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Crime & Disorder

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Leicester Chronicle – December 29th 1838

JAMES TYLER, blacksmith, of Thringston, in the employ of Messrs. Price and Co., at Pegg’s Green Colliery, charged with stealing a large quantity of iron and horse shoe moulds, the property of the said company. Committed to the sessions

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Leicester Journal – October 23rd 1840

Ashby De La Zouch Petty Sessions, Saturday, October 17th.

Before W. W. Abney and T. Mowbray Esqrs.

Hannah Varnam, Sarah Varnam, and Catherine Spencer, of Griffydam, were charged with assaulting Thomas Proudman, on the 13th instant. It appeared from the evidence, that on the day in question, he went to Spencer’s house to make a distress for a debt. As he seized the clock, Catherine Spencer laid hold of him, and the three defendants set upon him. Hannah Varnam hit him with a poker, and one got a piece of lighted coal. Witness said he was never so beaten in his life, and called a witness named Robt. Ayre, who corroborated his testimony. Ayre said he was beaten as well as complainant; he never saw such a scene before; “the battle of waterloo was a fool to it”. Convicted in the penalty of £1 each plus costs.

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Leicester Mercury – September 25th 1841

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions, Saturday, September 18th.

Before T. Mowbray, and R. G. Cresswell, Esq.

Thomas Preston, of Griffydam, charged Susannah Marshall of the same place, with an assault. It appeared that there had been some old grievance between the parties, and on Monday last, defendant, going past complainant’s shop, challenged him out to a fight, when he came, and they both began for a considerable time, until they were parted by the constable. The magistrate told the complainant he ought to be ashamed of fetching a summons, when it appeared from his own statement that they were both willing to fight; they therefore ordered each party to be bound over to keep the peace and pay the expenses between them.

Harriet Preston then charged Elizabeth Morley with assaulting her. It appeared that this case came out of the preceding one, and the magistrate advised them to settle it privately.

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Leicester Mercury – December 31st 1842

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions, Saturday December 14th

James Edwards and two other men, notorious characters from Griffydam, were committed for trial, charged with stealing four geese and four hens, the property of James Walker of Packington.

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Leicester Chronicle – January 20th 1844

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions, Saturday, Jan 13.

Joseph Hewitt, of Griffydam, was charged by Mary Hickinbottom, of the same place, with an assault. It appeared that defendant overtook complainant near the workhouse at Ashby, on her way home; they entered into conversation, and at length began “huggling” each other. Complainant having allowed this, defendant thought he would be permitted a kiss, and in the struggle his elbow accidentally got into complainant’s mouth: consequently she applied for a warrant against him for indecent assault! The magistrates were of the opinion that defendant was in the wrong, and he was fined 10s. and costs

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Leicester Chronicle – March 5th 1853

Ashby de la Zouch petty Sessions, Saturday, February 26th

Before Rev. J. M. Eschalaz and W. W. Abney, and Geo. Moore Esqrs.

Mary Robinson, a singular looking and diminutive young woman, of Griffydam, charged Joseph Bird of Thringstone, with indecently assaulting, kicking and striking her, on the high road near the former place, at nine o’clock on the night of the 12th of February. Her statement was corroborated by a female named Amelia Shaw, living near the place, who heard the complainant scream and call for help. Complainant admitted having a former acquaintance with the accused by whom she had a “little one”. He made a lame attempt to prove that he was in another place at the time, but without success; he was therefore convicted, and ordered to pay a fine of 25s., including expenses, half of which was paid down, and a fortnight allowed for the remainder.

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Leicester Mercury – March 5th 1853

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions February 26th

Before W. W. Abney, Esq., and the Rev. J. M. Echalaz.

On the 23rd February, William Haywood of Griffydam, Whitwick, was apprehended by P.S. Iliffe, and charged before W. W. Abney Esq., of Measham Hall, with stealing four ducks, the property of Mr. William Kidger, farmer, of Peggs Green. Committed for trial at the adjourned quarter sessions.

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Leicester Mercury – August 6th 1853

On Saturday night a quantity of thistle-top kidney potatoes and a potato fork were stolen from the garden of Francis Elliot, Griffydam

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Leicester Chronicle – August 20th 1853

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions, August 13th.

Before W. W. Abney, and T. Mowbray Esqrs., and the Rev. J. Echalaz.

Joseph Hodges (a boy of thirteen years of age) charged a farmer named John Litherland, of Griffydam, with an assault. The complainant having been questioned on the nature and obligations of an oath was sworn, and he stated that he was tending a mule on the Turnpike Road near Mr. Litherland’s residence, on the 29th July, and he was ordered by the defendant to take the mule away. He did not do so immediately, and the defendant beat him severely with a thorn stick, the prickles of which stuck into his back; and when he got home, his mother drew them out. He did not know how many. Defendant also kicked him. Defendant stated that he was ordered to impound cattle trespassing on the road, and when he ordered the boy to take the mule away (which is a vicious and dangerous brute) plaintiff used most abusive and disgusting language to him; whereupon he pulled a twig out of the adjoining hedge, and gave him two or three strokes with it. The stick was produced; it was a small branch of an elm tree, of by no means formidable dimensions – not thicker than a carpenter’s pencil. He was provoked by the filthy epithets applied to himself by the boy to chastise him. Defendant having just acknowledged the committing of an assault was convicted; but by reason of the extenuating circumstances only fined 6d. and costs. The lad’s father and mother (who are travelling pot hawkers) were present, and were repeatedly checked on account of prompting him when he gave evidence.

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Leicester Chronicle – May 13th 1854

Ashby Petty Sessions, May 6th

William Hurst of Pegg’s Green was charged with assaulting Edward Boat, on the 29th April, by throwing him down and striking him several times while on the ground. Defendant admitted that he was upon the “spree” and gave complainant a slap on the face. Fined 1s. and 13s. 6d. expenses, or one months imprisonment.

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Leicester Chronicle – May 27th 1854

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions, May 20th – Before George Moore, Esq., and the Rev. J. M. Echalaz

Sheep Worrying. – Joseph Sharpe v. James Lord. – This case had been twice adjourned at the request of the defendant’s attorney, Mr. Brown, for further evidence. It will be remembered that the defendant was charged with wilful damage by sheep worrying, and also under Martin’s Act for cruelty. Several witnesses were sworn, who denied the truth of the charges against Lord; one of them, John Massey was asked by Mr. Sharpe, jun., son of the prosecutor, whether there was not a club at Griffydam, the members of which had agreed to deny upon oath any accusation made against a brother member? An enquiry, which was of course answered in the negative. Mr. Echalaz, one of the Magistrates, made some pointed remarks on the cross-swearing of the witnesses for the defence. The magistrates having retired to deliberate, shortly returned into court, and convicted the defendant, ordering him to be fined 2s. 6d. and £1  4s. expenses; in default, one months imprisonment with hard labour, at the same time the Bench suggested that the owner of the dog, a young man named Platts of Griffydam, should be sued in the County Court for the value of the sheep that had been worried.

Midnight Ruffianism at Griffydam – James Lord, the defendant in the last case, with John Massey and William Handford, two of his witnesses, were then charged with a violent and brutal assault upon a woman named Hannah Hirst, on the night of Saturday, the 13th of May. The complainant, a respectably dressed woman, who appeared in the witness box with her left eye terrifically bruised and swollen, most of its surface being coated with extravasated blood, deposed that on the night in question, the three defendants came about twelve o’clock to her mother’s house at Griffydam. The door was not locked, and they appeared to be drunk: Massey threatened her, and struck her on the face; he and Handford were both beating her at once; Massey hit her several times, his wife also being present; the dog belonging to Platts (the sheep worrier) was brought in by the defendants, and the family were afraid of being bitten by him. There was a young man named Ordish, sitting beside her on the squab when the defendants came into the house; her mother and father, who are aged persons, were both knocked down, and one of the defendants tried to put the old man on the fire, and he cried out “murder” several times: Handford wanted to pull the clock down. In cross-examining the witness, Mr. Brown asked if Ordish did not sleep with her that night, which she indignantly denied. – Mary Hirst, the mother, was next examined, who corroborated her daughter’s evidence as to the violence of the defendants: she stated that she was knocked down by Massey, and also struck by the other two, and was some time in a state of insensibility. Mr. Brown asked this witness if Ordish did not sleep with her daughter that night, which she positively denied. She said the young man stopped in the house all night to protect them, but he slept with her son. (The magistrates informed the witnesses that they were not bound to answer such highly improper questions). – Edward Ordish gave confirmatory testimony: he saw the defendants come into Hirst’s house on the night in question; Massey and Lord both struck Hannah Hirst; the old man was pushed near the oven, and Lord knocked him onto the fire. Has known all the defendants for several years. – John Platts, the constable, was in bed when the uproar began in Hirst’s house, and was awakened by the noise, and cries of “murder”: he hurried to the place, and met Lord running away; the mother and daughter were bloody, and the floor looked as if blood had been thrown over it from a basin!! Knows the parties well; persons may go to visit the daughter, and has not heard the best of characters given to the house. (Here the defendants retired with their solicitor, accompanied by P.C. Platts).; on returning into court, Mr. Brown said he was able to prove that the house was one of ill fame; other persons were present on the night in question, who had not been brought forward. George Ford was at Hirst’s that night; Massey and he were both ordered to leave the house; and heard the old man cry out “murder”. – Sylvia Massey, wife to the defendant of that name, was at Hirst’s with her husband on the Saturday night; called in as they were going home; saw many blows struck; Hannah threw some water at one of her assailants. The complainant was recalled, and again positively declared that all the defendants struck her and her mother repeatedly, but the latter could only swear to being assaulted by Lord, as she was stuck senseless to the floor. – Mr. Moore addressed the defendants; the offence of which they had been guilty he considered to be of the most atrocious, cowardly, and unprovoked description: if persons were not of good character they must be shamefully maltreated, and the law would not protect them. The bench was fully convinced hat this case ought to be dealt with under the new Act for The Protection of Women; he should therefore sentence the defendants, Lord and Massey, to be imprisoned four months, and Handford three months, in the County gaol, with hard labour. The defendants were perfectly dumb-founded by this decision, and when they were handcuffed and marched off to the lock-up, they truly looked “unutterable things”. – The magistrates recommended that the dog which had figured so prominently in the last two cases, should be forthwith destroyed.

