit, and that therefore one of his children almost invariably went with him wherever he went—very often Mr. Joseph used to come to the vestry—I cannot say whether during the years 1854 and 1855, I have seen Dr. Vaughan half a dozen times at the vestry without one or other of his children; I cannot recollect—sometimes he used to come without Mr. Joseph, and he used to go home without him; sometimes he came and went by himself, lately Mr. Joseph has come more—on

this occasion there were not any of his children with him in the vestry to my recollection—I do not recollect seeing any, only Plummer, the Doctor, and myself—I do not recollect seeing any one else there.

COURT. Q. Will you swear there was no one else there, that is what you are asked? A. Not to the best of my knowledge.

MR. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Q. When was it that you were first spoken to about these entries of burials that had taken place out of the district? A. At the time the Doctor was in Paris—I recollect a Mrs. Harrison and a Mr. Meynell coming about a certificate of burial—Mrs. Harrison was the widow of a person of the name of Harrison, who had been buried at St. Matthew's, Brixton—I believe she wanted a certificate, in order to get some money that was coming to her as his widow.

Q. Do you remember when the Doctor was absent, her coming over with her son in law, Mr. Meynell, and complaining that an incorrect certificate bad been given? A. I heard something of it—I do not recollect seeing them talking to Mr. Eastman, or the churchwardens; she went into the vestry—Mr. Eastman and the churchwardens were there—I saw Mrs. Harrison go into the vestry to them—I know that they waited, by the desire of Mr. Eastman, till the service was over, in order that the matter might be inquired into—I do not recollect seeing them in the churchyard, I saw them in the Church.

Q. Do you remember going up and asking them to take back the 6s. that had been overpai? A. In the Church I told them to take the 6s.—that was not before the matter had been inquired into, it was that afternoon I think, while they were waiting—I went and offered them the 6s.—Mrs. Harrison said she had rather not—I offered them the 6s. while they were waiting—I told them there was 6s. for them—I had not the 6s. in my hand, it was in my pocket—I told them it was there ready for them—they would not take it—I did not afterwards go to them, and lay to Mr. Meynell, "Say you only gave 1l. 9s."

Q. Take care; I tell you I have got Mr. Meynell here, so be upon your guard; did not you, after the service was over, and before they went into the vestry, go up to them and say to them, or to Mr. Meynell, "Say 1l. 9s."? A. No, I did not; not to my recollection—I did not.

COURT. Q. Did you eay to them, "Say 1l. 9s." or words to that effect? A. I do not recollect that I said to that effect at ail.

MR. ATTORNEY-GENERAL. Q. Will you swear you did not? A. I cannot say whether I did—to the best of my recollection, I did not ask them to say 1l. 9s.—I do not recollect making an observation of the kind—to the best of my recollection I did not ask them to say that 1l. 9s. was the sum they had paid—I offered the 6s. out of the 1l. 15s.—I do not recollect any observation, only offering it, and saying there was 6s. deducted—I cannot undertake to swear that I did not say that—I cannot say whether I did or did not; I will not swear it—I will not swear one way or the other—I know Mr. Matthew Vaughan very well—he is a clergyman, and is incumbent of the neighbouring Church of St. John—I went to him after the Harrisons had come over.

Q. Did you tell him that Mr. Eastman, Plummer, and the churchwardens, had been getting up a tale about the fees? A. I did not make any observation in respect to a tale about the fees, the application of Mrs. Harrison was all—I do not recollect saying to him that I had always paid the Doctor the proper fees, and the Doctor had always entered them in my presence—I did not tell him they were trying to get up a row about

the fees, not to the best of my recollection—I have not a particularly bad memory.

COURT. Q. But surely you can say whether you did say so or not? A. I can say almost that I did not—I do not recollect making the observation at all to Mr. Matthew Vaughan—I told him, of course, that Mrs. Harrison had applied for the certificate.

