Friday, November 6, 2015

James Crichton 1840 - 1923

James Crichton was born to James Crichton and Jean Stewart in Kinclaven, Perthshire on November 2, 1840.  In June of 1841 his family lived at Inernytie Cottage, Kinclaven which is now a vacation rental.   As a child he attended the Church of Scotland and no doubt when he was 16 he received communion from Henry Henderson (Kinclaven Church priest 1823 - 1862).  James's father was a devote member of the Church of Scotland.

(James Crichton Sr., died where he had lived all his life in Madderty parish, Perthshire, in his 99th year, the day after his dear old Minister died, with whom he had been associated as member and ruling elder for 60 years or more, and by whose graveside he was buried by a great company of relatives, the Minister being only one year younger than the elder to whom he was so warmly attached.  ...Newspaper article by Rev. James Stewart, Maitland Weekly Mercury, Australia, 1905)

In 1851 the family lived at Lochside, Kinclaven.  His father was a forester.   At age 20 in 1861 he was a clerk to James Gall a Grocery and Provision Merchant in Glasgow. 

In 1874 James was 34 years old. On June 11, 1874 James married Eliza Milne Mitchell, who was 14 years younger than James,  in Elgin, Moray, Scotland.  Elgin is 187 miles from Glasgow or a almost a four hour ride in a modern car.   They have nine children over the next 14 years. For most of her child bearing years Eliza has servants.  In 1891 Eliza has nine children in the home and 3 servants.  Quite a household. 

In the 1877  James is a partner in Pringle and Crichton Wholesale Tea Dealers business.  As such he testifies in front of the House of Commons  Grocers Licenses' Commisson in Edinburgh.  He answers extensive questions related to the sale of alcohol and the grocery business.  

By 1881 James was a wholesale Tea Dealer employing 11 men and 2 boys.  The family lived on St. Johns Road, Forest Cottage, Glasgow, Lanark.  That was in the Pollokshields area of Glasgow.

In 1894 he was admitted to the Philosophical Society of Glasgow.  

In 1899 James was made a Justice of the Peace in Glasgow. On October 23 he was placed on the Commission of the Peace. He took the oath November 1, 1899. His duties were done at 47 Waterloo Street or 28 Catogan Street. 

James died December 28, 1823 of apoplexy or incapacity resulting from cerebral hemorrhage or stroke.  He was 83 years old.  At death he lived at 201 Nithsdale Drive,  Glasgow. His death certificate lists him as a retired Tea Dealer.  His youngest son Maurice Crichton is the informant. Nithsdale is near St. Leonard's RC church in the Pollokshields area of Southwest Glasgow. 

Eliza Milne Crichton, mother to nine children, faithful wife, hard working lady,  died four years after her husband on February 28 11:40 PM at 201 Nithsdale Road, Glasgow.  She was 73 years old.  Her father is listed as John Mitchell, schoolmaster and mother Margaret Milne.  She died from arteriosclerosis four years at least and cerebral hemorrhage 9 weeks as certified by D. Lyell Carmichael.  Her son James Crichton III was the informant   Death occurred at 80 Kirkcaldy road Glasgow.

James married Eliza Milne Mitchell b February 18, 1854
Eliza's father is : John Mitchell
Eliza's Mother: Margaret Milne Mitchell


1.  James Crichton b 1876, Eastwood, Renfrew in 1891 he was a tea merchant clerk and lived at 2.  Nithsdale Rd 47, Glasgow
3.  Marguerita Milne Crichton b 1878, in Pollokshields, Renfrew (West Glasgow)
4.  Jeanette Stuart Crichton b 1879 in Pollokshields, Renfrew
5.  Mabel Elizabeth Crichton b 1881, Pollokshields, Renfrew 
6.  Beatrice Crichton b 1883 Pollokshields, Renfrew
7.  Raymond Crichton b 1887 Pollokshields, Renfrew
8.  Maurice Crichton  b 1889 Pollokshields, Renfrew (informant on Jame's death certificate)
9.  Dorothy Crichton b 1890 Pollokshields, Renfrew

This public profession of faith is sometimes referred to as confirmation. It occurs from around the age of 16, and admits the individual to all the rights and privileges of Church membership. The person's name is then added to the congregation's communion roll and they become eligible to vote in Church meetings and be elected to offices such as the eldership. Traditionally, confirmation has involved admission to Holy Communion for the first time, which explains why the ceremony is sometimes known as Admission to the Lord's Supper.

