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Kent Online Parish Clerks

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Assizes, Police Courts, Petty Courts

Transcribed by Michael Coomber, graciously provided to the Kent OPC for display.
Contributors of additional abstracts are noted by their initials placed in square brackets at the end of the source citation.

Source:  Lateran Regesta 732: 1473/74, Calendar Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain & Ireland, Vol. 13: 1471-1484 (1955), (f. 89v.), pp. 355-360.  [SDY]
1473. 3 Id. Sept. (11 Sept.) Tivoli.

To John, bishop of Rochester. Mandate, as below. The recent petition of Walter Coly, layman, and Alice Honywode alias Coly his wife, of the diocese of Canterbury, contained that although they formerly contracted marriage per verba legitime de presenti, and consummated it, Elena Seruaunt of Sandwich, 1 mulier, of the same diocese, falsely alleging that the said William had previously contracted marriage with her per similia verba, brought him and the said Alice before Thomas Winterborne, clerk, auditor-general of the court of the archbishop of Canterbury, who, wrongfully proceeding, promulgated an unjust definitive sentence in favour of the said Elena and against the said Walter, without the said Alice being otherwise summoned, 2 from which he and Alice (after it came to her knowledge) appealed to the apostolic see; that they obtained papal letters in the matter of the said appeal to the bishop of Rochester [Cal. Papal Letters, XII, p. 653], 3 and in virtue thereof caused the said Elena to be summoned before the late Thomas, bishop of Rochester; that after the said bishop had inhibited the said auditor to meddle further in the said cause, the latter caused the said Walter and Alice by a public edict posted in public places (although there was safe access to the said Walter and Alice) to be cited before him, to answer certain articles concerning contempt of his ordinary jurisdiction, and, holding them to be contumacious (which was not the fact), excommunicated them, and caused them to be publicly proclaimed as excommunicate, wherefore they have appealed to the said see, etc. At the said petition, therefore, the pope hereby orders the above bishop to summon the said Elena and others concerned, conditionally 4 absolve the said Walter and Alice from the said excommunication, hear both sides, and decide what is canonical, 5 without appeal...censure, as in the preceding. Humilibus etc.

1  de Sandewico.
2  dicta Alicia aliter ad hoc non vocata.
3  This shows that in the third line from the end of the text of that page the '?' can be omitted.
4  ad cautelam.
5  quod canonicum fuerit.
[Source:  URL:]

Source:  Daily Courant ( London, England ), Saturday, June 15, 1734; Issue 5678.
Canterbury, June 10.

     On Monday last, one William SITRON, of Wood-church, Husbandman, was committed to his Majesty's Gaol for the Eastern Division of the County of Kent, charged by his own Confession, with stealing 2 Horses, one from Joseph GIBSON of Wood-church, and one from Thomas STANNER, of Birchington.

Source:  Daily Gazetteer (London Edition) Saturday, June 4, 1737; Issue 606.
Canterbury, June 1.

On Sunday Morning last, one Margaret WICKES, a single Woman, about 22 Years of Age, was committed to his Majesty's Gaol in St. Dunstan's near this City, charged with Suspicion of murdering Lydia FAGG, an Infant of the Age of 18 Months, Daughter of Thomas FAGG, of the Town and Port of Dover, Gent. which on Examination before the Justice of Peace, she hath confessed. The miserable Wretch has only to excuse so barbarous an Action, as she pretends, but that when she was uneasy in her Service, her Mistress would not suffer her to go away. This Maid-Servant got up from the Bed where she lay with the Infant, at her Master's House in Dover; about four o'Clock on Saturday Morning last, and before she went out of the House, as she now says, went up and kiss'd the Child three several Times, and at last took the Child from the Bed, and carry'd her asleep to the Sea-side; when a great Wave wash'd the Child out of her Arms; that she saw the Child struggle several Times, and went into the Sea after it to save it, but could not. But 'tis confidently reported by strong Circumstances, that she flung the Child into the Sea, to be reveng'd of her Mistress. She can give no Reason for carrying the Child so early in the Morning to the Sea-side.

     This hard-hearted Creature afterwards, instead of going home, rambled about three Miles to St. Margaret's, where she was found, conceal'd in one of the Cliffs about 10 o'Clock the same Morning; and the Child about the same Time was taken up in one of the Fishermen's Nets, to the unspeakable Grief of the Family.

Source:  London Evening Post, Thursday, July 28, 1737; Issue 1514.
On Wednesday last at Rochester Assizes, Margaret WICKES was tried before Mr. Baron Thomson, for the murder of Lydia FAGG, an Infant about the Age of eighteen Months, Daughter of Mr. Thomas FAGG of Dover, and was capitally convicted. It appear'd upon the Tryal, that the Creature took the Child out of a Bed in her Master's House, about Four o'Clock in the Morning, the 28th of May last, and carried it under Dover Castle, and threw it into the Sea and drowned it, to be reveng'd on her Mistress, with whom she had had some Words the Day before.

Source:  Country Journal or The Craftsman (London, England), Saturday, June 4, 1743; Issue 884.
Last Sessions at the Old Baily, the Court was pleased to make an Order, that Richard KEBLE (tried for returning from Transportation and acquitted) should be removed to the County Gaol for Surrey, to be tried there for the said Crime, and a Habeas Corpus is making out accordingly. KEBLE has been nine Times in Newgate, five Times in the New Gaol, twice in Maidstone Gaol in Kent, and four Times transported.

Source:   London Gazette (London, England), September 29, 1747 - October 3, 1747; Issue 8680.
At the Court at Kensington, the 2d Day of October, 1747.

Present - The King's most Excellent Majesty in His Privy Council.

Whereas Edward SAVAGE, otherwise SAVIDGE, of Bexhill in the County of Sussex, Labourer; Thomas WINTER, of Postling near Hythe in the County of Kent, Farmer, commonly called or known by the Names of FOOTSEY and FROST; James BROOKSEY, otherwise BROOKSY, of Ashford in the County of Kent, Patten Maker; and Francis RUSHING, late of Canterbury, but now of Wilsborow near Ashford in the said County of Kent, Labourer, were, upon the Eleventh Day of September last, charged by Information of a credible Person upon Oath, by him subscribed before Thomas BURDUS, Esquire, one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the County of Middlesex, with having been guilty, upon the Third Day of November last, of being, together with divers other Persons, armed with Fire Arms or other Offensive Weapons, and so armed, being assembled at a Place called the Sand Banks in the Parish of Word near Deal in the said County of Kent, in order to be aiding and assisting in the Running, Landing, and Carrying away uncustomed Goods; which Information was afterwards certified by the said Thomas BURDUS, under his Hand and Seal, to one of his Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, who has laid the same before his Majesty in his Privy Council, pursuant to the late Act of Parliament of the Nineteenth Year of the Reign of his present Majesty in the Case made and provided:

His Majesty doth, by and with the Advice of his Privy Council, by this Order in his Privy Council require and command, That the said Edward SAVAGE, otherwise SAVIDGE, Thomas WINTER, commonly called of known by the Names of FOOTSEY and FROST, James BROOKSEY, otherwise BROOKSBY and Francis RUSHING, and each of them, do surrender himself and themselves, within the Space of Forty Days after the first Publication of this Order in the London Gazette, to the Lord Chief Justice, or one other of his Majesty's of the Court of King's Bench, or to one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace.

Signed by William Sharpe.

Source:   London Gazette (London, England), September 29, 1747 - October 3, 1747; Issue 8680.
At the Court at Kensington, the 2d Day of October, 1747.

Present - The King's most Excellent Majesty in His Privy Council.

Whereas John DUNK, of Bexhill in the County of Sussex, Labourer; Thomas KEMP, of Hawkhurst in the County of Kent, Labourer; Thomas DRURY, of the same Place, Labourer; Stephen TUCKER, late of Deal in the County of Kent, Labourer; and John TUCKER, of the same Place, Labourer, Brother of the said Stephen, were, upon the Eleventh Day of September last, charged by Information of a credible Person upon Oath, by him subscribed before Thomas BURDUS, Esquire, one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the County of Middlesex, with having been guilty, upon the First Day of November last, of being, together with divers other Persons, armed with Fire-arms or other offensive Weapons, and so armed, being assembled at or near Sandgate Castle, in the Parish of Folkestone in the said County of Kent, in order to be aiding and assisting in the Running, Landing, and Carrying away uncustomed Goods; which Information was afterwards certified by the said Thomas BURDUS, under his Hand and Seal, to one of his Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, who has laid the same before his Majesty in his Privy Council, pursuant to the late Act of Parliament of the Nineteenth Year of the Reign of his present Majesty in the Case made and provided.

His Majesty doth, by and with the Advice of his Privy Council, by this Order in his Privy Council require and command, that the said John DUNK, Thomas KEMP, Thomas DRURY, Stephen TUCKER, and John TUCKER, and each of them, do surrender himself and themselves, within the Space of Forty Days after the first Publication of this Order in the London Gazette, to the Lord Chief Justice, or one other of his Majesty's of the Court of King's Bench, or to one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace.

Signed by William Sharpe.

Source:   London Gazette (London, England), September 29, 1747 - October 3, 1747; Issue 8680.
At the Court at Kensington, the 2d Day of October, 1747.

Present - The King's most Excellent Majesty in His Privy Council.

Whereas John MURTON, late of Sittingbourn, but now of Hawkhurst in the County of Kent, Yeoman; Uriah CREED, otherwise MORGAN, of Hawkhurst aforesaid, Yeoman; Thomas KINGSWOOD, of Flimwell, in the County of Kent, Yeoman; Richard MAPESDEN, otherwise MAPLESDEN, otherwise MAPLESTON, otherwise MAPESTON, of or near Hawkhurst in the County of Kent, Yeoman; and James LACY, commonly called or known by the Name of MASTER, late of Hythe, but now of Ollington in the County of Kent, Yeoman, were, upon the Eleventh Day of September last, charged by Information of a credible Person upon Oath, by him subscribed before Thomas BURDUS, Esquire, one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the County of Middlesex, with having been guilty, upon the Thirtieth Day of March last, of being, together with divers other Persons, armed with Fire Arms or other Offensive Weapons, and so armed, being assembled at a Place called Reculver, in the said County of Kent, in order to be aiding and assisting in the Running, Landing, and Carrying away uncustomed Goods; which Information was afterwards certified by the said Thomas BURDUS, under his Hand and Seal, to one of his Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, who has laid the same before his Majesty in his Privy Council, pursuant to the late Act of Parliament of the Nineteenth Year of the Reign of his present Majesty in that Case made and provided:

His Majesty doth, by and with the Advice of his Privy Council, by this his Order in his Privy Council, require and command, That the said John MURTON, Uriah CREED, otherwise MORGAN, Thomas KINGSWOOD, Richard MAPESDEN, otherwise MAPLESDEN, otherwise MAPESTON, otherwise MAPLESTON, and James LACY, commonly called or known by the Name MASTER, and each of them, do surrender himself and themselves, within the Space of Forty Days after the first Publication of this Order in the London Gazette, to the Lord Chief Justice, or one other of his Majesty's Justices of the Court of King's Bench, or to one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace.

Signed by William Sharpe.

Source:  London Gazetteer (London, England), Tuesday, February 7, 1749; Issue 56.
They write from Folkstone, that on Tuesday last were removed from the Town Jail there to Maidstone, by Habeas Corpus, under a strong Guard of Dragoons, Solomon HARVEY the younger, Richard COCK, and William FAGG, charged on Oath with feloniously entering the Warehouse of Solomon HARVEY the elder, and carrying from thence a large Quantity of Callicoe and Linen, that was lately saved out of the Ship Justrow Rebecca, Capt. Jonas STARK, stranded at Folkestone aforementioned the 16th of January: And it is said that many more will be committed for the same Frauds, and that the Merchants and Commissioners of the Insurance Office are determined to prosecute them with the utmost Rigour that the Law admits of.

Source:  London Evening Post (London, England), March 21, 1752 - March 24, 1752; Issue 3811.
Last Saturday Night at Twelve o'Clock the Assizes ended at Maidstone for the County of Kent, when the sixteen following Criminals receiv'd Sentence of Death, viz. John GRACE for the Murder of his Wife; William SAWYER, Thomas DEVEIL, and Abraham MULLINER, for robbing James HASTRICK on the Highway, near Rochester, of four Guineas, and after murdering him, they imagined he knew them; John HOBBS for robbing Francis TAYLOR on Blackheath of a Silver Watch, etc. Christopher REILEY for robbing Michael LADE, Esq. on the Highway, between Boughton and Canterbury, of a Hat and a Bay Gelding; John KEATING and James NESBIT, alias BERRY, for divers Robberies on the Highway; John PELLING and Dennis DOYLE for Horse stealing; John WARNER for Sheep-stealing; Thomas STURT for stealing in the Dwelling-house of John COMER in Woolwich twelve Thirty-six Shilling Pieces, two Guineas, and a Silver Cup; John HOCKLISH, alias HOGSFLESH, for Burglary; James HUDNELL for privately stealing from William PENFOLD a Silver Watch, etc., Thomas BAILEY for Burglary; and Elizabeth SPARKS for stripping and robbing Sarah KIDDER on the Highway, in Company with Sarah MEREDITH, who was convicted at the last Assizes for the same Fact, and was executed.

