This is from London’s ‘Morning Herald’ Thursday, Juyly 1st, 1830
“A Police Notice
Yesterday a decently-dressed man, who gave his name George Gunn, was charged with disturbing the congregation at St Bride’s church on Sunday morning last, by snoring so loudly as to prevent all those who happened to be near him from hearing a single word that was uttered by the minister.
One of the beadles said that the defendant entered the church, soon after the commencement of the service, in a state of intoxication, and placed himself on a seat that was only calculated to accommodate two persons, and was already occupied by that number. He, however, refused to move, and, to avoid a distubance, he was left in peacable possession of the seat; but he had not occupied it wo minutes before he fell asleep, and began to snore in the loudest and least harmonious manner possible, so as to distrct the attention of all around him from the service that was going on. He made several attempts to rouse him, but with very indifferent success, and he was at last obliged to station himself at his elbow, and tontinue poking? him from time to time, in order, if possible, to prevent him from seriously annoying the congregation. In this agreeable manner he was occupied for some time, but at length the evil reached such a height that he was compelled to remove the defendant and take him ot the watch-house.
Sir John Perring said he thougth this was hardly a case within his jurisdiction. As the offence ws committed in a church, the defendant ought, perhaps, to be handed over to the Ecclesiastical court.
Here Mr Michael Scales the common councilman, who was waiting in the office, held up his hands in an imploring manner, and said, “Oh, pray don’t, Sir John; I can assure you you had much better hang him at once.”
Sir John appeared to be induced, by Mr Scales’s entreaties, not to transfer the defendant to a place where such frightful consequences were to be apprehended: and asked Mr Gunn what he had now to say in his defence?
Mr. Gunn said that neither the education he had received, nor his habits subsequently, had been such as to dispose him to be guilty of any impropriety in a church. He was very much fatigued, as he had walked to town, from Sydenham, that morning; but he denied that he could have been intoxicated as all the liquor he had had on the way was one glass of ale, which he got at the Edinburgh Castle.
The Alderman considered that a night’s imprisonment isn the watch-house was a sufficient punishment for snoring evenn in a church, adn the defendant was discharged.
As he was leaving the bar, Mr Scales advised him to be cautious how he went to church for the future.