by Jon Malings

Transcribed from The Hull Packet, January 9th, 1885


At the Hull County Court yesterday, before Judge Bedwell, an extraordinary case was heard in which Mr. Geo. Cooper, of Hornsea, sought to recover the sum of £50 from Captain Samman, also of Hornsea, for an assault in the hunting field on December 8th.  Mr. J. T. Woodhouse appeared for plaintiff, Mr. Smith (instructed by Messrs. Hearfield and Lambert) defended, and the case was heard before a jury. On the day named plaintiff and defendant were out with the Holderness hounds. Between two and three o’clock Mr. Cooper was riding along with two gentlemen named Dixon, who were farmers in the district. They had got separated from the body of the hounds by a large drain, when suddenly there started from the bottom of the drain a fresh fox. They were riding away when the defendant came up and said to the plaintiff, “Did you see the fox run down the drain, and two hounds, going like the devil after him?”  Mr. Cooper replied “No; he has doubled back and just crossed the field in front of us.” Defendant said “Do you mean to call me a liar?” and plaintiff said “No, certainly not; I would not be so un-gentlemanly.” Defendant repeated what he said about the fox running down the drain and again called the plaintiff a liar.  Mr. Cooper thereupon turned to Messrs. Dixon and appealed to them for a confirmation of what he had stated and then demanded an apology from the defendant for calling him a liar. Upon this Captain Samman turned around in a violent passion, and struck plaintiff violently with his horse whip on his head and back, and wherever he could get at him, at the same time saying, “You  little —,  I have owed you a grudge for some time, and I will take it out of you.”  Mr. Cooper then rode away, saying to the defendant “I will make you pay for this.” The bile of Mr. Samman seemed to rise still higher by this remark, and he flew at plaintiff again and administered a second thrashing, and, not being content with the two attacks, he was about to administer a third, when Cooper galloped away. The defendant caught the plaintiff at the gate, and seized the bridal of his horse. The plaintiff thereupon jumped off,  leaving the horse with the defendant, who tied it to the gate-post. The plaintiff made across the field on foot, and was followed by the defendant on horseback. The plaintiff jumped a fence to get out of the way, and, as the defendant followed, he jumped back again into a drain which ran along the lane. Plaintiff, who was much exhausted by running, managed to get back to his horse again, being followed by the defendant, to whom he said he had had enough of this, and told him to drop it. Defendant said, “Will you undertake not to gallop away,” and plaintiff, who was almost willing to do anything under the circumstances, consented. The two then rode away together. Some conversation took place and defendant threatened the plaintiff if he went to law he would give him another thrashing, mentioning that he had nearly killed a man 17 stones in weight, and that he was prepared to tackle a man of the size of Mr. Christopher Sykes. The plaintiff demanded an apology by letter, but to this application he received no reply, and hence the action.—Plaintiff, having given evidence, the jury, after a short consultation, gave a verdict for the full amount claimed, with costs on the higher scale.