POACHING, GAME LAW, VAGRANCY AND SOCIAL HISTORY: A PERFUNCTORY TRAWL THROUGH THE STROUD FREE PRESS 1851-1852
A start to our collective efforts compiling a history of trespassing, wandering and poaching in the Stroud Valleys, c. 1750-1890. This will involve research in Stroud Library for 1850-90, and Gloucester C.R.O. for 1750-1850. This will happen when we can and when the fancy takes us.
1. Daniel Vines and George Cole of Haresfield summoned for trespassing on lands at Standish, belonging to Lord Sherborne, in pursuit of coneys, were fined £1 each, and costs; in default, to be committed to Horsley House of Correction for fourteen days.
2. HUNTING APPOINTMENTS: THE DUKE OF BEAUFORT’S HOUNDS meet on Monday Nov 3 at the Crosshands; Wednesday Nov 5, at the Trouble House.
3. WHITESHILL – SINGULAR MISHAP: A few days ago, a little boy named Rowles, was playing near the Star Inn of that place, when his toy fell into a drain. As the drain was a large one, the boy got in to fetch it out, but not being able to turn around, he could not get out, and lay there, till two tramps who were passing, hearing a cry, then listened, when one of them thought that the sound came from the ground, and on taking up a stone, they saw the boy, who got out, more frightened than hurt.
4. Henry Darch, John Darch and William Clark: Three tramps were brought up in the custody of PC White, charged with wandering abroad, having no visible means of subsistence, also on suspicion of stealing a duck, found in their possession.
5. CONVICTION UNDER THE GAME LAWS: Aaron Harvey, Josheph Harvey and Robert Stafford, the two former of the parish of Horsley, and the latter of Avening, were summoned upon the complaint of Jacob Greenaway, gamekeeper to Wm. Playne, Esq., for trespassing in search of game on land in the parish of Avening on the 21st instant … they were each fined £2 and costs and in default, stand committed to Horsley House of Correction for two calendar months, to hard labour.
6. George Gardner, George Howell, Henry Taylor, Samuel Pitt and Charles Pearse were brought up in the custody of PC Riddiford, charged with stealing a quantity of apples from an Orchard at the parish of Rodborough, the property of Charles Chapman. Pitt was discharged, the others were fined 2s 9d which they paid.
7. James Parker, alias ‘Bristol Jim’ and William Jones, alias Charles Russell, brought up under a warrant, charged with having trespassed on lands, the property of TB Lloyd Barker, Esq., at Hardwick, in pursuit of game was fined £2 and 11s 6d costs; and in default, of payment, was committed to Horsley House of Correction for one months hard labour. The defendant was also charged with shooting, and not having a game certificate; he was fined £10; and in default, of payment, was committed to Horsley House of Correction for two months.
8. Joseph Harvey and Aaron Harvey of Horsley were apprehended by PC Milson and conveyed to Horsley House of Correction for two calendar months, for trespassing on lands belonging to Wm. Playne, Esq., in pursuit of game.
9. Jabez Topps, Frances Cook, James Hayes, and Richard Tanner, all of Tetbury, were summoned for trespassing upon lands belonging to Mr John Bishop, in search of coneys. The case being proved by P.S. Wm. Wood, the magistrates fined Topps, who was an old offender, £2 and 12s in costs, and in default, of payment, committed him to Horsley House of Correction for two months to hard labour, the other three were fined 10s and 10s costs each, or fourteen days hard labour each.
10. Walter Ford was brought up in the custody of PC Groves charged with trespassing on lands belonging to Col. Kingscote in pursuit of game on the 16th inst. Committed to Horsley House of Correction for two calendar months hard labour.
Two recruiting parties are now in the neighbourhood, pursuing their avocations. Notwithstanding the improved conditions of the soldier, and the greatest care now shewn by the authorities for his comfort; we would suggest the enquiry whether the advantages attendant upon military life, and prospects of promotion offered the recruit, are not estimated sometimes beyond their value; whilst the terrible privations and unconditional surrender of all right to a private judgement, are not kept in the background, by an eloquent orator who endeavour to prevail upon the young men of good character to volunteer health, life, and liberty, for the defence (?) of their country. All is not gold that glitters.
