Saturday, 3 September 2011
1905 - 12 - 16 Saturday Musings (Partial)
Saturday Musings (Partial Column Transcribed)
December 16, 1905
An amusing incident occurred in the court room in this city nearly a half century ago, during the Wentworth fall assizes. While S. B. Freeman was addressing the jury, in one of the most eloquent portions of his speech – and there was no man at the Canadian bar in those days who could hold a candle to him for eloquence – he saw a broad grin on the faces of the jury; then the twelve good men and true burst out in hearty laughter. The learned counsel seemed for the moment to be nonplussed, not understanding the cause of such unseemly merriment. On turning to the bench, the reason was self-evident. The chief justice had retired to his room for a moment, and there in the official chair, in all his majesty, sat Bob Innes, a simple-minded fellow, who was a well-known harmless character in Hamilton. Bob looked down on Mr. Freeman and said : “Go on, Sam, it’s alright; I’ll see that justice is done.” The members of the bar, the jury and the auditors were convulsed with laughter, in which the good-natured attorney joined, even though it was at his own expense. When the judge returned, Bob Innes did not feel inclined to vacate his position on the bench, and it required a number of constables to remove him. It was some minutes ere the court settled down to its customary solemnity and the eloquent pleader was to continue his speech.