Huddersfield and Holmfirth Examiner (25/Aug/1855) - Meltham: The Meltham Constable
The Meltham Constable.
At the Brewster sessions, on Thursday, Mr. Brooke, the Meltham constable, who has made himself very notorious in the locality where he resides, for his amiable desire to put down all immorality — endeavoured not very successfully, to impress upon the bench the extreme lawlessness of the publicans in Meltham. He got a considerable rebuke from one of the sitting magistrates, for his sweeping charges without proof, but what would they have said if they had known all the means which he seems to think it right to adopt to prove them in fault? The following is an instance. Last Saturday night, in going his rounds, he called at the Life Guardsman, and found the place closed. He then knocked at the door, when the landlord came and asked who was there, but received no answer ; perhaps the constable thought that it was a part of a landlord's duty to know the sound of a constable's staff on the door when he heard it. So he would not answer in his turn, and the constable, in the plentitude of his little authority, went to the window and smashed it. This act brought out the landlord, to see who it was that thus was storming his castle, without any vocal intimation to surrender, and he found it was the terrible enemy of the traffic, the high constable of Meltham. The examiner then entered, but found "all right ;" and had to retire convinced that there was no case. The circumstance has created considerable talk in Meltham, and, on the Monday morning, the officer called at the inn, acknowledged his fault, and offered to make good the damage he had committed. It ought to be known, even to the head municipal officer of Meltham, — a kind of insular lord mayor — that there are limits even to his extensive powers, and that even publicans may legally expect to hear the sound of a high constable's voice, before throwing open their doors to welcome him.