Disturbance in Hyde Park Report of Commissioners
VICTORIA, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Queen, Defender of the Faith: To our right trusty and well-beloved Councillor JAMES ARCHIBALD STUART WORTLEY, Our trusty and well-beloved ROBERT BAYNES ARMSTRONG, Esquire, one of Our Counsel learned in the Law, and GILBERT HENDERSON, Esquire, Greeting : Whereas We have been informed that a disturbance of the public peace took place in Hyde Park and the streets adjoining thereto on Sunday the first day of July instant, and We have been given further to understand that complaints have been made that certain officers and constables of the Metropolitan Police employed upon that occasion exceeded their duty, and used unnecessary force and violence, inflicting serious injuries upon divers of Our peaceable subjects, without any warrant of law for the same:
Now, in order that We may be more fully informed as to the matters aforesaid, KNOW YE, that We, reposing great trust and confidence in your knowledge and ability, have constituted and appointed and do by these presents constitute and appoint you the said JAMES ARCHIBALD STUART WORTLEY, RORERT BAYNES ARMSTRONG, and GILBERT HENDERSON to be Our Commissioners to inquire into the said alleged disturbance of the public peace, and all the circumstances thereof and all matters connected therewith, and particularly into the conduct of the officers and constables of the said Metropolitan Police in connexion with the same, and into the truth of all and singular the complaints of the conduct of them or any of them upon that occasion which may be brought under your investigation : And for this purpose We do by these presents grant unto you. Our said Commissioners or any two of you full power and authority to call before you or any two of you all such persons as you may deem necessary, who can give evidence and information upon all or any of the matters herein referred to you, and to inquire of the premises and every part thereof by all lawful ways and means whatsoever: And We do also give and grant unto you or any two of you full power and authority, when the same shall appear to be requisite, to administer an oath or oaths to any person or persons whatsoever to be examined before you or any two of you: And, lastly, We will and command that you report to Us in writing under your hands and seals your several proceedings by virtue of this Our Commission, and what you shall find touching the same. In witness whereof We have caused these our letters to be made patent.
Witness Ourself at Westminster the Fourteenth day of July in the Nineteenth year of Our reign. By Warrant under the Queen's sign manual.
TO THE QUEEN'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY.
May it please Your Majesty, We, the Commissioners appointed by Your Majesty's Letters Patent under the Great Seal bearing date the 14th of July in the nineteenth year of your reign, and commanded to inquire into an alleged disturbance of the public peace on Sunday the 1st of July 1855, in Hyde Park and the adjoining streets, and into all the circumstances thereof and all matters connected therewith, and particularly into the conduct of the officers and constables of the Metropolitan Police in connection with the same, and into the truth of all and singular the complaints of the conduct of them or any of them upon that occasion which might be brought under our investigation;
Humbly report, that on the receipt of Your Majesty's Commission we gave notice by letter to several persons who had sent written complaints to Your Majesty's Secretary of State for the Home Department, and also gave general notice in the public newspapers, of our intention to hold an Inquiry into the matters submitted to us by Your Majesty's said Commission, on Tuesday the 17th day of July 1855, in the Court of Exchequer at Westminster, at ten o'clock in the forenoon, and at the time and place so appointed we commenced our sittings.
In the outset of the Inquiry we were met by a difficulty as to obtaining evidence. Most of the persons who considered themselves aggrieved by the conduct of the police on the day in question were strangers to each other, and no combined arrangement had been made for the purpose of bringing their several complaints before us. Some of them could not afford to procure professional assistance, and perhaps felt unequal to speak for themselves. In fact, with one exception, no individual appeared to be prepared to make any statement or give evidence before us with reference to the matters into which we had met to inquire.
It happened that Mr. Mitchell, a respectable and intelligent attorney, who had attended at the police court on behalf of a client taken into custody in Hyde Park on the 1st of July, also appeared before us on behalf of the same client, to complain of the conduct of the police. In order to discharge this duty for his client, Mr. Mitchell had made himself acquainted generally with the occurrences which were to become the subjects of our Inquiry. Under these circumstances, we felt ourselves warranted in requesting Mr. Mitchell to give his assistance to any of the complainants who might be willing to avail themselves of it in bringing their several complaints before us. To this proposal Mr. Mitchell assented. The complainants willingly availed themselves of his assistance, and entrusted their cases to his management. To him, and also to Mr. Ellis, the attorney who conducted the case on behalf of the police, we are much indebted for their able assistance in eliciting the facts and discussing the points brought before us in the course of our Inquiry.
We continued our sittings in the Court of Exchequer from day to day until Thursday the 2d of August, when, after hearing Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Ellis on behalf of their respective clients, and repeating the statement which we had on several previous occasions publicly made, that if there were still any persons who had complaints to prefer we were ready to hear them, and receiving no answer to this invitation, we closed the investigation, having sat fifteen days, and examined upon oath, 86 witnesses on the part of the complainants, and 93 on the part of the police, a full report of whose evidence is annexed.
The scenes in Hyde Park which gave rise to this inquiry seem to have had their origin chiefly in popular feeling against a Bill introduced into the Commons House of Parliament by Lord Robert Grosvenor, to prevent trading
on Sunday within the Metropolitan Police District and City of London. commonly called the Sunday Trading Bill. Prior to Sunday 24th of June, a handbill was printed and circulated referring to this measure as the New Sunday Bill, and stating that an open-air meeting, to see how religiously the aristocracy observe the Sabbath, would be held in Hyde Park on Sunday afternoon, at 3 o'clock, on the right bank of the Serpentine looking towards Kensington Gardens.
Accordingly, between three and four o'clock on the afternoon of Sunday the 24th of June, a large multitude assembled in Hyde Park on the spot indicated on the north bank of the Serpentine. There the crowd shouted, hooted, and yelled at the carriages, and made such noises as to frighten the horses in the Drive, to the annoyance and danger of those on horseback or in carriages This interruption naturally caused alarm, and prevented many carriages driving in that direction. An attempt was also made by some persons to organize a meeting, and address the crowd, but they were required to desist, and stopped. by the police.
In the course of the following week handbills were distributed and placards exhibited calculated to attract people to Hyde Park on the next Sunday It was stated in one of these that at 76 Hyde Park the open-air fête and monster “ concert would be repeated on Sunday next." In another, “Let us go to “ church with Lord Robert Grosvenor next Sunday morning. We can attend “ his lordship in Park Lane at half-past ten, go to church with him, then go " home to dinner, and be back in time to see our friends in Hyde Park.” The police superintendents of various districts also reported that large numbers of people were likely to attend the meeting in Hyde Park on Sunday the 1st of July.
Under these circumstances, on Friday the 29th of June Sir Richard Mayne communicated with the Secretary of State for the Home Department, and prepared a notice cautioning and requesting well-disposed persons to abstain from joining or attending the meeting announced to be held in Hyde Park, and stating that all necessary measures would be taken to prevent such meeting and to preserve the public peace. On Saturday the 30th of June this notice was published in the morning newspapers, and also posted at the entrances of the Park in the afternoon. Sir Richard Mayne on the same day also issued orders for Superintendent O'Brien to take up a station with a party of police in the neighbourhood of Lord Robert Grosvenor's house on Sunday, and for four superintendents and 280 men to assemble in Hyde Park at 2 P.M. Other parties were also directed to be in reserve at Stanhope Gate, the Triumphal Arch, the Marble Arch, and Walton Street, Lowndes Square.
On Sunday morning the 1st of July, owing to the illness and consequent absence of Superintendent May, the general direction of the police in Hyde Park was given to Superintendent Hughes, Sir Richard Mayne remaining during the day at the Head Office in Scotland Yard.
The police constables, before they took up their stations in Hyde Park, were made acquainted with a written order of Sir R. Mayne, that the directions in the printed notices were to be firmly enforced, and that any persons commencing a meeting or assemblage, or shouting, or making any noise, or acting in any way calculated to cause disturbance or frighten horses in carriages, were to be cautioned as to the consequences, and required to desist; and that if they did not immediately do so they were to be removed, and, if necessary, taken into custody, and sent to the Police Station at Vine Street. Directions were given verbally to the men to sit or lie down quietly on the grass, and not to interfere, unless interference became absolutely necessary.
Up to half past two o'clock few persons arrived; those few were orderly, and the Park was quiet. Between half past two and three o'clock the concourse of people in the Park increased, and dense masses collected on the north side of the Serpentine, especially near the Humane Society's Receiving House. The multitude assembled consisted of various classes. A vast number of persons of all ranks were there, simply for the ordinary and legitimate purposes of exercise and recreation to which the Park is specially dedicated; others came led by curiosity to watch the proceedings of the day; others with a view of expressing by their presence their disapproval of the Sunday Trading Bill; a large number also, chiefly lads and young men, with a view of giving expression to their disapprobation by shouts, cries, and
noises along the Drive.
There was also a mixture of thieves, pickpockets, and other reckless and disorderly persons, bent on plunder and mischief, and seeking to effect their purposes under the shield of popular excitement.
Soon after three o'clock noisy and riotous proceedings like those on the preceding Sunday were commenced by some of the crowd who lined the rails of the Drive along the Serpentine. Carriages and riders in passing were met by shouts of “Go to church” and other cries, yelling, hooting, whistling, and discordant noises. Missiles were occasionally thrown at them. One man, who was afterwards fined for the offence, was taken into custody for flinging part of a hurdle at a gentleman on horseback. A boy ran before a carriage, and repeatedly struck at the horse's nose with his cap, and the crowd cheered him. The horses in an open britska, in which an officer and his daughter were seated, became frightened, and plunged; a clod of earth or other missile passed over the carriage, and had it not been for the police, who prevented the people from getting in front of the horses, the consequence might have been serious. Other vehicles experienced a similar reception, were pelted with stones, and narrowly escaped injury. At the suggestion of the police, some carriages turned back from the Drive, and eventually those vehicles which did pass were chiefly filled with persons who shared and sympathised with the excitement of the crowd on the subject of Sunday legislation...
About half past three the danger to vehicles was greatly increased by the throng in the Drive, where it was most easy to alarm the horses. It was observed that many of the most disorderly characters were collected in front of the rails on the south side of the Drive near the Receiving House. Superintendent Hughes consulted with Superintendent Martin, and thought that the time was come to use more vigorous measures to clear the carriageway, and also, pursuant to directions from Sir Richard Mayne, to clear the crowd back to some distance from the railings, and he accordingly gaye orders to the police to clear the road and the rails, and to use their staves.
