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Proposed Concentration of the Courts of Law and Equity.
bar, and have no accommodation for either the attorneys or the public. The court used by the Queen's Bench judges when sitting in Nisi Prius, was also small and inconvenient, and had no rooms for jurors or witnesses. The Common Pleas, equally with the Exchequer, was without any appropriated room in which to try Nisi Prius cases. The Court of Error and the Court of Criminal Appeal had to sit in any court that might be vacant about Westminster-hall. The Insolvent Debtors' Court was in Portugal-street, and the Court of Probate in DoctorsCommons. So far for the courts. The law Offices were still more scattered, being dispersed over the Temple, Chancery-lane, Rolls-yard and Gardens, Southampton-buildings, Staple-inn, Lincoln's-inn, Lincoln's-inn-fields, Quality-Court, Serle-street, Portugal-street, Bell-yard, Lancaster-place, Duke-street, Westminster, Sergeant's-inn, and Red Lion-Square.
The profession was desirous to have this inconvenience remedied, and would suggest to her Majesty's Government the propriety of purchasing a site for the erection of a building in which all these courts and offices might be brought together; and looking to the inns of court, and the districts in which gentlemen connected with the several branches of the legal profession resided, they considered that the most eligible site would be that bouuded between north and south by Carey-street and the Strand, and on the east and west by numerous small courts and alleys, being in front 300 feet, and in depth 430 feet. A building so situated would not only have the merit of being central, but would present a frontage in the main thoroughfare of the metropolis to Temple-bar, and improve the neighbourhood, by displacing the low haunts of crime which occupy at present the area in question; and, simultaneously with the improvement which they suggested being carried out, two new streets, parallel to each other, might be opened from the Strand to Holborn, to relieve the traffic through Chancery-lane.
Mr. Barnes, a member of the deputation, remarked that since 1820 the judicial business had been greatly increased, there being now fifteen instead of twelve common law judges, while the number of the equity judges had been more than trebled, and yet no alterations had been made to accommodate the increase, with the exception of wooden huts originally put up in Palace-yard, to serve as courts to the Vice-Chancellors, and the temporary buildings which they at present occupied in Old-square, Lincoln's-inn.
Mr. White further remarked that a great deal of business in the administration of the law was carried on in private houses, or chambers, for which Government had to pay rent, and he thought there could be no doubt that such a practice was highly objectionable and full of risk,
Sir B. Hall.-I am, then, gentlemen, to understand that it is your opinion that the courts of law in their present state are inconvenient and wholly insufficient to the requirements of the legal business of the country, and that even if it were contemplated to effect improvements in the courts in their present locality, the site would still be objectionable, however complete the offices might be in themselves. Under these circumstances you desire that there should be a new site chosen for the erection of a suitable building; that it should be some spot in a central position, and that the one you would suggest is that lying between Pickett-place, the Strand, Temple-bar, and Carey-street.
There can be no doubt that the courts at West
minster are very inconvenient, and that great alterations must be made in them if they are to be continue there. If, however, the profession is of opinion that they ought to be removed, I think it would be better that the representation to that effect should come to her Majesty's Government from the proper representatives of the profession, who are undoubtedly the judges of the land; and I can assure you that if they make any such representation to me I shall lose no time in laying it before Government, and it shall be considered without delay. With the proposition, however, there should come a statement of how the funds are to be obtained, the sum that would be required, and what might be the objections to taking it from the suitors fund.
Mr. Barnes observed that the newspapers each morning recorded the complaints made by the judges that the courts were unfit for the purpose for which they were intended; that they were unwholesome and unhealthy.
A committee of the House of Commons had already sat upon the subject, and collected a vast mass of evidence, the greater portion of which was no doubt in favour of the proposition for consolidating the courts.
Mr. White confirmed this statement, and added that the deputation desired Sir Benjamin, on the part of the Government, to move for a select committee to inquire and report whether, having due regard to the rights and interests of the suitors in the court of Chancery, any and what funds, in the name of the Accountant-General of the court, may be applied towards the purchase of a site and the erection of the necessary buildings.
Sir Benjamin Hall-If that be the case, I should remind you that my duty is to see whatever works Government may order carried out, and therefore that the motion for the committee should come from the Attorney-General as principal law officer of the Crown.
Mr. White then explained that, should the committee be appointed, it would be proposed to them to recommend that the money required for the purchase of the site, and the erection of the building, should be taken from the funds which have accrued from the surplus interest and accumulation of interest on the unemployed cash balances in the hands of the Accountant-General, and that Government should make good the interest on the sum which might be so absorbed in paying an equivalent rent for the premises. That would be tantamount to a change of investment, and there were many precedents to justify it.
Mr. Lake remarked that as the funds in question had accumulated in such a manner as that they could not justly be claimed by anybody, the Government might fairly apply it to this purpose, and so not only save the rent they were at present paying for chambers in Chancery-lane and elsewhere, but might also have the new courts rent free.
Sir B. Hall observed that if Government used the money it would be but fair for them to pay a rent equal to the interest of it, and closed the conference by again advising the gentlemen composing the deputation to put themselves in communication with the Attorney-General.
The deputation having thanked the right hon. gentleman for his courtesy, then withdrew.
The late Master Goodrich-Barristers Called.
THE LATE MASTER GOODRICH.
During the progress of a cause in the Court of Queen's Bench on the 17th instant, Lord Campbell stated he had just received the intelligence of the sudden death of a most meritorious officer, Mr. Goodrich, one of the Masters of the Court, who had most honourably and faithfully served the public for upwards of forty years.