MR. ATTORNEY-GENERAL. Q. The Doctor was abroad at this time? A. He was; the 6s. that I offered to refund was part of the ground fee—I get extra fees when an out parishioner is buried; 3s. 4d. is the extra fee I get—I am generally in the habit of receiving the fees, and then I account afterwards to the Doctor, in the vestry, telling him the last place of abode of the person who is to be buried, or who has been buried—he fills in by the certificate, and according to my suggestion—I did not in this instance tell the Doctor, Acre-lane—I do not recollect seeing him enter it—I stand there sometimes, but I take no notice, the Doctor writes the entries in himself.

Q. Was it not your habit to tell the Doctor what it was he was to fill in, with reference to the last abode? A. He had the certificate laid before him—that certificate did not contain the last abode—when it is not on the certificate the Doctor or Mr. Eastman entered, according to the information they got from me—I cannot tell how the Doctor got Acre-lane in this instance.

COURT. Q. But you say, when it was not in the certificate you always told him where it was? A. Yes; and the Doctor always knew from the certificate that it was out of the district.

MR. ATTORNEY-GENERAL. Q. What did you tell him on this occasion 9 A. Clapham—the Doctor was aware—I do not recollect what I told him—I do not recollect this entry—I told him "Clapham."

COURT. Q. You said this instant you did not recollect what you told bim; now you say you told him "Clapham"? A. Harrison's you are speaking of.

MR. ATTORNEY-GENERAL. Q. I am speaking of this particular case, of Webb, of Acre-lane; what did you tell the Doctor to put in, in the case of Jane Webb? A. Oh! nothing at all—I was not there at the time—I do not recollect anything.

COURT. Q. You were not there at the time? A. I do not recollect seeing the entry made of Jane Webb—I do not recollect whether I was there at the time the entry was made.

MR. ATTORNEY-GENERAL. Q. I thought you, Plummer, and the Doctor went in together? A. We did so, and then the money was handed by me to the Doctor—I do not know whether the Doctor or Plummer made the entry in the rough book—sometimes Plummer has made it, I believe—I did not know that the Doctor objected to Plummer coming into the vestry, because he smelt so strongly of smoke, not until the Doctor told the churchwardens of it—(looking at the rough book) I do not see any entry by Plummer in this book—I understood that Plummer made the entries of the certificates sometimes; his father used to make entries sometimes in the rough book—I do not see an entry of Plummer's—I did not on this occasion tell the Doctor the Acre-lane that he was to put in here—I do not recollect whether I gave the certificate up to the Doctor, or whether Plummer gave the certificate.

COURT. Q. The certificate does not mention the place? A. Sometimes it does, sometimes it does not.

Q. But this does not, nor does any one from the Clapham district, at least

so says the registrar, and you say you always gave the place when the certificate did not? A. I gained information from the undertakers in general, or the relatives that come.

Q. If you always give the information when it is not on the certificate, did you give it on this occasion? A. I do not recollect seeing Webb's certificate; I do not recollect hearing or seeing that certificate at all.

MR. ATTORNEY-GENERAL. Q. You have been involved in some litigation with the Doctor yourself? A. In what way? I do not particularly know what you mean by litigation—he brought an action against me in the County Court—I have been occasionally in a little pecuniary embarrassment—I do not know exactly when it was that I had a distress put in my house, I have the receipt for what I paid, so I can tell you—it was 12th July, 1855—I went to the Doctor and told him the distress I was in—the distress was for 12l.—the Doctor advanced me 12l.—I had a claim upon the churchwardens for 2l. 10s. for salary—it was not arranged that that 2l. 10s. should be deducted from the 12l.—after all this disturbance took place about the fees I brought an action in the County Court against the Doctor for the 2l. 10s.—he brought an action against me for the 12l.—both these causes stood for hearing on the same day—I did not withdraw my action, it did not come on for hearing—I did not withdraw mine and pay the costs, I did not withdraw it, but I understand it was withdrawn—I got a solicitor to take the cases in rotation—I did not get my 2l. 10s., and I bad to pay the costs—the Doctor got a judgment in his favour for the 12l.—I was sworn—I swore that I did not owe it him—I believe the counsel after hearing me cross-examined, said he would have nothing more to do with the case—the Judge said that I had been guilty of perjury, and that he should consider whether he ought not to commit me—he afterwards said that considering Dr. Vaughan was wealthy enough himself to prosecute me he should not commit me, but that I fully deserved to be indicted for perjury—I did swear that I did not owe the Doctor the 12l.—I have not gone through the rough book with the churchwardens and others in all the cases, I have not done so with any one—I am still sexton—I have not talked this matter over pretty frequently with Plummer—in almost all the cases I received the fees—I used to account to the Doctor every time of the interment—the number of times a week that was, depended upon what interments there were—sometimes there might be one, sometimes none, and sometimes two or three.

