Local Judges (5): His Honour Judge Albert Rowland Cluer (1852-1942)

On this page, 'W' refers to Whitechapel and 'S' to Shoreditch

Judge Bacon's successor, at Whitechapel and Shoreditch [rather than Bloomsbury], was Albert Cluer, known to some as the 'Cadi of the Ghetto' [curiously, as a qadi is an Islamic judge and his litigants were more Jewish than Muslim]. He was equally waspish and eccentric - blunt, direct, with a humour a little acrid and not entirely generousis one assessment - with a similar mix of reactionary prejudices and some more enlightened attitudes, and a similar aversion to early retirement (though he did not die in office). Like Judge Bacon, he learnt and sometimes used his linguistic skills (Hebrew and Yiddish) to help Jewish clients. Unlike Judge Bacon, he was married, and sometimes (implausibly) typecast himself as henpecked: for example, to a woman who said she was suing both man and wife because they went to her shop together to give an order, he replied Good gracious! My wife went to my tailor with me the other day to insist on seeing that I chose what she liked and not what I liked (S 1923); and, stopping a voluble woman I might tell you I always get a word in—even at home (S 1929). He certainly did not have Judge Bacon's appreciation of, or interest in, fashion issues. I hope go to the seaside this year, but if I do I shall go in my old clothes (S 1914); to a woman appearing in court wearing a 'light blue confection' he said Put your old clothes when you come here, please (1918); and he was reported to be 'mystified' when called on to adjudicate the merits of a wedding gown which was a 'sky-blue shimmering costume' (S 1920). A decade later, he said to a pensioner You and I at our time of life ought not to be attracted to new clothes (S 1930).

Classical scholar
The twelfth of the fifteen children of T.T. Cluer (the family was possibly related to the 18th century London printer John Cluer), he was schooled at Clifton College Bristol, where he was a keen cricketer. After reading classics at Balliol College, Oxford, he was called to the Bar in 1877, but continued for a time to edit classical texts. In 1880 he published
a translation with notes of the Greek historian Xenophon's Memorial of Socrates,  Ξενοφωντος Σωκρατους  ̓Απομνημονευματα (of which four other English tranlsations were published between 1867 and 1890) and the following year a translation with notes of books V, VI and VII of the historian Livy - not (in our view) the most exciting of Latin authors. This was on the whole well-received, though is not the translation later used in the Loeb classical library, and provoked this pernickerty review in The Spectator of 1 April 1882. (His edition was later revised by P.E. Matheson.)
The work of this edition, as far as we can judge from the sample which we have been able to examine, is scarcely up to the mark which may be fairly expected in the publications of a University Press. In vi.5 Livy says that the plebs stayed away from public business because they were occupied with building, and adds that they were eodem exhaustam impensis. Here we have the note, 'eodem, from the same reason'. But surely eodem depends upon impensis. In the next chapter, we have Camillus saying, after acknowledging the precedence given him by the Senate and his colleagues, that he would do his best ut tante de se consensa civitatis opinionem, quae maxima sit, etiam constantem efficiat. Here Mr. Cluer translates, This unanimous expression of feeling on the part of the community, which he valued very highly. This is not only inadequate, but misleading; the learner is not told that tante consensa is an ablative descriptive of opinionem; quae maxima &c of course must mean as it was very great, so also permanent. In the same chapter, again, we have Sive Etruria se interim, ut nuper, sive nova haec cura, Latiui atque Hernici moverint. The editor notes 'moverint, of hostile movement, elliptical for moverint, se, &c'. Why elliptical? If he had looked back to the line before, he would have found it expressed. In 'ut—sic—which .... still', 'which' must be a misprint for 'while', as in the next page 'courage' is a misprint for 'carnage'. Other things we have observed which, though scarcely errors, do not show the exactness and care which with an edition should be put together.  Aversis eo, 'being directed to that quarter', when 'diverted' would certainly be better, is an instance of what we mean. A student will get help from Mr. Cluer's notes, help that in many cases will be unexceptionable, but he will hardly be taught to form the habit of scrupulously exact translation.

