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Sunday, December 09, 2012

SMUGGLING –Old Bailey Trial 1748

308 (M) Robert Davis was indicted for not surrendering himself according to the king's order in council . *

Charles Chaworth. "I am clerk to Mr. Symonds, sollicitor for the customs ; I was at Mr. John Oxenford's, on the 22d of June, 1748, (he is justice of peace for the liberty of the Tower) there was Samuel Collington there, whom I saw give information before the justice, and saw the justice sign and seal it."

Q. "Look at this information, do you know it?"

Chaworth. "I do, here is my hand-writing, (that is my name as a witness ) I saw Samuel Collington write this his name, and the name Oxenford I believe the justice wrote.
 It is read, the purport as follows:
 That it is the information of Samuel Collington , against divers persons, among whom is Robert Davis of Oxenford Green, carpenter, taken upon oath the 22d of June, 1748.

That Samuel Fox , Jacob Carter , Benjamin Watts otherwise Rott, Robert Davis , and others to the number of forty persons and upwards on the 8th of October, 1746, being armed with fire arms, and other offensive weapons, were assembled at Benacre, in the county of Suff, in order to be aiding and assisting in landing and running uncustomed goods, and goods liable to pay duty, which had not been paid or secured, that they did run out of a cutter wine brandy and tea, which they loaded upon their horses and in waggons, and lodged them at the house of William Denne Fox"

Chaworth. "I took this information from the justice, and delivered it the same day to Mr Richardson, office-keeper in one of the duke of Bedford's offices, who was then one of his majesty's principal secretaries of state. Mr. Oxenford subscribed this certificate also.
It is read to this purport:
 Pursuant to an Act of Parliament, intitled, An Act for the farther punishment of persons concerned in the landing and carrying away uncustom'd goods, &c. I do hereby commend this Information under my hand and seal, and return it to his grace the duke of Bedford, one of his majesty's principal secretaries of state, which was taken upon Oath before me, June 22,

John Oxenford ."

Mr. Sharp. "I am clerk to his majesty's privy-council

(He is shewn an information and certificate.)

This information and certificate was laid before the then lords justices, (the King being then absent) in the King's privy council by the Duke of Bedford, who was at that time one of his majesty's principal secretaries of state: And at that time I received the lords justices order to give orders requiring all the persons named in this information to surrender themselves in forty days after the publication thereof, which order I sent, I believe, the very same day to the printer of the King's gazette, to have it published in the two next succeeding gazettes. Pursuant also to the direction I sent an order to Mr. Lamb Bury, the then high
See original sheriff of the county of Suffolk, that he might cause the order to be proclaim'd, in the manner the law required.
The Order of Council read to this purport:

At the Council Chamber, Whitehall, June 23, 1748, Present their Excellencies the Lords Justices, &c.

'' Whereas Samuel Fox , Jacob Carter , Benj. '' Watts otherwise Ratton, Richard Richards , and '' Robert Davis, of Coleford Green, were on the '' 22d of this instant June, charg'd by information '' of a credible person upon oath before John '' Oxenford, Esq ; with having been guilty on the '' 8th of October, 1746, of being assembled together '' with divers other persons, being armed '' with fire-arms and other offensive weapons, at '' Benacre, in the county of Suffolk, in order to be '' aiding and assisting in the landing and running '' uncustom'd goods, &c. which was afterwards '' certified before us in his majesty's absence, by '' John Oxenford , Esq; and laid before their excellencies '' the lords justices. Pursuant to the Act '' of Parliament the lords justices do, by the advice '' of his majesty's privy council, require and '' command that each of them do surrender within '' the space of forty days, after the date hereof, '' to the lord chief justice of his majesty's '' court of King's Bench, or any other of his majesty's '' justices of the peace, &c.''

Mr. Owen. "I am printer of the gazette.

He produced the Order be received from Mr. Sharp.

This I printed in the two next gazette's, which was from Tuesday the 21st, to Saturday 25, and from Saturday the 25th to Tuesday the 28th."

The printed order read in court, and compared with the written one.