Mr. T. Jones said, that the junior bar who were in the habit of attending before Mr. Goodrich, would deeply deplore his loss.
Lord Campbell.-He was devoted to the discharge of his duties, which he performed most ably and most faithfully. I am sure all the members of the Bar will join with the judges in bearing this testimony to his merits.
The late Master was born of respectable parents in Gloucestershire, in the year 1779. When about twentyone he became clerk to the late Mr. Bell of Gray'sinn (firm afterwards Bell and Bromley). In about three or four years he became managing and confidential clerk, and had the entire conduct of the office until he left such employment. Mr. Bell many times wished to give him his articles, and promised him a partnership; but Mr. Bell being the town attorney of the late Earl Grey, and the Earl having promised Mr. Goodrich a public appointment, Mr. Goodrich declined Mr. Bell's proffered kindness. In 1815, the late Mr. Thomas Le Blanc, the then Master of the Court of Queen's Bench, selected him from the attorneys and clerks attending before him, as best qualified to fill the office of Assistant-Master, which office he continued to fill until the 1st of January, 1838, when the offices were consolidated, and he was appointed by statute one of the Masters, an office which he filled with credit to himself and satisfaction to the public until the hour of his death, and thus verifying Lord Campbell's remarks, in his "Lives of the Lord Chief Justices of England," "that there is no office, however great, that a man may not attain by integrity, perseverance, and honest industry." Mr. Goodrich, for goodness of heart, kindness of disposition, and urbanity of manner, was never exceeded by any man in any position of life. His reports to the court and judges were a model of conciseness and clearness of language. In his private life he was a most generous and benevolent man
June 6, 1856.
Wells Butler, Esq.
Spencer Perceval Butler, Esq.
November 17, 1856.
Thomas Dunbar Ingram, Esq.
April 30, 1856.
William Emmerson Laslett, Esq.
George John Shaw Lefevre, Esq., B.A.
John Wood, Esq., B.A.
Charles Ashbrook Wright Crump, Esq., B.A.
Herbert Crompton Herries, Esq., M.A.
Richard Hoper, Esq.
November 17, 1856.
Wm. Fothergill Robinson the younger, Esq., B.A. William James Carver, Esq., B.A.
Thomas Blackburn Baines, Esq., B.A.
Charles Lamb Kenney, Esq.
Henry Brinsley Sheridan, Esq.
Arthur Scratchley, Esq.
Francois Raymond Eugene Bazire, Esq.
Henry Gover, Esq., LL.B.
Richard Meade King, jun. Esq., B.A.
William Owen Brigstocke, Esq., B.A.
April 30, 1856.
James Prendergast, Esq. William Frederick Ward, Esq. Samuel M'Culloch, Esq.
John Philip Green, Esq., LL.B.
Henry Fulcher Brunet, Esq.
John Patrick Murphy, Esq.
Charles Cromwell Hockley, Esq. (Conveyancer.)
GRAY'S INN. June 6, 1856.
Adolphus John D'Allain, Esq.
Henry Nicol, Esq.
November 17, 1856.
Philip James Wingfield, Esq.
[Including those called in Hilary Teru, the total number of calls in the present year, is 124.]
Appointed under the Fines and Recoveries Act, with dates when Gazetted.
Capes, George, Gray's-inn, in and for the City of London; also in and for the City and Liberties of Westminster; and also in and for the county of Middlesex.-9th December. Flamane, Robert May, Newton Abbott, in and for the county of Devon.
Peard, George, Barnstaple, in and for the county of Devon.-16th Dec.
To Administer Oaths in Chancery. Appointed under the 16 & 17 Vic. c. 78, with dates when Gazetted.
Clarke, William, Leeds.-Nov. 28.
Herring, George Anthony, Bedale, Yorkshire. Smith, John Bridgeman, Honiton.-23rd Dee.
DISSOLUTIONS OF PROFESSIONAL PARTNERSHIPS.
From November 25th to December 19th, 1856, both inclusive, with dates when gazetted.
Rowland, William, and William Henry Rowland, Ramssbury and Hungerford, attorneys and solicitors -Nov. 28. Wildes, Henry Atkinson, and Edric Adolphus Julius, Maidstone, attorneys and solicitors. December 5.
NOTES OF THE WEEK.
THE NEW RECORDER OF LONDON.
Russell Gurney, Esq., Q.C., has been elected Recorder of London, in the room of the Right Hon. James Archibald Stuart Wortley, M.P., appointed Solicitor-General. Mr. Gurney was called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple on the 21st November, 1828. He held the office of Common Serjeant up to the time of his appointmen to the Recordership. The Corporation of London has for many years selected for the important office of Recorder some member of the Bar of distinguished rank. In the present instance the election has fallen upon the son of one of the former judges of the Superior Courts, the Hon. Mr. Baron Gurney.
At the Sittings in Error, on the 26th November last, Mr. Justice Coleridge said-"It will be desirable for the future, that in cases where the arguments and judgments in the Courts below are reported, that the judges of this Court should be furnished with the names of the books in which the reports appear."
SOLICITORS ELECTED AS MAYORS.
Chichester: Mr. Edward W. Johnson (re-elected.) Ruthin Mr. Joseph Peers.
The Queen has been pleased to appoint Henry James Ross, Esq., to be Attorney-General for the Island of Grenada; and Kenrick W. Collett, Esq., to be her Majesty's Advocate for the colony of Sierra Leone. From the London Gazette of December 23.