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Leicestershire Mercury – May 27th 1854

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions, May 20th

Before George Moore, Esq., and the Rev. J. M. Echalaz

Hannah Hurst charged James Lord, John Massey, and Wm. Handford with an assault at Griffydam. This case was taken under the 16th and 17th Vict., cap.30.  Complainant said, she lived at Griffydam, and on Saturday night the 13th inst., she was at home. About half-past twelve the defendants rushed into the house. Massey went up to the clock and tried to pull it down, and then struck her over the shoulders. She told him to go away, and he threatened to knock her head off. He struck her over the head and side many times. Lord then went up and struck her over the eye, and she became senseless. – Mary Hurst, mother of complainant, corroborated the statement made, and said Massey struck her several times. – Mr. G. F. Brown appeared on behalf of the defendants, and called two witnesses; but the evidence given by them did not in anyway tend to lessen the defendant’s guilt. Lord and Massey were sentenced to four calendar months hard labour, and Handford to three months.

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Leicestershire Mercury – March 3rd 1855

Ashby de la Zouch Pety Sessions, February 24th

Before W. W. Abney and George Moore Esqrs., and the Rev. J. M. Echalaz.

James Lord, labourer, Coleorton was charged with assaulting Francis Elliot, at Griffydam, on February 10th. – Fined £1 10s., including costs; in default of payment, one months hard labour.

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Leicester Mercury – June 23rd 1855

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions, Saturday June 16th

Before Rev. J. M. Echalaz and E. A. Holden Esq.

Sarah Miller charged Mark Richards and George Hewitt with assaulting her on June 4th. Complainant said she was a married woman, and lived at Pegg’s Green. On June 4th she was returning from the post office at about half-past nine o’clock at night, and passed by the defendants. They bid her good night, and then ran up to her. Hewitt took old of her and behaved very indecently. Richards also conducted himself in a similar way – Convicted and fined 10s. each including costs; in default, fourteen days imprisonment.

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Leicester Chronicle – May 23rd 1857

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions, May 16th

Before the Right Hon. Earl Ferrers, T. Mowbray Esq., and the Rev. J. M. Echalaz

John Heywood of Griffydam, was charged with assaulting William Gibson of that place, on the 6th of May. They had a dispute respecting some parish affairs. Mr. Smith of Ashby, conducted the defence. The bench dismissed the charge, ordering the complainant to pay costs.

Mr. William Kidger, farmer of Thringstone, was charged by a man named Thompson, the pounder of Griffydam, with having twelve cows upon trespass, in Green Lane. The complainant impounded the cows, but the pinfold being too small, he sent ten of them back again, lest they should be injured by overcrowding; keeping two as security for the expenses. The defendant refused to pay the amount demanded, and still persisted in refusing in respect of the two detained.

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Leicester Chronicle – June 20th 1857

Several attempts have lately been made by the Mormonites of the neighbourhood to propound their audacious mummeries near the Wesleyan Chapel, Griffydam, but without success. On Sunday last, one of the elders from Nottingham mounted the rostrum, and began what would doubtless have proved a polygamic oration; but the crowd, drawn together by the nasal tones of the prophetic seer, would not allow him to proceed, but pelted him and his foolish followers with rotten eggs, and they speedily beat a retreat, with an odour less fragrant than roses, lavender or honey-dew. Should they make another attempt, it is to be feared that some substantial artillery may be employed, than nest eggs from the neighbouring roosts.

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Leicester Chronicle  October 3rd 1857

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions Appleby House, Sepember 30th

Before the Rev. J. M. Echalaz.

Benjamin Platts (Alias Bendigo), was charged by Sarah Weston, of Griffydam, with non-payment of £1 10s., on a bastardy order; the defendant had been very troublesome, and seemed to set the Law at defiance. Apprehended by P.C. Earp, and remanded till Saturday.

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Leicester Chronicle – May 8th 1858

Ashby petty sessions, May 1st

Before W. W. Abney Esq.

John Robinson, better known by the name of Dr. Robinson, Griffydam, was charged by John Holyoak, labourer of the same place, with wilfully breaking his window on 6th of April. This was a paltry case; Holyoak had an empty house, and the doctor having furniture, he became his tenant without any rent being stipulated. Case dismissed, and the defendant ordered to pay costs.

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Leicester Mercury – July 17th 1858

Ashby de la Zouch petty Sessions, Friday, July 9th

Before W. W. Abney Esq.

William Lager – Collier, Griffydam (who did not appear), was charged with stealing a quantity of cherries, from a tree at Pegg’s Green, on the 28th ult., the property of James Rance. – P.S. Moore proved the service of summons on defendant. – Louisa Draycott, a neighbour of complainant, stated in evidence, that she saw defendant in tree gathering cherries, about 3 a.m. in the morning in question, and also spoke to him offering her a branch from the tree, with some of the fruit upon it through the window, to say nothing about it. She called the complainant up, and defendant ran away. Fined including costs, £1. 18s. 6d., or one months imprisonment.

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Leicester Journal – July 16th 1858

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions, July 10th 1858

Before  W. W. Abney, Esq., T. M. Mowbray Esq., and the Rev. J. M. Echalaz.

John Lagor of Griffydam was charged with garden robbing. He did not appear, but the offence was proved and he was fined 20s. and costs; in default one months imprisonment.

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Leicester Mercury – November 6th 1858

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions, Saturday October 30th

Before T. Mowbray Esq.

Monday November 1st. - Henry Kinsey (Alias Bird), collier, Griffydam, and William Hickling (Alias Butt), Belton, apprehended on Saturday night by Sergt. Moore, on a warrant, charged with poaching and seriously assaulting, the keepers of Sir George Howland Beaumont, bart., on Sunday night, October 24th, in the parish of Worthington, were remanded, in order to give time for other parties concerned in the affray to be apprehended. The facts of the case are, that on the night in question, about 9 p.m., two of Sir G. Beaumont’s gamekeepers were out watching, when they saw some men setting a net, and that they also had a net with them. The keepers tried to get possession of the nets, when they were attacked by three men with bludgeons and stones. One of the watchers, named Cooper, was struck just above the temple, and on the back of the head, and was very seriously wounded. All the poachers ultimately made off, leaving their nets and two caps behind them. One of the men drew a knife, and swore that if either of the keepers offered to take him, or follow him, he would rip them open. Information was at once given to Sergt. Moore, and an inquiry set on foot, which has led to the apprehension of the above prisoners, who have been identified by the keepers. The other man, who is known, but has absconded, will no doubt be apprehended in the course of the week.

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Leicester Chronicle – May 21st 1859

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions, May 14th

Before T. M. Mowbray and G. Mowbray Esqr’s., and the Rev. J. M. Echalaz.

Isacc Ward, Joseph Mee, Joseph Richards, and William Edwards, all of Griffydam, were brought up in custody of Sergeant Moore and P.C. Fardell, charged with fighting cocks on the morning of the 11th instant, at 1 a.m., at the house of Mr. John Nicklinson, the Waggon and Horses, at Griffydam.  Convicted and fined £1 10s.


An alternative report

Leicester Mercury – May 21st 1859

Isaac Ward, Joseph Richards and William Edwards and Joseph Mee, were charged with unlawfully and wilfully aiding and abetting in the fighting of two cocks, at Griffydam, at 2 o’clock in the morning of the 11th inst. Mr. Brown of Ashby, appeared for the defence. – Sergeant Moore said, on Wednesday morning about 1 o’clock, I was passing the Waggon and Horses public-house. It was moonlight. I heard a conversation relative to making a match to fighting cocks. Mee said that his cock should fight that night. I remained some time, and in a little while they came out at the back door with candles to commence the fight. It was Ward and Mee. They commenced fighting the cocks. I and the other constable who was with me got over the wall, and got close to them. There was a great noise, and the betting was “two to one” on the old cock’. Richards I apprehended, and he was very violent. I had great difficulty in apprehending him, and was compelled to use my truncheon, and he called out to his comrades to come back and give it to the…………….The landlady was at the door with a light, and said, on our appearance, “Oh dear: I thought how it would be”. I found the dead cock I now produce in the yard (cross-examined): I was standing in the garden, about twenty yards from them. They had candles. There were seven or eight present. I found the dead cock in the yard. We secured a man each, and were not able to secure more. I struck Richards three or four times with my staff. I will swear I did not strike him 18 times. I have not seen his arm since. I might poke him in the ribs. (By the Bench): I used no more violence than was necessary to secure him. I know Richards. I know all that were there. They blew the candles out. I saw the cocks fight. I do not know whether the cock in my possession has a broken leg. The fight came off in a small yard, not far from the public road. The whole of the parties were stooping down, witnessing the fight. Ward said he hoped I would be careful of the cock, as he would sooner we hurt him than that cock. – P.C. Fardell spoke positively to three of the parties, but not so distinctly to Edwards. His evidence generally corroborated that of the first witness. – Mr. Brown urged that Mee was not present, and also that the police used undue violence. – Inspector Ward wished to say that they had been at a good deal of trouble after these affairs, for some time; and also that Richards never complained of any ill-usage when he came before him, nor when he went before the Magistrate. – The Bench were unanimously of opinion that it was a bad case, but as it was the first that had come before them, they would not inflict the greatest penalty, but if ever the parties came before them in the future, they would be very severely dealt with. – Fined 30s. each, or one month’s imprisonment.

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Leicester Chronicle – June 4th 1859

John Nicolson, publican, of Griffydam, was charged by Inspector Ward with permitting cock-fighting on his premises, on the night of 11th May. The charge was proved by Sgt. Moore and P.C. Fardell, and defendant was fined £3 including costs.

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Leicester Chronicle – June 25th 1859

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Session before W. W. Abney, Esq.

