Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Crime and punishment
  Not guilty of stealing chickens

It sometimes seems from the old Powys records of Victorian crimes that the authorities always acted very harshly against people who were accused of stealing and other crimes.
But there are also many examples of people who went up before the jury during the Quarter Sessions at Presteigne and were found not guilty.

Bill of Indictment - a
paper setting out a charge against someone.
Order Book


This entry from the Order Book for October 1877 shows that a woman was accused of stealing chickens, and it reads -

"A Bill of Indictment was prepared and found against Sarah Morris for stealing on the 29th day of May 1877 seven domestic fowls and five domestic chickens the property of Thomas Baskerville Mynors. The said Sarah Morris was put upon her trial and was found Not Guilty."

Hens in a basket

Thomas Baskerville Mynors was the 'Squire' of Clyro Court, a Justice of the Peace, and the MP for Hereford, so he was a very prominent person in the district.
In times when it was possible to be jailed for a long period with hard labour for stealing property worth very little, it must have been a huge relief to be allowed to go home again after the court case !

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