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Some Selected Reports from The Windsor and Eton Express

25th March 1837

Windsor Police

Mary Barrett was charged with passing a counterfeit sixpence at the shop of Messrs. Beattie, bakers. It appeared that on Wednesday morning the prisoner went into Messrs. Beattie's shop, and after asking for a penny loaf tendered a sixpence, which the shopman discovered to be a bad one, having already taken four bad sixpences, he sent for a policeman, and gave the prisoner into custody, when she said that a man named Morris, who is known to the police, had been taken into custody; and on being confronted with the prisoner, she instantly contradicted her former statement, and said he was not the person. Morris was searched, but nothing of a suspicious nature being found on him he was set at liberty. On the prisoner were found three halfpence, so she might have purchased the bread, if she had pleased, with that money. On the Magistrates asking the prisoner what she had to say for herself , she now assured them that it was true that Morris gave her the sixpence. The shopman produced three of the other bad sixpences (the fourth having been destroyed), and it appeared as if those three, and the one tendered by the prisoner, had come from the same die. The Mayor thought it best to remand the prisoner until Monday, and to issue a summons for Morris's attendance on that day. Sims, the gaoler, said it would be of no use, for Morris would not attend to a summons; the only way was to take him into custody. The Magistrates then desired Sims to go to Morris's lodgings and bring him before them, but on Sims's arrival there it appeared the bird had flown.
The prisoner was then remanded until Monday, and the police were ordered to look after Morris, and take him into custody if they could find him.

Windsor Easter Quarter Sessions

This morning these Sessions commenced before the Hon. John.C.Talbot, Recorder. The calendar presented a list of only four cases for trial, in which the accused parties amounted to nine, of those two could read and write well, four imperfectly, and three could neither read nor write.
The Grand Jury having been sworn in, the Recorder addressed them. He said it afforded him the highest pleasure to find that; from the state of the calendar, it would be unnecessary for him to make many observations to them.
He congratulated the inhabitants upon the small amount of crime which had occurred in the borough since the last Sessions; more especially when it was remembered, that since that that period the most inclement season of the year had passed,during which,although certainly it was no excuse, there was generally more inducements to commit crime. He thought,also, that this subject was matter of congratulations, as showing the ability and attention of the justices of the borough, and the vigilance of the police, which had been attended with such happy results. Although he had stated that there were only three offences in the calendar, there were nine names; of these three there was only one offence committed in what might be called a public manner, the other two being committed by servants against their masters - a class of offences which it was quite beyond all possible vigilance entirely to prevent. So far, therefore, as the police of the borough were concerned, only one offence had been committed during the three months - a stronger compliment than which could not be given towards the police. One of the cases related to the stealing of two coppers. Now, the law relating to this species of offence had been altered from what it formerly was. Formerly it was not possible to attach persons for stealing what the law called fixtures, but now there was no difficulty in treating what was formerly a civil matter criminally, since by the 7th and 8th of George the Fourth, chap 29, it was made a criminal offence to take from any building or from land any wood or metal fixtures, and the parties, in case of being convicted, were made liable to punishment, as in cases of simple larceny. With regard to the last case - that of Wooden and Wicks, for stealing some glass and lead - the Learned Recorder said he could see, from the depositions before him, that some evidence had been taken before the Magistrates as to what had been said by other parties. In one instance not in the presence of the prisoners, and in another what had been said by one prisoner in the absence of and against the other. He was bound to tell the Grand Jury that in the former case they were not entitled to take such evidence into their consideration at all, bur that they must dismiss it from their attention, as he would be bound to do upon the trial. As to what one prisoner had said in the absence of the other, he must observe that it was impossible in practice to exclude it altogether, but they would exercise great caution in receiving it, for all statements which a person accused might make for the purpose of throwing the guilt from himself and fixing it on another, should be received with great caution. He did not use these observations as wishing it believed that there was no evidence on which to find the bill, on the contrary, there was a good deal of evidence, but he wished only to caution them as to the consideration of what is not legal evidence. He had no other observations to make upon the face of the calendar. The cases were extremely simple, and it was the duty of the Grand Jury simply to see if there was a prima facie case against the prisoners, without considering how far that case may or may not be shaken by another tribunal. He had been informed by the Town Clerk that the Grand Juries of this borough had been in the habit, between the Sessions, of performing duties which were not less important than those which they were called upon to perform at the Sessions. He did not know how far those duties were legally imposed on them, but they had certainly been productive of convenience to the inhabitants; he alluded to the weights and measures in the market and other places, which had been supervised by the Grand Juries. The important benefits resulting from such a supervision were to obvious to require any comment from him, and he trusted that the Grand Jury would, between this and the next Sessions, pay attention to this subject. He said this, because there was some doubt whether Grand Juries were required to perform this duty, he was not aware that they were, but they were productive of great benefit to the town; if a Leet Jury were summoned for the purpose, it would be attended with some expense, and he did not doubt that the gentlemen he was addressing would cheerfully devote their attention to the subject. The Learned Recorder then concluded by requesting them to retire to their room.

