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Early Court Cases
F&Ws Against W. D. Wilson et al
Revised March 4, 2016

Filed against William Dennis Wilson
by Friends and Workers
8 cases filed in England; 1 case filed in Ireland

NOTE:  Copies of Wilson's libellous propaganda against Friends and Worker of which these cases filed for damages may be viewed in the TTT Photo Gallery.


Case No._____ (unknown) Charles T. Partridge v William Dennis Wilson and William M. Allen, publisher of the Ipswich newspaper called the “Independent.” Case filed in England.

Mr. Partridge was a timber and iron merchant. No other information has been found relative to this action.  The East Anglian Daily Times is a newspaper in Suffolk Co., England.

Outcome of this case:
Public Apology
by W. D. Wilson published in East Anglian Daily Times, October 18, 1910 to Mr/s Charles T. Partridge of Stowmarket, England. Stowmarket is a small town in Suffolk County, England between Bury St Edmunds to the west and Ipswich to the southeast.


Case No. 238 - John James West v. William Dennis Wilson (Filed January 23, 1911 in England)

Case No. 239 - John James West v. William Dennis Wilson, James W. Wilson and William M. Allen
(Filed January 23, 1911 in England)

Case No. 240 - William Henry West v. William Dennis Wilson (Filed January 23, 1911 in England)

Case No. 241 - William Henry West v. William Dennis Wilson, James W. Wilson and William M. Allen (Filed January 23, 1911 in England)

Outcome of the above (4) cases (settled out of court): 

November 10, 1911 Public Apology published by W. D. Wilson, James W. Wilson, and William M. Allen, of 40, Foundation Street, Ipswich, the Writer, Proprietor, and Publisher, respectively, of the newspaper called the “Independent,” at Ipswich, England

Impartial Reporter December 18, 1913:  Mr. Eames said that in November, 1911 an action brought against Mr. Wilson and the proprietors of the Ipswich Independent (a newspaper) was settled in chambers, Mr. Wilson paying damages and costs, and an apology was advertised in The Daily Mail "of most ample kind."  (Ipswich is NE of London; Ipswich Independent is/was their newspaper; The Daily Mail is a London newspaper.)   It was also reported that "plaintiffs had recovered £50 damages and costs at the Bristol Assizes for a placard hung outside a shop in Somersetshire."  (the county or shire of Somerset is in the south west of England (near Cornwall and Devon).

Fermanagh Times January 14, 1912: Mr. John West, Crocknacrieve, and Mr. W. H. West, Mullaghmeen, members of the religions sect in question, brought an action for libel against the author, an d after the lapse of a considerable length of time and many communications between the legal gentlemen representing the respective parties, the matter has at length been settled by Mr. Wilson paying £100 damages and all costs, and unreservedly withdrawing all his assertions, and publishing a full and ample apology for having made them.


Case No. 2110 - Burfitts & Carter v. Hayward & Mainstone (Filed June 27, 1912 in England) 

The three Burfits (Plaintiffs) were a father, a farmer who had convention on his property at Goodedge Farm, Bruton, Co. Somerset, England; and his two children Escort and Rosalie Burfitt who were both workers. Plaintiff Frederick Carter was a carpenter whose business suffered from Wilson's propaganda.  Wilson published a libellous leaflet which the Rev. D. L. Hayward (vicar of the parish and town of Bruton) asked hairdresser Richard Mainstone to exhibit in a glass frame outside his shop.

Impartial Reporter July 17, 1913:
  reviews a libel case held at the Bristol Assizes (England) brought by members of the Joseph Burfitt family (plaintiffs) against Rev. D. L. Hayward (defendant) who had issued a leaflet against the Go-Preachers, implying they were engaging in white slave traffic, and procuring women for prostitution under the cloak of religion.  The Burfitts were successful in obtaining damage awards.  (Bristol is due West of London; "assize" is a court session) Wm. Irvine was a witness.  The article states: "William Irvine, one of the founders of the Go-Preachers Society, said it was Protestant evangelical" and states that Wm. Irvine also said, "I have never known of a new sect being founded without opposition".

Outcome of Burfitt v Hayward Case No. 2110: (jury verdict at Bristol Assizes)
Impartial Reporter July 17, 1913:  Certain members of a singular sect known as the ‘Go Preachers’ brought a libel action at the Bristol Assizes, and were successful in obtaining £50 damages....The jury returned a verdict for plaintiffs, and awarded £50 damages, for which judgment was given.  


Read Ed Cooney's Statement

Case No. 323 - Ernest Walter List and Edward Cooney v. The People, Limited (Filed Feb. 14, 1913 in England)

The People Ltd of London July 14, 1912 printed an article which became the basis for a libel suit brought against The People, Ltd. by Ernest Walter List of Debenham, near Stowmarket, Co. Suffolk (convention ground owner) and Edward Cooney seeking damages for their injured reputation and a restraining injunction from further publishing.  List and Cooney won.  (Stowmarket is NE of London, near Ipswich; The People Ltd is a London newspaper)

Outcome of List & Cooney v The People Ltd: 
See Impartial Reporter of  December 18, 1913:  His Lordship assented to the course suggested.  He said the defendants were satisfied that with regard to Mr. List and Mr. Cooney there were no grounds for the charges that they led a movement which led, designed or otherwise, to the kind of immorality suggested, and that having been satisfied that Mr. List’s and Mr. Cooney’s characters were perfectly clear they consented to judgment in the action in accordance with the terms stated.  Judgment was entered according by consent for the plaintiffs for £100 and costs.  See verdict also in The Irish Independent of December 12, 1913, p7

Case No. 2164 - Edward Cooney v. William Dennis Wilson and William Henderson (Filed April 17, 1913 in Ireland)

Wm. Henderson was a bill poster who was hired and instructed by W. D. Dennis to post various libelous placards, bills, pamphlets, leaflets and other posters around Fermanagh County about the Cooneyites.  Wilson tried very hard to get the case moved to England where he lived, but was not successful--the acts were done in Ireland. 

Outcome of Cooney V. Wilson & Henderson Case No. 2164:
Freeman's Journal, Dec. 23, 1913: The defendant had now agreed to withdraw the plea of justification and to admit there was no foundation for the statements and to undertake not to repeat them. It was also agreed that all proceedings in the action should be stayed and to pay the plaintiff’s taxed costs. They had a memorandum drawn up embodying this understanding...Mr. Justice Kenny said he would accept the memorandum signed by counsel, and it would be ordered that all further proceedings in the action be stayed save as to the taxation of costs and the necessary enforcement as to the payment of same.

World War II began in 1914 and Wilson fell on hard times, and didnt pay the settlement.  Cooney filed a Judgment in the case, which Wilson failed to pay also.  On March 1915 a Summons under Courts Emergency Powers Act was filed on Mr. Wilson for non payment of Judgment for £191:1:9.  Available documents show all but £ 6:15:5 was paid by April 19, 1915.  (Balance may have been paid also.)

Copies of Wilson's libellous propaganda against Friends and Worker of which these cases filed for damages may be viewed in the TTT Photo Gallery.

Read Edward Cooney's Statement for Court

Read Wm. Irvine's Statement for Court

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