In order to execute these orders the police advanced with their truncheons drawn along the carriage road of the Drive, clearing it of the people. Some of whom, not readily yielding or quitting the road, were pushed, struck, and roughly handled.
The policemen also passed along the Drive, striking on the rails, and brandishing their staves over the heads of the crowd there, and in some instances striking at them, in order to compel them to fall back. Parties of police also
d with drawn staves on to the footpath between the Drive and the Serpentine River near the Receiving House, and drove the people back from the rails, and in an eastward direction along the bank of the Serpentine. This movement, owing to the crowd and the narrow space, was attended with great alarm and confusion, and some of the people, including well-dressed women, were forced ankle deep into the water; others were struck with the staves. Parties of the police also passed behind the rails on the north side of the Drive, and drove back the people thirty or forty yards, and in some cases further on to the grass. After these movements the police did not occupy or keep a line along the cleared space, so as to prevent the return of the people, consequently crowds collected along the rails again, and were again driven back repeatedly, with more or less violence and confusion. These proceedings produced or increased irritation and ill feeling on the part of the people assembled; offensive expressions were used to annoy the police, some stones were thrown at them, and frequent collisions took place.
The complaints brought before us for unnecessary violence and misconduct on the part of the police chiefly refer to transactions which took place during these efforts to clear the carriageway and to remove the crowd to a distance from the rails. Some of the complaints we consider well founded, but postpone the particular consideration of the several charges, our present object being simply to give a general summary and outline of the incidents of the day.
From half past three until half past five o'clock a state of tumult and disturbance prevailed, especially along the Drive from the east end of the Serpentine to the Humane Society's Receiving House. The police were engaged in endeavours to prevent shouting and stone-throwing, and in clearing the crowd out of the Drive and away from the rails. Many persons were taken into custody for riotous conduct and throwing stones Some were taken in cabs or on foot to Vine Street Police Station, and the yard of the Dairy Lodge near the Receiving House was used as a temporary place of custody for prisoners. The police having been strongly reinforced in the course of this period, the commotion began gradually to subside, and at six o'clock the disturbance was effectually subdued in the neighbourhood of the Drive.
At various times, and especially between six and seven o'clock, many groups of people collected in open parts of the Park, and collisions took place during attempts made by the police rushing forward to disperse them or to arrest those who had thrown stones. Some of the complaints made to us arose out of these collisions.
Soon after seven o'clock some young soldiers of the Guards who had mingled with a portion of the crowd seemed disposed to take part in the tumult. Information of this was brought to Superintendent Hughes, who sent to the Magazine Barracks, and a serjeant was dispatched with a picket to bring in the soldiers. Some stones were thrown by the crowd at the serjeant and his party whilst engaged in the performance of this duty, and the crowd followed after the soldiers to the barracks, and remained there throwing stones. The serjeant in command then sent in his turn to the police for assistance, which was promptly rendered. One of the offenders who had hit a soldier with a stone was given into custody, and afterwards fined, and this crowd was dispersed without any unnecessary violence.
About nine o'clock in the evening the Park was cleared by Superintendent Hughes, with a body of about a hundred policemen, formed in open line, with two or three yards between each man, extending northwards from the Serpentine, and advancing eastwards towards Hyde Park Corner and Stanhope Gate. This operation seems to have been effected successfully.
It has been stated that a party of the police had been stationed by way of precaution near Lord Robert Grosvenor's house. About six o'clock in the evening a large mass of people set out from Hyde Park towards Grosvenor Gate and Park Street, with cries of “Now to Lord Robert Grosvenor's." Soon afterwards a crowd, variously estimated by the witnesses at two, three, four hundred, or more in number, was collected before Lord Robert Grosvenor's house in Park Street. No actual violence, beyond throwing a stone at Lord Robert Grosvenor's messenger, was committed by them ; but their number and clamour were alarming. The crowd yelled and groaned, calling “ Chuck him out," and using other expressions of hostility to Lord Robebert Grosvenor, and their aspect and proceedings were sufficiently menacing to excite the fears of the inmates of the house, though some of the cries were of a jocular character.
In the meantime, Superintendent O'Brien, who was stationed with a reserve of fifty men at Stanhope Gate, had received information of the movement from Hyde Park, and brought forward his party with all despatch into the south end of Park Street. He there formed the men in a column of sections of ten, having a front of five men, and marched them up the street, in order that the crowd might see them coming, and have time to move off. A smaller body of police had previously mingled with the crowd, and endeavoured by persuasion to induce them to disperse, but without effect.
On the approach of Superintendent O'Brien's party, some of the crowd retired; but a large body remained, and received the police with a yell. On entering the crowd, Superintendent O'Brien called on them in a loud voice to disperse. Just at that moment he was tripped up, fell, and hurt his knee. The police who were following him rushed forward with their staves drawn. Though there was no serious resistance, some of them, whilst dispersing and pursuing the crowd, used their staves, and otherwise acted with violence, inflicting severe injuries on several persons who were not shown to have been guilty of any violence, but who refused to move off when requested so to do, or who, being inoffensively there, ran or stood still when the police came up the street. This conduct on the part of the police was complained of, and will be considered hereafter.
Superintendent O'Brien states that he gave no orders to remove the crowd by force, but that he should have thought it his duty so to do if the crowd had disregarded his summons to disperse. He expresses his opinion the confusion when he fell, and was prevented from advancing along with party, the men mistook his call on the people to disperse for an order to themselves to disperse the crowd at once. One person only, the witness Lewis Frankland, was taken into custody in Park Street,
During the afternoon seventy-one persons in Hyde Park and one person in Park Street were removed, pursuant to the order, to Vine Street Police Station. Ten of these were charged with felony, and the rest with riotous conduct, or assaults on the police,
Great complaints were preferred before us of the insufficiency and unfitness of the cells in Vine Street for confining so large a number, and of the suffering experienced by those confined in them during the Sunday night, and in some instances on Monday night also. We visited and inspected these cells. Though they may perhaps be sufficient for the purpose of receiving the ordinary number of prisoners daily brought there, they certainly were unfit to confine such large numbers as were placed in them on this occasion. Even after thirty-one prisoners had been removed by direction of Sir Richard Mayne and of the superintendent in charge to the Marylebone and Edgeware Road Stations, the heat and closeness of the cells caused very great suffering, and serious risk to the health of those who remained. Several, indeed, stated that their health had been affected in consequence of their confinement.
Many of those taken into custody offered to procure bail, but the application was postponed by the inspector in charge of the station, and finally rejected, after a reference to Sir Richard Mayne. This refusal was made the subject of complaint before us. It appears that under the 2d and 3d Vict, the inspector on duty at any police station has a discretionary authority to take bail on all Se charges which might be summarily disposed of by a magistrate; but in this case the charge against most of the prisoners was for riotous conduct, and the inspector doubted whether he ought to take bail, and requested instructions from Sir Richard Mayne. The instruction given was, that no bail should be taken for those charged with riotous conduct or actual disorder in the Park, and in the result, though bail was often offered for several prisoners, it was uniformly refused.
Complaint was also made of delay in bringing the persons in custody before the magistrate. None were in fact brought before the sitting magistrate at Marlborough Street until between four and five o'clock on the afternoon of Monday the 2d of July, and the consideration of many of the charges was postponed until Tuesday, causing detention in some instances, during another night in Vine Street, although bail was taken on Monday evening for all charged with misdemeanor who could procure it.
The investigation before the magistrate led to the following results. Ten had been apprehended as thieves and pickpockets; of these, five were committed for trial, two remanded, one was committed for a month, and two were discharged. Twenty-four were charged with riot or throwing stones; all of them were convicted, and fined, some 108., with the alternative of imprisonment of seven days, others 58., others half a crown. Twenty were charged with riot or assaults on the police. Of these, four were fined 10s., three 5s., one committed for fourteen days, two for seven days, five were discharged on their own recognizances to keep the peace, and four were discharged unconditionally. Eighteen were charged with obstructing the police in the execution of their duty. Five of these were discharged on their own recognizances to keep the peace, and thirteen were discharged unconditionally
According to the police return, forty-nine policemen were reported as assaulted and hurt; of these twenty-seven were struck with stones, thirteen with sticks or pieces of hurdles, seven kicked and knocked down, and one thrown down and his knee slightly hurt.
In entering on the consideration of the violence and injuries imputed to the police, we may remark, that there has been no evidence before us of any loss of life or bone broken, of any limb seriously hurt, or permanent injury of any kind inflicted. Secins, that such formidable weapons, as the truncheons of the police undoubtedly are, were used on the occasion, we think there has been some exageration in the evidence which describes them as having been used with the utmost violence, and so indiscriminately that neither age nor sex was spared. Many witnesses deposed that on various occasions women and children were struck, yet no woman or child appeared before us to complain, nor was
the name of any such sufferer ascertained; and we are led to conclude that if such cases did occur they were less numerous and less serious than some of the witnesses represent.
The accusing witnesses were numerous; but there were also many witnesses who came forward, impelled, as they said, by a sense of justice, and bore testimony to the good conduct of the police in all that fell under their observation in the course of the transactions in question. Not a few of the complainants accompanied their accusations as to the incidents on this day by stating that the conduct of the police on the 1st of July was at variance with all their former experience, freely admitting that the general character of the police stood high for moderation and forbearance, and that many policemen on the 1st of July showed great self-control in the execution of their duty.
On the other hand, it is satisfactory to find that none of the crowd came armed in any manner, and that no violence seems to have been contemplated by the general mass even of those who conducted themselves in a disorderly or riotous manner. Their intention seems to have been, to limit their interference to shouts and petty annoyances to those riding or driving in the Park. Nevertheless, we consider that the crowd contained a sprinkling of bad and dangerous persons, who required the control of the police, and who, but for such control, might have led the way and been followed by the thoughtless and inconsiderate to mischief and damage to property, the extent of which would only have been limited by the resistance met with. Whatever view may be taken of the conduct of the police, their presence and acts on the 1st of July had the effect of preventing any such result.
After the proceedings in Hyde Park on Sunday the 24th of June, it was fit and proper that measures should be taken to secure to all classes the undisturbed exercise of their right to ride or drive in the Park. The arrangements for this purpose seem to have devolved on the First Commissioner, Sir Richard Mayne, according to the distribution of duty sanctioned by the Secretary of State for the Home Department.
