Some Selected Reports from The Windsor and Eton Express
Saturday, January 15, 1831.
January 13 at New Windsor. Mr. Joseph Blackstone, of the parish of St. John, Southwark, to Miss Sarah Mason, of New Windsor.
January 11, Mr. W. Fuller of King-street, Richmond, Surrey, to Miss Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Mr. W. Summers, of the same place.
If we were to give the trials of all the prisoners at the different Sessions they would occupy the whole of our column. We can only therefore casually refer to them. At the Norwich Sessions forty-five prisoners were convicted of machine breaking and rioting - There were convicted at Ipswich of extorting an increase in wages, and twelve acquitted, the evidence not being sufficient to substantiate the indictments.- Twenty-six were convicted at Petworth, and several at Oxford. Of these some were sentenced to transportation for seven years, and the remainder to different periods of imprisonment - At Gloucester seven were transported for fourteen; twenty to seven years; one imprisonment for twelve months; two to nine months; ten to six months; and twenty-nine were discharged on their own recognizances to come up for judgement when called upon.
BUCKINGHAMSHIRE - AYLESBURY, MONDAY, JAN. 10.
This day the special commission was opened before Mr. Justice PARK, Mr. Baron BOLLAND, and Mr. Justice PATTESON. The court, accompanied by the Duke of Buckingham, the Lord Lieutenant of the County; Richard Vyse, Esq., the High Sheriff, and several of the gentry of the county, on horseback. The number of persons constantly pouring into the town from all parts of the county is exceedingly great, and much difficulty is experienced in finding unlet lodgings. The beds at the inns have been engaged for some days past, and those inhabitants who let lodgings have all had applications made to them.
The Judges entered the court at half past 1 o'clock, when the commission was opened. The Judges afterwards proceeded to hear divine service, and on returning, at half-past one o'clock, the list of the Grand Jury was read over as follows:-
|The Marquis of Chandos, Foreman||T. Drake, Esq.|
|Lord Nugent||John Lee, Esq.|
|The Hon. R.J. Smith||William Piggott, Esq.|
|Sir T.D. Aubrey, Bart.||James Dupree, Esq.|
|Sir J.D. King, Bart.||P. Duncombe, Esq.|
|Sir T.C. Shepherd, Bart.||H.W. Mason, Esq.|
|Sir E. Nugent, Bart||J.B. Praid, Esq.|
|Sir T. Freemantle, Bart.||John Grubb, Esq.|
|Sir H. Verney, Bart.||C. Clewes, Esq.|
|Sir C.E. Carrington||G. Carrington, Esq.|
|William Lowndes, Esq.||Terence Ologhlin, Esq.|
|G. Morgan, Esq.|
Mr. Justice PARK said it was highly gratifying to himself and his brother Judges to see themselves surrounded, on their first appearance in the county as Judges of assize, by such an assembly of Grand Jurymen and Magistrates. At the same time he could not but regret that it was necessary for the them to be called out from their respective homes at such an inclement season of the year, in order to perform the painful duty which it was incumbent on them to discharge. It was, however, pleasing to know that all those who were connected with the present prosecutions had no intention but to proceed with all proper attention to the different circumstances of the individuals brought before them, and to take especial care that no resentment or feeling of indignation should in any way attach to them in the administration of justice. Every case, however culpable it might appear, would undergo due investigation. From the examinations which had taken place in Berkshire, he could state now, more confidently even than at Reading, that nothing produced more mischief than an appearance of personal intimidation, and a yielding to unlawful demands. Success increased demands, when the single exertion of an individual, and his positive refusal to yield to unlawful menaces, had had the effect of dispersing a violent mob, sometimes armed with weapons, but to an infuriated mob, furcr arma ministrat
. In another case, a female who had evinced, he was going to say manly
courage, had succeeded in dispersing the mob. Many persons had a notion that when their property was assailed by a number of people, they could not interfere without a magistrate's warrant, and the assistance of a peace officer. But the act of Parliament gave power to all persons so assailed to seize the offenders, or order his servant or any other person to apprehend them. As the judges had abstained from speaking on the doctrine of machinery, so also had they abstained from considering the causes
of the rioting. Some wicked and malicious instigators, placed beyond need themselves, had, in speeches and pamphlets published to excite the deluded and turbulent, said, that it the oppression of the rich over the poor which had caused the riots. Now he took a liberty of saying that that was a foul and false calumny. Though there might be a few niggardly examples to the contrary, yet he would undertake to say, that there was no country on the earth, where the nobleman and gentlemen were more open to the fair complaints of the poor, and more disposed to relieve their wants, than in this. There were three kinds of cases in the calendar - namely, destruction of machinery, demolition of property in manufactories, and general riots. Demolition of property in manufactories was made a capital offence, and he supposed that those who had charged the judges with punishing by death those who had destroyed thrashing-machines, and confounded the crime of breaking thrashing machines with that of demolishing property in the manufactories. The learned Judge then read the clause of the act of Parliament relating to the demolition of property in manufactories. He was sorry to observe that a vast number of persons were charged with that offence at Chipping Wycombe, and had otherwise conducted themselves in a most aggravated manner. He understood that a most respectable person now in court had been a great sufferer by these riots. With respect to the business for the discharge of which the grand jury were assembled, the Court reposed the utmost confidence in them, knowing as it did their high character and reputation, and had no doubt that everything would be done by them to protect their neighbours from intimidation on the one hand, and to show the greatest kindness and conciliation to the poor upon the other; thus letting the latter know that the happiness of both is intimately connected , and endeavouring by every means to relieve the wants and distresses of the humbler classes. There was one topic more to which he wished very briefly to advert. It had been stated to him that some persons in their county, who had been sworn in as special constables, had refused to act. In reference to this, he thought it necessary to state, that by an act passed in the first year of the reign of his late Majesty, magistrates were empowered, on the request of five householders, to appoint special constables, and if the parties refused to be sworn, (and the offence was greater, if after having been sworn, they refused to act), it was an indictable offence. Such was the law of the land, and he had no doubt that the grand jury would lend their co-operation, in order to enforce it, of an opportunity arose.
The grand jury then returned, and the names of petty jurors were called over, for the purpose of preventing delay to-morrow. Some true bills having been found by the grand jury, the Court adjourned at half-past five.
TUESDAY, JAN. 11.
The calendar, which has been augmented in point of numbers since yesterday, and which will in all probability be still further swelled in amount ere the close of the proceedings, (fresh committals occurring daily) contains, at present, the names of 136 prisoners. The number of indictments is 34, some charging no less than 14, and even 24, prisoners with the commission offences, such as the destruction of paper-mills, and thrashing machines. 74 persons are accused of having been engaged in destroying thrashing and winnowing machines, draining ploughs, and other implements, used for the purpose of abridging agricultural labour. Many of these prisoners are also charged with riot, but the destruction of machinery does not seem to have been accompanied here, as in other counties, by demands of money; at least there are but three individuals accused of robbery, and it does not appear from the calendar that the offence was connected with machine-breaking, although, from the circumstance of the case being not brought forward, it may be assumed that it grew in some way or other out of the late disturbances. There are charges of simple riot against 10 prisoners, and one person has been committed for an assault with intent to rescue certain prisoners, and is also accused of having threatened the lives of magistrates. The number of prisoners charged with destroying mills and machinery, used in the manufacture of paper, is 49, all are accused of being connected with the Chipping Wycombe disturbances. These riots, which were attended by the destruction of much valuable property, occurred on the 29th and 30th of November. The agricultural disturbances, referred to in the calendar, extend from the 26th of November to the 1st of December. Of the 136 persons whose names are included in the calendar, there are only 18 of the age of 40 or upwards. This is all the information that we have been able to extract from the document in question, as to the circumstances of Berkshire, the Buckingham calendar says nothing of the occupations of the accused. In the course of the day Mr. Justice PARK took occasion to allude to the deficiency of the calendar, with respect to trades or occupations of the prisoners.
The Court opened at 9 o'clock this morning, according to adjournment.
RIOTS AT HIGH WYCOMBE.
DESTRUCTION OF A PAPER MACHINE.