He once said in court, to a (no doubt puzzled) man who would not speak up, Go down to the sea, as Demosthenes did, and shout at it.  On another occasion (in 1929) he commented l am not like the late Emperor Claudius, who often used to decide without hearing either side. In the same year, he said 'Practically' is a blessed word, like Mesopotamia (S 1929). And, complaining of the traffic noise outside the new Shoreditch court, he told counsel You should read Homer, learn who Stentor was, and speak loudly (S 1933).

He corresponded with fellow Balliol student John Addington Symonds on Aestheticism and other philosophical issues (though no doubt abhorred Symonds' well-known homosexual proclivities); for example, Symonds wrote to him, somewhat elliptically, in 1873
Thus property and Communism are both logical, both intelligible and capable of yielding perfect deductive results, but quite irreconcilable in their integrity. The problem is how to be illogical and human in conduct, to effect that for-ever-fluctuating compromise which is life … And I firmly believe that the world will be best served by each man discovering what his natural ἐργον [work] is, and doing that as well as he can. The world is a symphony in which flutes and horns have places as well as violins. But a certain set of politico-economic prigs would fain have all men be fiddles—and themselves first fiddles.
On Symonds' death he wrote a tribute in the Fortnightly Review 59 (1893) pp874-80. Symonds' father is said to have blocked the preferment of C.J. Vaughan (brother of a one-time incumbent of St Mark Whitechapel) because of a sexual scandal at Harrow School -  see here for more detail.

Christian, associate of freethinkers, freemason
A feature of Cluer's student life was his acquaintance with freethinkers and 'secularists' [a new term], and as a barrister and magistrate he was involved in a number of trials on related issues.
At Oxford in 1875 he had attended a meeting addressed by the atheist (and founder of the National Secular Society) Charles Bradlaugh on Land and Labour at the Holywell Music Room, the Town Hall having been made unavailable. He observed that students had attended more with the intention of attempting to interrupt than to listen quietly. But after the first few sallies of undergraduate wit had been effectively met and replied to by Mr Bradlaugh, in which encounters the laugh always remained on his side, the audience was tolerably peaceful. When Bradlaugh became a Member of Parliament and was not prepared to take the oath required to be sworn by Members, Cluer, as a junior barrister, was sent the papers for comment. This came to court as Bradlaugh v Gossett (1883-84) LR 12 QBD 271, by which time the House of Commons had directed the Serjeant-at-Arms to keep Bradlaugh from entering the House in spite of his legal right to do so, and his legal duty to take the oath. The court agreed that Parliament was entitled to act in this way, controlling its own internal proceedings; and this exception to the 'rule of law' remains.

He corresponded with George Jacob Holyoake (1817-1906), an Owenite radical who coined the term 'secularist' (which he preferred to 'atheist') and had been the last person to be convicted of atheistic blasphemy in relation a public lecture in 1842 - Robert Capper, a devout Calvinist and magistrate both at Shdwell and Cheltenham, was involved in the early stages of his trial. Here are two letters (probably separated by a good number of years) from Cluer:
My Dear Mr. Holyoake,
I have only just had time to peruse the papers which you so kindly sent me, and which I return at once lest mishap should befall them in sunnier lands even than Italy. To praise them would be assumption and presumption; but let me say this, that it has given me very keen pleasure to read and enjoy them. You touch nothing that you do not adorn and beautify ...

The joy of the magistrate is to provide copy for a friendly evening paper. The reporter, not knowing the difference between 'knock over' and 'trip over by a kick', sadly misunderstands me. At Clifton I admit we did both, and no one complained if any two football opponents, with no ball between them, settled a private quarrel by kicking each other outside a scrimmage. But then we were boys, and no money was on the game, and none of the brutes who have made football disreputable did then exist. The Westminster is very good to me, and I trust it will always pull me up when I go wrong. Your portrait hangs in our dining-room, and I heartily congratulate you on your noble age. If I ever reach it, may I be as clear-headed and wise of tongue as you are.

