Crime

Like any place, there was the odd inhabitant of Wing that ended up on the wrong side of the law from time to time. Here are some of those people. If you have any more information about any of these cases or individuals, please let me know.

If you think your ancestors were more inclined to be on the right side of the law, they might be on the lists of those eligible for jury service.

MURDER MOST FOUL

There were at least two murders in Wing in the 19th century. William Francis Adams was found not guilty of the murder of his father Thomas in 1837 (although that jury decision was openly questioned), but was convicted of stealing from the body. Maria Isabella Beckett killed her baby granddaughter Jane Bowden in 1856 but was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Is anyone aware of any other cases? Warning: the newspapers of the time loved reporting all the gory details, which may be upsetting for some.

Index of Names with additional identification information added by me in brackets

Thomas ADAMS – Thomas Adams 1837
William Francis ADAMS – Thomas Adams 1837
James ASHPOLE – Thomas Adams 1837
John BAKER – Thomas Adams 1837
Jesse BECKETT – Jane Bowden 1856
Jonathan BECKETT – Jane Bowden 1856
Maria Isabella BECKETT – Jane Bowden 1856
Jane BECKETT – Jane Bowden 1856
George BONE – Thomas Adams 1837
James BOWDEN – Jane Bowden 1856
Ruth BOWDEN [formerly Beckett] – Jane Bowden 1856
Jane BOWDEN – Jane Bowden 1856
Lord CHESTERFIELD – Thomas Adams 1837
William COLLIER – Thomas Adams 1837
John or William COOK(E) – Thomas Adams 1837
Mr FOUNTAINE – Thomas Adams 1837
John HOPE – Thomas Adams 1837
Mary JORDAN – Thomas Adams 1837
Richard JUDGE – Thomas Adams 1837
William JUDGE – Thomas Adams 1837
Mr [William] MORTIMER – Thomas Adams 1837
Elizabeth NEWINS – Thomas Adams 1837
Mr PAGE – Thomas Adams 1837
John SHARPE – Thomas Adams 1837
William THORN – Thomas Adams 1837
Ezra TRIPP – Jane Bowden 1856
Richard WINDMILL – Thomas Adams 1837
Thomas WOOSTER/WORSTER – Thomas Adams 1837
John or William WYATT – Thomas Adams 1837

These people don’t appear to be Wing people but were involved in the trials:
Mr ANDREWS (legal) – Thomas Adams 1837
ARMSTRONG (witness) – Thomas Adams 1837
William James BODGER (surgeon of Leighton Buzzard) – Jane Bowden 1856
Mr BYLES (legal) – Thomas Adams 1837
William/Robert CIELEY/CEELY (surgeon of Aylesbury) – Thomas Adams 1837
Mr COWLEY (coroner) – Thomas Adams 1837
DARBY (witness) – Thomas Adams 1837
Job DENSON (constable) – Jane Bowden 1856
James FUEL(L) (witness) – Thomas Adams 1837
Robert FUELL (witness) – Thomas Adams 1837
Mr JACKSON (witness) – Thomas Adams 1837
Mr KELLY (legal) – Thomas Adams 1837
Mr MALTBY (legal) – Thomas Adams 1837
MEADE (witness) – Thomas Adams 1837
Mr MILLS (lawyer) – Jane Bowden 1856
Edgar OLLEY or Walter RAWLEIGH (surgeon of Leighton Buzzard) – Thomas Adams 1837
PALMER (witness) – Thomas Adams 1837
Mr Robert/Samuel PERKINS (police sergeant) – Thomas Adams 1837
Mr Baron PARK(E) (judge) – Thomas Adams 1837
Mr PETERSDORFF (lawyer) – Thomas Adams 1837
Mr POWER (lawyer) – Jane Bowden 1856
Mr PRICE (witness) – Thomas Adams 1837
Mr ROBERTS (legal) – Thomas Adams 1837
SHACKLE (witness) – Thomas Adams 1837
Mr Serjeant STORKS (legal) – Thomas Adams 1837
Mr Justice WILLIAMS (judge) – Thomas Adams 1837
Mr WROTH (lawyer) – Jane Bowden 1856