Papers by Command, Volume 99

 By Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons

Sessional papers. Inventory control record 1, Volume 99

Parliamentary Papers, House of Commons and Command, Volume 26

4622. Do the justices require that the grocer's shop should be of a considerable size in order to give a licence to it ? — Those that have been last licensed were larger houses and higher rented houses ; but as to those that have been licensed for a very long time, a number of them are low-rented, and I think unsuitable. 
4623. But the justices are inclined to be more particular in regard to the class and character of the house, — is that so 1 — Yes ; they don't report the same on the grocers as they do on an ordinary public house licence, Glasgow. the same accommodation not being required. — . 
4624. Has this feeling among the justices, of greater Robert Hunter. reluctance to grant licences, proceeded from your reports 1 —They have my reports, but I think a great many of the justices were influenced by their own opinion. 
4625. Have you had occasion to report particularly to the justices about the licensed grocers!— Not particularly. 
4626. What have been the reports made to you about them ? Have there been many irregularities among them 1 — The reports to me were not much against them. Those that they were against were of the lower class, — the lower-rented houses. 
4627. Then is it the case that among the better class of licensed grocers you believe there are few irregulari ties ? — My impression is that they are scarce. 
4628. Among the lower class — the smaller houses — do you think there are many 1 — I believe that there are more than I am aware of, — much more. I am talking not from personal knowledge, but from my own belief. 
4629. Your own belief, founded on the opinion of your officers 1 — Of officers and others as well 
4630. Do they tell you that they believe there is a good deal of irregularity going on, though they cannot prove it 1 — They say they suspect that it is dona They suspect this, that when people are buying groceries they are possibly getting drink as w^U. 4631. What is the natu^- i the irregularity that they suspect 1 — It is principally that when they are in the shop, they may drink — perhaps a small quantity. It is believed to be comparatively small ; because there is little appearance of drunkenness seen outside. 
 4632. Just a little tippling in the house 1 — Tippling in the house. 
4633. And are there cases of drinking before and after legal hours 1 Is there anything of that sort ? — It is possible there may be, the same as in any other house. 
4634. But one would suppose you would go a little beyond possibility. Have you reason to think that it does go on 1 — I don't think it goes on to any great extent, — not at all I think it is generally confined to their ordinary hours of business. 
4635. Have you had many prosecutions of grocers 1 — -During that time we have had seventeen. 
4636. Seventeen in fifteen years '?— Yes. 
4637. Are these grocers, do you think, extensively used by the working classes for getting spirits t— I think that they are to a considerable extent, but I think it is more immediately the lower classes. 
4638. Have you reason to know that men or women use them most for getting spirits 1 — I think it is more confined to women. 4639. Do you think if the men want spirits they generally go to the publichouse 1 — I think so.
4640. Have you heard much about women getting spirits in grocers' shops 1 — There is a great deal said about it. 4641. It is matter of common talk % — Of common talk. I don't know that many that talk about it have good premises for what they say, and yet it is very possible that what they say may be quite true. 
4642. Do you think that the law requires to be strengthened to enable the police to put down the irregu larities that they believo to exist, but have a difficulty in detecting 1 — I think they should have at least as much power with the grocer as they have with the ordinary publichouse. 
4643. Mr Campbell Sicinton. — You say at least as much Is there any mode by which you could give them more 1 — What I mean is that they should have as strong powers. 
4644. The same powers % — The same powers. 
4645. The Chairman. — Would you have any difficulty in using that power t — When a person goes into the publichouse, you know that he goes to buy liquor, and you are able to control tho liquor traffic. But a great many people going to the grocers' shops must bo going there to buy provisions. Would you feel any difficulty in your officers going often into the grocers' shops to see what was going on 1 — My impression is that if they  were going in they might not succeed. If they were seen, it would prevent detection. 
4646. Sheriff Crichton. — Would the officers not hesi tate to go in 1— No, it would be the officers' duty the same as to go to any other place, and I don't know why he should not go there the same as to any other place, if a breach of the law is being committed. 
4647. The Cliairman. — Is there any other way, do you think, by which you could have the trade better regulated besides the police having the power of entry ? — I don't know. 
4648. I suppose in regard to the smaller shops, women and sometimes children go with vessels to take away the spirits ? — Yes. 
4649. Do you think they often take it away in open vessels ? — They do occasionally. 
4650. In jugs and other vessels? — Yes, they take it away in that low way. It is sometimes the case at all events, and I believe that women of a low type of character are in the habit of doing so. 
4651. Do you know if they often drink what they get just outside the door, or in the neighbourhood ? — I think that is very limited. There may be instances of it, but I think it is very limited. I am afraid that there is an increase of women — neighbours and others who know one another — meeting together and getting drink. I think that is rather on the increase — not in the publichouse or grocer's house, but in their own houses. They send for the drink. They club together, as it is called. 4652. Is liquor taken out in grocers' carts through the country? — There is scarcely such a thing in our county. We had one suspected, and we got a convic tion against him. 4653. But it is taken out, I suppose, for lawful delivery t— Oh yes, and it was a party who took it out for lawful delivery who also served families with it. 