With the prospect of a recurrence on the 1st of July of the tumults of the 24th of June, it was right to issue some warning to the public, and to apprise the unwary that such proceedings were illegal, and would be checked by the police. The police notice which was advertised, and also printed and placarded, had in view those objects, and also (as we understand it) the prevention of a public meeting in the Park, at which as it was anticipated the subject of the Sunday Trading Bill would be discussed, and the assembled multitude addressed by speakers, with the usual forms.
An attempt to hold such a meeting had been foiled by the police on the 24th of June. It seems to us that meetings of this nature might properly be interdicted and suppressed, as novel, and not sanctioned by usage, or the regulations of Hyde Park. To make Hyde Park an arena for the discussion of popular and exciting topics would be inconsistent with the chief purposes for which it is thrown open to and used by the public. Whether the holding any such meeting was contemplated it is difficult to say ; but it is certain that the police notice was understood by many, not as prohibiting a meeting in this limited sense, but as interdicting and prohibiting any meeting or assembly of large numbers of persons in Hyde Park on the 1st of July.
This construction induced many to go to the Park to assert a right which they imagined to be impugned by the notice of the Police Commissioners. The language of the notice, and especially the use of the term "meeting” in a sense not clearly defined, seems to have given some ground for this construction. The notice, however, produced a good effect, by inducing many to abstain from going to the Park in carriages or on horseback.
Superintendent Hughes. The appointment of Superintendent Hughes although accidental, seems to have been warranted by his experience of nearly twenty-five years, at Epsom, Ascot, the opening of Parliament, and other occasions where large crowds are congregated, on which he had directed the police with general approval.
The first object which the police had to effect, in order to protect persons using the Drive, was to keep the carriageway clear. When it is considered that an open iron railing, extending for several hundred yards on both sides of the way, was lined with a dense multitude, any one of whom could pass with ease in a moment under the rail, and that many of the foremost were disorderly, and eager to balk the police, and choke the road, the moment they were not restrained, it will be easily understood that this was a task of great difficulty.
The next object was to check shouts, noises, and other proceedings which might by alarming horses endanger the safety of those seeking health and recreation in the Drive. Owing to the excitement of the crowd, and the disposition of many to give noisy expression to their sentiments, it was impossible to effect this object completely. The attempt was harassing to the police, and leading, as it did, to arrest of individuals, produced irritation in the crowd.
The measure most likely to be effectual was to remove and keep the people back at some distance from the rails, so that the noises and gestures of the crowd might produce less effect, and the Drive be kept clear. Sir Richard Mayne, anticipating that this course might become advisable, mentioned it verbally in the forenoon to Superintendent Hughes, and at 5 p.m. directed it in his written instructions. It was, however, an operation requiring judicious management, not to be attempted without adequate force, and every precaution which tact and temper in dealing with a crowd could supply.
The conduct of Superintendent Hughes in his endeavours to surmount these difficulties has been impugned on several grounds. He has been accused of undue excitement, of using improper language, of having been personally guilty of many assaults with his horsewhip, and with issuing to the police, without sufficient grounds, orders to use their staves, and with failing to control many excesses on the part of the police under his command.
It is impossible to reconcile the evidence as to the superintendent's personal acts of violence. Several witnesses assert that they saw his horsewhip used, and men and women struck with it. Superintendent Hughes most distinctly denies having struck any person, but says that he cut the air with his whip, with action which might mislead some of the witnesses. His evidence is corroborated by several witnesses. If women had been struck, as represented, we think it highly probable that we should have had some woman or her compa
as a witness. No such testimony, however, was laid before us ; neither was the name of any woman or other person alleged to have been so struck ascertained. On this state of the case we consider that, whatever suspicion may arise on the evidence, we might do Superintendent Hughes injustice if we were to hold this imputation to b
As to excitement, the evidence is again conflicting. Superintendent Hughes says he gave his orders with decision, and showed himself prominent in order to encourage his men. Assuming that there were moments when he did not, in giving his orders, or addressing the bystanders, preserve that coolness of language and manner which is always desirable, yet, under the difficulties with which he was beset, we think allowance ought to be made, and that this charge affecting his demeanour and language, as distinct from his acts, may be passed over.
In offering an opinion now as to the orders given, we are sensible how much easier it is in such cases to criticise the past than to choose the right course of action at the moment. Superintendent Hughes states, that at about 10 minutes past three or 20 minutes to four in the afternoon he ordered the men to use their staves; meaning that they were to be moderately used. This order was given on his own responsibility. He states that he gave it considering that the critical moment was come when, unless controlled, the dangerous elements in the crowd would become unmanageable, and serious mischief ensue. The road was then much obstructed, the rough people in the carriageway and at the railings were obstinate, and some stones were thrown at himself and Superintendent Martin. Weighing all the evidence, however, we think this
was not warranted. No attack had been made by the people, no combined or serious resistance had been made to the police, the carriages and riders passing were few; and, considering how many inoffensive individuals were mixed up with the disorderly portion of the crowd, the execution of such orders would almost of necessity be dangerous, and attended with unjustifiable violence.
If the order to use the staves had been strictly limited to the clearance of the road we might have considered it justifiable. There was an obvious propriety in clearing the carriageway, and we think there should be little sympathy for those who at such a time refused or delayed to quit the road, expecting the police to enter into discussion as to their right of way, or to make exceptions in their favour. But there was not the same necessity to drive the crowd from the railings, and still lesy to clear the space between the rails and the water of the Serpentine, to which object it is clear the order extended, and it was in the course of executing it that the witnesses Vassie, Maxwell, and others were struck.
It also appears that, after orders issued by Superintendent Hughes, staves were used by the policemen, who passed under the rails to drive the crowd back, and who rushed upon the people from time to time, driving them back thirty or forty yards over the grass on the north side of the Drive. In the course of these proceedings the witnesses Woodward, Martin, and others were struck with staves. The object of these movements was frequently unintelligible to the people, and consequently the acts of the police had the appearance of wanton outrage.
If the attempt had been made by an adequate force it seems to us that the people might have been moved without resorting to the use of staves, and a line might have been formed and kept at a suitable distance from the rail ; but the attempts made with inadequate force produced much of the violence which cannot be justified. It might indeed be difficult to know, before the experiment was made, how far it would be practicable to remove and keep back the crowd from the rail; but prudence required that this experiment should have been abandoned immediately the collisions attending it were perceived. But these charges or rushes of the police on the people were numerous, and continued for a considerable space of time.
Again, up to a late hour in the evening, when groups were collected even at a distance from the Drive, parties of the police came rushing forwards, and used their staves to disperse them. The witness George Jennings and others were hurt on these occasions. We do not know on what principle such dispersions by violence can be justified, as it does not appear that any riotous or other illegal proceedings were going on in these groups.
Some of the witnesses remarked that the conduct of the police posted along the Drive from the east end of the Serpentine to the statue of Achilles contrasted favourably with the conduct of those more immediately under Superintendent Hughes, and the complaints made before us seem to support this view : but it must be considered that Superintendent Hughes had the chief post of disturbance along the line from the east end of the Serpentine to the Dairy Lodge.
On a review of all the facts in evidence we think that Superintendent Hughes, in endeavouring to discharge a difficult and embarrassing duty, gave too much sanction to the use of the staves, and exercised less control over his
lue regard for the safety of unoffending individuals required. We believe that by a more calm and forbearing course on his part much angry excitement at the time, and complaint afterwards, would have been avoided.
Upon such an occasion of expected tumult it appears to us that the presence of a superior officer on the scene of action would have been desirable, and preferable to any attempt to direct the proceedings from a distance.
For the excesses committed on the part of the police in Hyde Park some extenuation may be pleaded from the annoyance to which the police were subjected by the crowd; but the case was different in Park Street, as the police called into action there had remained at Stanhope Gate, and had not previously been in the presence of the people, yet several cases of serious injury to unoffending individuals there prove a discreditable exercise of violence. We have no hesitation in expressing this opinion, though we have found it impossible, except in two instances, to fix on the offending parties. As to Superintendent O'Brien, who led the police here, an injury which befell him at the moment of collision seems to have incapacitated him from command and control at the time.
Cases of the Complainants who were taken into Custody. Nine of the seventy-two individuals taken into custody on the 1st of July appeared before us as witnesses. All these persons have a common ground of complaint as to the sufferings to which they were exposed, owing to the state of the cells in which they were detained; another ground of complaint common to many of them is the refusal of bail.
Before adverting further to these points we propose to consider the facts in evidence, with a view to ascertain whether any just ground of censure exists against the police for apprehending the complainants. The evidence in each case assumed before us the shape of a charge against the police, and a countercharge by the police, by way of justification, against the individual for misconduct. In several instances the facts have been the subject of inquiry before a magistrate, but we have deemed it our duty to express our opinion on those cases on the evidence given on our inquiry. We have selected short extracts from the evidence to explain the nature of each case.
Case of T. H. MAIR. Thomas Henry Mair, 44, Charlwood Street, Warwick Square, Pimlico, ecclesiastical estate agent, states, that he was standing on the north side of the Drive, near to the opening to cross at the east end of the Serpentine. That a mounted superintendent rode up, and gave some orders to the policemen. That the policemen went up to the crowd at the rails, and told them to go back; then the policemen held up their staves with menacing action, and struck indiscriminately right and left, the crowd not getting back so soon as they wished. That Policeman 370 A came on in a menacing attitude. Mr. Mair says the truncheon would have hit him, if he had not stepped back. He stepped back, and said, “What are you going to do, fellow ; are you going to kill us all ?” The policeman replied, “ They are our orders.” Mr. Mair, being very excited, said “D- n such orders."
Mr. Mair says the policeman 370 A then rushed through the posts and struck at him. Mr. Mair parried the blow with his stick, and the point of the stick just touched the policeman on the groin, and the policeman's truncheon touched him on the thigh; and that he then said to the policeman, “I beg your pardon, I did not mean to assault you." The policeman cried out “ Assault !” and several other policemen collared Mr. Mair, and took him into custody.
Robert Burnett, policeman 370 A, says, he has been 12 years in the police; says, he received orders to keep the crowd back from the crossing, so as to make room for those who chose to pass and repass; that when Mr. Mair was requested to stand back he refused to go back, and told the people not to go back; that when he went forward to compel Mr. Mair to go back, Mr. Mair pushed him, and struck at him with his stick; that the point of the stick touched him near the groin; that he struck at Mr. Mair's stick with his truncheon; that he then took Mr. Mair into custody.
