7 JULY 1894, Page 11

On Monday, at the Central Criminal Court, Mr. Justice Grantham

sentenced Mr. Howell Thomas, the solicitor con. nested with the Townley estate case, to five years' penal servitude. The charge against him was for defrauding by false pretences and forgery. There are a vast number of Americans who believe that if only they could get their rights, all sorts of splendid feudal castles and baronial halls in England would come into their possession. A certain Colonel Jacques appears to have " boomed " a cock-and-bull story in regard to the Townley estates, and to have raised some £20,000 to prosecute an action. He engaged Mr. Howell Thomas, at a salary of £1,000 a year, to conduct the legal proceedings in England. These, of course, came to nothing, and thereupon the Director of Public Prosecutions indicted Mr. Howell Thomas. The Judge, after sentencing Mr. Howell Thomas, declared that he felt no doubt that Colonel Jacques had "conspired with the prisoner to defraud people in America, and that in his judgment proceedings should be taken against him." Accordingly, Colonel Jacques was arrested on Tuesday. No delusion dies so hard as that which pictures millions upon millions lying ready for some one to claim them. As a matter of fact, the total amount of the dormant Chancery funds is only a million (not fourteen, as is commonly supposed), and most of this million is split up into hopelessly tiny sums.