If you thought the business of William Foulkes Lowe, the Assay-master of the Chester Assay Office was confined to that of the assay and marking of precious metals, well you would be wrong. From the below report we now know that he was also an expert in.......... lard!
ADULTERATION OF LARD
Ellen Wills, Grocer and Confectioner, Vale Road, Rhyl, was charged with having sold a pound of adulterated lard to Inspector John Williams.
Mr. W. Jones-Rudland appeared for the defence.
This case was partly heard at the last Session, and was adjourned for the attendance of the County Analyst, to prove the standard of pure lard.
William Foulkes Lowe, the Assay Office, Chester, analyst for the county of Flint, entered the witness box, when Mr. Jones-Rudland called for the certificate of his appointment, and when it was stated that the certificate of appointment was not forthcoming, Mr. Jones-Rudland objected to the evidence being taken.
The Bench over-ruled the objection, and Mr. Rudland asked that a note of his objection should be taken.
Mr. Lowe said that the sample of lard submitted to him by Inspector Williams, contained foreign ingredients to the extent of 11-2 per cent. of water, and 4 per cent. of membrane. It was not usual to use water in the rendering of lard, and anything beyond one per cent. of water was adulteration.
Mr. Rudland raised an objection to the analyst's certificate, and the summons, on the ground that the standard of pure lard was not stated therein, but this objection was again over-ruled.
In cross-examination, Mr. Lowe said that the addition of water to lard, would be prejudicial to the purchaser, inasmuch as he would be paying for water where he ought to get lard.
Mr. Jones-Rudland submitted that the addition of water was unadvoidable in this case, and that the presence of water in the lard had not changed the substance and the nature of the article. He called two witnesses, but neither of them appeared, and Mr. Rudland said he would leave the case in the hands of their worships.
The Chairman said the Bench considered the case completely proved, and defendant would be fined 10s. with £2 1s. 3d. costs. The case in their opinion was a very bad one, and the smallness of the penalty was accounted for by the fact that the costs were heavy.
Source: The North Wales Times - 1st May 1897