Notable Events In Week Fourteen

Ian Curley

Hertfordshire Police Historical Society

This Week In History

Saturday 07 April 1860 Hertfordshire Express and General Advertiser

Concealment of birth. Mary Ann Cook, was brought up in the custody of the police, charged with concealing the birth of her child at Bayfordbury Farm, on the 16th of March last. The case occupied the time of the court, upwards of half an hour, when the charged was dismissed.

Saturday 07 April 1860 Hertfordshire Express and General Advertiser

Assault. Samuel Elston, tailor, artist, gamekeeper, and other professions, was brought up, charged with committing violent assault upon James Foster, gamekeeper to Lady Salisbury. James Foster, sworn said I am in the service of, and live at Lady Salisbury’s at Offley. On Tuesday evening, the 27th, about half-past six, was returning from Hitchin and when about quarter of a mile from the Park Lodge. I saw a man laying by the side of the road, apparently asleep. As I approached he passed into the field on the left hand side the road, I saw him through the hedge, running forward, until he had got abreast of me, when he forced his way through the hedge. I reproved him for breaking the hedge; when he answered me with very abusive and threatening language, and then ran forward, more or less about one hundred and fifty yards, when he met a packman, whom he stopped and appeared to me to speak to him. The packman then came from him towards me. I spoke to him, and he told the man had asked him for his umbrella. While this took place, I saw the man go to the hedge, and tear a rail out it, he being about sixty yards in front of me. He came back towards me, holding the rail behind him as if to conceal it. As soon he came near me, he swished at me, and struck a violent blow at me with the rail (a thick bow of a tree, with two large nails at either end) which I warded off with my stick, which broke, and the rail glanced to my hand which is injured and was caused to bleed. I then knocked him down with my fist. He got and renewed the attack several times, being each time knocked down. He then sat down, talking loud and rapidly. In the meantime, a police officer happened to come up, and I gave him into custody.
When the evidence was read over to the prisoner. Mr. Hawkins, the magistrates’ clerk, said to the prisoner, – what have you to say to that?
Prisoner. – I was quite unconscious of anything taking place. I don’t remember anything.
James Foster said. – It appeared to me that he had been drunk and had tried to sleep off the effects of it, and was then nearly mad and had asked the packman for the umbrella; but whether to strike me not, I cannot say.
P.C. Primett, sworn, said. – l was on the road on the day in question, going towards Offley. It was on Tuesday evening about half-past six. When I was near the lodge of Lady Salisbury, I was told of the affray by a person in a cart. A gentleman also rode up shortly afterwards, and I went speedily to the spot. When I had got about half way between the lodge and the hill-say about 100 yards, l saw the prisoner sitting on the ground, and Mr. Foster standing in front of him with the stick and rail in his hand. There was much blood over both their faces and clothes Foster said, “This man has been grossly assaulting me, and I give him into custody.” I asked Elston what he did it for, but could get no answer from him. He seemed deranged, and kept talking about the Scriptures. then got and skipped and danced about as if he was mad. I thought it was the effects of drink.
Chairman to the prisoner. -ls this the usual effect of drink upon you?
Prisoner. – l am not in the habit of taking drink; and when I do, it takes hold of me.
Chairman. – Have you ever been charged before?
Prisoner. – Yes sir, once.
Chairman. — Was that through drink?
Prisoner. —Yes sir.
Chairman.—Does it always serve you in this way?
Prisoner.—Yes sir. I remember going out of some public-house at Hitchin; but I don’t know which.                           Chairman.—The first thing you remember then is, you found yourself locked in the station house?                       Prisoner.—Yes sir.
Chairman. —What are you?
Prisoner.—l do oil painting, and other things.
Magistrate.—Have you been a gamekeeper?
Prisoner.—Yea sir. I have been a gamekeeper also.
Chairman.—Do you live in Luton; or where do you live.
Prisoner.—l live in Luton.
Chairman.—Were you ever fined before?
Prisoner.—Yes sir.
Chairman.—Do you know what the fine was?
Prisoner. —Three pounds, sir.
Chairman.—Your case seems plain enough, you must not imagine that because you are drunk it is any excuse. What you do when you are drunk, you are supposed be equally liable for, as when you are sober. You have to answer in your sober senses for what you do in your drunken condition. We must treat you as if you had been sober. You should feel very thankful that you have not committed serious injury on the man you assaulted. You are fined in the sum of and costs, 16s. 6d. or six weeks, in default in gaol.
Prisoner. —The amount shall be paid.
Prisoner’s wife—l will pay it. She stepped forward, and immediately paid the amount. We understand that this man is possessed of great ability as an itinerant artist; and can cut faithful likenesses of persons or objects in an incredible short time from dark coloured paper, to be thrown up on white ground. He appeared harmless enough at the bench.

Saturday 11 April 1863 Watford Observer

Frederick Hart, (21) labourer, was charged with obtaining goods under false pretences from Mr. James Southam, at Watford, on the 1st of February last, valued at Is. 8d. Mrs. Ann Southam, of Watford, said she sold nuts and fruit there. The prisoner came to her house on the 1st of February, and asked for a pottle (a pot or container holding a measure for liquids equal to a half gallon) of nuts and a pottle of chestnuts, and said Henry Baldwin sent him for them. She gave him the nuts. Henry Baldwin said the prisoner had been working for him. He had often sent the prisoner for nuts, but did not send him on the 1st of February, nor did he bring him any nuts. By the prisoner: He owed the prisoner Is. 4d. The prisoner in defence said he got the nuts in the prosecutor’s name because he owed him some money. The jury found the prisoner guilty, but recommended him to mercy. Prisoner was sentenced to two weeks’ imprisonment, with hard labour.

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