4654. But you don't think that is gone on with '? — Not at all in our county. 
4655. Is it your impression that the thing is curing itself — that the justices are getting stricter, and that by degrees the class of houses will be more respectable ; or do you think it wants something more stringent than that ? — My impression is this, that generally speaking the drinking custom has not been on the increase for some time. That is my impression. I don't think that generally it has. But certainly at times they drink a great deal more than at others, and that is at times when they have more money. But take it .over all, I am not aware that the drinking system is very much on the increase. 
4656. Mr M'Lagan. — Do you think there is not more drunk now in 1877 than there was in 1872, when the wages were about the same ? — Yes ; but the popula tion is much greater. 
4657. You think you should have more drunk as the population increases ? — I don't apply it to drunk men altogether. I refer to drinking generally and the apparent effects. 
4658. " Yes. 
4659. Do you ever have any complaints from tho members of your corps as to tho difficulty they find in entering grocers' shops 1 — Certainly. 
4660. And what reason do they give for it ? — They require to have reason to believe that the drink is being taken before they can go in and search the house. 
4661. Take the case of a publichouse at present, will any of your men enter a public house unless he has reason to believe that there is something illegal going on in that house 1 — They don't do it as a rule ; but they do it sometimes if they think it is an irregular house — they will take advantage of going in at times whey they arc not expected. 4662. Suppose they had full power to enter a grocer's shop at any time, they would not enter unless they had reason to believe that there was something illegal going on ! — Of course there is something in that too. But I believe they can contrive and manage to get drink more readily there. 
4663. In the grocers' ? — In the grocers'. You mean a greater consumption of spirits ? — 
4664. Even though the police had full power, you think they would contrive to get drink more readily in the grocers'? — They would, for this reason, that if a person goes into a publichouse it is known that it is only for drink he is going there ; but if a person goes into a grocer's shop it might be considered that he is going in for groceries. 
4665. Are you in favour of separating tho licence for selling drink from the grocer's licence, and having an independent man selling liquor ? — Well, I think it would be as well 4666. You think that would be an improvement? — I. think it would be an improvement; but I should say that improvement would apply, as I have said already, more immediately to the low class of grocers. 
4667. We would have great difficulty in making a distinction between the high class and the low class of grocers. We would not be able to draw a line of demarcation between them, so that I am afraid we would require to have the same law for both 1 — But I think if the rental were higher, a higher class of people would be licensed. I am led to believe that the re spectable grocers whom I refer to conduct their business in a very respectable way, and I think there is scarcely such a thing in their premises as women getting drink as they do in the lower class of houses that I refer to. 
4668. You cannot expect women of the lower class to get drink in the high class grocers ; but do you think that women of the higher class don't get it in the same way ? — They only get it that way. 
4669. They get it home with them 1 — Yea 4670. Are you aware of any cases of that kind in your district, where ladies or women in respectable posi tions get drink on the sly in that way 1 — I am not aware of any. 
4671. Supposing the licence was taken away from the grocers, do you think your men would be more able to find out those who were committing any illegal acts than under tho present system 1 — I think they have more to contend with at present. 
4672. The Chairman, — Have you anything else to state ? — There is one thing that has struck me as a very bad element in regard to the grocer's licence. I know it is the case that from time to time Women are served with drink in those low houses, and it is entered as goods. I think that might be averted to some extent at all events, and perhaps to a very considerable extent, by providing that no grocer should sell any kind of spirits without writing down in the pass-book or order book tho actual thing supplied. 4673. Would you make it a breach of certificate t— I would make it a breach of certificate. That is my idea, if there was anything intended to mislead or deceive. I think that would put a stop to it to a great extent, and for this reason : a grocer in serving his cus tomer, although he was owing him a good deal of money, would not go to the court and ask it ; he would rather run the risk of losing the money than run the risk of losing his licence. 
4674. But have you any reason to believe that that is not all uncommon practice, — the practice of making false entries ? — I believe it is, and I would be afraid with the lower class of people it may at first introduce drinking if they get it in that way, without their husband's knowledge, and having it entered as goods. I think it would be very apt to put a stop to it, because, although the customer and the grocer may be friendly enough, the grocer is looking to his own interest, and the customer would very often rather not pay if he could help it. And besides, they would be in the power of their customer, and not only the customer himself, but it might be known otherwise — by their children, &c. That is a matter that the police might possibly discover as well as any other breach of certificate, 
4675. Have you anything else to state ? — No. 132. Mr John Jones, Chief Constable of Dumfriesshire. 
4676. The Chairman. — Would you tell us the number of licensed houses in your county, exclusive of the Glasgow. we have convictions, but the impression on my mind — from what I see, and from the reports which I receive ^a^"1 •f°ms- from my officers, is that a very great deal of illicit traffic goes on, both in the morning before 8 o'clock and at night after the publichouses are closed. It is quite a frequent thing to see the shops of the description that I have now stated open at 6 o'clock in the morning, and people go into them and continue to go into them, and also after 1 1 o'clock at night. 
