John Turner, Theft > animal theft, 8th April 1752.

Reference Number: t17520408-44
Offence: Theft > animal theft
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

257. (M.) John Turner , was indicted for stealing twenty wether sheep, value 15 l. the goods of William White , July 29 . ++

William White . I live at Edmonton : I am a farmer ; on the 29th of July, I lost twenty wether sheep, out of a Close, call'd Farmer's-Green, where I put them, I had had them from the Tuesday in Whitson-week, I saw them the 28th, between 6 and 7 o'clock; I advertised them in two or three days after, and had word sent me, that there were such a parcel of sheep taken up at Rootam in Kent; I went down and found them to be mine, then I went before a Justice and swore to them: I never saw the prisoner till now.

Q Were they mark'd or branded?

White. No my Lord, there were amongst them one black one, one with a crooked horn, one with one ear pull'd down, and one with a plaister of pitch with leather laid over her shoulders; I know they are all mine, they were Northamptonshire full-mouth'd sheep.

John Ashby , a daily servant with the prosecutor, confirmed that of Mr. White's evidence, as to the time left, the number of the sheep, going to Kent with his master, and finding the sheep, and could swear to those particular mark'd ones, as his master's property.

Richard Lane, a drover, deposed he was upon the Read, and saw the prisoner driving these twenty sheep, and mentioned the particular ones, as the others had done, that the first place he saw them at, was near New-cross Turnpike, that he asked him where he was driving them? he answer'd, he was to drive them on the Maidstone Road, till a man over-took him that had set him to drive them, who he said was behind, that he drove them very hard, and that he saw them several times betwixt there and Crawford; that on the Monday he saw the sheep and man at Rootum, when the prisoner was in custody.

John Terry . I live at Rootum ; on Wednesday morning the 31st of July, the prisoner came by, with the twenty sheep, he asked if I would buy a sheep? I bought one for 12 s. I ask'd where he brought them from? he said from Cock's-Heath, then I ask'd him who they belong'd to? he said he did not know, it was a farmer, that he was driving them to London, but did not know to who; then he went away with the others: after that I began to think he had stole them; so I and Humphrey Hughes concluded to go after him, we over-took him about a mile out of town, the sheep were lying under a tree, we found him sitting on a style; Mr. Hughes got to him first, and said, friend, you must give an account how you came by these sheep; the prisoner said, what sheep? I have no sheep; he seeing me on the other side the hedge, on horse-back, jump'd off the style, and ran away about half a mile, and push'd into the hedge, there we took him; when we were bringing him along, he flung the person down that had hold on him, and ran away again towards a wood, I rode after him and knock'd him down; then we were about half an hour before we could fasten him: we took him before a Justice.

Humphrey Hughes confirmed that of taking the prisoner ; they both mention the remarkable sheep, as part of the twenty.

Prisoner's defence.

I was hired to drive them sheep, being a stranger I drove them along, the man did not follow me, one of them was tired, it could not walk, so I turn'd back again, then they came and took me up.

Guilty , Death .


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