14th February 1798
Reference Numbert17980214-4
SentenceMiscellaneous > fine

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147. THOMAS EADY was indicted for that he, on the 19th of January , about the hour of two in the night, a chesnut timber-tree, value 20s. belonging to Mary Jane Dowager Lady Dacre , being in a certain enclosed ground belonging to her, without her consent, she being the owner thereof, unlawfully did cut down against the form of the statute, and against the King's peace .

Second Count. Laying the property to belong to Sir William Dolben , Bart .

There were two other Counts for a similar offence, varying the manner of charging it.

The case was opened by Mr. Knapp.

WILLIAM PICKTON sworn. - I am carter to Sir William Dolben.

Q. Do you know the prisoner? - A. Yes.

Q. Do you know Welch and Crow? - A. Yes; I saw them all three one morning, at 20 minutes past six, as I came into the high-road from Sir William Dolben's yard, they were all on the offside of my horses; Crow came round to the nearside to me, as hard as he could run, he said, he had got three or four pieces of wood, and asked me if I would carry them to Southgate for him, which was about a mile off, I told him, he might put them up and welcome; Eady and Welch helped him to put them into the cart, I did not examine what sort of wood it was, they were not above five minutes putting them in, there were four pieces of wood; I went on, and left them behind, except Crow, he came running after the cart, he asked me where I was going to in London, and I told him, to Moorfields; in consequence of a conversation between Crow and myself, I took the wood to the corner of Worship-street, leading into Finsbury-square, then two men came with a truck, and took it away, I never saw any more of the wood or of them.

Q. Did you observe any thing particular about the wood? - A. No, only it appeared to be fresh cut.

GEORGE AYRES sworn. - I am gardener to Mr. Elphinston, I don't know the prisoner: On Saturday the 6th of January, about three in the morning, I saw three men in Sir William Dolben 's Park, standing in the same clump of chesnut-trees where this tree was cut down from; I did not know either of them, when they saw me, they all ran away; I was there again at seven o'clock the same morning, and then there was a chesnut-tree gone.

Court. Q. Were you in the park when you saw these men? - A. No, I was at seventy yards distance; when I came again at seven o'clock, I went into the park and saw the stump in the ground, and they had left the top in the field.

Q.(To Pickton.) They did not say any thing to you where they got it from? - A. No.

Q. In what part of the park was this tree situated? - A. It is not a park, it is a field; it was about 40 or 50 poles up the field.

ROBERT LONDON sworn. - I am coachman to Sir William Dolben; I saw the trees all safe on the 5th of January, about five o'clock; the next morning, about seven o'clock, I discovered the head of a tree lying down, the body was gone, for any thing that I could see; it was a thickish morning, and only a glimmer of light.

JONATHAN TROTT sworn. - I am constable of Enfield; I and Pidkin apprehended Eady, on the 19th of January, we had had the warrant a day or two, we wanted to apprehend the other first; we apprehended him at Southgate, going out to work, he lodges at his father's house, he had got a pickaxe and shovel upon his shoulder, he desired to go back to leave his things, and I went back with him; his father was in bed in an adjoining room, he asked, who is there, Eady said, it is me; Pidkin began talking about the tree; his father said, why, you were not concerned with Welch and Crow in stealing that tree; the prisoner said, yes I was; the old man said, oh dear, to many domes as I have asked you about it, and you have always denied it; we then took him to the sign of the Rose and Crown, and there he told me he did help to load the wood; I asked him how they could get such a large piece of wood up into the cart, and he told me it was cut into four lengths, three feet in each length; I then left him in the custody of Pidkin, and went to inform Sir William of it.

JOHN PIDKIN sworn. - I am a constable, I apprehended the prisoner after Trott left him, and I said to him, Eady, there must have been a deal of trouble in cutting down such a tree as this, he made answer, there was a d-d deal of trouble in it, it lodged in the next tree, and we were forced to cut off three lengths before it would drop, I took him to Bow-street, and he was committed.

Sir WILLIAM DOLBEN sworn. - The close that has been spoken of, I have in lease from Lady Dacre, together with the trees, they were about fifty or sixty years growth, and of considerable timber girth.

Q. Did you give any orders for this timber to be cut down? - A. No.

Q. Was it with your consent that it was cut down? - A.Certainly not.

Court. Q. Is that sort of timber made use of for any purpose? - A. It was a horse chesnut-tree, I believe it is made use of by turners and cabinetmakers, it is worth about 25 or 30s.

RICHARD FERRIS sworn. - I belong to the Police-office, Worship-street. (produces a quantity of chesunt wood, cut into thin boards;) I found it at the house of one Webb, who has run away.

Prisoner's defence. As I was going along the road about six o'clock in the morning, I met with two men, and they asked me to stop and help them up with four pieces of wood, and I helped them up with it, that is all I know about it.

Sir William Dolben gave the prisoner an excellent character.


Fined 1s. and discharged .

Tried by the second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Baron THOMPSON.

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