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Fowl Play

MERCURY - Petty Sessions - November 3rd, 1849 - fowl-stealing

Two hobbedehoys, with very up-all-nightish countenances, named Joseph Hutt and Charles Law, were charged with stealing five fowls, the property of John Morehen, a gardener in Broad Lane. A couple of fowls were found in the possession of a dealer in such "small deer" named Robins, who said he brought them of Law for eighteenpence. Another was found in the possession of a person named Perrin, to whom Hutt admitted he had given it to keep for him. His defence was that it walked into his drawing-room, and although he "whisked" it out, it persisted so frequently in returning, (and as nobody came to own it, nothing of the sort), that at last he concluded it was an orphan and destitute, and put it out to use at Perrin's at his own proper cost and charge, from sheer compassion. The Magistrates, notwithstanding, committed both parties for trial at the Sessions. Mr. Marshall having expressed an opinion that Robins had given a very small price for the goods, and he said it was quite as much as they were worth, for they were mere stalking skeletons; and being asked whether he did not enquire how Law became possessed of them, he answered - "No occasion to make a prehombles about eighteenpen'orth o' stuff."

MERCURY - Sessions - December 22nd, 1849 - fowl-stealing

JOSEPH HUTT and CHARLES LAW were charged with stealing five fowls, the property of John Moring. Mr. Dennis was for the prosecution.

John Moring lives in Sheep Street, and has a stable in Broad Lane, where he keeps fowls. On Friday the 26th October, he missed four fowls. Hutt lives very near the stables, and witness went and asked both the prisoners whether they had seen them. They said they had not. The fowls produced are his property. At the station-house, Law asked him to make it up with him, and he told him it was too late.

Michael Perrin, lives in Todds Lane. On the 26th October, Law brought two fowls to him, and offered them to him for 1s. 6d., the same price he gave for them.

Abraham Robins lives in Jone's Court, Mount Street, and trades in fowls. On the 26th October, a man brought a couple of fowls and sold them to him for 1s. 6d. Jane Robins, daughter of the last witness, identified Law as the man who brought the fowls for sale.

Police-constable Harris apprehended Law on the 27th October. He said he knew nothing about the fowls. On the way to the station he wished to make it up. Law's defence was, he had nothing to do with them, except selling them. The Recorder, in summing up, said there was no evidence against Hutt. The jury found Law guilty.

JOSEPH HUTT was then charged with stealing a fowl, the property of John Moring. Prosecutor stated that on the 23rd October he missed a fowl. On Saturday the 27th, he found it in the possession of Cox. Michael Perrin stated that the prisoner brought the fowl produced to him, and asked him to keep it for a few days, until he brought another. He lent it to his mother-in-law, Mrs. Cox, the same day. She borrowed it for company for another fowl. Prisoner said in his defence that the fowl came into his house, and that he took it to Perrin to keep until it should be owned.

The jury found the prisoner Guilty. They were both sentenced to One month's mprisonment.

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Last update: 12th May 2002