The Grand Jury then retired.

Mr. R.G.Barton applied to the Court on behalf of the Crown to discharge the recognizances in the case of the King v. Elizabeth Seagrove, who had been charged with uttering counterfeit coin, bailed out of prison, and absconded from her bail. She was now confined in Warwick-gaol on a similar charge, and sentenced to an imprisonment, which would expire in July,1838.

Recorder: Have you lodged a detainer ?

The Town Clerk said the Mint had done that.

Mr. Barton: It is in behalf of the Mint that I make this motion.

Recorder: There can be no difficulty about it. I am happy to find that the delay we afforded Mr.Barton last Sessions has been so successful. Properly speaking, however, your statement should have been verified by affidavit.

The Town Clerk said Mr. Barton appeared for the Mint, and consented on behalf of the Mint.

Mr.Barton said he had a letter from the Keeper of Warwick gaol, who stated that the prisoner admitted she was the person.

Recorder : I have no doubt that the Mint would not allow a prisoner to escape, but strictly speaking, there should have been an affidavit.
The motion was then granted.

George Howe, aged 33, and William Chesterman, aged 35, were indicted for stealing a truss of hay, the property of Mr. Thomas Clarke, of the White Hart Inn.

John Mole, a constable, stated that about seven o'clock, on the evening of the 25th of January, when in George-street, he saw the prisoner Chesterman go into the shed of Millerd another of the prisoners, with a truss of hay, upon his shoulders. He followed and asked Chesterman what he had got there, and was answered it was a bundle of haybands. Witness said it was a truss of hay, upon which Chesterman said he hoped witness would take no notice of it. Witness said he could not allow it to go by, and asked where he had got it; and he replied from George, the horsekeeper - meaning the prisoner Howe. Witness took him into custody. During the conversation Millerd came down stairs, and asked what was the matter; witness asked whether the hay was for him, and he replied no, he had ordered a bundle of haybands.
Cross examined by Mr.C.S.Voules, on behalf of Chesterman. Chesterman appeared confused, when witness went in. Mr. Thomas Clarke said, on being informed by Mole what had occurred, he called George Howe, his horsekeeper,to him, and after telling him what Chesterman had said, requested him to go to gaol, and be confronted with Chesterman, to which he readily assented. At the gaol, Chesterman repeated that Howe had given him the hay, and Howe thought it was a bundle of haybands. The lower part of his yard opened into Goswell-lane, and there was an entrance from thence into George-street. Witness gave Howe into custody. Cross examined by Mr.Voules - Haybands were not tied up in bundles as large or larger than the truss produced. He gave Chesterman a good character up to this transaction. William Dodge, ostler to Mr.Clarke, said it was the prisoner Howe's duty to rack up the horses; on the 25th of January Howe had three trusses of hay, similar to that produced, given him to rack up the horses. Witness had given the men in the yard haybands to get themselves some beer.

Cross-examined - Had known Chesterman for 10 years, and Howe six years, and never knew anything against their characters before.

John Simms, the gaoler, produced the hay which he took from Millerd's house, to which he was called to by Mole. Chesterman then wished the witness not to say anything about the matter, and he would take good care nothing of the kind should happen again.

Mr. Long , Clerk to the Magistrates, verified the statements of the prisoners when under examination, which were read. Howe said that Millard applied to him for a bundle of haybands, and that he sent Chesterman with the bundle of hay only on a loan, and to be returned again. Chesterman stated that he was guilty, and was sorry it had happened. Millerd denied all knowledge of the transaction.

