The Epiphany Sessions for the County of Westmorland were held on Thursday last, when the following magistrates were present:-
 
F. A. ARGLES, Esq., (chairman)
REV. DR. SIMPSON
REV. T. BELLAS
REV. G. F. WESTON
REV. W. R. MARKHAM
WM. HOPES, Esq.
JAS. ATKINSON, Esq.
CAPTAIN MARKHAM
F. PARKER, Esq.
W. H. PARKIN, Esq.
W. H. WAKEFIELD, Esq.
W. WAKEFIELD, Esq.
CAPTAIN GRIMSHAW
F. COWPER, Esq.
CAPTAIN BRAITHWAITE-WILSON
E. B. W. BALME, Esq.
A. H. HEYWOOD, Esq.
A. D. KEIGHTLEY, Esq.
 
THE GAOLS ALTERATIONS.
 
The Gaol Committee reported that the contracts in relation to Appleby Gaol had been signed ky the several contractors, and recommended that they be now signed by the Clerk of the Peace on behalf of the Prison Authority.  The estimates, &c., amount to about £5,500, and application should be made to the Loan Commissioners for power to borrow that sum.  In the case of Kendal Gaol, a similar sum was needed.  A letter was laid before the Bench in which the Home Secretary recommended a loan of £6,000, and it was understood that as a matter of course, the Loan Commissioners would grant the necessary powers.  The report was then adopted and confirmed.
 
FINANCE.
 
The Treasurer's statement of accounts was read and a recommendation of the Finance Committee adopted that rates of 1/2 d. in the pound should be levied for police and county purposes respectively.
 
CONNTY  SURVEYOR REPORTS.  -  THE BRIDGE AT EAMONT.
 
The Surveyor reported that the bridges generally were in a fair state of repair.  With regard to the bridge over the Eamont, a communication was read from the Penrith Local Board of Health representing that this bridge was very dangerous to the public, and that accidents of a serious nature were taking place from time to time, several having occurred within the last few months, owing to its being impossible for the driver of a conveyance on one side of the bridge to see a conveyance coming up the other side, and thus the two met on the top of the bridge where it was impossible for two conveyances to pass.  All that was required was to widen the bridge in the manner recommended by the Surveyor for the two counties.  MR. W. H. WAKEFIELD testified to the correctness of the representation made, having recently inspected the place.
 
DR. SIMPSON, whilst admitting the danger, said the question was where the real responsibility rested, and in what proportion Cumberland and Westmorland should bear the cost of altering the bridge.  The danger was not so much from the narrowness of the bridge, but from the extremely steep ascent on the Cumberland side.  If this were improved, the narrowness of the bridge was not so great an object.  The fault was on the Cumberland side, and they were bound to remedy it.  The county might widen a bridge, but it was not compelled to do so.  If there had been no bridge, the people themselves would have to put one up, and then the County would have adopted it and kept it in repair.  He thought it would be best to have a trustworthy survey, and a report of what would be best to be done.  There was another course open to them, which he might suggest, and that was taking of the crown of the bridge, and putting a level iron bridge across.  The REV. W. R. MARKHAM said it would look very ugly.
 
MR. ATKINSON and MR. W. H. PARKIN contended that no alterations could be made to meet the case without widening, and that the fault was almost as much on the Westmorland as the Cumberland side.
 
After considerable discussion, it was resolved that a Committee of magistrates should be appointed to confer with the magistrates of Cumberland, and report thereon at the next Quarter Sessions, and that they be empowered to call in the assistance of the County Surveyor, or other competent architect.
 
The following gentlemen form the Committee:
 
DR. SIMPSON,  MR. WHITWELL,  MR. PARKER,  MR. PARKIN,  MR. W. H. WAKEFIELD, and CAPTAIN MARKHAM.
 
POLICE
 
In the Report of the Police Committee it was recommended, provided it could be legally done, that an additional Constable be stationed at Troutbeck, the Fishery Conservators having agreed to pay the winter six months' cost, provided the County paid the other six, during which time an additional constable was absolutely necessary in consequence of the great influx of excursionist passengers.
 
