Edward Brocket.
11th September 1754
Reference Numbert17540911-36

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451. (M.) Edward Brocket was indicted for that he together with William Clemonts not yet taken, did steal one gelding of a black colour, value 10 l. and one gelding of a brown colour, value 12 l. the property of Jos. Bell , Aug. 28 . + .

William Bell . Jos. Bell is my father.

Q. Where does he live?

Bell. He lives at Symonside, 3 miles on the other side Hatfield. On the 27th of August last, at night, he lost a geldings, a black one, and a brown one.

Q. From whence did he lose them?

Bell. From out of a grass field.

Q. How was the black one marked?

Bell. He is a cole black one, may be a dozen years old with widish ears, and a little hollow in the back.

Q. Describe the other?

Bell. The other had a star in the forehead, one white heel on the near foot behind, and a swell'd hock.

Q. Were they riding or cart geldings ?

Bell. They were cart geldings.

Q. What is the value of them?

Bell. The brown one is worth 12 l. and the black one 10 l.

Q. When did you see them last before they were missing?

Bell. I helped turn them into the field on the 27th, at about half an hour after seven in the afternoon.

Q. What time were they missing the next morning?

Bell. They were missing about four.

Q. Do you know the prisoner?

Bell. No, I do not.

Q. Have you got the geldings again?

Bell. They were stopp'd at Highgate, and the next day I found them there.

Q. At whose house?

Bell. At Mr. Austin's just through the turnpike; it is the gatehouse; the horses were both in the stable, and the prisoner was gone before the Justice when I came there.

William Martin . I am a farrier, and know the horses. I have had them both in hand, I once bid money for one of them, and could swear to them any where; I and the prosecutor's son William Bell came to Highgate the next morning, having been told the two horses were stopp'd there, and there was a cart rope belonging to Mr. Bell, which they had taken to make halters of.

Q. to William Bell . Did you know that rope?

Bell. It was my father's, it was missing from the cart the night the horses were taken away.

Q. to Martin. Did you hear the prisoner confess any thing?

Martin. He was gone to the Justice's when I came there, I did not hear him confess any thing?

Edward Pickford . I am collector at the turnpike at Highgate. On the 28th of August last one Mr. Brown a quaker, from Luton, in Bedfordshire, rode up to me, and said, I beg you'll shut the gate, for this man coming with horses, I suspect has stolen them, for there was another man along with him, and he is run away, his name is Clemonts, and there were 5 guineas offered for the apprehending him from the town of Luton, the prisoner came up soon with the horses.

Q. What time was this?

Pickford. It was before five o'clock in the morning; the prisoner had got a grey mare, a black and brown gelding.

Q. Describe the geldings?

Pickford. The black one has no white about him, he is a little hollow in the back, with slouch ears; the brown one has a star in his face; the man was upon the mare, and they were tyed together with pieces of cart-rope. The prisoner wanted to go through; we stopped him, and told him he must not go any farther. for we suspected the horses to be stolen; he said, he knew nothing of the man that we told him ran away, but said he was coming down Barnet-hill, and that man was coming with the horses; he asked the man to let him ride as far as Hygate; we said, it was very particular for the man to let him ride on the saddle, and the owner to ride on the bare back.

Q. Was you by when William Bell came?

Pickford. I was; he and Martin came together, and I was with him when he swore to the horses before the Justice. Mr. Brown gave me a shilling for people to drink for keeping them till the people got up at the Gatehouse. After which I sent for the constable and secured the prisoner. Then I sent word by all the people I could going down, to tell it in the country that I had stopped a man and three horses, describing them.

Q. Were the same horses you shew'd to Martin and Bell the same you took from the prisoner?

Pickford. They were.

Thomas Beal . I am constable. On the 28th of August, a little after 5 in the morning, a man came and knocked at my door, and said, there was a man and some horses stopp'd at the Gatehouse supposed to be stolen : I got up and went there; the last evidence charged me with a mare and two horses; I ordered the Ostler to take care of the stable; then I was shewn the prisoner, and charg'd with him, whom I took down to my house, and sent word to Justice Cross that I had got a man for horse stealing; he sent word for me to bring the man to him, I did, and he examined him, and he was committed to New prison. The prisoner said before the Justice, as he was coming from Barnet, he overtook a man with these 3 horses, and desired the man to let him ride, and he let him ride upon his hackney; I said he was a good-natur'd man to let you ride upon the saddle, and he on the bare back; he said he could not ride on the bare back.

Prisoner's defence.

I was at work in Old-street ever since the Sunday before Whitsontide, my mate was taken ill, and could not work, and I went into the country to see for a mate to come to work with me;

coming along down Barnet hill I met a man with these horses, I asked him to give me a cast to London; he said, Yes, I should ride if I would give him some beer. I called for a pint of beer at the Mermaid and changed 6 d. He went down the hill before me; there I overtook him. He asked me which I would ride, and was going to help me up on one. The horse tossed up his leg, so that I dared not get upon him. Then he said, if you please you shall get upon my little nag, and I'll ride him. I got upon his nag, and he on the other horse, and before we got to Highgate he said he wanted to ease himself, and gave me the lead horse in my hand. There were three gentlemen coming down the hill; he said he did not chuse to turn himself up in the road till they were gone by. Then he was going to let his breeches down, but started and made a move to go away. The gentlemen followed him, and he went in at a little hunting gate upon the right hand coming from Barnet. I stood to see what was the matter, a man said to me, Young man I'd have you take these horses up to the turn-pike and deliver them there, for I suspect they are stolen. I took them to the turnpike and stopped; but before I came there a man went to the turnpike, and ordered the man to take care of these horses, and he had as good also stop me.

Q. to Pickford. Tell particularly what the prisoner said when he came up to the gate?

Pickford. He said he knew nothing of the man or the horses.

Q. Did he want to go through?

Pickford. He did, and when I was for stopping him, he said, What is the meaning of it, we paid at the other gate? He said but very little for himself.

Guilty Death .

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