Richard Crowfoot . "I was under sheriff for the county of Suffolk,

He is shewn a letter.

I believe this letter is the hand-writing of Mr. Bury, the then high sheriff for the county of Suffolk

Sharp. This letter I received by the post, the 28th of June, from Mr. Lamb Bury, high sheriff, giving me an account that he did lawfully observe the order he received it in me.

John Mr . Crowfoot being absent at the time in the year 1748, June 29. I voluntarily his place as under sheriff; on the day mentioned received a letter from Mr. Bury, with the order of council; he desired I would order copies of it to be made, which I did two by Robert Swetman , and examin'd them either the evening of that day, or the next morning."

Robert Swetman . "I receiv'd this order, which I proclaim'd, (they are all originals under seal from the council) from Mr. Ingham, and made two copies of it, which I examin'd on Thursday the 30th of June, 1748, and went to Southwold in Suffolk that day, it being market-day, and read over the order very loud, between the hours of twelve and one at the market-cross, after which I fixed up a true copy of it on the market-place, the most notorious place in the town; and on Saturday the 2d of July following, I went to Beccles, another market-town in the county of Suffolk, being the market-day there, I read over the same order again, betwixt the hours of twelve and one, at the market-cross, and fix'd up a true copy there."

Q." Are these the two nearest market towns to Benacre, in that county?"

Swetman. "They are reputed so to be, and I believe they are the nearest."

Q. "How far is Beccles from Benacre ?"

Swetman. "I believe it is about four or five miles."
Samuel Collington . !I am the person that made the information before justice Oxenford, the prisoner is the person meant in that information, his name is Robert Davis , and he did live at Coleford Green."

Q. "What is his trade?"

Collington. "I have heard say that he is a carpenter ?"

Q. "Did you ever hear any other name he went by besides Robert Davis ?"

Collington. "No, I never did."

See original Prisoner's Defence.
 "My name is not Davis"

For the prisoner.

Jacob Bonice . "I live at Aldbrough, in Suffolk, three miles from Coleford Green. I have known the prisoner between twelve and fifteen years, his name is Robert Davie , and I never heard him called by any other name; he is a farmer, I never heard him call'd by that of a carpenter, nor don't know that he was ever employ'd as a carpenter : he has a son about eighteen years of age a carpenter. The prisoner liv'd in a place of his own."

Q. "How many acres of land ?"

Bonice. "I can't justly say."

Q. "Is there five acres of it?"

Bonice. "There are and above."

Q. "Is there ten acres?"

Bonice. "I don't know."

Q. "Did he keep any horses?"

Bonice. "I fancy he kept two."

Q. "How do you spell his name?"

Bonice. "I have not learning enough for that, I can't spell."

Q. to Collington. "Do you know any thing of the prisoner's son a carpenter?"

Collington. "I know nothing of a son, I made information against the prisoner."

William Gray . "I have known the prisoner ten years, his name is Robert Davie , and I never heard him called by the name of Davis in my life."

Q. "Where did the prisoner live in the year 1748?"

Gray. "He liv'd at a place call'd Elbury, joining close to Coleford Green."

Matthew Thorp . "I have known the prisoner at the bar about ten or twelve years, his name is Robert Davie" .

- Osbourne. "I have known the prisoner about fourteen or fifteen years, his name is Robert Davie , and I never heard him called by any other name."

Q. "Upon your oath, if any in the neighbourhood had asked for Robert Davis , should you not have taken the prisoner to be the person intended?"

Osbourne. "No, I should have said I knew no such man."

John Lilley. "I have known the prisoner about twenty-eight years, and his name is Robert Davie".

Mr. Ingham again. "When the prisoner was a lad he lived servant with me a year, I hired him by the name of Davie, his mother I knew long before, I never heard any other name of him in the country, and if any body had come to me, and asked for Robert Davis , I should not have thought of the prisoner."

Q. "When you proclaim'd it did you think the prisoner was the person intended?"

Ingham. "I did imagine by the place of abode he was the person."

The jury found the issues for the king .

Death .


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