Like Bradlaugh, Holyoake had issues about taking the oath. In his later judicial career, Judge Cluer had this to say on the subject: The witness is acting like most people on oath - not speaking the truth (S 1912); and on a claim for damages by the next friend of an infant of nine who did not understand the meaning of an oath he adjourned the case for the child to be instructed in the oath (S). By 1929 he was saying I think the oath ought to be abolished altogether. Affirmation ought be quite enough (S 1929) - compare this with Judge Bacon on 'kissing the book'.

In 1888 he appeared as a junior barrister in the trial of Henry Vizetelly for obscene libel in publishing some of the works of Émile Zola (for which he was fined, and imprisoned for a subsequent offence).

Cluer appears to have taken his own faith seriously: two years earlier, apearing as counsel in a blasphemy trial of George William Foote, he pointed out some scriptural errors in the indictment, and when Lord Coleridge (the Lord Chief Justice) said the court could not take judicial cognisance of these, he quietly observed that he was ready to produce the Authorised Version of the Bible in court in a few minutes, as he had a copy in his chambers. Lord Coleridge smiled, the other lawyers grinned and the public tittered.

As a judge, he often referred to biblical characters and precedents: he said to one witness You are a first-class descendant of Ananias [Acts 9 & 22]. Yet we are often told it would be well if we were to imitate the ways of our forefathers (1924); and to another, Even the Apostle, when he denied something, did it with strong language, so I think a taxicab man would, too (1929). To another, he said sardonically A bear robbed of her whelps is nothing compared with this landlord being robbed of his money. If Solomon had thought of that he would have said it! (1933). But there was a cynical note: when he observed Let him without sin cast the first stone [John 8.7] and the plaintiff replied vigorously That's it, he cautioned Hold your tongue. It is not always followed here (1928).

In 1916, he heard a case involving a loan of £47 made to a builder, allegedly on condition that it should be cancelled on the (Jewish) lender's death if he said prayers for her soul; the deal was said to have been witnessed, with hands crossed over the covenant. Her nephew sued for the outstanding instalments. The value of 'purchased prayers' - which would have lasted a year - was considered and rejected. [In Gilmour v. Coates [1942] AC 426 the House of Lords determined that the benefit of intercessory prayer - in that case, of an enclosed community of Roman Catholic nuns - was not susceptible to legal proof, and  could not qualify as a charitable cause.]

He was an active freemason - right.

