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Some Selected Reports from The Windsor and Eton Express

28th October 1837

An Awkward Customer- On Monday last, on the arrival of the Taglioni coach in Windsor, the coachman (Mr. Brackenbury) was requested to wait upon a gentleman at the Castle Inn; accordingly, in full expectation of a passenger by return of coach, the coachman, in high glee; hastened to the inn, at the door of which, without much ceremony, the gentleman paid Mr. Brackenbury his fare for the carriage of a lady to Windsor, by giving him a sound thrashing. The gentleman, not satisfied with flooring Mr. Brackenbury in Windsor, promised to repeat the dose on his arrival in London. Whether the promise was fulfilled or not, we have not heard; but the effects of the Windsor blows on Mr. Brackenbury's face have been quite visible for some days since.

Windsor Mutual Improvement Society- Last evening, the Rev.J. Stoughton delivered the opening lecture for the season, at the Town-hall, upon the rise and progress of institutions for the education of the people. He took a very able review of the progress of education from a very early period which was exceedingly gratifying to his auditors.

Street Nuisances- On Monday, at an adjourned meeting of the Commissioners of Pavements, Mr. Stacy, builder, of Eton, was fined 10s and costs, for using an improper box in carrying out night soil. We beg caution the inhabitants of Windsor against placing goods before their houses, and allowing them to continue there, so as to be an obstruction to vehicles or foot passengers, or, indeed, to continue any encroachment on the right of way, for the Commissioners have come to the determination to inflict penalties on all persons who so offend.

Yesterday, an idle ruffian, named John Sykes, with only one hand, and whose boast it is that he never did a day's work in his life, was taken before the Mayor and Sir John Chapman, at the Town-hall, and re-examined on the following charge:- It appeared that his profession was that of a common beggar, and that his habit was to abuse and use the most disgusting language to every person who did not give him money. On the 12th instant he was found drunk and disorderly in Peascod-street, and insulting many people. Roach, the policeman, attempted to take him to the station house, but he resisted most desperately , and kicked the officer in a very dangerous part of his person. It was therefore found necessary to obtain assistance, but the fellow refused to walk, and the "stretcher" being procured from the station house, he was, after considerable difficulty, lodged in safe custody. The magistrates sent him to the treadmill for a month.

The Late Registration- The observations which we thought it incumbent on us to make last week, upon the anomalous character in which Mr. Hopkins (Sir John De Beauvior's chairman at the late election) appeared in the Revising Barrister's Court in this Borough, have excited his wrath not a little, and have been the cause of producing a Letter from him, which we would readily have inserted but from the insolent tone in which it is couched, and which would justify us in refusing to take any notice of it whatever. What he in his judgement pleases to call a "pretended" report of the proceedings in the Court, we unhesitatingly say is a faithful and correct report of every case that was worthy of mention, no matter on which side the objector might be. In classing Mr. Hopkins with the Tories, we feel perfectly satisfied that we are correct in so doing, for putting aside altogether the doubtful character in which Sir John De Beauvior came to Windsor at the last Election, we find this Mr. Hopkins actually making objections to numerous Reformers, in conjunction with Mr. Voules, the agent for Captain Bulkeley, the Tory, in Windsor, and for the Chandos party in Bucks. We think that fact is conclusive that Mr. Hopkins is now a Tory, if indeed he possesses any political principle at all, which to us seems as yet something very doubtful.

