THOMAS BOLTON, WILLIAM BEST.
28th June 1820
Reference Numbert18200628-86
VerdictGuilty; Not Guilty
SentenceImprisonment

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807. THOMAS BOLTON and WILLIAM BEST were indicted for stealing, on the 29th of May , 32 bushels of wheat, value 16 l. , the goods of William Rayner .

MR. WALFORD conducted the prosecution.

WILLIAM RAYNER . I am a farmer , and live at East Bedfont . On the night of the 29th of May my barn was broken open, and about eight sacks of wheat stolen, which were loose on the floor. I saw it the morning before, and guessed the quantity to be about six quarters. Some wheat was dropped from where they had carried it on their backs to about two hundred yards off, where I suppose they loaded it. There is a mark as if the whole quantity had been pitched there. I traced the tracks of a horse and cart from there back again into the road. Best lived with me two years ago - Bolton keeps a horse and cart.

Cross-examined by MR. ANDREWS. Q. Does Best lodge

with Bolton - A. Yes. Marks of the cart were traced from my place to Bolton's. The wheat was only partly dressed, and not fit for market - I produce a sample of it. I have been a farmer twenty-five years, and can guess pretty well the quantity of wheat in bulk.

JAMES ANTHONY RAYNER . I was with my father. I traced the cart from where the wheat had been shot to Bolton's yard-gate, which is about a mile and a half. The two hind shoes of the horse were turned up behind. I left Lowin to watch, and went with my father to get a warrant.

Cross-examined. Q. Is it uncommon for a horse's shoe to be turned up behind - A. No. I saw his horse's legs were all over dirt. I returned with a warrant and saw Bolton, but he made his way off before we could get to him. I found the shoes of his horse were turned up behind.

WILLIAM LOWIN . I am servant to Mr. Rayner. I traced the horse and cart up to Bolton's premises. There were a few rough nails in the horse's front shoe; it was about twenty minutes before six o'clock in the morning. My master left me while he got a warrant. While I was there I saw Best go into the barn three or four times - I saw Bolton come out of the barn in about an hour. I found his horse's shoes were turned up, exactly the same as the print, and the fore shoe had three rough nails.

Cross-examined. Q. How soon was he taken - A. Next morning. The road was very wet. His house is in a private lane.

WILLIAM RAYNER re-examined. I went with the constable to Bolton's house, between seven and eight o'clock in the morning; we saw him walk off from the house before we had got the warrant. I found eight sacks of wheat on his premises - it had been cleaned more than when it left my barn at the top of the sacks, but the middle was just the same. I am sure it is my wheat. I have a sample of both quantities.

Cross-examined. Q. When did you find Bolton - A. On Monday morning. Two persons could dress the little wheat that was done before I found it. I know it by some particular seeds, and there is a bur in it. Bolton grows wheat himself, but there is no bur in his.

JOHN CATTERY . I tried to find Bolton but could not. Best said he had assisted to clean the wheat, but knew nothing of it.

HENRY HOWLAN . I apprehended Bolton about a mile and a half from his house - he said he grew the wheat; Best said he was Bolton's servant.

BOLTON'S Defence. I grew the wheat.

BEST'S Defence. The corn was there when I went to live with him.

- LANGLEY. I am a labourer, and have worked for Bolton. I left him just after Michaelmas. He had ten or twelve sacks of wheat then - I produce a sample of it, which his son brought to me last Wednesday - there is no bur in it.

Q. Is the sample produced like what you threshed for him - A. No.

BOLTON - GUILTY . Aged 54.

Confined One Year .

BEST - NOT GUILTY .

Second Middlesex Jury, before J. Vaillant, Esq.


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