The Committee also submitted to the Court the propriety of strongly representing to the railway companies the great amount of cost entailed on the county by the drunkenness of the excursionist, and the fairness of their contributing to the expense of otherwise preventing the nuisance.
 
MR. BALME said that in summer they were invaded by thousands of barbarians in a state of drunkenness.  If the railway companies would carry out their own bye-laws, and not take drunken passengers, the difficulty would be overcome.
 
MR. DUNNE (Chief Constable) said that these drunken men should be left behind, and if they had to pay an additional fare to get home again, it would be a caution to them.
 
The legality of such an appointment as the report suggested to a Committee, and the Chairman was requested to represent to the London and North Western and Furness Railway Companies the importance of carrying out their bye-laws relating to drunken passengers.
 
LUNACY.
 
The report of the Lunacy Committee stated that there were 172 male and 136 female patients for Cumberland;  37 and 39 respectively for Westmorland;  and of private patients, 17 of each sex.  The mortality had been low.
 
THE GAOL OFFICERS.
 
The visiting Justices reported that the services of MR. RIDGE, the governor of the gaol, who was only appointed from sessions to sessions, would now terminate.  In the case of MR. A. H. RIDGE, it seemed reasonable that he should receive his salary for the ensuing quarter;  and it was also recommended that MRS. RIDGE should be allowed to remain in the governor's house during the alterations in the gaol.  The attendance too of the surgeon would not be necessary.
 
The report and recommendations were adopted, and MR. HOPES said that MR. BIDGE had fulfilled the duties of governor in a very satisfactory manner since his father's death, and it would be open to him as to anyone else to apply.  Twelve months would pass over before the office would have to be filled, and in the meantime he would gain both age and experience.
 
MISCELLANEOUS.
 
MR. DUNNE handed an application from MR. EDWARD HEELIS, as representing SIR HENRY TUFTON, the high-sheriff elect for the ensuing year, requesting that the police should be allowed to act as javelin men.  MR. DUNNE said that this was the practice in many places.  The high sheriff would pay the expenses.  He would draw men from Kirkby Stephen, Orton, and the adjoining district. -- Agreed to.
 
CAPTAIN BRAITHWAITE-WILSON said that he did not think due deference was paid to their Chairman of Quarter Sessions during the trial of prisoners, and he therefore gave notice of motion that all questions should be submitted through the chairman and handed up in writing.
 
TRIAL OF PRISONERS.
 
Yesterday, before F. A. ARGLES, Esq., and WM. HOPES, Esq., six prisoners implicated in four offences were tried.  After the usual preliminaries, the Chairman briefly addressed the grand jury, of which MR. McCRAKEN, of Bewley Castle, was the foreman.  The cases were all from the Kendal side.
 
ANN CASSADY, an Irishwoman, was charged with stealing ten pounds, the moneys of NANCY JOHNSON, at Burton, on the 28th Dec.  Found guilty, and sentenced to four months imprisonment with hard labour.
 
PATRICK KENNY, labourer, was charged with stealing a purse and five shillings from MATILDA HOLMES, at Underbarrow, on the 4th Dec.  The HON. A. D. ELLIOT prosecuted.  Found guilty, and sentenced to twelve months' hard labour.
 
JOHN THOMPSON and WILLIAM DIXON, labourers, were charged with stealing an overcoat from the shop of MR. WATSON, draper, Kendal, on the 27th Dec.  MR. DAWSON prosecuted.  Both prisoners were found guilty.  DIXON, against whom several previous convictions were put in, was sentenced to 7 years' penal servitude, and 7 years police supervision, and THOMPSON to four months' hard labour.
 
MICHAEL CASSADY and JOHN JACKSON were charged with stealing a pair of boots of the value of eight shillings, the property of EDWARD STONE, at Milnthorpe, on the 29th Nov.  CASSADY, who pleaded guilty, was sentenced to four months' imprisonment.  JACKSON was acquitted.
 
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*there are a couple of spelling errors in this article; I have transcribed it as it was printed*