46*91. What is your opinion as to the change in the law that is desirable. How far would you go i— In the first place I am of opinion that grocers should not be allowed to sell unless in sealed bottles, and I would say in quarts, — not less. 4692. Then you want to break down the small tippling trade? — Yes. Second, I think the rental should be very much increased for grocers' licences. It is a difficult thing to say what that increase should be, because in some towns the rent is very high, while in others it is low. A house that would bring £50 in a largo town could be got in villages very likely for half that sum. Hence I think a fixed sum of rental would not be attainable, although in one of the licensing Acts I see they have arrived at £40, £50, and £60. 4693. That is for hotels, is it not?— Yes. 4694. But possibly there might be a graduated scale, according to the population of the place 1 — That would hardly meet the point respecting the rental of the house ; but I think there might be limitations. I may mention that many years ago, in Dumfriesshire, the justices had a committee, and they fixed what they thought a sufficient number of houses for certain districts in the county. That was kept up for ten or twelve years, but new circumstances occurred, and new justices came on the bench, and they did not think they were bound by any decision come to formerly, so that that rule broke through. But you will perceive that in the county of Dumfries on the whole the certificates have been very much reduced. 4695. Sheriff Crichton. — How would it do to leave the fixing of the rental to the licensing authority of these certificates, and the publicans in supplying the — drink. That has come under my notice once or twice. John Jones. There was one case which came before the last Com- mission on publichouses, and I remember Professor Swinton investigated it very closely, — the case of a I)r MacKnight in Dumfries, who persisted in upholding that he was right in giving people spirits in that way. 4702. But you had a case lately ? — Yes, we had a case lately of that description, but it very properly fell through, because the old lady to whom the liquor was granted was dying. She was ninety-eight or eighty-nine years of age, and was dying, and the doctor thought it necessary to give her a bottle of brandy and a bottle of ginger wine ; and the woman died next day. Now, it did appear to me that it would have been proper for the doctor to have gone and seen the old lady, so as to have been able to judge how much it was proper she should take, but that was not done. However, I with drew the case. 4703. Supposing that a patient— wo shall say a woman in childbed — requires spirits on a Sunday, must not the doctor take upon himself to get it for her ? — I think so ; and I think he should then go to the police man and say ' I want this : will you go with me and ' get it ; ' or go to a magistrate in the immediate neighbourhood and ask; for an order or for his sanction. I think that should be made law. 
4704. You think the practice of doctors giving these lines is liable to abuse ? — I am satisfied, from my own knowledge, that a very great deal of abuse has been perpetrated by such conduct on the part of medical men. There is another point that I would bring under your observation, and that is that respectable females,- — persons whom you would not suspect of such a thing, — when ordering their groceries order also spirits, ale, and porter and wines in small quanties, for home consump tion. That has been brought under my notice. Now they certainly never would go to a publichouse for it. There should be some check upon that, although I don't see what remedy could be proposed 4705. Can there bo any check upon it except to separate the liquor trade from the provision trade ? — I see none. 
4706. Mr Ferguson. — "Would you be prepared to go so far as to recommend that 1 — I would, except for the higher class of houses paying a rental say of £30 in villages and rural districts, and £50 in towns. In England I see the business is conducted on that principle. I have occasion weekly almost to go into a border county in England, and I find there a regular class of men who keep stores where bottles of ale, porter, or wine can be got ; and that trade is conducted respectably. 
4707. The Chairman. — Have you made yourself acquainted with the actual circumstauces of that trade 1 I mean, do you know on what conditions these licences are granted ? — No, I do not. I merely know the shops, and I believe they have a licence, — not an hotel licence. There is nothing consumed on the premises, I believe. 
4708. Mr Campbell Sainton. — Do they sell groceries ? — They do not. It is entirely apart from the grocery business. I believe these places are conducted with respectability and propriety, and they do a good trade ; so that selling drink is not a necessary appendage to a grocer's business. 
4709. The Chairman. — And resorting to such a house as that coidd give nothing to complain of in the associa tions like the publichouse ? — Nothing. 4710. And they could not get the drink secretly?— No. There are plenty of females, and plenty of males too, to my certain knowledge, who go to these houses and take their dram on the sly, who would not think of entering a respectable hotel and taking it in sight of all who happened to be there. 
4711. Giving a dram on the sly in such a house would be in itself an illegal act on the part of the shopkeeper? — No doubt of it; but the difficulty is to get at them. In fact it is an impossibility. It cannot be done unless under peculiar circumstances. 
4712. Mr Ferguson. — I understand you think there should be a complete separation between the grocery trade and the spirit trade ? — I do. I see no necessity for the combination. But it may be very difficult just now to recommend such a sweeping measure as that. 
4713. The Chairman. — But I think you except high- rented houses ? — Yes ; the magistrates taking care that the character of the person is above suspicion. 