IN GAOL

The Buckinghamshire County Council and Bedfordshire County Council are making the records of Aylesbury Gaol and Bedford Gaol available online – the online details are great, you may even find a photo! The following Wing-born people are currently listed:

Bucks Beds
James Bolton
Bernard Bone
Thomas Branch
Bernard Cutler
Alfred Denchfield
Seth Denchfield
William Gates
William Hedges
John Hounslow
John Lathwell
Frederick Manning   
Matthew Munday
Jeremiah Randall
Charles Smith
Ruth Stevens
Ezra Stilton
George Syrett
William Syrett
Thomas Tapping
John Woolhead
George Woolhead
Barnard Bone
Sarah Cabbin
John Hounslow
Robert Hulett
Matthew Munday
William Page
David Pratt
Lucy Prosser
William Sirett
Thomas Smith
Joseph Staples
Thomas Steele

CENSUS INMATES

I have found the following Wing-born people serving their time in Her Majesty’s prisons when census night rolled around (so far have checked 1851 to 1901 England & Wales):

1891 John BULL age 23 married ag lab – in St Giles, Northamptonshire, RG12/1199 folio 180 pg 3
1851 William HARDWICK age 47 widower ag lab – in Cold Bath Fields Prison, Clerkenwell, Middlesex, HO107/1517 folio 506 pg 21 (my Joseph’s brother)
1851 D JOURDAN age 17 unmarried laborer – on the Warrior convict hulk in Woolwich Kent, HO107/1588 folio 512 pg 16

COURT REPORTS

William BATES, possibly of Wing (can anyone confirm this? the writeup of the case isn’t clear on exactly where William ended up coming from!), convicted of theft of a horse, sentenced to death but conditionally pardoned – 1771 Proceedings of the Old Bailey

Francis CANCOTT, William SHERROCK and William SAUNDERS were “condemn’d on the Black Act” at the Hertford assizes for poaching a fallow deer from the park of William GORE in Tring Hertfordshire – reported in the Gloucester Journal 14 Mar 1727. There’s no burial for these three men in the Wing parish registers.

John CAR[E]Y, glazier, listed in the quarter sessions for Michaelmas 1690, although his offence isn’t specified in the Calendars to the Session Reports. He appears again, this time described as a farmer, at Ephiphany 1693/4.

Thomas CROZIER snr and jnr, both labourers, indicted for assaulting Thomas ALDRIDGE – sometime 1705-1712

Henry CUTLER (27) and William DIMMOCK (20), convicted of stealing 9 fowls from Robert Walter, sentenced to 3 months hard labour – 1842 Windsor & Eton Express

DANCER (from Leighton Buzzard?) broke into the Cock Inn to upgrade his gun but later escaped from custody – 1826 Windsor & Eton Express

Thomas DIMMOCK, John GOODMAN and Robert PRINCE of Wing were charged with “putting themselves out of service” (ie chosing not to work and expecting the overseers of the poor to look after them) at Michaelmas 1679 (Bucks Ancestor Vol 17 No 1 March 2008)

Almost two centuries later, another Thomas DIMMOCK let a young colt get the better of him and was found guilty of reckless driving, 1863 Leighton Buzzard Observer.

Dr William DODD, vicar of Wing 1775 to 1777 (apparently he delivered a grand total of four sermons to the people of Wing, despite his assertion at trial that he was not an idle minister), was hanged for forging documents in the name of his patron and former pupil the Earl of Chesterfield, who owned Ascott Hall. He only had a couple of days to use his ill-gotten gains to pay outstanding tradesmen’s bills before the deception was discovered. The trial report includes some modern concerns such as his ability to get a fair trial given the media publicity before the case was heard! – 1777 Proceedings of the Old Bailey

Robert FINCHER was accused of trading as a badger without a licence (ie a pedlar who was required to wear a badge to indicate he was licenced to trade in the specified area) at the Midsummer quarter sessions at Chesham in 1698.

William JORDAN, convicted of stealing 5 fowls from Thomas Reynolds, sentenced to 3 months imprisonment hard labour – Bucks quarter sessions Michaelmas 1819 A2A catalogue

Robert JORDAN was gaoled for three months for stealing potatoes belonging to the Adams family in 1836, as reported in wife Hannah’s testimony as a witness in the murder trial of William Francis Adams in 1838 and in HO 27 criminal registers (piece 51 pg 38).

