Home Site Map Back

Source: Bell's Weekly Messenger, No.1828, Sunday, April 10, 1831

Old Bailey Sessions.

These Sessions commenced on Thursday, before the Rt. Hon. the Lord Mayor, Recorder, Sheriffs, and other authorities of the City, who ordinarily attend upon such occasions. Lord Chief Justice Tenterden and Mr. Baron Garrow are the presiding Judges.

George Widgatt, butcher, was indicted for stealing 51 sheep, the property of William Stowe, from a field in the parish of Lewisham, in the occupation of Mr. Tyler. The prisoner, who was a man of respectable appearance, had for some time kept a butcher's shop in Long alley, Sun? street.

From the evidence of Mr. Tyler, and one or two of his servants, it appeared that the sheep were left safe on Thursday evening, March the 3d, and that the next morning, at an early hour, they were all missing. From the appearance of the foot marks, it was evident that they had been forced? out of the field. Some days after Mr. Tyler and Mr. Howe, sen. proceeded to the yard of Mr. Aquiler, fellmonger, at Deptford, where they found 20 skins, which they swore, they believed, to have belonged to these sheep, and in consequence of information they obtained they proceeded to the prisoner's house, where they found 18 other skins. The 20 had been sent by the prisoner to a salesman in Leadenhall market, and by him sold to Mr. Agatter.? In consequence of this the prisoner was taken into custody, when he said that he purchased 38 sheep of a man, whose name he did not know, for 80l. in Old street road.

Charles Barrett, a private watchman stationed in Long alley, stated that on the morning in question, he was on duty near Finsbury market, when he met a flock of sheep. Two men were driving of them, one of whom he thought was the prisoner, but he would not swear to him; the sheep were very dirty; they were driven to the prisoner's house.

Richard Gondham, a drover, lodged in the prisoner's house, and remembered a flock of between 30 and 40 sheep arriving early one morning. The prisoner and three other men were employed nearly two days in killing them. They were small sheep, and marked with the letter S.

John Abbott, a watchman at Lewisham, stated, that about one o'clock in the morning of the 4th of March, he saw two men driving a flock of sheep towards London at a very fast rate. He had not the least doubt that the prisoner was one of them.

The prisoner, in his defence, repeated that he bought them of a man he did not know, in Old street road.

Lord Tenterden summed up, and the Jury found the prisoner Guilty—Death.