Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 28 January 2022), June 1851, trial of RICHARD STOKES RICHARD TAYLOR JOHN REYNOLDS (t18510616-1248).

RICHARD STOKES, RICHARD TAYLOR, JOHN REYNOLDS, Theft > simple larceny, 16th June 1851.

1248. RICHARD STOKES, RICHARD TAYLOR , and JOHN REYNOLDS , stealing 100 lbs. weight of hay, value 30s.; the goods of Thomas Giddens.

MR. BRIERLEY conducted the Prosecution.

GEORGE PEOPELL (police-sergeant, S 28). On 14th May, in consequence of information, I went to a loft belonging to Mr. Giddens, in the parish of South Mimms, and under a quantity of loose straw I found a bundle of rowen hay—I put some pieces of paper in it—I went back again the same evening expecting it would be removed, but it was not—I went again the following morning, and again on Friday evening, the 16th, about 10 o'clock, it was still there, and the paper that I had placed in it—I then went and examined a load of hay which stood in a cart in the yard, and under the cloth of it I found a bundle of rowen hay which I marked by tying two pieces of string round each band—I then put the cloth down as I found it, and went away for about an hour—I put on private clothes, returned to the premises and watched—about 1 in the morning, Taylor and Stokes came to the stable—I was concealed in a wheeler's workshop, about a dozen yards from the stable—it was a dull cloudy morning, but I saw Taylor and Stokes pass me, they were not three yards from me—I have known them three years—I have not the least doubt it was them—they went into the stable, and fed the horses—Taylor then went from the stable to the loft over the stable—Stokes called out, "Do you want me up there?"—I did not hear Taylor's reply, but Stokes went up; and in about a minute the hay was thrown through a hole in the loft floor into the stable

—they then came down, and remained quiet in the stable for an hour or an hour and a half—Stokes then came out, and went up a ladder into the same loft, and threw down a sack containing chaff—he then returned into the stable, and remained there till about 4 in the morning, when they brought out the shaft horse, and put it into the cart—Stokes then returned into the stable, and during that time Taylor unfastened the cloth which covered the hay—he got on the hay, and Stokes brought out the bundle of hay which I had previously marked; the same which fell from the loft—he took it to Taylor who was on the cart, who placed it on the hay—Stokes returned to the stable for the other horse, and during that time Taylor got off the hay and pulled the cloth down—the other horse was then hooked-to, and they both left the premises with the cart—I remained on the premises for a few minutes, as from where I stood I could not see whether both the men had left—I then went out—I could not see them nor the cart—I followed the cart, and after walking half a mile I got in sight of it—I only saw Stokes then, he was driving—I followed with an officer to the Swan with two Necks at Finchley—I had lost sight of Taylor from the time they turned out of the yard—when Stokes arrived within about four yards of the stable-door he struck the cloth that was over the hay several times with his whip, and in about a minute or so he walked round and undid the cloth, and Taylor who was under the cloth rose up and stood on the load of hay and looked round—I was within about forty yards of the house—Taylor then put the small bundle of hay which had been under the straw on Stokes's back, and Stokes carried it into the stable—Reynolds was in the doorway of the stable—he stepped back, to allow Stokes to past with the hay—Stokes put that hay down in the stable, and returned to the cart—Taylor put the other bundle of hay on his back, the one that I had marked with the strings—Stokes carried that into the stable—he then returned to the cart, and fed the horses with some chaff during that time Taylor got off the load of hay and fastened down the cloth—I passed by the stable where the hay was, and Reynolds, the ostler, had removed near to the first bundle of hay—I then returned, and met the constable whom I had placed to watch—I went to the stable, and found the door fastened—I looked through the hole, and saw a nail placed over the latch which fastened it down—I saw Reynolds standing by the large bundle of hay in the stable—I went into the tap-room, and saw Stokes and Taylor sitting down getting tome refreshment—I passed out of the passage to a back-door, and as I opened the door I saw Reynolds with the large bundle of hay, in the act of placing it on two trusses of hay near the door, at the foot of a ladder leading to a loft—I told him I wanted him, for receiving hay knowing it to be stolen—I took him in the tap-room, and delivered him and the other two prisoners to the officer—I returned to the yard, and took the bundle of hay that I had seen with Reynolds; I gave that to the officer—I then went in the stable, and found the small bundle of hay; it weighed 33 lbs., and the larger one about 67 lbs.; I found on them the marks that I know them by—I told Taylor and Stokes that I took them for stealing hay.

Cross-examined by MR. PAYNE. Q. Was there anybody else there? A. Yes, a person named Pratt; be was on the load of hay when the others were taken—he was taken, and discharged—rowen hay is an inferior kind of crop—the worth of all this hay is about 3s.—when I took Taylor, he said it was the first time he had taken any; and he afterwards said he left it there for his horses—it was not at the same time that he said it was only a little bit that he left till he came back.

Cross-examined by MR. PARRY. Q. Is not this the first time you have

said anything about Taylor saying this was only a little bit that he had left? A. No, I believe it is in my deposition; I will not swear positively that it is—I have not had any conversation with Harrod about Taylor saying this—they stayed at the Swan with two Necks about an hour—a great many wagons pass there, and a great many stop there—it is a regular house of call for persons who bring up wagons to London—the large bundle had strings round the bands, and it had a piece of paper in it; I have not brought the paper—I did not look for it; here are the pieces of string—I produced the bundle of hay before the Magistrate, and the strings—it would have taken some time to find the small piece of paper; I had written two letters on it—I asked if I should look for it, and the Magistrate said no.

THOMAS GIDDENS . I am a farmer, and live at South Mimms. Taylor was my carter; Stokes was not in my employ—the value of this hay is about 3s.—Taylor was allowed to take about a truss of hay when he was going to London; he had no right to leave any at the Swan with two Necks, or at any other house in the road—I have hay like this—I put a mark on the paper which the officer marked.

Cross-examined by MR. PAYNE. Q. Is Taylor married? A. No; he receives 10s. a week.

Cross-examined by MR. PARRY. Q. Does he work all the week for that? A. He is employed three days a week to come to London, and he has 1s. a journey for that—I allow him one truss of first-crop hay, which is worth about 2s.—this rowen hay of mine is very good; my horses will eat that before they will eat other hay; we generally feed them with rowen hay in the rack.

JAMES HARROD (policeman, S 179). On Saturday morning, 17th May, I was in South Mimms New Road—I saw Stokes driving two horses with a load of hay, in Mr. Giddins' cart—I followed the cart which Stokes drove to the Swan with two Necks, close to the stable-door—he then whipped the cloth, untied it, and Taylor woke up, and put down the small bundle of hay on Stokes' shoulder, he carried it into the stable, and returned; and then Taylor put another bundle on his shoulder, and he carried that in—I saw Reynolds in the stable at the time the hay was carried in—I went to the stable, but the door was shut and fastened—I returned to the house, and took Turner and Stokes into custody—there was another person named Pratt; the first I saw of him was under the cloth—sergeant Peopell went up, and brought him down; he was not assisting the others; he did not interfere with the hay at all.

Cross-examined by MR. PAYNE. Q. Did not Taylor say it was the first time he had ever taken any, and it was only a little he had left for his horses? A. Yes, he said all this, one word after another.