Q. But supposing in any week there was more than one interment, bow often were you in the habit, taking one week with another, of accounting with him? A. Sometimes on Wednesday morning, and sometimes I used to go to the Doctor's residence and settle with him—sometimes, before I paid, the entries were made from the certificates—some of the entries are made by Mr. Eastman, and some are not.

Q. How was it that when Mr. Eastman buried on some occasions, no entry was made until a subsequent period? A. Because the biggest part of them, I believe, are out of the district; it was kept private from Mr. Eastman by the Doctor, the entries from the certificates—Mr. Eastman did not have the certificate sometimes at the time of the funeral, the Doctor had it in his possession sometimes—I believe it is the business of the officiating clergyman to have the certificates—sometimes Mr. Eastman was in the habit of burying without them—this rough book was always open on the table of the vestry—there was another book, a third book, a copy of it, which was kept for the churchwardens—the Doctor in general

copied that—the churchwardens had a copy of the rough book, and the rough book itself was at all times open to their inspection in the vestry—Plummer had his clerk's fees to receive from me from time to time—at one time I think we had a running account—it was the Doctor's wish that he should know what Plummer received, then I kept back two or three weeks, or perhaps a little more, but generally I paid him—the Doctor wanted to know what he received, and the fees then stood back—you might certainly tell it by the number of funerals—it was the Doctor's wish at ail events—it was only that time that I kept a running account with Plummer—I think so—that was one occasion.

COURT. Q. And the only one? A. The last two or three weeks perhaps, or three weeks, it all depended.

MR. ATTORNEY-GENERAL Q. During the whole time Plummer was there officiating as clerk, had you not a running account with him? A. No, not the whole time, I think, it all depended—I think a few weeks—at all events he was paid all the fees, excepting the double fees.

MR. SERJEANT WILKINS. Q. How was it that he was not paid the double fees? A. It was the Doctor's wish that he should not receive the double fees after his father's death—the Doctor told me so—I do not know when it was he told me that—he told me that Plummer was not to receive double fees, only when he had a funeral of his own at the Church, acting as undertaker—when the funeral was not his own, the double fees that Plummer should have received were paid to Mrs. White, the pew opener—Mrs. Harrison's complaint was nothing, except about receiving this certificate of burial—she came to complain to the churchwardens that the burial certificate was incorrect.

COURT. Q. Did you hear it, or did she complain to you? A. She did not complain to me at all.

MR. SERJEANT WILKINS. Q. Did she complain in your hearing? A. No, I heard them talking in the Church about it—she did not complain to me at all—I heard her complain to others—she complained of the certificate, that she could not receive the money she had in the bank from the certificate she received at the vestry—she complained that the identity was disputed at the bank, in consequence of the description being incorrect—she made that complaint in the Church to the churchwardens I think—I do not know whether she produced the certificate—Mr. Eastman officiated at the burial of her husband, to the best of my recollection—I received the fees—Dr. Vaughan was at home at that time I believe—I think he was, I do not think he was gone to Paris at that time; he was at home.