James Ward alias Edwards, collier, Griffydam, brought up in custody of Sergeant Moor, charged with stealing three fowls on Monday night, the 12th inst., the property of Mr. Richard Orton, surgeon, Thringstone, was committed for trial at the next sessions.

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Leicester Mercury – June 25th 1859

Ashby de la Zouch Magisterial, Saturday, June 18th – Before W. W. Abney Esq.

James Ward, alias  Edwards, collier, of Griffydam, was charged with stealing certain fowls, the property of Mr. Richard Orton, surgeon, Thringstone. – Mr. Orton said that on examining his roost on Monday morning, the 13th inst., he found that three fowls had been stolen during the night, of which he gave information to P.S. Moore. He stated that on making inquiry, he received such information as to cause him to go to prisoner’s house, and on searching it, he found concealed under some straw the three fowls produced, which were skinned, their heads and legs being cut off. – Prisoner made contradictory statements as to the possession of the fowls, also as to his being home on the night of the robbery at eight o’clock. – Jonas Knight stated that he saw prisoner leave the Anchor public-house, which is near Mr. Orton’s premises, about eleven o’clock. Prisoner’s boots were compared by Sergt. Moore with some impressions found near the roost, and also against a wall in the Anchor Lane, and were found to correspond. On prisoner being asked if he wished to say anything in answer to the charge, he made a long rambling statement to the effect that he saw a man with a bundle near Mr. Oton’s, and that when he saw him he threw the bundle down and ran away; and on picking it up found it to contain the fowls, which he took home. Committed to sessions.


William Hodges, collier, Griffydam, was charged with taking the cap off the head of George Thompson, of Tonge, and stealing it, at Breedon, on Wednesday, the 15th inst. Discharged with a caution.

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Leicester Mercury – June 16th 1860

Market Bosworth Petty Sessions

Titus Harris charged William Mee, collier, Griffydam, with stealing a steel, of the value of 1s., his property. This case was heard under the new Criminal Justice Act, and the depositions of several witnesses were taken at length. – Committed to three calendar months hard labour.

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Leicester Mercury – October 6th 1860

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions

Before W. W. Abney Esq.

Hannah Phillipps, a young woman of Griffydam, was charged with wilfully damaging some barley, in a field at Pegg’s Green, value 6d., the property of Joseph Lagor. – The case was adjourned from last court day, in order for complainant to produce at witness, which he did; but the evidence not being sufficient to convict, the case was dismissed.

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Leicester Mercury – December 8th 1860

Ashby de la Zouch Magisterial, Saturday, December 1st

Before W. W. Abney Esq.

Wm. Mee, of Griffydam, was charged with being upon the premises of the Snibstone Colliery Company for an unlawful purpose. He was apprehended on the charge of breaking into an office and stealing some coppers from a till; but there was not sufficient evidence to convict him of that, and he was committed for two months hard labour on the first indictment.

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Leicester Mercury – October 19th 1861

Ashby petty Sessions

William Sissons of Pegg’s Green, was charged with unlawfully assaulting and beating Sarah Glover, of Pegg’s Green, on the 28th ult., and Ann Barker and Sarah Glover were charged with a cross-summons, for unlawfully assaulting Harriet Handford, at the same time. The evidence in this case was of the most conflicting nature, and appears to be as follows: Both parties are neighbours, and the quarrel arose over their children, which terminated in a “pitched battle” between the women, when the first defendant, who was in bed at the time, ran down the stairs and committed the first assault. – The bench fined the defendant £2 or 6 weeks imprisonment, and dismissed the last case

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Leicester Chronicle – January 10th 1863

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions Saturday, January 3rd.

Before W. W. Abney, T. Mowbray Esqurs., and the Rev. J. M. Echalaz

Daniel Kirk of Griffydam, charged George Burton, a lad, with throwing stones at his house door, and doing wilful damage to the amount of 3d., on Sunday evening last. It appears that several boys are in the constant habit of annoying the old man, Kirk, by throwing stones at the door every time they passed. Fined 11s. or seven days.

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Leicester Chronicle – May 9th 1863

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions, Saturday May 2nd

Before W. W. Abney Esq.

John Haywood, remanded from last week, was again brought up, charged with stealing a grey horse, the property of Mr. Edward Gough, butcher, Thringstone, on the 19th ult., value £5. – Prosecutor identified the horse as his property. – Mrs. North, keeper of the toll-gate at Normanton le Heath, proved that the prisoner passed through the gate about six o’clock on the morning of the 20th ult., with the horse and harness in his possession. – Joseph Green, horse dealer, also proved purchasing the horse off the prisoner for 30s., he asked 55s. for it. – Sergeant Peberdy found the horse in the hands of the last witness at Wolverhampton fair, and apprehended the prisoner at Birmingham, with part of the harness in his possession, and he was committed for trial. – Prisoner was further charged with stealing a set of harness, the property of Joseph Lager, at Griffydam, on the same night. Part of this harness was found in prisoner’s possession. He was committed for trial on this charge also.

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Leicester Chronicle – July 11th 1863

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions, July 4th

Before W. W. Abney Esq., chairman, T. Mowbray, G. Moore, and H. E. Smith, Esqrs., and the Rev. J. M. Echalaz.

Mr. J. Reed, overseer of Worthington, summoned R. Stacey of Griffydam, for the non-payment of two poor rates. – Defendant’s wife appeared, and being asked by the magistrates why her husband did not pay, she said he did not mean to do so, and they might send him to prison as soon as they liked. A distress warrant was therefore issued.

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Leicester Journal – October 7th 1864

Ashby de la Zouch police Court

Murderous Assault at Osgathorpe

At the Police Court on the 29th September, before W. W. Abney and H. E. Smith, Esqrs., Benjamin Platts, of Griffydam (a man well known to the police), Jesse Hodges, of Pegg’s Green, and Aaron Stewart, of Coleorton, were charged by Wm. Gilbert, parish constable of Osgathorpe, with assaulting him whilst in the execution of his duty, on the night of the 24th instant. It appeared from the evidence of Gilbert, that he was sent for by Mr. Rennocks, landlord of the Royal Oak, to quell a disturbance an fight which had arisen there, Stewart being the ring leader. This he did at the time; but it being the wake, there were many people assembled in the village drinking, amongst whom were the prisoners, companion’s of Stewart, who immediately sent for the “Griffydam lot”, who were at another public house drinking. They immediately repaired to the scene of action, and declared that Stewart should fight in the defence of everyone. Gilbert again attempted to interfere, and drew his staff. The three prisoners, with others not yet in custody, immediately seized him and dragged him out into the street, and while Platts took his staff and held him, the other prisoners brutally beat him about the head and face, kicking him also on other parts of his body, when he was rescued by his brother constable and others, who at once sent to Whitwick for the police. They were soon on the spot, but the prisoners had been decamped, after in vain attempting to gain an entrance into Rennock’s house, where Gilbert had been taken. A warrant was immediately issue for their apprehension, which was placed in the hands of P.S. Peberdy, who succeeded in apprehending Platts at his house. P.C. Challoner captured Hodges, and P.C. smith after some difficulty, descended No.2. Swannington Pit on Monday evening last, and captured Stewart whilst at work. He was much surprised at the officer’s intrusion. – The prisoners were all committed to trial at the next quarter session.

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Leicester Chronicle – October 15th 1864

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions, Friday October 7th

Inspector Ward charged John Steward, of Coleorton, with being drunk and disorderly at Griffydam, on the 3rd inst. – P.C. Smith proved the case, and defendant was fined £1 which he paid.

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Leicester Chronicle – June 10th 1865

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions.

Before W. W. Abney and T. Moore Esquires.

Benjamin Platts of Griffydam, was charged by Thomas Richards, of the same place, with assaulting him on the 28th last. – Defendant was discharged.

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Leicester Journal – August 18th 1865

Ashby de la Zouch Police Court, August 9th

Before W. W. Abney, and H. E. Smith Esqrs.

Thomas Hurst, of Griffydam, was charged by Jesse Atkins, of Belton, gamekeeper, with fishing, on the 15th of July, in private waters at Gracedieu, belonging to Ambrose Philips De Lisle, Esq., and taking therefrom fish to the value of 6s.- The defendant, who did not appear, was fined 15s. 6d. costs, 6s. fine, and 6s. the value of the fish.

Cowardly Assault on Wife.

John Jinks, labourer, Griffydam, was brought up in custody charged with assaulting his wife, Jane Jinks, at Griffydam, on the 6th ult. – Defendant denied the charge. – Complainant said her husband came home the worst for drink, and struck her in the face with his fist, which knocked her on the house floor. It was not the first time her husband had ill used her. – Defendant said, as he was entering some one threw a stone, which hit him in the face, making him in insensible. If he had struck his wife it must have been while he was insensible. He did not remember striking her. – P.C. Hancock said defendant was a bad, worthless character, and had frequently ill-used his wife, who was a quiet woman, and one who worked hard to support her drunken husband and her family. – Prisoner was committed to Leicester Gaol for one month with hard labour, without the option of a fine.

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Leicester Chronicle – December 9th and December 16th 1865

The complete record of the trial of Eliza Adkins from Pegg’s Green for the murder of her son by drowning him in a well is far too long to record here so just the beginning and end have only been recorded. However, in the December 16th edition a poignant story appeared about this case, the whole of which has been included because of its significance in terms of hardship and social injustice in those times. Following her initial sentence, and under pressure of public opinion, the Home Secretary, Sir George Grey issued a reprieve, and the sentence was commuted to penal life service





ELIZA ADKINS from Pegg’s Green

Mr. Justice Mellor took his seat at a quarter to ten o’clock this morning. The case of Eliza Adkins indicted for the murder of her child did not appear to create so much excitement as might have been expected, the court not being more numerously attended than ordinarily.


Liza Adkins (42) was indicted for the wilful murder of Zadock Adkins, her son, on the 29th of July. – Mr. Palmer and Mr. Graham prosecuted; and Mr. Merewether defended the prisoner. – The prisoner, a spare sorrowful looking woman, was dressed in a neat black gown and bonnet. On being arraigned on the indictment, she pleaded not guilty………………………………………………….


The clerk of the arraigns said:-Gentlemen of the Jury, are you agreed upon your verdict?