Matthew MILLER, yeoman of Wing, listed in the Aylesbury quarter sessions Epiphany 1690/1 (with cohorts John Reynor and William Newland).

John MONK, convicted thief of Wing, was found guilty of loitering for the purpose of committing a felony in Leighton Buzzard in March 1863 – sentenced to one month’s hard labour. Leighton Buzzard Observer.

Thomas NEWENS was fined for drunkeness in 1863 Leighton Buzzard Observer.

A real bad boy from the late 1600s was one William NEWLAND junior, who appears quite frequently in the Bucks Quarter Session Reports. In Easter 1686 he was accused of extortion, then had to pay £40 at Michaelmas 1690 as a surety for good behaviour and a further £10 at Michaelmas 1694. It seems he didn’t quite manage this though, as he was fined £10 4s. at Easter 1695 for three assaults. His name is also recorded, although the specific misdemeanour isn’t stated in the Calendar, at Easter 1685, Midsummer 1689, twice at Michaelmas 1690 (once as “William Newland, baliff”, and once in relation to a different case as “William Newland junior, yeoman” – perhaps it is his father that was baliff?), again at Epiphany 1690/1, Epiphany 1691/2 (along with William NEWLAND snr), Epiphany 1693/4 (“junior, farmer”), and Epiphany 1694/5 (“yeoman”). If someone would like to look these up in the archives and give us more details I’d be thrilled! [Calendar to the Session Records, available within the Buckinghamshire Parish and Probate Records collection on CD or online from ancestry.co.uk].

Simon RASTALL had to pay £20 to appear and answer to charges of keeping a disorderly alehouse – Chepping Wiccombe Easter sesion, 1688. He pops up again at Michaelmas 1701, this time listed as a grocer. Possibly the Rastalls were in the habit of drawing attention to themselves, at the Epiphany 1703/4 sessions the baliff of Cottesloe was ordered to return clothing which he had unlawfully taken from Simon’s wife Elizabeth.

Jn REEVES, indicted for assaulting David Willis at Leighton Buzzard – Beds quarter sessions 1785 A2A catalogue

John REYNOR was listed in the quarter sessions for Michaelmas 1690 (“labourer”) and Epiphany 1690/1 (“yeoman”), although the reason is not listed. He appears to have been a mate of William Newland (see above).

Daniel ROW, convicted of larceny and sentenced to transportation 7 yrs – Bucks quarter sessions Epiphany 1805 A2A catalogue

Thomas THORNE, butcher, appearing at the Michaelmas sessions in 1701 along with Simon Rastall (listed above), but I don’t know why……

Richard WILLIAMS of Ascot Green, fined for swearing one profane curse at the Winslow Fair, 1863 Leighton Buzzard Observer

Brothers James and John WOODWARDS (of Soulbury), drunk and riotous and assaulting Constable SHRIMPTON of Burcott, 1863. Also in the affray was Thomas WOODWARD of Wing (the boys’ cousin), and Alfred CUTLER who was charged with inciting John to resist arrest – must have been quite some night out! Leighton Buzzard Observer.

I’M INNOCENT, I TELL YOU!

George ASHPOOL “not guilty” & Richard HOWNSLOW “no evidence”, accused of stealing a pair of stockings – Bucks quarter sessions Easter 1834 A2A catalogue

Henry FRYER, accused of burning down George HONER’s house – Oct 1840 transcript of The Times report, a must-read for Honour descendents – poor old George!)

Ann TORBUCK, daughter of Ann DAVIS of Wing, accused of theft – The Old Bailey Dec 1758 Proceedings of the Old Bailey

CAN I GET A WITNESS?

William LATHWELL, pork butcher of Chelsea born in Wing c.1814, inadvertently gave change for a counterfeit coin passed to the neighbouring beer shop in 1853 Proceedings of the Old Bailey

Francis VERNEY jeweller of Holborn born Wing Bucks, present at a quarrel in an alehouse in Winchester that led to a libel case – 1640 Court of Chivalry

William WYATT, farmer of Wing, appeared in support of Charles Reynolds, accused and acquitted of theft – 1824 Proceedings of the Old Bailey