Imágenes de páginas

1816. He immediately forwarded ters were frequently left at her

it to Mr. Fourdrinier, wholesale stationer in London.

Mr Charles Fourdrinier proved the receipt and delivery to Henry Hunt, his clerk.

Henry Hunt received the note from his employer, and marked it as received from Mr. J. Price, of Leicester. He took it to the Bank, where it was stopped as stolen property.

Mrs. Scarborough (who bore this investigation with great composure, that might have credited her innocence), gave in a written defence to the following effect :"She trusted in her deliverance from the present charge, which she did not blame her prosecutors for instituting against her. She could only lament, that she had fallen under it through the most strange and unhappy circumstan. ces. She trusted the honourable judge and the jury who tried her would allow her to know herself incapable of such a crime as dishonesty. She had held her situation for 30 years, and for 20 years as innkeeper herself, since the death of her husband. She had brought up a family of sons and daughters in respectability, all of whom, except the one who sat beside her, were well married, and themselves had families. Many thousands of pounds had passed through her hands in carrying on an extensive business; and the first families, including nobility, were in the habit of using her house. These would not suspect her of dishonesty, much less that she should have committed such an act as that with which she was now charged. She had no knowledge of this letter. Let

house for strangers, whom she knew not further than their inquiring for letters so left with her. The 20l. note she gave to Mr. Bond she received of a stranger who came to Stilton, and changed horses, only a day or two before. She had no means of finding out who he was; he sat on the dickey of the coach, and her servants would prove the fact that she so took it: but she added, she did not believe it was the same note which she was charged with paying to Mr. Bond. She lamented that the gentlemen of the postoffice, who were in fact both prosecutors and witnesses against her, had thought proper to bring her to trial. All she could rely upon for her defence was a character until this time, not merely unimpeached, but free from suspicion. She regretted the absence of the Lord Bishop of Lincoln, and of John Hodgson, Esq. as they would have added to the honourable testimony she should produce in favour of her general character. She trusted to the favourable reception she hoped to receive from the court and jury, that she and her family might be once more restored to happiness and peace of mind; and that which alone could restore her to society and the respect of mankind, which she and her family had so long enjoyed, was a verdict of Not guilty."

The prisoner's counsel called her servants.

Thomas Standish, a waiter, said he returned this letter to Cox, the post-master, by desire of his mistress. He did not put it into his hand, but laid it on the table of the kitchen, where Cox then was.


Her housekeeper and hostler saw her take a 20l. note of a stranger the day before she paid Mr. Bond. They could not swear to the identity of the note.

The following witnesses were then called to her general character: Sir James Jubilee, George Thornton, Esq. Lawrence Reynolds, Esq. Dr. Maltby, George James Gora, Esq. banker, Dr. Alaway, &c.

Chief Justice Gibbs remarked upon the strong testimony and coincidence of circumstances to prove the prisoner guilty. There was, however, great allowance to be made for persons in her situation not being able to account for the possession of notes which might be changed at her house by strangers passing or using her house, and whom she could know nothing of. The jury would say to which side the evidence preponderated, and return their verdict accordingly.

The jury retired till a late hour. The judge having gone home to his lodgings, waited to receive their verdict. After several hours' deliberation, they found the prisoner Guilty-Death.


Setting fire to Hay and Barley Stacks. William Archer, an opulent farmer, who had been out upon his own recognizance, was indicted capitally, for maliciously setting fire to two ricks, on the 27th of July last, at the parish of Great Bourton, the property of Ann Buckett; and John Haycock, also a considerable farmer, was capitally indicted for feloniously

setting the said ricks on fire, or with being an accessory thereto. The trial is one of the greatest importance. When the prisoners were put upon their trial, Mr. Justice Park commented with considerable force on the impropriety of Archer being admitted to bail upon a charge of such a heinous and important nature.

