History of Fyfield

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History of Fyfield >> Fyfield Snippets

Fyfield Snippets

When researching for this website we often find a little snippet of information on a location or subject which may be of interest. Some are quirky, some show that there is nothing new in this world, and some about the attitudes and morals of the time. [index to snippets] Here's one for Fyfield on a case of doubtful identity.

Times 11 March 1819

Chelmsford Assizes

Charles Britten, alias Burton, was indicted for assaulting John Potter, on the King's highway, on the 9th May last, in the parish of Fyfield, putting him in fear, and taking from his person, a £5 Romney Bank note, a check upon the same Bank for £20, and two £1 Bank of England notes.

It appeared in evidence that the prosecutor was a surgeon residing at Chipping-Ongar. In the evening of the 9th May last he had occasion to go on his professional duty to Fyfield, and about nine o'clock, it being then light, he saw two men before him, and as he approachged on horseback, he heard one say "now for it."

He slackened the pace of his horse, when the prisoner came up and seized the reins, and desired the prosecutor to stop. The other man then drew out a hors-pistol, and presenting it at the prosecutor's head, said, "Give us your money, or I'll shoot you."

The prosecutor dismounted, and the prisoner rifled his pockets of the property in question, while the other man kept his pistol alternately at his head and breast.

The prisoner asked if he had a watch, and thrust his fingers into prosecutor's fob, but did not find one, at the same time saying, "We have wanted bread, and we wanted work some time, and money we will have." Having taken all the property they could find, they went off.

The prosecutor afterwards used every exertion to find out the thieves, advertising them in Hue and Cry, and describing their persons by other means, but without effect, until the month of October, five months afterwards, when he heard that the prisoner was confined in Giltspur-street, on a charge of bullock stealing. Thither he went, and recognised the prisoner immediately as one of the persons who robbed him.

The prosecutor now swore most positively to the prisoner's identity.

The learned Judge (Bayley) summed up the case for the Jury, but they found the prisoner Not Guilty, assigning for cause that the prosecutor, after a lapse of five months, might be mistaken in the person of the prisoner.

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Fyfield - Cary's New and Correct English Atlas, 1798

Fyfield - First Series Ordnance Survey Map 1805

This work is based on data provided through www.VisionofBritain.org.uk and uses historical material which is copyright of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence BY-SA-4.0

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