Edward Castle.
6th July 1768
Reference Numbert17680706-47
VerdictNot Guilty

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468. (M.) Edward Castle was indicted for that he, together with divers others to the number of one hundred or more, their names unknown, on the 10th of May unlawfully, tumultuously, and riotously assembled to the disturbance of the public peace, did demolish or pull down, or begin to pull down a certain out-house called a saw-mill, the property of Charles Dingley , Esq ; against the peace of our Lord the King, his crown and dignity . ||

Christopher Richardson . I am principal clerk or superintendant of this work, that is Mr. Dingley's saw-mill, it is at Limehouse , almost in the center of his timber-yard; it had been erected about 14 months; there is a brick counting-house joins to it where the books are kept relating to the mill; there is a room under the mill for the two watchmen to sleep in by turns; there is a fire-place in each, and under it is a chest in which was a place to lay the arms; it is all one building, they opened one into the other; the mill was to saw large pieces of timber, oak, deal, or wainscot, it could saw larger quantities of timber than could be done any other way; the mill was built of wood, the counting-house of brick. We had information on the Friday before Tuesday the 10th of May last, it was in writing sent to Mr. Dingley, to inform him a number of people were assembled together with intent to pull down this saw-mill; I immediately went down to Limehouse and got assistance; I had not been gone above half an hour before one of our servants came and told me they had entered the yard; I met the mob of sawyers and other people pretty near the mill; I asked their demands, what they came there for; they told me the saw-mill was at work when thousands of them were starving for want of bread; I then represented to them that the mill had done no kind of work that had injured them, or prevented their receiving any benefit; I desired to know which was their principal man to whom I might speak; I was shewed one; I had some conversation with him, and represented to him that it had not injured the sawyers; he said it possibly might be so, but it would hereafter if it had not, and they came with a resolution to pull it down, and it should come down.

Q. Should you know that man again?

Richardson. I should if I could see him again, but I have not seen him since.

Q. What time of the day was this?

Richardson. This was about eleven o'clock in the morning after they had entered the yard, when they were got pretty near the mill.

Q. What might the number of the people be?

Richardson. As near as I can guess there might be about 500 come into the yard; immediately they went to work and broke into the mill; they did not pull it down, but destroyed the inside; one man had a long adze, another a hatchet; I did not see a saw; one of our men says he saw a saw; I saw them at work demolishing the mill, they cut the shafts of the sail, and several other things; they destroyed all the saws and frames, and pretty near demolished the brick building, that is the counting-house; I cannot speak to the prisoner; they surrounded me immediately.

Benjamin King . To the best of my knowledge I saw the prisoner among the men that were destroying the mill; I think it was he that I saw with his head out at the place where the shaft came out at, with a cross cut saw in his hand, waving it about after the shaft came down; there were a great number of people about at the time, the greatest number were in the field or yard pulling at the sail; I saw the counting-house demolished.

Q. Did you ever see the prisoner before?

King. No, I never did.

Q. How far was you from him when you say you think you saw him?

King. Upwards of sixty yards.

Richard Johnson . I was at the mill at the time they were destroying it; I will not be sure of knowing the prisoner; I saw a man at the top of the window of the sails with a saw in his hand, some part of his body out of the mill; he pulled off his hat and waved it, it was like the prisoner,

but I did not chuse to go very near the mob, because I am pretty well known among people.

James Brown . After the shaft was down I saw the prisoner with his head out at the window with one leg out and the other in, with a saw in his hand waving it about over the mill.

Q. How near was you to him at the time?

Brown. I might be about thirty yards from him.

Q. Did you know him before?

Brown. No, I did not; I never was in the yard before in my life.

Alexander Forbes . I was there at that time; I saw the prisoner, I am sure the prisoner is the person I saw out at the shaft window with a saw in his hand, waving it backwards and forwards, I was about thirty yards distance.

Acquitted .

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