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The Windsor and Eton Express.
Bucks Chronicle and Reading Journal

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Some Selected Reports from The Windsor and Eton Express



17th June 1837



On Thursday a man, who is suspected to belong to a gang of thieves, underwent an examination before W.Hexter, Esq, at Eton, an a charge of being concerned in a burglary in the house of Mr. Mason, of Cippenham. The prisoner who was apprehended at Brompton, by Riches, a policeman of the V Division of the Metropolitan police No. 54, was remanded until Monday next, by which time it is hoped his companions in the burglary will be apprehended.

Windsor Tract Society - The third annual meeting of this society will be held at the Town Hall on Friday next, when Mr.W. Jones, the agent for the Parent Society, will attend, and address the meeting.

County Magistrates Meeting - On Monday, last T.R. Ward, W.Riley, and E. Forster, Esqrs, magistrates for the county, held a petty sessions at the Town-hall, Windsor. Mary Shelley, was convicted of stealing a portion of a dead fence, the property of Prince Dalton, Esq, of Sunninghill, and ordered to pay a fine of 10s, or in default of payment to be imprisoned one month.
- An information was heard at the instance of Mr. Hicks, a farmer of tolls, against Mr. George Bell, of Chertsey, for having refused to pay the toll at the gate at Blacknest, and also for having assaulted Benjamin Osman, the gate-keeper. The information was under the Windsor Forest Act. The defendant was convicted in mitigated penalties of 2 10s on each charge, including costs. We understand he intends to appeal against the conviction.

Windsor Police


Robbing Furnished Lodgings - William Abbott an old man 81 years of age, was on Monday fully committed for trial at the Sessions on a charge of stealing a sheet and a blanket, the property of Samuel Combs, of the William the Fourth public house, where the prisoner had lodged.
On Thursday Anne Ellice [Ellis] was fully committed for stealing a sheet from her lodgings , in the house of Phobe Gutteridge, No. 19 Oxford Road.

Eton Police
Examination of Mr. Jesse, for Mutilating the Statue of Henry VI in Eton College Yard


Considerable interest was excited at Eton on Wednesday, on it being known that one of the party of gentlemen who had been committing their freaks in Windsor and Eton, during the Race-week, among which was the very wanton and mischievous act of wrenching the sceptre from the statue of Henry the Sixth, in the College-yard, was to undergo an examination before the magistrates, at the Christopher Inn, to answer for the latter exploit. It appears that from the inquiries which were made by the Eton officers some clue was at first obtained on application to the Windsor Police, one of whom, st a late hour on the night of Thursday week (when it was taken from the statue) saw a young gentleman walking along the town with something in his hand that resembled the sceptre. It was subsequently ascertained to have been at the Infantry barracks, and afterwards to have been carried to London, from whence, on Saturday, it was forwarded per coach, carefully packed up in a box, accompanied by a note (without any signature) to the Rev. Dr. Hawtrey,; head master at Eton College. On these facts becoming known to the heads of the college a long investigation took place on Monday at the residence of William Hexter, Esq, a magistrate of Bucks, at Eton, when several of the college students and other persons underwent a strict examination , which tended to implicate a gentleman of the name of J.H. Jesse, who formerly was a student at the college, but now residing in London. A warrant was accordingly issued and entrusted to Mr. Byles, one of the Eton constables, who on Tuesday proceeded to town, and easily found Mr. Jesse, for whose appearance before the magistrates at Eton, Sir Frederick Roe, chief magistrate of Bow-street, became answerable. Sir Frederick , we understand, is acquainted with Mr. Jesse's family.

