Victorian Powys for primary  schools
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Hay and district
Crime and punishment
 
  The theft of an axe and a bill hook
Glossary
 

This example of a Victorian court case from Hay is about the theft of two very ordinary hand tools - an axe and a bill hook - in April 1878.
The tools had disappeared from the Swan Hotel in Church Street, Hay, and a small part of one of the Quarter Sessions documents is shown here...

Feloniously - against the law.
 
 
  Part of court paper
Drawing by
Rob Davies
"...one Iron axe and one Bill hook the goods and chattels [this means the property belonging to] of one John Howells, feloniously did steal take and carry away..."
The person accused of "carrying away" the tools was William Magness, and another of the court papers showed that he had been found guilty of an earlier theft in 1865.
The innkeeper at the Swan Hotel was John Howells, and this was part of his statement to the court...
Axe and billhook
Part of
court
statement

1878
Part of court paper
 

"I am an Innkeeper and Farmer and live in Hay. On Tuesday last the 23rd April I was told by my servant George Price that he had missed an axe and hacker [bill hook] from the Stable"...
The servant searched the hotel and couldn't find the missing tools, but the innkeeper had an idea who might have taken them, as you can see on the next page...

The servant at the Swan Hotel...


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