A partridge (in a pear tree !)

Hertfordshire Mercury, 22nd January 1916


At Hertford County Sessions on Saturday, Arthur Wright of Brewhouse Lane, Hertford, was charged with trespassing on Lord Desborough’s estate at Panshanger, and with theft of a partridge.  PC Bushnell confirmed that he had seen the defendant in a field near Thieves’ (!)  Lane when he had seen the defendant in a nearby field.  The Constable had seen partridges rise up from the field, and he had also seen the defendant running away towards the road.  The Constable thought he had seen the defendant throwing something away towards a hedge.  On searching the defendant, together with nearby hedges and areas of field, the Constable found nothing.

The Constable told the gamekeeper (of the estate) of the alleged offence, and the latter took his dog to carry out a further search.  The dog soon found the partridge in a hedge – it was still warm.

The defendant advised the Court that, because there was no mark on the bird, he could not have killed it, and that the Constable must have been lying.  But the gamekeeper explained that the bird’s feathers were too thick for some marks to show.

The Court was satisfied as to the defendant’s guilt.  He was fined 10 shillings or, alternatively, 7 days in prison.

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