Henry PARSONS the younger, and George TOWNSEND, were tried for the Murder of Mary HALL, Spinster, near Deal, and were both acquitted.

Source:  Gazetteer and London Daily Advertiser, Wednesday, January 10, 1759; Issue 5392.
Canterbury, Jan. 6.

     Thursday was committed to St. Dunstan's gaol by Sir Narborough d'Aeth, John WRIGHT, charged with a violent suspicion of breaking and entering the barn of George SAYER, at Lid Court, with intent to steal a parcel of cloth, the property of the merchants concerned in Gottenburgh.

     On Tuesday eleven convicts, nine men and two women, were removed from Maidstone gaol, and put on board a ship at Gravesend for the plantations in America.

Source:   London Evening Post (London, England), March 12, 1778 - March 14, 1778; Issue 8735.
Maidstone ASSIZES.

At the Assizes, which began at Maidstone on the Crown side, before Sir William BLACKSTONE, on Tuesday last, James ELLIOT, convicted the preceding assizes for the same county of forgery on the Bank of England, when a motion was made by Mr. MORGAN, his counsel, in arrest of judgement, the words "pounds" in a black ground and white letter, not being in the counterfeit note, was brought up to the bar, and acquainted by Judge BLACKSTONE of the opinion of the twelve Judges, who unanimously agreed, that his motion in arrest of judgement was over ruled; that the forgery was in every part, in law, compleat; and that he was ordered to pronounce sentence of death on him at the close of the assizes. He was ordered for execution on Wednesday next.

Stephen RANDALL was capitally convicted this assizes for a highway robbery in the parish of Maidstone, on the 9th of October, 1777, and taking from Mr. EARLE the sum of thirty guineas.

Robert BRABON was also capitally convicted for a burglary in the dwelling-house of Thomas JENNINGS, of Cranbrook, in Kent, and stealing thereout various articles of linen and wearing apparel.

Thomas FROST and James SMITH were capitally indicted for a highway robbery, at Counterhill, in the parish of St. Paul, Deptford, and taking from Thomas NEWMAN 9 shillings 6 pence. The evidence being defective against SMITH as to identity, the Jury found only FROST guilty, and SMITH was acquitted. There was another indictment for the same offence, for robbing one John HAMS.

Thomas LAW was also capitally convicted of a burglary, in the house of John CHALIE, Esq.; and feloniously taking and carrying away a pair of silver candlesticks and other silver plate, to the value of 80 Pounds.

Thomas STEVENSON was capitally convicted of horse-stealing; as was:- Wm. NEALE, for a highway robbery on Blackheath, the 7th of February last, and taking from Laurence HOLKIN, two guineas and an half. - NEALE pleaded guilty to the indictment. He had but lately been clerk to a lottery-office-keeper on Ludgate-hill; but from his having formed connections in Covent-Garden, and reduced himself by extravagance, he unfortunately took to the highway, and was apprehended on immediate pursuit. He is about twenty-one years of age.

At the end of the assizes on the Crown-side, Judge BLACKSTONE, in a very solemn and affecting manner, pronounced sentence of death on the seven prisoners, viz. James ELLIOT, Stephen RANDALL, Robert BORABON, Thomas FROST, Thomas LAW, Thomas TEVENSON, and William NEALE.

ELLIOT is ordered for execution on Wednesday next.

Source:  London Evening Post (London, England), March 12, 1778 - March 14, 1778; Issue 8735.

At the Assizes, which began at Maidstone on the Crown side, before Sir William BLACKSTONE, on Tuesday last, Stephen RANDALL was capitally convicted for a highway robbery in the parish of Maidstone, on the 9th October, 1777, and taking from Mr. EARLE the sum of thirty guineas.

Robert BRABON was also capitally convicted for a burglary in the dwelling-house of Thomas JENNINGS, of Cranbrook, in Kent, and stealing thereout various articles of linen and wearing apparel.

Source:  London Evening Post (London, England), March 12, 1778 - March 14, 1778; Issue 8735.

At the Assizes, which began at Maidstone on the Crown side, before Sir William BLACKSTONE, on Tuesday last Thomas STEVENSON was capitally convicted of horse-stealing; as was Wm. NEALE, for a highway robbery on Blackheath, the 7th of February last, and taking from Laurence HOLKIN two guineas and a half. NEALE pleaded guilty to the indictment. He had but lately been clerk to a lottery-office-keeper on Ludgate-hill; but from his having formed connections in Covent-Garden, and reduced himself by extravagance, he unfortunately took to the highway, and was apprehended on immediate pursuit. He is about twenty-one years of age.

Source:  London Evening Post (London, England), March 12, 1778 - March 14, 1778; Issue 8735.

At the Assizes, which began at Maidstone on the Crown side, before Sir William BLACKSTONE, on Tuesday last Thomas FROST and James SMITH were capitally indicted for a highway robbery, at Counterhill, in the parish of St. Paul, Deptford, and taking from Thomas NEWMAN Nine Shillings and Six Pence. The evidence being defective against SMITH as to identity, the Jury found only FROST guilty, and SMITH was acquitted. There was another indictment for the same offence, for robbing one John HAMS. Thomas LAW was also capitally convicted of a burglary, in the house of John CHALIE, Esq.; and feloniously taking and carrying away a pair of silver candlesticks and other silver plate, to the value of 80 Pounds.

Source:  Parker's General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer (London, England), Saturday, April 5, 1783; Issue 2001.
Mr. William Wynne RYLAND, the person who committed the forgery on the East India Company, was taken at Margate on Thursday night, and will be brought to town this day for examination.

Source:  Hampshire Chronicle 27th December 1790.  [SF]
The Grand jury at Dover have thrown out the bill of indictment preferred against Mr. ANDERSON for the murder of Mr. STEPHENS in a duel at Margate.

Between Mr. STEPHENS and Mr. ANDERSON, Margate, September 21st 1790

     Yesterday a duel was fought at Kingsgate, between Mr. STEPHENS, son of Philip STEPHENS, Esq., Secretary to the Admiralty and a Mr. ANDERSON.

     It originated in such a trifling circumstance as a dispute about the shutting of a window in the public rooms. The parties fired each a pistol without effect; but as the second fire Mr. ANDERSON's ball entered between Mr. STEPHENS's under lip and chin; and passing to the jugular vein in the neck, occasioned his almost instantaneous death.

     Mr. ANDERSON was apprehended soon after; and this day the coroner's inquest sat on the body and brought in their verdict "Manslaughter".

     The bill of indictment afterwards presented against Mr. ANDERSON for murder, in his unhappy meeting with STEPHENS, was unanimously thrown out as frivolous and unfounded, by the grand jury at Dover.

Source:   London Packet or New Lloyd's Evening Post (London, England), November 15, 1793 - November 18, 1793; Issue 3785.

The Defendant was convicted of having Naval Stores in his possession, with the King's mark upon them. Mr. Justice ASHURST - "The sentence of the Court upon you, George DADD, is, that you pay a fine of 100 Pounds to the King, and that you will be imprisoned, till said fine be paid."


The Defendant was found guilty of a similar offence, and sentenced to be imprisoned in the House of Correction at Maidstone for three months, and in the interim to be publicly whipped at the Dock-yard in Chatham for the space of 100 yards.

Source:   The Morning Post and Gazetteer (London, England), Saturday, August 01, 1801; Issue 10274.
Kent ASSIZES. Maidstone, Thursday, July 30.

Before Mr. Justice GROSE.
James AUSTEN was indicted for having feloniously assaulted James DEADMAN on the King's highway, at Lock's Bottom, in the county of Kent, and robbing him of four leather bags, the property of our Sovereign Lord the King.

The prosecutor was the man employed to carry the mail, and was stopped by the prisoner on the day mentioned in the indictment. He was discovered in consequence of his having endeavoured to circulate one of the bank notes contained in the mail.

His person was identified, and the Jury found him - Guilty.

The Judge immediately passed sentence of death upon him, and ordered him to be hung in chains at Lock's Bottom, between Farnborough and Bromley.

Richard SMITH, alias JONES, indicted with Charlotte GREEN, for burglariously breaking open and robbing the house of the Rev. Mr. JEFFRIES, at Bexley. SMITH was convicted, the woman acquitted.

John MOTBY, aged 59, was convicted of stealing a ewe sheep.

William WELLS was indicted, and found guilty of a burglary and robbery in the house of Thomas WILSON.

Edward CLARKE alias William DAVIS, was convicted of breaking and entering the dwelling house of Joseph MARSH, in Harbleton, in the day time, and feloniously stealing a brown coat, and a variety of other property.

Thomas FEVER was convicted of stealing a wether lamb, the property of Thomas BOUCHER, of East Sutton.

William JONES was convicted of stealing a wether sheep, the property of - OFFIN.

Joseph PELLETT and John JENNER were tried and found guilty for assaulting Thomas MUNN, on the King's highway, and robbing him of a silver watch, two half guineas, and a six-pence, his property.

Before Mr. GARROW.

George MILLS and Richard MARTIN were indicted and found guilty of sheep-stealing. It appeared they were servants of the prosecutor.

Mr. GARROW addressed them upon the enormity of the offence of which they had been found guilty, and, in a manner the most impressive, proceeded to pass sentence of death upon them.

A great number of the prisoners were tried by Mr. GARROW: the manner in which he, for the first time, presided as a Judge, was precisely that which might have been expected from so eminent an Advocate.

There were 14 sentenced to death, but they were all respited before the Judges left the town, except James AUSTEN, Richard SMITH, alias JONES, and Joseph PELLETT, who were ordered for execution.

Source:   Bell's Weekly Messenger (London, England), Sunday, August 2, 1801; Issue 276.
At the assizes at Maidstone, these was a cause which from its novelty, excited an uncommon degree of attention; such a circumstance has not occurred in half a century: it was a trial of a writ of right, in which Sir John HONEYWOOD was defendant, against Lord GWYDIR, to recover a piece of land. The Jury consisted of 16 Knights.

After a long discussion, a verdict was given in favour of Sir John HONEYWOOD.

Source:   Bell's Weekly Messenger (London, England), Sunday, August 2, 1801; Issue 276.
The assizes at Maidstone ended about ten o'clock on Thursday morning; we understand fourteen were condemned for death, and seven left for execution, among whom were the following :-

Thomas COUCHMAN, George MILLS, and Richard MARTIN, for sheep stealing.

Richard SMITH, alias JONES, and Charlotte GREEN, for breaking open the dwelling-house of the Rev. Richard JEFFRIES, in Bexley. And James AUSTEN, for robbing the mail.

Source:  The Times (London, England), March 23, 1802, p. 2, Issue No. 5372.  [SDY]
Kent ASSIZES. - Maidstone

Before Sir Beaumont Hotham.
Turner v. Umverril.

     The Counsel who opened this cause stated, that it was an action brought by the Plaintiff [Turner], a young and respectable Attorney, against the Defendant [Umverril], a stout athletic farmer, to recover damages for a most violent assault, committed in violation of the rights of hospitality, and without the slightest cause or provocation.

     The Defendant had invited the Plaintiff to his house, in the neighbourhood of Blackheath, and upon some sudden trivial dispute, he struck him, presented a loaded pistol to his breast, to terrify him; turned him out of doors at a very late hour of the night, beat him unmercifully, threw him down, and wantonly rubbed him in the wet. The consequence of this treatment was, the Plaintiff caught a severe cold and fever, which confined him for several months, and he had to pay his Apothecary upwards of 20L. - He hoped in a case of so aggravated a nature, the Jury would think it necessary to give very exemplary damages.

     Miss JAMES, a young lady about 18 years of age, and sister-in-law to the Defendant [Umverril], was called to prove these facts on behalf of the Plaintiff [Turner]; and from her evidence, after she had been cross-examined, the case, which had been stated as of so serious nature resolved itself into this - She had been upon a visit to the Plaintiff's Father, in London, and was so pleased with her treatment, and the attention of the Plaintiff, who was about the age of twenty-one; that she in return invited him down to her Brother's. The young lady shewed an extreme partiality for the young lawyer, and they were never happy but in each other's company. They were accustomed to amusing themselves by walking in the groves of Greenwich Park, and upon a certain evening, after having been a long time missed, they were found enjoying a téte-à-téte in one of the vaults of Sir Gregory Page Turner's decayed mansion. Another source of amusement was reading novels to each other; and upon the evening the supposed assault was committed, the Defendant was preparing to go round his grounds with a pistol in his hand, as was his custom, when he heard the Plaintiff in his sister's bed-chamber, reading a novel. He immediately exclaimed to his wife - "What's that girl and boy about in the bed-room - they shan't be there". In order to be sure of it, he ordered that Miss should sleep in the same room with her sister that night; and he would take care to keep the lawyer from her. This determination so affronted the Plaintiff that he resolved upon leaving the house that instant. He went out, and Miss JAMES followed him, and insisted upon seeing him safe over the heath to some other house. She clung round and resisted every attempt of the Farmer to get her away. The assault consisted in nothing more than the struggle which was the consequence of her laying tight hold of the Plaintiff; no blow was struck whatever; on the contrary, the Defendant wished the Plaintiff to come back, and sleep at his house that night.

