Minutes Fri 17 Nov 1843

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Fri 17 Nov 1843


S Aldum, owner of vessel ‘Princess Royal’ fined £3 2s 6d, and cost of £3 15s 6d, for defrauding Thames & Severn Canal Co of tonnage by reporting and paying for 6¼ tons less than conveyed by his vessel. Clerk Hooper required to explain. In case of Worcesters, measuring stick used and detected in three months 474 tons in vessels above certificates of cargoes on G&B Canal. ‘Princess Royal’, large barge, no means of ascertaining exact weight except by weighing cargo, entered at Framilode. Burbidge, clerk there, took weight of cargo according to certificate of Bullo Pill Company. Fraud discovered by comparing reports of various clerks and evidence of the person purchasing the coal at various places. Mr Mason to ascertain cargoes by appointing some person to occasionally see cargo unloaded. Musty, servant at Double Lock employed.
Mr Mason reported sale of coals at Wallbridge not so great as might be expected from Adams. Losses on tonnage. House occupied by Adams let to him at only £25 per annum. Allowance of £4 per annum and parochial taxes of house and garden made to him for services as wharfinger. Committee not satisfied with amount of coals sold.
Rebuilding of wall at back of cottages at Framilode to be resumed in Spring. Mud in basin and lock removed at convenient time.
Piling and planking at Dudbridge Wharf to be considered.
John Burbidge salary for two months. of £10 paid. Executors of late Geo Hawker salary bslance was £5 6s 6d. Charles Hawker quarterly salary of £20 paid.
Letters from Mr John Gurney copied into minutes. Mr Croome not present at meeting, consideration of them will be at future meeting.
Letter from A Goold requesting drawback of 2d per ton on 386 ton of coal. 91 ton exported from Junction 14 June, previous to Mr Trotter’s application for a drawback. 295 remaining there at present. Mr Trotter not entitled to drawback until coal exported and certificate produced.
All payments to be made by cheques, except for parish rates, weekly wages and taxes, except property tax.
Copies of Mr Gurney’s letters, re proxies. One from Mr Coney of Batcombe, two in which Mr Richard Hawker voted and Mr Gurney’s name appeared in both.

