Crime

Records relating to crime, law and (dis)order in Waters Upton in days gone by.


1785: Murder

On Sunday night the 2d Inst. a very rash and fatal Affair happend at Waters Upton, in Shropshire, viz. One Octavius C. A. Hitchcock, late of Ruyton, a Blacksmith, calling at the House of John Gower, a Publican, at Waters Upton aforesaid, an Affray arose about some trifling Matters, when the Landlord took his Gun and shot the Blacksmith dead on the Spot.
Oxford Journal, 15 Jan 1785, page 3.

A MURDER.
WHEREAS by an inquisition taken before one of the Coroners for the county of Salop, JOHN GOWER, of Waters Upton, in the said county, Innkeeper, stands charged with the wilful murder of Octavius Caesar Augustus Hithcot, late of Ruyton, in the said county, Blacksmith, and hath absconded himself.
Whoever will apprehend the said John Gower, and lodge him in any of his Majesty’s gaols, shall receive a reward of TEN GUINEAS from the Treasurer of the county of Salop.
The said JOHN GOWER is between 40 and 50 years of age, five feet three inches high, hath a brown complexion, black curled hair inclined to be grey, a cast in his eye , rather bulky in his body, and a tailor by trade.
Hereford Journal, 3 Feb 1785, page 2.


1812: An association to pursue and prosecute felons

CHILD’S ERCALL ASSOCIATION.
WHEREAS divers of Burglaries, Felonies, Grand and Petit Larcenies, have frequently been committed in the Townships of ERCALL, ELLERTON, BOLAS, MEESON, OLLERTON, PIXLEY, HINSTOCK, WATERS UPTON, and CHERRINGTON, in the County of Salop, and the Offenders have escaped Justice with Impunity, for Want of proper Pursuit and Exertion on the Part of the Sufferers, or on Account of the Charges attending such Pursuit and Prosecution; to obviate the same in future, We, whose Names are hereunto subscribed, have raised a Fund, and formed ourselves into an Association, determining to prosecute to the utmost Rigour of the Law, all Persons guilty of any of the above Offences, and to ride England through, at the joint Expence of the Society, after any House-breaker, Horse-stealer, or any Kind of Cattle or Beasts, such as Cows, Sheep, Pigs, &c. as well as all Robbers of Orchards, Gardens, and Hen-roosts; Stealers of Springles, Posts and Rails, Hooks and Thimbles, Turnips; pulling down Stiles and Gates, and all Sorts of Petit Larceny whatsoever, at the above joint Expence of this Society; and do hereby offer the following
REWARDS [sums in £. s. d.]
The felonious breaking and entering any House in the Night Time, the Sum of …. 5 5 0
The like in the Day Time, the Sum of …… 2 2 0
The felonious burning any House, Barn, or other Building, or any Rick, Stack, Mow, Hovel, Grain, Straw, Hay, or Wood, the Sum of ….. 5 5 0
The felonious stealing, killing, maiming, or wounding any Horse, Mare, or Gelding, the Sum of …… 3 3 0
The like of any Bull, Cow, Ox, Bullock, Steer, Heifer, Sheep, Lamb, &c. the Sum of …… 2 2 0
The like of any Hogs or Poultry, the Sum of …… 1 1 0
Any other Grand or Petit Larceny, the Sum of …… 1 1 0
The cutting down, destroying, or damaging, any Trees or Wood, as aforesaid, the Sum of …… 1 1 0
The breaking open, throwing down, levelling, or destroying, any Hedges, Gates, Posts, Stiles, Pales, Rails, or Fences as aforesaid, the Sum of …… 1 1 0
The stealing or destroying any Fruit Tree, Root, Shrub, Plant, Turnips, or Potatoes, Pease, & c. robbing any Orchards or Gardens, the Sum of …… 3 3 0
Any Servant unlawfully selling, bartering, giving away, or embezzling, any Coal, Lime, Hay, or other his, her, or their Master or Mistress’s Property, as aforesaid, the Sum of
And for every other Offence, on or against the Property of any of the said Subscribers, such Rewards shall be given as shall be agreed on and directed by an annual or special Meeting of this Society.
Ercall.
Sir Corbet Corbet, Bart.
Rev. M. Hodskin
John Woodhouse
Thomas Bourne
William Sharratt
Margaret Dawes
Thomas Whittingham
Thomas Heatley
James Boote
Thomas Freeman
Bolas.
Joseph Slack
Samuel Rodenhurst
John Arkinstall
Waters Upton.
R. W. B. Hill
Meeson.
Ann Growcock
Samuel Minor
James Benbow
Ollerton.
Samuel Lester
Ann Palmer
Ellerton.
Thomas Taylor
Robert Masefield
Eaton.
John Heatley
Elizabeth Topham
Cherrington.
Richard Rogers
Pixley.
Thomas Yardley
William Griffith
Hinstock.
William Fernyhough
John Wilde
William Lockley.
Annual Meeting on the First Day of May.
Salopian Journal, 15 Apr 1812, page 1. [Note: When an updated version of this notice was printed in the Staffordshire Journal of 1 May 1819 (page 1), no Waters Upton residents were listed among the members.]