Windsor Michaelmas Sessions

Yesterday the Michaelmas Sessions for the Borough of New Windsor were held in the Town-hall, before the Hon. John.C. Talbot, Recorder. The Grand Jury, having been sworn, were addressed by the Recorder, who said he was exceedingly happy to be enabled to inform them that the state of the calendar almost precluded him from making any observations to them. He confessed that he could hardly have dared to anticipate so very favourable a result in the state of the calendar when he remembered that since he had last had the honour of addressing them three great events had occurred in Windsor, namely the funeral of the late King, the general election, and the entry of Her Majesty into Windsor- events which generally drew a large concourse of persons together, and which induced him to anticipate an accession to the calendar. But it bespoke two things viz a great degree of credit to the population of the borough generally , and also to those who had the peace of the borough in their keeping. The cases in the calendar did not require any observations from him, for they were of the most simple character, and the Grand Jury would have no difficulty whatever respecting them. Since he last had the honour to address the Grand Jury of the borough many important alterations had taken place in the criminal law, but they related to a class of cases rarely come before a jury of the borough, and if they did they were generally transmitted to the assizes. Regarding them he did not think it necessary to make any remarks, but to observe that the principle which had been adopted by the legislature was to allow the Judges of Courts to lessen the punishment at their discretion in certain cases. He then begged the Jury to retire and forward some bills as soon as possible.
The Grand Jury then retired, and in a short time returned with the bills.
John Craven, aged 35, a soldier, was indicted for stealing on the 27th of July, a breast of lamb, the property of Mr. John Hawkins, butcher, of Peascod-street. It appeared that about half-past eight o'clock on the evening of the 27th of July Mr. Hawkins missed a breast of lamb from his shop which he had last seen at four o'clock in the afternoon. The same evening Mr. Roberts and Mr. Lovegrove who were also butchers, and had heard of the loss, saw the prisoner in Peascod-street with something under his coat, which projected from behind him, and observing his manner to be suspicious, followed him into Clewer-lane, when he dropped from his coat a breast of lamb, which proved to have been, from the peculiar manner in which it was cut, to be the one taken from Mr. Hawkins's shop. He was then taken into custody. The prisoner stated, that when in Peascod-street with his comrade, William Barfe, they saw two civilians, who told them that on a window sill, or projection, there was a piece of meat, which they had better take, and he did so. If he had known it was dishonestly come by he would not have taken it. The prisoner was confirmed in his statement by the evidence of his comrade, and he received an excellent character for eleven years, during which he had served in the regiment. The Jury found him Guilty, and he was sentenced to one week's imprisonment only, in consequence of having already been in custody since the 27th of July, and also his having received a previous good character.

William Neale, a lad about 16 years of age, was indicted for stealing various pieces of brass work attached to some harness belonging to his employer, Mr.Henry Thumwood, coach proprietor. The prisoner was to have been tried at the last Sessions, but in consequence of the non-attendance of the prosecutor, no bill was found, and he was liberated, the prosecutor's recognizances being forfeited. A true bill was, however, found at the present Sessions, and the prisoner taken into custody in the Court. Mr. C.S. Voules attended to conduct the prosecution. Mr. Thumwood stated that the prisoner and his father had been in his employ, having taken them more from motives of charity than anything else. He employed them to cut chaff at his stables, in Peascod-street. For some days prior to the 1st of April, he had missed things from the stables, among which were pieces of the brass furniture belonging to some harness, including pad plates, territs and bearing hooks. He had since seen the pieces of brass, which fitted the parts of the harness from which they had been taken. James Harrington, a policeman, said that on the 1st of April, from information he received, he took the prisoner into custody, and after leaving him in the station-house, he went to Mr. Knowle's shop, where he found the nine pieces of brass harness furniture he now produced, and which Mr. Thumwood identified as having been stolen from him. Jane Knowles stated that she kept a shop and she bought "old brass or anything." The prisoner had sold her some brass at 4d a pound, and she paid him fourpence halfpenny, or three farthings for them. When the policeman came she delivered them to him, and she assured the Court, that she was very cautious, and did not know they were stolen; but she admitted she did not ask the prisoner how he obtained them. The Recorder reminded Mrs. Knowles that she should be a little more cautious, for he did not know a more dangerous class of person than those who stated they were ready to buy "any thing." Her conduct was extremely reprehensible in buying such things as those produced, of a boy who was in evident distress, without making any enquiry of him whatever. Other corroborative evidence was then given against the prisoner, who, when asked if he had any defence to make, said he found the articles on the dung heap, and that he took them to get a few halfpence for them. The prisoner was found Guilty, and sentenced to six months hard labour in the House of Correction, and to be once privately well whipped.