     The Surgeon was called to prove that the Defendant had been seized with a cold and fever, and had paid him 20L. He however admitted, that passing an hour or two in a damp vault was as likely as any other cause to produce such a disorder.

     The Counsel insisted the attempt to pull the young lady from the Plaintiff by force, was an assault which entitled him to a verdict.

     The Judge thought the contrary; and that the Defendant had acted like a prudent man. He even intimated that he would not have perhaps far exceeded his authority if he had given the Plaintiff a gentle horse-whipping, and had locked the young lady up for a week, upon an allowance of bread and water. - Under his Lordship's direction, the Jury found a verdict for the Defendant. [In other words, the Defendant was found not guilty.

Source:  The Derby Mercury ( Derby, England ), Thursday, March 4, 1813; Issue 4216.
At the last Assizes for the County of Kent, one William HALL, a fisherman at Folkestone, was convicted before Lord Chief Justice ELLENBOROUGH, upon an indictment charging him with furnishing a boat to three French prisoners, who had broken their parole from Ashborne, in this county, to enable them to cross the Channel; and for this offence HALL was, in the following Michaelmas Term, sentenced by the Court of King's Bench to 2 years' imprisonment, and to pay a fine of 50L. These prisoners had travelled in post-chaises from Ashborne, and the post-boy, John EDWARDS, who had driven them to Folkestone from the Royal Oak at Ashford, kept by one James POTTS, was subpoenaed to give evidence of the fact. EDWARDS, however, thought fit not to obey the subpoena, for which contempt he was prosecuted, and by the Court of King's Bench has been sentenced, in addition to an imprisonment of two months which he has already undergone, to be further confined for the space of six calendar months in the county gaol of Maidstone.

Source:  Jackson's Oxford Journal, Saturday, August 17, 1816; Issue 3304.
KENT ASSIZES concluded on Friday evening - seven of the unhappy criminals capitally convicted, are left for execution - viz. BROWN, CONNOR, and CURBY, for the dollar robbery; KEMP alias CLUBB, and J. MORRIS for forgery; W. WEBB, for the burglary in the house of Mrs. RAMMELL, of Eastry; and Henry VOWLER, for cutting and stabbing.

Source:  The Times (London, England), March 25, 1818, p. 3, Issue Number 10313.   [SDY]

     John FILMER was indicated for feloniously killing and stealing two sheep, on the 20th of November, in the parish of Little Mongeham, the property of Thomas DAVIS, a farmer, in the neighbourhood of Deal.

     It appeared that the servants of the prosecutor had safely penned up his sheep on the night of the 20th of November, and next morning the sheep in question were missing. Suspicion afterwards fell upon the prisoner, his house was searched, the skins of the sheep were found, and great part of the flesh cut up and preserved in pickle.

     The facts were clearly made out, and the Jury found the prisoner Guilty - Death.

Source:  The Times (London, England), March 25, 1818, p. 3, Issue Number 10313.  [SDY]
Mercer LUDGUTER, a young man of genteel appearance, was indicted for stealing, on the 6th of March, at Maidstone, a horse, value 30L. the property of John ARCKOLL.

     It appeared in evidence that the prosecutor's groom had fastened up the horse in question in his master's stable on the night of the 6th of March. Next morning the horse was missing, and Mr. ARCKOLL went to Smithfield, and the very same day he saw his horse in the possession of a horse-dealer, named Awson, who, upon being asked how he became possessed of it, said, that he had purchased it of the prisoner for 10L.  The prisoner was afterwards apprehended, and he voluntarily confessed that he had broken open the prosecutor's stable, and taken the horse away.

     The jury found him Guilty, but recommended him to mercy.

Source:   The Times (London, England), March 26, 1818, p. 3, Issue Number 10314.  [SDY]

Kent ASSIZES, Maidstone, Tuesday, March 24.
CROWN SIDE.-Before Mr. Baron Wood.

Walter WATCHURST and George DUNK were indicated for having, at Gillingham, on the 4th of February, feloniously uttered as true, a forged Bank-note, well knowing the same to be a counterfeit, for the payment of 1L. to James REED, with intent to defraud the Governor and Company of the Bank of England.

The first witness called on the part of the prosecution was James REED, who deposed that he kept the King of Prussia public-house in the parish of Gillingham, and on the morning of Wednesday, the 4th of February last, both the prisoners came into his house, and having taken some liquor, offered a 1L. Bank-note in payment. As soon as the prisoners were gone, he wrote the name of "WALTERS" (the name by which he had previously known Watchurst) upon the note.  He had known Walters for about five years, and knew him when he lived at Chatham.

James MILES, a pawnbroker, residing at Brompton, in the parish of Gillingham, proved that on the 4th of Feb. last both the prisoners came into his shop, and having bought some stockings, gave a 1L. Bank-note in payment.  He put the note into his pocket, into which he had previously placed a bundle of four notes, but they were not mixed together.  There were four persons in the shop at the time, one of whom was a Jew of the name of LEVY, who got his living by buying and selling clothes.  In consequence of information he received, he went after the prisoners, in company with Ayres, the constable, and a person of the name of Palmer.

John William PALMER was a public-house-keeper in Gillingham, and was, on the 4th February, in company with MILES in search of the prisoners.

Ann ASHDOWN deposed, that her husband was a cordwainer, residing on Chatham-hill, and that, on the 4th February, the prisoners called in the evening at her house.  WATCHURST, who had called about half-a-dozen times before at the house, said to her, "I want your husband to play me a tune".  The prisoners went upstairs where her husband was, and presently they came down stairs, and the tune was played.  Upon the request of Dunk, she went for half a gallon of beer to a public-house near at hand, and for this purpose he gave her a 1L. note.  She asked, "Have you not some silver?" Dunk replied, "Go and get change."  The beer was obtained and the change was given to Dunk.  Witness did not count it herself.

This testimony was corroborated by the evidence of the husband and publican.

Thomas AYRES, the constable, was next examined.  He deposed, that in consequence of information he had received, he went in search of the prisoners.  He went to the Dark Sun public-house at Chatham, and in about a quarter of an hour the prisoner came in.  Witness was well known at Chatham, and as soon as the prisoners came in, he heard a voice say "Ayres is here."  Immediately the prisoner made towards the door, but they were prevented from going out by the witness.  He said,

"Young men, I must trouble you for your names; there have been reports of forged Bank-notes being about, and I suspect you."  He then took them into the bar, and slightly searched them: while he was doing this he observed Dunk take something like a canvass bag out of his pocket; but he did not look for it at that time, having no assistance. He told the prisoners to keep their hands still.

It was proved by the landlord and landlady of the Dark Sun public-house, that about an hour after the prisoners were gone, a canvass bag, containing twenty-eight bank-notes, and 5L 8s. in silver, was found in the bar of the public-house.  This was delivered into AYRE's hands.  The prisoner WATCHURST, the day after his apprehension, upon being told that the bag was found, said, "if the notes are yours, the silvers is ours."

Mary Ann SPILLETT, landlady of a public-house at Rochester, proved, that on the 3d of Feb. the prisoner WATCHHURST came to her house, and had some liquor.  He tendered in payment a 1L. note;  and she said, that she did not like to take those notes, as she did not know good from bad notes.  The prisoner said, that it was very good, and change was given.

Charles CHRISTIAN, one of the inspectors of bank-notes, proved the notes tendered by the prisoners, as well as the 28 in the canvass bag, to be all forgeries in every respect.

The prisoners said, in their defence, that they did not know the notes were forged. Several witnesses gave them a good character.

The jury found a verdict - Guilty.

Sentence of death was immediately passed upon the criminals.

Source:  The Times (London, England), March 25, 1818, p. 3, Issue Number 10313.   [SDY]
Kent ASSIZES, Maidstone.

On Monday, the Assizes for this county commenced before Mr. Baron Graham, in the Civil Side and Mr. Baron Wood, in the Crown Court.  The venires in the former amounted to 49, and the Calendar in the latter contained 172 prisoners - a number exceeding all former precedent.

Source:   The Times (London, England), March 28, 1818, p. 3, Issue Number 10315.  [SDY]
Kent ASSIZES. - Maidstone, March 26.
CROWN SIDE. - Before Mr. Baron Wood.

Alexander GARDINER, William BROWN, John BARRETT, Thomas JONES, George SMITH and Charles WILLIAMS, a desperate gang of sheep-stealers, were indicted for stealing, on the 29th of October last, at Swanscomb, in this county, a sheep, the property of Mr. John RUSSELL. The prosecution was principally supported by the testimony of George ROBINSON, an accomplice, whose evidence was confirmed by other proof of a less questionable character. The prisoners were all found Guilty - Death.

Source:   The Times (London, England), March 27, 1818, p. 3, Issue Number 10315.  [SDY]

This was an action of assault and false imprisonment against the overseer of the parish of Plumsted, the constable of the same parish, and another person, for taking a young woman before a magistrate, and compelling her to leave the parish.

The father and mother of the plaintiff were examined, who stated that their daughter lived with them, and gained her living by honest industry, and that neither she nor any of the family had been chargeable to the parish.  Notwithstanding this, one morning in July last, as she was going out early to work, the defendants lay in wait for her, and seizing her, said she must go with them.  She said she had done no wrong, that she had neither robbed nor murdered any one.  They however persisted in taking her away, and carried her before a magistrate, who dismissed her upon her promise to leave the parish and go to West-ham, in Essex, where she was legally settled.

Mr. MARRYAT, for the defendants, stated, that the parish officers were legally justifed in what they had done under the circumstances of the case.  The plaintiff had been pregnant of a bastard child, which was likely to become chargeable to the parish, and the officers of Plumsted had regularly removed her to her place of settlement at West-ham, in Essex, where she was brought to bed.  By the statute of 17 Geo II. commonly called the Vagrant Act, amongst other things it was enacted, that when a person had been regularly removed, if they unlawfully came back to the parish from which they had been removed, they were thereby declared to have committed an act of vagrancy, and were liable to be punished as a vagrant.  The plaintiff, after her removal, did come back to Plumsted, and the parish officers, finding that she had renewed her old practices, and might again endanger the parish to the charge of a bastard, took her up under this clause of the act;  but being unwilling to deal harshly with her, they let her go, upon her promise to depart the parish. The former removal being proved.

Mr. Common Sergeant, in his reply, contended her return to her parents was not an unlawful return, and commented on the oppression of the parish officers with considerable severity.

The jury found for the plaintiff - Damages 5L.

In consequence of the great press of criminal business, it was announced by the Judges, that no special jury causes would be tried at these assizes.

Source:   The Times (London, England), March 27, 1818, p. 3, Issue Number 10315.  [SDY]

This case occupied a considerable portion of the time of the court.  It was an action brought to decide the question as to the right of appointment to the office of parish-clerk for the parish of Bromley; whether such right was vested in the parishioners or in the clergyman of the parish.  The parties in this suit were both candidates for the office, and the whole of the testimony adduced by the plaintiff was to show an immemorial custom in the parishioners to appoint the parish-clerk.  To make out this custom, a great number of witnesses were called;  but the plaintiff completely failed in making out the case, and a verdict was given for the defendant.

No other case of any consequence came on for trial during the whole of the day.

Source:  The Times (London, England), March 27, 1818, p. 3, Issue Number 10315.   [SDY]

      William BRIGHT and Jeremiah HILL were indicted for stealing a pony, value 40L. the property of John BICKNELL, Esq.. The horse in question, together with a bay horse belonging to Mr. Young of Greenwich, were taken out of a field belonging to that gentleman on the night of the 12th November, and on the next day they were seen at the fair at Epping.  The prisoners there offered the horse for sale, and asked 12L. for the pony, and 13L. for the bay horse.  It appeared that Bright was the acting manager of the whole, and had employed Hill to commit the robbery.  On the apprehension of Hill, at Greenwich, on the 15th of November, he stated to the constable, that on the 12th he met Bright, whom he knew before, and by whom he was asked to go to Epping with a couple of horses, which he had to take out of a field.  To this he consented;  having nothing to do;  and at night they went to the field.  Upon finding the gate locked, Bright said, "Good God! this is strange;  the servant knows I am coming."  The gate was taken off the hinges, the horses caught, and taken to Epping fair.

     Mr. Baron Wood stated to the jury that there was little doubt as to the guilt of Bright;  and the only question was, as to whether Hill had a knowledge that he was doing a felonious act.

      The jury acquitted Hill, and found Bright guilty.

Source:   The Times (London, England), July 31, 1818, p. 3, Issue Number 10423.  [SDY]

Maidstone, WEDNESDAY, JULY 29.
Before Mr. Justice Abbot.