The Foreman; We are.

The clerk of the arraigns; Do you find the prisoner guilty, or not guilt ?

The Foreman; Guilty.

The clerk of the arraigns to the prisoner; You stand convicted of Wilful Murder; what have you to say why the Court should not give judgement against yourself to die, according to law?

The prisoner, almost inaudibly, “Nothing”.


The Crier of the Court having commanded silence, his Lordship assumed the black cap, and addressed the prisoner in the following terms;- Eliza Adkins, after a careful investigation into the circumstances of this case, you have been convicted of the crime of wilful murder – the murder of your own son. I have no power to hold out to you any prospect of mercy, the prerogative of mercy rests with her majesty the Queen, acting under the advice of her Ministers; and I beseech you, therefore, not to indulge in any expectations which may turn out to be delusive; but I beseech you, with true repentance and with prayer, and supplication to that that great Being, who is long suffering, rich in mercy, and ready to forgive,, and confess your sins, so that haply through the confession and intersession of Christ our Saviour, your sin may be pardoned, and that you may therefore be forgiven, as regards that sin before the face of Almighty God. I have only to pass on you the sentence of the law, and that sentence is that you be taken from hence to the place from whence you came, , and from thence to the place of execution, and that you there be hanged by the neck till you shall be dead, and that your body afterwards be buried within the precincts of the prison in which you were last confined after your conviction, and may God in his infinite compassion have mercy upon your sole.; - His Lordship was deeply affected during the delivery of these remarks.

The prisoner, who maintained a calm and equable demeanour throughout the trial, was then removed from the dock, apparently quite unmoved by the awful sentence which had just been passed upon her.


Stories are all the vogue now – Christmas stories, told on cream-tinted paper, with gold edges on it, and with ever so much crimson and green on the covers; stories all about princesses, giants, and fairies, and showing how, in that highly desirable world of fiction, the bad people always come to grief, and the good ones “marry and live happily ever afterwards”. No misery ever lasts very long in them; no ugly problems are left unsolved. The last pages, instead of being blistered with tears, as those of life are so often, wind up with a jolly settlement of everybody and everything. Let the little ones think it all true. Time enough for them to find out what a very different world they will have to deal with; and what agony, despair, and crime close the last chapters of many a story that God writes in the great book of Life which has Eternity on both sides of its covers. We have a little story to tell to the oldsters before they settle down to their Christmas dinners with that comfortable conviction which roast beef and plum pudding inspire, that everything has gone right since Christmas came. Our story is not very fit for Christmas, except to make the beef taste of tears, and the plum pudding stick in the throat with shame and pity. Before you set to work on these religious luxuries, good public, permit us to ask “if you have such a thing as two shillings about you”. Of course you have, and the multiple of that sum for a number of weeks. Well, spend them now as you like; but last summer you might have brought a child’s life and a woman’s soul for two shillings a week sterling. People ought not to complain that “things are dear” when such a bargain as that can be made in England. Now, we repeat, it is too late; for the child’s life – price one shilling – is gone to Him who in all his treasury of planets and suns has nothing richer or dearer than a child’s life; and the woman’s soul is so stained with murder, that the shilling is wanted now for five yards of hempen rope to choke it out of her on the gallows. In spite of these particulars, so tantalising to a commercial people, the story, we say again is not a nice story; the details are very unpleasant, the characters stale and vulgar to the last degree, and the chief personage a widow of forty-two, haggard and grizzled before her time. Such as it is, however, this is how it was told at the Leicester Assizes. Eliza Adkins was the widow of a farm servant, who died and left her with one child, aged four. Let us note in passing that the story-books would have made some provision or other for an honest woman in such a case. Reality didn’t. The mother went into service and put the child out to nurse; but that demands funds, and Eliza Adkins only just earned her own living; so she applied to the workhouse for two shillings weekly to maintain the child. The workhouse said she must come in with it, which she did. After she had been in Loughborough Workhouse a week, she left it, according to her own story, “because the treatment I received was so bad I could not stay, and because they dragged the child away and beat it, and I couldn’t bear it”. According to the story of the officials, confirmed by the guardians, she sent away because the workhouse was thoroughly comfortable, and because “these paupers” have a nasty way of liking to starve, and of bringing everybody into publicity and trouble.


Anyhow, Eliza Adkins, with the child tied on her back, and a basket containing a pair of little boots in it, some gooseberries, and a bit of rope, came forth. If the public prefers it, let us take the guardian’s view, and say that people of her kind like starving. The next scene is in a cottage at Pegg’s Green, where she called, and asked leave to sit down. There is nothing like direct narration in Christmas stories, so we will ask Sarah Castledine to go on here. She was the cottager, and she testified that “the prisoner had a child on her back, a boy about four years old, and asked if she could sit down, and she and the child sat down for about half an hour. She said she had come a long way, and had a long way to go to meet a friend. She asked if the water was still in the pits. The water had broken into some pits some time ago. I told her I thought they were at work again. She asked if there was as much charity given away as there used to be. I told her I thought not. The boy began to look tired and faint, and she took him on her knee, and he went to sleep. She said it had very bad boots on; she had a better pair, but she had taken them off to ease its feet. She was all of a tremble while she was at our house. When she left I was going out on an errand, and my mother said I could carry the child a little way. She said ‘Oh, no; I will carry it myself. When it awakes it will walk as well as ever’. She left our house between eight and nine, and went in the direction of Thringstone, and I saw her no more”. You must dip, good public into the last part of our story to do full justice to this little bit of narrative, and we doubt if you then will find any other Christmas tale of the day so interesting. “The friend she was going a long way to meet” was the good old friend of the poor and broken-hearted, whom it is wicked to go to meet, and for whom we must all wait – Death. She meant to drown the child and hang herself; loving the boy so well, meantime – the story books never thought of this! – that she takes off the boots that pinch him, as he toddles by her side “to meet the friend”. “Are the pits full of water”? “No! her Friends Death won’t be met there; but the well at Thringstone will do! she passes that about nightfall;  and having made up her mind, Eliza Adkins fall to casual topics. “Much charity given away here”? she asks; Sarah Castledine “thinks not”. Eliza Adkin obviously “thinks not too”, since, for lack of two shillings a week, she is going to send her son presently to heaven, and herself, if the “pulpits” are “all right”, to hell.. And look at these paupers who murder, and cottagers that poach. What a brutal set they are! Sarah Castledine, instigated by her mother, wants to carry the woman’s child, and the widow, with the well and the rope in her mind, is yet woman enough not to trouble the poor people. Well, we have spoiled our story be telling all the plot; but we do think that the little conversation at Pegg’s Green reads the better for what’s coming.

“What’s coming”, has of course been guessed; the summer night passed, and Eliza Adkins turns up in the morning, at another cottage, without the child. Having murdered him, and meaning to murder herself, a lie or two more or less can’t improve the Devil’s bargain; so she says he died of croup, and that the neighbours clubbed 1s.  6d. to bury him. She tells Ann Lacy that; and again we digress to observe what an ungrateful set the poor are to the nice workhouses and the generous overseers.

“Oh!” says Ann Lacy, “dead and buried, is it? What reason you have to be thankful for taking him from the frowns of the world, and the frowns of the parish?” If kind Ann Lacy had known how much closer her bad grammar came to the truth than good grammar could have done, Eliza Atkins would have missed that little bit of parochial philosophy. But meantime somebody going to the well for water finds the child there, and fishes it out, with some gooseberries and grass. The constables immediately seek the mother, and find her at her sister-in-law’s. The well was kept locked; so Eliza Atkins, after all those incidents of changing the little shoes, and nursing the boy, and refusing to part with him for a minute to any body, had positively broken a hole in the well-cover by way of a gate to Death and Heaven. That was her view, and nothing else; witness her confession to the wife of the police inspector. She said to her, “I want you to see the magistrates. You will do it better than me, my heart will be so full. Then I shall feel more comfortable. It is trouble that has brought me to it. I wanted the parish to allow me two shillings a week. They would not, but said I must go into the house. I could have got my own living. I went into the house, but the treatment was so bad I could not stay. I went in on Saturday and stayed till the following Friday, and I did not know what to do for I had no home or friends in the world. I could have a place for myself, but I did not know what to do with the child. I could not bear to see it suffer any longer, and that made me do ill. God known I did not do it with any bad intent. I know the poor child is in Heaven now, out of all its troubles. If they had caught me that night they would not have had me, for I should have destroyed myself as well as the poor child. The poor child cried so much I could not bear to see it. I attempted to speak to it once, but was not allowed, and the child was dragged away and beat, and I was not allowed any supper, and it was more than I could bear”. That’s the workhouse, where “everybody was so kind”, as the Loughborough Guardians say; and of course they spoke truly. To the magistrates the poor creature moaned out, “Through trouble I did it, because homeless and friendless; that is all I wish to say”. On her trial she pleaded “not guilty”, “in a low but firm voice”, the reporters say, as if she did not expect the gentlemen to understand her way of meaning it. She was tried; she was sentenced; she lies for death at Leicester Gaol; and that’s our Christmas story. If we thought any judge would hesitate to recommend the commutations of her sentence, we would not say a word, for out-and-out the kindness thing to Eliza Atkins would be to borrow her own piece of rope from the basket and send her from a world which she has little reason to love, and which for her could have little happiness in store. But of course her life will not be taken. All the rest of her days, however, must be doomed to prison-toil, and all her nights must be devoted to memories of the summer evening when one of the two found “Friend Death” at the bottom of a well. We can’t of course object to the punishment; but let us also remember what it is to sit down and see your baby die on your lap, or else go back to Loughborough workhouse. We wish that Loughborough workhouse could have some sentence passed upon it, and that the tariff of lives and souls would get cheaper, so that somebody could buy them; and, above all, we wish that some better moral could be found for our story than “ God help of the poor, and be patient with the Christianity of the nineteenth century”.

Eliza Adkin New
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Leicester Mail – March 3rd 1866

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions – Saturday, February 24th.

Before W. W. Abney and H. E. Smith Esqrs.