1826: Executed for horse-stealing

HORSE STEALING.—Henry Moss, alias Hardy, a tall athletic man, in the prime of life and health, convicted at the Shrewsbury Assizes of stealing two horses, the property of Mr. Dicken, of Waters Upton, from a field at market Drayton, was left for execution. He had two years since been transported for a similar offence, and having returned before the expiration of his sentence, was also indicted for being found at large in this kingdom. On the trial, it appeared, that the prisoner and another man had stolen the two horses, and Mr. D., having advertized the robbery, received information that parties were at Buxton. He immediately started for that place, which they had left; but, securing the assistance of a constable, he followed and overtook them near Cheadle, in Staffordshire. Both were taken in custody, and Moss safely lodged in gaol; but his companion complaining of a violent pain in his bowels, was permitted to mount a good roadster (the constable being on a road gelding,) with which he galloped off, and has not since been heard of.—The Learned Judge, in passing sentence on the prisoner, said, that in consequence of the serious extent to which the crime of horse-stealing had been perpetrated, it had of late been determined by the Judges that the extreme punishment of the law should be inflicted, when the case was clearly proved against a prisoner. On the present occasion, the Court had to deal with a practised horse-stealer, one who had formerly been convicted, and therefore he earnestly exhorted the prisoner not to indulge any hope of a mitigation of his sentence, for most assuredly execution would be done upon him. The prisoner threw himself on his knees, imploring mercy, but no hope of intercession was held out to him.
Cambridge Chronicle and Journal, 28 Jul 1826, page 2.

On Saturday last, Henry Moss, convicted at our late Assizes of stealing two horses from Waters Upton, underwent the dreadful sentence of the law in front of the County Gaol in this town.—After taking the Sacrament from the hands of the Chaplain, he ascended the platform with a firm step, and was immediately launched into eternity.—This unhappy man had been convicted of stealing a horse from Whitchurch, at our Lent Assizes in the year 1824, and judgment of death was then recorded against him; he was afterwards sent to the Hulks, from whence he escaped, and subsequently meeting with a person who had been his accomplice in former crimes, he entered again upon that system of plunder for which his life has been forfeited.
Salopian Journal, 9 Aug 1826.
Also reported in the Cambrian, 12 Aug 1826, page 3 (view at Welsh Newspapers Online).

Note: The burial register for Shrewsbury St Mary shows the burial, on 5 August 1826, of Henry Moss, age 52, abode “Gaol”. I have yet to find a baptism which might relate to him.


1842: Highway robbery? (Added 26 Oct 2015)

