HC Deb 09 February 1899 vol 66 c332
MR. PERKS () Lincolnshire, South

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether his attention has been called to the case of Mr. Frederick Sharpley, a Wesleyan lay preacher, who has been committed to Maidstone Gaol for 14 days for singing a hymn at a religious service in the village of Leeds, Kent, on Sunday, 11th December last, conducted at a spot where similar outdoor services have been conducted for many years; whether he is aware that the Kent County Council is the only County Council which has adopted such a by-law as the one under which Mr. Sharpley has been convicted and imprisoned; and, whether, having regard to the fact that the judges to whom the validity of such by-law was referred were divided in opinion, he will advise Her Majesty to exercise her clemency in the case in question.


My attention was not drawn to this case till two days ago, and I am now making inquiries into the matter; but the honourable Member is in error in supposing that Kent is the only county where a similar by-law is in force. Several boroughs and counties have such by-laws.