, Thomas Bowler
, James Hall
, David Lunnan
, James Miles
, William Smith
, William Shrimpton
, Richard Weedon
, John Walduck
, and William Briant
, were indicted for riotously and tumultuously assembling on the 29th of November last, and maliciously destroying a paper machine, belonging to Messrs. John
and Joseph Lane
, in the parish of Chipping Wycombe.- Mr. GURNEY
and Mr. STORK
conducted the case for the prosecution, and Mr. BODKIN
[?] appeared for the defendants.
, examined. - Is a paper maker. Has a mill about a quarter of a mile from High Wycombe, and carries on his manufactory by the use of machinery. The machinery is worth £3000. At 9 o'clock, on the 29th of Nov a mob of about 50 people approached his mill, armed with pickaxes, crowbars, sledge-hammers and clubs. The prisoner Bowles
stood near the window, and asked witness's man, Howard
, to open the door; prisoner was armed with a hatchet. Howard refused, and the mob began to chop and hammer at the door, and in about three-quarters of an hour they forced an entrance. Healey
, the high constable, and several of witness's men, were within the mill at the time, and threw vitriol upon the mob as they were forcing their way in. Vitriol is used in the manufacture of paper, fire arms were also used by witness's men. The work of destruction occupied about 20 minutes. Witness identified Weedon and Shrimpton as persons engaged in destroying his machine. James Hall was among the rioters.
Cross-examined - Did not observe the prisoners until after conversation betwixt Bowles and witness's mob. Witness was behind the door, fastening it, when the conversation took place. There were a great many of the corporation of Wycombe among the mob, many present took no part in the riot. No personal violence was used towards the people employed in the mill. - By members of the corporation, he meant inhabitants of the town. Shrimpton was hurt by the vitriol.
, brother of last witness, was at the mill on the 29th of Nov. Observed Bowles approach the mill. Prisoner had an axe across his shoulder. Saw Weedon breaking the machine. Saw Briant among the mob; but saw no weapon in his hand, did not observe him doing any thing. Also saw Shrimpton outside the door. Witness saw Smith among the crowd, armed with a bar of iron. Does not recollect having seen the other prisoners.
When vitriol was thrown, the mob was breaking in. There were a great many spectators in the distance, who took no part, but did not interfere to prevent the mob breaking in.
.- Is a butcher. Was a special constable on the 26th of November. Was sent to Mr. Lane's mill by the High Constable, just before the mob arrived. When holes were made in the door, witness saw prisoners Blizard and Bowles, the first armed with a pickaxe and the other with a hammer. When the door was forced open, he saw about 50 or 60 people, assembled. He saw Blizard, Smith, Shrimpton, and Miles in the mill. Blizard had a hammer. Smith and Shrimpton were armed. Did not see anything in Miles's hand. Observed the 3 first prisoners breaking the machinery.
- Is high constable of Wycombe. Was at Mr. Lane's mill on the 29th of November. First saw the mob in the town of Wycombe; and called upon Richard Veary to give assistance, as well as Mr. Crockford
, another special constable; the latter refused to render any help. Went to the mill before the mob came up. Heard a hammering at the door : saw Bowles, who headed the mob from the town, armed with a pickaxe. Witness saw Shrimpton destroying the machine. Did not see Bowles inside the mill. Believes Bowles was wounded, and had gone off before the mob broke into the mill. Identified Briant as forming one of the mobs on the road.
Mr. Justice PARK - Is Mr. Crockford an infirm old man ?
Witness - No, a young man; a linendraper.
, ironmonger, at Wycombe, followed the mob to Mr. Lane's on the 29th of Nov. When the mob arrived at the mill they commenced breaking the door; Bowles, to the best of witness's belief, was the first to strike the door with some instrument. Does not think Walduck was armed, but he was exciting the mob. The prisoner told the mob to lay on
, when they found the door fastened. Miles was breaking the door. Smith was among the mob close to the door. The mob were half an hour before they forced the entrance; when holes were made in the door vitriol was thrown at the mob, a gun was fired, and Briant was shot in the arm. When the mob left the mill they marched back through Wycombe. Saw Blizard among them, with a crow-bar.
, machine man to Mr. Lane, on the 29th Nov. remembers the mob coming up. Bowles asked witness to open the door. Witness replied he would not; and Bowles then passed on to the door. Saw Lunnun, Weedon, and Shrimpton, breaking the machinery.
employed by Mr. Lane, was at the mill on the 29th of Nov. Saw the mob coming. Saw Briant, who was shot in the arm. Did not see him in the mill after. Saw Weedon in the mill; breaking the machine.
- Saw the mob on the 29th, at Wycombe-marsh, before they went to Mr. Lane's. Heard them say they were going to destroy machinery at Mr. Lane's. Witness got to Mr. Lane's before them, and went inside the mill. Saw Bowles among the mob armed with an axe, and he was the first to approach the door. Saw Miles and Smith with hammers.
Cross-examined - Was in the mill ten-minutes before the mob came up. Observed the prisoner Smith among the mob on the road. Cannot identify any of the other prisoners.
The case for the prosecution being closed, ----
Mr. Joseph Lane
was called back and examined by Mr. BODKIN
- Weedon was employed in the manufacture of paper. Witness had a wheel turned by a stream of what which moves machinery for the purpose of beating the rags. Machinery has lately been introduced, which performs that part of the work which was formerly done by hand. Before that machinery was introduced, the other machinery which was previously used was called a mill. The new part of the machinery alone was destroyed. It was in the same room with the other machinery, but the other was not touched.
Mr. Justice PARK, after consulting with the other Judges overruled the counsels objections. He considered riotously and tumultuously assembling had been sufficiently proved by the High Constable and the witness who observed the mob at Wycomb-marsh. There was no question, but that a riotous and tumultuous assembly had taken place, for the purpose of destroying Mr. Lane's machinery.
The prisoners were then asked if they had anything to say in their defence, and they all replied in the negative. They seemed mostly to be young men between 20 and 30 years of age; but the prisoner Shrimpton looks old. From his appearance one would suppose that he must be past 60, though his age in the calendar is marked as 40.
Witnesses were then called to character.
, a paper-manufacturer in the parish of Wycombe gave Shrimpton an excellent character.
, a paper-manufacturer, described Miles as a very peaceable, quiet lad. He knew Weedon and Lunnun to have been employed in the paper-manufactory. Lunnun he believed to a very peaceable man.
knew Shrimpton for the last four years. Always considered him the best character in the parish !
Had often given him employment, knowing his great distress, and his reluctance to apply to the parish for relief.
, a brick maker at Woburn, knew Smith from his infancy. The prisoner was considered a poor harmless boy, a little deficient in understanding.
Judge PARK, in summing up, said, that it had been stated that several persons had looked quietly on while this destruction of property was going forward. It those people had the power of rendering assistance, their conduct had been highly disgraceful. It also appeared that a special constable, Crockford, had refused to attend to the summons of the high constable. Such behaviour was exceedingly unbecoming, and the individual had subjected himself to an indictment. The learned judge concluded by stating that the evidence of good character which had been given in behalf of some of the prisoners, would be attended to at the proper time, but could not be taken into consideration by the jury, unless they had doubts as to the guilt of any of the prisoners.- The Jury acquitted
Briant and Bowles, and found all the other prisoners guilty
.- The foreman added that the jury had observed shades in the guilt of the prisoners, and had also heard some of them receive good characters, but fearing they might err in their recommendation, they left it to the Court, if it thought that circumstances had occurred favourable to any of the prisoners, to take them into its merciful consideration.
Mr. Justice PARK - You may depend upon it, gentlemen, that we will.
, Thomas Fisher
, Edmund Wingrove
, and John Sarney
, were charged with having broken a thrashing-machine, belonging to Mr. Richard Lansdale
, at Chipping Wycomb, on the 29th of Nov.- The prisoner Blizzard pleaded guilty to this indictment also.- The case was proved, and the jury convicted all the prisoners, recommending them generally to mercy, particularly Sarney, in consequence of good character, and because he didn't seem to have been very active in the transaction. - [Sarney is a grey-headed man of between 50 and 60, and of an inoffensive appearance.]