“PLAYING” AT HIGHWAY ROBBERY, AND “PAYING” FOR IT.
William Huxley, Thomas Brayne, Thomas Gosnell, and Samuel Groom, were indicted for assaulting Robert Blantern on the highway, with intent to rob him. Mr. Phillimore conducted the case; Mr. Phillips appeared for the defence. The prisoner (who had been admitted to bail) were respectable men, residing at and near Ternhill; the prosecutor is a farmer living at Water’s Upton. On the night of Sunday the 11th of September, he was returning home on horseback from Cheshire, and shortly after he had passed the Castle Inn, at Ternhill, his horse was stopped by two of the prisoners, who demanded his money; and while he was putting his hand in his pocket he was struck on the head by a third person, and then pulled off his horse. A struggle ensued across the road, and he fell over a heap of stones. Huxley then fell on him, but he twisted him off by the hair of the head; for which he received several kicks. He shouted murder, and Brayne came up, pretending to be a constable, and collared two of his assailants, whilst the prosecutor secured the third. They proceeded towards the Inn, when Brayne said he knew the parties, and and they had better let him go that night, as he could find them again next day. Prosecutor did so, and Brayne advised him to mount his horse and go home, offering to accompany him past a bridge on a lonesome part of the road. Prosecutor accordingly mounted his horse; but after going a few yards, he suspected all was not right, and galloped back to the inn, where he took refuge for the night. The party followed him to the door, and said thay would have him out and rob him, but nothing more was done. Next day, a warrant was issued, and the parties were taken up and held to bail to answer the charge at the Assizes. Mr. Phillips addressed the Jury, to show that they had no intention of committing a felony; and his Lordship said he was of opinion that the indictment for attempting to rob could not be sustained. If they had intended to do so, why did they not? they had plenty of time and opportunity; but they had certainly committed an assault. The Jury found them guilty of an assault, and his Lordship, after a severe censure on their folly, inflicted a penalty of £5 on each of them; and to be imprisoned until it was paid.
Shrewsbury Chronicle, 25 Mar 1842, page 3.

Note: For more on Robert Blantern, see his Memorial Inscription page.


1843: House breaking (Added 26 Oct 2015)

HOUSE BREAKING AT WATERS UPTON.
William Cowley pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him with breaking into the dwelling house of William Harper, of Waters Upton, and stealing a variety of wearing apparel. He was also found guilty of breaking into the cottage of John Bettley, of Bolas, and stealing wearing apparel, bacon, and other articles. When apprehended he was wearing the shoes, stockings, and shirt of the prosector Bettley. The judge sentenced him to 10 years’ transportation.
Eddowes’s Shrewsbury Journal, 9 Aug 1843, page 4.

Note: The Criminal Registers at The National Archives, Kew (Class HO 27, Piece 71, Page 19) show that William Cowley was aged 26 when convicted. Convict Transportation Registers (Class HO 11, Piece 13, Folio 231, Page 499) show that William was one of 300 males transported to Van Diemen’s Land aboard the Marion, which departed 22 Nov 1843. There were two agricultural labourers by the name of William Harper living at Waters Upton at the time of the 1841 census, either of them could have been the victim of William Cowley’s crime.


1856: Drunk and disorderly

WELLINGTON POLICE COURT.—Monday.
(Before St. J. C. Charlton, Esq.) […]
John Pidgeon was charged by P.C. Ross with being drunk and disorderly at Waters Upton, on the 28th of January last, at a quarter to 12 o’clock. Fines 5s. with 8s. costs.
Wellington Journal, 9 Feb 1856, page 4.

Note: This was almost certainly the 26-year-old John Pigeon, an agricultural labourer, who was recorded with his parents and siblings on the 1851 census at Waters Upton.


1856: Imposters (Added 26 Oct 2015)

WELLINGTON.
(Before St. J. C. Charlton and T. C. Eyton, Esqrs.)
A Trio of Imposters.—William Jones, John Macgregor, and Jonathan Brown, were charged with making use of a forged petition, for the purpose of obtaining alms, on Thursday, the 24th instant; the following is a copy:—”This is to certify that the bearer hereof, William Jones, has sustained a severe loss, viz that of two milch cows and one heifer, from the disease now so prevalent among cattle; they were valued at £46. Knowing him to be a man of good character, with a small family dependent on him for support, I hereby recommend him to the notice of the benevolent, hoping that me may realize at least some portion of his loss. 22d February. 1856. Thomas Jones.” To this petition a number of names were attached, from whom, it purported, they had received donations, most of which, however, were forgeries, the document itself being a forged one. The prisoners had been busy on the day in question in the neighbourhood of Tern and Longden, and applied at the house of the Rev. Mr. Meredith, of the latter place, upon whose information the prisoners were apprehended. … The prisoners also waited upon Mr. John Taylor, of Upton Waters, who, after a little cross-questioning, was induced by the plausibility of their tale to give them 2s.—The magistrates sentenced Jones to 3 months’ hard labour, Macgregor to 2 months’ and Brown to one month.
Eddowe’s Shrewsbury Journal, 7 May 1856, page 3.