We think that Mr. Mair did not mean to encourage riot or commit an assault, but this may not have been equally clear to the policeman at the time of the occurrence, and the prominent and excited manner in which Mr. Mair spoke and acted then was capable of a different construction. We consider that Mr. Mair's apprehension was not justified, but that the circumstances
g it extenuate the conduct of policeman 370 A in making the arrest. There is evidence from several witnesses that Mr. Mair was handled and treated roughly when apprehended and taken along the Drive; but, seeing that Mr. Mair was not struck or hurt, it is difficult to censure the police, as it is impossible to lay down any precise rules for their conduct in securing a prisoner.
Case of J. Calrow. James Calrow, 6, Caledonian Crescent, King's Cross, draper, states, that he came with a companion into Hyde Park, and was in the Drive when the police were clearing it. That he got under the rails, and stood still, and he then noticed policeman Peter Frazer, 402 A, in a dreadful state of excitement; he was very pale; his lips were quivering ; he was running here and there, and the perspiration was pouring down his cheeks so much that be, the witness Calrow, said, “ No. 402, keep cool, friend." That immediately Superintendent Martin, who was on horseback near, said; " Take that man into custody," and he, the witness Calrow, was taken into custody by policeman 402 and another policeman. The witness also complains of Frazer holding his arm too tight, and not allowing him to get a cab.
Peter Frazer, policeman 402, says, that the witness Calrow shouted and clapped his hands as a carriage passed ; that Frazer cautioned him, and Calrow groaned at him. That when another carriage came, the witness Calrow shouted again, and was taken by the direction of Superintendent Martin to Vine Street Station. He says that Calrow wished to walk without being led by the arm, and that was the only allusion he made to his being held ; and offers an explanation as to the cað not being used. The other policeman who accompanied Calrow to the station confirms Frazer's evidence on the principal points, and two other policemen confirm Frazer as to Calrow's shouting, being cautioned, and beginning to shout at a carriage again, when he was taken into custody.
The companion of Calrow did not come forward to give evidence, and we cannot on his unsupported testimony censure the police. If Calrow's conduct was such as was stated by the four policemen examined on the case it was quite right that he should be taken into custody.
Case of H. R. MARKWICK. Henry Rendell Markwick, 65, Gray's Inn Lane, clerk to a solicitor, says, he was on the north side of the Drive opposite to the Serpentine; that he hooted and waved his hand at a carriage which was passing; others were hooting, and he joined ; and he admitted that it was likely he might have joined in the hooting before. Whilst he was hooting and waving his hand an inspector took him into custody.
This witness, who gave his testimony in a very candid and creditable manner, seems to admit conduct which made him liable to be taken into custody.
ck is probably the individual in behalf of whom Wm. Davis went forward to Marlborough Street, but we do not consider that the testimony of Davis clears him from the effect of his own admissions.
Case of W. REYNOLDS. William Reynolds, a waiter at a public-house, 55, Park Street, Grosvenor Square, says, he was in Hyde Park on the north side of the Drive along the Serpentine. That he was standing about three feet from the rails, talking to a man about the conduct of the police, and heard a policeman say, “ Go, and collar somebody." That a policeman then came, and took him, dragged him, and wanted him to get over the railings. That he caught hold of the railings, to protect himself from falling down, and they wanted to pull him over, and be got straddled across the railings. That one policeman let go of him, and hit him across the back, and they dragged him underneath the railings. That one of the policemen struck him twice on the back as they were going along, and 403 A said, "Do not strike him.” That 403 A was the policeman who first collared him. That he was taken in a cab to Vine Street, and on the way, on looking out of the window, saw some one whom he knew, and put out his handkerchief to him; and that the policeman 403 A caught him by the coat, and hit him right back into the cab.
Police Serjeant 403 A says he noticed Reynolds hissing and shouting at carriages passing by; that he had cautioned him previously, and took him into custody that Reynolds prevented him getting him over the rails, and other policemen assisted ; that witness Reynolds was very violent, and called to the mob for assistance; that he did not strike him, or see him struck; that when Reynolds put his handkerchief out of the cab window, he pulled him back, and made him sit down.
Policeman 31 G assisted in taking Reynolds into custody, and states, that he had previously heard Reynolds hissing and shouting.
Policeman 354 A went in the cab to the station with Reynolds, and corroborates the testimony of 403 A as to what took place in the cab.
On the evidence we are of opinion that the witness Reynolds hissed and shouted at carriages, after having been cautioned ; and such conduct would, we consider, warrant his apprehension; and the resistance made by him may probably account for any violence actually used towards him.
Case of J. BOWSTEAD. JAMES BOWSTEAD, 36, Farringdon Street, commercial traveller, states, that he was standing, with his wife, by the rail on the south side of the Drive, half way between Hyde Park Corner and the east end of the Serpentine at the time Mr. Mair was being taken past, when Superintendent Hughes pointed him out, saying, “Take that fellow," and he was taken into custody by Joseph Butcher and other policemen. He says Butcher was a civil man; particularly civil all the time. He says, he might have cried “ Shame," which he thinks was very natural, on seeing an old gentleman brought along the Drive, and the people hissed when they brought him past.
Policeman 109 B, Joseph Butcher, says, he heard the witness Bowstead hissing and shouting, and that Superintendent Hughes cautioned him, and told him to be quiet; that Bowstead began hissing again directly as some prisoners were going along, and was given into custody; that he hissed and groaned to the utmost of his voice, and resisted very much when taken into custody.
Superintendent Hughes says that Bowstead had his hands to his mouth, hooting loudly, and that he resisted very much.
We are of opinion, that this complainant took no part in any riot, and offered no obstruction to the police, beyond perhaps expressing by indiscreet cries his disapprobation of the manner in which a prisoner was being taken past at the time; and that as there was no attempt at rescue, and no actual riot at that time and on that spot, his arrest was not warranted by anything he had done before he was collared, and if that were so, his subsequent resistance did not justify his detention.
Case of A. HOULDING. ADAM HOULDING, 22, Marsham Street, Westminster, waste-paper dealer, says, he was reading the Family Herald to his wife near the Receiving House, and hearing a rush, went into the middle of the people, who were shouting, where a sort of semicircle had been cleared. He got inside the ring, and a Superintendent on horseback gave him into custody. He says that handcuffs were put on him by policeman 12 A in the yard of the Dairy Lodge; that his wife was brought to him there, but she was afterwards turned out.
Serjeant Butt, 12 A, says, that when a space was being cleared back from the rail Houlding fell back; afterwards a carriage came past, and Houlding jumped forward towards the front of the horse, where no one was standing, and where the ground had been cleared, and commenced shouting, hissing, and groaning at the top of his voice. He had a pamphlet or paper in his hand which he waved, and then took off his hat, and swung it round, continually shouting; that Superintendent Hughes was in the Drive, and said, “ Take that man into custody;" that Houlding resisted very much, called to the people, and tried to force his way out of the yard ; that a pair of handcuffs were put upon him, after which he was quiet.
J. Hanbury, the Dairy Lodge-keeper, says, Houlding was violent, and that he supplied the handcuffs which were put on Houlding and another prisoner.
Houlding's story is a strange one. On the balance of evidence we believe the account given by police serjeant 12 A, and think that in this case the apprehension of the complainant was justified.
Case of J. J. WHITE. JOHN JAMES WHITE, waiter at the William the Fourth, Ship Yard, says he was standing, about four o'clock, on the north side of the Drive, and saw an old man knocked down by three policemen. That the bystanders were crying “Shame!" and that he too was crying “Shame!" Just as he had done so, a small stone, or something of the kind, went past him, and when he turned to see where it came from he felt a hand on his collar, and found himself in the hands of policeman 398 A. White resisted, and says that the crowd tried to pull him away, and the policeman being alone, and fearing that White would get away, struck him on the head with all his force, and he adds that he has little recollection of what happened afterwards, till he found himself in a cab, covered with blood.
Policeman 398 A appeared, and was identified by the witness White, but did not afterwards appear to give evidence.
It has been intimated to us since our inquiry was closed that it was owing to accident and inadvertence that policeman 398 A was not recalled as a witness; but on the evidence as it stands we are bound to state that there was no sufficient ground for the apprehension of J. J. White, and even if there had been sufficient ground, the violence used towards him, when in custody by this policeman, was wholly inexcusable.
Case of H. AUSTIN. Henny Austin, 28, College Street West, Camden Town, trunkmaker, says, that about half past four he was on the north side of the Drive, four or five yards from the railings. That policeman 363 A rushed out of the road, struck him, seized his neckerchief, and tripped and threw him down; then, with the assistance of others, took him to the Dairy Lodge. That his hat fell off, and he lost it. He was afterwards sent to Vine Street in a cab, and passed part of the night in a loathsome cell with forty-two other persons. He was also one of nineteen who passed the next night in the same cell.
George Thorpe, Policeman 363 A, says, that he took Austin into custody; that he saw a man throw a stone which hit him; that he pursued the man, and had his hand on his shoulder, when Austin put his foot up, and tripped him up, and he came backwards flat on the ground.
James Teasdale, Policeman 375 A, says, he saw Austin trip Policeman 363 A, who fell forward upon his face and hands on the ground.
The discrepancy in the evidence given before us by the policemen is remarkable, and as we cannot place any reliance on their testimony, we find that the apprehension of H. Austin by policeman 363 A was unjustifiable.
Case of L. FRANKLAND.
LEWIS FRANKLAND, 7, Furnival's Inn Place, compositor, says, he was in Park Street with his wife, near Lord Robert Grosvenor's, when a compact body of policemen, 100 or more, came forward, and the crowd expressed disapprobation by cries of Shame !" and hooting. That when they had passed him a few yards, a signal was given to part the lot, and rush among the people; and he joined in the cries of Shame!" That before the sound had died from his mouth, he found himself grasped from behind by the collar by Inspector Webb. That Inspector Webb passed him into the hands of two policemen, and a third policeman fell in behind to take charge of him; that having got him some paces from Inspector Webb, but still in sight, one of the policemen on his right, whose number he does not know, drew his staff, and struck him behind the head, on the left side of his head, taking him the rest of the way through the street
Inspector Webb, sixteen years in the police, says, that Frankland was hissing when Superintendent O'Brien's party came; that when they proceeded to clear away the crowd Frankland was hissing and hallooing, and making a great noise ; and that he took Frankland by the collar, and apprehended him, opposite to Reeves Mews; that he had previously cautioned Frapkland opp Robert Grosvenor's house; that he gave him into the custody of Policeman 337 A, that he did not see Frankland struck, or see any blood, or hear Frankland complain of having been struck, when he saw him at the police station, with his hat off, shortly afterwards.