, P. Cornelius Turner
, Stacy Jarvis
, Francis Tuck
, Elijah Cowell
, William Hillesden
, and 12 other prisoners, were indicted for destroying a thrashing machine; but Mr. GURNEY
allowing the latter to plead "guilty," they were discharged, on entering into their own recognizances to appear and receive judgment when called on. The six prisoners whose names are given also pleaded "guilty," by consent of counsel for the Crown, and were sentenced to the mitigated punishment of two months imprisonment.- The prisoners seemed all very grateful for the course taken with respect to them.
, Samuel Stevens
, John Piggott
, John Clarke
, William Woodward
, James King
, William Jolley
, and John Clarke
, the younger, were charged with breaking a thrashing machine, belonging to Abraham Page
, at Little Brickhill, on the 1st of December.- All the prisoners, with the exception of Goodson, were allowed to plead guilty, by counsel for the prosecution, who accepted the recognizances of the parties to appear and receive judgment when called on.
The prisoners entered into their own recognizances (with the exception of Goodson, who was acquitted), and were all discharged.
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 13th
, John Moody
, Joseph Bryant
, John Crutch
, William Hancock
, Samuel Summerfield
, William Walker
, Arthur Wright
, Edmund Barton
, William Butler
, John Sarney
, James Burton
, Robert Carey
, John Dandridge
, John East
, Thomas Fisher
, William Knibbs
, Joseph Priest
, John Reynolds
, Arthur Sutter
, William Shrimpton
, James Stone
, Henry Walker
, and Richard Weedon
, were indicted for having, on the 29th of Nov. last, riotously and tumultuously assembled, and demolished, pulled down, and destroyed, certain machinery, belonging to William Robert Davis
, prepared for, and employed in, the manufacture of paper.- Blizzard pleaded guilty; the others not guilty.
said - My brother, Mr. Robert Davis
, had a mill in Wycombe parish, in November last, and in it there was machinery for the manufacture of paper. It was in a state of perfection, and fit for use. On the 29th of November, about two o'clock in the afternoon, a mob, consisting of three or four, or, perhaps, five hundred people, came to the mill, armed with bludgeons, iron sledge-hammers, wood-axes, and pieces of iron-bar. The general cry amongst them was, "Down with the machinery." I told them it was my brother's wish, that if they would but spare the machine, by his word it should be taken down and never go to work any more. They replied, they would have no more ..., and that they would have that machine down as well as all the others. Some horsemen and constables came up at that time, amounting to about 10 of the former, and 20 or 30 constables. Mr. Ayres
[?], a farmer, addressed the mob; but I did not hear what he said to them. The Riot Act was then read by some person. During the reading of the Riot Act a general engagement took place. The constables had staves. The engagement lasted nearly half an hour. The mob first fought with their implements, and afterwards threw brickbats. I did not notice who began the attack. The mob also pulled up some pebble pitchings, and threw them. The horsemen and constables were obliged to retreat to the meadow about ten yards from the mill. Some of the mob then got into the mill. Thomas Salter
, who is now at large, was the first man who went into the mill, and I followed him. My brother and his servant came after me, and about a score of the mob followed them. They began breaking the frame of the machine directly with sledge hammers and axes, and pieces of iron. About 10 or 12 men were engaged in breaking it, and it was totally destroyed. The machine might have cost £800. After breaking it the mob left the mill, and joined the main body, who had remained outside. I saw Arthur Blizzard, John Moody, Joseph Bryant, John Crutch, William Hancock, Samuel Summerfield, William Walker, and Arthur Wright in the mill, and I saw Thomas Fisher (who was the first man in the mob) and Edmund Barton on the ground about the mill. I saw John Sarney in the mob, about seven o'clock in the morning, about four or five hundred yards from the mill. This was before they went to Wycombe. I saw Blizzard break the drying cylinder, Moody damage the drying cylinders, Joseph Bryant break a large wheel, John Crutch endeavour to break some copper pipes leading from the stuffing-box to the drying cylinders. William Hancock engaged against a vat breaking the gear work, and Summerfield breaking the gear work of the drying cylinders. I did not see William Walker doing anything; nor did I notice whether he had anything in his hand. I saw Arthur Wright damage the pressing cylinders.
The witness, after a cross-examination by Mr. BODKIN
, in which nothing material appeared, begged to say that he had known Arthur Wright
from a child, that he had always borne good character, and he believed him to be not quite so sharp in sense as many other young lads.
, High Constable, said -- I was at Mr. Davis's
when the mob was about the mill. I had seen the mob about nine o'clock in the morning going from Wycombe-marsh through the town of High Wycombe, to Mr. Lane's
mill. It then returned through Wycomb to Mr. Allnutt's
, and afterwards to Mr. Hay's
, Mr. Plastow's
, and, finally, to Mr. Davis's mill. A great part of them made off from that. The Riot Act had been read in the turnpike road, near Mr. Plastow's mill. The High Sheriff himself was there. The Riot Act has also been read at Mr. Allnutt's. When I arrived at Mr. Davis's the mob appeared to be going out of the mill, and pressing towards the gentlemen and special constables in the meadow. The mob flung stones. Some prisoners were made. I took Arthur Salter, with stones of brickbats in his apron, pressing towards the gentlemen on horseback. Shrimpton was taken prisoner, and handed over to me on the spot.
Mr. John Augustus Sullivan
- I am a Magistrate for this county. In consequence of the alarm created on this occasion, I went and found the mob going to Mr. Davis's mill. To the best of my judgement they exceeded 200 in number. They were armed, as has been stated. The horsemen accompanied me, and the special constables arrived principally after. There was a cry amongst the mob, but I could not distinguish what it was. I read the Riot Act, and whilst I was so engaged the mob pressed on towards the mill. One party endeavoured to defend the mill, but were attacked by the mob - myself with brickbats and stones, and the other gentlemen with hammers and other weapons. Some of our party were struck by the stones, I received a blow from a brickbat on the head. The mob got possession of the mill. While some got into the mill, we were driven into the meadow. The gentlemen on horseback amounted to about fourteen, and when the special constables came up we amounted to about thirty. The mob kept us in the meadow while they were breaking the machinery, and when they had finished it they came out to the meadow with cheers. They attacked us with brickbats and weapons. We made some prisoners, and succeeded in keeping them, although attempts were made to rescue them. We at length succeeded in dispersing the mob, without their doing any further mischief. I cannot identify any of the prisoners.
[?], servant of Mr. Davis, identified some of the prisoners.
, special constable, saw Edmond Barton amongst the mob.
[?], a special constable, said - I saw Fisher amongst the mob at the mill, and endeavoured to apprehend him; but Fisher struck me on the arm with a hammer. In about half an hour, I, with assistance, took him into custody. Richard Weedon was amongst the mob, in a passage leading to the mill. He was flourishing a hammer, to prevent the constables from going up to the mill. Weedon was afterwards taken, and the head of a hammer, used for breaking stones, was found up his sleeve. The handle had been broken off. (The instrument was produced). - Sarney has a piece of an iron bar, I saw him in the act of endeavouring to strike Mr. Charsley
, the Coroner, with it. The blow was warded off by a special constable. I took a hammer from one of the mob, and Sarney then raised the iron bar, and said, if I did not give up the hammer he would knock my brains out. He did not strike me, but a man hit me on the hand, and the hammer was taken from me. Mr. Charsley was on his hands and knees, with his hat off, struggling with one of the mob, when Sarney raised the weapon to strike him. I assisted in taking Sarney before the Magistrates and on the way he offered me 5s. to liberate him.
, special constable, saw Robert Carey standing in the meadow adjoining the mill, away from the mob, who were chiefly dispersed then, and I took him into custody.
[?], a constable said - I saw James Barton trying to get towards the mill with the mob. A general fight took place at that moment. I took Barton by the collar, and dragged him out of the mob into King's Mead. He cried out "hallo !" to the mob. I hit him on the head with my staff and knocked him down, telling him to be quiet. He had been trying to get out of my hands to join the mob. I afterwards took him to the Magistrates at Beaconsfield. He said he should like to break all the machines in the neighbourhood, for they were starving the poor. I searched him, and found this hammer (a carpenter's hammer) in his pocket. He said he would remember me, if it were 15, 17, or 20 years; and he added, "I could blow your brains out now, and I will." I thought by that expression that he had fire-arms, and I searched him closely, but found nothing but a hammer and a knife.