The case of WYATT V. HOSTE, which has excited great local interest in Kent, was decided this day.  It was an action brought by Mr. Charles WYATT, nominally against Sir G. HOSTE, but in fact against the Board of Ordnance, for the recovery of the value of a large quantity of gravel shingle, etc., taken from the strand on the waters' edge near Sheerness, for the use of Government, in the construction of certain public works in he vicinity of that place.  Mr. WYATT is lord of the manor over a considerable part of this strand, and has exercised in the same manner as his predecessors the right of selling the gravel, sand, or shingle thrown up or accumulating on the edge of the bed of the river up to ordinary spring-tide mark. A considerable traffic has been long carried on in this gravel, sand, etc.  It is used in large quantities for ballast, repairing roads, making Roman cement, etc.  Government used a large quantity of it;  but some difference having lately taken place between Mr. WYATT and the Board of Ordnance respecting the contract, the latter resisted the right of the former to have any claim to the soil between the common tide-mark and the ordinary spring-tide line.  This denial of his right to the inner part, which was the most valuable, and from which the gravel was chiefly dug, rendered it necessary to establish his claim by law.  The evidence in support of it consisted of barge-masters, who had for upwards of 40 years dug out of the spring-tide mark, and always paid the Lord of the Manor for the privilege; and also of documentary evidence for a century past, to show that the stewards of the several Lords of the Manors were uniformly paid for the same permission.

Mr. Justice Abbott asked the counsel for the defendant, whether they had evidence to show any thing like a strong case against this mass of authority in favour of the long existing custom.  On being informed in the negative, he immediately directed the jury to find for the plaintiff, which was accordingly done.

Source:   The Times (London, England), July 31, 1818, p. 3, Issue Number 10423.  [SDY]

Thomas FARRIER was indicted upon the Coroner's Inquisition, the bill for murder having been thrown out by the Grand Jury, for manslaughter, in killing Henry Richard DANIELS, a child of three years and a half old, at Mingeham, in this county.

The witnesses for the prosecution stated that the prisoner had married the mother of the child, who was her son by a former husband; that on the 4th of April last, the child, having given some cause of offence to the prisoner, he shook it by its two arms, asking the child at the same time if he was not ashamed of himself? The child answered, "yes", and almost immediately after fell down, when it was observed that its eyes fixed as if in convulsions. A surgeon was sent for, who arrived about two hours after, when he found the child in a dying state, having symptoms of concussion of the brain, and it died in about 40 hours after.  A physician also attended, and, coinciding in opinion with the surgeon, directed the head to be opened, when an extravasation on the brain was discovered which he considered caused the death.  Both concurred that the shaking only could not have had that effect.

On cross-examination by Mr. Pollock, who was Counsel for the prisoner, it appeared that the shaking was not so violent as to excite any observation;  that the prisoner was habitually fond of the child, and kind to him, and was much grieved at the occurrence.  He was therefore acquitted.

Source:   The Times (London, England), July 31, 1818, p. 3, Issue Number 10423.  [SDY]

This was an information against the defendant, at the suit of the Attorney-General, for assaulting Nicholas ROUBILLIARD, an officer of the customs, in the execution of his duty, at Deal.

The facts of the case were these: -

Mr. ROUBILLIARD, now a Lieutenant in the navy, and Mr. PEATE, also a Lieutenant, and both belonging to his Majesty's ship Severn, stationed at Deal, were sent in pursuance of a deputation from the Customs, aided by ten men, to search a lugger, in the act of landing, and supposed to contain smuggled goods.  In the attempt so to do, the defendant attacked Mr. ROUBILLIARD, and struck him a blow on the breast, which made him stagger several paces.

Mr. ROUBILLIARD's evidence was corroborated by that of Mr. PEATE, and the defendant was found Guilty.

Source:   The Times (London, England), July 31, 1818, p. 3, Issue Number 10423.  [SDY]

In this case Mr. REES, an opulent shopkeeper at Chatham, EDWARDS and WRIGHT, two of his shopmen, and PORCHER, his porter, were indicted by J. BALLS, a private marine, for an assault and false imprisonment in the cage of the workhouse of Chatham.

BALLS (and a comrade of his corroborated his evidence) swore positively that at 11 o'clock on the night of the 6th August last, as he was returning to his barracks, he happened accidentally to brush by a young girl, with whom Mr. REES and his shopmen and porter were chattering at their own door; they all immediately ran at him, seized his bayonet, and though Corporal LIVIC came up, and offered to take BALLS to the guard-house, and be responsible for his appearance on the following morning, they insisted on taking him to the cage, where he was locked up all night.  BALLS said, he was beaten and kicked so severely, that he was confined to the hospital 14 days.  The marines further said, that Mr. REES exclaimed, "Go, you d--------d soldiers, you are a set of vagabonds altogether.  I pay taxes to keep you, and I'll punish you wherever I can catch you." The prosecutor said, that the only provocation he gave was that "of being a marine."

For the defendants, the watchman who took the soldier into custody, a shopman of Mr. REES, and a neighbour who witnessed the transaction, deposed that the prosecutor was the aggressor;  that he had drawn his bayonet and cut EDWARDS; that he had said, he'd "assault his father or King George if he stopped his way;" and declared he did not care a pin for a watchman, as he had paid 2L. for capsizing one before now;  and the only thing he regretted was, not having given the fellows four inches of cold steel.

Verdict - Guilty against all but WRIGHT.

Source:  Trewman's Exeter Flying Post or Plymouth and Cornish Advertiser, Thursday, January 28, 1819; Issue 2785.
At the late Quarter Sessions for the Western Division of Kent, held at Maidstone, John SMITH, Wm. VERE, William HADE, Richard TOMLINSON, William DAVIES, John THOMAS and Joseph BEADLE, were tried and convicted of stealing dead bodies from the burial grounds of Milton, and Plumstead, in that county. - The court sentenced the whole seven to be imprisoned for twelve months.

Source:   The Morning Post (London, England), Tuesday, August 10, 1819; Issue 15150.

Of the 79 prisoners on the calendar, 18 were capitally convicted, and five following left for execution, viz:-

Henry LANGRIDGE, 35, for the murder of Mr. SAXE, of Penshurst, about six years ago; Abraham ABRAHAMS, 24, Judah SOLOMON, 36, and Joseph SOLOMON, for being accessories in planning a burglary and felony, at Minster, Isle of Sheppy, of which three men were convicted at the last Maidstone Assizes; and John CRUTTENDEN, aged 33 (indicted on the Black Act) for feloniously and maliciously cutting a number of hop binds, growing on poles, in a plantation belonging to Mr. Samuel SANTER, of Benenden. This, we believe, is the first capital conviction that ever followed an offence of this kind.

Source:  The Morning Chronicle (London, England), Friday, December 19, 1823; Issue 17057.
Kent WINTER ASSIZES, - Maidstone, Dec. 18.


     Everybody who knows the Town Hall of Maidstone, in which the Judges hold their Assizes, knows that the lower Court is very ill adapted for the convenience of business, independently of its exposed situation. Mr. Justice PARK being senior Judge in the Commission, sits in this Court, which at the present season of the year is dreadfully cold, in consequence of a continual thorough draft of air from two doors placed opposite each other. The Learned Judge complained bitterly to-day of this annoyance, and observed, that whilst the county had lavished enormous sums erecting a splendid Gaol (which he hoped never to see filled), they had allowed the Judges of the land to sit in a mean and insignificant Court, almost at the peril of their lives. Mr. BERENS, the Recorder of Maidstone, interposed, and informed his Lordship that the evil complained of would be speedily remedied, inasmuch as new Courts on the best construction were in contemplation. Mr. Justice PARK said he was exceedingly happy to hear it, for really the present Court House was disgraceful to the county of Kent.

Source:  Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle etc., Monday, December 20, 1824; Issue 1315.
At Kent Winter Assizes on Thursday, George SHRUBSOLE was sentenced to suffer Death, for stealing 29 sheep.

Against H. BAKER, for a burglary, and stealing 80L. and wearing apparel; J. BROWN, and R. GOSLING, for larceny, sentence of Death was recorded.

Source:  The Morning Chronicle ( London, England ), Thursday, July 28, 1825; Issue 17533.
Kent ASSIZES, Maidstone

July 26.

     James Harvey SADLER, aged 30, was indicted for feloniously intermarrying with Ann Eliza COURT at Hythe, his first wife, Ann, being alive. Mr. PLATT conducting the prosecution, and Mr. ANDREWS the defence. The prisoner had been a gentleman's servant, and in 1816 had married Ann HIDE, a woman in his own station, at the parish of Christchurch, Surrey, with whom he appeared to have lived on ill terms, but had had three children by her. On the 17th of April last, he had married Ann Eliza COURT, a handsome young woman, of respectable parents, at Hythe, in this county, with whom he cohabited about a fortnight, and then left her, going to his first wife, under the pretence of looking after some property in London. His stay being protracted longer than was expected, the unhappy young woman followed him to London, and found him domesticated with his first wife and family. An eclaircissement 1 took place, to the misery of both women, and the second wife, by the advice of her friends, instituted this prosecution. - The case was clearly made out, and the prisoner found GUILTY. - Judgement postponed.

[Note from Michael Coomber: This is NOT connected to our research, but we did try to find a newspaper report giving the Judgement and/or sentence, but to no avail.]

1  E‘clair´cisse`ment:  n. 1. The clearing up of anything which is obscure or not easily understood; an explanation. The eclaircissement ended in the discovery of the informer. - Clarendon. Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by C. & G. Merriam Co. Etymology - French. Date - 1667

Source:  Jackson's Oxford Journal, Saturday, January 5, 1828; Issue 3897.

MAY 14.
     Edward Gibbon WAKEFIELD and William WAKEFIELD are brought up for judgment, and are sentenced to three years' imprisonment, the one in Newgate, the other in Lancaster Gaol.

(This is for the abduction of Miss TURNER. Our previous posting on this is from Liverpool Mercury etc., dated Friday, August 17, 1827; Issue 847. Headed "Death of Mrs. WAKEFIELD (nee SIDNEY) (1827)".)

Source:   Morning Journal (London, Middlesex), Wednesday, November 05, 1828, p. 4.  [SDY]

Mr. Justice Park and Mr. Baron Garrow took their seats on the bench at two o'clock, when the prisoner was placed at the bar, and the indictment read by the clerk of the arraigns. The first count charged the prisoner (Joseph HUNTON) with having in his possession a bill of exchange for the sum of 94L. 13s., purporting to have been drawn by John DICKSON and Co. on Richard LUCK of East Peckham, Kent; and that he (HUNTON) forged the acceptance of the said R. LUCK to the said bill. A second count charged him with uttering the said bill of exchange, with the same forged acceptance, well knowing it to have been forged.

Mr. CLARKSON opened the pleadings.

The Hon. Charles LAW stated the case. The learned gentleman said that he should abandon the charge of forging the acceptance to the bill in question, because, although he could be able to prove that it was the hand-writing of HUNTON, yet he could not prove that it was forged in Middlesex, which was necessary to establish the charge. He should prove that the prisoner uttered the bill with the forged acceptance upon it, and as the prisoner had no authority from Mr. LUCK to accept that bill, the circumstance of the acceptance being in the prisoner's hand-writing was evidence of his guilt, and that he uttered it knowing it to have been forged. The prisoner was a wholesale draper, in partnership with a gentleman named DICKSON, in Ironmonger-lane, Cheapside, and they carried on their banking business at the house of Sir Wm. Curtis and Co., Lombard-street. It could be proved that the bill in question was uttered by the prisoner on the 1st of September, with twenty other bills, at the banking-house of Curtis and Co. The bills were received from the prisoner by Mr. Robarts, M.P., one of the partners of the bank-and the language of the prisoner at the time he uttered the bills to Mr. Robarts would be of great importance for the consideration of the jury, as tending to demonstrate his guilty knowledge at the time. The jury could not be ignorant of the fact that he had already been tried and found guilty on a similar indictment, but he hoped that that would have no influence on their minds. The honourable gentleman then proceeded to state other facts, and to descant upon the importance of the case before them.

Abraham Wilday ROBARTS, Esq., M.P. examined - I am one of the partners in the house of Robarts, Curtis, and Co., bankers, Lombard-street. During the last year our house transacted business with John Dickson and Co., of Ironmonger-lane. That firm consisted of the prisoner and Mr. John Dickson. Our bank used oftentimes to discount bills for them, and the prisoner exclusively discharged that part of the business as far as were concerned. He came on the 1st of September last, and brought a number of bills to be discounted, at the same time giving a list of them (which I now hold in my hand). The list is in the hand-writing of the prisoner. I compared it at the time with them, and they perfectly corresponded with each other. Among the bills presented to me on that occasion is the one which is the subject of the present inquiry, and which I now hold in my hand. It is likewise entered in the list. I expressed to the prisoner great reluctance to discount the bills; but on his telling me that they were legitimate bona fide commercial transactions, I discounted them. After I received them I folded them up with the list and placed them in a box in the discount-office. In the common course of business the bills would be taken and entered by Thomas Plackett, the discount clerk, into a book kept for that purpose; and, after that, it was the usual practice to place them under a lead on the desk, and for another clerk, named James Clunie, to take them from thence, and put them into the ledger. I declined discounting them altogether for the prisoner on Wednesday or Thursday, before which I had received from him a letter, which I now hold in my hand. It is in his hand-writing, and dated the 27th of September, with the Deal postmark on it.

The letter was here put in, and read by the clerk of the arraigns: -

"September 27, 1828.