Edward Oliver, Policeman 337 A, states, that he received Frankland into his custody from Inspector Webb, and took him to the station ; that several other policemen accompanied him ; that he did not strike Frankland, or see him struck, or hear him complain, or see any marks of violence; says he had seen Frankland and his wife hissing.
The arrest under the circumstances seems to have been justified. There was a tumultuous riotous crowd assembled, which it was proper for the police to remove, Frankland admits he was hissing, and expressing his disapprobation of the proceedings of the police; but Inspector Webb, who was on the ground before O Brien's party came up, says that he had cautioned Frankland to be quiet, and that he was making a noise in a way to encourage resistance to the police. The injury by a blow on the head would be inexcusable, and highly deserving of reprehension and punishment; but the evidence as to the injury having been inflicted is conflicting, and if it were inflicted there is no proof who was the offender, Ellen Prosser's evidence may perhaps be viewed as corroborating Prankland's evidence as to the injury having been inflicted, but supplies no information as to the offender.
Refusal to Bail.
Looking to the facts, we regret that all the nine complainants whose cases we have been considering were not admitted to bail, but when we refer to the provisions of the statute which confers the only power on the subject which the constable at a police station has, it seems clear that they do not authoritative him to take bail for any persons charged with riot, which seems to have been the charge made and entered against all of these complainants. When, therefore, application was made to Sir Richard Mayne for directions, we do not think that he could properly have advised the police constable to transgress the limit of his legal authority. Some of the persons apprehended for minor offences, which though amounting to actual disorder were not charged as riot, might, in our opinion, have been lawfully admitted to bail by the constable in charge of the station, if application for that purpose had been made, still, as the power is discretionary, we do not think that the advice sve to decline to exercise it, or the refusal to exercise it, can justly be made a ground for censure.
We do not think that Sir Richard Mayne was called upon, as was suggested, to interfere and act as a justice of the peace, in this case, by taking bail, or that he would have been warranted so to take bail, seeing the restrictions placed on the exercise of his authority as a magistrate by the following pronto in the statute which first established the New Metropolitan Police:
“Provided always, that no such person shall act as a justice of the peace
at any court of general of quarter sessions, nor in any matter out of sessions, except for the preservation of the peace, the prevention of crimes, the detection and committal of offenders, and in carrying into execution the purposes of this Act.”
Complaints as to the Cells.
The confinement of the prisoners at Vine Street station during the night is a painfall part of our inquiry. It was impossible to hear the evidence of the witnesses who underwent this infliction without being surprised and shocked at the suffering to which they were subjected.
It appeared that at one time forty-three persons were shut up in a basement cell, imperfectly ventilated, and said to have been disused, except as a place of confinement for refractory prisoners. The dimensions of this cell were twenty four feet in length by eight feet in breadth, and the height seven feet ten inches. The asphalte floor was partially wet with water, and there was an open convenience in one comer. The sufferings of forty-three inmates or of the thirty-three who ultimately remained there during a sultry night, may be imagined. One witness passed a second night in this cell with eighteen other persons, and declared, when examined, that he had never been well Since. The cell in which Mr. Mair was confined and the other cells were also described to us as distressingly overcrowded and oppressive.
We feel bound to point attention to the defective nature of the arrangements under which all persons taken into custody in Hyde Park and were sent to Vine Street police station, without regard to their numbers, and without suitable provision being, afterwards made for their accommodation. The means too tardily adopted for their relief by Sir Richard Mayne and inspector in charge were insufficient. It appears to us highly fit that steps should be taken to prevent a recurrence of similar evils. Every cell might easily be inspected, the number it was adapted to contain certified and fixed, and precautions taken that the proper limit should never be exceeded.
Charges by other Complainants against the Police. In proceeding to consider the charges against policemen for misconduct, it will be proper to bear in mind the difficulties with which they had to contend in Hyde Park. They were engaged in efforts to check disorder and tumult during several hours, exposed to annoyance and insult, and often obliged to act under circumstances where it was difficult to discern the exact line of duty. Although surrounded by a vast multitude, they received little or no support in their exertions to maintain order. It is but just that a liberal construction should be put on the acts of men employed in such duties, and that their conduct should not be censured, except on clear and decisive testimony.
We propose to give short extracts from the evidence, and the results of our deliberations in the principal cases of complaint brought before us. It is not to be expected that we should in this Report enter fully into the facts, or state the reasons or circumstances which influence our decisions ; but a short notice will prove that each case has received consideration, and the details given may serve to illustrate the general views we have expressed of the occurrences in Hyde Park and Park Street, and the conduct of the police, For this purpose we have included some cases of complainants where the offending policemen were wholly unknown
It will be found that the difficulty of identifying policemen is peculiarly great. The similarity of dress, and the general similarity of size and deportment, exclude many distinguishing marks which assist in other cases. The numbers and divisional letters to which recourse is had for identification are very apt to be mistaken or mis-recollected. Two cases occur in which the witnesses state that they had inverted the numbers of which they were at first confident, namely, 155 for 551, and 174 for 147. Several witnesses admit that they had mistaken the number 80 for 84, and in many cases it was clearly proved that the witnesses were mistaken as to the numbers. The divisional letter, too, is another element of mistake, and we think has been the source of at least one error. These considerations show that we should be cautious in condemning any man on evidence of identity derived solely or chiefly from the number and the letter. It was stated by several witnesses that the scroll or border round the number and letter confused their sight, and was a great impediment in ascertaining the number.
The First Class of these Cases consists of those in which the parties aggrieved appeared as witnesses against known policemen.
W.Floyd's Case. William Floyd, second master of the Philological School, New Road, states, that about half past four he was standing near the rail on the north side of the Drive, and was put back a little by the police. That on this he made a remark, that he did not see the difference between standing a few inches from the rail, and leaning on it. That some one seemed to have overheard this remark, and policeman 20 D called out, “ Come on, then ; is he not satisfied ?” That twelve policemen or more then rushed under the rail, two of them seized hold of him, and 20 D struck him a heavy blow on the right shoulder with his staff, whilst the men held him. That he received three other blows on the back of his neck, shoulder-blade, and arms. That as the policemen were leaving him he said, "Now No. 20 D, I shall mark you." That No. 20 D advanced again, and said, “Why did not you stand back ?" and when witness Floyd spoke 20 D imitated his voice, which is shrill and peculiar.
John Balbirnie of Tavistock Terrace, Holloway, engineer, says he heard a policeman order witness Floyd back at a time when it was impossible, owing to the crowd, to get back. That immediately afterwards a rush of policemen under the rails took place.
William Bewlay, policeman 20 D, denies the conduct imputed to him, and denies having seen the witness Floyd on the 1st of July. He says the first time he saw the witness Floyd was on the following Saturday, the 7th of July, when the witness Floyd came up to him in Wigmore Street, and said, “I " believe you to be the ruffian who struck me on the shoulder last Sunday." Another policeman confirms 20 D as to the witness Floyd having said in Wigmore Street, “I believe you to be the person that struck me.” The witness Floyd states that he did meet policeman 20 D in Wigmore Street, and recognised him, and he spoke confidently and positively as to the identity of William Bewlay.
The result is stated at the conclusion of the next case, which is a charge against the same policeman.
J. VASSIE's Case.
James Vassie, Marylebone Lane, servant to a brewer, between three and four o'clock was walking by the side of the Serpentine towards the Receiving House. The footpath along the river side was in the course of being cleared, and the crowd met him. That a rush was made by a number of policemen, and police- man 20 D, whom the witness identified as William Bewlay, struck him a violent blow on the shoulder which brought him to the ground. He was ill and unable to work for a week afterwards.
William Bewlay, policeman 20 D), says, he believes the witness Vassie to be the same person at whom he struck after he had been knocked down by a piece of timber; the man was making his way through the crowd on the north side of the Drive, and his running away made him think he was the person who had thrown the timber; he does not believe that he hit the man.
William Bewlay seems to introduce a transaction quite unconnected with the charge; it seems strange that Bewlay should so confound two distinct transactions, or think that Vassie was the same man at whom he struck, seeing that the places and facts are quite different. There is no reason why Vassie should state the place untruly.
The defence of William Bewlay 20 D, in this case, as in the case of Floyd's charge, seems to resolve itself into a question of identity. On weighing the evidence on each charge, we think that Floyd's and Vassie's complaints are both well-founded against 20 D. Floyd swore most distinctly to the identity of 20 D, after ample opportunity in Hyde Park for noticing his person and number. Vassie's opportunity for remarking the policeman who struck him was much less favorable, yet he spoke with perfect confidence to 20 D, and Bewlay's statement that he believes Vassie to be the same man he struck at tells against himself.
J. Martin's Case. James Martin, ship’s carpenter, says he belonged to the Royal Albert; served in the Naval Brigade at Sebastopol; was wounded in four places in the trenches, and invalided. That he was leaning over the rail on the north side of the Drive about half past four o'clock, when some hallooing and shouting arose, and the police made a charge inside the rail. That being a cripple he could not get away, but cried out he was a cripple and a wounded sailor. That he had a stick in his hand, and defended himself till overpowered. That he was struck in four places, one being on the thigh; this caused a wound on his thigh to burst out bleeding. That after having been struck, he kept hobbling about till he got an opportunity to take the number of one of the policemen who struck him. That he had not the means of putting it down but carried it in his memory. That the number was 349 A. When policeman 349 A was produced Martin said he was the man.
George Mackrell, police serjeant 349 A, says he has been fourteen years in the police; and was on duty in the Drive from four to six o'clock; says he did not go out of the Drive on to the grass to clear the crowd back; but on one or two occasions, when carriages were passing and stones were thrown, helped to clear the crowd back from the rail, but did not leave the Drive; says he does not think it possible he could have struck the sailor, and is sure the sailor could not have called out as Martin said he did call, that he was a wounded sailor, without his knowing it. He does not recognize him at all, and says he would have suffered himself to be cut to pieces before touching The wounded sailor's story is a sad one, and was told in a simple honest manner, but the police serjeant accused disclaimed striking him with great appearance of sincerity, and looking to the evidence we think Martin may have fixed on the wrong man.