Mr. John Hudson Huffam
- I am a Captain in the Navy, and live at Wycombe. I was sworn in a special constable, and went to Mr. Davis's on the 29th of November. I found the mob there in a very high state of excitement. Part of them were in the mill, and part in the meadow, and saw Shrimpton there throwing stones at a gentleman on horseback, and then gave him into the custody of a constable. I saw James Barton also throwing stones at a gentleman of the hunt, and a young man of the name of Morton, whom he knocked down.
To Mr. Justice PARK - The gentlemen had been out hunting, and came to assist the Magistrates. Before I saw Shrimpton, I had passed through the mill yard, and heard a hammering in the mill.
Mr. Robert Wheeler
, a brewer, at Wycombe - I was a special constable, and went to join the gentlemen of the hunt and their party, at Mr. Davis's, on the 29th of November, When I came, some pistols were firing, and a wounded man was carried past me. I pressed near the mill in order to join the gentlemen, and I heard the note of the hammers striking upon the iron-work. I saw Shrimpton carrying stones in his arms.
, a publican, at Loudwater, near Mr. Davis's mill, said - On the night of Sunday, Nov. 28, James Stone came to my house for a bed. My house is a house of call for paper-makers, and Stone had been there several times before. When the paper-makers are out of work they are allowed by those who are in work sixpence to drink, and sixpence in their pockets. Stone slept in my house that night, and had the sixpence in the morning. He said he was going a long stage, to where he had got some work, and was in haste lest he should lose his place. He left my home about nine on the Monday morning. He afterwards came in amongst some of the mob, and said, "Master, I am come back." I shock my head, and said, "Old boy, you had better have gone on to your work." I saw no more of him. (The witness was pressed by Mr. GURNEY as to stone having said something more, but he positively repeated that nothing more had passed.)
, a special constable - I apprehended Stone in the meadow, coming from the mill-yard, away from the mob. He had delivered his stick up to the gentlemen of the hunt. He told me, without any threat or promise on my part, that he had come from Dartford, Kent, and was going to a mill in Leicestershire, where he was to get work; that he had slept at Griffin's the night before, and had received some relief there; and also at Woburn, to which place he had afterwards gone; and that on his return he was met with the mob and pressed, and that he had gone with them.
- I saw Arthur Salter amongst the mob in the mead, and saw him throw a brickbat at the horsemen. I helped to take him into custody. He said he wished he had not been with them at all. He had been at Lane's mill with them.
[?] was recalled by the Court, and stated that at the time he took Fisher and Reynolds into custody, the gentlemen had not yet retreated.
Some of the prisoners were spoken to by several of the foregoing witnesses; but it is unnecessary to repeat their identification in each place.
Mr. BODKIN, on behalf of the prisoners, submitted that there was no evidence to connect Stone, James Barton, or (after the last evidence which had been produced) Fisher, with this transaction, as they were not proved to have been on the spot at the time of breaking the machinery, but, on the contrary, to have been removed before.
The Court said that certainly there was no evidence to go to the Jury against those prisoners, or against Carey or Salter, and that they should be put out of the case.
then made a similar representation on behalf of East, Knibbs, Butler, Sarney, Dandridge, Reynolds, Shrimpton, and Edmond Barton. With regard to some of the prisoners he could not deny that there was some evidence to show that they were in the neighbourhood of the mill when the machinery was broken; and he must leave it to his Lordship to put that evidence to the Jury as justice should direct; but, on behalf of those who were not present at the breaking of the machinery, he would beg leave respectfully to submit that, while the Jury were the proper persons to judge the intent with which men would be in the vicinity of a transaction of this kind, an actual or constructive presence, according to law, was necessary to render persons answerable for an offence of this nature.
Mr. Justice PARK considered that there was evidence to go to the Jury respecting all the prisoners except those whom he had named as exempted.
The prisoners said nothing in their defence; but most of them called witnesses, who gave them the character of quiet peaceable men.
Mr. Justice PARK, in charging the Jury, said that, although Fisher appeared to have been one of the most violent and criminal amongst the party, yet as the Court, from the evidence, doubted the possibility of his having been present at the actual breaking of the machine; and as the actual breaking was the ground of the indictment, such was the equitable principle of the law, that it entitled him to be released from the charge, as well as the other prisoners, to whom the evidence applied in a similar way. He then recapitulated the evidence against the other prisoners, and left it to the Jury to pronounce upon their guilt or innocence.
The Foreman of the Jury suggested to his Lordship that the evidence did not appear to inculpate Henry Walker.
Mr. Justice PARK, on referring to his notes, found this was the case, as his name had been only mentioned, and no participation proved against him.
The Jury, after a short deliberation, found all the prisoners Guilty
, except Butler, James Barton, Carey, East, Fisher, Salter, Stone, and Henry Walker.
The Foreman expressed the regret which his Fellow jurors felt for the painful duty which they were bound to perform in pronouncing a verdict of guilty against the prisoners; but they trusted that their Lordships would, if possible, extend mercy towards them, so far as was consistent with the preservation of the peace, the protection of property, and the good order of society.
On the Grand Jury bringing in some bills, Mr. Justice PARK informed them that, in consequence of something that had occurred in the foregoing trial, of the communications which he received from the King's Counsel, he could not, consistently with his duty, release them to-night; but if anything should occur in the course of to-morrow to render it proper, the Court would be very happy to relieve them for the present from their daily attendance.
, James Chapman
, William Seals
, James Stapps
, Charles Burnett
, Henry Wetherley
, Richard Wakefield
, John Coleshill
, and Wm. Evans
, were indicted for a riot and assault upon John Godliman
, on the 1st of December.
With regard to the assault, it appeared that the prisoners laid hold of Godliman, and insisted on his going with them to demand a rise of wages, and when he resisted, his shirt and waistcoat were torn off his back in the struggle; but they offered him no injury, and all that passed on that occasion was friendly and good humoured. But is also appeared that on the same day a mob, armed with large sticks, amongst whom three of the prisoners were particularly active, stopped a lady - Miss Mary Lake
, on the road near Iver, and demanded money. She gave them two shillings. The prisoners also went about crying for a rise of wages, and brandishing their sticks. They were met by a party of Magistrates and constables, and were taken into custody. It appeared, from Mr. Bligh's
cross-examination of a witness, that one of the prisoners, on being asked how much he earned a week, replied, "I get 16s. or 18s. a week, but I'll have a pound, for I have two or three wives to keep." Another said "My family and I have been trampled on long enough, but now (flourishing his stick) I'll be King of Iver."
Mr. Baron BOLLAND summed up, and
The Jury found all the prisoners Guilty
of the riot, but Not guilty
of the assault.
There was an indictment for robbery against three of the prisoners for the money which they received from Miss Lake in the above case, but, by the desire of the Counsel for the Crown, they were acquitted.
THURSDAY, JAN. 13th.
The nine men who had been found guilty of a riot on the preceeding day, were placed at the bar; and discharged on their own recognizances of £30 each to keep the peace for seven years, and to come up and receive judgement if called upon - The prisoners retired with many expressions of thanks to the Court.
, Robert Carey
, Stephen Atkins
, William Russell
, William Butler
, John Butler
, William Moody
, Henry Stratford
, James Webb
, Benjamin Francis
, Arthur Salter
, James Barton
, Henry Walker
, John Dafter
, David Burton
, John Watts
, John East
, William Bryant
, and Thomas Bowles
were placed at the bar, and pleaded guilty to several indictments charging them with having destroyed machinery for the manufacture of paper.
Mr GURNEY, addressing the Bench, said, that in the discharge if the anxious duty which had been imposed upon him by his Majesty's Government, he had proceeded upon the capital charges for the destruction of machinery to a certain extent, and verdicts of guilty had been found against 21 prisoners for that offence. The 23 men now at the bar had pleaded guilty, and had thereby manifested a contrition which he was privately assured they felt. He was now acting in obedience to the instructions which he had received from the Government, and in the exercise of the discretion with which he had been invested, and which he had desired to exercise, in humbly praying their Lordships to direct that sentence of death should be recorded against the prisoners at the bar.
