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Did the Vicar run amok?


7 Apr 1820  Rev Gowen Evans of Towcester summoned to appear at the next Quarter Sessions (Easter 1820), meanwhile to keep the peace towards Gilbert Flesher


The Charge

On 5 Apr with force and arms one Gowen Evans, clerk, did wound and ill-treat Gilbert Flesher so that his life was greatly despaired of.


Gilbert Flesher’s statement

Gilbert Flesher saith that:

About an hour of 7 in the Morning the said Gowen Evans came into the gateway of certain premises belonging to me at Towcester in the occupation of myself & Mark Follwell, Grocer, and falsely accused me of having made an assault on him, and used very violent irritating and insulting language towards me, and that the said Gowen Evans was at that time armed with a large Knife used for the purpose of cutting Hay and that he held the same in both his hands in a menacing position, and continued to menace me for a considerable time and during that time in a very passionate and vehement manner and with violent and alarming gesticulations repeatedly threatened to stab me therewith, saying, “Damn you, I have a great mind to thrust this into you, God damn you, I will thrust it into you”, and other words of the same nature and to the same effect.


I was put into great fear and alarm by the above mentioned conduct of the said Gowen Evans and was afraid to move from the spot in which I was then standing lest the said Gowen Evans put his threats into execution, which he verily believed from the violent ungovernable passion of the said Gowen Evans he would have done. And did remain in that state of alarm until some person came to my assistance, when I made my escape, but who this person was, from my alarm and agitation did not notice and am still ignorant.


I did not in any manner whatsoever by word or otherwise provoke or irritate the said Gowen Evans but on the contrary behaved myself quietly and peaceably; I conceived myself to be in great bodily danger, and I do not make this complaint against the said Gowen Evans through any malice, hated or ill-will but merely for the preservation of my life.


The Vicar’s statement has unfortunately not survived.


The verdict?

Not guilty, at Thomas a Becket sessions



QSR 2/164 and QSR 2/165      Easter 1820