Jane Marshall, of Griffydam, charged Ambrose Barkby of the same place, with an assault upon her, at Griffydam on the 17th inst. From what complainant said, it appeared that on the night in question, she went to the Waggon and Horses public house to fetch some ale. Defendant was there, who began, as soon as she got up to the door, to pull her about and act very indecently towards her, at the same time using very disgusting language to her. Mr. W. Dewes appeared for the defendant, and called a witness named Lagar, who said he followed defendant out of the house to the doorway, and was sure no such insult was offered. It was certain bad language was used by defendant, but nothing more. Case dismissed.

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Leicester Mercury – August 1st 1867

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions, Saturday July 25th

Before Rev. J. M. Echalaz

Thomas Heyward, of Griffydam, complained that his haystack had been maliciously set on fire on Thursday last. The police were ordered to search out the guilty parties. Mr. Heyward was the prosecutor in a charge at the late assizes for stealing hosiery goods, the offenders being sentenced to three years penal servitude.

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Leicester Mail – February 29th 1868

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions

Robbing An Employer

Mr. William Kidger, butcher, of Pegg’s Green, (Froggatt’s Lane / School Lane) charged William Knight, his servant, with stealing 30s., his property, on the 12th Oct. last. It appeared from the evidence of Mr. Kidger that on the above day, he sent him to pay a bill to Mr. Eagle, a shopkeeper, of Coleorton, giving him the 30s. He, however returned, and said that Mr. Eagle was not at home. He afterwards absconded from his employer, taking the money with him. P.C. Cheshire proved apprehending the prisoner on a warrant, and telling him the charge. He admitted the offence, and said he had spent it. He pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to two months’ hard labour.

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Leicester Mail – March 28th 1868

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions, Saturday March 21st – Before G. Moore Esq., the Rev. J. M. Echalaz, Captain Mowbray, and H. E. Smith Esq.


Inspector Ward charged Geo. Earp, collier, Griffydam with being drunk and riotous at Griffydam on the 9th inst. P.C. H. Cheshire proved the case, and defendant was fined 13s., including costs.

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Leicester Chronicle – June 20th 1868

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions

The “Fancy”.

James Waring, a blacksmith residing at Pegg’s Green, charged Michael Richard, collier, of the same place, under the Criminal Justice Act, with stealing one live tame fowl, his property on the 30th ult.

James Waring again charged Michael Richards with stealing a greyhound, value £10, his property. Both cases dismissed.

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Leicester Chronicle – August 15th 1868

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions Saturday August 8th

Mary Waterfield, married woman, of Griffydam, charged Hannah Cliff and Harriet Cliff, of the same place, with assaulting her, at Griffydam, on the 28th ult. Case dismissed; complainant to pay the costs

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Leicester Chronicle – October 10th 1868

Ashby Petty Sessions, Saturday, October 3rd.

Before George Moore Esq., chairman, Captain Mowbray. And H. E. Smith Esq.

Benjamin Platts, of Griffydam, was fined £1 and costs, or one months hard labour, for having committed a trespass on Sept. 16, at Thringstone, in search of game.

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Leicester Journal – October 30th 1868

Loughborough Police Court, October 28th.

Before E. C. Middleton Esq.

Francis Hurst, a collier, of Griffydam, was remanded on a charge of having on the 26th inst., at Castle Donington, unlawfully uttered a counterfeit half-crown. Evidence was given to show that on more than one occasion that night he had offered the money after being told that it was counterfeit.

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Leicester Journal – April 23rd 1869

Ashby County Court

Sarah Glover and Elizabeth Smallwood, both of Pegg’s Green, were charged with stealing coal on the 11th inst., from the Coleorton Colliery, the property of William Worswick and others. Glover pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to 21 days hard labour. There being a doubt in the case of Smallwood, she was discharged

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Leicester Journal – October 22nd 1869

County Court, October 14th

Before Mr. Serjt. Miller, Judge.

Clemy Platts and Mary Platts, of Griffydam, Judgement summonses were issues against both these persons. The statements made in court respecting them revealed a grievous state of immorality. They are both young unmarried women, living at home with their parents; each of them has a child. They have been to gaol once for the debt, which is yet unpaid, although an offer was made by some person to pay part of it so that they might not go, but they would not permit this kindness to be done them and preferred prison. And it was said that they were ready to go to gaol again sooner than pay. The judge, however, took precautions to prevent having their trip together a second time, by ordering that they should go to gaol at different times if they still refused to pay.

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Leicester Mail – November 20th 1869

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions, Saturday Nov.13th.

Before G. Moore Esq., Major Mowbray, and H. E. Smith, Esq.

Joseph Waldram, collier, Griffydam, charged by Harriette Cliffe with non-payment of an order in bastardy. Was committed to gaol for three months

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Leicester Journal – December 31st 1869

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions, December 24th.

Before H. E. Smith and G. J. Moore Esqrs.

Thomas Knight, labourer, and Benjamin Plant, collier, both of Griffydam, pleaded guilty to trespassing in search of game, on land in the occupation of Earl Ferrers, on the 18th inst. Mr. Dewes, in stating the case, said the defendants, with three others, were, in the day time, in a plantation which abounded with all sorts of game, in the occupation of Earl Ferrers, beating it with dogs. Fined £1. 1s. each and costs.

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Leicester Journal – May 20th 1870

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions, May 14th

Before Geo. Moore and H. E. Smith Esqrs.

P.C. Cheshire charged James Upton, of Griffydam, with working a horse whilst in an unfit state in Worthington parish, on the 5th inst. He was fined £1, or in default seven days imprisonment.

Thomas Upton, of Griffydam, was charged with allowing his horses to stray on the highway at Griffydam, on the 26th ult, P.S. Fardell said the animals had their legs tethered together, and were completely crippled. The defendant was fined 1s. for each horse and the costs of the summons.

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Leicester Journal October 27th 1871

Ashby de la Zouch

Police, Monday, October 23rd. – Before George Moore Esq. – George Brooks aged 9, and William Mellor, aged 10, both of Swannington, were charged with having on the 17th of October at Griffydam, feloniously broken and entered a certain School house their situate, called the Griffydam School, and therein previously stolen a hand bell and other articles the property of William Kidger and others, remanded until Saturday next.

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Leicester Journal – November 10th 1871

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions, Saturday, November 4th

Before H.E. Smith Esq.

George Brooks and William Mellor, both of Swannington, two boys, were remanded on Saturday last until today, were charged with having broken into the School House at Griffydam, and stealing therefrom two slates and other articles, the property of the trustees of the school. The prisoners, who are respectively nine and ten years of age, were now on account of their youth, discharged from custody.

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Leicester Journal – 12th January 1872

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions, January 6th

Before the Rev. J. M. Echalaz, Major Mowbray, and H. E Smith Esq.

Harriet Marshall, wife of Edward Marshall, of Griffydam, was charged with assaulting Eliza Atterbury, at Griffydam on the 23rd ult. Mr. Dewes appeared for Mrs. Marshall. – It appeared from the evidence that early on the morning in question, Mrs. Marshall was told by her husband, whom she thought at work, was with Mrs. Atterbury, at Eliza Haywood’s house, and had been for some time. She went there, and found Mrs. Atterbury sitting on her husband’s knee. Words ensued, and from words they got to blows, Mrs. Atterbury using the poker, and Mrs. Marshall the rolling pin; but the husband seeing Mrs. Atterbury getting the worse of it, held his wife’s hands whilst Atterbury beat her. Both parties bled very much. It was also proved that Eliza Haywood, although a single woman, had three children, and that Mrs. Atterbury had had one by Mrs. Marshall’s husband since she had been a widow; also that Mrs. Atterbury and Eliza Haywood led very immoral lives. Case dismissed. 

Mrs. Atterbury to pay costs.

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Leicester Journal – February 23rd 1872

Ashby de la Zouch County Court

Frederick Johnson, of Griffydam, Fishmonger, was charged with having, on the 9th of February, at Worthington, stolen two iron corner plates, the property of Mr. John Bayliss. Mr. Dewes appeared on behalf of the prisoner. The case was proved by George Ball, a night watchman. – Sentenced to 14 days hard labour.

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Leicester Journal – July 12th 1872

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions, July 6th

Before Major Mowbray and Earl Ferrers

Edward Marshall of Griffydam, collier, was sentenced to one month’s imprisonment, without the option of a fine, for assaulting his wife Harriet Marshall, on the 1st of July. This is not the first time the defendant has appeared before the Justices for assaulting his wife, and at two o’clock on the night in question, he struck her and knocked her down, and then dragged her down and beat her again.

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Leicester Journal – July 11th 1873

Ashby de la Zouch Police Court, 5th July.

Before Rev. J. M. Echalaz, Major Mowbray and H. E. Smith Esq.

John Ison of Griffydam, grocer, pleaded guilty to having in his shop, three weights which were deficient. – Fined 10s 6d. and costs

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Leicester Journal – September 5th 1873

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions, 30th August.

Before Rev. J. M. Echalaz, and H. E. Smith Esq.

Annual Brewster Session for the division.

Joseph Lager, of Griffydam, beerhouse-keeper, was charged with having on the 11th August, at Griffydam, refused to admit P.C. Corner. P.C. Corner said, on passing defendant’s house about twelve o’clock, I heard some men talking, and went round to the back door. I rapped several times, but no one came for about ten minutes. The defendant then came, and said there was no one in except two men who had been having supper. I asked to see the men; when he said they were gone. I said I wanted to see through the house, and he said I should not. I told him the name of one of the men I had seen through the window, and he said, yes, he is here. Went to the parlour door and found it fastened, and defendant refused to open it for me, and put his fist in my face. I remained there some twenty minutes, and then said I shall summon you. I left the house, and defendant’s wife and daughter came after me, and said I should look through the house, but I refused them. Mr. Dewes appeared for the defendant, and said I shall not call my witness now, for some gross perjury was or had been committed. But this case will be brought before you in another form, and I shall now leave the matter in your hands. There was another witness to be examined, but the bench said they were satisfied, and a previous conviction for an offence on the 12th October, 1872, under the new act, having been proved against defendant, a fine of £3 and costs was inflicted, and this conviction ordered to be endorsed on his license.