Note: John Taylor was residing at Waters Upton Hall at the time of the 1861 census.


1857: A charge of assault

WATERS UPTON.
Charge of Assault.—At the Wellington Petty Sessions on Tuesday, Alice M’Gowan, a hawker of small wares, from Wellington, charged John Martin, of the Swan Inn, Waters Upton, with committing a violent and unprovoked assault upon her on the 14th ult. Complainant produced a handkerchief saturated in blood with a quantity of hair, which defendant and his brother had pulled off her head, and called a Mrs Birch in support. In defence Mr Martin stated that the complainant was very tipsy and abusive, and he put her, with the assistance of his brother, out of doors. Complainant had frequently made a disturbance in his house, but he admitted drawing her some drink on this occasion. The bench dismissed the case, but expressed an opinion that defendant had used more violence that was necessary in putting a disorderly person out of the house. Complainant had to pay 6s. costs.
Wellington Journal, 14 Feb 1857, page 3.

Note: John Martin does not appear on a census at Waters Upton, moving there between 1851 and 1861, and dying before the latter year. His widow Mary took over running the Swan Inn, and was enumerated there with her family on the 1861 census.


1857: Drunk and disorderly at his own house (Added 26 Oct 2015)

WELLINGTON.
PETTY SESSIONS—TUESDAY.
Before R. Burton, G. S. Hill, and W. S. Lawley, Esqrs. …
John Martin, landlord of the Swan Inn, Waters Upton, was charged with being drunk and disorderly at his own house after twelve o’clock on the night of Saturday, the 25th ult. P.C. Crowther proved being at the defendant’s, and was requested by Mr. Martin to clear the house, in doing which defendant subsequently abused him, and threatened to strike him. William Edwards corroborated the policeman. Defendant denied the imputation of being drunk, and that Crowther, instead of clearing the house, was peeping into holes and corners as if looking for hidden liquor; and called Thomas Fletcher, who said that defendant was not drunk, but that he had been fined in the club room twice for some irregularities. Defendant was fined with costs 11s.
Shrewsbury Chronicle, 15 May 1857, page 6.

Note: See previous item for notes on John Martin.


1857: An assault while drunk and disorderly (Added 26 Oct 2015)

Police Intelligence.—On Wednesday, before St. J. C. Charlton and T. C. Eyton, Esqrs. … Thomas Hampton, labourer, of Ellerdine-heath, was charged with being drunk and disorderly, and assaulting the police, at the late club anniversary, held at the Swan Inn, Waters Upton. Police-constables Clarke and Crowther deposed to finding the defendant stripped and desirous of fighting. On interfering Crowther was knocked down by the defendant. The other officer was also struck, and he retaliated by striking defendant a heavy blow over the eyes, from the effect of which he appeared to have suffered a great deal. Mr. Charlton cautioned the police against too free a use of the staff, which should only be used as a last resource. Defendant, who pleaded drunkenness as his excuse, was fined, including costs, £2.
Shrewsbury Chronicle, 5 Jun 1857, page 5.


1857: Drunk and disorderly

POLICE INTELLIGENCE. […]
Tuesday Last.
(Before the Rev. H Burton, and W S Lawley, Esq.) […]
Thomas Dodd, labourer, Cliff-Rock, Joseph Lovett, labourer, Bolas-Heath, Edward Bennett, shoemaker, Waters-Upton, and William Humphries, blacksmith, Crudgington, were charged by P.C. Crowther, with being drunk and disorderly on the 19th ult.—A Witness named Tudor was called, and the bench fined the two former defendants 5s each, and 7s 4d costs; the two latter, 5s fine, and 6s costs each.
Wellington Journal, 8 Aug 1857, page 3.

Note: Edward Bennett, the shoemaker, was enumerated on at Waters Upton with his parents and siblings (father Thomas and brother John were also shoemakers) on the 1861 census. He was in court again in 1868 (see below).