On Wednesday, during the sitting of the magistrates,

Wm. Hexter,Esq, and Charles Clowes, Esq, Mr.Jesse arrived in the company of a friend, who, we understood, was Mr.Villiers. Besides the magistrates there were present the Rev.Dr. Hawtrey, the Rev. Mr.Carter; who acted as prosecutor; and the Rev. Mr. Wright.
Mr. Hexter stated the nature of the charge, which the college had deemed it their duty to prefer against the accused.
Mr. Jesse begged to assure the magistrates and the gentlemen present who were connected with the college that he felt deep contrition for an Act which was committed in a moment of excitement, and he declared that nothing could be farther from his intention than to injure anything belonging to a place in which he had passed the happiest years of his life.
He was informed that it was a duty, which the college were called upon to do - however painful to them - not to pass over such an insult and such a mischievous act, for such insults had become too frequent to be any longer passed over without an endeavour to put a stop to them. Mr. Jesse declared on his honour that he would be the last man who wished to cast any insult on the college. He begged to be allowed to say, on his honour, that he was not in any way connected in throwing a knocker into the Rev. Mr. Cookesley's window. He had been guilty of follies he knew, but he had never taken knockers from people's doors.
Dr. Hawtrey: I have no reason to believe it was you who threw the knocker into the window. It was thrown from a nobleman's carriage, and it has had a serious effect on Mrs. Cookesley's health.
Mr. Jesse again expressed his regret for the part he had taken in regard to the sceptre, and said he would most readily pay any fine -
Mr. Hexter interrupted him by telling him that he seemed entirely to misapprehend the nature of the case against him, and the power of the magistrates. It appeared to himself and his brother magistrate that by the Act they had only one of two things to do, viz, either commit Mr. Jesse to prison to take his trial for the felony, or to admit him to bail to appear and take his trial. The Words of the Act of the 7th and 8th Geo.IV.c29, sec 44, were these:- "And be it enacted that if any person shall steal, or rip, cut, or break with intent to steal, any glass or woodwork belonging to any building whatsoever, or any lead, iron, copper, brass, or other metals, or any utensil, or fixture, whether they are made of metal or other material respectively, fixed in or to any building whatsoever, or anything made of metal, fixed in any land, being private property, or for a fence to any dwelling house, garden, or area, &c, shall be guilty of felony, and punished as in the case of simple larceny."
Mr. Jesse again appealed to the Bench and then addressing himself to Dr. Hawtrey said he had made every reparation in his power, and without knowing either that a reward had been offered, or that his name was known.
For immediately that he had become sensible of the act of folly he had committed he had sent the sceptre back with a note of apology to that Rev. Gentleman.
Dr. Hawtrey: I certainly could not conceive that to be an apology to which there was no signature.
The magistrates then ordered the evidence to be taken, and told Mr. Jesse that he had better be provided with his bail, for whom he sent his friend Mr. Villiers.
The Rev. Mr. Carter, the prosecutor on behalf of the College, proved missing the sceptre on the Friday morning, and that it was the property of the Heads of the College. Several of the scholars were then examined, besides the son of Rev. Mr. Carter, now of King's College , Cambridge, from whose evidence it appeared that on Thursday night Mr. Jesse and another young gentleman (whose name was not mentioned except by the appellation of "Tom") came to the lower chamber window and gave them some wine. Mr. Jesse asked for a cord, which was given to him, he then tied a tin can to the cord, and threw it over the sceptre, which was then forced of and exhibited at the window.
Mr. Jesse declined asking the witnesses any questions, and when asked what he had to say in his defence, which he was told would be written down, he refused to say anything. The magistrates then ordered him to find bail for his appearance at the County Sessions, himself in 100, and two sureties in 50 each. The witnesses were all bound over to prosecute; Dr. Hawtrey being surety for the appearance of the Eton scholars, who had given evidence.

[Before and during the examination of witnesses in the above case, Mr. Hexter, one of the magistrates, took a great deal of trouble to endeavour to prevent the publication of the evidence. Great importance was attached to the case in Eton, and Mr. Hexter, instead of going out of his way to prevent our Reporter from publishing the case, would have exhibited more discretion if he had not made any observations respecting his presence. Mr. Hexter, in his anger at the presence of our Reporter, although he would not go to the length of ordering him out of Court, used these extraordinary words -

"I caution you against publishing anything prejudicial to Mr. Jesse!"

to which the Reporter replied -

"If I publish any thing, it must of necessity , be prejudicial to Mr. Jesse;"



and certainly , the slightest reflection would tell Mr. Hexter, that to publish any thing in a case, which he himself treated as larceny, must be "prejudicial" to the accused party. But why so much tenderness in the case of a person who happened to have been educated at the College, of which Mr. Hexter, the magistrate, is the Writing Master!].