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Leicester Daily Mercury – February 29th 1876


Attempted Horse Stealing

An attempt was made to steal a horse belonging to Mr. Thomas Heywood, hosier, Griffydam, on Friday evening, when it was lying in a field belonging to Mr. Dabell, farmer. Mr. Dabell was travelling up his fields at a very late hour, and although very dark, perceived someone struggling with this young horse, when he gave an alarm, and the perpetrators soon made their escape, leaving a newly-made halter on the horse, which was already fixed, and made all right for travelling.

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Leicester Chronicle – May 12th 1877

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions

Joseph Lager the younger, of Pegg’s Green, collier, was charged with having, on the 26th ult., at Griffydam, stolen seven broccoli plants growing in a garden of Thomas Knight’s. On the evening in question the broccoli were missed by Mr. Knight, who gave information to P.C. Hancock. Suspicion having fallen upon the defendant on account of his having been seen loitering about the garden that night, his house was searched, and in the pantry eight broccoli were found, seven of which had been recently cut and had dew upon them. These seven were taken possession of by P.C. Hancock, and the defendant’s clogs taken to Mr. Knight’s garden, and the footprints made in the garden exactly corresponded with defendant’s clogs, which were of a peculiar form. The broccoli also corresponded with the stalks in the garden, some of them more than others, in account of the way they had been cut off. The defence of the defendant was that he had got them out of his father’s garden on the 23rd of April. The defendant also called a child to give evidence on his behalf, and it soon became evident that the child new nothing about the plants except what it had been told to say. – The magistrates said the defendant had aggravated his case very much by putting the child in the witness box, and fined him £3  3s.  0d. and costs or two months hard labour.

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Loughborough Journal – November 7th 1879

William Knight, of Griffydam, butcher, was charged with having on the 17th October, at Coalville, exposed for sale beef which was unfit for food. The beef in question was seized by Mr. Samuel Heward, and shown to Dr. Donovan, who pronounced it totally unfit for the food of man. Mr. Heward then took the beef before a magistrate, who ordered it to be destroyed. Mr. Heward called as a witness on his behalf John Baker, of Pegg’s Green, who said that about three weeks ago defendant purchased the cow from him and gave him 13s.  6d. for it. The cow was an old one but healthy. Fined £6  6s. including costs, or two months imprisonment. – Mr. Dewes prosecuted on behalf of the Whitwick Local Board


Leicester Chronicle – September 11th 1880

Ashby Petty Sessions, Saturday

Before Major Mowbray and H. E. Smith Esq.

Charles Springthorpe, of Pegg’s Green, was charged with stealing two ducks, value 4s., on the 8th of August, the property of Sir George Beaumont, Bart.The case was proved by Edward Radford and Joseph Lord, who saw the ducks in the prisoner’s hands. The defendant pleaded not guilty, and stated that he saw the ducks on the grass, but did not touch them. The magistrates sentenced the prisoner to two months hard labour.


Leicester Chronicle – December 18th 1880

Unjust Weights : A Bad Case

John Bail, shop keeper, Pegg’s Green, was charged with using on the1 inst., 14 weights and one pair of scales, the same being incorrect. – Defendant did not appear. Mrs. Bail was, however, present to answer to the charge. P.C. Hancock having proved the service of the summons, Inspector Holloway stated that he went to the defendant’s shop on the day in question; saw Mrs. Bail, and asked her to produce her weights, as he wished to examine them. He found the weights incorrect, and one pair of flour scales weighed 8½ ounces against the purchaser. The weights and scales were produced. The defendant had been in business about 12 months. – Mrs. Bail said the weights and scales were borrowed. The Chairman stated that the bench were of opinion that this was a very bad case indeed, and the defendant would have to pay a fine of 40s. and 14s. costs, and in default of payment, there would be a distress or one months imprisonment


Leicester Chronicle – February 11th 1882

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions, Saturday

Before Major Mowbray (chairman) and H. E. Smith esq.


William Freeman, collier, Griffydam, was charged with assaulting Wm. Stinson, at Griffydam, on the 14th ult. After hearing the evidence the Bench fined defendant 6s. and 24s. costs, but in default of payment, he was sent to prison for seven days with hard labour.

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Leicester Chronicle October 1st 1887

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions

Extraordinary Charge of Assault near Ashby

At the Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions on Saturday, Peter King, collier, Griffydam, was charged with assaulting Louisa Ann Knight, at Griffydam, on the 17th inst. – Mr. Wilkins appeared for the defendant. – Complainant stated that she was in business at Coalville, and was in the habit of going home every Saturday night, and generally rode with Mr. Sketchley, who attended Coalville Market. Some of her friends usually came to meet her. She was going home on the night in question, and rode with Mr. Sketchley and another gentleman as far as they were going, but on this night there was no one to meet her as usual. As they were driving along she saw a man sitting in a dyke, and soon after she left Mr. Sketchley she perceived that some man was following her, She had an umbrella, a bag, and two parcels. It was a dark night, and a little after ten o’clock when she wished Mr. Sketchley “good night”. When she got to the top of the hill, past Mr. Tugby’s gate, the man came up to her and put his arm around her neck. She screamed out, and asked the man what he was going to do, and he replied, “I’ll show you”. He then threw her down in the road. She resisted, and he said he would let her get up if she would hold her noise. He then put his hand over her mouth to prevent her screaming. Witness, seeing the man put one hand in his pocket, took advantage of his only holding her by one hand and got away, leaving her, hat, umbrella,, bag, and two parcels on the ground. She ran away as fast as she could to her uncle’s, and as she was running the man shouted, “I’ll give it to you if I get hold of you”. She had no doubt about the prisoner being the man who assaulted her. – Cross examined; The man did not follow her when she ran away. She could run pretty well. When she got to her uncle’s she stayed about two minutes. She had never seen prisoner before. Described the man’s appearance to the police. Had not described the appearance of a man named Frederick Reed. She described the man’s appearance to the police on Sunday morning, but did not see prisoner till Thursday night. Knew him by his height, shape, and voice. Was aware that three other men had been interviewed about being the persons who had assaulted her. – Robert J. knight, grocer, Gelsmoor, stated that complainant came to his house about 10.30 on the night in question, and said that she had been stopped on the road. She had no hat on, and her face was scratched. She did not mention any name, but described how the man who had stopped her was dressed. Accompanied complainant to the place and found her hat, umbrella and satchel. Did not know prisoner, and had not seen him before that night. Prisoner lived close to the place where the assault was committed. – Henry Jackson, Inn Keeper, Pegg’s Green, said on the night of 17th September prisoner called at his house about six o’clock, and was served with a pint of beer. He left about seven o’clock with his wife, and they went in the direction of Whitwick, saying they were going to Whitwick Market. They came in again about quarter past nine. The wife left in a few minutes, and the prisoner left with the rest of the company at three minutes to ten, closing time. They bade each other good night, and defendant turned to the right, which would be in the direction of Mr. Robert Knight’s house. – By Mr. Wilkins: Defendant went towards his own home. He went out with Thomas Morley. – Thomas Morley said he lived at Pegg’s Green. On the night of the 17th he was at Jackson’s public-house, and left with defendant at ten o’clock. Knew defendant very well. They walked together in direction of defendant’s home. The alleged assault took place in the opposite direction. When defendant left witness he went straight towards his home. This was about ten minutes past ten. Did not see him again that night. The place where the assault took place would be 200 or 300 yards from where they parted. – his was the case for the prosecution, and Mr. Wilkins addressed the bench at some length, contending that it was highly improbable that Miss Knight could speak with certainty, seeing that the night was so dark, and that, as she admitted, she had never seen the prisoner before. Mr. Wilkins complained of the manner in which Miss Knight had identified the prisoner as the man who had assaulted her, and contended that the defendant should have been placed with a dozen or twenty men of his own size. Instead of this defendant was taken with two policemen for identification. Continuing, Mr. Wilkins said that unfortunately for his client the only person who could speak as to his whereabouts at the time was his wife, and she could not be called. But his instructions were that after defendant got home, just after 10 o’clock he had his supper and did not go out again. He would call a witness who would prove that defendant was at home some time after 10 o’clock, and taking all things in consideration he (Mr. Wilkins), thought there was grave doubt as to defendant being the man who had assaulted Miss Knight, and hoped that the bench would give him the benefit of such doubt. Joanna Platts, a young woman 19 years of age, said she went to Whitwick Market with defendant and his wife on the night in question. On returning they called at Mr. Jackson’s public-house. She and defendant’s wife left together, leaving the husband there. As they were leaving, defendant told his wife to get the supper ready. She saw defendant when he got home just after 10 o’clock, and she left him in the house.- This was all the evidence, and the Bench retired. – After a few minutes absence they returned, and the Chairman said the Bench had given the case their careful consideration, and they had decided to convict. The prisoner would be sentenced to 21 days hard labour. – Defendant’s wife, who was in court, burst into tears upon hearing the sentence, and the prisoner looked surprised.


Leicester Chronicle – April 27th 1889

Ashby Petty Sessions

Before Mr. E. Smith (Chairman), Lord Loudon, and Mr. I Joyce

Refusing To Quit

Charles Edward Preston, of Pegg’s Green, Griffydam, was charged with being desired and refusing to quit the licensed premises, the prietress of which was Eliza Jackson at Pegg’s Green, on the 6th of April (this was the Engine Inn). Eliza Jackson stated that the defendant went to her house, and after being there a little while became disorderly, when she requested him to leave, and he refused. He then went outside and wanted to fight. William Wardle also gave evidence. Defendant stated that he simply remonstrated with a man named Burton in the house who was talking reproachfully of the Royal family. As a loyal subject he interfered, and wrote down in a pocket book the remarks made by Burton. He had no witnesses and wished the case to be adjourned. Mrs. Jackson who wished for an adjournment and the magistrates granted the request.The case will be heard at the next fortnightly sessions.


Leicester Daily Mercury – April 7th 1890

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions

Before H. E. Smith Esq. (chairman), George Moore Esq., the Earl of Loudoun, Rev. C. T. Moore, and Mr. Ingle Joyce.


