Humorous Judge, 1936
This judge from 1936 appears to be a frustrated comedian. Mr Justice Charles of Leeds Assizes was disappointed that two potentially interesting cases had been withdrawn.
In the first, Tadcaster Rural District Council were due to defend against a claim of pollution of a water course. “Oh dear!” exclaimed Mr Justice Charles. “That was one of the few cases that was not for personal injuries. I think it would have been interesting. I had hoped to see experts drinking the effluent although I myself did not contemplate joining in the orgy.”
The second settled case concerned a breach of promise of marriage – an old fashioned lawsuit, finally abolished in 1971, and which always makes me think of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury. It’s such a Gilbert and Sullivan-y phrase. “Worse and worse”, said the Judge, “I am sorry this is going to be settled. I should have got some fun out of it.”
It turns out that it was the reporter who got the fun out of it, ending the article with the beautifully withering “Mr Justice Charles is a bachelor.”