John Buckett deposed, that he is son to the prosecutrix, Mrs. Ann Buckett, of Great Bourton : she rented a small farm there. On the 27th July his mother had the misfortune to have her ricks burnt; the fire took place about two o'clock in the morning; they were barley, and clover hay. The barley was of the year 1815 harvest, the hay was of the summer 1816. They stood about half a mile from his mother's house, between 18 and 20 yards from each other. The clover rick was not thatched it had been put together about ten days: it was put together dry it was not at all heated. There is a footpath from thence down to Great Bourton. On the night before, at ten o'clock, witness came home, and found one Ward at his mother's house. Witness went to bed a little before eleven o'clock, and at two o'clock he was awoke, and found the clover rick nearly burnt down, and the other about half burnt. The wind was north-west, and blew from the barley to the clover rick, and if the clover rick was set on fire, the barley rick could not have been burnt. The barley rick would have taken longer to have been burnt. The outsides of both ricks were burnt. About seven yards from the clover rick there was some straw, which was


not at all burnt. Witness was the first person who was at the rick: the ricks were totally destroyed, with the exception of a cart load of the clover (it was the middle part), and a bushel of barley. If the clover rick had fired from heat, it would have begun in the middle.

The prisoner Haycock lived in the village, and Archer lived about eighty yards from witness's mother's house. A great many neighbours came to their assistance; but neither of the prisoners came. About four o'clock in the morning, witness went to trace footsteps the grass was wet with dew, and about twenty yards from the rick he discovered a distinct trace of footsteps, and he followed the trace to the prisoner Archer's garden-gate; it was the trace of one person; they were from the rick some part of the steps were traced where there was no footpath witness could not trace them beyond the prisoner's gate, because the yard was paved. There were no tracks as from the house of the prisoner Archer. John Allett accompanied witness, and saw the footsteps within 20 yards of Archer's gate. The traces were of a small foot, and the right one was a splay; it turned out more than the other. The prisoner Archer has a small foot, and it turned out more than any person's in the parish. On the same day, witness went to the house of Smith, a shoemaker, in consequence of information he received, and the constable who accompanied him demanded a pair of shoes. He asked him for a pair of shoes of Archer's, and Smith produced them; they were very wet and dirty; grass and clover

were sticking to them: the clover was short. There was clovergrass and clover-hay, and the clover-hay appeared like that of the rick which had been burnt. The shoes had been mended. Witness measured the length and width of the shoes, and found them correspond with the marks on the grass. The footsteps must have been after the dew had fallen. The boys who had called "Fire!" might have gone down the village without prisoner Archer hearing the alarm.

John Allett was raised by the alarm of fire, and accompanied last witness to trace the foot-steps: witness corroborated the greater part of the testimony of the last witness; and added, that there was a lane at the back of the house, in which the footsteps must be visible, had the same person gone across it whose marks were traced through the fields: he saw the shoes only in the morning, and they did not appear to want mending, but in the afternoon he saw them again, and they were then patched; witness examined the rick the day before the fire, preparatory to thatching it, and there was not the slightest heat in it.

John Batchelor, a constable of Great Bourton, accompanied John Buckett to Smith's, the shoemaker, for the prisoner's shoes : Smith produced them, (this was between four and five o'clock in the afternoon): witness proved that they were damp and patched, and had grass and dirt on them: witness produced them.

Thomas Smith, a shoe-maker, remembered Batchelor coming after the prisoner's shoes; witness pointed

pointed to them, and the constable picked them up. Mrs. Archer brought these shoes to him about half-past eight in the morning of the fire.-Cross-examined. They were quite dry when they were brought to him; witness damped them previous to mending them, it was usual to do so-they wanted mending. Witness was to have fetched them the day before, but he had not time.-Re-examined. Witness mended them both; he did not wet the upper leathers at all. It had been done four hours before the constable came. He took no notice of any grass being on them.

The Rev. T. H. Chamberlain said, the shoes were produced before him on Monday, the 29th of July; they were dry then, but had the appearance of having been very wet; they were stiff and stubborn.

