St Albans - The Church Rate Question

From the Herts Guardian

 16 May 1854

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ST ALBAN'S.

The Church Rate Question

The opponents from principle to the church-rate, have in several instances this week, subjected themselves to the loss of some of their goods and chattels. These half politicians, half puritans, and half lawyers in the matter, allowed the officers to walk into their houses, and then fastened up the inner doors, leaving them as they fancied, the choice only to take whatever happened to be in that part of the premises where they were allowed admission. In one place was taken a sack of flour; another, some loaf sugar; and the third, butchers, nothing was hand but the contents of the shop, and as the officers had no wish to enforce the law by breaking open the inner doors, they took possession of a lamb just slaughtered, and intended for a more profitable customer. It is an admitted fact that the motive is to agitate the question ; and perhaps they may consider, at better time than at the eve of county election. The following is a list of the seizures:

Mr Henry Whitbread, butcher, a fat lamb worth 50s., for 8s 6d rate

Mr. Joseph Wiles, sack of best flour worth 3 5s,, for 9s rate

Mr. Edward S. Wiles, 1 cwt of loaf sugar, for 16s 6d rate.

Distresses are issued against Messrs. Thomas Harris, James Walker, Mark Cherry, Richard Gibbs, Jesse Hulks, and others, but so great was the crowd that followed the constables that they thought it wise to beat a retreat. [We suggest that this vexed question would be best met by those who can pay the rate doing so, and not subjecting themselves to unnecessary loss, and by the church-wardens excusing the poor, who really are not able to pay. - Ed. H.G.]

     
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