John Baker.
17th April 1751
Reference Numbert17510417-37
VerdictNot Guilty

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302. (M) John Baker , was indicted, for not surrendering himself according to the king's order in council, August 7, 1747. as information had been given against him, for being aiding and assisting with others in landing and running goods, liable to pay duty, &c .

Charles Chatwood . I am clerk to the sollicitor of the customs, I was present at the taking this information, July 13, 1747 . against divers smugglers for riding with fire arms, &c. A paper is put into his hand, he sees in it John Baker of Hadley ; this was taken before Justice Burdus, Esq; and was upon oath, I saw the justice sign it, and saw the oath administred, and I delivered it to Mr. Ramsdon the 16th, who is a clerk in the Duke of Newcastle's office.

This is the information of William Celley .

M. Sharp. I am clerk to the council, I received this information, it was laid before the king in council, by his Grace the Duke of Newcastle, one of his majesty's principal secretaries of state, held at Kensington, August 7, 1747. where I attended, I had directions to issue an order from his majesty and privy-council, to require all the persons to surrender in forty days according to the act; I sent a copy of it to the printer of the London Gazette, to be printed in the two next succeeding Gazettes, and likewise another to the sheriff of the county of Suffolk, he received it, I have his receipt here with me.

Mr. Owen. I am printer of the London Gazette, I received this order, and printed it accordingly on the 8th and 11th of August, produced and both read in court.

Mr. Charles Stisted . I was under-sheriff in the year 1747, Mr. Robert Edgar of Ipswich was high-sheriff, he sent this order to me, my clerk made out two copies of it, I examined them both by the original order, I inclosed them both in a letter to William Smith a bailey of Beckles, August the 16th, a man whom I knew I could depend upon, to proclaim them according to act of parliament at Beckles and Lestoff, the two nearest market towns to Benacre.

William Smith . I was an officer to the sheriff of Suffolk in 1747, in that year I received this order from the under sheriff, and I proclaimed it at Lestoff the Wednesday following about 11 o'clock in the forenoon, then nailed it up on the market-cross, and also at Beckles on the 22d of August, the market day there about one o'clock, then nailed that up also: these two towns are each about five or six miles from Benacre.

Counsel for the prisoner.

The proclamation was for one John Baker of Hadley to surrender himself, if at the same time there were John Bakers of Hadley, and although this was a John Baker , and living at another place, he cannot be so described as to give him that benefit that the proclamation allows him to take, a fair trial. We'll call our witnesses to shew there are no less than three John Bakers at Hadley, and that the prisoner lived then at a place called Seymore, and that fixing upon this particular man, if he had come upon the proclamation and said his name was John Baker and lived at Seymore, it must naturally be said to him, you cannot be the man, it must be John Baker of Hadley.

John West . I have known the prisoner these 2 or 3 and 20 years, he has lived at Seymore in Suffolk for these three or four years past.

Q. Where do you live ?

West. I live at Hadley.

Q. Are there any John Bakers at Hadley ?

West. There are three there now, there were four till Michaelmas last; there is John Baker a farmer, John Baker a husbandman, John Baker a woolcomber, and John Baker a blacksmith; the husbandman is removed, the prisoner lives now at Seymore, and has done these five years last past.

Q. Did he live there in August 1747?

West. Yes, he did Sir, there is a village between Seymore and Hadley called Carsey.

On his cross examination, he said he was not related to the prisoner, only marrying his mother, that the prisoner is a blacksmith by trade, and has worked journey-work, sometimes in one place, and sometimes in another, that he now rents a little farm of about ten or twelve pounds per year, and has for five years last past, that he deals in hogs and horses, that he was born at Hadley, served his apprenticeship at a place ten miles from thence.

William Phitock . I live at Seymore, the prisoner has lived there five years last Lady-day, I assisted him in his coming with my waggon, I am his landlord; he rents some grazing land of me at 6 l. 10 s. per year there, and he has lived there constantly.

Q. Do you know any of the John Bakers of Hadley ?

Phitock. I do, there are two John Bakers farmers, one a woolcomber, and one a blacksmith there.

Q. What was the prisoner called ?

Phitock. John Baker of Seymore.

On his cross examination, he said the prisoner might have been reputed a smuggler, and that he never was present when he asked advice, whether he should or should not surrender upon this proclamation.

John Smith . I have known the prisoner these thirteen years, he was a blacksmith and edge tool maker, and generally known by that appellation; I am the same, he worked with me in that business ; he went to live at Seymore five years ago last Lady-day, he deals in hogs and horses.

Q. If you had been asked for John Baker of Hadley labourer, should you have directed people to him ?

Smith. No, I should not, there are three John Bakers of Hadley, and another that moved out of town last Michaelmas, I live at Carsey about a mile and a quarter from Seymore.

Thomas King . I have known the prisoner all my life time, he and his family have lived at Seymore five years last Lady-day ; there are three John Bakers living at Hadley now; there was another, but he is lately removed.

For the Crown.

John Nodes . I live at Ipswich, which is about nine miles from Hadley, I was present when the prisoner at the bar was apprehended at Seymore, with a quarter-master and some dragoons, we got to his house, and when the soldiers were properly planted I knock'd at the door; his wife said who is there? Mr. Nodes, I said yes; said she, I'll come presently, the door was barr'd, I could not get in, then said she what do you want, I said, to see what you have got in the house; after we were in she fell down on her knees, and said for God's sake don't ruin me; looking behind a bed where was a maid servant in it, I ordered the candle to be held, so that I could look round it, which stood close to the wall. I saw something white, at last I saw it stir; said I, come out, said the prisoner, I will, said he, it is to no purpose to make any resistance for I know I am outlawed. I have been in his company abundance of times, I never knew he worked at his trade these eight or ten years, and we always called him John Baker of Hadley.

On his cross examination, he said he never heard he was called John Baker of Seymore till lately, and he never heard there were John Bakers lived at Hadley till about three weeks ago.

Charles Parker . I have known the prisoner near twenty years, he went by the name of John Baker of Hadley, nor do I remember he went by the name of John Baker of Seymore, I have been with him many times, I did not know he lived at Seymore, till a little before he was taken there; he once said to me, Charles, you know if I am taken my life is worth nothing.

Thomas Hammond . The prisoner has fetch'd cattle 200 pounds worth at a time from my Lord Leicester's.

Q. Do you not know of a proclamation of one John Baker an out-law?

Hammond. No, I don't, Sir.

Q. Had not you once some conversation with the prisoner about surrendering himself ?

Hammond. No, I never had, Sir.

Q. Did not you forbid him your house?

Hammond. No, Sir, I never did.

Q. Was you in company with Mr. Nodes last Saturday at Ipswich?

Hammond. Yes, and told him he used me very ill, in offering to give a man ten shillings per week, to swear that the prisoner had lodged goods at my house, but he denied he had said so.

Nodes. I never made such an offer to any.

Hammond. The man that told me so, told it before several witnesses.

Q. What are you?

Hammond. I have farmed 250 l. a year these twenty years, I never found but the prisoner was an honest man, I know the three John Bakers at Hadley, a farmer, a blacksmith, and a woolcomber.

Acquitted .

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