Q. What did you do with the fees, if she paid double fees? A. I paid the Doctor the fees; double, single ground fee—I had received double—I paid the Doctor single—I did not pay him the double, because I meant to give it to the woman back again after I heard she was poor and deserving—I do not recollect when I paid Dr. Vaughan—I paid him before I offered the 6s. back to Mrs. Harrison—I did not pay him the whole, because I kept it back—I did so on all occasions, because it was the Doctor's wish that she should receive the 6s. back, because she was poor—it was by his permission that I should take them in that way—he was aware that the 6s. was to be returned to the woman—I know he was aware of it because I told him—I told him that the woman was very poor—I did not know the parties at all, and they came from Clapham—I told him the woman was very poor in the vestry of the Church—I cannot tell you when I told him—it was before the funeral—I told Dr. Vaughan in the vestry

that I had received double fees—I cannot recollect when it was—it was before the funeral, after I had received the money—sometimes I receive the money two or three days before the funeral—I do not recollect on that occasion how I might receive the money.

Q. Come, you may as well tell us the truth, did not you mean to pocket that 6s. yourself? A. I did not—the book that was kept for the churchwardens is all in the Doctor's handwriting.

MR. ATTORNEY-GENERAL. Q. When was Mr. Harrison buried? A. I forget the date, the entry is in the book—I do not recollect the date at all—it was somewhere about the day before the Doctor went to Paris, but I cannot recollect—I do not recollect whether it was the day before or two days before the Doctor told me that I might give back the 6s. because she was poor—I should have given it back, but I had not seen her till then, and on the day of the funeral I was engaged—I did not see her till she came to complain of her certificate—I cannot say how long that was afterwards—it was somewhere about a fortnight or three weeks—I kept the money in my pocket for her—the Doctor afterwards made me refund that 6s. to himself in the presence of the Churchwardens—he asked me how I came to keep it back—I said it was because the woman was poor—I was then told that instead of being poor, she wanted the certificate for the purpose of getting 30l. from the bank.

Q. What did you mean by saying that she was poor? A. I was not aware that she was, only from the information I gained from the parties that came to order the funeral—it was a party of the name of Lodge—he lives at Clapham—he came to the churchyard—he told me that the woman was poor—he asked me to remit the fees—the fees were taken off for some relative of his in the same way—I kept the fees in my pocket till I gave them up to the Doctor.

COURT. Q. Did not you attend the funeral as sexton? A. I did—I did not give the 6s. back then, because I was busy at the time, and the relatives were gone from the Church at the time.

REV. GEORGE EASTMAN . I was curate to Dr. Vaughan, at St. Matthew's Brixton. I commenced acting as curate in May, 1853—the Rev. Matthew Vaughan preceded me, a son of the Rev. Dr. Vaughan—the number of funerals at St. Matthew's, Brixton, depended upon the time of year—I was there during the cholera season—then there were a great many—I usually performed the funerals—in June, 1855, I was officiating as curate to Dr. Vaughan—on 11th June, 1855, I find this entry in the rough book: "11th June. Jane Webb, Acre-lane, sixty five years," with my initials and the figure 6—the whole of that entry is in Dr. Vaughan's handwriting, with the exception of my initials—the figure 6 is in Dr. Vaughan's handwriting—the initials G. E. are mine—I should imagine that that entry was in the book when I put my initials there—I have in one or two instances put my initials to a blank entry—I had the entry of the funeral before me at the time I put my initials—sometimes I saw the undertaker's certificate—I dare say I have performed a funeral without the undertaker's certificate and the entry in this book by Dr. Vaughan—I do not recollect—I cannot speak clearly as to this entry of 11th June—I do not recollect that just now—I should imagine this entry of Jane Webb was there before I put my initials to it, for this reason, there was a wedding at the Church on that morning, which I think was performed by Dr. Vaughan—I have here the entries of the marriages which took place at that Church in the month of June—this is the marriage register of St Matthew's,

Brixton—I see there were two weddings performed on that day—Dr. Vaughan officiated at those weddings—he signs as the clergyman on 11th June, 1855—I think the body of the entries with regard to the weddings is in Mr. Plummer's, the clerk's handwriting—the fact of there having been two weddings at the Church that morning does not recall to my recollection anything with regard to the entry of this burial—I have no recollection of the entry—it was so common for me to place my initials to Dr. Vaughan's handwriting, and the cases were so numerous, that I could not recollect them individually—my initials are placed in the same line—I think I have once or twice placed my initials to a blank entry where there was nothing written—I do not recollect whether I did so on this occasion—I have here the register of burials (referring to it)—here is an entry on 11th June—it is in Dr. Vaughan's handwriting—it is, "Jane Webb, Acre-lane, 11th June, sixty-five years."