J. T. King's Case.
John Thomas King, aged 17, son of a farrier in Hart's Buildings, Westbourn Street, Eaton Square, says, he was in Hyde Park between seven and eight in the evening, and saw a policeman dragging a little boy along; that the mob got behind him, and pushed him towards the policeman; that the ponceman struck him a violent blow on the forehead, and struck him three times on the head after he fell to the ground. That he cannot say whether the policeman may not have supposed that he intended to rescue the boy. That he was taken to the hospital by a stranger, Charles James. That the blows rendered him insensible, and he was unable to work for a week. That he still felt the enects of the wound; a touch would produce headache.
Charles James, 10, Smith's Court, Windmill Street, Haymarket, says he took J. T. King to the hospital; he identifies Charles Leach, 147 A, as the person he saw striking King; says the boy was rescued from policeman 147 A, and that the policeman then struck King, and knocked him down, and struck him again three or four times on the head.
John Thomas King, father of J. T. King, says that his son left his company in Hyde Park; that he afterwards saw a policeman knock down a young man, and strike him several times; that he believes the young man was his son, but did not know it at the time; that he afterwards saw the policeman's number; it was 147 A ; and on seeing Charles Leach he says Leach is the same policeman.
William Smith, 1, Prospect Place, Kingsland, fruiterer, aud Henry Sayer, 6, Prospect Place, Kingsland, grocer, state that about half-past seven in the evening they saw policeman 147 A push a boy down, and then strike him twice or three times on the head. Smith is quite positive that the policeman's number was 147 A, and Sayer swore to the same number, and when he saw Charles Leach swore to him as the man.
Charles Leach, policeman 147 A, says, that in the evening between seven and eight he took a boy into custody for throwing a stone which struck a child. That on his way to the Dairy Lodge the boy was rescued from him; that he was knocked down with a stick, which he took from the man who had it: that he was struck with another stick, which also he took ; that a young man or boy took his truncheon from him, and attacked him with it; that he struck the young man with one of the sticks, knocked him down, and recovered bis truncheon ; that he only struck the boy once.
It is not certain that Smith and Sayer's evidence applies to King's case. Tt may be that they speak to a different transaction; if so their testimony discloses another charge against 147 A.
It is clear that Leach had a boy in custody, who was rescued about the same time when King was pushed against him. Leach may have attacked and struck him, under the impression that he was assisting in the rescue. Leach gives a different account from Charles James, and describes an encounter in which he got possession of two sticks, and struck a lad who had got possession of his truncheon. There is no evidence to corroborate Leach as to the encounter he speaks of, and we have no doubt that Leach struck the complainant. The most favourable interpretation is, that he struck King supposing him to have been engaged in the rescue; but if so, he struck him with unnecessary and reckless violence. The rescue and excitement may in some degree palliate this offence; but Leach's want of candour and misrepresentation are bad features in the case.
B. L. SMITH's Case. Complaint was also made against Charles Leach, 147 A, for apprehending Mr. B. L. Smith, a barrister, who was confined all night in one of the cells at Vine Street Station. Originally there was a charge made by Leach against Mr. Smith, the hearing of which the magistrate adjourned for a week, and the charge was ultimately withdrawn by Leach, but under what circumstances
or why is not very clear. Leach, however, stated on oath before us that Mr. Smith assaulted him, and that his conduct was riotous. Mr. Smith did not appear before us, and no evidence was given to affect the statement of Leach on this point, and under these circumstances we cannot hold that Leach exceeded his duty in making this arrest.
R. WOODWARD's Case.
Richard Woodward, 62, Wellington Street, Finsbury, carpenter and builder, says, he was in Hyde Park near the Dairy Lodge when the police were clearing the people back; he was prevented from going back by the crowd, and pushed forward by them, and not moving so quickly as the police desired was struck by a policeman with his truncheon across the eye, and seriously hurt; his face was cut and his eye blackened.
George Johnson, who accompanied the witness Woodward, and was with him in the Park, says that he happened to catch a glimpse of the policeman's number as his truncheon fell on Mr. Woodward's eye; the number was 593 A.
We entertain no doubt that Woodward was struck and injured by some policeman, but policeman 593 A was in Westminster Hospital ill of typhus fever when we sat to take evidence, and we have since ascertained that he died in the hospital on the 10th of August.
G. B. Coulcher's Case.
George Burdett Coulcher, law stationer, 50, Chancery Lane, says that he was walking in the carriageway of the Drive between half-past three and four o'clock. That several policemen caught hold of him, spoke rudely to him, and when he asked if it was not a public road they took him forcibly, and put him under the rail on the river side of the Drive, and policeman 229 A poked him in the stomach with his staff under the rail. That the witness Coulcher then went up to Superintendent Martin in the carriageway under some excitement, and argued with him, asking if it was not a public road, and if he the witness had not as good a right there as those passing in carriages. That Superintendent Martin would not argue with him, but said if witness came there to argue on public grounds the men had better help him, and he said to four or five policemen who came up, “Move this man.” That the policemen took hold of him, and took him along, and tried to push him underneath the rail, but the crowd was too great for that, so they took him in their arms and threw him over into the midst of the crowd.
As to the charge against policeman 229 A, the witness Coulcher did not appear when 229 A was produced in the court to identify him, and it was proved by this policeman, confirmed by the testimony of his landlord, that 229 A was at home and not on duty on the 1st of July. As to the conduct of Superintendent Martin, we consider that the removal of the complainant out of the carriageway was proper, and that the superintendent could hardly be expected to discuss the point under the pressure of duties which required his attention. The proceedings to remove the complainant were rough; but if he would not quit the carriageway voluntarily he exposed himself to some degree of compulsion, and it does not appear that he was hurt. If Mr. Coulcher had a right to remain, other foot passengers had also a right to remain in the carriageway, and it would be impossible to clear it for carriages.
W. STEPHENS's Case.
William Stephens, 19, Great Marylebone Street, Portland Street, hairdresser, says, he had accompanied a relative home to 115, Park Street, and was returning quietly along Park Street, when a crowd of people rushed passed him. That he stood aside near Grosvenor Street, and as he was turning to go on received a violent blow on the back. That he was next struck on the mouth. That a series of blows from fist and truncheon followed. That he was knocked down by a blow from a truncheon on the head. That one eye was blackened, his mouth severely cut, his lower row of teeth loosened, and his coat nearly torn from his back. He believes 80 C struck him several times. Before the policemen left him he was kicked in the stomach when down.
Elizabeth Bloxam, 35, George Street, Grosvenor Square, servant, says she saw the police attack the witness Stephens. That No. 80 struck him. She took his number, but did not put it down.
On seeing policeman 80 C this witness said he was not the man, and so said the witness Stephens.
On seeing 84 C, Elizabeth Bloxam said the man she meant was not so tall or so stout as 84 C.
William Humphries, 3, Marylebone Lane, boot-closer, says he saw a policeman, whom he believes to be 80 C, but will not swear to him, beat and illtreat the witness Stephens. 84 C gave him a violent kick on his side. This witness, on seeing 80 C, said he was not the man he meant, but, on seeing 84 C, swore distinctly to him. The witness Stephens also, on seeing policeman 84 C, said he was almost certain that 84 C was the man who struck him on the mouth.
Edward Nightingale, 26, Pratt Street, Lambeth, carpenter's apprentice, says he saw policeman 80 C—he is not sure of the number, but thinks it was 80 C-hit the witness Stephens in the face. 80 C kicked the witness Stephens's hat when it fell off, and hit Stephens on the back when he was in a gateway.
On seeing policeman 84 C, the witness Nightingale said that 84 C was the man who assaulted the witness Stephens; that he thought he was 80 C, but made a mistake in the number.
Charles Madgett, policeman 84 C, says he has been two years in the police, and came with Superintendent O'Brien's detachment from Stanhope Gate to Park Street. He says he was in the rear, and went as far as Grosvenor Street. He denies the violence imputed to him, and says he did not strike anybody.
There is no doubt that the savage attack on Stephens was unjustifiable, and that he was seriously injured. The only question is as to the identity of the policeman 84 C as a party concerned in the attack.
Stephens is almost certain that Charles Madgett, 84 C, is the man who struck him on the mouth. Nightingale and Humphries both swore positively as to identity of Madgett, and as to his taking part in the violence done to Stephens.
We consider that there is sufficient proof that Charles Madgett took part in the illegal violence in this case.
R. F. SANDALL's Case.
Richard Fuller Sandall, 50, Mount Street, Grosvenor Square, undertaker, says he saw a crowd going to Lord R. Grosvenor's, and went out, and spoke to Mr. Bigby. That a policeman came up, with a silver band with C on it, and told him to move on. That he said to the policeman, “Why should I move " on? I pay rent and taxes, and I pay for the police." That the policeman then struck him under the ear with his clenched hand, more in the way of a push to make him move than a blow. That he turned round to remonstrate, and saw four policemen, and was struck again on the back of the head by the same policeman.
He says by what he can understand the policeman who struck him was Lester, but he does not know. When Lester came forward to be identified, Mr. Sandall was unable, through illness, to attend.
Robert Lester, inspector, nineteen years in the police, says he was in Park Street on the 1st of July; that he knows Mr. Sandall slightly, but has no recollection of seeing him, and certainly did not strike him. He has no coat with C on the collar ; he belongs to the A reserve attached to the C division.
Mr. Sandall does not speak with any well grounded confidence as to Inspector Lester being the man who struck him, and after Lester's denial on oath it would be wrong to hold him to be the offender.
J. STAPLES's Case.
John Staples, law stationer, 11 Serles Place, Lincoln's Inn, states, that as he was crossing the Drive at the east end of the Serpentine, holding a little girl by the hand, a policeman spoke roughly to him, and flourished his truncheon over his head in a most offensive way, saying, “Do you want your hat spoiled ?" That he took the policeman's number, and it was A 376.
When the policeman 376 A was produced, Mr. Staples said he was not the man. The policeman 376 A stated that he was not in the Park on the 1st of July ; that he had not done duty for two months, owing to sickness, says that his uniform was with him at home.
