CONVICT TRIAL - JAMES THURLEY
CHELMSFORD CHRONICLE, 27TH JULY 1843, BURGLARIES
William Eldred 19, George White 21 and James Thurley, 18, Labourers, were indicted for burglariously entering the dwelling-house of John Harris, at Hatfield Broad Oak, and stealing therefrom a coat belonging to John Simpson, and two knives, the property of John Harris. Mr Knox conducted the prosecution, and called Sarah Harris, who stated she was the. Daughter of the prosecutor, who lived at Hatfield Broad Oak. She was sitting up at two o'clock in the morning of the '? th March; her father was in bed; there was no candle burning. The house was fastened at eight o'clock in the evening, there was a half glass door in the room in which the witness and the servant were sitting; saw through the door the three prisoners, knew White very well, he had a candle; he shoved the door partly open and witness banged it in his face; they then went away towards the cellar; where they had got in at a hole made in the wall, which was not there the previous night. Witness awoke John Simpson and her father, a new coat and two knives were taken away, witness was positive she knew all the prisoners at the time. John,Harris the prosecutor, stated he went to bed about eight o'clock on the night of the ?th March; his daughter was not well and sat up. She called him up about two o'clock in the morning, found a large hole in the wall of the cellar, could not say what property was stolen. Mary Lannam, the servant, deposed that she sat up with prosecutors daughter on the morning of '? th March. George White came to the parlour door with a candle in his hand about two o'clock, had known White five or six years, heard footsteps of the other prisoners in the keeping ????????? but did not see them. Superintendent Redin was at examination of prisoners apprehended. While on this charge at Dunmow ???????? house, but found nothing on him. Thurley, in his defense, said he was in bed at the time. Eldred denied any knowledge of the robbery. White called the following witness to prove an alibi. Mark Gotts. said he lived at Bulphan Fen which he believes is 20 or 30 miles from Hatfield Broad Oak; remembered White's seeming to work for him in March. Settled with him on Saturday the ? th , he continued with witness till 31 st. It was past six o'clock in the evening when witness paid prisoner on the '?th. Martha Ansell of Bulphan, stated that her husband keeps a beer shop, had known White two years, saw him on 23rd, 25th, and ? th of March, he stayed at the house each night till it was time to ???????. Samuel Mann deposed that his father lived at Bulphan Hall, had known White two years; saw him on 25th March at Mr Gotts farm; about seven in the evening, called him up at five o'clock the next morning, he slept by permission in the cow-house. Mr Knox said he was bound to admit the defense set up; and as the witnesses appeared to be mistaken in their identity of White, he could not ask for a conviction of the other prisoners. The prisoners Eldred & Thurley were further indicted for burglariously entering the dwelling-house of Louise Palmer, at Great Hallingbury, and stealing thereout 3 and a half gallons of wine, 15 bottles, 6lbs of cheese, 3lbs of bread, and money in copper amounting to 10 sh. Mr Knox also in this case conducted the prosecution. Louise Palmer examined, I am a widow living at Great Hallingbury and keep the George Inn. I was at home on Friday 31st March. I secured the house before going to bed, about ten o'clock, and was last up, the other inmates consisted of my daughter, maid servant a visitor and his wife, and a lodger. I was awoke about one o'clock in the morning by a noise of persons in the house below me. I instantly gave an alarm and some time afterwards went into the cellar, where I saw the prisoner Eldred in the custody of William Clark and William Radley. Police constable Campbell the next day produced some bottles of wine, some bread, and cheese, and some half pence, the former articles I can identify. The bar was broken open and the till emptied of it's contents, the locks of the liquor cupboard and bureau had also been forced, and the things were lying about in a very disordered state, there were in all five locks broken. William Clark stated, I am an accountant living in London. On the 31 st March I and my wife were on a visit at Mrs Palmer's, we went to bed about ten o'clock. Prosectrix gave me an alarm that persons were in the house about one o'clock, having procured a light from her, I went down stairs, the door between the tap-room and the bar was broken open and the things lying in disorder at the bar. I went down the cellar, and saw a man in the act of getting through a hole, which had been made in the wall. I seized him by the legs, and detained him until assistance arrived, It was the prisoner Eldred. I afterwards went into the garden, and found some bread and cheese, and a few halfpence lying on the ground, there were also footmarks of two or three persons across the garden, towards a low hedge, where a person might easily get over. Three or four halfpence were picked up on the other side of the hedge. Inspector Wm. Campbell, deposed. I received a warrant for the apprehension of Thurley upon this charge, and was engaged a long time in searching for him. On my return to my lodgings on the 10th April, Thurley came to see me and said " I came to give myself up to you, for I was at Mrs Palmer's with Eldred ". The next morning he further communicated that he William Eldred, Benjamin Eldred and Julius and George White, went into the cellar, and remained there more than an hour, that they heard footsteps above them, and they then to use his own expression "bolted". Superintendent Redin proved that whilst the prisoner Thurley was in custody, he admitted that he was at Mrs Paimer's house, and stated that the waistcoat he then had on was purchased with a portion of the money. The prisoner, with the greatest of effrontery denied the truth of all the statements made by several witnesses and appeared greatly enraged at the evidence they gave. Benjamin Eldred, the father of the prisoner of that name stated, I have known Thurley since he was a child. About two o'clock in the morning of 1st April he came to my house and called me outside. After my daughter had been down stairs, I went and spoke to him, and asked him what he was doing at that time of night. He replied " We are done for they have Win ( meaning my son) I tried to pull him through the hole, but could not". I asked him where they had been, he said to Mrs Palmer's, at the George. He offered me money but I refused to take it. He said he had left his hat and things behind, which were sure to be known and they would be after him in less than two hours. Emma Eldred daughter of the last witness proved that she opened the window to speak to Thurley, and retrieved from him her brothers smock frock, she asked him where they had been he replied " We have broken into Mrs Palmer's at the George" Thurley in the most violent manner asserted that he was not the person who held the conversation above described. Emma Wilson a child whose parents live near the premisses of the prosecutor proved finding a hat by the George, on the morning of the 1st April, which was handed over to the police and was identified by Superintendent Redin(who previously had Thurley in his custody several day's ) as belonging to the prisoner. Mary Wilson at whose house Campbell lodged, corroborated his evidence, with respect to Thurley surrendering himself into custody. Thurley said in his defense, that he was innocent as a child. Eldred said nothing. The jury without hesitation pronounced both prisoners Guilty. His lordship in passing sentence, said they had been found guilty upon the clearest evidence of the offense of breaking and entering at the midnight hour the dwelling of the prosectrix and plundering it. It was a most serious offence, very much aggravated by the time the prisoners had maintained during there trial, for it showed that they were utterly lost of all feelings of penitence, but there determined to face out the clearest evidence that could be bought It was necessary for example and for the protection of the public, that they should be transported for 10 years.
CONVICT TRIAL - JOSEPH THURLEY
Report from the Chelmsford Chronicle Friday 18th July 1834.
The Crown Court sat before Lord Chief Justice Tindal
The following gentlemen were empanelled as the Grand Jury:
The Hon J.J. Strutt was the foreman
Hon C. Petre S. Sheen Esq
Sir G.H. Smythe Bart J. Bullock Esq
T.M. Leake Esq A. Majendle Esq
J.J. Tufnell Esq J.R.S. Phillips Esq
T.W. Bramston Esq G. Savill Esq
F.S. Rebow Esq T.F. Balderston Esq
J.A. Houblon Esq J. Boggis Esq
W. Davis Esq N.C.Bamardiston Esq
C. Cure Esq the younger R.C. Hazelfoot Esq
J.P. Judd Esq P.Z. Cox Esq
J. Kersteman Esq G. Palmer Esq
The Charge of the Learned Judge was brief, and mearely consisted of explainations of the law applying to some cases. SENDING THREATENING LETTERS Merioc conduct of a female Jas Day 10 years of age and Joseph Thurley age 18, labourers were indicted for sending an anonymous letter to Mary Ann Baker, threatening to kill and murder her. Letter A given below, was the one act set forth in the indictment. Mr Clarkson, who with Mr Deeds, was counsel for the prosecution, addressed the jury at considerable length, minutely relating the circumstances attending the extraordinary, and as the Learned Counsel observed, the Providential manner in which the prisoners were brought to justice. Mr Dowling defended the prisoners. Nathaniel Hayden stated, I am a farmer at Great Hallingbury in the county of Essex. Mary Ann Baker, my housekeper, has lived 9 years and upwards with me. In the evening of Monday 3rd march, my son James came to me, as he had ben in the habit of doing since a fire upon my premim, which took place on the 18th February and destroyed a cow house and other out building. A grandchild about 5 years old, lived with me. About 6 O'clock in the morning of the 3rd March, I picked up a letter in the front garden. (Letter (A) was here produced and identified). I took it in doors and gave it to Mary Ann Baker, to whom it was directed. No one else was present when we read it. Mary Ann Baker deposed. I am a single woman and have resided about 9 years with my master, the last witness. I remember the fire, and from that time till the 3rd March, I, accompanied by a large dog went round the premises at night and morning. I had had some talk with a person named Satter, Mr Cotton, Jones and other neighbours about the fire. They came to my master's house occasionally to talk it over. On the Morning of the 3rd march, my master brought the letter now produced to me. I had never