He appeared as a barrister in a notorious case of 1892:
The charge against the Hon. Patrick Greville Nugent, of 95, Eaton Terrace, Eaton Square, of assaulting Miss Marian S. Price, residing in Eckstein Road, Clapham Junction, in a railway carriage on the Brighton line on the evening of Easter Monday, was heard at the London County Sessions, Clerkenwell, on May 13, when the little court-room was crowded in every part. Mr. A. R. Cluer appeared for the prosecution, while the accused was represented by Sir Charles Russell and Mr. C. F. Gill.
The prisoner, who was accommodated with a seat in the dock, was faultlessly attired in a dark suit with a frock coat, and held a silver-topped cane in his hand, which he twirled carelessly to and fro when the counsel were making their opening statements. Mrs. Nugent was in court before the case was called on, but was led out before the judge took his seat. When called upon to plead, the prisoner, who had taken his seat, but was requested by the learned judge to stand up, said he pleaded 'Not Guilty'' to the first, count, charging him with the graver assault, but he pleaded 'Guilty' to a common assault. The particulars of the alleged act upon which the proceedings were based were made public when the case came up at the Westminster Police Court, the lady declaring that the offence was committed in a first-class railway carriage on the London, Brighton, and South Coast Company's line between Heath and Victoria Stations on the night of Easter Monday. Mr. Cluer said, on behalf of the prosecution, he thought he might fairly say that the justice of the case would be amply satisfied if, after the defendant having pleaded guilty to the second count, the prosecution offered no evidence on the other count. He wished to add one word, and that was that no attempt whatever had been made to compromise or arrange the matter in any way. Hearing the defendant plead guilty to the common assault, and having already seen the pain that the matter had caused both to the prosecutrix and her parents, and knowing what the ordeal was of appearing and giving evidence in such a case, he ventured to think the justice of the case would be met by his lordship dealing with the confession of guilt which had come from the defendant.
Sir C. Russell: I wish to call your lordship's attention, only in a few words, to the position of the matter. It appears on he face of the depositions, and in the evidence of tho inspector of police at the station where the charge was made in the neighbourhood of Victoria Station, that the prisoner at the bar was, even at that time — not an inconsiderable time after the alleged occurrence—in drink. And in that condition of things he is not in a position to deny that he did misconduct himself; but he was prepared to resist, if necessary, the more serious charge. It is noticeable that the lady herself, against whom I am not going to say a word, did hesitate for a considerable time to make any charge at all. She left the office of the railway inspector and returned to that office after an interval of time, when she said she desired to make a charge.
The Judge: I observe in the depositions that she did make an accusation tantamount to the first count before she left the office; then the formal question was put to her as to whether she wished to charge the defendant. It was then that she left the office for the purpose of consideration, and afterwards she returned and made the charge.
Sir C. Russell: Your lordship's recollection is accurate. When I spoke of her not making a charge I did not mean to say that she did not make the accusation, but that she hesitated to make the formal charge. The representatives of the prosecution having decided to offer no evidence, I think the justice of the case will be met if your lordship will accept the defendant's plea, and will sentence him on the second count.
The Judge: I think the verdict of the jury should be taken on the first count.
The jury having been sworn, found a verdict of 'Not Guilty' on the first count.
Sir Charles Russell then, on behalf of Mr. Nugent, said: My client deeply regrets that his indiscretion in the matter of drink should have led him into the position in which he now finds himself; and he desires to express that deep regret to your lordship.
The Judge: We cannot lose sight of the statements he made afterwards when he was in possession of all his faculties, and that what he said would, but for what has now occurred, have left a stigma upon the young lady by his saying that the charge made was an attempt to levy blackmail.
Sir C. Russell: He never said so, my lord. Something of the kind was said by the solicitor at the first hearing, but it was not made by counsel, and not a word was said which could in any way reflect upon the character of the young lady.
Mr. Cluer: The words used by the defendant were: 'This is a plant; this is another Colonel Baker's case'. The evidence was given by Inspector Laws.
The Judge: The court will adjourn for a few moments. Upon this the defendant took a seat in the dock, and the judge and magistrates retired.
The judge and the magistrates returning into court, after a few minutes' absence, his lordship addressed the defendant in thie following terms:— Defendant, we have carefully considered the circumstances under which you have pleaded 'Guilty' to having assaulted this young lady in a railway carriage, where she had been sitting alone, and to which you, after being alone in a smoking carriage, went. And we have not lost sight of the observations that have been made by your learned counsel, and in your interests undoubtedly we have had a few of the facts and circumstances which lie, acting for you, thought necessary and desirable to impress upon the attention of the court. Those facts and circumstances are such that we feel it our duty to pass upon you a sentence of imprisonment with hard labour, and that sentence is that you be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for six calendar months.
Mr. Cluer: May I ask your lordship, under the power that your lordship has in a case of assault, to order that the prosecutrix's costs should also be paid by the defendant?
The Judge: I think, having regard to the position of the defendant, that that would be a reasonable order, and I make it: That he pays the cost of the prosecution. Failing payment, the court may direct imprisonment, not with hard labour.
Sir Charles Russell asked that the prisoner's wife might have an opportunity of speaking with her husband, and his lordship acceded to the request. The defendant, who appeared to feel deeply the sentence passed upon him, was then removed from the dock.

