Christmases Past

A Seasonal Collection

1876 – Christmas Gift

An invaluable gift for Justices of the Peace, just in time for Christmas, is the “New Zealand Justice of the Peace”, the latest effort of Mr. G. B. Barton. This new reference book is the most detailed yet of its kind and is a valuable aid on the magisterial bench. It includes discussion of interesting knotty points in “editorial notes”, articles and in notes of recent cases explaining clearly the dicta of experienced magistrates on vexed questions. Distributed free to Justices who request a copy.

1877 – Crime at Three Kings

At the Auckland Police Court on the morning of Boxing Day, four inebriates were brought up and discharged. A man named James Jackson, charged with the unlawful rescue* of cattle at the Three Kings was remanded until the following day. Mr. G. Von der Heyde was the presiding Justice of the Peace.

* “unlawful rescue” –  the  cattle had allegedly been improperly seized as a distress for non-payment of money owing.

1888 – Recidivist #1

At Herbertville John Fallahoe was charged before H. Handyside, JP, with being drunk and disorderly on Christmas, Day. As this was his fourth appearance within six months he was sentenced to seven days’ hard labour without the option of a fine, and the Court further ordered that a prohibition order be issued against him to take effect in local and neighbouring licensing districts.

1902 – Grinch

The Auckland Master Grocers’ Association has decided to cease giving Christmas boxes in future, and also to discard the practice of issuing free pictorial calendars to customers.

1922 – Recidivist #2

“I am 42 years of age,” said a woman, charged with being an incorrigible rogue before Justices of the Peace in the Christchurch Magistrate’s Court,  “and for the last 10 years I have spent every Christmas in jail!”

1922 – Holiday Time!

The need for an increased number of Justices of the Peace in Hamilton was again exemplified in Christmas Week when it took four police officials some considerable time to secure a Justice of the Peace to deal with a solitary inebriate who had been bailed out and who had not put in an appearance, but whose case it was necessary to dispose of. No new appointments of Justices have been made in Hamilton during the past four years.

1928 – A Trusted Stand-by

Mr A. Rosser, a Justice of the peace for 23 years and President of the Auckland Justices of the Peace Association, says JPs are “…frothing for more court work. But apart from the clerical aspect there is little to do”. Mr Rosser pointed out “on Christmas morning, however, when the Magistrates don’t wish to have their Christmas dinners spoiled, we are usually called upon to attend to the inebriates who celebrated well, but unwisely”.

Source: Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand. Wikipedia.


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