Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Crime and punishment
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A theft at Llanidloes Market  

Mary Davies was shopping in the market when she saw the boots stolen from the shoemaker. In her statement to the police she said,
"I saw the prisoner walk away from the standing with the boots under her cloak"

the mark of Mary DaviesShe told the shoemaker who chased after the thief down the street. When he caught her he searched her, but could not find the boots.
She denied that she had stolen anything, but another woman at the fair saw the boots in the road nearby where she had dropped them.
In her statement Mary Davies identified the woman in the grey cloak as the thief. She could not sign her statement as she could not write, but instead made her mark, as you can see above.
The thief turned out to be Jane Lewis, wife of John Lewis of Pantydwr just over the border in Radnorshire. She had probably walked over the hills to market that morning.
The Justices of the Peace in the court took a serious view of such a crime and the extract below records the verdict in the case of Jane Lewis.

  the verdict

The official verdict of the case reads:
"Ordered that the prisoner be confined in the Common Gaol for the county and there kept to hard labour for one Calendar Month".

Hard labour in a Victorian gaol was very hard indeed !

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