Richard Buckett was from home when the fire happened. About three or four weeks before, witness saw the prisoner, who said, short and sharp, "Hang you, you shan't make a road across my place." Witness told him he would not, and would likewise charge his family not to do it, and he hoped he (the prisoner) would not come upon his premises. Some words arose about a robbery, and witness told the prisoner, "that if a neighbour saw another robbed, and did not tell him of it, he was as bad as he that robbed him." Prisoner said

[ocr errors][merged small]

the 11th of July last put into a waggon. It was perfectly dry.


William Allett remembered the fire. On the evening of the 24th of July he went to the Swan public-house, and found the prisoner Archer there; he was talking with witness's brother. The prisoner appeared much agitated, and was expressing vengeance against some persons; said he would do them a private injury. Witness sat down, and the prisoner said, them Bucketts; I will do them a private injury in a little time." Witness asked how they had affronted him? Prisoner said he could mention two points of Scripture to him, viz. "Do unto all men as you would have them do unto you." Witness told him if that were done, no private injury would be done to any man; and told him he should like to hear the second. Prisoner said, "Do as you would be done by;" "and I'll be I don't." Prisoner replied (laying hold of his left hand) "that he wished his right arm might drop from his shoulder-blade, if he did not do the Bucketts a private injury." Witness told a Mr. Gardner of what had passed between them before the fire happened.


Thomas Allett was present at the Swan inn, at Bourton, with the prisoner Archer: he was threatening the Bucketts family, and had been so before witness's brother came in. Immediately witness got into the house, he wished his arm might drop from his shoulder if he did not do the Bucketts some private injury.

John Coleman stated, that he was a farmer, living near Great Bourton; was at the Greyhound


public-house on the Friday before the fire happened. The prisoner Haycock came in after witness. A man, named John Ward, was there, and witness heard a conversation between Ward and Haycock. Haycock said, "that the Bucketts blamed him and Archer for stabbing their horse (they had a horse stabbed); and added, that they had better take care what they said, or they would have another injury done them that night, or the next, and their ricks would be set on fire the next night,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

his heart." Witness said, you, Haycock; if you do that, you will be hanged or transported, and we shall be brought to book for it," and he turned away. Ward and Haycock went off together. Witness saw Haycock some time after the fire happened, and he accused witness of having said something about the conversation they had at the public-house; witness told him he had not.

Purser, servant to the last witness, was at the Greyhound on the day before the fire, and heard Haycock tell John Ward, "that there would be an injury done to the Bucketts that night or the next, and that Buckett's ricks would be set on fire that night or the next,

his heart."

John Ward, a carpenter, was at the public-house on the night before the fire; the prisoner Hay cock was there; witness had some conversation with Haycock, who told witness that he had bigger enemies in the town than Archer; the Bucketts stared him in the face, and he would find them out in time; adding, that the Bucketts had better take care what they said

about them, or that they would have an injury done them that night or the next. Haycock said that their ricks would be set on fire. Witness rode home behind the prisoner Haycock, and their whole conversation was about the Bucketts. After they arrived at Great Bourton, witness, instead of going home, went to Mrs. Buckett, and told her what had passed, and they talked of sitting up, but that was at last abandoned.

Elizabeth Watts, servant at the Greyhound, saw the prisoner Haycock; Coleman, Ward, and others were there; and she heard Haycock say that Archer told him something would happen that night.

Mr. Hamplin was present when Haycock was examined; his examination was taken down in writing. It was produced, and Mr. Chamberlain proved that it was taken before him; but it appearing that the prisoner had not signed it, Mr. Justice Park would not permit it to be received as evidence against the prisoner; but Mr. Hamplin, who took the examination, was allowed to refresh his memory from it, and he stated, that the prisoner said he was at the public house the night the fire happened; he went home and went to bed, and was not out of his house until eight o'clock the next morning.

Sarah Watts lived at Bourton ; remembered the night of the fire: she had been out that night, and between 11 and 12 o'clock she met the prisoner Haycock going towards his own house: witness spoke to him.

Wm. Watts proved that he was

« AnteriorContinuar »