1860: Aggravated assault (Added 26 Oct 2015)

WELLINGTON. […]
Magistrates’ Office.—On Friday last, before T. C. Eyton and St. John C. Charlton, Esqrs., Robert Jones, of this town, was brought up on a charge of committing an aggravated assault upon Mary Ann Careswell, a young woman from Waters Upton, on the 7th of February, 1859, after which the defendant absconded, but was discovered a few days ago to be serving in the Shropshire Militia. In defence, Jones stated that the girl invited him to her father’s house, which proved to be false. He then fell back on being intoxicated at the time. He was committed to prison for two months, with hard labour.
Shrewsbury Chronicle, 1 Jun 1860, page 5.

Note: Mary Ann Careswell was in fact Mary Ann Casewell, who was living at Waters Upton and appeared on the census in 1861, 1871 and 1881.


1863: “Anti-Teetotalers” and a breach of the peace (Added 1 Nov 2015)

POLICE INTELLIGENCE. […]
Anti-Teetotalers. […] William Rogers was charged Sergeant Duncan with being drunk and disorderly at Waters Upton early on the morning the 3rd instant.—Fined 12s., including costs. […]
Breaches of the Peace. […] John Powell was charged by Sergeant Duncan with committing a breach of the peace by fighting at Waters Upton on the night of the 2nd inst. It appeared that defendant attended his club feast, and having partaken of the good things provided became very obstreperous and gave evidence of his pugilistic qualities in an unmistakeable manner. First he upset one of his unfortunate “brothers,” and on being remonstrated with by the “grand master” or some other official of a similar notable character, he upset him too, for which little amusement he was fined 10s. by his club, and the bench further increased his grief by ordering him to be bound over and to pay 11s. 2d. costs.
Wellington Journal, 20 Jun 1863, page 2.


1864: Theft from a stack-yard

Stolen during the night of the 11th or morning of the 12th instant, from the stack-yard of Mr. Morgan, Waters Upton, Salop, a gutta percha engine Strap, 5½ inches wide and 60 feet long, cut on one side, almost new, the property of Thomas Erins, Rodington. Information to be given to Mr. Chief Superintendent Richardson, Wellington, Salop.— Bow-street, March 14.
Police Gazette, 16 Mar 1864.

Note: The Mr Morgan referred to was probably William Morgan, a farmer at Waters Upton on the 1861 and 1871 census returns.


1864: A charge of felony

PETTY SESSIONS.—Tuesday last.
Before the Hon. R. C. Herbert and W. S. Lawley, Esq. […]
Charge of Felony.—A Model Lodging-house.—Bridget Good, a well-known character, living in Wellington, and her son, Daniel Good, a boy apparently about twelve years of age, were placed in the dock on a charge of stealing 4s. 7½d. in money and a two-feet rule from Thomas Parry, a stonemason, working at Waters Upton.—The evidence disclosed showed that the prisoners, the female in particular, were of depraved habits. It appeared that on Saturday night prosecutor came to Wellington, and after indulging in sundry potations he went to seek a lodging, and met with the boy prisoner, who offered to take him to a house where he could get a bed. Parry went with him to his mother’s house, and at once went upstairs to bed. He put his coat, waistcoat, and trousers, in which were the money and the rule, under the pillow. On getting up the next morning he found the waistcoat on the floor and the money gone. The rule was also missing. He accused Bridget Good of stealing them, but she denied it and threatened to “rip him up.” He went outside, and she then came out and threw the rule in his face.—Samuel yates deposed that on the night of the 17th instant he saw the boy prisoner with the rule produced and a two-shilling piece. He offered to sell the rule for 1s. 6d.—The female prisoner now said that she never had any of the man’s money except 5d. which he paid for his lodgings. The rule she found on the bed and gave it to him.—The Deputy Chief-constable said that Good was one of the worst characters in Wellington. She kept a brothel, and he had no doubt she caused the boy to direct drunken men to her house. If the boy had committed the robbery at was doubtless at the instigation of his mother, who used him at times in a most unmerciful manner. He had been obliged to interfere on several occasions when the child had complained to him.—The Bench considered the evidence insufficient to convict upon, and the woman and her son were discharged.—The worthy pair left the court together.
Wellington Journal, 24 Sep 1864, page 2.

Note: Although Mr Parry was working at Waters Upton, it seems he did not reside there, or at least he did not do so for long enough to appear on a census return covering the parish.


