R v Medley and Others

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
Judgment Date07 February 1834
Date07 February 1834
CourtCourt of the King's Bench

English Reports Citation: 172 E.R. 1246


Medley and others

[292] couet 01 king's bench. Adjourned Sittings at Westminster, after Hilary Term, 1834, before Lord Chief Justice Dennian. Feb. 7th, 1834. rex v medley and others. (In an indictment against a Gas Company for a nuisance, m conveying the refuse of gas into a great public river, whereby the fish are destroyed, and the water is rendered unfit for drink, &c., the question for the jury is, whether the special acts of the particular company complained of amount to a nuisance. The circumstance, that, by the diminution of fish, a considerable number of fishermen are thrown out of employ, is not of itself sufficient ground to sustain such an indictment The directors are answerable for an act done by their superin tendent and engineer, under a general authority to manage the works, though . . _ * As to tbe practice in examining witnesses under the stat 1 Will IV. sess 2, c. 22, s 4, see Chitty's ed. of Arch. Prac. in K. B. &c , vol. i p. 249 8tAB. *P. m. BEX F. MEDLEY 1247 tihcy e personally ignorant of the particular plan adopted, and though such plan tea departure from the original and understood method, which the directors had no reason to suppose was discontinued.) [Referred to, R. v. Stammrd, 1862, Le. & Ca. 349, Tarry v. Ashto-n, 1876, 1 Q. B. D. 314 ; Sherras v De Rutzen, [1895] 1 Q. B 918 ] Indictment against the chairman, deputy chairman, and others of the directors of the Equitable Gas Company, and several persons employed by them in the carrying om of tie works, for a nuisance. The first count stated in substance, that, from tune whereof tbfr memory of man runneth not to the contrary, there had been and still was a certain ancient river called the Thames, &c., furnishing and affording wholesome water for the drink, &c. of the inhabitants near it, and producing an abundant supply of fish for their food, and also furnishing useful labour and employment to very many fishermen ; and that the defendants, well knowing the premises, on the lÇth of October and at other times, on certain premises occupied by some of them, did from certain substances produce great quantities of a certain fluid and vapour called gas, and of coal tar and eoke, and unlawfully and injuriously conveyed and caused to be conveyed, by divers pipes, fcc., great quantities of filthy, noxious, unwholesome and detetakms liquids, matters, scum, and refuse, resulting from the making of the said gas, &e., from the aforesaid premises into the said river Thames, whereby the waters beeajBe charged and impregnated with the said liquid, &c , and became corrupted and insalubrious, and unfit for the use of his Majesty's subjects ; and the fish in the river were greatly destroyed and diminished in number, and his Majesty's subjects were deprived of the use of them for food, and very many indus-[293]-trious people, who supported themselves and their families by catching and selling fish, were deprived of their employment, and reduced to great poverty and distress ; to the common nuisance and grievous injury of his Majesty's subjects, to the evil example, &cm and against the peace, &c. The second count was similar, except that it omitted the injury to the fish and the fishermen, and confined the allegation of injury to the corrupting of the water, and rendering it unfit for drink, &c. The third count was for destroying and diminishing the number of fish, and depriving the King's subjects of them as an article of food. The fourth count was for conveying, and causing and suffering to be drained and conveyed, great quantities of noisome and offensive liquid matter, &c., produced fiom the making of gaa, from certain premises into the stream and water of the Thames, to the great damage and common nuisance of all the King's subjects, &c. The fifth count was similar to the first, except that it omitted the words " coal tar and coke^" and also the allegation that the premises were used and occupied by somq of the defendants. The sixth count was similar to the second, with the emissions in the filth. The seventh count was similar to...

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6 cases
  • Maguire v Shannon Regional Fisheries Board
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 19 May 1994
    ...9 M & W 378 FITZPATRICK V KELLY LR 8 QB 337 R V WOODROW 15 M & W 404 ROBERTS V EGERTON LR 9 QB 494 R V STEPHENS LR 1 QB 702 R V MEDLEY 6 C & P 292 BARNES V AKROYD LR 7 QB 474 MORDEN V PORTER 7 CB (NS) 641 Synopsis: CRIMINAL LAW Offence Commission - Proof - Defendant - ~Mens rea~ - Relevance......
  • R v Rimmington; R v Goldstein (Harry Chaim)
    • United Kingdom
    • House of Lords
    • 27 October 2005
    ...law offence which may or may not provide the same defences and for which the potential penalty is unlimited. If the directors in R v Medley 6 C&P 292 who were ignorant of what had been done, or the octogenarian owner in R v Stephens LR 1 QB 702 who was ignorant of what had been done and wh......
  • Hosford, Appellant; MacKey, Respondent
    • Ireland
    • Queen's Bench Division (Ireland)
    • 30 November 1896
    ...R. 17 Q. B. 132. Reg. v. BishopELR 5 Q. B. D. 259. Reg. v. StephensELR L. R. 1 Q. B. 702. Rex v. MarshENR 2 B. & C. 717. Rex v. MedleyENR 6 C. & P. 292. Sherras v. de RutzenELR [1895] 1 Q. B. 918. Somerset v. HartELR 12 Q. B. D. 360. Somerset v. WadeELR [1894] 1 Q. B. 574. The Commissioners......
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    ...of acts which the corporation may have occasion to do. No difficulty exists as to connecting them with such acts : Rex v. Medley (6 C. & P. 292), shews that members of a company, who authorise their servants to commit an act amounting (e)1 5 Bing. 91. Affirmed on error, in Q. B. Mayor, &c. ......
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