The theft of 3.s. worth of Hay from Joseph Lescher 1842

Old Bailey Proceedings, 9th May 1842.

ESSEX CASES. Before Mr. Recorder.

GEORGE PORTER and WILLIAM GARWOOD were indicted for stealing, on the 1st of April, 65lbs. weight of hay, value 3s., the goods of Joseph Samuel Lescher. [ (1796 – 1871) of Boyles Court, Essex]

The hay Wain
The Hay Wain, John Constable 1821. Image courtesy of the National Gallery, London

GEORGE MALIN (police-constable K 96). “I know the prisoner Garwood—he is ostler at the Rising Sun, at Ilford—Porter was a master carter. On the 1st of April, between seven and eight o’clock at night, I saw the prisoners in company—I saw Porter carry a truss of hay from the premises of the Rising Sun, and place it in the hind part of his cart—he was driving the cart himself—he went to the horses’ head and did something to the bridle, watered his horses, then followed me down the road about a quarter of a mile, and there overtook me—I asked him where he bought the hay in his cart?—he said, “At a corn-chandler’s”—I asked “What corn-chandlers?—he said, “I shall not tell you”—I said, “How can you say you bought it at a corn-chandler’s when I saw you bring it from the stable of the Rising Sun”—he then said, “I know I did.”

Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON.  Q. “How is it you are out of your police dress? “ A. “I am suspended, and have been fined for neglect of duty—it does not arise from the proceeding at the Rising Sun, that I am aware of—it did come from the Rising Sun, but not in the present case—I believe it was done through ill-feeling towards me at that house—last Monday fortnight I was on duty in the same road, and a carter that goes the road interrupted me in any duty, and made use of very obscene language to me—I took him into custody for being intoxicated—it was two miles to the station—he begged hard of me to let him go, as he should have to leave his master’s team, and he would never do it again, and I let him go—he afterwards made a complaint against me at the station—there were two or three carts standing in front of the Rising Sun—I cannot say there might not have been four or five.”

GEORGE LORD. “I keep the Rising Sun at East Ham, and have a hay and straw loft in my stable—Garwood was the ostler—the key of the door hung outside the stable—I saw the truss of hay which was found in the cart on the bench, but did not examine it to see if it was like mine.”

Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON.  Q. “How long has Garwood been in your service? ” A. “About three years altogether—his conduct was perfectly satisfactory—I had much confidence in his honesty—I have left him in possession of my bar and goods—it is the practice daily for carters to leave the fodder on the road down, and fetch it on returning, that it should not be splashed and spoiled as the wagons go for soil—he has been in the service of Mr. Hind, a brewer in my neighbourhood, for three years before he came to me.”

JOSHUA GUY . “I am carman to Joseph Samuel Lescher, of East Ham. On the 1st of April I drove my master’s team to town for a load of soil—I took two trusses of clover-hay, some mixed oats, beans, and clover-chaff —I waited at the Rising Sun—my horses consumed part of the clover-hay on their way to town, and I left the rest at the Rising Sun—it was rather better than a truss—my master does not authorize me to leave it there, but I always do it—I never got it back again—it was gone when I returned—I left it in Garwood’s care, in the double-door stable—Garwood told me to put it there—when I got there on my way back, Lord told me I had better not stop there, for my hay was taken away, and the police had got my corn—I have seen the hay taken from Porter’s cart—here is part of it—I know it, and can say it is part of the hay I left in the stable—it is the same as master had at home, which it was cut from—there was a binding on the truss, but I did not tie it myself—I had seen it tied and am able to say it is a portion of what I had left at the Rising Sun—I saw the whole truss at Ilford station, and this is a sample which I took from it.”

Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON.  Q. “How long have you, been in the habit of going up and down the road? “  A.  “Four of five years—I was in the habit of leaving my hay at the stable—I alway found it safe before.”  Cross-examined by MR. ESPINASSE.  Q. “How do you know it?”  A. “There is no particular mark—it is clover-hay, trefoil, and Dutch clover mixed, and I know the growth—I know it is the hay I had in my cart.”

GEORGE MALIN  (police-constable K 96) re-examined. “This is part of the hay I took from Porter’s cart.”

JOSEPH SAMUEL LESCHER . “I have a farm—I saw the hay at the station, and hare no doubt of its being fart of what I had on my premises—it is red and white clover, and trefoil.”

(The prisoner Porter received a good character,)


PORTER— GUILTY . Aged 26.— Confined Five Months.

Reference Number: t18420509-1658

Poor old George then has a second trial.

GEORGE PORTER was again indicted for stealing, on the 1st of April, 2 sacks, value 2s., the goods of William Maxwell,

GEORGE MALIN (police-constable K 96) .  “The prisoner lives at Barkingside, in Essex—I went to his house and saw his wife—I went to the place where he keeps the provision for his horses, and found three sacks, two marked, “W. M., East Ham;” the other, “H. Squires, Leytonstone.”

WILLIAM MAXWELL . “I live at East Ham, very near the Rising Sun—I have a farm-house by the road-side, on which the prisoner’s cart travels—these two potato-sacks are mine—I had no dealings with the prisoner, for him to get possession of them.”

Cross-examined by MR. ESPINASSE. “Had you missed any sacks? “ A.  “No; I have above 200, and never count them—I am in the habit of sending things out in sacks to London, very seldom any where else, except to my farm—I never send corn out in the sacks—the prisoner was sent to London to a salesman many times, and they send them to the consumer.”

MR. ESPINASSE called—- STRINGER.  “I deal in vegetables, and am in the habit of buying and selling potatoes—I get them in sacks, and generally have other persons’ sacks coming from the market, who have our sacks, and have others sent back in return—they get changed in business—the prisoner has dealt in vegetables since Michaelmas—he was my servant six years—sometimes, I send a ton of potatoes to market, and have several back not our own—I know the prisoner cannot read.”


Reference Number: t18420509-1659

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