1864: Another charge of assault

PETTY SESSIONS.—Yesterday.
Before the Hon. R. C. Herbert, and P. Buchanan, Esq.
Charges of Assault.—A respectably-dressed young man, named Richard Tudor, was charged with assaulting a man named Richard Clay, a butcher, at Water’s Upton, on the 17th of October.—Complainant said that he was in the Swan Inn, and the defendant, who was also there, said he (Clay) was in the habit of “killing dead sheep,”—(laughter)—and that defendant put his hands in his face and threatened to knock his head off.—Tudor denied this, and called a witness, who swore that defendant did not commit the offence laid to his charge, and the magistrates dismissed the case.
Wellington Journal, 22 Oct 1864, page 2.

Note: Richard Clay, the butcher, appeared twice on the 1861 census at Waters Upton: as an apprentice with his employer, Thomas Titley (schedule 1), and as a lodger at the Swan Inn (schedule 10). Richard Tudor was not at Waters Upton at the time of the 1861 census, most likely he was the 31-year-old sawyer of that name who appeared there on the 1871 census.


1866: Detaining a butcher’s money

WELLINGTON POLICE COURT. […]
Tuesday.
Embezzlement.—A young man named James Weston was charged with embezzling the sum of 13s. 4d. belonging to Mr. R. Morgan, butcher, of Waters Upton.
The circumstances of the felony were these: the prisoner was sent by the prosecutor with some meat to Mr. Thomas’s, draper, Church-street, and was there paid 13s 4d. for it. Thus sum he detained and prosecutor not knowing the money had been paid sent in the bill, when the prisoner’s dishonest act was disclosed.
He was committed for trial to the sessions.
Wellington Journal, 13 Oct 1866, page 4.


1868: Unlicensed dogs; drunk and assaulting/resisting a police officer (Added 26 Oct 2015)

WELLINGTON.
Petty Sessions, Monday, before J. Bather and W. S. Lawley, Esqrs. […]
Keeping a Dog without a Licence.—John James, of Waters Upton, was charged by P.C. Fowler with keeping a dog without a licence. The Magistrate inflicted a fine of 25s. […]
Assaulting a Policeman.—A man, named Edward Bennett, pleaded guilty to assaulting P.C. Lewis in the execution of his duty. It appeared from the evidence that the officer was on duty at Waters Upton, and was called into the Swan public-house to quell a disturbance. Two men were fighting, and when Lewis endeavoured to prevent them, defendant pushed him away and encouraged them to fight.—The Bench inflicted a fine of 30s. and costs.
Eddowes’s Shrewsbury Journal, 8 Jan 1868, page 3.

WELLINGTON.
Petty Sessions, Monday. … John James, butcher, of Waters Upton, and Edward Corbett, puddler, of Oakengates, were fibed £1 5s .each, on the information of Mr. Moore, supervisor of excise, for keeping dogs without a licence.—Edward Bennett, shoemaker of Watersupton, was charged with being drunk and resisting Police-constable Lewis in the execution of his duty, when endeavouring to prevent a breach of the peace at Waters Upton. Fined with costs 38s. …
Shrewsbury Chronicle, 10 Jan 1868, page 6.

Note: John James was a maltster living in Waters Upton at the time of the 1861 census, but by 1868 was a butcher and remained so until at least 1871. Edward Bennett was also in court in 1857 due to being drunk and disorderly (see above).


1869: Unlawfully setting traps

WELLINGTON POLICE COURT.
Monday.
Before T. C. Eyton and J. Bather, Esqrs. […]
Using Traps for catching Game.—A man name John Matthews, living at Waters Upton, was charged with unlawfully setting certain traps, for the purpose of catching game, on land of Mrs. Groucock’s.
According to the evidence of a witness it appears that defendant was seen to go up to some traps in the field, and take a rat out of one of them, afterwards setting the trap again.
Matthews, who protested his innocence, was fines 2s. 6d. and costs.
Wellington Journal, 13 Nov 1869, page 5.

Note: There were two men named John Matthews living at Waters Upton at the time of the 1871 census, either one of them could have been the guilty party in this case.


1870: Assault (Added 1 Nov 2015)

WELLINGTON. […]
Fortnightly Petty Sessions, Monday. […]
Assault at Waters Upton: A young man named Samuel Shakshaft was charged with assaulting Richard Williams, Waters Upton, on the 28th ult. Complainant said that the defendant struck him without any provocation, and defendant’s dog also seized him by the thigh. Defendant admitted the assault, but said that complainant had been spreading a scandalous report about him. Fines, with costs, £1 9s. 4d.
Shrewsbury Chronicle, 15 Apr 1870, page 7.


