HC Deb 27 February 1883 vol 276 cc1018-9

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether it is the fact that Mr. Robert Percival, bailiff on the estate of Captain Douglas, near Drumlish, in the county of Longford, was lately charged by two tenants on that estate with having used intimidating language towards them, and having produced firearms and threatened to shoot them if they attempted to prevent him from taking forcible possession of the land of Mrs. Campbell, a widow, who was then actually in possession of the land, having been restored to it; whether the two tenants tendered informations against Percival to the resident magistrate, Mr. Hill; whether Mr. Hill refused to receive the informations; and, whether he will take any steps in consequence of this refusal?


I have received a Report which shows that the facts are not quite correctly set forth in the Question. Mrs. Campbell had been evicted from her house and farm, and had been allowed back into the house under an agreement; but she was not restored to the farm, as, by the agreement, Percival, who paid the rent—£40—was to hold the land till next June. Mrs. Campbell appears to have afterwards repented of her bargain, and tried to get the land back, and two men went to plough it. Percival prevented thorn from doing so, when they threatened to come again next day and plough the land by force. Percival said he would not allow them, and stated that he was quite well able to take care of himself, at the same time drawing a revolver from his pocket, which he showed them. The two men then wont to Mr. Hill, the Resident Magistrate, and tendered information. Mr. Hill, knowing that Percival was a respectable man, and that an ill-feeling existed towards him on the part of one of the applicants, refused to take informations, and directed them to take out summonses. I have no intention of taking any step in consequence of Mr. Hill's refusal; both because he exercised a discretion which is expressly vested in him as a magistrate by the Petty Sessions Act, and because his action did not deprive the applicants of their legal remedy, if they really felt themselves aggrieved.