Mr. Justice PARK said, that it was a great satisfaction to him that his Learned Brothers felt themselves warranted in acceding to the request which had been made by the Learned Counsel for the Crown.
Sentence of DEATH was then recorded against the prisoners.
No evidence was given against him, and he was discharged on his own recognizances in £200 and one surety in £100.
pleaded not guilty to the above charge.
, William Daniels
, George Hedges
, John Hallen
, William Atkins
, Thomas Small
, Thomas Wiggs
, Edmund Bates
, Thomas Woodford
, Robert Kirby
, Francis Bates
, Wm. Kirby
, Robert Scotchins
, George Susch
, Joseph Clarke
, James Stanley
, James Peacock
, Wm. Burgess
, John Miles
, and John Peacock
, who had been out on bail, and William Miles
, surrendered to take their trial for having destroyed a thrashing machine.
Mr. GURNEY said, that he was not disposed to offer any evidence against the prisoners, and thought the ends of justice would be answered by their being discharged on their own recognizances to keep the peace - Discharged.
, Richard Scotchins
, Joseph Dewberry
, John Scotchins
, James Kirby
, George Kirby
, John Stanley
, John Daniels
, John Wales
, Robert Howley
, William Croker
, and George Miles
, were indicted for having broken a thrashing machine on the 29th of Nov. - Mr. GURNEY thought that the present prisoners might with propriety be also discharged on their own recognizances. - Discharged.
, James Miller
, George Showler
, William Scotchins
, William Dewberry
, John Monk
, William Daniels
, Richard Mott
, David Redhead
, William Bates
, Joseph Carter
, Thomas Bates
, Moses Turner
, and John Moses
, were indicted , for having on the 27th of November broken a thrashing machine belonging to John Farnborough
Mr. GURNEY said these prisoners had been selected from others, not only on account of the part which they appeared to have taken, but also from the peculiar circumstances which had come to the knowledge of those who were authorised to conduct these prosecutions. The case differed from those which had appeared in either of the four counties where prosecutions for such offences had taken place, for the mob here were not only armed with bludgeons, hammers, and other implements usual in these attacks, but also had fire arms.
John Farnborough - I am a farmer residing at Bishopstone in this county. About ten o'clock in the evening of the 27th of November, a mob of about 100 men came to my house. I went out of the door. Some of the mob had guns, others paring knives, and one a spear driven into a stick. I asked what they wanted; and no reply being made, I said, "If you come here, I'll shoot you." I had two pistols. Showler said they would not hurt me if I gave up my machines peaceably, but they were determined to have them. He asked me where the machines were, I told him under the hovel. They then fetched two winnowing machines out of the hovel and broke them. Showler than asked for the thrashing machine, and I told him it was broken. I made no reply, and he said if I did not tell him, he'd be d---d if he would not make me go and shew it him. I told him it was in the rick-yard, and he might go and see. They then went to the rick-yard, and broke the machine all to pieces. Gostelow had a gun. James Miller said, "Shoot away; come forward my boys," in answer when I threatened to fire. Scotchins had a gun. Monk had a stick, Dewberry had a gun. I saw Mott and Redhead amongst the mob, but I did not notice they had anything in their hands. William Bates had a paring knife. Joseph Gunter had a stick with a spear. John Miller was amongst the mob, but I did not see anything in his hand. Hughes was amongst the mob, and Thomas Bates had something in his hand, which I believe was a hammer.
, a servant of Mr. Farnborough, proved the coming of the mob and the breaking of the machines, and he identified Hughes and others as having been amongst the party.
, a constable, who went to Mr. Farnborough's identified Showler and George Carter as having been amongst the mob with sticks, Redhead with a hammer, and Mott and Daniels each with something (either a stick or a hammer) in his hand.
, a labouring man in Mr. Farnborough's employment, proved that John Miller was active amongst the mob in insisting upon his accompanying them from a public-house to break machines.
saw Moses Turner amongst the mob, with something in his hand which reached above his shoulder, but he could not tell what it was. He saw John Mores [?], but did not observe anything in his hand.
This witness was cross-examined by Mr BLIGH, and he said that he was a labourer, and had been made a special constable since this transaction. He admitted he went with the mob, but said it was because he was told by three women that if he did not go with the mob he would be crippled. He acknowledged, after some hesitation, that he had an axe in his hand, and worked at breaking the machine at Bishopstone. He said he did not know why he was placed in the dock amongst the prisoners, except "because he was out." He was not sure that it was because he came forward to give evidence. He had received no reward, as special constable or otherwise, except his Christmas dinner.
- John Miller came to my house on the night of the 27th of November, and demanded arms. I refused to give him any. About half a dozen others were outside, Gostelow said he wanted my gun, and I refused it. They went away and came back again, when Turner demanded my gun. Gostelow and Moses came in. My wife and sister were very ill, and much alarmed. My wife said she would let them have the gun, and I took it down and placed it against the door. Gostelow took it, and the party retired immediately.
He was questioned by Mr. BLIGH as to the character of Dewberry, and said that he had borne a good character till lately. Wm. Bates and Scotching bore very good characters. Thomas Bates bore a good character till lately.
Mrs Sarah Thorpe
said, Moses Turner, with nine or ten other persons, came to my house on the evening of the 27th of November, and said, "I am come for your gun;" and he added, that if I did not give it he would break the windows, I then gave him the gun.
Cross-examined - His expression was, "You had better give them the gun, otherwise they will break your windows." The gun was returned after some time.
- I keep a shop at Stone. On the evening of the 27th a mob of about a score came to my shop, amongst whom were Moses Turner, Wm. Mores, and Wm. Bates. Turner said he wanted powder and shot, that they were going to the farmers. I told him he had better not have any. He at length got about two ounces of shot and half an ounce of powder. I give it willingly.
It appeared, from the cross-examination of the witnesses, that although these events took place at night, there was sufficient light from the moon to distinguish objects.
Showler, in his defence, said that, although he had joined the mob, he should not have done so if he had known that they had fire-arms amongst them.
All the prisoners received good characters, as peaceable, orderly, and industrious men, from the Clergyman of their parish, and many other witnesses. Showler had been in the army, and received a particularly good character.
Mr Justice PATTISON summed up; and
The Jury, after a short deliberation, found all the prisoners Guilty
, with the exception of Mores. The recommended the convicted prisoners strongly to mercy, on the ground of their very good character.
, Daniel Gostelow
, and James Gostelow
, (the last of whom had been out on bail and surrendered) were then indicted for robbing John Saunders of two ounces of shot and half an ounce of gunpowder; but no evidence was offered, and they were Acquitted
Another indictment against Turner
, for robbing Mrs. Thorpe of the gun, mentioned in the foregoing case, was similarly disposed of.
Turner, John Miller, Mores
, and Gostelow
, were also acquitted
of the robbery of Mr. Dicken's gun, for similar reasons.
was acquitted of breaking a winnowing machine, and he was discharged, with an admonition from Justice PARK. James Gostelow was also discharged.
A respite has been received at the gaol for Holdaway
till the 5th of February; but no respite has been received for the other five criminals. It is therefore feared that the dreadful sentence of the law will be carried into execution this day (Saturday).
ABINGDON, FRIDAY, JAN. 7.
, John White
, Thomas Barr
, Robert Keate
, John Collin
, and James Hazeley
, were placed at the bar, being indicted for having unlawfully assembled with 100 persons and more, at Aston Tirrold, on the 23d of November, and created riots, &c. Other counts charged them with assaults.- Guilty
The prisoner Bennett, was then sentenced to imprisonment and hard labour for two calendar months, and the rest of the prisoner were discharged upon entering into their own recognizances in the amount of £20 each to appear when called on.
, Thomas Billings
, and Benjamin Blagrove
, were out to the bar, being indicted for having on the 26th of November, in the town of Abingdon, assaulted a constable, named James Jones
, and rescuing prisoners unlawfully in the custody of the said James Jones. Other counts charged them with riot and with a common assault, upon the said James Jones.- Guilty
- Billings and Blagrove, who had both received good characters, were sentenced to two months imprisonment; and Carter, not having received any character, and having used some expressions denoting a malignant and wicked mind, would be imprisoned three months.