4714. Mr Ferguson. — And in the case of that class of licences which you have spoken of, I think you mean that these parties would not be selling groceries, but would simply be spirit merchants ? — Simply spirit and wine merchants, and they would sell porter and ale ; and it would all go out in sealed bottles. 4715. The Chairman. — Have you any other sugges tion? — None, except that I coincide with my brother chief constable who lately gave his evidence, that all those informalities which we know take place with reference to grocers' licences, although they cannot be brought up at the present time, should be made breaches of certificate, so that they might be brought before the court and investigated. I think that is a very proper suggestion. 
4716. Sheriff Crichton. — Have you any opinion as to the hours,' — whether they should be shortened ? — That is, supposing the grocers' licences are to be kept on. I think grocers should not be allowed to sell spirits, ale, or porter before 10 or 11 o'clock in the morning. They profess to sell for home consumption and for family use, and it cannot be wanted for that purpose at 6 or 7 o'clock in the morning. A publican or a hotel-keeper is debarred from opening his house for selling to persons living in the neighbourhood, till 8 o'clock in the morn ing ; and I believe the fact is undoubted that quantities of spirits, ale, and porter are got from these places before 8 o'clock in the morning. 
4717. Mr M' 'Lagan.- — We have it in evidence that no licensed grocer should be allowed to open his shop before 10 o'clock in the morning? — That would be depriving him of what should be his legitimate trade. I could hardly go so far as that. 
4718. Mr Camphdl Sirinton. — Would it not be safer not to let him open at all before 8, than to let him open early as he dors just now, but not sell spirits till 10 ? — That is a matter for the legislature. I am quite of opinion that if a man wishes to sell spirits and ale, he should bo put in the same position exactly as the publican, — that he should not have any advantage over the legitimate business of selling spirits and ale by a publican or hotel-keeper. I think it very unfair that he should open his shop before the proper time.
4719. Sheriff Crichton. — Do any of the grocers in Dumfriesshire send out carts to the country? — I don't know one, unless the articles are ordered beforehand. I know of nothing like hawking.
4720. Then that practice does not exist in Dumfries shire ? — It does not exist in Dumfriesshire. 
4721. Mr M'Lagan. — I dou't think you mentioned, among your remedies, that of giving the police the samo power of entering grocers' shops as publichouses? — I have not mentioned that, but I don't see why the grocers should have the advantage of the exclusion of the police any more than the publican. They have the same licence. Of course the power must be used by the police with very great discretion. They must not enter a high class establishment, and pry into the back rooms and places, unless they have very strong grounds indeed. I have no doubt that any chief constable would check such a practice, and would not allow it
4722. Shieriff Crichton, — Have any of the grocers in Dumfriesshire their dwellings attached to their shops ? — Not the larger grocers. 4723. Have the smaller ones?— The smaller ones have. 
4724. Does that prevail to any extent in Dumfries shire ?— Yes, in the country places. 
4725. Is that prejudicial at all, do you think? — A great deal of temptation is attached to it. I should like to suggest one thing, and that is as to sending children for drink As the Law at present stands, it has been hold that if children are sent by their parents or by any person for liquor in open vessels, that is not an offence against the Act of Parliament, they not being the purchasers. There is a difference of opinion as to the Glasgow. me every facility, and allowed me to mention anything ; — but it is an anomaly that should be remedied. There ^ohn J<»ie>- is just one other matter, and that is respecting the com- mittees under tho Cameron Act. My experience of these committees has certainly not been what was antici pated in the county of Dumfriea For instance, I will take one case. In the burgh of Dumfries there are a certain number of magistrates with the burgh magistrates to sit after the licence is granted by the burgh ; the chairman of that committee is the provost, and as far as the county is concerned they certainly can have no say, because the provost has the casting vote with the same number of committee sitting ; so that it is a farce for the county magistrates to sit in any such case. 4736. Sheriff Crich ton. — Do you mean that the burgh magistrates have it all their own way 1 — Clearly. I don't find any fault. It is tho result of the law. There is no fault to find with the magistrates. They are merely doing what they consider to be their duty, but still it seems a farce to ask so many magistrates from the county to sit as the committee when they have no power when they get there. 
4737. — The Chairman. — Is that the general county appeal committee 1 — Yes ; but I am taking the burgh of Dumfries alone.
4738. Where it concerns a burgh licensing question, the burgh magistrate must be in the chair ? — Yea
4739. Sheriff Crichton.' — Does the court consist of three burgh magistrates and the provost ? — Yea 
4740. The Chairman. — The practical effect of that in the case to which you refer has been that the licences have been sustained in spite of the county 1 — Yes. I am merely saying that the part of the committee belong ing to the county is a useless appendage. If the magis trates of tho burgh make up their minds to grant a licence, anything that the county magistrate says is of no use. Another point, so far as the Cameron Act is concerned, is that I find in many instances that a num ber of justices sitting in the lower court — say seven or having any liquors they required supplied from their grocer rather than from the publican. We don't like to have our intoxicating liquors — those who use them don't wish to have them — separated from our food supply.
 4749. When you say ' we,' who do you mean ? — The public. 