Mr.Voules addressed the Jury for the prisoner Chesterman, who he submitted, did not appear from the evidence to have been guilty. He was merely a driver, and was in the inn yard, when Howe, the horsekeeper, who considered the haybands to be his perquisites, got Chesterman to take the hay to Millerd's. There was no evidence against Chesterman, excepting his own admission of guilt, but that admission amounted only to his having considered, that in carrying the hay to Millerd's he was acting wrong. If there was any doubt in the minds of the Jury, Mr.Voules said it was in evidence that Chesterman had borne an excellent character, which should operate in his favour.

The Recorder summed up the evidence very minutely , pointing out the portions applicable to each of the prisoners, observing, that as regarding Millerd, whatever suspicions might be entertained there was no evidence that it would be safe to act upon, for from all that appeared, Millard might not have known anything about the hay.

The Jury found Howe and Chesterman Guilty, and Millerd Not Guilty.
Mr.Clarke recommended Howe and Chesterman to mercy on account of their previous good character. The Jury joined in the recommendation.

The Recorder, after expatiating on the enormity of the offence of which Chesterman and Howe had been convicted, that of robbing their employer, instead of protecting his property, said they must consider they owed a debt of gratitude to Mr.Clarke, who in recommending them to mercy was returning good for evil. The sentence of the Court was, that they be imprisoned and kept to hard labour in the county gaol for six calendar months.

George Green, aged 22, Richard Green, 20, John Raygon, 20, and John Wilson the younger, 18, were indicted foe stealing a copper from the wash house of John Ayres and others. A second count stated the copper to be the property of Mr. Thomas James Bedborough.
James Ayres, of No.19, South-place, stated that he was a tenant to Mr.Bedborough; on the 23rd of January at about half past 11 o'clock at night he last saw the copper in the washhouse; the next morning it was gone. There was no lock to the wash house. Elizabeth Mary Grover, wife of Mr.Grover the landlord of the Criterion beershop, stated that on the 23rd January the prisoners came to her house about 10 o'clock at night and remained till 11. They had a horse and cart which were put into the witness's yard. James Thomas Clarke, who was at the period in question a police constable, stated that at half-past nine o'clock on the night of the 23rd January he say the prisoner's cart standing opposite the Criterion beer-shop. The name of "Richard Green" was on the cart, and in it were some hay, a fork, and a shovel. No one was there with the cart, but on returning he saw Richard Green with the horse, who said he had been removing dung out of Clewer-lane. At twenty minutes after ten witness saw the cart there again, and he then insisted on its being removed, when it was taken into the yard of the Criterion. Witness saw all the prisoners in the beer shop. At eleven o'clock the prisoners left the Criterion and took the horse and cart away into Peascod-street. He afterwards saw the cart standing in Clewer-lane,just below a passage that led into South-place, and all the prisoners and some others were there, three of them standing at the corner of the passage. Witness requested them to go home, and witness went on his beat. On his return about twelve o'clock he found the cart there loaded with dung. The next morning the witness heard that the coppers were missing, and he went and apprehended the four prisoners. When they were in custody he and Guthrie took their shoes to try them with the marks near where the coppers were; one of Wilson's shoes had a half tip on the heel, the other half being worn off and supplied by nails; the marks of the nails and tip corresponded with some of the foot prints in the dirt. Richard Green's shoes, which were peculiarly nailed, also fitted some of the marks. John Guthrie corroborated the last witness in regard to the footmarks and some of the prisoners shoes fitting them, particularly those belonging to Richard Green and Wilson. Joseph Hearne, a painter, stated that on the night of the 23rd of January he saw the prisoners at the end of South-place at a quarter or half past 11 o'clock Richard Green, Raygon, and Wilson were standing there about 50 yards from where the coppers were. William Copas stated that on the night of January the 23rd between 12 and one o'clock, while coming home from Clewer-green he met Richard Green's horse and cart, and Green with them. Witness asked him to let him ride, and he did so. On getting into the cart witness sat on a copper covered with a sack. Witness went about a quarter of a mile with him. The cart was coming from the direction of South-place towards Green's residence (On being further questioned the witness could not swear which of the Green's he rode with). John Copas, a constable of Old Windsor, stated that on the 26th January, he went with a search warrant to the residence of the mother of the two Greens, and found two coppers buried in the garden. On comparing them, in company with Mr.Bedborough, to the places in South-place, from which they had been taken, they fitted precisely. Mr.Bedborough stated that the houses in South-place belonged to him. The coppers were witness's property, he saw them put in the places where two coppers had been taken away, and they fitted.

