Henry Knight – Fortified by Acts of Parliament – June 4 1864
Ryde Petty Sessions
Tuesday – Before Thomas Thorpe Fowke, esq.
Mr H Knight, of the Arcade, attended to lay an information against the Churchwardens and Overseers of the parish of Newchurch for not producing the rate books, and allowing him to take extracts therefrom. The application involved a point of law as to who should have the custody of the parish documents, Mr Knight strongly contending that the overseers, and not the assistant overseer, were the proper persons to have the custody of the books. He had made application to Mr Churchwarden Dashwood and Messrs Marvin and Yelf, overseers, and they said they knew nothing about it; he must apply to Mr Fairall. Now, he would point out to his Worship that, there being no vestry clerk, the overseers alone were responsible for the custody of the books. He intended to have appealed against the rate, but in the present state of affairs, and with such a seeming divided responsibility, he had been “bothered” about till it was too late to give the requisite notices. – The Bench was decidedly of opinion that every ratepayer should have full access to the books; and as to the application for a summons against the Churchwardens and Overseers, Mr Hearn, who was absent, had better look into the law of the case, and if necessary issue the regular notice for its hearing at the sitting of the Court on Tuesday next. – Mr Knight, who was fortified with all the Acts of Parliament on parish affairs for the last century and a half, then withdrew.