At Hedingham Sessions, several charges arising out of the North Essex farm labourers’ strike were heard on the Tuesday.
Samuel Ketteridge, a farmer, had ridden into Steeple Bumpstead on Saturday night for his week’s supplies, but he was set upon in the street by a crowd of strikers and their wives, who attempted to unhorse him. William Cressell, who was said to be the chief aggressor, was charged with assaulting Ketteridge, and was sentenced to a month’s hard labour.
Three other Bumpstead men, who had interfered with another farmer named Pannell whilst he had been cutting his grass, were charged with assaulting a Police Sergeant. John Barnes was sent to prison for 6 months, and Arthur Bentley and Walter Clayden for 2 months each.
Donald Viall, a farmer’s son, was summoned for firing a pistol and maliciously wounding a striker named William Cudmore, of Ridgewell, but this charge was dismissed, the prosecution not being prepared to proceed with it. Superintendent Cowell said that he had offered the prosecution every assistance, but he had refused to make any statement or to have the services of the police solicitor. The defendant had said that he had fired into the air, not intending to harm anybody.