[HOME]  [Court Reports] Joseph WINGATE, 1832
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Joseph Wingate,  coachman, for Refusing to Pay toll for Her Majesty's Horses, 1832

There's lots more information on the HOME page.   There are also many other court reports.

Poor old Joseph! His 'crime' was committed through obeying his boss's instructions rather than stealing from him.

[NOTE:  A Joseph WINGATE married a Mary Ann CLEAVER on 3rd October 1825 in Chelsea].


Police Notices and Court Appearances

At Union Hall

"Yesterday, Joseph WINGATE, a coachman in Her Majesty's service, attended upon a summons to answer the complaint of Mr. EVERETT, one of the lessees of the Surrey and Sussex roads, for passing through the Vauxhall turnpike-gate, and refusing to pay toll for four horses which he was driving.

Mr. EVERETT stated, that having been at the Vauxhall turnpike gate on the 25th ult., the defendant, who was driving a break and four roan horses, refused to pay toll, saying that he was the Queen's coachman, and that he claimed exemption on the ground that the horses and vehicle were the property of Her Majesty.   Complainant distinctly asked the defendant whether he was going to attend on Her Majesty, or returning therefrom; and the answer being in the negative, he was then informed that a summons would be served upon him for refusing to pay the alleged demand.

The secretary to the Master of the Horse stated, that the coachman received instructions to exercise the horses in a break; and as they were intended for the Queen's service, in travelling to and from London, it was considered that the road was  the best place for the purpose.  The training of the animals in the break might assuredly be performed in any of the parks, but as they were intended for the work he had named; the coachman received instructions before he left Carlton-stables on the day in question not to pay toll at any of the turnpikes that he might happen to have occasion to pass through in the performance of the above duty.

Mr. EVERETT submitted that the defendant was not exempt from the payment of the toll, although he was driving Her Majesty's horses at the time; for the General Turnpike Act expressly stated that to bring the case within the clause of exemption it must be proved that the horses and vehicle were then going to attend on Her Majesty, or any of the Royal family, or returning therefrom.  In this particular instance the coachman, although in the Queen's service, was neither going to attend nor returning from attending Her Majesty but was merely exercising the horses.  Under these circumstances, he submitted that the defendant had rendered himself liable to the penalty for evading the toll.
The secretary to the Master of the Horse contended that the defendant being in her Majesty's service, and employed in breaking some of the horses belonging to her stud, was therefore exempt from the payment of the toll.

Mr. EVERETT referred to a case similar, he said, to the one in question, it was that of a gentleman named SPEARMAN, holding a situation under the Master of the Horse, and who was summoned to that office for refusing to pay toll for a horse and gig which he was driving, and which belonged to His Majesty.  Upon hearing the summons, as it appeared that Mr. Spearman was not at the time either going to or returning from attending the King, the magistrates decided that he was liable to the penalty, and fined him accordingly.  The defendant, in that case gave notice of appeal, which was argued at the last General Quarter Sessions at Kingston, and the magistrates confirmed the conviction.

The Secretary to the Master of the Horse said that Mr. Spearman's case differed from the one in question, inasmuch as although the gig and horse which he was driving belonged to the King, yet as the gentleman referred to was not proved to have been attending on his Majesty at the time, but merely in the exercise of his own business, it was therefore a case of some doubt   With respect, however, to the present case, it was distinctly proved that the break and horses belonged to the Queen, and that the defendant was in the performance of Her Majesty's duty at the time he was called upon to pay the toll.  Under such circumstances he contended, therefore, that the coachman came under the clause of exemption.

Mr. WEDGWOOOD said that he had read with attention the clauses of exemption, both in the General Turnpike Act and also in the local act, and he was still of opinion that unless it were proved that person in His or Her Majesty's household were "going to attend or returning from attending them," they were not exempt in passing through the turnpikes without paying toll.  The magistrate then inflicted a fine of 3/. and costs on the defendant, who did not intimate his intention of appealing to the sessions.

Mr. EVERETT said several persons who described themselves as in His Majesty's service were in the habit of passing through the gates under his control and refusing to pay toll.  From henceforth he was determined on shutting the gates against them unless they paid, and he would run the risk of action.

- The Times, 3rd November 1832, page 6 col e

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