received a letter before addressed in that way between the 18th February and that day. I was the first person to give the alarm of the fire. On the night of the 3rd March I set out at about half past 8 O'clock to look round the premises. I called the dog but could not find him. Mr Haydees son had come over to my master that night, and we were told to go to bed without looking round. It was quite a fine star light night. The farmyard is at the back of the house. I went out at the back door, leaving James and his father with the child by the fire. There is a bam near, and adjoining is a littel out house. I got over the gate and went some little distance on the land when I heard voices comming up the side of the orchard talking very low. I concluded they were Mr Houblotfs keepers and not wishing them to see me, I ran into an out house about two yards from the gate. I shut the door, it had a little hole through it, by which the latch is raised and it open outwards. When I was in I shut the door quitely after me. two persons came up almost directly, and placed themselves against the door with their arms folded. The hole for the latch remained uncovered. I had seen Thurley before, and he was one of the men. Day said - “Joe go to the gate and see if you can see a light shimmer through the shutter.” Joe went, and on his return said - “No”. Whilst he was gone I could not see the other man sufficiently to know it to have been Day. The other person said “ D --- n it, I doubt they aedt gone to bed, What must we do with it” Thurley said “I think you had better go over the gate onto the pasture and throw it into the stack yard.” The other person said “No D --- n it Joe, they wont find it there, I think we had better go back the same way as we came and throw it over the front garden, and then they'll be sure to find it there, or if not I'll carry it home and bum it, for Lindsell said he would not write any more, for he had burnt his pens and was oblidged to write this with a pencil, and when he had wrote it he would bum that for fear they would search” Thurley said “I think you had better take it out of your pocket here”. The other one then took it out of his pocket and dropped a piece of paper which I picked up, when I opened the door of the out house. He gave the paper he took out of his pocket to Thurley, and said “ D---n it, if I had known when I put That little bit of stuff in the thatch that it would have caused all this confusion I would not have done it” There was a thatch upon the buildings burnt. Thurley said “D ---- n it Day, we had better go, for if we see the keepers we must run like fire” The other man said `D --- n it Thurley, we musn't run, because if we do they'll think we are doing somthing we should not, we had better say we have been to Woodside Green. I do not know where either of the men lived. They retired from the door of the out house and appeared to go on the side of the field they had come up. They could to get into Hallingbury Street. I waited some lettle time being very much frightened, and then came out and picked up the piece of paper, which was lying not a yard from the out house door. I got over the gate and ran across the farm yard and got over the place into the front garden. I there concealed myself behind a large rose bush, and in about tow or 3 minutes observed the two men comming across the footbridge in the road. One of them stood on the bridge wust Thurley got over the ditch and up the bank, which separates the garden from the road, within a rod of me. He then threw something over the ???? onto the little flower garden, having done which, he returned in the direction of the footbridge. As I was getting up form the rose bush I heard my master call me three or four times, I did not answer him but went up to the front door and knocked. I had in my hand the piece of paper I got from the out house and having explained what had ocured, young Hayden went out with me and we found what I had seen thrown over, one of the letters which have been produced - (letter B). We compared the piece of paper on which that letter was written, with the piece left at the out house door, and in my judgement they once formed a half piece of fullscap. (The pieces which had been rudely tom were compared by the Jury, and found to fit each other exactely.) The next day I saw Day and Thurley in custody. On hearing day I recognised his voice, and his height corrisponded with that of the person I saw with Thurley. His speach was hoarse and gaff. I can speak Positively to Thurley and My belief is that Day is the other man. By the Judge. the hole in the door was between two men, and whilst they were in conversation they leaned their shoulders against the building turning their faces towards each other, I was thus enabled to see their countenances. The following are copies of the letters: - (A) You think yourself very clever I dare say but you had beter not be to cunin I can tell you if you do tull be the worse for you for dam ye I will lay wach for you so you had beter not look about to much to ?od out how ?? for my lady I can tell you if you dont look sharp you will lose your life first so I will advise you not to truble youself anything about us for if I no you do If you go out you shant come home again alive so I thought I would ten you about it first so then you can mind what you are after for they all keep