Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 14 July 2020), July 1746, trial of John Crips (t17460702-25).

John Crips, Theft > animal theft, 2nd July 1746.

271. John Crips was indicted for stealing 20 Lambs , the Property of Mary Dell , Widow , William Dell and John Dell , from their Grounds at Welpley-Hill, in the County of Bucks , the 12th of June .

Q. (to William Dell .) What is it you know of this Matter?

Dell. I lost 20 Lambs, Sir, the 12th Day of June last.

Q. Where were they?

Dell. They were at Welpley-Hill , in the Parish of Chesham, in Bucks .

Q. What, you live there, do you?

Dell. Yes, Sir.

Q. Whose Lambs were they?

Dell. Mine and my Brothers.

Q. Which of those Lambs belong to you; how many belong'd to you?

Dell. About five of them belong'd to me, more or less.

Court. All 20 belong'd to your Brother and you; pray which of them were the Widow's?

Dell. She is my Mother, and we go on together.

Court. Now give an Account in relation to these Lambs.

Dell. We lost them out of the Grounds the 12th of June last; I came up to Smithfield at Ten the next Morning, thinking they might be brought there; but I found them on the Road in Henden Parish, about the Five-Mile Stone.

Q. Was the Prisoner with them?

Dell. No, Sir.

Q. How do you know the Prisoner was concern'd in taking them?

Dell. I don't know any otherwise than I have been told.

Q. (to John Bowden .) What is it you say to this Affair?

Bowden. My Lord, as my Man was on the Road with a Drove of my Lambs, I overtook him and the Prisoner at the Bar.

Q. Had the Prisoner any Lambs?

Bowden . No, my Lord, none that I saw; he had a Scythe upon his Shoulder and a Bundle in his Hand.

Q. Where was it that you overtook this Man and the Prisoner?

Bowden. Just beyond the Seventeen-Mile Stone at Watford .

Q. What Day was this ?

Bowden. On a Wednesday, the 11th of June .

Q. What more ha ve you to say ?

Bowden. When I came up, my Man said, now you may talk with my Master about your Lambs yourself; so Crips, pull'd off his Hat to me, and said, How do you do Master Bowden? I said , I do not know you; said he, I understand you sell Lambs at London; I wish I had known it, I would have brought a Lot of Lambs for you to have sold for me. He told me he liv'd at Aston-Cliston ; I said that was a pretty Way; but he said my Lambs are not kept at Aston-Clifton, they are at Chosberg ; that Keeping was short and the Butcher could take but few at a Time, and he wanted to sell them all together. He said, I have a good Mind to leave my Scythe and Bundle at your House; I am a pretty good Walker, and if I can get away at Two or Three o'Clock I can bring them; and away he went, so I never saw any more of him. I went to Hempstead Market on Thursday. I ask'd my Wife whether she had seen the Man with the Lambs; I said, I wish it is not a bad Thing. On Friday Morning I was at Smithfield; about Ten o'Clock Mr. Dell came to me; he said to me, don't your Man Peter drive for you now? I said yes; he ask'd if any Body else drove Lambs for me; I said, there is a Man come through Edgworth Turnpike, and had no Money; but said he was bringing twenty Lambs to sell at Smithfield Market for me. I said to Mr. Dell, be so good as to go into the Alehouse and I'll take Care of him; but he never brought the Lambs at all: I said, we will go back to see if we can't find these Lambs. We came to - Bridge; the Man said he saw a Fellow pelting them along with Stones, about Six o'Clock, very dirty and much tir'd. I told Mr. Dell we would ride up towards Hendon, where we heard nothing of them; but found them at last in the Road in Hendon Parish: When me met with them no Body was with them; but discovering they were his Lambs we drove them home.

Q. (to Richard Sparks .) What is it that you know of this Affair?

Sparks. I was Collector at Edgworth Turnpike Gate; the 13th Day of the Month a Man came with a Score of Lambs to the Gate, and I demanded the Toll; but he said he had no Money; I told him that was no Excuse, and ask'd him who the Lambs belong'd to; he said Mr. Bowden, and he would pay me; I said it was very well.

Q. What were the Marks of those Lambs?

Sparks. They were so dirty I could not see: I charg'd Mr. Bowden a Groat for them .

Q. Are you sure the Prisoner drove them?

Sparks. Yes, I can swear the Prisoner drove them through the Gate .

Q. Did you see the Lambs at Mr. Dell's?

Sparks. I saw them the next Day, and believe they were the very same; they were the same that Mr. Dell drove through the next Day .

Q. (to William Durrant .) What do you know of this Affair?

Durrant. Please you, my Lord, I was the Man that took him.

Q. When did you take him ?

Durrant. Last Monday se'nnight , the 23d of June.

Q. Where did you take him?

Durrant. At Stanmore, Sir.

Q. (to the Prisoner.) What have you to say for yourself?

Prisoner. Please you, my Lord, I overtook Dell and Bowden upon the Road; they desir'd me to drive the Lambs along and never overtook me.

Q. Have you any Witnesses to call;

Prisoner. No, my Lord.

Guilty Death .