Joseph Bagnett, a market gardener, aged 30, was indicted for stealing a peck of onions and a peck of potatoes, the property of John Knowles, another market gardener. It appeared that the prisoner, the prosecutor , and another gardener named Short, occupied gardens that adjoined one another, but that they were not separated by any fence, the distinction being merely by landmarks. Owing to the frequency of robberies, Short on the night of the 12th instant placed a man named Moss in his garden to keep watch. Moss got into a filbert tree, and in about an hour afterwards he saw by the light of the moon the prisoner (who was the only occupier of any of the gardens who lived on the spot) go with two pails to some heaps of potatoes and onions in Knowles garden and fill his pails with a portion of each. Having done so he was about to return with his booty, when Moss descended and making up to him , seized him , saying "You are the very man I want; what have you got there!" The prisoner replied, "A few things." Moss said, "You must come with me," and the prisoner expressed his willingness to go, but afterwards refused;Moss got hold of one pail (which,with its contents, was produced), and the prisoner walked away with the other. He was subsequently apprehended by a policeman. The onions and potatoes were sworn by Mr.Knowles to be similar in quality to those he had left in his garden, and that about two pails full were about the quantity that he missed from the garden. The witnesses underwent a cross examination by Mr.Voules on behalf of the prisoner, from which it appeared that the prisoner had upon various occasions gone over the gardens to drive out the cattle that occasionally strayed in there from Mr. Dash's field, and that Knowles had thanked him for so doing. Mr Voules addressed the Jury for the defence, and said that his client was a man of good character , and he had a wife and four children, and that it was not likely he would risk the loss of that character by committing the offence imputed to him. He said the fact was, that his client was out that evening, for the purpose of looking after any cattle that might have got into the gardens, when he was pounced upon by the witness Moss and that the onions and potatoes were the produce of his own garden. He called John Bagnett, the prisoner's father, who stated that the potatoes and onions were the produce of his son's garden, and he produced some by way of comparison with them. Another witness deposed to frequently seeing the prisoner driving off the cattle from the gardens at all hours of the day and night. Mr.Dickman, a retired publican, and Mr.Meyrick, a market gardener, gave the prisoner an excellent character for honesty and industry. The Jury after some time spent in deliberation returned a verdict of Guilty, and the Recorder sentenced the prisoner to six weeks hard labour in the House of Correction.

David Jones, aged 18, was indicted for stealing on the 3rd of July a gold ring, two gold seals, a pair of gold earrings, two silk handkerchiefs, a pair of shoes, and three pounds of bacon, the property of Matilda Thorn. He pleaded Guilty and was sentenced to six months hard labour in the House of Correction , and to be once privately whipped.

The above were the only cases for trial.

Mr. Voules applied to the Court on behalf of Mr. Thumwood, whose recognizances of 40 to appear at the last Sessions to prosecute Neale for larceny (as noticed above), had been estreated owing to his non-attendance. He said that Mr. Thumwood had forgotten the day when the Sessions were fixed for and had gone to London. He (Mr.V.) sent an express for him, but when he arrived the Court had unfortunately broken up. He had, however, now prosecuted the party to conviction, so that the ends of justice were satisfied, and he hoped that, under these circumstances the Court would order that the estreat should not be enforced. The Recorder consented so far to Mr. Voules application, as to mitigate the forfeiture to 5, instead of 40. Mr. Thumwood thanked the Court, and declared that his non-attendance was purely accidental, and did not arise from any want of respect to the Court.

Berks Michaelmas Sessions

On Tuesday the Michaelmas Sessions for this county were held at Abingdon, before the Right Hon. Viscount Barrington, and a Bench of Magistrates. The following are the only cases for trial that had reference to this part of the county.

James Barker was indicted for stealing a drake on the 27th of Sept., the property of Anne Aldridge. It appeared that on the 27th ult the prosecutrix who lives at Cookham missed the drake in question from an our-house, and that it was subsequently found in the possession of the prisoner. He was found Guilty, and sentenced to three months hard labour.

William Ogburn was indicted for stealing a quantity of beans the property of the executors of the late Henry Smith. He was found Guilty, and sentenced to one month's imprisonment.

Caroline Edwards pleaded Guilty to an indictment charging her with stealing a Scotch plaid cloak, two blankets, and other articles, the property of John Smith, of Maidenhead. She was sentenced to two months imprisonment.