1881: Cattle stolen

Description of EDWD. WILLIAMS, alias ROBERTS, alias JONES, charged on suspicion of stealing two Cattle, at Stanton, Salop, on night of 11th instant ( recovered) :— 20 to 25 years of age, 5 feet 4 or 5 inches high, fresh complexion, slight whiskers and moustache, clean chin, dark brown hair, cut short, very thick shoulders, slightly inclined to be round shouldered, otherwise dont appear so stout, has lost part of third or fourth tooth from centre supposed in left upper jaw, and shows a gap when laughing, turns his eyes very quickly about, has been a sailor ; dressed in low hard hat, rather dark pepper-and-salt coat end vest, brown trousers, lace-up boots ; his father resides at Waters-Upton, Salop; was convicted at Salop Quarter Sessions, June, 1880, sentenced to 6 months hard labour, for cattle stealing; supposed now cohabiting with a girl, who in May, 1880, was waiting her trial at Chester, for larceny from person, as he then talked very much about her. Information to Sergeant Owen, Wem, Salop, who holds a warrant for his arrest.—Bow-street, July 25.
Police Gazette 25 Jul 1881.

Note: At the General Quarter Sessions of the Peace held at Shrewsbury on 28 June 1880, Edward Williams, otherwise Roberts, was tried for the offence of cattle stealing (two indictments). He had two previous convictions for felony, and was imprisoned for two consecutive terms of 3 calendar months of each indictment. Source: Home Office – Criminal Registers, England and Wales (TNA reference HO27). Although the newspaper article states that Edward’s father lived at Waters Upton, I have not yet been able to identify the family.


1892: Shooting affray

SERIOUS SHOOTING AFFRAY IN SHROPSHIRE.
FARMER’S SONS SENT TO PENAL SERVITUDE.
A farmer’s two sons, Robert Blantern Morgan and John Stanley Morgan, of Waters Upton, Shrewsbury, were indicted at the Salop Assizes, on Saturday, on a charge of maliciously and feloniously shooting at a young man named Frederick Allen, with intent to do him grevious bodily harm.
It was elicited in evidence that on the night of the 9th July last, Allen, in company with two other men, named John Middleton and Richard Dorsett, were proceeding along the road in the direction of his home. They were passing the farm of the father of the prisoners when the dogs began to bark. One of the men told them to lie down, when Mr Morgan, senior, shouted from the window “Get out, or I’ll loose the dogs on you.” Middleton replied, “You can do it.” The men proceeded down the road for about one hundred yards, when a gun was fired, some of the shot striking the hedge close to them. Allen and Middleton turned back, and saw prisoners and their father coming down the road. One of the sons again fired, and a quantity of shot penetrated through Allen’s boot into his ankle. When within about ten yards from Allen, Morgan, senior, said “Give him another,” and immediately a double barrelled gun was pointed at Allen by one of the sons, who fired a second time. The shot entered Allen’s arm, which was badly lacerated, and he fell to the ground bleeding and insensible. The next thing he remembered was being at home in bed, and seeing a doctor by the bedside.
Medical evidence was given by Dr. Brereton to the effect that that the shot had not been extracted from Allen’s foot, as it had penetrated too deep. There was also a permanent injury to the arm.
The defence was that Allen and the two other men were in a drunken state, and bombarded Morgan’s house with large stones, and when he came to the window to remonstrate with them, they used abusive and defiant language. He and his two sons went down to send them away, one of the sons taking a loaded gun with him. They had a struggle with the other men, and, during this, the gun went off accidentally. The evidence for the defence, however, was exceedingly conflicting.
The jury returned a verdict of unlawful wounding against both prisoners.
The judge said it was a brutal, wanton, and dastardly attack, and unjustifiable. He sentenced Robert to five year’s penal servitude, and John to three years.
Mr Justice Day has reduced the sentences to one of fifteen month’s imprisonment each.
Wrexham Advertiser, 17 Dec 1892, page 6.

Note: Robert T Morgan, the father, and sons Robert B and John S Morgan, appear on the 1891 census at Waters Upton.


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