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Monmouth Election Petition

Volume 92: debated on Tuesday 23 April 1901

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The Election Petition for the Monmouth Boroughs.

The Parliamentary Elections Act, 1868.

The Corrupt and Illegal Practices Prevention Acts, 1854–1895.

To the Right Honourable the Speaker of the House of Commons.

We, Sir William Raun Kennedy and Sir Charles John Darling, Judges of the High Court of Justice, and two of the Judges on the rota for the time being for the trial of Election Petitions in England and Wales, do hereby certify, in pursuance of the said Acts, that, upon the 29th and 30th days of March and 1st and 2nd days of April of this year, we duly held a Court at the Town Hall, Newport, Monmouth, for the trial of, and did try, the Election Petition for the Monmouth Boroughs between Thomas Embrey and Christopher Sweeting, Petitioners, and Frederick Rutherfoord Harris, Respondent.

And, in further pursuance of the said Acts, we report that at the conclusion of the said trial we determined that the said Frederick Rutherfoord Harris, being the Member whose Election and return were complained of in the said Petition, was not duly elected and returned, and that the Election was void on the ground of illegal practices by the said Frederick Rutherfoord Harris and by his agent; and we do hereby certify in writing such our determination to you.

And whereas charges were made in the said Petition of illegal practices having been committed at the said Election, we,

in further pursuance of the said Acts, report as follows:—

  • (1) That an illegal practice was proved to have been committed by the said Frederick Rutherfoord Harris, in that he during the said Election, for the purpose of effecting the return of a candidate at such Election, made and published false statements of fact in relation to the personal character and conduct of such candidate.
  • (2) That the following persons were proved guilty of illegal practices, namely:
    • Frederick Rutherfoord Harris,
    • Henry Longstaff,
    • Reginald Bath Cleaver,
    • Thomas Jeke.
  • (3) That although it was proved that illegal practices were committed at the said Election, it was not proved, nor have we reason, upon the evidence before us, to believe that illegal practices extensively prevailed at the said Election.
  • (4) That the said Frederick Rutherfoord Harris was guilty by his Election agent, Henry Longstaff, of an illegal practice, in that the said Henry Longstaff failed without such authorised excuse as is mentioned in the Corrupt and Illegal Practices Prevention Act, 1883, to make a true return respecting the Election expenses of the said Frederick Rutherfoord Harris.
  • (5) That, in the course of the investigation of the last mentioned charge, it appeared to us that the said Frederick Rutherfoord Harris was by his said Election agent, Henry Longstaff, guilty also of an illegal practice under the Corrupt and Illegal Practices Prevention Act, Section 9, Sub-section 1, in that the said Henry Longstaff induced and procured Thomas Jeke aforesaid to vote at the said Election knowing that he was a person prohibited; but no charge under this section was alleged in the said Petition.
  • (6) That we have given certificates of indemnity to the several persons whose names are set out in paragraph (2).
  • A copy of the evidence and of our Judgment, taken by the deputies of the shorthand writer of the House of Commons, accompanies this certificate.

    Dated this 22nd day of April, 1901.

    WILLIAM RANN KENNEDY.

    CHARLES DARLING.