comen to you about it there is Salter and Jones coton and all the rest they had beter mind what they are after for if they dont Damem they I no it So you can tell them what we say and take care of your own life so my good woman mind - so yours is the same Miss Mary Ann Baker Haydens 11 Street Farm Gt Hallingbury to at Mr (B) I have no doubt but what you found the leter which was lade in your yard and although we did theren your life we will not hurt you if you dont go in against us if ever they take us upon sespion and if you know any thing prey dont say it for we will never make so many people uncomfotable any more if they will But drop it we will let them rest happy so mind what we say and tell them all Miss M. A. Baker Haydens 11 Street Farm Gt. Hallingbury 11 at TW Letter (B) was written in pencil Thomas Fisher Salter, baliff to Mr Houblon said he had examined the two letters closely, and was decidedly of the opinion that they were hand written of one of the same person. James Hayden, son of the first witness and a blacksmith, at Stanstead Mountfitchet said that Mary Baker carne into the house on the night in question very much frightened. He went part of the way with her into the garden, when she ran forward and picked up the letter. Cross examened by W Dowling. I do not remember having any particular fear about me, but I was very nervous to go to the spot, and she seemed quite willing. - W D. No, you, it would appear, had a great fancy for the inside of the house. (Laughter.) Sayer, a Special constable, Mary Ann Baker, and Samual Jones, Farmer and Miller, late of Great Hallingbury, all proved the manner in which one of the Thurley's shoes corrisponded with a foot mark in the bank. Day said nothing in his defence, Thurley said he was innocent of the crime. Mr Dowling, for the purpose of providing an alibi then called a young woman, named Jane Prior, an intimate acquaintance of the prisoner, who swore that Day was in bed at 7 O'clock and that she be a single woman, saw Thurley laying in bed between two of his brothers at half past eight on the 3rd March. On her cross examination by Mr Clarkson, she obstinately refused to answer many of the questions put to her, nor could the Judge prevail upon her to reply to him. Sarah Day, the sister of one of the prisoners, Jeremiah Thurley, the father, William, the brother and Hestor the mother of the prisoner, all came forward in support of the alibi, but upon cross examination, differed greately in their evidence. Some of them swore it was a very dark night, others that it was quite the contrary. Daniel Thurley, the younger member of the family did not know he said, what night he had come to speak about. It had been agreed amongst them he said, that his brother was in bed at half past eight that night, but what day of the month or of the week he ment he did not know. His father and mother he said walked to Chelmsford to give evidence, but he and his brother came in a can belonging to Linseff, who drove them. He had no idea what he was brought for. The depositions of Sarah Day and Jane Prior, before the Magis'tes, were put in to prove that they had told different stories on that occasion. The Learned Judge summed up the case at considerable length, in the course of which he observed it was not necessary that the communication should be put into the hand of the party, the offence was as complete, if the letter were placed where the party for whom it was intended was acustomed to walk. However cautious the mode of deliverey, it would be sufficient for them to be satisfied that the letter in question was intended to reach the person for whom it was directed. Mary Ann Baker, at the request of one of the Jury, was recalled and asked whether she heard Thurley make use of Day's name in the course of the conversation she overheard. The witness replied that Day Thurley by the name of “Joe” and Thurley called his companion “Day” The Jury almost immediately returned a verdict of Guilty. Mr Clarkson said there was another indictment against the prisoners charging them with an offence of even a more serious nature, but no evidence would be offered upon it. His Lordship, addressing the prisoners, observed that their offence was of the most serious and wretched nature. The tendency of the letter they had sent was to make the life of the person addressed, one of constant terror, and to excite continued feelings of approching danger. The law had therefore provided a most serious punishment for such an offence, and he should feel that he was not doing his duty did he not put the law into execution to its fullest extent. His Lordship concluded by ordering the prisoners to be “Transported for life“. The conduct of Mary Ann Baker throughout the transaction and the very intelligent manner in which she gave evidence, was the general admiration of the Court. At the conclusion of the trail, which lasted five hours, Mr Clarkson applied to the Learned Judge, who he beleived, he said, had the power to award remuneration to her for the exertion she had made in bringing the prisoners to justice. His Lordship said that as a testimonial of the great care she had employed in the matter, he should order £5 to be given to her. Joseph was transported to Australia. He departed London on the 1st October 1834 on the Bengal Merchant 2 and arrived in Australia (New South Wales) on 30 January 1835.