"Mr. Robarts - In consequence of the decision you have come to not to allow us any farther discount, I have looked into our affairs; and, finding them deranged, I have determined to be out of the way for some time.

"Yours, etc.
"Joseph HUNTON." Mr. Robarts continued - I received the above letter on the Monday morning, and when I arrived at the bank, I found Mr. Dickson, the prisoner's partner, there, and, from the conversation that ensued, I was induced to examine other bills which I had discounted for the prisoner.

The witness having finished here,

Mr. Justice Park inquired of the prisoner if he had any question to put to him, but he replied in the negative.

Mr. Robarts recalled - The body of the bill is in the prisoner's hand-writing. I do not know any person named LUCK, who appears to be the acceptor of the bill.

Thomas Blackett, a clerk in the discount-office of Curtis and Co. examined - On the 1st of September I entered the bills which have been spoken to by the above witness in the discount-book. The bills corresponded with the list which Mr. Robarts produced. One of the entries on the list corresponded with the bill produced - "J. Dickson and Co. 94l. 13s., on Luck, due 26th December."

Mr. Justice Park - Have you any question to put to this witness?

Prisoner - None, my lord.

At this stage of the proceedings a person in the gallery, attired like a Quaker, addressed the court in the following manner:-

"As an indifferent person, my lord, can I be allowed to speak?"

Mr. Justice Park - If you have any thing to say which you believe to be important to the interests of justice, you may communicate with the counsel who are engaged on the trial. If it is favourable to the prisoner, you can speak with him or his friends; but I cannot hold any conversation with you, and you must be very ignorant not to know that your mode of proceeding has been extremely irregular.

The interrupter at this took his seat, at the same time making some inaudible observation.

Alexander CLUNIE stated that he entered the bills left on the desk by the last witness in the ledger from the discount-book. This witness likewise corroborated the statement of the two former witnesses.

Mr. John DICKSON deposed that he was a haberdasher in Ironmonger-lane, Cheapside, in partnership with the prisoner, in September last. He had the chief management of the money concerns of the house. The bill produced was in the hand-writing of the prisoner. They kept a book for the entry of all bills received in business. The book was called "bills received book," which he had examined, and had not found any entry of this bill. They had a correspondent named Robert LUCK, who lived at East Peckham, Kent. He was indebted to them but not quite so much as the amount of the bill produced. He was positive that the body of the bill was in the prisoner's hand-writing.

By Mr. Justice Park - I am not acquainted with the hand-writing of our correspondent LUCK. I do not know in whose hand the words "accepted, R. LUCK," is.

Richard LUCK examined - I reside at East Peckham, and am in the general line, grocer, draper, etc. I know of no other person of my name in East Peckham. There is a Mr. LUCK in the adjoining parish, but his name is not Richard. I do not know his Christian name. He is in the general line. I transacted business with Dickson and Co., of Ironmonger-lane, and was indebted to them on September last, but not so much as the amount of the bill. The acceptance is not in my hand-writing.

By Mr. Justice Park - I never authorized any one to accept that bill for me.

By Mr. Clarkson - I had, previous to the 1st of September, given two bills to Dickson and Co., covering the amount of my debt due for 19L. and one for 12L.; but I am certain I never gave the one produced.

James WELLS examined - I am alehouse-keeper at East Peckham. I know the hand-writing of the last witness. The acceptance is not in his hand-writing. I believe the Christian name of Mr. LUCK at Yolden [sic: Yalding], is Thomas.

Joseph WARREN examined - I was an apprentice to the prisoner at Bury St. Edmund's, and know his hand-writing. I believe the acceptance to the bill in question is by him.

Henry MOUNTAIN, another apprentice, deposed likewise to the prisoner's writing.

Richard LUCK recalled.

Mr. Justice Park said to him - Two witnesses have been called, who swear to the acceptance being in the prisoner's writing. Now, did you ever authorize him to accept this bill?

Mr. LUCK - Never.

Hunt, a police-officer at Portsmouth, examined - I apprehended the prisoner on board the Leeds, New York packet, when he was writing in the cabin. I asked him if his name was Wilkinson, as I had a letter for him. He said it was, and I told him it was useless to keep him in suspense, and that I had a warrant against him, charging him with forgery. I have in my hand two papers which were then lying before him [letters addressed to the Times newspaper, already published.]

Mr. Justice Park here informed the prisoner that the prosecution was closed, and it was the proper time for his defence.

HUNTON said, that in justice to himself he wished to ask a question or two of Mr. Robarts.

Mr. Justice Park observed, that he was at perfect liberty to do so.

HUNTON - Pray, sir, was the bill in question discounted from the knowledge you had of the acceptor or the drawer?

Mr. Robarts - From what I knew of the drawer, and from the prisoner having said it was a bona fide commercial transaction.

HUNTON - Have you not in your possession a deed of assignment of property as security for the payment of the bills which you discounted for Dickson and Co.?

Mr. Robarts - There is in our possession a deed purporting to be an assignment of property as a collateral security for the payment of any bills in any advance of cash we might make to Dickson and Co.

The prisoner, not having any other questions to make, then, with the learned judge's permission, read a paper, the substance of which was a follows:-

He complained that the court had not granted his application to put off his trial till the next session, and said that it was a hardship to be forced to go to trial when he was not prepared with his defence. The few days that had been granted to him was similar to putting a straight waistcoat on him and inviting him to a free exercise of his limbs. He had not attempted to take a single shilling out of the country with him belonging to his creditors. The prisoner concluded with a very energetic appeal to the clemency of the court and jury.

Mr. Justice Park summed up, and said that the postponement of the trial under his circumstances was unprecedented in the history of that court, and desired the jury to consider the evidence well, and give the prisoner the benefit of any doubt.

The jury consulted for about five minutes, and the foreman, on being asked if the prisoner was guilty or not, replied, "We find him guilty of uttering the bill knowing it to be forged, but that he had no intention to defraud the prosecutors."

Mr. Justice Park - "I cannot receive that verdict, gentlemen. If you say he had no intention to defraud, you must acquit him. You had better re-consider your verdict."

The jury again consulted for a minute or two, and the foreman then said, "He is guilty of uttering the bill knowing it to have been forged at the time, but as he had a collateral security in the hands of Messrs. Curtis and Co., we are of opinion that he did not intend to defraud them."

Mr. Justice Park - "You must say either guilty or not guilty."

Foreman - "Guilty."

A juror - "No, no, we are not satisfied."

Mr. Justice Park observed, that it really was the duty of the gentlemen to make up their minds with respect to their verdict.

A juror - "So we have, and we consider that the prisoner is guilty of uttering it knowing it to have been forged, but at the same time not with an intention to defraud."

Mr. Justice Park - "But you must either say guilty or not guilty. With respect to the collateral security on which you found some part of your verdict, there is no evidence to show that it was worth a farthing."

The jury then consulted for a few minutes, and finally agreed in finding him guilty.

The prisoner was then removed from the bar, and the court adjourned till two o'clock.

The prisoner HUNTON was unaided by counsel, and leant over the bar the greatest part of the trial, at times playing with a small piece of rue that was placed on the bar. Several of the Society of Friends were present, and so great was the anxiety to witness the proceedings, that as much as ten shillings and upwards were given for a seat.

At two o'clock the recorder took his seat upon the bench, and HUNTON, with the other prisoners, was called up for judgment.

When he was asked whether he had any thing to say why he should not have sentence of death passed on him, he read a written paper, the substance of which is as follows: - He hoped that the circumstance of the case would be fully laid before his majesty. He had always, throughout his long life, conducted himself with propriety and integrity, and he hoped that that, and the fact of his having rendered some service to society, would be taken into consideration. He then sat down, and continued with his right hand placed over his eyes during the remainder of the time he continued at the bar.

The Recorder then made a very feeling speech, in which he alluded to the fact of such a number of prisoners being convicted of capital offences, the major part of them not having reached the age of twenty-one, and passed sentence of death upon the following prisoners:

Joseph HUNTON, for forgery; [22 others also received the same sentence for various robbery and forgery offences].

We omitted to state that the prisoner HUNTON represented the largeness of his family (12 children), and threw that out for the consideration and clemency of the court.

All the prisoners conducted themselves in a becoming manner, but did not appear much affected by the awful situation in which they were placed.

Source:   The Times (London, England), 14th August 1829,
CROWN COURT (Before Mr. Justice GASELEE)

Richard MILLS and Henry SIMMONS were charged with stealing a sheep, the property of George LUCK, at Hadlow. The prosecutor's brother stated, that as sheep had been stolen, he was on watch in the field, and, after waiting some time, saw the two prisoners come and single out a sheep, which they took away. He pursued and took MILLS.

SIMMONS immediately returned, seized Mr. LUCK by the collar and nearly choked him. He pulled out his knife and threatened to murder him. The other man, however, interfered and on Mr. LUCK promising to let them go about their business, they released him from his horrible situation.

The evidence was clear and the jury found them GUILTY.

MILLS, death recorded. SIMMONS was NOT sentenced, as he is charged with another capital crime, and, if guilty, will probably suffer the last punishment of the law.

Source:  The Era ( London, England ), Sunday, January 11, 1846; Issue 381.

     Mary DAVIS, an elderly woman, was indicted for stealing at Blackheath, Kent, on the 3rd. inst., two pairs of sheets, and other articles, the property of Mr. T. MARTIN. The prisoner was found Guilty, and sentenced to the treadmill at Maidstone Gaol for the space of one year.

Source:  The Times, Friday, July 24, 1846; pg. 7; Issue 19297; col B.

Home Circuit, Maidstone, Thursday, July 23.

(Before Mr. Baron Parke and a Common Jury.)

     William ALLPRESS, 30, was indicted for the manslaughter of Anne ALLPRESS, his wife. Mr. HORNE prosecuted, and Mr. MELLOR defended the prisoner. It appeared that the parties resided at Gillingham, and the deceased was very much addicted to drink. On the night of the occurrence in question she was at a public-house intoxicated, and the prisoner had an altercation with her, and according to the testimony of one witness he stuck her a violent blow on the eye, and also kicked her. This statement was however contradicted by other witnesses, and it appeared that the deceased had fallen down some stairs, and the actual cause of death was by no means clearly made out. The jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty.

Source:   The Weekly Chronicle (London, Middlesex), Saturday, November 13, 1847, p. 3.  [SDY]
Stabbing Case at Throwley.

     Edward SPILLETT, charged with stabbing Richard COX, at Throwley, near Faversham, on Wednesday last, from the effects of which he died on Friday morning, was examined before the Rev. Dr. Poore (chairman of the division of Upper Scray) Mr. SURMAN, Mr. HILTON, General GOSSELIN, and Mr. N. J. KNATCHBULL, at the Ship Inn, Faversham, on Monday last, when the following evidence was adduced:-

     Daniel ROOK, of Throwley, labourer, examined: On Wednesday evening last I was at the Windmill public house, Throwley, in company with Richard COX (the deceased), Edward SPILLETT, Charles CLINCH, and others, between eight and nine o'clock in the evening. SPILLETT and CLINCH left the house and went out on the green, just in front of the house, to fight. They had had a few words indoors. I and COX and several others went out at the same time to see them fight. They fought about ten minutes or a quarter of an hour, and CLINCH then gave in. COX acted as second to CLINCH for the last round or two. As soon as CLINCH had given in COX said he would fight "e're a SPILLETT there was there with one hand;" and COX and SPILLETT went at it directly. COX hit SPILLETT first, and SPILLETT returned it. SPILLETT then went down, and COX On the top of him. They got up and fought again, and went down again, and COX was on SPILLETT again. I went up and said to COX "Come, Dick, get up;" and he said, "I can't, he holds me;" and I pulled him partly up, and he got up, and went towards the public house. I think I was the first person who went up to COX after they fell; it was very dark. COX and SPILLETT were both "fresh". There were between twenty and thirty persons round whilst COX and SPILLETT were fighting; but no one was near enough to touch COX but SPILLETT.

     George EPPS, of Throwley, labourer, examined: I as present when SPILLETT and CLINCH fought on the evening of Wednesday last, on Throwley green. After CLINCH gave in I heard COX offer to fight any of the SPILLETTS with one hand. I then saw COX go up and strike SPILLETT, and SPILLETT struck him again, and then they joined, and SPILLETT fell with COX on him; they got up, and I went up to SPILLETT and told him to put on his clothes and go home, and he said, "No, ---his heart, if he comes here again I'll kill him." COX came at him again, and SPILLETT fell down again, and COX on the top of him, and ROOK came up and pulled him off.

     John STEVENS, of Faversham, labourer, examined: I was at the Windmill public house on Wednesday evening last, the 3d of November, and went out on the green just after CLINCH and SPILLETT had done fighting. I heard COX say he would fight any of the SPILLETTS on the ground with one hand. COX and SPILLETT had a round, I believe; but I was behind and did not see it. I then saw COX and SPILLETT have another round, and SPILLETT went down and COX on him. I got through the crowd, and went up and took hold of COX by the right arm to help him up, and he said, "I am stabbed; SPILLETT is the man who done it, and no one else," and he asked me to let him lie. When I got through the crowd up to COX he was on the ground, but I did not then see SPILLETT, and just after FILMER came up. I assisted FILMER in getting COX into the house; we undressed him, and on examining him found several wounds, one in the small of the back, to which I held a handkerchief to stop the blood, and another in his belly, from which his entrails were hanging out. COX asked to see SPILLETT, that he might forgive him, and said that he was the man who had done it, and no one else.