John Bird, Wm. Bird, and Joseph Barkley, colliers, all of Griffydam, were charged with being on Mr, William Pepper’s (licensed victualler) premises, Osgathorpe, during prohibited hours on the 16th March. They pleaded guilty, and were fined 2s 6d. and 10s 6d costs.


Price Kidger, farmer, Pegg’s Green, Griffydam, was charged with keeping a dog without a license on the 15th.  Defendant pleaded guilty, but said he was entitled to an exemption, which he had since obtained. Fined 2s 6d. and 12s. costs.


Stretton Platts and George Knight, colliers, Griffydam, were charged with damaging a window, the property of Richard Radford, on the 22nd March. – The damage was estimated at 5s. Mr. Wilkins prosecuted on behalf of the owner. Wm. Wilkins, a tailor, residing at Griffydam, said he saw the defendants pass his house just after ten o’clock, and shortly afterwards he heard a crashing of glass. He saw no one else pass. Josiah Harwood said he was at the Waggon and Horses on the night in question. Defendants were there, and he thought both carried sticks. P.C. Fox said he examined the window and found it broken. He also found on the sill some bark off a hazel stick, but he did not produce it. For the defence, James Holland said he left the Waggon and Horses in on the night in question with Platts, and they both went home. They both passed by Radford’s house together.  The case was dismissed.


The Leicester Chronicle – December 20th 1890

Griffydam Failure of a grocer

The first meeting of the creditors of Sydney Haywood, of Griffydam, grocer, was held on Tuesday at the office of the Official Receiver at Leicester. The summary of debtor’s statement of affairs showed gross liabilities £71.  7s. 1d., and assets £7, leaving a deficiency of £64.  7s.  1d. The debtor explained his failure by saying: “I gave up my work at Messrs. Stableford and Co, Coalville, about five months ago, and took a grocer’s shop which has not answered”. The official receiver’s observations were: The receiving order was made on the debtor’s own petition. He started in business at Griffydam as a grocer five months ago, with a capital of about £30, having previously been in the employ of Messrs. Stableford and Co., of Coalville. The business done has been very small, and insufficient to pay expenses. At the date of the receiving order, the landlord seized a quantity of hay for a year’s rent of two fields occupied by the debtor, but it is not worth more than the amount due. The above liabilities include £30 borrowed money, and £5 rent of a house formerly occupied by the debtor, the remainder being for trade debts, only one of which exceeds £10 in amount. No books have been kept, and no deficiency account has been lodged. There will be no offer of composition, and the debtor has been adjudged bankrupt. The matter has been left in the hands of the official receiver.

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Leicester Chronicle – September 9th 1893

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions

Before Mr George Moore, Canon Beaumont, and Colin Partridge

Joseph Leeson, a collier, of Griffydam, was summoned for assaulting Thos. Bird, a collier of the same place, on the 23rd of August. – Mr. Wm. Wilkins (Finner, Jesson, and Wilkins) defended Leeson, and attributed the result to a neighbour’s quarrel arising out of the children. – Mr. Hall, the magistrate’s clerk: and water butt. (laughter).  Case dismissed, each party ordered to pay 7s. 6d. costs each.


Leicester Chronicle- December 1st 1894

Alleged Burglary at Griffydam

The Story of A Brooch

At the Ashby de la Zouch police court, on Saturday, before Mr. George Moore (in the chair), the Hon. Paulyn Hastings, and the Rev. Canon Beaumont, Fanny Broadhurst, wife of Frank Broadhurst, collier, Griffydam, was charged with stealing on September 4th - 12s. and a gold brooch, the property of Mrs. Henry Lakin. – The accused, a young woman, carried a baby in her arms, and was accommodated with a seat. The case exited much interest, and many persons of the neighbourhood of Griffydam were in court. The prosecutor, Henry Lakin, said he was a grazier, residing at Gelsmoor, Griffydam, and on the day in question went to a cricket match at Coleorton. He stopped till five o’clock and returned to see his beast. The house was secure, and he took the key, returning at 11 o’clock, and he went to bed with his wife. The following morning, in consequence of what his wife said, he inspected a box, and found the lock damaged. It was an ordinary chest in the bedroom, and had been forced open. Afterwards he went to see where “they” got in, and found an entrance had been effected through the window of the living room, which was broken. By Mr. H. Deane: He left his wife in the house when he went to the cricket match, and she left at two o’clock. They both were away from the house from two to five o’clock. Rebecca Lakin, wife of the last witness, said she left the house about two o’clock, and retired to bed about 11 p.m. Next morning she saw articles disarranged, and her suspicions were aroused. She found that a chest which she had locked had been forced open, and subsequently searched the house, missing a brooch from a dressing-table drawer. She also missed money from a china cream jug. There was 12s. there in silver. She went with her husband, and saw where an entrance had been affected in the living room. The police brought her the brooch on the 15th inst., and she identified it. She had had it a number of years. By Mr. H. Deane: I know the defendant by sight; she lives not far away, and hitherto I have known her to be a respectable woman. It was only by the pattern and general appearance of the brooch that she identified it. Mr. Deane: Was it brought in the neighbourhood? – Witness: You must ask those that gave it to me. It is years since I had the brooch. I never had it repaired, only by myself with a common pin. – Mrs. Maria Charville said she was Mr. Lakin’s sister, and wife of John Charville, of the Beaumont Arms, Coleorton. She gave her sister the brooch produced about 20 years ago. P.S.Derby of Whitwick, said on the 15th inst., he went to the house of Frank Broadhurst, a collier, in company with P.C. Saunders, and told defendant’s husband he would be obliged to search his house. Broadhurst expressed willingness, and the prisoner was present at the time. Witness found a box in a chest of drawers, and prisoner observed, “Don’t disturb that, they are bills”. Witness lifted the bills, and underneath found the brooch produced. He asked the husband how he accounted for the brooch being there. Mr. Deane: Did you caution her ? Witness: I gave her no caution at that time; I asked her how she accounted for it being there. She said, “My sister, Mrs. Draper, gave it to me over 12 months ago”. The husband said “ Yes, she did: a master gave it to her with whom she lived at service at Leicester”. Witness told them he would go and see Mrs. Draper, whereupon the prisoner observed, “My brother George gave it to me”. He showed it to Mrs. Draper, and she said that. Mr. Deane: Now, hen! Witness, proceeding, said P.C. Saunders showed the brooch to somebody, and eventually witness applied for a warrant on Friday. He cautioned the prisoner after reading the warrant, and she said, “I will go and suffer, but I shall suffer innocently, I will not say anything about anyone else as I know they’ll suffer”. She sent her little girl for her mother, but Mrs. Draper came, and when she saw Mrs. Draper she asked, “Has my mother heard from George?” and also whether he was coming. Mrs. Draper, replied, “Yes, she has had a letter this morning, and he says he shall not come, as he knows nothing about it – only what he has told P.C. Saunders”. By Mr. Deane:- Witness was in the house twice searching. Defendant’s husband gave him permission both times. He did not see the brooch until he found it in the box. He believed prisoner’s husband unlocked the drawers. Witness did not ask Broadhurst to account for brooch being in the box. He spoke generally to prisoner and her husband. P.C. Saunders corroborated. Mr. Deane, for the defence, said there was not a shadow of evidence against the woman of burglary. He thought she was not the person whom one would expect to break into a house, which required force. The woman, if any charge should have been brought against her, should have been charged with receiving stolen property, but she had not received the brooch, nor was she seen committing the burglary or near the house. The brooch was sworn to by the prosecutor and her sister because of its curious pattern. There was a question whether the brooch was in the chest in Lakin’s house before she left to go to Coleorton. However, it was found in the drawer, of which Broadhurst (not he prisoner) had the key, which latter was actually handed to the police by Broadhurst. That fact was in the prisoner’s favour. The bench could not convict, and the woman could not be charged on any other offence. Would they on the evidence tendered commit the woman for trial, and subject her to agony and degradation? – The magistrates decided that a prema facie case of housebreaking had not been made out, and dismissed the case. – Supt. Holloway immediately took up the gold brooch which lay on the table near him. The prisoner made no claim to it, and later it was handed to Mrs. Lakin.



Leicester Chronicle – September 7th 1895

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Seassions, Saturday

Before Rev. Canon Beaumont (in the chair) Mr. M. I. Joice, and the Rev. C. T. Moore.

Extraordinary charge of assault

At the Petty Sessions at Ashby on Saturday, Arthur Marshall, collier, Swannington, was summoned for assaulting Alice Hall, single woman, of Griffydam, at the latter place, on the 17th August. Mr. Musson appeared for the defendant. – The girl said she was under sixteen, and that the defendant assaulted her. He knocked at the door and walked in. She went upstairs and he followed her, threatening that he would assault her. He exposed himself. She screamed for help, and Mrs. Haywood came and ordered defendant downstairs, but he refused to go. Later he came down, and used bad language, and pushed Mrs. Haywood against the mangle and struck her…………….this report is too lengthy to include, and too many people are involved. However, the case was eventually dismissed and the girl was ordered to pay 9s.