Marriage and family - magistrate turned county court judge - war service
He married Julia Amelia Cooper, and they had a daughter (Athalie Dorothea, b.1883 - she studied at Royal Holloway College, founded 1879) and a son (Reginald, 1891-1981). He was made Recorder of Deal, and then was a London police court magistrate for 16 years. He seems to have enjoyed this work:
in a 1950 House of Commons debate on judicial pensions, Connolly Gage (Unionist MP for Belfast South 1945-52, and thereafter himself a judge) said I remember very well that when I first went to the Bar there was an old county court judge whom some hon. and learned Members may remember, Judge Cluer, a very fierce old county court judge—they do not breed them like that nowadays—who sat in Whitechapel County Court. When I first went there, a rather tough-looking lady got up when the business was about to start and said, 'I have come for some advice'. The judge beamed all over his face, and said, 'You know, madam, then I was a magistrate, but I am now a judge and I am sorry that I cannot advise you any more'. That lady had been so impressed by Judge Cluer when he was a magistrate that she had followed him round in order to obtain more free advice from him.

Many magistrates pressed for stricter anti-gambling legislation, but he was the most prominent judicial critic of proposed legislation, as shown by his comments in a 1909 case: People like the defendant are much less to blame ... than the rich ... who day after day gamble over bridge. He broke ranks with his colleagues by giving evidence critical of the police to the 1906-8 Royal Commission on the Metropolitan Police (see this report from The Spectator). 

In 1911 he was made a county court judge, taking over the Whitechapel and Shoreditch courts the following year. During the First World War, in 1915, he joined the Maidenhead Division of the Courts of Justice Voluntary Training Corps.

On ailments, and modes of transport
In later years Judge Cluer suffered from lumbago, which was often painful in court. (In 1933 he told a woman who was representing her invalid husband Buy some flowers of sulphur on your way home, and get your husband to put it in his socks. That will relieve him of the lumbago.) But he cycled until his retirement, on a bicycle bought in 1909. He was no fan of motor bikes: i
n 1929, to a man who claimed another man was detaining his motor cycle, he said You should be grateful to him. You will remain alive longer, and to a motor-cyclist the same year If you failed to notice the motor lorry you never ought to be on the road (S 1929). In 1930 he observed Motor cars break down every day, to the great joy of most pedestrians. He was a keen advocate of public transport. He advised a barrister give up your motor car and ride in tramway cars as I do (S 1917). In this at least - though probably very little else - he was at one with the great George Lansbury, leader of the Labour Party, who in the 1920s travelled daily by tram between Bow and Westminster. (In 1921 he made the comment if you took a tramcar out to South Africa you could frighten a lion if it had not seen one before.) He used his knowledge of the whistle blasts used by the drivers in a 1923 dispute. He respected all transport workers: referring to a married carman earning 22s. a week, he said My experience is that people in that sphere of life are the most honest payers of their debts (S 1914) - though ten years later, when told that a taxi-driver could not pay 16s, he said Why, he would get that in the first traffic block. It is lucky that on an omnibus they don't charge you for hold-ups (S 1924). In his view, Our omnibus conductors are a most courteous race of people (1931).
In his last year of office, he said of automatic machines made by a City Road firm: One could buy a ticket on the Underground railways and not one in a million would go wrong, and the same might be said to apply to the sweet-meat machines. It is deplorable that there are so many complaints concerning the machines sold by the plaintiff firm (1933). Here is a late 1930s film of tube commuters (and their dogs) buying tickets and travelling. To a plaintiff he said We are like automatic machines. You must pay the fees before the case can proceed (W 1930) - compare this with a 1910 comment by his predecessor.

retired in 1934, aged 82, having presiding at courts in the East End for 39 years. The previous year he has complained now that I have to wear glasses it is difficult to read this print. But, as he opined in 1922 to a solicitor who said that the cause of death was senility, That is indefinite. Some people suffer from senility for a time and then completely recover. His out-of-town home was at Hallingbury (near Bishop's Stortford). He died in Oxford seven years later.