, Wm. Wiggins
(the younger), James Chandler
, Wm. Mabberly
, Stephen Jones
, James Withers
, Joseph Ayres
, Wm. Wiggins
(the elder), Henry Wooldridge
, Henry Cannon
, and Charles Poffley
, were placed at the bar, indicted for having had riotously and tumultuously assembled at Eastbury, and assaulted three persons of the names of Sharman
, and Spanswick
, on the 23d of November - Guilty
- The younger Wiggins acted violently, and threatened fire. Mabberly had also made use of violent expressions; and Withers committed acts of outrage, although he did not go to the same extent as the other two in dangerous declarations. Mackrell, against whom there had been a capital conviction, was put aside for severe punishment. The younger Wiggins was to be imprisoned 12 months, Chandler for 9, Mabberley for 12, Jones for 3, Withers for 9, and the four remaining prisoners (viz. Ayres, Wiggins, sen. Wooldridge, and Cannon.) would receive 3 months imprisonment under this indictment. This was not the only punishment to which Wooldridge would be subjected, for there were other convictions against him.
Twenty-two prisoners were then called up to receive their sentences. Wm. Sadler to be imprisoned for 6 months, with hard labour, in the House of Correction - all the sentences of imprisonment include hard labour, as most advantageous to the prisoners themselves.- F. Slade, 12 months; David Hulcup, 6 months; James Champion, for 6 months; and William Green, away also for 6 months; William Champion to 12 months imprisonment; and Robert Griffin to 6 months; George Keene, Thomas Keene, Joseph King, Robert Joys, John Keene, and Job Whiting, to be imprisoned for 9 months; Wm. Kinch and Russell Strong, 12 months imprisonment. Wm. Hammond and Henry Smith, 12 months imprisonment. Turton and Afleck (verdicts having passed against them at Reading) to be imprisoned 12 months; William Bizzle [?], 9 months imprisonment.- The prisoners thanked the Court very respectfully at the conclusion, and quitted the dock with every symptom of gratitude for the lenity of their sentences.
SENTENCE OF DEATH RECORDED - AND
and Henry Wooldridge
were then placed in the dock to receive sentence. Mackrell, who held a handkerchief to his face, cried bitterly, and trembled while Mr. Justice Park was addressing him - the other prisoner also seemed much affected. The Judge (Park) said, "You, Thomas Mackrell, have been convicted of several offences which affect life. I cannot (under all the circumstances) hold out a hope to you that you will be allowed to remain in the country; but that is a matter for the consideration of his Majesty - Henry Wooldridge to be imprisoned 18 months in the House of Correction, including 3 months to which he had already been sentenced.
, James Rodway
, and James Rowland
, were then discharged by proclamation, and the proceedings of the Commission terminated.
SALISBURY, FRIDAY, JAN. 7.
WRONGFUL CONVICTION - GROSS MISDIRECTION
BY A JUDGE.
was indicted for having sent to John Rowland
a threatening letter. The letter was found by a servant on Mr. Rowland's
premises, and if, together with two other threatening letters, addressed to other parties, appeared to form part of one sheet of paper - a part of which was found in an unlocked bureau of John Looker's kitchen, in which his family sat. The first witness, Philip Watts
, who swore that the writing was the prisoner's admitted, on cross-examination, that he had not seen his writing for four or five years, and that he had had a quarrel with him. The second witness, Mr. Woodham
the writing was the prisoner's, having been acquainted with his hand six or seven years ago
.- The third, E. Vaisaly
, swore that the writing was the prisoner's, not having seen him since 1824. He said he had not had much of a quarrel
with the accused
. Two other witnesses gave evidence to the effect that the prisoner had sympathised with a riotous mob, and wished ill to the soldiery employed against them.
Mr. EVERETT, for the prisoner, submitted that there was not a sufficient proof in this case of "sending or delivering" necessary to constitute the offence.
The Court held that there was evidence. It was a question for the Jury; and they, the Judge believed, would have as little doubt on the subject.
The prisoner said he was wholly innocent.
For the defence were called --
- I have known the prisoner 25 years. I have often seen him write. I saw him write as lately as March last. - (The letter to Rowland was here handed to witness.) - That is not the prisoner's handwriting, nor like it. I have no doubt it is not his handwriting.
The other papers handed to witness. - I don't think these papers are his handwriting. ( Prisoner's ledger was here handed to witness.) I believe this to be his handwriting. The letters now produced are in a better hand than the prisoner's.
- I am Vestry-clerk to the parish of Wimbourne. I have known the prisoner 11 years. I have seen him write, and know his handwriting; I have seen him write within this year or two. (The letter to Rowland was handed to witness.) From what I have seen of his writing, I don't think that is the prisoner's handwriting.
Cross-examined - I have been a schoolmaster. I don't think this is prisoner's handwriting. His is a systematic round hand, but this is angular and pointed : the character of the writing is very different to his.
- I have had dealings with the prisoner for 11 years. I have seen him write five or six weeks successively at market. (The letter to Rowland was put in.) This is not his handwriting, and nothing like it; this is much better than his. (Another paper handed to witness.) This is not the prisoner's writing; it is not so good as his.
Cross-examined - Prisoner frequents my house when he comes to Marlborough on market-days. I have seen him write one hundred times. The last time I saw him write was about five or six weeks ago. I have not seen any of his writing since he has been in custody. [Evidence against
him had not seen his writing for five or six years.]
John Bristow White
- I have seen the prisoner write, and know his writing. (The letter to Rowland handed to him.) - This is not the handwriting of the prisoner; it is a much heavier handwriting; I think the prisoner's writing is much better.
- I am a labourer. I live at Axford. I have seen prisoner write very often. This (Rowland's letter) is not the prisoner's writing.
- I live at Burbage. I have known the prisoner at the bar for 20 years; I have seen him write many times. That (the letter to Rowland) is not his hand writing.
Cross-examined - I am a little hard of hearing. (The witness heard the Counsel for the prisoner very well.)
- I have known the prisoner 20 years, and have seen him write. That paper (Rowland's letter) is not prisoner's handwriting. I often wrote in his book in his absence.
- I have known the prisoner for several years, and have often seen him write. This paper (the letter to Rowland) is not his handwriting.
- I am a shoemaker, and live at Ramsbury. I have seen the prisoner write several times. That paper is not his handwriting.
, a maltster and victualler - I have known prisoner 15 years, and have often seen him write. This paper is not his writing.
Another witness, who was in the frequent habit of going to prisoner's house, stated, that the desk or bureau (in which the papers were found) was always open. Other persons in the house had access to it.
Mr. Justice ALDERSON, in summing up, called the attention of the Jury of the fact of the fitting of the pieces of paper sent to some of the witnesses with that found in the bureau of the prisoner. The evidence on both sides the Jury would weigh, as the opinions of those who gave it; but in weighing the merits of those opinions, the Jury would be greatly assisted by the internal and extrinsic evidence in the case. This was the fitting of the several pieces of paper, and of these it would be for the Jury to consider that the prisoner had given no explanation
The Jury, after a short consultation, returned a verdict of Guilty
The prisoner was then called up for judgment.
Mr. Justice ALDERSON - Prisoner, the Jury have found you guilty, on evidence which must satisfy every reasonable man that -
Prisoner - My Lord, I am innocent. I never touched the paper. I never wrote a line of it. My Lord I am innocent.
Mr. Justice ALDERSON - You have been found guilty of a crime, which is certainly not mitigated by your denial, after such evidence - a crime which strikes at the root of society, by tending to obstruct the due administration of justice.
The prisoner here again interrupted his Lordship, and said, - My Lord, I declare I am innocent; I never wrote the paper; I never put my hand to it. The desk in which the piece of blank paper was found was open to five or six persons in the house as well as to myself. My Lord, the law may find me guilty, but it cannot make me so. I now declare solemnly, that I am innocent of this crime. ( The prisoner delivered these remarks with strong emphasis, and spoke under the influence of intense feeling.) At the last part of his remark, he laid his hand on the bar with considerable force.
