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Source: Bell's Weekly Messenger, No.1839, Sunday, July 3, 1831.


The June session for London and Middlesex commenced on Thursday morning before Mr. Justice James Parke, Mr. Justice Gaselee, the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, &c.

T. Baggott, a labourer, was indicted for having stolen a bed, and a variety of other household articles, the property of Daniel Bell, a carpenter, residing at Pinnock, and poor Mr. Bell's wife into the bargain. The prosecutor was a complete specimen of rude and uncouth manners, and was examined by Mr. Serjeant Arabin: Witness, did you quarrel with your wife? Can't tell you. (Laughter.)—Can't you recollect? Can't say I do.—Did your wife and you part? Yes.—Did you tell her she might go where she liked? Yes. (Langhter.)—Did you tell her she might take any property with her? Yes; I told her she might take three or four plates, and knives and forks. (Laughter.) —Do you know the prisoner? Yes.—Was he intimate at your house? Yes, too intimate. (Great laughter.) The witness after this, to numerous questions put to him, replied in "ayes" and "noes," which caused much laughter.—Mr. Sergeant Arabin then inquired of the witness, did his wife go to bed to him the night before they parted? No, don't think she went to bed at all.— Did you go to-bed yourself? To be sure I did.—When you got up in the morning, did you miss anything else besides your wife? Several things. Ultimately the witness found his wife at Drayton, in company with the prisoner, together with all his property.

Cross-examined by Mr. C. Phillips.—Now, Mr. Bell, don't you think this looks very like what we call "crim. con.?" (Laughter.) I don't know.—Didn't your wife leave you three times before? Yes.—And you took her back again? Yes.—And she took her furniture with her? Yes.—And you got them back? Yes.—And have you not got them now? Yes.—And your wife into the bargain? Won't say bargain.—Will you take her back now? Don't know that I will or not.—Now take care; she's not far off. Mrs. Bell was then summoned to come forth, and hopped into the box close up to the ribs of "her lord;" the contrast between whose rueful countenance, and sidelong look at her, and the shouts of laughter that burst forth in all parts of the court was truly risible.—Now are you satisfied? Yes.—Will you have her? (Mr. and Mrs. Bell exchanged glances.) The Court rung with laughter, and the case terminated in the acquittal of Baggott.