There are very many recorded remarks, of which a thematic compendium appears below, both frivolous and more telling, together with more detail on a few cases that he heard. Perhaps his most famous saying was Drunk as a lord? As a class they are really very sober, quoted at the head of chapter 19 of Dorothy L. Sayers' 1926 Lord Peter Wimsey novel Clouds of Witness.

Mr Justice Faulks attributed to him the briefest judgement in an English court: to the defendant's protestation As God is my judge, I did not take the money, he said He's not. I am. You did. Six months. This is claimed for others too, but it's said that Judge Cluer added With costs.

Jewish issues, and language
And yet there were other cases when he allowed witnesses to speak in Yiddish or Hebrew; it was reported that in 1921 he conducted a case in Yiddish, translating it to the barrister afterwards. Also in that year, after testing an interpreter in Yiddish, Judge Cluer refused to allow him to act, and suggested an adjournment. Never mind, I'll speak English, said the plaintiff (S 1921).

The real problem was not language, but perceived (and real) bias and abuse. In 1929 the Board of Deputies determined to take action against him, on the basis of many complaints. They claimed that in one case he said: Your only idea of a trial is to shout at the top of your voice, in order that the judge will be unable to hear the other side. You Jews succeeded once and got 2,000 years, and in another Your people are always telling falsehoods. Never in my 34 years of experience has an Englishman told a falsehood  [did he really ever say this? it seems unlikely in the light of other comments recorded here]. To a solicitor who suggested they should proceed on the basis of an unstamped contract, he said Oh, no. Why should I conspire with you and someone named Aaron to defraud the Revenue?
On marriage, family life, birth control
As for relationships between husband and wife, there was often cynicism in his remarks: for example,
There were reproofs, typical of the times, to voluble women:
But beyond the stereotypes there was often realism and awareness of the plight of women.
Some technical matters: professional names, Rent Act, Workmen's Compensation
In 1916 he was quoted in the House of Commons in relation to the Registration of Firms Bill, having rejected a claim by a man who pleaded that he was not acting on his own behalf but for a man whose name had not been disclosed to the plaintiff, and said It is a pity that the House of Lords has not got to come here and listen to such cases as these. Lord Southwark has suggested that people should be compelled to trade in their own name, but his Bill was thrown out. Following the 1918 Business Names Registration Act  which provided that In any business or profession, where the person goes under a different name, that person has to be registered under the name to be used, before he or she can sue under a contract, he disallowed a claim by Mrs Elizabeth Sullivan, professionally known as Elizabeth Hyde (her maiden name - married name Russell), on a contract to sing at Frascati's restaurant [in Oxford Street] but which produced no work (S 1919). This caused a spate of registrations by performers.

The 1920 Increase of Rent and Mortgage Interest (Restrictions) Act consolidated previous legislation; it was intended to last for three years, but continued to be extended and amended. We all hope that it will peacefully pass away, die a natural death, or be otherwise executed in 1923 (S 1921); he expressed the hope that alterations would end some of the absurd formalities, which have done no good to anyone, and have damaged poor landlords (S 1923); and two years later said People are very dignified and resent the smallest thing said to them, since the Rent Act (S 1925).