4750. Mr M'Lagan. — I think you divided the public into two classes— one class who approve, and the other who don't approve ? — I am not of that class who don't approve. I don't belong to the teetotal party, and consequently I recognise myself as using moderately intoxicating liquors. I use them at my table, and I think it is unfair to compel me to go to the public- house to buy these liquors, which are used along with articles of food ; it is unfair to separate them till we are prepared to say that they should not be used at all in the country. 
4751. Would you give a licence to a baker? — I have no objection. It is not a wrong thing, if it is thought in the interest of the public that the baker should have it. I don't think a licence would be misused by a baker. I think it is wrong to think that a party not having a licence would misuse that licence, if he had it, any more than a publican would do. I may state that in Glasgow we have perhaps 1100 grocers, or thereby — retail grocers doing business supplying the public with groceries. Of that number there are under 300 licensed. I believe the remaining 900, or thereby, do not in any way complain that a portion of their number are licensed. I have never heard such a com plaint from them. 
4752. The Chairman. — But the fact is that in speaking of the licensed trade of Glasgow, you are speaking of a much smaller class in proportion to the number of grocers that you find in many localities. For instance in Edinburgh we were told that nearly every grocer in a considerable way of business is licensed; whereas in Glasgow they have been kept within a very small number, and these, we have been told, may be called generally respectable family grocers 1 — I think it should be to the advantage of Edinburgh that such is the case. I would rather see 1500 grocers licensed in Glasgow and 270 publichouses, than the way in which we stand at present. 4753. How would it be if you had half that number of publichouses, and still that number of grocers ? — I think it would be all in the interest of the community at large. 
4754. To reduce the number of publichouses? — Yes. I don't say that we should necessarily increase the number of grocers' licenses, but if an increase is to take place at all, I think it should be in that direction. Much has been said against home drinking, but I think drinking, if it is to be indulged in at all, should be done at home, whether among the better class of the popula tion or among the working classes, rather than in the publichouso. I think the worst place for it is in the publichouse. The previous witness made a suggestion which I wished to put before the Commissioners, with reference to the grocers having licences — not so much in Glasgow, because I believe the thing does not occur in Glasgow, but I refer to grocers who sell liquor not to be consumed on the premises, and who yet sell it to be consumed immediately outside the premises, — practically on their premises, but beyond the door. Now, I think it would be well if the Irish law were introduced into Scotland with regard to that. 4755. You know the Irish law makes the grocer re sponsible if a man drinks the spirits on the road opposite his house 1 — I think it would be a desirable thing to have that introduced into Scotland. In'country districts there are great complaints about this, — in districts where there are no publichouses, the places in front of the grocers' premises are rendered a nuisance to all in the neighbourhood. At the place where I live at the coast there are no publichouses, but we have one licensed house that supplies liquor very freely, though the grocer knows quite well it is to be consumed immediately beyond his own door, and provides seats for the purpose. I think that should be regarded as a violation of the certificate, and I would have the law altered to that effect. 4756. How coidd a grocer help a man buying a pint bottle sealed, and drawing the cork and drinking it across the road ? — He could not help it If it were shown that the party does it unknown to the grocer, there would be no complaint against the grocer, but the case I refer to is where it is continuously done, and where it is supplied more than once to the same party for the purpose of doing it. Of course in all violations of certificate there must be evidence to prove that it was done knowingly. 4757. The prosecutor would have to show the wilful ness ? — Quite so, and I don't think it would be difficult to do in many cases. Immediately on crossing the threshold of the door, a party is free to drink at present As to the hours of opening and closing, I think it would bo a very desirable thing that the grocers should be obliged to open at the same hour for the sale of all the goods that they have to dispose of as the publichouses, and I think i t WJuld be well if both were compelled to close perhaps an hour or two earlier than they do at present. 4758. What do you say as to the proposed restriction to sealed bottles ? — I think it would be of no use at all I think if parties are allowed to buy liquor it should be entirely in the option of the buyer how much he is to buy, — from a pill to a gallon. 4759. But do you think they should be obliged to buy it in sealed bottles so as to secure that it was really taken away and not consumed on the premises ? — I cannot understand how that would be of any advantage. 4760. We have had evidence that in many places they bring jugs and get a small measure of whisky to take away, or they bring their own bottle and have a cork shoved in for the moment? — I have seen that evidence. It may be so ; but from my own observa tion I think that occurs more frequently in publichouses than in grocers' shops. <^Sa"jfr granted in some districts than in others ? — Yes, taking a y' the whole county throughout, the increase in number has not been proportionate to the increase of the population, but in the parishes of, Irvine, Dundonald, and Dairy, the increase has been greater than in pro portion to the population. 4777. Are these licences both of publichouses and of grocers ? — I am referring to grocers' licences only. 4778. But have they been freely granted to both classes of houses ? — Yea 
4779. And in these districts has there been an increase of drinking and drunkenness? — There is a considerable amount of drinking and drunkenness. The returns show an increase of drunk and incapable throughout the county, but I cannot say the increase has been greater in those parts of the county in which the number of licensed grocers has increased.
