HENRY ARCHER, THOMAS KING.
17th October 1892
Reference Numbert18921017-963
VerdictGuilty > unknown
SentenceImprisonment > hard labour

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963. HENRY ARCHER (35) and THOMAS KING (40) , Being found with another person unknown armed with bludgeons, stones, and other offensive weapons, and did, with another person unknown, enter upon land called Coombe Wood, in the occupation of His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, for the purpose of ensnaring game. Second County Assaulting George Turner. Third County Assaulting Michael Honour.

MR. HORACE AVORY Prosecuted, and MR. ROBERTSON Defended.

GEORGE TURNER . I am assistant gamekeeper to H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge—Coombe Wood is his private property—on Sunday, 7th August, about 1.30 a.m., I was watching the preserves with two other keepers—I saw the prisoners and a third man whom I have not seen since—they were on one of the shooting rides—I came out of my hiding place and confronted King—I said, "Holloa, what have you to do here?"—he struck me in the mouth with his fist and then across my arm with this oak bludgeon—I seized him—we fell on the ground together, and on the ground I was kicked and knocked about by all three men—King called out to the man not in custody, "Break his bleeding arm" several times—I either received a kick or a stone struck me in the hip; I believe it was a stone; all of them were throwing stones as fast as they could—I blew a whistle—that brought the head keeper and two police, and the prisoners were taken—the third man, directly he saw the police, ran away—they all had bludgeons similar to this—on the way to the station at Maldon King said, "if. the police had not come we should "have settled them"—at the station the netting and sticks produced were taken from the prisoners' coat under-pockets—the nets are about 200 yards long—they are used for snaring game and rabbits—this stick was found in the ditch—the small sticks produced found in their pockets are used for fixing the nets.

Cross-examined. The shooting ride is a path about sixteen feet, wide, leading to and from gentlemen's houses, and is private—it was moonlight—I saw the prisoners' faces clearly sideways—King said, "Break the bleeder's arm," or "Break his bleeding arm"—I said at the Police-court, "I heard one of the men call out, Kill this bleeder,' the man that escaped called out, 'Shoot them, shoot them, break their arms'"—my arm, ribs, and hips were bruised, the result of the kicks and the stones which were thrown while I was struggling with King—I was not attended by a doctor.

Re-examined. There is no right of way along the shooting drive—it is only used for shooting.

MICHAEL HONOUR . I am a watchman in the service of H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge—I was with Turner in Coombe Wood on 7th August, about 1.30 a.m.—I saw the prisoners coming along the shooting drive with another man—I heard Turner say, "Holloa, what are you doing here?"—I seized Archer, who struck me in the face and blacked my eye and caused my nose to bleed—we fell and struggled on the ground Archer jumped on me with his knees—one of them during the struggle said, "Shoot the b——s"—the third man, when Archer called out, beat me about the head with a stick—I could not seethe stick at the time, but I felt it was a heavy one—I was struck on the head six or seven times—Archer called to the man not in custody while I was holding

Archer, "Break his arm"—the third man kept on striking me on the left arm, bruising it very badly—we rolled in the ditch, and Archer got my finger in his mouth and severely bit it—I have the scar now at the top joint of the second finger—I was nearly insensible when two police and the head keeper arrived, and could hardly stand—I was struck in my back with a stick or a stone just before I went in the ditch—when the third man saw assistance come, I saw him run away—I went to a doctor and had my finger dressed—I was bruised about the head and. arms, and was deaf for nearly three weeks, and have not yet quite recovered my hearing.

Cross-examined. Three were on the watch—I am positive it was Archer who called out, "Break their arms"—I spoke first—I said, "What are you doing here?" or words to that effect—I believe Turner used similar words—I seized Archer by his neck handkerchief—I held him as tight as I could—one called out, "Shoot them!" I could not say which—I saw no firearms—t heard none.

Re-examined. When asked what they were doing neither of them replied before the struggle commenced.

FREDERICK WITNEY . I was with the two last witnesses when the prisoners came along the drive—Turner went out and said, "Holloa," and King struck him—King struck me on the side of the head with this stick—the other two men had sticks—when Turner closed with King I ran after the third man into the wood, when the whistle was blown—I did not catch him.

GEORGE WELLS . I am head keeper to H.R.H. the Puke of Cambridge at Coombe Wood—I have known the Duke to possess that property for the seventeen years I have been head keeper there, and as under keeper for three years before that—finding poaching had been going on I put on extra men to watch on the night of the 7th August—I was watching about 300 yards off—about 1.30 a.m. I heard Turner's whistle and dogs barking—I saw two lurchers fly at the keepers' legs in the struggle—when I got there first I saw King struggling with Turner on the ground, and Archer and Honour in the ditch—I saw Archer kick at Honour and get his finger in his mouth—when Honour pushed his head on one side, a stone whizzed past my head—Archer called out, "Shoot them, Jack; bring the gun and shoot them"—Honour said, "A good job you have come, I was close upon done, I am nearly pumped out, they have almost broke my arm, and they must have, split my head open"—he was bleeding from the mouth, nose, and ear—I got him out of the ditch—he pressed his ear, and congealed blood oozed from it—the two constables, Turner, Honour, and Witney went to the station with the prisoners, and I took men and searched the wood to find the other man—I did not catch sight of him—the same morning we found this bludgeon where Archer had been lying when struggling with Honour—on some "stubbs" of wood, which were very sharp, there was blood and hair in two places—I did not notice any blood on the stick.

Cross-examined. I did not see or hear any gun—I saw the policemen take the nets and the small sticks out of the prisoners' pockets immediately after the struggle—one net was laid on the ground—I also saw these wire snares found on Archer.

THOMAS GRIGG (70 V). I was on duty on 7th September in Coombe Wood, when I heard dogs barking, some shouting, and then a whistle,

in consequence of which I went with another constable into the wood—I found Archer and Honour struggling in the ditch—I passed Turner struggling with King—I secured Archer; he had Honour's fingers in his mouth—I got Archer out of the ditch; he struggled violently for some time; when he got quiet I searched him—I found on him this net. on the inside of his coat, and these small sticks in his left-hand coat pocket—these snares were in his outside pocket, also these five large stones—on the way to the station Archer said, "I should have polished the lot off if you had not come up"—there were two lurcher dogs.

Cross-examined. After the struggle the prisoners were in a bad condition—Archer's head was not stitched; he said he would rather anything than that—his head was dressed.

AMBROSE DODSON (383 V). I was with the last witness, and saw Archer straggling with Honour, and King struggling with Turner—I seized King—he had this stick in his hand—I took it away from him—I pulled him off Turner—I searched him—I found this net, also this stone in his pocket, and five of the small sticks—as soon as he saw my light, he said, All right, I'll give in," and "If it had not been for you we should have settled them."

GUILTY **— Eighteen Months' Hard Labour each.


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