The Recorder summed up, and the Jury, after some consultation , returned a verdict of Guilty against all the prisoners.
The Recorder said the prisoners had been very properly found guilty of an offence which was most serious, and required a severe punishment, for it was not to be tolerated that four young men like the prisoners, who could earn their own bread, there being plenty of work to be had, should go about at night's marauding, and stealing coppers from houses. The sentence of the Court was, that the prisoners be imprisoned and sent to hard labour for the term of six calendar months.

There was another indictment for stealing a copper on the same night, from another house in South-place, but the Recorder did not deem it necessary to proceed with it.

John Wooden, aged 31, and James Wicks, aged 30, were indicted for stealing 30lbs weight of lead, the property of his Majesty. They were also indicted for stealing 15 squares of glass, the property of Mr. John Engall. Mr.Voules appeared for the prisoner Wooden. It appeared that the prisoner Wicks had for some years been in the employ of Mr.Engall who was the superintendence of his Majesty's farm in the Home Park, [] this month the other prisoner was also at work on the premises. In a shed where a variety of articles were placed, there had for many years been lying a piece of sheet lead rolled up, which belonged to the King, and there was also a box of squares of glass which were Mr.Engall's private property, and used by him to repair his garden frames with. On the day named, Mr.Engall's servant went in the shed for some wood, and having got it, locked to door, when Wicks asked for the key, which she gave him, and in about ten minutes he returned it. The next day the lead and fifteen squares of glass were missed, and on inquiry , it was ascertained that Wooden's daughter, a little girl, had carried something away in a basket the preceding evening. Information was given to Mr. Gillman, the superintendent of police, who went to Wooden's house, and asked his wife for what her daughter had taken in the basket; at first she denied her daughter had brought anything home, but at length admitted she had, and brought forward twelve of the squares whole and two broken ones. The lead, it was discovered, had been sold by Wooden's daughter to Mr.Pearce of High-street, for 13d being at the rate of a penny per pound, the weight stated to be 13lbs. The lead, with some other lead, was sent by Mr.Pearce, within an hour afterwards, to a man in London, who, in about an hour after he received it, again sold it, and consequently it was not now forthcoming to be identified. Wooden stated in his evidence that on looking into the box he said he should like to have one or two squares of glass, and Wicks said he wanted some; that Wicks then took out some and handed them to him (Wooden). Mr.Engall gave Wooden a good character previous to this time.
The Jury Acquitted the prisoners on the first charge, that of stealing the lead, but found then guilty of the charge of stealing the glass.
The Recorder sentenced Wooden to be imprisoned in the Borough Gaol one month, and Wicks to be imprisoned in the County Gaol and kept to hard labour for two months.

This being the last case the Court broke up.

Bankruptcy of Mr Martin of Burnham

An important investigation into the alleged sale of the bankrupts effects took place before Mr Commissioner Fonblanque, at the Court of Commissioners, Basinghall-street, on Tuesday last. Mr. Smith, the Solicitor under the fiat, conducted the examination of the several parties on behalf of the creditors. It appeared that the bankrupt entered into an agreement with Mr. Wm Clarke, for the sale of his stock in trade, fixtures and furniture, at Burnham, at a valuation, which amounted to 337 odd. On the very day on which the act of bankruptcy was committed, the bankrupt was paid that sum: but it also appeared by the examination of Mr.Cuningham, a grocer, the agent for Clark (who underwent a very searching examination by Mr.Smith), that immediately after the 337 was paid, the bankrupt returned 183 for him to pay over to a nephew of the bankrupt, in discharge, as it was said, of a debt owing to him - Cuningham, however, did not pay it over. It also appeared that the valuation of the furniture, which amounted to 57 18s , was in like manner repaid to Cuningham, the bankrupt having expressed the wish that his wife and family might retain the use of the furniture;- that upon the completion of the business, and the settlement of money matters detailed, Cuningham and the bankrupt left Burnham between nine and ten o'clock at night, and after travelling the greater part of the night reached Ponder's End, near Tottenham, where the bankrupt got into a Norfolk coach; that he (Cuningham) had not seen him since, and that Clark was in the possession of the effects under the circumstances stated. The bankrupts creditors, by this investigation, will be enabled to recover 183, and also the value of the furniture, making together 240 odd; but we understand a meeting will be convened, to consider the propriety of adopting measures to rescind the contract, on the ground of its being fraudulent, and entered into in contemplation of bankruptcy. It will be recollected that Martin, the bankrupt, was one of the collectors of the poor rates for the Eton Union.