     Julius Gaborian SHEPHERD, of Faversham, clerk to the magistrates, examined: On Thursday last I attended in company with Mr. Jarman, one of the county magistrates, at the Windmill public house, Throwley, for the purpose of taking the statement of Richard COX, who I understood was dying from wounds received by him on the previous evening. I produce a written declaration and statement made by him, he being fully aware of his situation, and that he was then in a dying state. After the examination was taken and signed, it was ascertained that SPILLETT was in the house, and he was then brought up before COX in the presence of Mr. JARMAN and myself; and the examination so taken was then read over to COX in the presence of SPILLETT, and he again stated that the whole was quite true and correct, and that he felt sure he could not live long.

     The statement was then put in, which was to the effect as detailed by previous witnesses, and that when on the ground with SPILLETT he felt him stab him.

     George MUNDY, of Charing, surgeon, examined: I was sent for on Wednesday evening last at nine o'clock to attend at Throwley. I went and found Richard COX at the Windmill public house; he was in a complete state of collapse from haemorrhage occasioned by loss of blood from wounds he had received in different parts of the body. I examined him, and found one in the abdomen, another on the right side just below the short ribs, and four others at different parts. The one in the abdomen was about an inch and a half in length, and from it the small bowels had protruded; the parts were inflated and inflamed in consequence of the smallness of the aperture of the wound. The wound on the right side was rather more than an inch wide, and, as I supposed, had penetrated nearly four inches. I have since discovered from a post mortem examination of the body, that the liver had been wounded through the aperture or wound on the right. I feel sure that COX's death was occasioned by the wounds he had so received. The wounds were inflicted by an instrument similar to the knife now produced (a knife found upon the prisoner SPILLETT when taken into custody). They were inflicted by a single-edged instrument. I saw COX about ten minutes after Mr. JARMAN and Mr. SHEPHERD had left him on Thursday, and I then told him that from the nature of the wounds it was quite impossible he could live, and asked him if he could tell me who inflicted those wounds; and he said it was Edward SPILLETT.

     Several other witnesses who were present at the fight were called and examined, but their testimony was similar to that of the former witnesses.

     At the conclusion of the examination the Rev. Dr. Poore told the prisoner he would stand committed to Maidstone Assizes, to take his trial for the wilful murder of Richard COX. The prisoner is a young man, having a wife and two children, and was much affected during the examination.

Source:  The Bristol Mercury ( Bristol, England ), Saturday, April 13, 1850; Issue 3134.

     At the Dover quarter session, on Saturday, William CASE, an elderly man, an M.D., residing at Margate, appeared before W. H. Henry BODKIN, Esq., recorder, to answer a charge of unlawfully and indecently assaulting a girl named Mary IMPETT, aged between 14 and 15, at Margate, in December last. The prosecutrix had been placed under CASE's medical care, and the prisoner had committed the offence for which he stood charged, telling her it was necessary. The prosecutrix, a simple country girl, submitted to it, considering that as her mother had placed her under the prisoner's care, she was bound to consent. The prisoner, she stated, repeated the offence on several occasions afterwards when she went for medicine. On her mother learning what had passed, her parents went to the prisoner's house, and accused him of ruining their daughter, which he denied, telling them that he had not done anything wrong to her, and offered to make up the matter in a pecuniary manner. This offer, however, was indignantly rejected by the parents, and the prisoner was committed to take his trial. The jury found the prisoner guilty, and the recorder sentenced him to eighteen months' imprisonment in Dover gaol.

Source:  Margate Cinque Ports Police Court, Kentish Gazette, (Kent, England), 15th October 1861.
Henry SETTERFIELD, a labourer, was charged with neglecting to support his son Charles. Thomas Bright, relieving officer of Ramsgate and St Lawrence deposed:

     "The defendant resides at 2 Montefiore Place, Ramsgate. On Saturday fortnight I went to see defendant son, whose head was full of sores, and who appeared to have had no food for three or four days. He was insufficiently clothed and I took him to the union; and he has been chargeable ever since to the parish of St Peter's."

     "Mary Lambert, a widow, deposed:  "I reside at No 2 Montefiore Place and people residing in the house used to send the boy on errands and feed him. His father came home drunk at times and went out before the boy was up but did not leave him sufficient food. The boy, a healthy looking one, corroborated the above evidence. The magistrate said he considered it a gross case and committed defendant to 28 days hard labour in Dover gaol."

     [I looked at the 1861 Census and Charles is indeed in the Isle of Thanet Workhouse. Henry is at 2 Montefiore Place, with a female lodger.]

Source:   Liverpool Mercury, November 24, 1864; Issue 5247.  [SDY]

     On Tuesday, Edward William STAPLES and James TURNER, excavators, were charged before Mr. Berens and Mr. Waring, two magistrates for the county of Kent, with causing the death of James FISHER at Orpington, on Saturday night last. It appeared from the evidence taken that the prisoners and the deceased left the Artichoke public house at Orpington a few minutes after twelve on Saturday night, and when outside the house the deceased was heard by JONES, a constable of the R division of Metropolitan police, to remark to the prisoners that he had been engaged on the line of railway near that neighbourhood 15 years ago. This led to an angry feeling, the prisoner TURNER denouncing the deceased as a liar, and the deceased, who had threatened to strike TURNER, pushed him violently. The constable and another officer who came up during the altercation then advised the deceased, who lived at Bromley, to go home, and he proceeded to do so, at the same time bidding the constable "Good night."

     The prisoners, who stayed behind some time, were afterwards observed by the constables to start off hurriedly in the direction the deceased had taken. Both officers followed them, and when some distance off they heard some one calling out "Get up, you ------," and on proceeding about 100 yards further on the road they found that TURNER had seized and was holding the deceased by the neck, while STAPLES had hold of his legs. In answer to the constables, TURNER, at the same time making use of a coarse expression, said the deceased had fallen down, and they were picking him up. The deceased was then insensible, and his face covered with blood.

     The prisoners were at once secured. On Mr. FULCHER, a surgeon practising at Orpington, being called to the deceased, he found him bleeding from a wound over the left eye (the orbit of which was completely destroyed), and also from the nose and mouth, the injuries having evidently been inflicted by violent kicks. The deceased remained insensible up to the time of his death, which took place on Monday night, the injury over the eye, in the opinion of the medical man, being sufficient to account for death.

     The prisoners were remanded pending the inquiry before the coroner of the district.

Source:   Kebels Gazette, 6th Jan 1871.  [SF]
Thomas HOAD, a carpenter, was charged by Michael HARLOW, one of the police constables of the Borough with using obscene language in High Street, Margate on the 23rd December last.

Supt. COMPTON asked for an adjournment in this case, as the constable was at home seriously ill and handed in a medical certificate to that effect. An adjournment for the fortnight was granted.

Source:   Kebels Gazette, 6th Jan 1871.  [SF]
Ann LEWIS, a vagrant, was charged with begging in the High Street on the 29th ult.. Prisoner pleaded guilty to the charge, but the bench, after reprimanding the woman, dismissed the case on her promising to leave the town at once.

Source:   Kebels Gazette, 6th Jan 1871.  [SF]
Withdrawal of a Charge of Assault

In the case of a charge of assault preferred by Edward SAYER, against Robert SAYER, the prosecutor informed the Magistrates that, with their permission he would withdraw the summons. In answer to the Chairman, the prosecutor said the case had been settled by a written apology having been tendered by the defendant, and he hoped that no further disturbance would be caused by him.

The Mayor expressed his regret at the occurrence, and hoped that the defendant would keep his agreement, assuring him that if any charge came before the Bench and was proved, the defendant would not escape punishment.

[Note from our contributor: I think these would be brothers Edward Sayer 1833 and Robert Sayer 1837.]

Source:   The Illustrated Police News etc (London, England), Saturday, September 20, 1873; Issue 501.  [SDY]

     On Saturday morning Thomas ATKINS was brought up on remand before the county magistrates sitting in petty sessions at West Malling, charged with the wilful murder of Israel MAY, a police officer of the Kent County Constabulary, on the night of the 23rd of August.

     William PINK said: "I am a labourer at Snodland, and went to the field where the body of the policeman was. I examined the place and saw signs of a desperate struggle, I found two caps, one a policeman's and the other such as are worn by working men. I also found a brace and a pair of handcuffs open. I put those things at the feet of MAY and remained in charge of the body till Superintendent HULSE came."

     Superintendent Richard HULSE said: "On the morning of Sunday, the 24th of August last, I received information which caused me to go to Snodland, and in a turnip field about 150 or 160 yards from Snodland-gate, on the Malling side, I saw the body of Israel MAY. His head was so battered about that I could scarcely distinguish a feature. There were several wounds on the face. His tunic was covered with blood and dirt. I found a brace with blood stains upon it, and one of the button holes torn out. There was a civilian's cap stained with blood. I also found MAY's cap, with the chin-strap broken, also a pair of handcuffs and another cap. I directed a constable who was with me to search for MAY's watch, which he found in the waistcoat pocket. It had stopped at twenty minutes to three, and on being taken out went for an hour and ten minutes. I then came back to the spot where the caps were found - having gone to the Bull public house with the body - and examined the hedge of the field, and from the hedge I saw a small quantity of blood on the ground from which we had removed the body. There were footprints of several persons round where the body was lying. When I arrived there at least one or two hundred persons had collected. I continued my inquiries throughout the day, and the result was the granting of a warrant for the apprehension of the prisoner ATKINS. On the 30th ult., the prisoner was brought to this police station under that warrant. Mr. HULSE then recapitulated his evidence given on the 30th ult., which was as follows: 'I took off all the clothes he had on him. His trousers I examined and found them stained very much about the knees. They had apparently been washed and chalked over, and on the trousers I found one brace only, which corresponds with the one I found in the field. The shirt is stained with blood and torn almost to rags. About an hour afterwards I was told that the prisoner wished to see me, I found he wished to say something with reference to the charge, and I told him that if he was about to say anything to me I should have to give it in evidence against him. He said - "I was lying along by the road, and the constable came along and shook me. I got up, and the constable then hit me on the head with his staff (pointing to a wound in his head). We struggled together, and we fell through the hedge into the field. We struggled there, and I got the staff from the constable and hit him above the head. I threw the staff away, but I don't know where. I should not have done it if the constable had not interfered with me. That is the truth, so help my God." ' "

     Dr. C. J. WHITE said: "I am in practice at Snodland. I was sent for on the evening of 24th of August, and found MAY lying a field quite dead and cold. There were several wounds, one on the forehead, and large one on the back of the head. The bones of the nose were broken. On examining the wound on the forehead I found the bone was broken and also on the top of the head, as well as behind. The second bone of the second finger of the right hand was broken. There was a considerable bruise on the left forearm, and a slight wound above each elbow. From the nature of the wounds I should say a blunt instrument would have caused them and that on the forehead was quite sufficient to cause death. That at the back of the head was also sufficient to cause death."

     Samuel SKINNER, a labourer, said that on Saturday night, the 23d ult., he saw the prisoner ATKINS lying down in the road near the Bell public-house. The policeman MAY was there and shook him by the neck. The prisoner said something but witness could not hear what it was. There was a woman singing and MAY told her to be quiet. Witness went on to the mill, and on returning saw ATKINS lying down. Three men named KIMBER, CUNNINGHAM, and RANDALL were there. Witness and KIMBER bade the others goodnight and went away.

     Mrs. UPTON, who resides at Ham Hill, proved that she spoke to MAY about half-past one or twenty minutes to two o'clock as he passed. She had got up to open her window just as he was pausing on the road towards Snodland. He was in his uniform.

     Mrs. Emma TANNER, living in Snodland, proved that she saw the prisoner talking with MAY near the Bull, but did not hear what MAY said. The prisoner, who was talking very loudly, said "I should like to meet you somewhere in the dark." MAY said, "I should not care for a thing like you." The prisoner said, "I should not care for that thing you carry in your pocket." MAY said, "I never have used it, and I don't want to do so now."

     George Alfred GLADWELL stated that he kept the Ferry House, and on Saturday night week, the 15th of August, when ATKINS came home a quarter to twelve o'clock; he wanted to put over the ferry. He said the Bobby had hustled him out of the street, and he'd be a mark on the Bobby if ever he got the chance.

     By Mr. STEPHENSON: "I think ATKINS was the worse for bear at the time."

     Sergeant G--- proved from the police diary that MAY was on duty in Snodland from seven p.m. on the 16th till one a.m. on the 17th.

     William PARKER, a beershop keeper, said the prisoner lodged at his house at Barham for some months . . . . until the evening of Wednesday, the 23rd ult.. He went away about eight o'clock; and had on the . . . . now produced. He wore a cap similar to that produced.

