27 March 2016

The Day Sarah was Sentenced

At the Totnes Guildhall on Monday 9 April 1855 before S. Huxham (mayor), J. Derry and C. Webber, Esquires - Sarah Crawford, wife of Henry Crawford, of Half Moon Street, was committed on a charge of stealing a log of wood, on the 3rd inst., from an orchard in the occupation of Mr John Willis, butcher.  Sarah was admitted to bail on her husband becoming bond in £20, and two sureties in £10 each.

"On Wednesday 23 May 1855, Sarah Crawford (out on bail) was brought before the court in Totnes. Mr Jerwood was the prosecutor and Mr Cox defended Sarah."

"The prosecutor is a carpenter at Totnes, and had a piece of timber in a garden occupied by his brother, a butcher, in Harper street.  On the evening of the 3rd of April the prosecutor was at the garden gate, and he saw the prisoner (Sarah) and a boy named Mogford two yards inside the gate. He asked Sarah 'What business she had there?' and the prisoner replied she was dodging a person who had stolen something. The prisoner and the boy was standing near a piece of timber, which was worth about 2 shillings. Mogford stated that he was going to the field with his father's donkey and on the road he saw the prisoner, who asked him where he was going? He told her and the prisoner then asked him to come and help her to take up a piece of timber in Mr Willis's garden, and he took up one end and the prisoner the other. They then met Mr Willis, and he asked them what they wanted? The prisoner then said to the boy that if he told the prosecutor what they were about, they would both go to prison. The prisoner stated that she was out looking for her mules, which she kept (at High Street) for hire.

Mr Cox then addressed the jury for the defence, contending that it was a mere case of suspicion; that the boy Mogford was involved in great doubt; and that the man Willis did not see the prisoner with the wood in her hand.


Sarah was sentenced to ten weeks imprisonment with hard labour."

~Western Times: 19 May 1855, pg 6

Sarah Nichols (born 1824 to Samuel Nichols and Sarah Frost)
- the sister of my 2x Great Grandmother, Elizabeth Nichols.
Sarah Nichols married Henry Robert Crawford, 1846.

1 comment:

  1. They sure paid for a crime back then. I'd be surprised any of us doesn't have an ancestor with a criminal record in the tree. I have two brothers, one lost his life over a forged 2 pounds (that it was said was passed on to him and his brother). His brother was sent to Australia when he died in prison after being found guilty of another minor crime which he eventually was cleared of...


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