4780. But have you received from your officers distinct statements of irregularities which they believe to prevail amongst the licensed grocers '! — Yes, and I have had my attention called to that by different police reports, giving particulars of cases reported for breach of certificate on the part of grocers ; and in the evidence it has occurred occasionally that a witness has said that he heard the grocer threatened that if he did not supply the liquor on this occasion, which he had perhaps refused to supply because there was a bill run up unpaid, — if he did not give him what he wanted, he would take care to stop all his sale of drink on Sunday. That has been used as a threat to the grocers in different forms, and when I inquired what this meant, it was explained to me that it meant he would keep a watch on the grocer's shop on the Sunday, and if the trade went on as usual he would report him, and in that way he would have his revenge. And I have known by the report that under this threat the grocer has supplied the liquor which he before refused to supply. Evidence of that sort makes me feel sure that the law is constantly contravened.
4781. Sheriff Crichton. — And sometimes against the wish of the grocer, according to that view of it ; you say the grocer would not supply the liquor unless he had been threatened ? — His reason for not supplying the liquor was because he did not want to supply a man who owed him a £10 note. 
4782. — Do these irregularities take place in populous places or in small places ? Do they take place in the towns or only in the villages ? — The cases that I know most about are in the very populous places, but there the police force is larger, and they have more opportunities of making themselves acquainted with the circumstances.
4783. The Chairman. — Then they may take place also in the small villages, but you do not hear so much about it there ? — No. I find that in the populous places these licensed grocers have communications most con venient with their dwelling-houses for breaking the law. It is remarkable in one part of the county the number of grocers' shops that have an entrance to the back premises of the grocer by a close, where numbers of inhabitants have to pass up to their dwelling-houses ; and there is nothing to prevent the grocer from passing spirits out through the entrance that is in the close from the shop which has its public entrance from the street.
4784. But now, when new licences or renewals are applied for, is it not pointed out to the magistrates that the premises are unsuitable ? — I think that very often the magistrates do not realise how very difficult it is to get a conviction ; and when a man has had no conviction against him, they think it is hardly fair to deprive him of his certificate, and the consequence is that it is renewed.
4785. Is there not increased reluctance now to grant these grocers' licences compared with what there was ? This year, for example, have the magistrates been less ready to grant the licences ? — There is a slight increase this year on last year. In some districts there might be a decrease ; but in the district in which there is by far T the larger proportion of licensed grocers to the popula- CJf'Mmhr tion' there waa a sli8ht increase this year- That is the district in which there are 66 licensed grocers to 66 unlicensed grocers ; whereas throughout the whole county, the proportion is less than 1 licensed grocer to 4 of the unlicensed grocers. 4786. What district is that ? — It is the parishes of Kilwinning, Irvine, and Dundonald. 4787. But that is rather a notorious district, is it not, for the number of licences 1 — Yes. 4788. Mr Campbell Sirinton.— That rather indicates an opinion on the part of the justices in that district that grocers' licences are not so injurious to the com munity as they are generally supposed to be, does it not, if they go on multiplying them % — I can hardly say, but there is a large proportion in Dairy also. 4789. Mr Ferguson. — Do the justices often refuse licences when they are applied for? They seem to have been giving them liberally ? — I don't think they often refuse a renewal, but with new licences, they hesitate more in granting them. 4790. Tlie Chairman. — Are you aware of cases of false entries in passbooks to cover the sale of liquor] Mr Menzies told us of some cases, but are you aware of others besides what he stated {- — I have seen some six or eight passbooks in which there was an item put down as ' goods ' or ' pop,' and that, I have been told, was for spirits. I can see no reason for putting it down in that way unless it was to conceal what had been supplied. 4791. You were told that by some of your officers? —Yes. 4792. From whom did they hear it ? — I have not been able to learn why they used these terms ' goods ' and ' pop,' because they seem to me to be so generally used for whisky that there could really be very little concealment about it. I have not been able to obtain any explanation of that. A woman to whom these pass books belonged, in a case where a grocer had left the place or had ceased business, said that these items did mean whisky, but I have not had any explanation why it was entered in tbat manner. 4793. Then, if it is so common, it could hardly have deceived even the most careless husband ? — I should have thought not. 4794. Do you think that any further restrictions — any further powers given to the police — would enable you to check these irregularities 1 — If the premises were constructed in a manner suitable for carrying on the trade respectably the police would be much better able to check contraventions. 4795. Are the houses where the irregularities pre vail generally very small houses, or are they of all sizes? — If the very small houses were done away with, the greater part of the irregularities would be done away with. By far the greater number of them occur in the very small houses. The larger proportion of the houses are very small in Ayrshire, 44 out of the 182 of them are under £10 rental. 4796. Slieriff Crichton. — Is that for tho whole county ? — Yes. 4797. The Chairman. — Isthereanything else you wish to state? — I may explain why, inansweringyourquestions, I stated that I believed the sale of spirits by grocers to be extensive and increasing. There is no doubt that it is extensive, but the increase in the sale of spirits is not accounted for by the number of grocers' licences that have been issued. In fact, they have not increased in quite so great a proportion as the population ; but what I felt justified me in saying that the sale of spirits had increased was the reason I have for believing that there are each year a greater number of grocers who more entirely depend for the profit and success of their trade on the sale of spirits. That is the opinion of all those whom I have consulted as best able to furnish me with reliable information oil this subject 135. Provost Orkney, Eothesay; 136. Mr Wm. Herbert, "Writer, Eothesay. ,} examined. 4798. The Chairman. — Mr Herbert, you are procurator-fiscal for the county of Bute, including the burghs of Eothesay and Millport ? — I am.