1. Benjamin Jones and John Malpass, of Horsley, labourers, were charged with using a certain gin at the parish of Horsley on the 20th February, for the purpose of taking game. Fined £5 each, and in default were committed to Horsley House of Correction to hard labour for two calendar months.
2. POACHING, - Thomas Fearn, a plasterer, of Miserden, appeared in answer to a summons issued by Thomas Macdonald, of Winstone, charging him with having on Sunday, the 6th of May, at half-past six in the morning, committed a trespass, by being upon lands in the occupation of the Rev. W. Yarnton Mills, in search of game. The defendant pleaded not guilty, and the informer was therefore sworn as a witness. From the evidence, it appeared that at the time in question, he saw the defendant in a plantation belonging to Mr. Yarnton Mills, with a gun in his hand. Fearn leveled his gun, but did not fire, and left the plantation, and went into a piece of clover land adjoining, but belonging to Mr. Daniel Mills. Here he leveled his gun three times, but never fired. The bench considered the offence proved, but retired to consider whether the property was sufficiently described as in the summons. On their return, Mr. Winterbotham stated this point had been decided against the defendant, who was fined 20s and 19s 6d costs; or to be imprisoned for fourteen days with hard labour. The money was immediately paid.
3. Thomas Russell of Miserden, was summoned by Henry Marten for fishing in a stream belonging to Mr. Lyons. This offence was committed at the same time as the one just heard. The defendant did not appear, and the service of the summons having been proved, a warrant was granted for his apprehension.
4. George Hill, of Minchinhampton, labourer, was charged with stealing a quantity of apples from an orchard at Hyde, parish of Minchinhampton, on the 2nd inst., the property of Mr. R. Tuffley. P.C. White proved the offence and the prisoner was fined 10s, including costs which he paid.
5. STEALING BUTTER. – On Friday, Jeremiah Thomas was brought up in custody, before H. C. Clifford, Esq., and Rev. T. Peters, at Eastington, under the following circumstances. The prisoner had been in the employment of Mr. Browning, farmer, at Whitminster, at 2s per week, and his master having missed a quantity of butter, was determined to watch. On Friday morning, about five o’clock the prisoner went to his work as usual, and entered the dairy for the milk-pails, but was seen to take a large piece of butter. The prisoner was committed for trial at the sessions.
6. Joseph Webb was summoned by Sergeant Barton for fighting with Richard Webb, on Tuesday the 28th ult., whereby from eighty to one hundred persons were collected, and causing an obstruction in the street. Fined 6d. and 9s.6d. costs, to be levied by a distress, and in default of distress to be imprisoned for fourteen days in Horsley House of Correction. Richard Webb was also summoned on the same charge, and fined 1s. and 9s. 6d. costs, to be levied as before.
7. John Gibson was charged by Mr Superintendant Hay with being in the streets at 12 o’clock, without knowing where to go, or having any means of subsistence. Committed to Horsley for seven days with hard labour, as a rogue and a vagabond.
8. James Ronald was brought up in custody, charged with stealing a gun from a saddle room on the premises of the Rev. Yarnton Mills at Miserdine. From the evidence adduced, it appeared that the gun was the property of the groom, who placed it in the saddle room on the evening of the second of March, and missed it on the following morning. About five or six week since, the prisoner was seen with a gun believed to be the one produced, (and which was identified by the prisoner as the one missing.) and on the 7th ult., he pledged it with Mr. A. M. Isaacs of Cheltenham, from whom it was received by P. C. Sergeant Tanner, who also took the prisoner into custody. When arrested, the prisoner told the constable that he had bought the gun from a poor man between Cranham and Birdlip. The prisoner further said that he had lent it to two men at Brockhampton, with whom he went out poaching one Sunday morning, when the gun was taken from them. The prisoner was fully committed to trail and the usual recognizance taken to prosecute and give evidence.
9. Jane Sellwood and Ann Fowles both of Minchinhampton was charged with stealing on the 8th inst., a quantity of turnip greens, the property of Mr. F. Stafford of the same place. Both fined 10s each including costs which was paid.
10. Benjamin Jones and John Malpus who were committed last Petty Sessiosn for two months for trespassing on lands in pursuit of game, was charged by Mr. E. W. Meor, Esq., of Horsley, with throwing down a wall, his property, on the third inst. Fined £2 4s 3d each, including costs, and 6d damage, in default were committed for 3 months to hard labour.