COURT. Q. That is in the parish register? A. That is in the parish register.

MR. CLERK. Q. Is there a column there for the signature of the officiating minister? A. There is, my name stands there, George Eastman—I did not sign that, it is in Dr. Vaughan's writing—Dr. Vaughan made the entries in this book at that time—my name appears almost invariably as officiating minister—it is not my signature.

Cross-examined by MR. ATTORNEY-GENERAL. Q. Were you ever in the habit of performing the funeral service without the production of the registrar's certificate? A. I cannot say that I was—I have done it frequently, perhaps that term may be admitted—I will not say generally, frequently perhaps; I might say so, I will say so—the particulars as to the last place of abode and the age were generally contained in the registrar's certificate—I do not recollect taking a certificate without the abode being written upon it—I do not know anything about the one in question of Jane Webb, because I did not enter it—I dare say I have entered some from the Clapham district—I cannot recollect whether the certificates from the parish of Clapham did or did not contain the place of abode—in the certificates of the registrar of the district of Brixton, the name of the street was inserted—I do not recollect a case in which it was not—it is not the form of the certificate, but it was entered by the registrar, at our request, to suit our convenience—that is in our district.

COURT. Q. But in districts where it was not entered, where did you get your information from? A. I think I generally found it—I do not recollect, as I stated before, a case in which I have not seen it on a certificate—if it was on the certificate, I got it from the certificate.

MR. ATTORNEY-GENERAL. Q. Do I understand you to say that the registrar's certificates for Brixton parish contain the place of abode of the party? A. I said I did not recollect when they did not—I would not undertake to say that every one did.—(The ATTORNEY-GENERAL handed some certificates to the witness, for the purpose of refreshing his memory; MR. SERJEANT WILKINS objected to their being used for that purpose, as they were not in the witness's writing; MR. JUSTICE WIGHTMAN was of opinion that they were not available for the purpose.)

Q. I ask you, in the face of the registrar of Brixton, and reminding you that the certificate is according to a form given in the Act of Parliament, which he is bound to follow, whether they do contain the last place of abode of the party deceased? A. I have answered the question two or three times over—I mean to assert that I do not recollect particular certificates

not containing the place of abode—I do not recollect any certificate where the place of abode was not on it; I mean the street in which the person lived, the number, and the age—I have not taken rather an active part in this affair, not at all—I was not aware that I was on bad terms with Dr. Vaughan before that—I did not circulate any of the handbills—I delivered them to Plummer for the purpose of being circulated, at the churchwardens' request—stop, let me recollect; I do not think they ever came into my hands—I do not recollect whether they were delivered from my house—I do not think they ever came into my hands—I told Plummer, at the churchwardens' request, where he should stick them up—I believe I am still curate of Brixton Church—I know I am—the new incumbent has given me notice that he no longer requires my services, still my time has not yet expired—I have made no announcement that I mean to preach one sermon upon his trial and another upon his conviction; I am surprised at such a question.

MR. SERJEANT WILKINS. Q. As far as you know, have you ever had any quarrel with Dr. Vaughan? A. A misunderstanding arose once, but it was set right directly—that was in Aug., 1854—it was set right directly—after that we went on, on amicable terms, as far as I know—as far as my recollection goes, the certificates for our district always had the age and residence of the deceased (several certificates were here taken from a file and handed to the witness)—I see the age and residence on every one of these except the last one—that last one is dated 13th Dec., 1855—I think a Mr. Lee officiated then, I did not—I have never taken an active part in this inquiry with regard to Dr. Vaughan—the only bills I was instrumental in circulating were those convening meetings of the inhabitants, and that was at the request of the churchwarden, who stated that he was busy that morning, and could not afford time to attend to them.