It is certain this policeman was not the man of whose conduct Mr. Staples complained. Mr. Staples said he was not the man, though it is difflicult to account for his mistake in taking the number.
T. M'LEownan's Case. Thomas M Leownan, Woodbine Cottage, Holloway, wholesale glover, says, that he was standing in the midst of a crowd, and heard policeman 63 A, in conversation with Thomas Prowse, 28, Tothill Street, Westminster, say to him, “ Go along, you bloody barber!” both of them were excited. That he took a pencil and piece of paper, and told the policeman he would note him down, and report it. That the policeman made a motion with his arm and with his truncheon, whether directed to him, M'Leownan, or not he does not know, and said, “I will knock your head off," or something like that. That he said you had better strike me immediately. I will do my duty in taking your number; there are plenty of people to protect me. On which some soldiers said, “We will see this man does not interfere with you while you take the number down,” which he did. M'Leownan identifies 63 A.
John Bray, policeman 63 A, says, he was on duty at Buckingham Palace until 5 o'clock; that he then walked into Hyde Park, and going towards the Magazine Barracks was surrounded by a crowd, struck by a stone, pushed, and shouted at; tried to get out of the crowd, but could not; says at first he has no recollection of using the expression, “Go along, you bloody barber!" but afterwards denies that he did use the expression; that he did not hear any one threaten to take his number; and does not know if there is such a person as Thomas Prowse.
Thomas Prowse did not appear before us; if he had come forward as a witness this case might have been cleared of doubt. The evidence, as it conflicting, and we do not consider the alleged misconduct and improper language to be proved with certainty against the policeman John Bray.
H. B. MAXWELL'S Case. Hugh Bates Maxwell, esquire, Bury Street, St. James's, says he was in Hyde Park after four o'clock, and on the footway between the Drive and the Serpentine, and was standing quietly, when all of a sudden a rush was made from the carriage drive by some policemen, who got under the rails, and drove the people back who were standing close to the rails, and calling out “ Go outside! Go outside!” That he did not know what they meant by outside; and said, “ I am outside; what do you mean?" But, instead of replying, one of them seized him by the collar, and pushed or rather pitched him forward as far as he could upon the shoulders of the people in front, and at the same time gave him a blow on his back with his truncheon; not, however, a severe blow.
James Smith of Liverpool, wine merchant, witnessed the assault on Mr. Maxwell, and confirmed that gentleman's statement, adding, that the policeman's number was A 3, 4, and he thinks 5, but is not sure.
When policeman A 345 was produced, Smith stated that he would not swear to him, and that Mr. Maxwell had said that he (Smith) mentioned another number to him.
Henry Saunders, policeman 345 A, was examined, and denied striking Mr. Maxwell.
Mr. Mitchell afterwards stated that he did not press the charge against this policeman, and we exonerate policeman 345 A from this charge, but there is no doubt that unwarrantable violence was used towards Mr. Maxwell by some policeman on duty.
T. CANNONS CASE
Thomas Cannon, currier, 22, Great Earl Street, Long Acre, says he was an invalid, and got into a crowd, which was rushing away from the police, received three violent blows from a policeman's truncheon. That he would be positive, but fancied he should recognize the man again. That he knows the difference between a serjeant and a constable. That he was struck constable; fancies the number was 12 A; it might be 120.
When Edward Butt, police serjeant 12 A, was produced, the witness Car did not appear to identify him. 12 A is a serjeant; not a constable. He denied having struck any one on the 1st of July.
The witness Cannon was maltreated, but his evidence is insufficient to prove who was the offender.
The Second Class of these Cases consists of those in which witnesses complained of misconduct on the part of known policemen, but the persons alleged to have been injured or aggrieved were not examined or known.
Case of a boy hurt.
Joseph Albert Blanchard, 41, Moreton Place, Pimlico, upholsterer, sars, be saw police serjeant 31 D on the ground, with a boy under him, bleeding at the mouth and crying, and when the serjeant rose from the ground and saw his victim was a boy, seemed ashamed, and walked away.
John Greaves, police serjeant 31 D, says, he had taken a boy into custody who had been throwing stones, hooting, and hissing, and whom he had three times told to go home; that the boy fell suddenly, and he fell upon him, and was hurt by the fall; he let the boy go, and went to the railings to recover himself. He says that he had been suffering for some years from palpitation of the heart, and felt faint from the hurt received in falling over the bor, otherwise he would have detained the boy.
The policeman's explanation seems satisfactory, and consistent with the witness Blanchard's evidence.
Case of a man struck.
Joseph Albert Blanchard, 41, Moreton Place, Pimlico, and Zephaniah Berry, Albion Works, Pimlico, engineer, state, that they saw an Irish policeman strike a man on the temple with his staff, and when the man fell the policeman kicked him. That Blanchard noticed the policeman's number to be 375 A. and told Berry, who put the number down. That they both saw the policeman again, and noticed the number and man to be the same. When policeman 375 A was produced, both these witnesses said that he was the same man. Blanchard said he thought this transaction took place about five o'clock, but he could not state the time exactly.
James Teasdale, policeman 375 A, says he has been five years in the police. and five years previously in the Irish constabulary. That he was at the Vine Street Station with Henry Austin at fire o'clock, and did not return to the Park until a quarter before six. He denies knocking any man down with his staff, or kicking any one. About ten minutes past six he took a boy into custody who had thrown a stone.
If the time of the transaction in question had been distinctly fixed as at five block, the policeman 375 A would have disproved the charge by showing that he was then at Vine Street, but the time is not so fixed, and Blanchard mentions that ten minutes after the transaction he saw the policeman with a boy in his custody, which makes it probable that the transaction took place about six o'clock. The injured person does not appear, but Blanchard and Berry speak so distinctly to the facts, and also to the person and number of James Teasdale, that, notwithstanding his denial, we think this charge of violence is sufficiently proved against him.
Case of boy knocked down. Charles Daniel, mining agent, 2, Upper Baker Street, says he took down the number of A 344 as being the man who had struck a boy whom he saw lying on the ground in the greatest agony. That he heard but did not see the blow given. That the policeman slunk away. On the production of police constable 344 A the witness says he cannot swear to the man, but to the number; says he looks like the man. The witness does not fix the time, but says the place was about 300 yards on the north of the Serpentine. Witness entered the Park about 4 o'clock, and left the Park about 8 o'clock, when the police cleared it.
Thomas Edwards, policeman 344 A, has been two years in the police, says he was on duty at Stanhope Gate from two till six o'clock; that he then went to Park Street, and returned to Stanhope Gate, and about eight o'clock marched across the Park with a body of fifty policemen to the Receiving House, and stopped there till marched home near ten at night.
It is impossible to reconcile the account which this witness gives with his guilt, yet the witness Daniel took down the number at the time. The witness Daniel does not identify the person of the policeman, and the boy stated to have been hurt does not appear. Under these circumstances we give the policeman the benefit of the doubt.
Case of violence in the Drive.
Robert Sims, clerk to a building society, 3, Stanfield Street, Whitehorse Lane, says, he saw policeman 12 A, whom he identified, attempting, with twelve others, to clear the carriage drive near the Receiving House, about three o'clock, and that he pushed and behaved rudely to a young gentleman, and when the young gentleman expostulated, 12 A took him by the collar and legs, and threw him over the rails on to the crowd.
Edward Butt, police serjeant 12 A, denies throwing any one over the rails, but says that when they were clearing the carriage drive, a young man was put over the rails by some constables, and that he pulled him over, and received him on the sward side; denies that it was done with violence.
The young gentleman alleged to have been ill-treated does not appear. The facts admit of the explanation given, and we cannot fix blame on the police, who were engaged in clearing the carriageway at the time.
Case of threatening.
Robert Sims further states, that he heard policeman 429 A say to a man, “ If you come here again I will mark you. You had better keep out of my way." He says, he does not know what led to this expression.
Robert Bridle, policeman 429 A, nine years in the police, explains that he was addressing a man who had been shouting at two broughams in the Drive when overheard by Sims.
The explanation given in this case is probably correct; therefore we see no reason to censure the policeman,
Case of a man struck, supposed to be BINCROFT.
William Oliver, 17, Quebec Street, Montague Square, says, he saw policeman 413 A run after a man who fell, and strike him over the head and over the back. That the man was taken away by several policemen. That this occurred on the north side of the Serpentine, three or four hundred yards from the Drive. The witness Oliver identified policeman John Winters, 413 A, when produced.
John Winters, 413 A, says, he did pursue a man some distance from the Drive, in the direction towards the Marble Arch; that a man ran between him and the person pursued and knocked both of them down; that he took the man pursued into custody, but did not strike him ; that the man was Benjamin Bincroft, who had shouted and groaned, and been warned more than once ; that he would not go away, but kept on shouting while a carriage came past, and the horse was frightened, on which witness pursued him ; that Bincroft was taken before the magistrate, and the case disposed of, without any complaint of violence being made by Bincroft.
Henry Edwards, policeman 434 A, was present when Bincroft was apprehended, and confirms Winters as to his not having struck Bincroft.
We find no person to whom Oliver's evidence is applicable except Bincroft and assuming that he was the person, we think the policeman has answered the charge.
Case of violence in Park Street. William Humphreys of 3, Marylebone Lane, boot closer, says, he was in Park Street when the crowd were attacked by the police; that he saw police serjeant 21 C with his staff out, and if he saw any one he ran after him, and felled him to the ground : and that he never saw a madman commit more frightful devastation than that man 21 C; he ran from Park Street to Brook Street, and down Brook Street, after some people. The witness Humphreys swore distinctly to 21 C.
Vincent Gummer, police serjeant 21 C, says, that he was in Park Street; that he heard a man, who had a stone in his hand, say, 66 Give it he pursued him, and touched him with his staff as the man fell; that he afterwards pursued another man who threw a stone at the police to Green Street, but did not overtake him.
We find that Vincent Gummer acted with unjustifiable violence in dispersing the crowd in Park Street.
Case of striking at boys.
Edward Nugent Ayrton, esquire, of 19, Old Square, Lincoln's Inn, barrister, says, he saw near the Guard House policeman 387 A striking with all his force at the backs of boys of twelve or fourteen years of age who were running away. The witness was not near enough to see whether the truncheon actually touched their backs, but does not think it was from any want of attempt on the policeman's part if it was not so. Mr. Ayrton identified 387 A.