4799. (To Provost Orkney)— Would you tell us the number of licences in the burgh of Eothesay ? — There are 7 hotels, 23 publichouses, and 19 grocers' licences : in all 49. The holder of one of these grocers' licences does not sell groceries, but only spirits.
4800. I see that is an increase of 3 grocers over the number ten years ago ? — I have got the figures as far back as 1870. The grocers in that year were 19. Mr Herbert. — The Chairman is quite right It is an increase of 3 over the number in 1867.
4801. Are the magistrates endeavouring to keep down the number of grocers' licences, or do they grant them to all respectable applicants ? — Provost Orkney. — We are keeping them down as much as we can. 4802. You desire not to increase them? — Not particularly.
4803. Do you know how many unlicensed grocers there are in Eothesay ? — I should think about an equal number with those who are licensed. There are some small shops not worth enumerating, but shops of a fairish good class are about equal in number to the licensed grocers. Mr Herbert. — There are about 20 respectable shops not having licences.
4804. Supposing there was a grocer in a large way of business in tho town who applied to you next year for a licence, when his neighbour in the next street in an equal way of business has not got one, should you on terms of j fairness grant that licence, or should you say, ' No ; we have got enough already ' 1— Provost Orkney. — As a rule the magistrates have not discouraged grocers from applying for licences. They have rather favoured grocers' licences than publichouso licences, so far as I know. 4805. In fact, has it been considered rather an advantage that the liquor should be obtainable at the grocers' ; — We think so, in Eothesay, for family usj. Mr Herbert. — But the magistrates would hesitate about granting an increase. Provost Orkney. — We are not in favour of increasing the number any more than we can help. The feeling is rather to keep them down, and not to increase them.
4806. I suppose! it is an advantage to a grocer to be able to sell both kinds of commodities ? — I think so, and it is an advantage to his customers as well. For instance, families coming to Eothesay in summer, so far as I know, considerably prefer to go to a grower's for their supplies of wines and spirits to going to a public- house for them.
 4807. Then, a family wanting a supply would naturally go to a grocer who could supply them with all they wanted ? — Yes. 4808. And if one man could supply them with their bottled beer, and possibly their wine and brandy, and another could not, they would go to the licensed grocer ? — Yes.
4809. Then, are you not giving a great advantage to one tradesman over another in granting a licence to one and refusing it to another? — That may arise from different causes. Shopkeepers have different kinds of trades. Perhaps those who have not applied for a licence have a different class of customers, who do not wish to be supplied in that way so much. That is the only way in which I can account for it
4810. But, as matter of fact, have you refused any respectable grocers who have applied for licences ? — I cannot say that we have. I think as a rule respectable grocers having suitable premises have got a licence when they applied for it. 4811. Mr M'Lagan. — I think you said you did not wish to increase the licences? — Yes. Tho feeling, I think, is generally in favour of keeping things as they have been for some time past ; but Eothesay is a growing place, of course.
4812. The Chairman.— But still you think that if a Glasgow. Rothesay, where there are such great numbers of visitors — in the summer season, it is a great public convenience to r.Frov03t have the grocers selling spirits. In summer the population is more than double what it is in winter as a rule
4828. I should like to see what that view amounts to exactly. Tho families that come there in the summer season do not wish to bring their supplies with them from Glasgow, but they wish to get them in the place with as little trouble as possible V— Yes.
4829. Now supposing they had to go to a grocer for their groceries and to a spirit-dealer for their spirits and wines, would there be much inconvenience in that ? — There would be a little inconvenience. There would be the sending to a separate shop, and perhaps it might put the person going to some temptation through having to go into a publichouse instead of to a grocer's.
4830. But I am not talking of public houses. I am talking of dealers in wines and spirits, and the Provost told us there was one person in Rothesay having a grocer's licence who did not sell groceries. Is that a house of any size? — Yes ; it is a very respectable house.
4831. Then, what practical inconvenience is there in a person having to go to such a house as that for his supplies of beer, wine, and spirits, and to a grocer's pure and simple for his provisions ? — It would simply be that if the grocer had the licence, the person could get the whole of his supplies at one shop and in one account, and have no trouble with it, and that would be a con venience in many cases where a working man or a small family required only a quart bottle of whisky or a pint. It is more convenient in many cases, where people come to tho coast from a Saturday till a Monday, to get that at the grocer's.
4832. But there may be many things that a man may want in his house in a very small quantity ? — There may be.
4833. And yet he cannot get his pepper from his baker and so forth ? — No.

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