ALFRED STAFF PRIOR I am one of the churchwardens of the district Church of St. Matthew, Brixton—I am the incumbent's churchwarden—I commenced my duties in Easter, 1855, including this period—in the instance of Mrs. Webb, Dr. Vaughan accounted to me for 6s., a single ground fee, and not a double one—these two bills (looking at them) were published by the direction of myself and my brother churchwarden, Mr. John Edwards—they were posted about the parish by my direction—one of them, the first, speaks of a requisition from a body of the inhabitants—this (produced) is the requisition upon which the meeting was called—there are no other bills upon the subject of these affairs of which I am cognizant, except the bill for the calling of a vestry—I saw the bill which has been produced, alleged to be abusive of Dr. Vaughan, but I had nothing to do with it—I saw it when I found it stuck up on the walls; until I found it there, I did not know of its existence—I had nothing whatever to do with it, either directly or indirectly—I have given no authority for, or had any share in, the publication of any other handbill but the three I have referred to—I see an entry in the rough book of the funeral of Robert Parsons—that is the entry of Plummer, the late clerk—(The ATTORNEY-GENERAL objected to this evidence as irrelevant. MR. SERJEANT WILKINS offered it for the purpose of showing a practice of entering different particulars in the churchwarden's book from those contained in the rough book. MR. JUSTICE WIGHTMAN was of opinion that even for that purpose it was not admissible.)

Cross-examined by MR. ATTORNEY-GENERAL. Q. I am quite sure you had nothing to do with printing these obnoxious handbills, but you saw them stuck about the parish? A. I did, I did not see a good many—I Saw two.

saw them stuck up one morning, and the following morning they were all torn down; the two I saw—there has been a good deal of excitement in in the parish—I heard of there being a misunderstanding between the Doctor and his curate—I suggested to Dr. Vaughan that if he could not agree with his curate, it was very disreputable to be quarrelling, and they had better part—I did not say that there would be no peace in the parish until the curate, Plummer, and Malby were got rid of.

MR. SERJEANT WILKINS. Q. How long is it ago that you stated this to Dr. Vaughan? A. I think about six months ago, I do not pledge myself to the date.

JOHN EDWARDS . I am one of the churchwardens of St. Matthew, Brixton. I am not capable of stating what would be the advantage to the party receiving double fees instead of single fees for burials in the course of a year, I have not made myself acquainted with it—my year of office not having been gone through, and the account not having been made up, I am not competent to give you an answer as to the amount of the fees, or how they are distributed—the single fees for a funeral are 17s. 6d., and the double fees, 1l. 15s.—of the 17s. 6d. single fee, 6s. I presume would go to the incumbent, as desk or surplice fees; 6s. to the churchwardens and the Rector of Lambeth, one half to each; and the residue would be made up by the sexton and clerk's fees, but what they are I do not know—I have made it my duty to understand how far the churchwardens are answerable, and how much of the fees it would be their's to account for; so far I can give you an answer, but as to the sexton I cannot—the relative proportions are the same in double as in single fees.

ALFRED STAFF PRIOR re-examined. If a burial takes place of a person who has died in the district of St. Matthew, Brixton, there is a single ground fee paid—the amount of that is 6s. for a person of full age, and if buried in what is called the third ground—that ground fee is divisible between the rector of Lambeth, the mother parish, and the churchwardens of Brixton, in equal moieties—for the burial of a person of fall age dying out of the district, and buried in the third ground, the fee is 12s.—that is distributable in the same way—in that case it would be 6s. to the rector of Lambeth, and 6s. to the churchwardens—in neither of those cases would the incumbent get any portion of the ground fee—he is paid by surplice fees.

MR. ATTORNEY-GENERAL. Q. I think you have been very intimate with Dr. Vaugban? A. I was intimate previous to these investigations—our families visited, and were on terms of familiar intimacy—I have heard that the Doctor is a gentleman of competence, well off in point of money—I do not know of my own knowledge—he lived in very good style, independent of his emoluments as incumbent of St. Matthew, Brixton—I have heard so—I should imagine he had property.

COURT. Q. What are the desk fees? A. The surplice fees, in a single burial in the third ground would be 3s. for the minister, for a parishioner, and double for a foreigner.


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