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Hay and district
Crime and punishment
  Missing from the stable at the Swan...  
Witness heading

George Price was employed by the Innkeeper at the Swan Hotel as a servant, and he gave evidence to the court about the loss of the axe and the billhook, or hacker.
Referring to these items, he said "I know them from having previously used them. I last used them on Saturday the 20th instant and put them in the Stable at the Swan Hotel after I had finished using them. This was between 1 and 2 o'clock in the afternoon. I saw them again at 9 o'clock at night. They were then in the Stable where I had left them".
His statement went on to refer to William Magness, who was to be charged with stealing the missing property...

Drawing of tools
Part of

Quarter Sessions paper
The Swan Hotel in Hay is shown in the photograph.
The cars weren't there in 1878, though !

"The Prisoner William Magness was employed on that day sweeping the yard at the Hotel. I missed the Axe and Hacker on Monday. They were not then in the Stable where I had left them. I searched for same but did not find them. I told my master that they had been lost on the following day".
................................................................. .George Price

It seems likely that William Magness was just being employed as a casual worker by the Swan Hotel, so he was probably an early suspect after the tools disappeared.
Another witness was a local baker from Broad Street in Hay. What would a baker want with an axe ? Was his bread stale ? Find out more on the next page...

The baker from Broad Street...


Swan Hotel in 1999
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