     Police constable SARREN, said: "I knew ATKINS, and when I last saw him at the station he said, 'I didn't think the last time I saw you that the next would be here.' I said, 'I didn't think so either.' He said, 'If it hadn't been for the drink I should not be lying here. MAY hit me on the head with his staff, and I think I must have dropped on my knees and while doing so I must have caught hold of his belt or coat to prevent myself from going right down. We struggled together close to the hedge, and either went through it or over it - I don't know which - but I was at the bottom. We struggled together again, and I got on the top. I took the staff away from him and I think I hit him on the head five or six times, and then I threw the staff away.' ATKINS also said, 'Poor fellow, I didn't think I sorted him like that. I didn't think he was dead when I left him, and I didn't know that he was dead until the Thursday night, when I heard three men talking about it ..... lay in a hedge.' "

     Mr. H. D. WILDER, the clerk to the magistrate, then gave the usual caution, and the prisoner, by the advice of Mr. STEPHENSON, said, "I reserve my defence." He was then fully committed for trial at the next assizes. In the evening he was removed to Maidstone Gaol by Superintendent EALSE, a considerable crowd gathering to witness the departure.


     After the removal of ATKINS from the bar, Thomas BRIDGER, described as a wagoner, in the employ of Mr. STEVENS, farmer at Paddlesworth, was charged with feloniously receiving and maintaining the prisoner ATKINS on the 28th of August last. Superintendent HULSE said he went on the 3rd of September to the farm of Mr. STEVENS and saw the prisoner. Told him he had come to make some inquiries about some food and soap which he (Bridger) had given to ATKINS, who was in custody for murder. Bridger said at first that he did not know the man, but afterwards said he would tell the truth. He then told witness that he had given a man he did not know some bread and cheese, also an old cap, who had said to him, "Have you heard of the row at Snodland?" He (Bridger) said yes, and that the policeman had been buried that day. The man then told him they had a tussel in the field together, but he did not know he was dead. Bridger said he then knew it was ATKINS, as he had known him some years before. Witness said, "When you found it was Atkins, why did you not give information?" He said he was too tired, and witness then reminded him there was all day Friday, he ATKINS was not apprehended till Saturday. When the hat was shown him he admitted that was the one he gave ATKINS. Other evidence was given, and the prisoner was committed for trial, but the magistrate consented to take bail. The cause occupied several hours.

Source:   The Hull Packet and East Riding Times (Hull, England), Friday, January 8, 1875; Issue 4692.

At the Sandwich quarter sessions, last week, George BURGESS, who was for several years the manager of Messrs. HAMMOND, FURLEY, and Co.'s branch bank at Ramsgate, was charged with embezzlement. The prisoner's defalcations amounted to a considerable sum, he was connected with many of the public bodies in the town, and was frequently engaged in financial transactions on behalf of a large number of clients. He was convicted and sentenced to 10 years' penal servitude.

Source:   Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper (London, England), Sunday, August 1, 1875; Issue 1706.

Two persons, William CLARK, living at Peckham, and Phoebe BARKER, of Oakley-street, Lambeth, were summoned to Lambeth police-court on Wednesday, by the Inland Revenue board for keeping open during prohibited hours without a refreshment-house licence. The police proved the sale of fish and potatoes, and the consumption of the articles in the shops. No accommodation was afforded by seats, and no knives or forks were allowed. Mr. LUSHINGTON imposed a penalty of 5 Pounds in each case, the lowest amount he could, and thought the Inland board might mitigate the amount.

Source:   Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper (London, England), Sunday, September 23, 1877; Issue 1818.

On Friday Mary Ann ALLPRESS, the wife of Detective ALLPRESS, of the P division, was charged at Lambeth with assaulting her husband, and striking him with a poker. The husband said he had for 15 years led a miserable life with the prisoner, who was in the habit of getting drunk and assaulting him. On the present occasion she had followed him from his home right into the Peckham police-station, after striking him with a stone. Mr. ELLISON ordered her to find bail for three months to keep the peace. Defendant was locked up.

Source:  Freeman's Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser (Dublin, Ireland), Wednesday, October 15, 1884; Issue N/A.
Mrs. Georgina WELDON appeared at the Ramsgate Police-court on Monday to prosecute William James SIDNEY, of Hauberk road, Clapham-junction, on a charge of bigamy. The information stated that on September 29, 1872, at the parish of Minister, Thanet, the defendant married one Mary Ann GOODERSON, his former wife being then alive. Mrs. WELDON conducted the case in person, but had the legal assistance of Mr. Bromley BURROWS, and the defendant was not represented. The case was adjourned until Tuesday week because of a slight discrepancy in the names in the certificates of marriage produced. The bench stated that there was no case against Mr. SIDNEY. On Mrs. WELDON applying for a remand the bench required Mr. SIDNEY to enter into a formal bail of £50 in himself and of two sureties. Messrs. GATTI at once entered into the necessary recognisances on behalf of Mr. SIDNEY, who then left the court with his friends.

Source:  The Preston Guardian etc (Preston, England), Saturday, October 18, 1884; Issue 3744.
Mrs. WELDON has been to Ramsgate prosecuting an ex-Irish Q.C. for bigamy, and a large number of magistrates assembled to see the fun. Mr. SIDNEY or SYDNEY has married three wives, but he did not allow the proper legal hiatus to intervene between two of them, and though one lady has gone over to the majority some ten years ago, Mrs. WELDON is determined to have him locked up; and although the Metropolitan magistrates evidently thought that there should be a statue of limitations even for bigamy, Mrs. WELDON was not of that opinion, and the case stands over to get some further evidence, as the spelling of SIDNEY and SYDNEY in the two marriage certificates did not correspond. Mrs. WELDON says that if he had not been such a big fool he would have got out of the mess.

Source:  Aberdeen Weekly Journal (Aberdeen, Scotland), Wednesday, October 22, 1884; Issue 9626.
The sensational trial in which Wm. James SIDNEY, Barrister, Dublin, was arraigned on a charge of bigamy, was concluded at Ramsgate yesterday, and ended in the dismissal of the prisoner, against whom no case was found.

Source:  Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper ( London, England ), Sunday, June 27, 1886; Issue 2275.

     Robert MORRIS, one of the Blackheath donkey drivers, was summoned by Edwin CHANNING, an officer of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, for cruelly torturing two donkeys. - The prisoner was seen beating the animals unmercifully with a thick stick. - BARNES, one of the court officials, said the prisoner's father and grandfather had been donkey drivers; and Mr. BALGUY told the prisoner that his family having got so much out of them, he ought to be kind to them. Such cruelty must be put a stop to, and he sentenced the prisoner to seven day's hard labour.

Source:   Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper (London, Middlesex), Sunday, May 02, 1886, p. 12.  [SDY]

     Joseph O'HARA, 32 of 48, Charles-street, Deptford, was charged with violently assaulting his daughter Rose, aged ten years, by beating her.

     The child said that that morning, about eight o'clock, she was sent for a haddock. She went to look at a "Jack-in-the-Green," and did not get home for two hours. Her father then put her on the bed, and caned her. He struck her several times on her bare body, and hurt her very much.

     Dr. HURD, assistant police surgeon, said he had examined the child and found 17 weals on the lower part of the back, eight or nine of which had drawn blood. She had had a very severe beating.

     Serjeant FRANCIS said he apprehended the prisoner. The neighbours were "up in arms" against him. Notwithstanding the beating the child was scrubbing the room when he went to the house.

     The prisoner said the child was absent for over two hours, and when he found her at the "Jack-in-the-Green" she had a haddock worth 1-1/2d. and 2d. change out of 1s. He did not often beat the child, but she was very troublesome, and stayed out till 12 and one o'clock at night.

     Mr. MARSHAM remanded the prisoner in custody, and sent the child to the workhouse.

Source:   The Echo (London, Middlesex), Monday, August 23, 1886, p. 3.  [SDY]

At the Dartford Petty Sessions, on Saturday, a young man, giving the name of Henry D. HASTINGS, was charged on remand with obtaining money by means of false cheques at Erith. The prisoner, who has been staying at Erith for some months, had, it is alleged, induced two tradesmen of Erith to change cheques for 30s and £3, on the understanding that he was Lord Hastings, and had an account at the London and County Bank. When the cheques were presented at the bank they were marked "no account", and the prisoner, who had plenty of luggage, and had given out that he was the owner of the yacht Salamander, and had been spending money in a lavish manner, was given into custody. It was stated that the prisoner's real name was Frederick DUNNETT, and he was very highly connected. The Magistrates decided to commit the prisoner for trial on two charges, and agreed to accept bail of £1,000 for his appearance at the Kent Assizes.

Source:   The Echo (London, Middlesex), Monday, August 23, 1886, p. 3.  [SDY]
The Dartford Magistrates on Saturday inflicted fines amounting to £36 and costs upon Messrs. SPALDING and HODGE, paper makers, of Darenth, for employing twelve young women two hours after the regular working hours on the 30th July. The firm had told the women to work overtime in consequence of the pressure of work.

Source:  Reynold's Newspaper ( London, England), Sunday, September 4, 1887; Issue 1934.
At the Ramsgate Petty Sessions, on Monday, seven local bakers were charged with selling bread otherwise than by weight. The bread sold to the constable who proved the cases was shown to be from one to four ounces short of the standard weight, and it was sold from Two and One-half pence to Three pence. Fines varying from 20 shillings to 30 shillings, with costs, were imposed.

Source:  Reynold's Newspaper, (Kent, England), Sunday 12th May 1889.  [SF]
Stephen CUTHBERT, aged 17, a page at the National Liberal Club, was brought before the Margate Magistrates the other day charged with attempting to commit suicide by jumping off the jetty into the sea. The defendant was insensible when taken out of the water. In a statement to the police the defendant said he came to Margate to commit suicide because he was not comfortable at the club. He was remanded for a week.

Source:   Kebels Gazette, 24th May 1890.  [SF]
William LARKINS, Belgrave Square, carter, was summoned for using offensive and provoking language on the 13th May, towards Edward SAYER, of 1 Jubilee Terrace, his landlord, who asked that defendant might have been called upon to find sureties to keep the peace.

Defendant pleaded not guilt and after hearing evidence on both sides, the Mayor said the magistrates would dismiss the case on defendant promising not to use such language to the complainant again.

Defendant said he would never speak to him again, and he was then discharged.

Source:   Kebels Gazette, 24th May 1890.  [SF]
Ann DOUGHTY, wife of James DOUGHTY, a labourer living at 2 Mill Lane, was summoned for using obscene language on the Marine Terrace on May 13th and pleaded not guilty.

George S.R. ROLFE, 121 High Street, said on Tuesday evening, May 13th, he was passing the Hall by the Sea outside which establishment he saw the defendant quarrelling with her husband, towards whom she was using shocking language. The disturbance lasted quite twenty minutes, during the whole of which time she made use of the most filthy expressions, several ladies having to put their hands over their ears as they passed her.

Chief Constable BUCK said he had received as many as twenty complaints from different people about this woman's conduct on the occasion referred to by the last witness, one complaint coming from a Magistrate. Defendant had been convicted previously for drunkenness and sent to gaol for seven days. The Magistrate now imposed a penalty of 5s and 7s costs, in default 7 days imprisonment with hard labour.

Source:   Kebles Gazette, 21st May 1890.  [SF]
     William HARNETT, 1 Churchfield Cottages, a Hawker, was summoned for assaulting Amelia SMITH, of 2 Churchfield Cottages on the 17th May.

     Complainant stated defendant was in the habit of annoying her by drawing the pony and cart they used in their hawking business in front of her door, and he did the same thing between two and three o'clock on this afternoon. She went out and pushed the pony's head on one side, and the defendant, who was up in the cart, slapped her face, Defendant, in reply to the charge, said complainant began beating the pony about the face and he pushed her away.

     Amelia SMITH was then charged on a summons with using provoking language towards Harriett HARNETT, the male defendant's mother, on the same date, tending to provoke a breach of peace.

     Complainant said when she came home with the pony and cart the defendant rushed out of her house like a mad woman and began to 'jaw' and go on in a dreadful way, telling her she owed everybody money, that she lived on other peoples cold 'scrams' and using other offensive and provoking expressions towards her.

     Defendant: "She called me everything she could lay her tongue to, and I retaliated, but I used no bad language."

     Sarah Ann LAMERTON, daughter of the complainant corroborated her mother's statement.

     The Mayor said it appeared to the Bench to be a neighbours quarrel, and it was a great pity that the time of the Court should be taken up by such matters; both summons would be dismissed.

Source:   Kebels Gazette, 24th May 1890.  [SF]
     James DAY, an old man of the tramp species, was charged in custody with begging in King Street, the previous day. P.C. GOLDFINCH deposed to seeing the defendant beg at several shops in King Street and then go to The George Inn, where he heard him ask for money to get a night's lodging with, and he then arrested him.

     When searched at the Station, 7d in bronze and a quantity of broken victuals were found upon him.

     Chief Constable BUCK stated that prisoner was a stranger in the town.

     The Magistrates discharged the man on his promising to leave the town at once, but cautioned him that if he became before them again, he would be sent to prison, as they were determined to put a stop to the begging nuisance, and Dr. HEAD advised him to circulate the information among his friends that any of them appearing at the Court, would be sent to gaol.