Verbatim text

At a Meeting of the Committee of the Stroudwater Navigation held at the Committee Room at Wallbridge on friday the 17th day of November 1843
Present: [In time 3/s & 2/6] M^r Wyatt Chairman, M^r Martin, M^r P H Fisher, M^r Jos^h Fisher, M^r Sam Fisher, M^r Jn^o Holbrow, M^r Geo Wathen, M^r H Beard, M^r R^t Hughes, M^r Jn^o Stanton.
M^r Hawker having reported that S Aldum, owner of the Vessel called the Princess Royal was summoned before the Magistrates by the Clerk of the Thames and Severn Canal Comp^y and was this day fined £3..2..6 and Costs £3..15..6 for defrauding that Canal of Tonnage by reporting and paying for 6 Tons and one quarter less than was convey'd by his Vessel on that Canal.
That Vessel having pass'd thro' the Stroudwater Navigation our Clerk, Hooper, was required to explain this fact with reference to the excess not having been discovered by any of the Clerks of this Navigation.
When it appeared to this Committee, that (although in the case of Worcesters, the measuring stick is used and has detected in 14 Months 474 Tons in Vessels above the certificates of cargoes on the Gloucester and Berkeley Canal} the Princess Royal is a large barge and that there are no means of ascertaining the exact weight of the cargo of such a vessel but by weighing out the cargo; that the Princess Royal enter'd at Framilode, and Burbidge our clerk there was obliged to take as he did the weight of the Cargo according to the Certificate of the Bullo Pill Comp^y, unless he had weigh'd out the Cargo.
That the Clerk of the Thames & Severn Canal was enabled to discover this fraud by means of comparing the reports of the various Clerks on the upper line of that canal and the evidence of the person who purchased the coals, of the quantity discharged at several Places from the Vessel.
[To Weigh out Cargo] Order'd, (that in order to check as much as may be similar frauds on this Navigation) M^r Mason do take means to ascertain the Cargoes of such sort of Vessels by appointing some person occasionally to follow and see the Cargo unloaded (where the same may be conveniently praticable) and take an account of the same, and [Musty be employ'd] that Musty, our servant at the Double Lock be employ'd under the direction of M^r Mason, in such matters.
[S Adams] M^r Mason having reported that the sale of Coals on the Wharf at Wallbridge is not so great as might be effected by an active man occupying the situation held by Adams there, and that a loss on the tonnage is sustained thereby and that the House occupied by Adams is let to him at only £25 per An: with an allowance of £4 per an and the parochial taxes of his house and garden being made to him thereon for his services as Wharfinger.
It appears to this Committee that some steps should be taken in regard thereto and that in the mean time Adams be informed that the Committee are not satisfied with the amount of Coals sole (or the supply needful) at this Wharf.
{Wall at Framilode] Order'd that the consideration of rebuilding the wall at the back of the Cottages at Framiloade be resumed next spring and that the Mud in the Bason and Lock be removed at a conveniend time.
[Dudbridge Wharf piling] Order'd that the state of the piling and planking at Dudbridge Wharf be taken into consideration when convenient.
Order'd that the following sums be paid:
Jn^o Burbidge's Sal^y 2 mo to Nov^r 19th: £10
The Exors of the late Geo Hawker balance of
Sal^y due him to Aug^t 19th last: 5..6..6
Cha^s Hawker 1 Quarter Sal^y due Nov^r 19th: 20..-..-
Two letters dated Oct 28th and Nov^r 13th 1843 having been received from M^r Jn^o Gurney.
Order'd, that they copied in these minutes and the originals preserved and that our Clerk do inform M^r Gurney that M^r Croome to whom M^r Gurney particularly refers, not being present at this meeting of the Committee, his letters will be taken into consideration at a future meeting when M^r Croome may be present and that M^r Croome be requested to attend the next meeting.
A letter from A Goold having been read, demanding a Drawback of two pence per Ton on 386 Ton of Coal, 91 Ton of which he alleges to have been exported from the Junction on June 14th last and the remaining 295 lying there at present, and it appearing that the 91 Ton were exported previous to the application of M^r Trotter for a Drawback,
Resolved that our Clerk do write to M^r Goold that M^r Trotter is not entitled to such Drawback on the 91 Tons nor on any quantity until actually exported and the certificate thereof produced.
It not having been clearly understood that it was the direction of the Committee held on the 8th day of Sept last, that _all_ payments should be made by Cheques.
Resolv'd, that, except parish Rates, Weekly Wages, and taxes (not including the property Tax) no payments be made for the future but by Cheques signed by the Chairman at the Committee Meetings.

Copies of the two letters alluded to in the Minutes of the Committee Meeting held Nov^r 17th Inst
To M^r Cha^s Hawker
Stroud 28 Oct^r 1843
Dear Sir
In pursuance of the conversation I had with you today in the presence of M^r Cosham, I have to desire you will not shew the Proxy on which I voted yesterday at the Canal Meeting or the Proxies in which M^r Rich^d Hawker's name appears conjointly with mine, to any one without my consent and I have also to inform you that I intend to apply at the next Committee Meeting for the restoration of these proxies and that in default of such restoration it is my intention to take such legal proceedings against you and such other person or persons who may detains the same as I shall be advised
Signed John Gurney.
To the Committee of the Stroudwater Navigation
Unavoidable absence will prevent my carrying out the intention express'd in my letter to M^r Cha^s Hawker of the 28h Oct last of attending your meeting on friday next and personally demanding certain proxies which are now in M^r Hawkers possession, as Clerk to the Canal Comp^y and which are detained by him in pursuance of a direction given at the last half yearly Meeting of the Proprietors, by one of your body M^r Croome and an opinion then express'd by him that they must be kept amongst the Canal Records.
The Proxies which are detained are three, one from M^r Coney of Batcombe in respect to which I voted at the last half yearly Meeting, and two, in respect of which M^r Richard Hawker voted and in both of which my name appears with his.
M^r Cha^s Hawker acting in accordance with the before mentioned direction, has refused to deliver these Proxies up to me without your consent. I have to request that such consent will be given and that on my next application to M^r Cha^S Hawker the Proxies will be restored to me as I shall be sorry to resort to any legal means for the purpose of obtaining them.
In case any objection may be raised to the delivery to me of the Proxies in which M^r Rich^d Hawkers name appears it will be perceived on inspection that such Proxies are joint and several and therefore that each of us has a right to the possession of and to vote in respect to them. Under these circumstances, I have a clear legal right to demand them on my own account, but to obviate any difference of opinion on the subject, you may consider me as now acting not only on my own account but as Solicitor for M^r Rich^d Hawker and with his consent
Stroud 13 Nov^r 1843
Signd John Gurney

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