Hugh Pigot, policeman 387 A, says, that he had to accompany a picket of soldiers to the Magazine Barrack, and afterwards was with the police called in to disperse a crowd which had remained near the Barrack throwing stones ; says that there were a great many boys; that he used his staff in a menacing manner, making gestures of striking at them, but did not hit them, his object being to frighten them away.
The evidence against 387 A seems fairly to admit of the explanation given in the defence.
Case of a man in custody struck.
Charles Bradlaugh, 3, Warner Street South, Hackney Road, and Joseph Albert Blanchard, 41, Moreton Place, Pimlico, upholsterer, state that they saw a policeman strike a prisoner who had no shirt on in a cab; that the prisoner was holding up his hands as if to guard his head; that the policeman struck him over the temple with a truncheon.
This evidence refers to a drunken man who was troublesome in Hyde Park, and taken by the police, but delivered over to the care of a friend. He afterwards broke loose from his friend, crossed the Drive, and plunged into the Serpentine. A boat belonging to the Humane Society put off, and brought him to shore. He was then taken to the Dairy Lodge. There he was very violent and hurt one of the men who brought him in, and the park-keeper brought a pair of handcuffs which were put on him. He took his shirt off there When sent away in a cab, with two policemen and another prisoner, he continued violent in the cab, and attempted to strike the policeman sitting annosite to him with his handcuffs, which led the policeman to strike him in endeavouring to protect himself. On the following Sunday the same man called at the Dairy Lodge, and asked for his cap, and not getting it he threatened the park-keeper. This man was violent and hurt several of the policemen. He does not appear to have been seriously hurt, and his own rough conduct warranted the violence used towards him.
Cases of violence in clearing the Drive.
James Marsh, 3 Clarence Place, Kensington, a retired tradesman, states, that he saw policeman 155 A knocking people down, pushing, poking them in the stomach, sending them under the rails between the cast end of the Serpentine and the Receiving House, about four o'clock.
When policeman 155 A was produced, the witness Marsh at first said he was the man, but expressed a wish to see him in uniform. 155 A was in plain clothes, and stated that he had not worn uniform for ten years, being employed by the Excise Office.
Policeman 551 A was afterwards called, and identified by the witness Marsh as the person he meant; he stated that he had inverted the number, and so fallen into error.
Policeman 551 A was on duty in the Drive on the 1st of July, but denies having acted as stated; says that he took a man into custody who was charged with stealing a watch.
This evidence may raise a case of suspicion, but does not amount to certain proof, considering the error into which the witness Marsh fell as to the number, and the looseness of his testimony, which is not supported by any person injured by the acts imputed to 551 A.
George Payne, 3, Craven Place, Paddington, carver and gilder, says he saw policeman 554 A or 354 A in the Drive, and saw him rush at the people, and poke, push, and strike them, when Superintendent Hughes said “Move them back."
Policemen 554 A and 354 A were both produced to the witness Payne, but he stated that he did not undertake to identify and could not identify the man by his features; but he added, that he had then no hesitation in swearing that the man who wore the number 554 was the person, as he had consulted several friends who witnessed the transaction, and who noticed the same man and the same number.
Policeman 554 A has been seven or eight months in the police ; says that he was on duty on the north side of the Drive; that he did not receive any orders from Superintendent Hughes in the course of the day (the 1st of July), and denies the acts and conduct imputed to him.
We should not be justified in condemning 554 A solely on the statement of the witness Payne, who candidly admits that his confidence as to the number is derived from the statement of friends not examined before us.
Case of a boy kicked. John Hodson, 21, East Road, Hoxton, news agent, states, that he saw a boy twelve or fourteen years old knocked down by policeman 385 A, and kicked by the policeman after he fell, under the rails, into the Park, from the carriage drive opposite the Serpentine. That a gentleman on horseback, with his groom, was passing at the time; the noise might make the horse plunge a little; witness cannot swear that the boy did not cry out. That he afterwards saw 385 A with another policeman walking a boy off in custody; also that after the boy was pushed inside the rails policeman 385 A rushed pell mell into the mob along with three or four other men, and they knocked every one about right and left, which caused a great disturbance. The witness Hodson belongs to the Sunday Trading Prevention Society, and is against the Bill. The witness Hodson identified policeman Thomas Wade, 385 A, when produced in court.
Thomas Wade 385 A, when produced in court, says he has no recollection of putting a single boy under the rail. That he took two boys, whose ages might be sixteen and fourteen, across the carriageway, and put one of them over the iron rail into the Park where the crowd was. As to the other, he put his staff in under the rails, and requested the crowd to stand back to let the boy through. That the boy was forced back several times, but got through. He did not kick him through.
The result is stated at the conclusion of the next case, which is another charge against the same policeman.
Case of two men struck.
John Blandford, 24, Tothill Street, Westminster, army cap-maker, says he saw policeman 535 A in a charge of police in Hyde Park strike a young man, and fell him to the ground. That he judges three truncheons fell at the same time on the young man. That he helped to raise the young man, who shrieked wildly, and his face was distorted. In another charge witness Blandford says he saw policeman 385 A throw a young man down, and strike him across the back with his staff, saying in the way of apology, “You have put your foot between my legs.”
This witness identified Thomas Wade 385 A after he had put his hat on.
George Blandford, No. 2, Lillington Place, Vauxhall Bridge Road, porter, says, that policeman 385 A was in a rush made by the police, and struck a young man across the head. The young man fell, and screamed out, and went off senseless. This witness says he could recognize 385 A by a cut that he had on his lip. Thinks it was a hair-lip, but it might be something else.
The witness George Blandford did not appear to identify 385 A, who had not a hair-lip or any appearance of a cut on his lip.
Thomas Wade 385 A denies knocking any man down, or striking any young man on the head, or being present with two other constables when a young man was struck down. Neither of the persons alleged to have been injured appeared before us.
We are of opinion that Thomas Wade was guilty of unjustifiable violence.
Case of a man struck.
Robert Ward, 3, Marsham Street, Westminster, plasterer, says policeman 113 A struck a young man a severe blow; but it is clearly proved by 113 A, confirmed by Martha Looder, who lodges in his house, that he was not on duty in Hyde Park on the 1st of July, but was at home in his own house until half past four, when he went on duty at the entrance of the Victoria Tower.
Case of boy hurt The same witness, Robert Ward, says that at a quarter past eight some sods were thrown, and an affray took place with the police, in which a boy was hit across the temples, and picked up by a life-guardsman, who looked a policeman in the face, and said, " You scoundrel, you want a licking; you ought to be punished.” That witness called out the number of the policeman 392 A division. The witness did not see the policeman strike the boy, but inferred that he had struck him from what the soldier had said,
Policeman 392 A says, that in the course of assisting to clear the Park he saw a crowd at a distance, and went into it. That he found a horse-guardsman holding a boy in his arms who was bleeding from the temple. The soldier said, “ See what some of you have done. Should you not be ashamed of your
says a man who appeared to be drunk called out his number. Denies that he struck the boy or saw him struck.
We cannot find on this evidence that policeman 392 A struck the boy who was bleeding.
Case of a pickpocket in custody.
The same witness, Ward, also states, that he saw a man who had been apprehended for picking a gentleman's pocket carried along by policemen with his face downwards, that the man called out, “ I will walk now," but that they would not let him walk, and one of them caught him two raps on the thigh.
This evidence seems to refer to David Dalton, a pickpocket, who bit, kicked, and otherwise injured several of those who apprehended him. He was rescued once by the crowd, and was carried face downwards on account of his kicking and other violence. He was tried, and sentenced to six years penal servitude.
Case of violence in a rush of policemen.
Henry Horton, 16, Nicol Square, Hackney Road, clerk to a law stationer, states, that about half past three o'clock a rush of policemen took place, and he saw a middle-aged gentleman, who being rather corpulent could not move with the same facility as others, followed by policeman 20 A, and struck several times violently on the back and breast with this policeman's truncheon.
The witness Horton did not appear to identify the person of 20 A, so that the case depended on his correctness as to the number and letter.
Policeman 20 A was called, and also the inspector of the A Division, who proved that 20 A had leave on the 1st of July, and was not on duty or in Hyde Park at all, but at the time in question was at home in Grosvenor Terrace, Horseferry Road.
It seems clear that the witness Horton was mistaken as to the number or the divisional letter or both. 20 A is exonerated from the charge, although Horton took down the number at the time with a pencil on a card, which he gave to the gentleman who had been struck.
Case of a boy struck.
The same witness Horton also says, that he saw policeman 380 A beat in a very severe manner over the back and shoulder with his truncheon a little boy who had called out to him “Who stole the goose?" Horton did not come forward when summoned to identify 380 A when he appeared before us, and he had made no memorandum of the number and letter in this case, which therefore depended entirely on the accuracy of his recollection.
Policeman 380 A was on duty in Hyde Park on July the 1st, but denies striking any boy on that day with his truncheon.
We do not consider the evidence decisive against 380 A.
Case of a man pushed down.
Thomas Couchman, of the Windsor Castle, Pimlico, publican, says he saw a policeman, whose number was 20, with another policeman, rush and push down a very respectable man, who was going away. Couchman did not exactly see the letter, but was told the policeman whose number he took belonged to the D division. Couchman, on seeing 20 D, said, I do indeed believe him to be the man. William Bewlay, policeman 20 D, denies any conduct that would warrant the charge of pushing any one down.
The evidence in this case does not seem to us conclusive against 20 D, but there are two other charges against the same policeman, which we have found to be proved.
The Third and last Class of these Cases consists of those in which parties who had been injured appeared as witnesses, and gave evidence of the misconduct of policemen not known.
J. Gough's Case. John Gough, 12, Wellington Place, Newington Butts, tailor, says he was in the carriageway of the Drive with his back to the rail. That a superintendent galloped down, and ordered the constables to make the people get under the rail on to the footpath. That he, Gough, was not able to get under instantly, owing to the crowd, four or five deep along the railings. That a policeman struck him on the hat, and when he turned round, and quietly asked what he did that for, one of the policemen gave him a severe poke in the stomach with his staff, which caused some suffering for several days.
T. Hawson's Case. Thomas Hawson, 36, Wild Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, Bootmaker, says he was on the north side of the Drive, and looked earnestly, trying to obtain a policeman's number, and the policeman gave him a thrust in the pit of the stomach, and almost knocked the wind out of him.