The Learned Judge then proceeded : I cannot attend to those assertions, for all know that a man who can be guilty of such an offence as that which you have been convicted, will not hesitate to deny it as you now do
. The offence is one which, [on] a person in your condition, ought to be visited with the severest punishment; and in undergoing that punishment, you will not have the sympathy of any of those whom you will leave behind you in this country. You will be sent to a country where you will find very few worse than yourself.
The prisoner here again solemnly protested that he was innocent.
His Lordship proceeded. - I would rather trust to such evidence as has been given in your case than on the most solemn declaration even on the scaffold
; for we know that they are persisted by men in whose case, from all that has come before the Court, there can be no doubt whatever; and sitting to administer justice, I must not be deterred by your repeated denials from doing my duty in passing on you the sentence of the law. At one time the crime of which you have been found guilty was punishable with death; and I do not know if that law were still in force, I should not feel it my duty in your case to allow it to take its course. I must say, that of those who go from this country in consequence of the events by which this and other countries have been disturbed, you will have least of the sympathy of those whom you leave behind. The sentence of the Court is, that you, Isaac Looker, be transported to place beyond the seas as his Majesty shall direct, for the term of your natural life.
The prisoner was then removed from the bar evidently greatly affected by the sentence.
The Jury now obtained permission to leave the Court for a time to get some refreshment, and the Judge also retired. During their absence, a young man, apparently about 17 or 18 years old, the son of the prisoner, was brought to the table by the Solicitor who conducted the defence. He there acknowledged that it was he wrote the letters, and not his father. A piece of paper was then given to him, and he wrote from memory a copy of the letter sent to Rowland. When compared with the original, there could be no doubt that the handwriting was the same. The copy was not a verbatim transcript of the original, but there was very little difference, and in all the words badly spelt in the original, the same spelling was adhered to in the copy. He was then shown the original and told to copy it, which he did verbatim
. The handwriting in both was exactly similar.
On the return of the Learned Judge to Court, these facts were made known to him, and the copies of the letter were laid before him by Mr.Everett, the Counsel for Looker. The Court was also informed, that the son had acknowledged that he wrote the letters, and did in order to save his cousins, who had been accused of breaking machines.
His LORDSHIP expressed his surprise that these facts had not been brought forward at the trial, or at least before he passed sentence. He could not account for it, and without meaning to dispute it was so, he must say it looked like a trick. However, he would have all the facts laid before him, and would give them due consideration; for though the application came late, yet it never was too late to do what was right.
His LORDSHIP, after a short time, and while the Jury were deliberating on the next case, again called the attention of Mr. Everett to the subject, and said, that he should require an affidavit, setting forth why it was that the son had not been called on at the trial; and also that the father was altogether ignorant at that time that his son wrote or sent the letter - for it made no difference in his case, if he knew and consented to its being sent. He should require the most satisfactory evidence on this head; because he observed, though he did not see the force of it at the time, that the prisoner laid great stress on the declaration that he had never signed or touched the paper. He not having touched it, he repeated, would make no difference in his case, if he was consenting to its being written and sent by another.
[Everyone but the Judge can imagine the reason why the son was not called. He kept his secret till the father was convicted, when his confession became necessary to save his parent. The father was probably aware, during the trial, that his son was the guilty person, and declared his own innocence, with this secret pent in his labouring breast, and the agonizing consciousness that falsehood was prevailing against him, and must prevail against him, as nature would not permit him to denounce his child.]
CASE OF ISAAC LOOKER FOR SENDING A
This prisoner, who was tried on Wednesday, and convicted of sending a threatening letter to Mr. Rowland, and whose case excited much attention from the circumstances, which we mentioned as having taken place after the verdict was pronounced and sentence passed, was again put to the bar, charged with a similar offence in the case of Mr. Woodman.
Mr. Serjeant WILDE, in stating the case to the Jury, observed, that in consequence of what occurred since the last conviction of the prisoner, it was deemed advisable to put him again on his trial for a similar offence.
In this indictment the prisoner was charged with having written the letter, and in another count he was charged with aiding and abetting to the writing and sending the letter.
It is unnecessary to enter into a detail of the evidence, which we gave so fully in the report of the trial of Wednesday. It is sufficient to state, that three letters (on small pieces of paper) were sent of Mr. Vaisey
, Mr. Woodman
, and Mr. Rowland
(all of whom had charges against some of the prisoner's nephews), threatening each of them with the burning of his house, and with having his head chopped off, if he gave evidence against any person in prison. The prisoner having been suspected as the writer, was taken into custody, and on searching his house, there was found in his bureau a piece of blank paper, which fitted with the three pieces sent to the parties above-named, and had evidently once formed part of the same sheet. The watermark was divided in the separation of the pieces, and the letter S was cut in two, but, by placing one of the notes in question close to the piece of blank paper, the letter S was complete.
The three notes were sworn to as the handwriting of the prisoner.
At the close of the case for the prosecution.
Mr. MISSING (who, with Mr. Everett, conducted the prisoner's defence) submitted that there was not a sufficient proof of the sending to warrant the case being sent to the Jury.
Mr. Justice J. PARKE overruled the objection, and said, that assuming, for the sake of argument at present, that the writing was that of the prisoner, there was evidence of the sending; the letters were addressed to the parties who eventually received them.
The prisoner, in his defence, stated that he was wholly innocent of the charge. His desk was seldom locked, and was open to his sons and servants, and others of the family. He complained that Mr. Vaisey and Mr. Woodman had been at enmity with him for years, particularly Vaisey, whom he accused of having injured him greatly in his business, in consequence of some dispute they had about a road.
There were then called the same witnesses who were examined on the trial on Wednesday, who gave the same testimony, as to the papers produced not being the handwritings of the prisoner. One of them (Edwards) added his belief that the papers were in the handwriting of the prisoner's son Edward. Witness had been a schoolmaster, and had taught the son Edward to write.
Another witness proved that the prisoner's three sons lived with him, and had access to his bureau. Witness also had access to it, and had seeds given to him from it by prisoner's sons and his housekeeper. Never knew it to be locked.
(the prisoner's son) was next put into the box, and examined by Mr. EVERETT. [He was first cautioned by the Judge that he need not answer any question to criminate himself.] I am the son of the prisoner : I am about 18 years old. I lived with my father in December last. [The three letters handed to witness.] I wrote those papers on the 21st of December last; I wrote them standing at the desk or bureau. It was always kept open. My brothers were present when I wrote those letters. George Vivash
was also present. My father was not at home then, he left me at home at six that morning; he went to Draycot to sell some wood. Draycot is about 10 or 12 miles off; my father did not return till 10 at night. I borrowed the sheet I wrote on at my uncle's; it was only one sheet : I did not use the whole, and put the remainder in my father's bureau. When my father came home, I did not tell him what I did. I went that night and dropped the three letters near the houses of the persons to whom they were directed. The first (that to Woodman) I dropped near the arch of the bridge, near Woodman's mill. The second (to Vaisey), and the third (to Rowland), I dropped near their homes. This was about 9 o'clock on the same night. I told my brother Isaac of it; but I never told my father a word about it.
Mr. Christopher Day
- I am the solicitor who conducted the defence of the prisoner. Edward Looker communicated to me on Tuesday, the 28th of December last, the fact of his having written the letters. It was stated in court at the trial, that the sons were in the house at the time the desk was examined. It was not stated that the prisoner had sons living with him capable of writing.
Mr. Justice J. PARKE - I do not know whether you will think it necessary that I should sum up the evidence to you. If you believe the evidence of Edward Looker, it certainly does give a satisfactory answer to the case made out for the prosecution. There can be no doubt that the facts, as they came out on this and on the former trial, were so strongly a prima facie
case against the prisoner, that the public prosecutors would not have been justified if they had not brought the case forward.
The Jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty
The learned JUDGE, with reference to the conviction which took place on the former trial, said, that no time should be lost in making the proper representation to the Secretary of State for the Home Department, who would of course, take care that justice should be done. -The prisoner was then removed.
His son was ordered to be detained, and a bill of indictment ordered, to be preferred against him for the same offences, on his sworn admission before the Court.