Leicester Chronicle – November 23rd 1895

Loughborough Police Court, Monday

Before the Mayor (Councillor W. C. Burder)

Alleged Pocket-Picking at the Fair

Walter Gilder, builder’s labourer, Coalville, was charged with stealing half a sovereign and a handkerchief from the pocket of Maria Cliff, Griffydam, on Saturday evening. Prosecutrix stated that about five o’clock on Saturday she went into Wall’s show with some friends. She was in the gallery, and behind her were all children with the exception of the prisoner. During the performance she felt something at her pocket, and then found her handkerchief hanging out of her pocket. When she went into the show, she had a half-sovereign tied up in the corner of her handkerchief, and this she now missed. Prosecutrix turned round, and asked the prisoner to give her the money back again, and he said he had not got it. Prisoner said he was willing to go to the Police-station, but a friend of prosecutrix’s fetched a constable into the show. Prisoner then said if he had had the money he had not got it then. A search was then made on the floor, but nothing found, and prisoner was taken to the police-station, and given into custody. Oscar Haywood, bricklayer, Griffydam, said he was in the show at the same time as the prosecutrix. There was no one close behind her but the prisoner. Witness waited until after the play was over, and then searched the place, and under the staging found the half-sovereign. John Wm. Holland, miner, Griffydam, having given evidence, P.C. Clements who was fetched by him, stated that whilst searching on the floor prisoner said he need not do that, as he would go to the station to be searched. On this evidence was remanded till Wednesday, when he was brought before Ald. Wells and Mr. J. Harriman. Mrs. Cliff, and the witnesses Haywood and Holland, and P.C. Clements repeated their evidence.. Rosa Holland, who was also with the prosecutrix, stated that the prisoner stood behind her at first, and feeling somebody meddling with her dress, put her hand behind, and felt the prisoner taking his hand away. She did not say anything, but moved further along, and then prisoner stood behind Mrs. Cliff, who about five minutes later accused him of picking her pocket. William Roulstone, a bricklayer, of Griffydam, also gave evidence. Prisoner elected to be dealt with by the Court, and pleaded not guilty. He said he never touched the pocket, but that there were two boys near. He called a witness, who gave him a good character, and Sergt. Gotheridge said Deputy Chief Constable Smith had made enquiries, and found prisoner bore an excellent character prior to this. The chairman said but for defendant’s good record they would have sent him to gaol. He would be fined £2 including costs.

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Leicester Daily Mercury – December 17th 1898

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions Saturday

Before the Hon. Paulyn Hastings (in the chair), the Rev. Canon Beaumont, and Rev. C. T. Moore


Stretton Platts, collier, of Griffydam, was summoned for assaulting Wm. Hough, farmer, of Newbold, at Worthington, on the 8th inst.

There was a cross-summons, Platts charging Hough with assault on the same date. Mr. William Wilkins appeared for Hough, and Mr. J. J. Sharp or Platts. Mr. Wilkins in opening the case, said that Hough was the son of Mr. Hough, estate agent of Coleorton. His client said that they occupied some land at Coleorton. On the date given, at about 4.30 p.m., he heard the report of a gun, and then he saw Platts, who was taking a gun to pieces. He was about 100 yards away, and placed the gun in his side pocket, and turned to Wardle’s field, where witness overtook him and said that he wanted to know who he was. Platts turned round, and said, “ I’ll knock your………brains out if you say that I shot”. Up to the time, witness had not referred to shooting. He told Platts that he could not permit trespassing, and Platts caught hold of him by the collar, and took his (witness’s) gun and threw him down, and knelt on him, while his (witness’s) gun was lying down by his side. Platts said that he would murder him.. In the struggle to free himself, he (witness) broke his neckerchief. When he got up he saw two guns on the ground. Platts beat him about a dozen times with the stock of the barrel. The stock broke, and Platts then tried to put his gun together, and walked away towards Griffydam. By Mr. Sharp: He (witness) had been shooting that day, but did not shoot at a partridge. There was a footpath leading to Griffydam on the field where he spoke to Platts. He (witness) did not dispute with Platts as to the possession of a partridge. He did not see a partridge in the possession of Platts. He did not strike him. Platts took his own and witness’s gun away. He did not accuse him (witness) of striking him with the gun, and say that he would take it away. Platts had not been charged with trespass nor larceny of the gun. By Mr. Wilkins: he did not see any partridge, and there was no reference to one. This was the case for the prosecution. Mr. Sharp for the defence, said that his client denied trying to strangle Hough, who struck him, and then he took the gun away from him. He could not say that his client had “a clean sheet”, as he had been at the court before. Platts, sworn, said that he had been to Worthington with a man named Hurst, and was on a footpath in Wardle’s field when Hough fired two barrels at two partridges. He (Platts) picked up a dead bird, and Hough asked for it. He refused and said, “I’m going to take this for me”. Hough followed him, and struck him with the stock of the gun and broke it. Then he turned round and gave him “a punch in the mouth as soon as he could”. He did not attempt to strangle him as there was no necessity. He (Hough) walked away when he struck him, and said that the gun belonged to Sir George Beaumont. By Mr. Wilkins: Hurst was with him when Hough hit him on Wardle’s ground, and left immediately the row began. Witnesses were called for the defence, and after a long hearing, the case against Hough was dismissed, and Platts was fined 21s. and costs.

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Leicester Chronicle – September 2nd 1899

Ashby Police Court – Saturday

Before Canon Beaumont and F. Whetstone Esq.

Minor Offence

William Platts, collier, Griffydam, was summoned for being drunk and disorderly at Griffydam on August 8th. Mr. T. Jesson (Fisher, Jesson and Wilkins) defended. P.C. Sharpe gave evidence of the state in which he saw defendant. Mr. Jesson said defendant was in an excited condition on a consequence of a quarrel with his wife, but was not drunk. Defendant said he had had a row with his wife, but he was not drunk. Fined 12s. including costs.


Leicester Chronicle – December 9th 1899

Ashby Police Court, Saturday

Before Mr. Geo. Moore (chairman), Canon Beaumont, Rev. C. T. Moore, Mr. J. H. Joyce, the Hon. Paulyn Hastings, and Mr. J. Hassall.

Drunk on Licensed Premises

Peter king and Arthur Edwards, colliers of Griffydam and Osgathorpe respectively, were summoned for being drunk on the licensed premises of William Batson, at Griffydam, on the 17th November. P.C. Sharp stated that hearing a disturbance at the Travellers Rest, he went there, and found it was caused by King, who was using foul and threatening language outside. He then went in and witness following found him and Edwards were drunk. When Edwards came out he staggered. King and his wife afterwards came out, and King was beastly drunk.  Bramwell Hegwood, called for the prosecution, said he never told Superintendent Holloway that either of the defendants were drunk. For the defence, Geo. Eyre, collier of Griffydam, who met defendants a little after eight o’clock, said they were sober enough when he met them. He did not know where they were going; it might have been to the Traveller’s Rest. Defendants were fined 5. 6d. each, and costs 16s. 6d., distress, or seven days.


Leicester Chronicle – October 22nd 1904

School Offence

Geo Wardle, collier, Griffydam, was summoned for neglecting to send his child regularly to school. Mr. Chas. Hart, school attendance officer, stated the case. A fine of 1s. and 1s 6d costs was imposed.

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Leicester Chronicle April 24th 1915

Ashby de la Zouch Petty Sessions

Poultry Raiders

At Ashby Petty Sessions, on Saturday Mapthali Smith, scissor grinder, and Absolum Smith, collier, both of Thringstone, were charged with stealing three live fowls, value 9s. the property of Mary Davis, at Breedon., on 16th of April and further with stealing three fowls, value 13s. 6d., the property of the Re. G. Robinson, Thringstone, between 20th of March and 16th of April. Defendants pleaded guilty. – P.S. Kirkland, Coalville, said together with P.C.’s Brown, Collis, and Jones. He saw the two defendants approaching noiselessly on the grass from the direction of the Waggon and Horses, at Griffydam. When witness went to them, a fowl cackled in Absolom Smith’s pocket, and he was searched, the fowl being found in his coat pocket. The other defendant had two fowls concealed in the lining of his coat. P.C. Collis remarked that he knew where the fowls came from, as they had been marked in accordance with his directions. They had a red paint mark under a feather. On going to the fowl house, witness found it was locked, but defendants admitted having pulled out the staple with the lock, and stealing the fowls. – P.C. Jones, giving evidence in the second charge, said that at 9 a.m. on the 16th inst., in company with P.C. Kirkland, he visited defendant’s fowl house, and saw three fowls, which defendants said they had brought from Billesdon six weeks ago. Witness took the fowls to the Rev. Greenwood Robinson, vicar of Swannington, who identified them as his property. The defendants, when charged at Ashby, had denied the theft. Keys found on one prisoner fitted locks of the Vicar’s premises. Superintendent Lockton deposed to receive numerous complaints, and prisoners were sent to prison for six weeks on each charge, the sentences being concurrent.

The Coalville Times – May 1916

Coalville Police Court Friday

Before Major Hatchett (in chair), Mr. H. J. Ford, Mr B.G. Hale and Mr J. W. West. The Chief Constable, Mr. E. Holmes, was present.

Bona Fide Traveller Question

Thomas Price,Wm. Horrobin, Thos. Kenney, Herbert Lakin, John Roach, Salue Robinson, Joseph Moore and Wm. Brealey, all Whitwick colliers, were summoned for being found on the licensed premises of David Else, at Griffydam, in the parish of Worthington during prohibited hours, on April 23rd, and Else, the publican, was summoned for opening his premises for the sale of intoxitants during prohibited hours.


Mr George Rowlett (Leicester) prosecuted for the police, and Mr J. F. Jesson (Ashby) for the publican, pleaded guilty. Inspector Dobney stated that he went to the Waggon and Horses Inn, kept by Else, at 11.15 am on the date named (Easter Sunday). Twelve men were in the house, and a young lady, whom defendant admitted, was specially engaged for holiday times, was playing on the piano a waltz, entitled “Fairyland”. Witness had measured the distance, and found eight of the men lived under three miles away. Defendant told witness that he asked the men if they had come far enough, and when they said they had, he thought he could he could serve them with ale and bread and cheese.


Mr Jesson said the young lady was not playing for dancing, as there were no other ladies present, and the men would pay more attention to their beer than dance with themselves. Defendant had been licensee of the house for two years, and he promised to be more careful in the future. Defendant was fined £5, or one month.


Of the eight men, only Kenney appeared, and he pleaded guilty. Inspector Dobney gave the distances from the houses of the defendants to the public house, and these were under three miles. Mr Rowlett pointed out that if men deliberately walked beyond three miles for the purpose of getting a drink they were not bone fide travelers, and publicans made a serious mistake in serving them. Kenney said it was the first time that he had ever been to the house.


He was found 10/- or seven days, and the other defendants 15/- each or 14 days. The chairman said the magistrates wished him to state that the fact of men having walked three miles or over on Sunday morning did not entitle them to drink, if they had gone for that purpose.

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