CONVICT TRIAL - WILLIAM THURLEY
William Thurley, 23 and Sydney Thurley, 21, laborers, were indicted for breaking into the dwelling house of William Prior at Great Hallingbury, and stealing a watch, his property - Mr Knox stated the case. Prosecutor examined. I rent a cottage in Great Hallingbury with my brother; on the 24th September I left my cottage about half past 5, having locked the door; I left the key at my sister's who lives near; in the evening I discovered that the window had been broken and an iron bar before it, by which an entry was made; I missed a large silver cased watch from my hutch in the bedroom and also two sovereigns; I had taken the watch a few months before to Mr Pratt, at Sawbridge, to be repaired - Cross-examined by Mr Chambers. I went before the Grand Jury at Michaelis Session, but the bill against the prisoners was thrown out. Mary Bird. I am sister to Prior; II went to their house to make the beds and left the house safe on the 24th. William Dunmow, of Great Hallingbury, proved that he saw the prisoner about one o'clock on the day of the robbery, in the road near prosecutors house - Cross-examined. I have been in custody wrongfully concerning the police and also about the game laws. Anne Archer who lives about a quarter of a mile from prosecutor's, and adjoining the prisoners house, proved seeing them together on the day of the robbery returning in the direction from prosecutor's house. William Pratt, Watchmaker, of Sawbridge. On the 27th October William Thurley, whom I had known before, asked me to purchase a watch, but it being a very old one, I declined; he then went outside to a person with whom he had been before conversing, but whom I did not know, though it appeared to be like the other prisoner - The watch was about 80 years old, and on the maker's name, James Haugue. I after woods recollected that it was Prior's watch, having repaired it in Nov. 1839. I immediately gave information to the police, having understood that Prior's house had been broken into. William Anstle, police constable. I received information from last witness and pursued and overtook the prisoners, both of whom escaped from me. William Thurley having bitten my finger and obliged me to release my hold. I felt something in William Thurley's waistcoat pocket, which I thought was a watch. Charles C. Balley, inspector of police, On the 27th of November, I apprehended the prisoners at Dunow, They asked me what they were in custody for, when I enquired of them how long it was since they were at Sawbridge; they both denied ever being there. - Cross-examined. I did not pronounce the place Sapreror; they did not mention they had been in custody before on the same charge. Mr Chambers, for the defense, commented on the fact of the prisoners having being apprehended in the first instance on such vague grounds that the ground jury through out the bill, and now the fresh evidence now added was that of the watchmaker, He could only speak positively to one party, who for sought knew might be the agent only of the other, as they were observed in conversation just before William Thurley offered the watch. With regard to the falsehood which they had told the inspector, it was only natural after having been sent to prison for some weeks, that they should attempt to avoid a repetition of such treatment, He (the learned council) could not but express hope that such "catching" questions as had been put to the prisoners would not be used by constables in future. The Jury found William Thurley guilty - Sydney not guilty. James Dean against William Thurley then proved a prior conviction in 1839, when he suffered 12 month's imprisonment. His Lordship said, from the serious nature of the prisoner's offence, and from having been before convicted, he could not be allowed to remain in the country, and the sentence was that he be transported for life.