The case makes mention of the fact that Hutchins Thomas Williams was the owner of the house on Dame Street where Gibbons and Williams did their business as public notaries, which was an eye-opener for me (although the number of the house isn't noted) and also announces the presenence in Dublin of a sister of Hutchins T. Williams, and also of a member of the Gibbons family, the clerk Thomas H. Gibbons. The sister was either Sarah Williams (born 1794), the daughter of John Jeffery Williams and his first wife Sarah Dignan, or the younger Mary Williams (born circa 1814), the daughter of John Jeffery Williams and his second wife, Mary Oliver.
A case brought before the Chief Baron Pennefather and a special jury:
On the 5th May 1827, that the defendants (Williams and) made an assault upon the plaintiff, William George Eades, and forcibly pulled him from the doorway of a certain house in Dame St, presumably 48 Dame St, and forced him to go to a watch house or prison in College Street, and imprisoned him there.
‘....the said Hutchins T. Williams was possessed of a certain dwelling-house in Dame-street and that, being so possessed, the said William George Eades, with force of arms, and with great violence, came to said dwelling-house, and with great force and violence knocked at said dwelling-house, he not having any right to demand an entrance to said house; whereupon the said Hutchins Williams, and Donald McClean, his servant, did charge him in the watch house in order to bring him before some Justice of the Peace...but it was late at night, so that the Plaintiff could not be before a justice...and was therefore kept there until he gave bail...’
Daniel O’Connell stated, on behalf of the plaintiff, William George Eades, that he was an respectable and solvent man, carrying on business in Johnson’s-place; the defendant belonged to the house of Gibbons and Williams.
‘The plaintiff, being a man of business, endorsed into the Bank of Ireland a bill for £32; he found that on that day it became due, the acceptor was not able to pay it; he discovered not that the bill would not be paid until near nine o’clock in the evening, and immediately went to the house of Gibbons and Williams to pay it before it should be protested; he did not get there till after nine o’clock....’
O’Connell explained that, until September last, no bill could be protested if the money to be paid were ready before 12 o’clock, but that some Notaries Public had got a bill passed which limited the hour to 9 o’clock.
The plaintiff maintained that he rapped 3 or 4 times before the door was opened to him but nobody came for the money - Mr.Eades was, instead, taken to the watch house. Following his bail and discharge, there had been no apology from Williams or McClean.
‘Mr. Williams made every effort to soften Mr. Eades, and induce him to forego any unpleasant feelings...Mr.Williams...expressed himself that it was most improper in Mr. Eades to go to his house at night at such a time, and complained of it having been annoyed...Mr. Williams justified the act of his servant by stating it was the custom of the house to shut at nine at night...Mr. Eades went from that to the bank of Ireland to the Runner’s office; Mr. Williams followed him, and Mr. Eades there having paid the money for the bill, and the protest, Mr. Williams made the protest be taken off the bill, and the money given back to Mr. Eades...’
In the Police-Office later, Mr.Eades expressed his desire for a public apology but this was refused.
‘Mr. O’Connell said, I now offer to accept of a public apology...’ This was refused.
The sergeant stated that Mr. Eades had no justification in knocking at the door in such a manner, especially since Mr.William’s sister was ill at the time, that he had been repeatedly warned to desist from knocking but had persevered.
‘The business of the house of Messrs. Gibbons and Williams, who were Notaries Public to the Bank of Ireland since its establishment in 1782, was immense; and it would be utterly impossible for them to get through it had they not laid down a system of their own for that purpose.’
Thomas H. Gibbons, a clerk in the office of Gibbons and Williams, was called on behalf of the defence. He stated that he had remained at the house from 6pm until 11pm; that the house normally closed against receiving money at a few minutes after 9pm; that 132 bills had been paid and protested that day.
It was maintained by O’Connell that there might have been about ten clerks in the office that night and that Mr.Eades’ bill was in the office.
The case was sent to the jury who found in favour of the defendants, Hutchins Thomas Williams and the servant, Donald McClean, with 5d. Costs.
From Mount Jerome:
'In | Loving Memory | of | GEORGE HOWARD MONTGOMERY | who died 26th Novr. 1887 |
in his 47th year | "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they | shall see God" | Also To the Memory of | WILLIAM GEORGE EADES | father-in-law of above | who died 8th Decr. 1893 | aged 85 years.'
William George Eades was a wine merchant and was married to Mary Cranwill.