Abraham> Wells, Daniel Wells, Theft > animal theft, 2nd May 1739.

Reference Number: t17390502-33
Offence: Theft > animal theft
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

272, 273. * Abraham> Wells , and Daniel Wells , of Endfield were indicted for stealing a brown Mare, val. 2 l. 10 s. the Goods of Ralph Sympson , May 23. in the 9th Year of the King .

* Abraham Wells and his Wife were Evidences on Bonner's Trial for a Robbery on the Highway. They swore that Bonner was at the Grey hound in Smithfield, at the Time when the Robbery was committed; but the Perjury being detected, they, and two other Witnesses, viz, Lyon and Story, were committed in Court. See Session-Book 1736, No. 7. p. 176.

The next Sessions Wells and his Wife, and John Lyon , were convicted of Perjury on the above-mention'd Trial. Story dy'd in Newgate. See Sessions-Book, No, 8. p. 206.

Ralph Sympson . I lost a brown Mare from Endfield Chace three Years ago this May; and I never have seen her since, nor can I charge the Prisoners.

Simon Lewis . I was with the two Prisoners, and another Man, (a Stranger) when they took Mr. Sympson's Mare, and help'd to take her; we took her from Old Pond Course on Endfield Chace.

Sympson. I put her there, and lost her from thence.

Lewis. It was on the 23d of May, in the Year 1736; I don't know what they did with her, for after I had caught her for them, I went to sold my Sheep. They were to give me 10 s. for my Pains, but when they had got the Mare, they never gave me any Thing. The Reason I did not discover this sooner was, because I was loth to blow myself to the World; but when they came to swear for Bonner the Highwayman, I foreswore their Company, and deserted them ever since. Another Reason I did not discover them was, because Abraham Wells is my Brother-in-Law. I never have been easy in my Conscience since it was done, and I have been sick and like to die, so I resolved to ease my Mind, and let the World know how they live.

A. Wells. Why did not you charge me before? This Man indicted me at Doctor's Commons about eight Years ago. I never had to do with him in my Life, - I never knew him.

D. Wells. I know nothing of the Matter.

John Chapman . I have known Abraham Wells a pretty while, 5 or 6 or 7 Years. I don't live near him; but I arrested his Brother-in-Law, and he said he would get Wells into Newgate. As to having heard any Ill of them, - I can't say, - I can't say nothing to that.

Edward Gore . I am call'd, but I never saw either of them in my Life.

Benjamin Garland . I have known Abraham about three or four or five Years; as to his Character, - really, I can't say as to his Character, - only I never heard no Ill of him, - nor have I ever heard any Good of him. I live at Waltham Abbey.

Benjamin Parnel . I have known Abraham Wells eight or nine Years: He has the Character of a very great Rogue.

Prisoner. That's a Brother-in-Law of mine: He took all my Goods when I was confin'd in Goal.

Parnel. But the Prisoner had my Money for them. As to Daniel Wells, I never saw him till the Night he was taken, on Lewis's impeaching him: He has but an indifferent Character.

Christopher Woodham . I have known Abraham seven or eight Years: His general Character is but a very indifferent one. I don't care to say any Thing farther.

A. Wells. Why I have dwelt with you, - and paid you honestly.

Woodham. Yes, so you have

John Keys . I have known Abraham five Years: He has but a very indifferent Character. He threaten'd to ruin me. - I know nothing of Daniel.

Samuel Wibert . I have known Abraham eight or nine Years: He is a Man that bears a bad Character. I know nothing of Daniel.

Henry Long . I have known him twelve Years: He has but a very slender Character. I could say more, if your Lordship would hear it. - He's a very bad Neighbour, in respect to Stealing; he has a bad Character that Way, and gets his Bread by it.

A. Wells. Did not I pay you, when I dealt with you?

Long. Yes; and you have eat me out again very handsomely.

Richard Fletcher . I have known Abraham eight or nine Years; I never heard a Man have a worse Character in my Life, except a Murtherer: The first Time I saw Daniel was when he was taken at Epping; he has a bad Character there.

John Slighter . I have known Abraham ten Years. His Character is bad: - no one's worse. I have no great Knowledge of Daniel, - I know nothing of his Character.

William Green . I have known Abraham Seven or Eight Years. His General Character is base, - none's worse. I heard that he's a very dishonest Man, using his Neighbours ill. I have heard much to his Dispraise.

James Elson . I have known Abraham Twelve Years: I never heard any Character of him, but that of a Thief, since I have known him. I have known Daniel a pretty while. I don't know much of him - he lives in another Country, but I have heard from several of his Neighbours, that he has a bad Character.

A. Wells. When I dealt with you, did not I pay you honestly?

Elson. I never dealt with you at all.

Daniel Wells . Who is it that gives me a bad Character?

Elson. All the Butchers that come from Epping, say you are as bad as Abraham, and that there's no Difference between them.

William Yarrow . I have known Abraham Seven or Eight Years. His general Character is very bad. I know nothing of Daniel.

Daniel Wells. They know nothing of me, nor do I know any thing of them.

Abraham Wells. My Wife swore the Peace against Lewis's Wife, and because I would not give him a Guinea to give my Wife, he swore (with a great Oath) he would swear something against me.

Lewis. There has not been any Quarrels between us lately: My Wife and his Wife may have differed: That's nothing to me. Both Guilty , Death .


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