Workmen's compensation cases, which had taken up much of his predecessor's time in his latter years, continued to be at issue - though
he was prepared to sit on Saturdays for those not available during the week (S 1920): In a curious incident from his early years as a judge, he apologised for an error but then made matters worse:
A Shoreditch Daniel (1913)
Joseph Mordecai agreed with Messrs Berry, a firm of tailors, to show two advertising pictures on the illuminated curtain of a music hall, but failed to do so, displaying (on some occasions at least) only one. Judge Cluer dismissed Mordecai's claim for payment, but a few days later his counsel applied for a retrial on the grounds that the judge had misdirected himself - in other words, made made a mistake of law, and should have ordered part-payment. He agreed: I have made a mistake, and I never ought to have made it.  I was influenced by other cases like this that had been before me, and I ought not to have been. The application is allowed. But he added Tell the defendants from me that it is no use defending, as the proper judgement will be for the plaintiff for three guineas. They declined his advice, and when they returned to court for the new trial, having apologised again for his error, and for further prejudging the outcome, he said:
Judge Cluer: You are tailors. If I contracted for twenty suits of clothes, and you only supplied nineteen, am I not to pay for the nineteen? If that is so let us make the contract at once.
Defendant: I could not be there every night to see what was displayed, and I do not know what actually was shown except on the night mentioned.
Judge Cluer: You are very foolish not to have followed the advice I sent you. There will be judgment for the plaintiff for £3 10s. and costs.
Defendant: Then it is very unfair, and I think the verdict is biased.

Another case from the same year:
Lesson from Ancient Rome (1913)
A debtor at Whitechapel County Court said he was not in business and the debt was his wife's; the business was assigned to his wife two years ago, and he produced the deed.
Judge Cluer (to the plaintiff): The law says a man can assign his business to his wife and live in idleness. If I had my way I would have a bill printed in big type and placed outside the shop, stating 'I am dishonest; I won't pay. l am also an idle dog and do nothing, and intend to live on my wife.'
The plaintiff's solicitor said that the defendant had been in employment, and his evidence showed that he had an interest in his wife's business.
Judge Cluer: He prefers to say that he lives a life of idleness. There are some people who would even claim that that is not discreditable.
The plaintiff's solicitor (to the defendant): Can you make an offer?— No, I cannot.
Judge Cluer: In ancient Rome a debtor was handed over as a slave to his creditor and made to work.
Solicitor: It is a pity we have not such a remedy now.
Judge Cluer: Ah, but that brought on a serious disturbance.
His Honour said he had no evidence of means, and could not commit the debtor, who was a selt-confessed dishonest person. A fresh order for the payment of 10s a month was made, and the judge told the plaintiff that if anyone saw the defendant spend half-a-crown in a public-house, a committal order would be made at once.

And a sad case - no doubt one of many:
Harsh justice (1920)
The Seabrights Endowed Schools [in Wolverley, near Kidderminster, funded by properties in the City and Bethnal Green] had obtained an order for the Hints' house to be given up in three weeks. Mrs George Hints said he had been unable to find a place, as she had eight children under 14 and her husband was in the army. She thought it very harsh that she should be put to the worry in view of the deplorable conditions under which she was living. Her children were lying in water during the night owing to the rain.
Judge Cluer: That is just it; you did not think it fit to inhabit, so you did not pay the rent, and I had to make the order for possession.
Defendant: I won't care if I could get a back room even, but nobody will have me with eight children.
Judge Cluer: If you had paid your rent I would not have turned you out.
Defendant:  I have offered it.
Judge Cluer: Yes, but too late.
Defendant:  Well, if I must go, would you give me anything from the court that would admit me to the workhouse? I cannot walk the streets with eight children.
Judge Cluer: I cannot give you anything from here. You must go in seven days.

Court business
He disapproved of bad writing: inspecting a rent book he said If found in an Egyptian tomb we would not be able to decipher it (S 1923); and after the representative of a firm read and produced a letter: Do you keep a tame spider at your office to make your signatures for you? (S 1931)  [Compare a remark of Judge Bacon on signatures.]

To, and about, lawyers
Exchanges with witnesses
Debt and debtors
Some examples of frugality
Doctors and dentists
Monumental masons and the cost of funerals
He was concerned that poor people often spent more than others, and more than they could afford, on funerals, and remarks to this effect at Whitechapel led to correspondence in the press in 1933.

Finally, various odd remarks about himself

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