Benjamin Hopkins, for stealing three geese on the 16th ult the property of William Packer, of Cookham, was sentenced to six months imprisonment.

Bucks Michaelmas Sessions

On Tuesday last these Sessions commenced at Aylesbury, before Sir T.D. Aubrey, Chairman, and a full bench of magistrates. The proceedings opened by the reading of the new commission, in which all the magistrates of the commission issued by his late Majesty were included. The whole of the magistrates present took the oaths of allegiance, &c after which the trials of the prisoners proceeded. We give the following cases, which relate more particularly to this part of the county.

John Westlake and Thomas Searle were indicted for uttering counterfeit coin, at the parish of Burnham, on the 20th of September. It appeared that on the 20th September the prisoner Westlake called at a public-house at Burnham, kept by Mr. George Goddard, and asked for a pint of beer, in payment for which he gave a crown piece, and having received the change , left. About an hour and a half afterwards Searle called for a pint of beer, and tendered a crown piece in payment, but on Mr. Goddard discovering it was a bad one, he gave a sixpence, and on receiving the change , Searle drank his beer, and went away; after which Searle drank his beer, and went away; after which Mr. Goddard looked at the crown piece he had received from Westlake, and found it was counterfeit. On the same evening Westlake passed a crown piece at Mrs. Martin's beer-shop, in payment for a pint of beer, and shortly afterwards Searle paid that house a visit, as he had done at Mr. Goddard's, but on tendering his base coin, it was discovered, and he paid for his beer with a good sixpence; Mrs.Martin was then induced to look at the money she had previously received from Westlake, and found it was a counterfeit piece. Information was accordingly given to Henry Stratton, the constable of Burnham, who apprehended the prisoners together the same evening, in the church-yard, and on their persons both good and bad money was found. On searching in that part of the church-yard where the prisoners were apprehended, two bad crown pieces were found lying on the ground, and also a bag containing fifteen half-crowns, five crowns, and a sovereign, all of which were counterfeit. The prisoners were found guilty and sentenced to eighteen months hard labour.

Ellen Doyle, an old woman 80 years of age, was indicted for stealing a pocket handkerchief, the property of James Evenden, at Great Marlow, on the 18th of August. The evidence not being deemed satisfactory the prisoner was acquitted.

William Green was indicted for stealing 50 feet of timber, the property of Benjamin Baldwin of Burnham. It appeared that on the 13th and 18th of last month the prosecutor lost some timber, and afterwards he saw some of a similar kind on the premises of Sophia Winch, but the evidence as to its identity not being sufficiently established the jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty.

Robert Rubey,sen., Robert Rubey jun., and James Rubey were indicted for having on the night of the 29th of September assaulted John Seymour, a constable, in the execution of his duty. The prosecutor stated that on the night in question he was called out to stop the two younger prisoners (brothers) from fighting, and was about to do so, when the elder (their father) insisted they fight it out . The prosecutor then laid hold of Robert Rubey, jun., who thereupon struck him several blows. A struggle took place and they both fell into a ditch, when James Rubey fell upon him and struck him. He called out for assistance, and Mr. Nash came up and for the time rescued him from the prisoners, all of whom however afterwards attacked him. During the affray the prosecutor said he was obliged to use his staff, and Robert Rubey was severely cut about the head and face, and laid insensible in the ditch. Mr. Taylor, who conducted the case , dwelt with much emphasis on the danger of allowing constables to use such unnecessary violence, as he termed it. The Jury found Robert Rubey jun., Guilty, and he was sentenced to pay a fine of 20s to the Queen, and to be imprisoned one calendar month. The other defendants were acquitted.

John Ricketts was indicted for stealing at Taplow on the 30th of December a quantity of tools, the property of three labourers on the railroad near the Dumb Bell, named Caleb Stockwell, George Saunders, and Joseph Adams. The prosecutors had placed their tools on the night in question as they thought in a safe place viz., in a bushel under a shed, but on the following morning they were missed. On the 31st the prisoner was apprehended at Windsor, by Simms, the gaoler, when endeavouring to pawn the tools at Mr. Radnor's the pawn brokers shop. The prisoner was found Guilty, and sentenced to two months hard labour.