Source:  Kebles Gazette, (Kent, England), 20th June 1891.  [SF]
Esther PRITCHARD, aged 32, of 15 Florence Row, who appeared in the dock with a young baby in her arms, pleaded guilty to be drunk and refusing to quit The Star Public House, on the 13th June. P. S. Milgate proved the case and defendant was fined 1s and 4s costs or seven days.

Source:  The Bristol Mercury and Daily Post, Saturday, March 28, 1891; Issue 13377.
BERKELEY, Gloucestershire.

     In the police court, on Tuesday, before Lord Fitzhardinge and Colonel J. H. Granville Browne, James SHOEBRIDGE, and Elizabeth SHOEBRIDGE, his wife, who said they came from Kent, and were travelling with a dancing doll, were charged, the former with assaulting and beating John FREEMAN, of the Plough Inn, and with wilfully damaging his window to the extent of 3 shillings and 6 pence, on Saturday last, and the latter with being drunk and disorderly, on the same day. The prisoners entered the Plough Inn, and without any provocation the male prisoner knocked down the landlord, who was in a weak state of health, and smashed the window with his dancing-doll apparatus. He was sentenced to one month's imprisonment, with hard labour, for the assault, and 14 days' imprisonment, with hard labourer, for the malicious injury. The female prisoner was sentenced to 10 days' imprisonment, with hard labour.

[N.B. Not connected to our research, but have checked the 1891 census and James is in H. M. Prison, St. Nicholas, Gloucestershire. His surname is spelt SHOOBRIDGE, he's aged 41, born in Tenterden, Kent, and his occupation is shown as General Labourer.]

Source:   Reynold's Newspaper (London, England), Sunday, August 5, 1894; Issue 2295.

The Rev. Ernest FITZROY, aged 60, a clerk in holy orders, was again before Mr. COOKE, at Marylebone, on Tuesday, charged with having stolen a leather bag containing clerical attire and other property, valued at £2, belonging to the Rev. James Newton HEALE, Harbledown Rectory, near Canterbury. The alleged robbery took place at Euston Railway Station, under circumstances already reported. Mr. COOKE committed the prisoner for trial, and on an application by counsel, said he would admit the prisoner to bail in two sureties in £50 each, with notice to the police.

Source:   Glasgow Herald (Glasgow, Scotland), Friday, November 25, 1898; Issue 282.

At Kent Assizes yesterday two notorious burglars - Joseph WRIGHT (68) and William BROWN (35) - who had been convicted of a violent assault upon Constable SMITH at Gravesend, were brought up for sentence. It was stated that WRIGHT was a most dangerous criminal, and had spent nearly 40 years in prison, whilst BROWN had also undergone repeated terms of penal servitude for burglaries. Justice HAWKINS sentenced each of them to 12 years' penal servitude.

Source:  Jackson's Oxford Journal, Saturday, April 15, 1899; Issue 7622.


Friday.  Before the Deputy-Mayor (Alderman Gray)
     Albert COULES, labourer, of 3, Church Fields, Margate, was charged on a warrant for bastardy arrears amounting to £7 16s. (Seven Pounds Sixteen Shillings). The prisoner offered to take charge of the child if the complainant would forego her claim for the arrears. The Deputy Mayor: "A pretty fellow you are to have charge of a child." The complainant refused to assent to the prisoner's offer. The Deputy Mayor said the prisoner had treated the complainant in a diabolical manner, and he would be sentenced to the longest term of imprisonment which they had power to give, viz., three calendar months with hard labour.

Source:   Thanet Gazette, 18th July 1903.  [SF]
Settling a Difference -

At the Margate Police Court on Saturday, Martha Susanna GASCOIGNE of 8 Fairlight Glen and May McKANNAH, late of 18 Albert Terrace, were charged with being drunk and disorderly in Princes Crescent on the previous day. It appeared that the prisoners, who had been drinking, squabbled and went into Princes Crescent to settle their grievance. They fought and thereby created a disturbance. GASCOIGNE, who had previously been convicted, was sent to prison for seven days, without the option of a fine. The other prisoner was fined 10s, including costs.

Source:   East Kent Times, 12th August 1903.  [SF]

     William DAISY, 1 Bolton Street, Hawker, was summoned for using offensive language in Lower Harbour Street on August 1st and also with using obscene language on the same date.

     Defendant as usual, pleaded not guilty.

     Mr. W. J. NASH, lessee of the market tolls, stated at when he was collecting tolls from one TODD, defendant interfered and advised TODD, in profane language, what to do with him. He used disgusting expressions in the presence of a large crowd. George KIRKALDIE, of Packers Lane, on subpoena, corroborated as to the bad language used, but added that defendant was in drink; when sober a better fellow did not exist.

     - Defendant said he was the 'most respectable coster in the town' but his license had been taken away. - On the first summons he was fined 15s or ten days. In regard to the second, he said he knew nothing about it.

     P.C. SHAXTED proved the case, complaints having been received of the defendants bad language. DAISY was then threatening his wife. Fined 10s or seven days, the sentences to run consecutively.

Source:   East Kent Times, 9th September 1903.  [SF]

     At Ramsgate Police Court on Monday, Edward HARNETT, Hawker, Packer's Lane, was summoned for causing an obstruction in Princes Road by means of a barrow, on August 24th.

     Henry SMITH, Hillbrow Road and Caroline DAISY, Bolton Street, were similarly summoned. SMITH and HARNETT were each fined £1 or ten days.

     Mrs. DAISY, was similarly fined and told that she was tiring out the patience of the police and everybody else, and would be well advised to clear out of the town. The defendants offended on the occasion of the Wild West Show performances and defying the police, were ultimately forcibly driven from the field by the cowboys.

Source:   The Times (London, England), Wednesday, Dec 08, 1915; pg.7; Issue 41032; col F.
At Lambeth County Court yesterday John Henry GREGORY, of Tilson-road, Peckham, who brought an action against the Cunard Steam Shipping Company (Limited) to recover damages for the loss of his son, aged 20, a fireman, who went down in the Lusitania, was awarded £80 with costs.

Source:   Isle of Thanet Gazette, 19th Feb 1916.  [SF]

     On Wednesday, at the Margate Borough Police Court, before the Mayor, Alderman W. B. Reeve (on the chair), Alderman E. Maltby, Alderman W. H. White, Alderman D. T. Evans, Captain G. C. Higgins, R.N., Messrs A. L. Adutt, F. J. Bobby and H. B. Fishwick, Arthur W. BANGHAM, motor garage proprietor was summoned for keeping a motor car without a license on November 29th 1914. Mr. H. J. Bracher prosecuted on behalf of the Kent County Council, the authority which deals with license fees in Kent; and Mr. S. Shea (Messrs. Walter Hills and Shea) defended, a plea of not guilty being entered.

     Evidence for the prosecution was given by Mr. John BANGER, local excise officer. Practically the facts were not in serious dispute, but it was urged for the defendant that the omissions to include the particular car in question in the return required to be made by him was due to inadvertence. He pleaded not guilty in order, Mr. Shea said, that the whole of the facts should be brought to the notices of the Justices. He had no desire whatever to evade his responsibilities. A large quantity of correspondence between Mr. BANGHAM and the County authorities was referred to during the somewhat lengthy hearing of the case. Ultimately, after a retirement, the Magistrates imposed a fine of £1 but the Mayor added that the Justices desired him to say that they were somewhat surprised at the slackness of the Kent County Council in dealing with these licenses.

Source:   The Times (London, England), Thursday, Apr 21, 1921; pg. 7; Issue 42700; col E.

At Ramsgate yesterday, Joan STUDD, or SLADDEN, 27, of Danes Cliffe House, St. Lawrence, and her brother Horace SLADDEN, 19, were charged with conspiring to bring about a marriage between Henry William POLLEY and Christiana May SLADDEN, both minors, by means of a forged form of consent. It was stated that when arrested the woman defendant said, "the boy told me his mother was away and did not mind me signing her name. My cook also signed. POLLEY and my sister May came up and asked me to do it, and I did it out of kindness." The defendants were remanded on bail.

Source:   Isle of Thanet Gazette 21st December 1929.  [SF]
Maintenance Order Reduced

     At Chatham Police Court on Wednesday, an application was made by Frederick Clement DIKE, of Clifton Street Margate, for the reduction of a order for the support of his wife, Mrs. Ada DIKE, living in West Court Street, Old Brompton.

     Mr. W. H. Stratton appeared for the applicant and stated that in June 1922, Mr. DIKE was ordered to contribute £2 a week to the maintenance of his wife. He was then a commissioned gunner in the Royal Navy, and his income, including allowances for rations and uniform, amounted to £6 a week. He had since retired on a pension of £200 a year and he was endeavouring to obtain some employment. Applicant bore out the statement of Mr. Stratton and said he had retired with the rank of Lieutenant. He had always kept the payments up to date. The Bench reduced the order to £1 6s. a week.

22 Mar,
Source:  Evening Post, (New Zealand),Volume CIX, Issue 70, 24 March 1930, Page 9.

Earlier Record Discovered. London, 22nd March.
     The sentence of death passed on Sydney Harry FOX, at the Old Bailey, for the murder of his mother, Mrs. Rosaline FOX, in Room 66 at the Hotel Metropole, Margate, closes one of the most curious murder trials in recent years. The mother's body was buried, and at an inquest the verdict was "death from misadventure". Apparently everybody was satisfied it was accidental, and FOX was awaiting the £3,000 insurance when an ex-Scotland Yard man employed by the insurance company became impressed by certain curious features in the policies, and also in the fire. He went quietly to Margate to investigate. Practically everything in the room at the time of the murder had been removed to the Margate rubbish tip. This was searched diligently until every article was recovered. His investigations caused the detective to telegraph to the head office, "Extremely muddy water in this business."

     This caused the insurance company to lay the facts concerning the fire and insurance before Scotland Yard. Investigations also showed that the very company which issued the policy had previously paid FOX £8 for an overcoat allegedly lost from the hotel cloakroom. FOX was arrested and held in gaol on the charge of not paying hotel bills throughout a whole lengthy period.

     Simultaneously with the sentence comes the news that a smart, good-looking man named FOX was convicted as a forger and jewel thief years ago. On one occasion FOX, under the alias of Owen SMYTHE, posed as an old Etonian, and boasted that he could stay without paying at any hotel in England. He did so in numerous cases. He invariably deposited a sealed packet with so-called valuable contents in the hotel safe. This, with his pleasant, confidential manner and clever stories, disarmed the suspicion of managers.

Editor's Comments:

This case was of such significant proportions and propositions at the time that it was summarized in The casebook of forensic detection: how science solved 100 of the world's most baffling crimes, by Colin Evans, 1948. Publisher: Penguin Books, U.S.A..

The entire passage from the book can be viewed on Google books at

To provide only a few more details as an adjunct to the above summary, I include these two short paragraphs from the book:

"Murder 1929 at Margate, England. Arguments fostered by this cause celebre prompted a courtroom conflict that is discussed to the present day.

"When sixty-three year old Rosaline FOX and her illegitimate son, Sidney, thirty, checked into the Metropole Hotel in Margate on October 16, 1929, they were penniless and without a scrap of luggage. This was not an uncommon state of affairs for this most uncommon of couples. Behind them lay a decade-long trail of bad checks, unpaid bills, angry hoteliers, and frequent brushes with the law. In between jail sentences, Sidney Fox fancied himself something of an English upper-class gentleman. He was plausible and cunning and proudly homosexual, though pragmatic enough to adopt more conventional forms of seduction should the flagging family coffers so demand. In these endeavours, he enjoyed his mother's unstinting support.

14 Oct,
Source:  Evening Post, (New Zealand), Volume CXVI, Issue 91, 14 October 1933, Page 11.

     At Margate, England, recently a jury awarded £1,800 damages to Thomas Sidney BULLOCK against John Patrick BROWN, for injuries sustained in an accident at Northdown, Margate, in August last year. Evidence was given that defendant's cart ran into the plaintiff's bicycle from behind. The plaintiff had a fractured base of the skull, causing permanent loss of the sense of smell and partial loss of taste. The accident would necessitate an operation every three months for life.

Source:   Thanet Gazette, 4th Jan 1936.  [SF]
Arrears -

     Summoned before the Ramsgate borough magistrates on Monday for being £16 16s. in arrears in payments under an affiliation order made against him by the court in 1931, Robert William JORDAN of Spencer Square, Ramsgate, did not appear.

     Mr. E. A. KNIGHT, the collecting officer of the court said that in October the arrears at the present time amounted to £16 16s. Defendant had been out of work and had met with an injury which incapacitated him. Since the last hearing he had been in Ramsgate General Hospital and had undergone a slight operation. He was still out of work and had a wife and four children dependant on him. The Magistrates adjourned the case for two months.

Source:   East Kent Times, 8th Jan 1938.  [SF]
Withdrawn -

At Ramsgate Police Court on Monday, Joseph Frank SUPPLE of Plains of Waterloo, Ramsgate, was summoned by his father-in-law, John Philip WHITE, for assault on December 27th. Defendant did not appear and complainant told the Bench that as SUPPLE had now left his premises, he desired to withdraw the case. The Magistrates consented to that course being adopted.