On Saturday morning Edward Looker
, jun., was placed at the bar upon an indictment, charging him with sending a threatening letter to Henry Woodman
Mr MISSING, on the part of the prisoner, mentioned his sincere regret for the offence which he had committed. He had to request his Lordship, in consequence of the youth of the prisoner, and of his ignorance of the consequence of his proceeding, and of his never entertaining any idea of carrying his threat into execution, and of his notion that such a letter might be useful to his relatives, who were imprisoned upon similar charges to those which his Lordship had been recently trying, to visit his offence with as mitigated a punishment as his discretion would allow; and he was induced to hope that his application would meet with the greater success, as it was seconded by the request of the Attorney General on behalf of the Crown.
Mr. Justice PARKE then proceeded to pass sentence on the prisoner in the following terms:- "Edward Looker, you have now been advised to plead guilty to an indictment which charges you with having addressed a threatening letter to Henry Woodman. I think you have been rightly advised to do so; for from what I know of the circumstances which transpired on a former trial, it would have been impossible for you to have made any satisfactory defence against the charge of having sent a threatening letter to Henry Woodman, in which you threatened, that if he should give evidence against certain individuals, you would cause his farm to be burnt down, and himself to be murdered, and threatened it too, in very coarse and violent terms - [The prisoner - My Lord, I am very sorry for what I have done - I meant no harm] - Looking at this indictment, which charges you with an offence of a very serious nature, I cannot refrain from observing, that in consequence of another trial, the Court is acquainted with all the circumstances which induced you to commit that offence. The Court knows the view with which this letter was sent to the prosecutor, Mr Woodman, and to two other individuals. Your offence is an offence of the greatest magnitude. It was only at a very recent period that the law respecting it was so mitigated as not to affect your life. The sentence of the Court is, that you be transported for the space of 7 years to such parts beyond the seas as his Majesty, by the advice of his Privy Council, shall direct. I trust that this will be a warning to others, and that we shall have no further attempts of this kind. If we have, the punishment will be still more severe. - The young man was then taken from the bar. He was asked whilst standing there by a gentleman, whether he had ever communicated his having committed this offence to his father. He said that he had not : if he had, his father would have turned him out of doors.
READING.- TUESDAY. - EXECUTION of WINTERBORN
.- Our readers will recollect, that on the conclusion of the assize held at Reading, under the special commission for Berkshire, three of the convicts were left for execution. Their names were Oakley, Winterborn, and Darling. Not the slightest hope was held out to them that there was the possibility of the sentence pronounced upon them being mitigated. On the contrary, they were warned from deceiving themselves with the hope of mercy on this side of the grave : and, believing that the sentence of the law would surely be executed upon them at the appointed time, they had resigned themselves reverently and thankfully to the direction of their spiritual advisers, and prepared to die as Christian men ought to die. Happily, however, the zeal and humanity of some gentlemen residing in Reading and its vicinity were roused at the prospect of this sacrifice of the lives of three of their fellow creatures. They made the most strenuous and praiseworthy exertions to obtain a commutation of the dreadful penalty which the law had awarded to the offences of the convicts, and they had the gratification to find their exertions so far attended with success, that the execution of the sentences of two of the convicts was respited. These were Oakley and Darling. Every representation, every appeal for mercy, on behalf of Winterborn, failed; and with regard to him the law was left to take its course. This compromise between the stern demands of the offended laws and the dictates of mercy and humanity was hailed, perhaps, with more rejoicing by the intercessors than by those for whom they had so successfully interceded : for the latter had already passed the valley of the shade of death - they had made up their minds to die, and the terrors of the change they were about to undergo had vanished. They are represented to have awaited the hour of their execution with fortitude, - without the least indication of fear, - without any expression of regret for the loss of life. Dr. Williams
, the excellent chaplain of the gaol, declared that he had never seen men more fully resigned to the fate which they believed awaited them; and the rev. gentleman added, that the composed and happy temper of mind into which they had been brought by the consolations of religion had relieved the performance of his melancholy duty from half the distressing sensations which, in ordinary cases, accompanied it. It is not surprising, therefore, that Oakley and Darling should have received, almost with indifference, the news that the execution of their sentences was respited; and their expressions on hearing it - though they prove that the convicts did not exactly understand what had been done for them - show, also, that they must have been quite as much composed and resigned as they are represented to have been. They said, that if the meaning of respite was that their lives were to be spared for a few days or for a few weeks, they found no pleasure in it, and that they would much rather have died then, with their unfortunate companion Winterborn. When it is explained to them that it is not intended they should undergo the last punishment, they will, no doubt, set a higher value upon the tidings of mercy. The respite arrived at the gaol on Monday, and was immediately communicated to Oakley and Darling; but it was not until the morning of yesterday - the day of the execution - that the devoted Winterborn heard that he was to suffer alone. He bore this additional trial in the most manly and becoming manner. He expressed himself glad to hear that his companions were spared, and he did not repine that mercy had been denied to himself. On the contrary, he continued to declare that he was prepared and willing to die, and his whole conversation[?] was marked by the same absence of all expressions of regret at quitting life. He was a married man, and his wife was lying dangerously ill of the typhus fever. He had been made acquainted with her hopeless condition, and one of the last wishes he expressed was, that she might die before he suffered , - or at least, that she might not survive to be shocked with the news of his execution. The hour appointed for the last sad ceremony which the ill starred man had to undergo was 12 o'clock. Shortly before that he came our of the chapel pinioned, and attended by the officers of the prison, who were to lead him to the scaffold. His large muscular frame seemed cramped, - probably from the position of his arms and the tightness of the bonds by which he was pinioned. He walked firmly, but his cheek was pallid, his eyes glazed, and the prayers he uttered, though fervently and audibly expressed, broke from quivering lips. The scaffold was erected on one of the prison walls, opposite to the principal parts of the ruins of the Abbey. Winterborn ascended it without assistance; and, still devoutly occupied in prayer, submitted himself to the hands of the executioner. As the prison clock finished striking 12, the drop fell, and the unhappy man died almost without a struggle. The spectators were not very numerous, - amounting probably not to more than 300, and not a syllable escaped them as they witnessed that awful spectacle. They dispersed peaceably, as soon as the body was cut down.
AYLESBURY, FRIDAY, JANUARY 14.
, Isaac Davis
, George Hillsden
, Stacey Jarvis
, and Joseph Cornelius Turner
, were indicted for having, on the 26th November, riotously assembled, and broken a chaff-cutting machine belonging to W. Rickford, Esq. M.P.
, Robert Hopcroft
, Edmd. Jarvis
, and Joseph Ridgway
, were indicted for having riotously assembled and destroyed a winnowing machine, on the 26th Nov. - The riot was proved, the machine sworn to have been broken to pieces, and burnt, and the prisoners identified as having been of the party. They were all found Guilty
, but recommended to mercy.
, who was indicted for a riot and breaking a winnowing machine, was suffered to go at large on his own recognizances in £30 to keep the peace for two years.
, John Collins
, and Wm. Goodall
, were convicted of a riot on the 2d of December.
, Emanuel Shrimpton
, William Edwards
, Edward Johnson
, Robert Webb
, John Gibbs
, and James Saunders
, were charged with having riotously assembled on the 29th of November, in the parish of Long Crendon, and destroying a winnowing machine belonging to James Fryer
[The Learned Counsel had just concluded his address, and was about to call witnesses, when our express left Aylesbury, at eight o'clock in the evening, and the case was not likely to be concluded till a much later hour.]
CONVICTS UNDER SENTENCE OF DEATH AT WINCHESTER.
The petition, signed in 20 hours by not less than 6,000 persons, was hastily closed, and sent up a few days ago to Lord Melbourne, under an apprehension that the Winchester prisoners were sentenced to die on Saturday last. It appears, however, that another petition in favour of these unhappy persons is in contemplation, and that a Ward Meeting for this purpose was convened in Langbourn Ward on Wednesday, at which the Lord Mayor presided. Only one of the six prisoners left for execution at Winchester has been respited. The petition, if agreed to, will lie at the vestry room of St.Dionis Backchurch, Fenchurch-street. Affidavits, containing circumstances of mitigation, will, we understand, be also forwarded to the Secretary of State.