Vestry and subsequent correspondence, 1862

Bucks Herald, 6 Dec

  VESTRY MEETING.- The annual vestry for appointing inspectors was held on Friday, the 28th ult., when the inspectors produced their accounts for the past year, which were (owing to the late overseers not having paid in the balance), in an unfinished state.  The chair was taken by Mr. John Grace, churchwarden, when it was resolved that notice be given to Mr. Corkett to render an account and pay in the balance left in his hands.  Mr. George Mayne, the retiring inspector, was re-elected, and Mr. T. Allen and Mr. Newman in the room of the other retiring inspectors.  It was proposed that additional lamps be provided in Tinker’s End Lane, and that a sum not exceeding £75 be raised for the current year.


Bucks Herald, 13 Dec

MR. CORKETT AND THE WINSLOW VESTRY.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE BUCKS HERALD.
  SIR,- Will you kindly all me a small space in your paper to set myself right with respect to the lighting-rate brought forward at the vestry.  I am there represented as giving in no account to the treasurer, and with having a balance in hand, both of which statements are positively untrue. I gave in my account to the treasurer on April 9, 1862, and it was his duty to have produced it at the vestry.  He not only neglected to do so, but denied having one from me.  With respect to the balance in hand, the following account will at once be an answer to that:-

Amount of rate as per order £55  15  6¼
Paid to treasurer £53  5  1¼
Paid for making out rate 1  0   0
Check-book, stamps, &c 0  2   6
Signing rate 0  2   0
Collecting rate, self and deputy-overseer, 10s each 1  0   0
Defaulters 0  5  11¼
  ---------------
  £55  15  6½

To the above account I defy contradiction.
                                                                                       JOHN CORKETT.
Winslow, Dec 10, 1862.


Bucks Herald, 20 Dec

MR. CORKETT AND THE WINSLOW VESTRY.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE BUCKS HERALD.
  SIR.- In your journal of last week, under the heading “Mr. Corkett and the Winslow Vestry,” appeared a letter with a statement of the lighting account, signed “John Corkett.”  Permit me a space in your valuable paper to reply to it.  A vestry meeting was held on the 28th ult., in the usual vestry room, according to legal public notice.  Mr. Corkett was not present, neither any recognised reporter; it is therefore very improbable Mr. Corkett could know exactly all that took place at that meeting.  I produced my accounts; the first instalment paid by Mr. Corkett to me, as treasurer, was £40, December 16, 1861; and secondly, £13 5s. 1d., April 9, 1862.  On that occasion he made a statement of his accounts to me (which I repeated at the vestry).  I remarked to Mr. Corkett that he had no right, neither had I the power to order him, to keep any money for his own services rendered as overseer.  He replied the parish could not have made him collect the rate.  I then said, “If you think so, why not have had legal advice.”  His answer was he did not care for anybody, and he would not work for the parish without being paid for it! 

Mr. Corkett ought and surely must know as a man of business that all the money he collected should have been paid into the hands of the treasurer, and that if he had any fair and reasonable claim upon the parish he should have made out his bills, sent them to the vestry, waited approval, and no doubt he would have been paid, instead of which he collects the money, makes his own charge, and pays himself.  By way of illustration I will quote one item from his own account, as it appeared in your journal of last week:- “Self and deputy overseer, for collecting rate, 10s. each, £1.”  For retaining of that amount he has no authority, legal or otherwise, and such he was told.  There is no such person as a “deputy” overseer in Winslow.  The order in vestry relative to this affair was that Mr. Corkett be written to respecting the balance.  He has made a reply through the local newspapers, as it appeared last week, evidently in an irritable manner.  Therefore, in conclusion, I would offer to Mr. Corkett, by way of advice, that when he sends “defiant” assertions to the public press in future he be more careful, and not retain a balance or sum for “Self and deputy overseer” without being duly authorised to do so.- I am, &c.,
                                                                                                ALFRED BARTON,
  Hon. Sec. and Treasurer to the Lighting Committee.
Winslow, Dec. 17, 1862.


Bucks Herald, 27 Dec

THE WINSLOW VESTRY.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE BUCKS HERALD.
  SIR.- I am glad to find that Mr. Barton has not denied my statement, viz., that I handed over to him the money collected as per statement in my last letter, and also a statement of accounts to be laid before the vestry, which duty he did not perform, nor has he the manliness to acknowledge it in his long laboured epistle; but he insists that I illegally retained 20s. for collecting for myself and deputy, if so how came my predecessors, Messrs. Rand and Ingram, to stop sixteen shillings, which they have not been made to refund; nor have Messrs. Turnham and Keys, who stopped ten or twelve shillings, now their predecessors, Messrs. Rawlins and Yeulet, and I could still lengthen the list, so that I have precedent, at all events, to plead on my side, and I shall not take the “Hon. Sec. and Treasurer’s” dictum, but that of the vestry’s, when he submits my account to them.

  I am pleased to repay him in his own coin for his gratuitous advice to me.  I advise him to consult an eminent solicitor, and ascertain whether he can legally (as he is so fond of legality) hold the office of inspector under the Lighting Act, he being at the same time a shareholder and director of the town gas company, whether he can vote at the inspector’s meetings that the town shall pay £55 per annum for being very inefficiently lighted; and also sit at gas directors meetings and vote that they will not light it for less, without incurring a penalty not exceeding fifty pounds, and if he cannot, why then I would advise the “Hon. Sec. and Treasurer” either immediately to resign his office, or sell his shares in the gas company, which ever he may think the most profitable to himself. – I beg to subscribe myself, sir, yours much obliged,                  
                                                                                     JOHN CORKETT


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Copyright 19 May, 2020