Categories ......
Back to History Menu  
Mattishall - Crime & Punishment
PLUS Interesting Newspaper Cuttings
1781- 1859

Looking for a particular name? - You may want to consider using your browser's SEARCH or FIND facility as this is a long page.

When we look at the old picture of Mattishall and our local area they reflect a quiet and peaceful time, that is until we turn to old newspaper articles then a different picture unfolds. Below are (in date order) many interesting items, some minor, although even they resulted in transportation and some major including a murder, burglary and assault. Included also are some inquests and family disputes.

Before and during the Victorian period there were great changes in how people were caught, arrested and charged to appear in court. The police force, as we know it today, did not exist until the mid 1850's. Before then, it was down to local parishes to employ a parish constable to keep order.


WARNING - Newspaper reporters of those times did not hold back on detail so some inquest articles make grim reading.

Whilst searching old newspapers some interesting items have come to light.
Although they don't fit into this category they have been added to this page until we find another place for them.

1781: Jan 6 - Norfolk Chronicle:
On Saturday last, about two o'clock in the morning, as James Altherton, servant to Mrs Rhoda Cobb, of Hoe, next East Dereham, in this county, was driving his team upon the turnpike road near the six-mile stone, and within a small distance of the church of Hockering, he was stopped by two footpads, armed with bludgeons, who demanded his money, seized him, beat him, threw him down, and robbed him of half a guinea in gold and a silver watch, and then made off towards Mattishall Bergh. These two footpads appeared to be labourers, the one was rather tall, had on a slop, and the other rather low, and had on a brown coat. From the darkness of the morning the said Altherton cannot at present give any further description of them, but is certain he can recollect the face of one of them.--The reward for apprehending a highwayman, and prosecuting him to conviction, is 40 pounds.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1781: Feb 10 - Norfolk Chronicle:
Ran Away, and left their Families chargeable to the Guardians of the Poor within the Hundreds of Mitford and Launditch, in this County. Philip Room, from the Parish of Mattishall, ever since July, 1777, by Trade a Weaver, about 30 Years of age, fair Complexion, about 5 Feet 4 Inches high, light coloured Hair, bald Head, round Shoulders, walks stooping, supposed to be in or near Wisbeach.
Also James Cook, from the said Parish of Mattishall, ever since April, 1778, by Trade a Weaver, lately supposed to work in Husbandry, about 25 Years of Age, about 5 Feet 5 Inches high, Fair Complexion, full Face, short brown Hair, supposed to be in or near Wisbeach.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
March 31 - Norfolk Chronicle:
A few days since Jane Skipper, of Mattishall; was severally convicted of reeling false or short yarn, and paid the penalty according to act of Parliament.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Feb 19 - Norfolk Chronicle:
On Friday evening last, about even o'clock, as Peter Seaman, (age 63) a farmer, and Henry Seaman, both of Yaxham, were going home in a common footpath leading from the parish church in Yaxham, they were fopped by a foot-pad, (a highwayman who robs on foot instead of a horse) on who knocked them both down with a bludgeon. Peter Seaman was robbed of two guineas and a half in gold, and a crown in silver. Henry Seaman was robbed of his hat only. A hue and cry being set on foot, and a fufpicious perfon (suspicious person) going into a public-house at Dereham kept by Mr Wigg, an officer, who saw some blood upon the shoulder of his frock, immediately carried him before Justice Fenn and Justice Rafts, who committed him to the Castle on the oaths of Peter Seaman and Henry Seaman and several other witnesses, on suspicion of committing the above robbery. It is fuppofed (supposed) he has lately been on board the hulks at Woolwich, and has been in Newgate. His name is James Clifton.

1785: Feb 26 - Norfolk Chronicle
Tuesday DIED OF HIS WOUNDS, Peter Seaman, brother to Henry Seaman, who were flopped by a footpad at Yaxharn on Friday the 11th isnt, and Henry Seaman, we hear, is on paft (?) all hopes of recovery. - One James Cliffen is committed to the castle on suspicion.

1785: Apr 1 - Lincoln Gazetteer:
Thetford, March 22. Thursday last the assizes for the county of Norfolk began here, and ended this day; before Sir W Ashhurst Kent, when seven prisoners. were capitally convicted, and received sentence of death, among whom was James Cliffen; for the wilful murder of Peter Seaman, in the parish of Yaxham; whom, together with Henry Seaman, brother of the deceased, he robbed and cruelly beat in a footpath in the said parish, and of which wounds the said Peter languished a few days and then expired. He is to be executed at Norwich, and his body to be delivered to the surgeons for dissection. Cliffen, as soon as the Judge had passed the awful sentence of the law upon him, said, " I am to be hanged on Wednesday, but if I was to die this minute by God, I am not the man" and then rapped his knuckles on the bar with the greatest violence.

1785: April 1 - The Times:
On Thursday last, (March 24th) James Cliffen was executed on the Castle Hill, Norwich, pursuant to his sentence, and his body was afterwards delivered up to be hung in chains, on Badley Moor, (Cut Throat Lane, Clint Green) between Mattishall and East Dereham.
He persisted in his innocence to the last moment, and appeared quite hardened, and very indifferent about his unhappy situation. - James Cliffen had been found guilty on March 17th 1785 of the murder of Peter Seaman a farmer of Yaxham.
MORE: Peter Seaman was born about 1722 the son of Henry Seaman and his wife Prue Ballard and was buried at St Peter's Church Yaxham on January 27th 1785.
Note: I have had correspondence stating, this Peter could not be the murdered Peter Seaman as his burial is one month before the murder took place, although the ages are the same (63) and he was local to Yaxham. The parish burial records giving January 27th appear to be correct but it now leaves a mystery as to where the murdered man was buried, for he is not mentioned anywhere. Any help would be welcomed.
Nothing is known of James Cliffen as his age or birth place is not mentioned, however searching the records that are available on-line there are two Cliffen's that could be likely - [1] James Cliffen baptised on April 21st 1751 at All Saints Church Shipdham, Norfolk, son of Edward Cliffen and his wife Susanna or [2] James Cliffen baptised on June 26th 1757 at Castle Acre, Norfolk, son of Robert Cliffen and his wife Elizabeth Hall.

The local story goes: James Cliffen was drinking in the 'Great A' Inn on Dereham Road, Yaxham near the church. Peter Seaman came in with his brother Henry and during their time there Peter revealed he was carrying a large amount of cash. It is reported both Peter Seaman a farmer and Henry Seaman, both of Yaxham were going home on a common footpath when they were flopped by a footpad (A highwayman operating on foot rather than riding a horse) who knocked them both down with bludgeon. Peter was robbed of all his cash and left with very serious wounds from which he later died. Cliffen was hanged, outside the County gaol at Norwich and then his body returned to the parish from which he came and hung on a gibbet in chains on Cut Throat Lane, Clint Green. The cost of the gibbet was £8.16s. Local story also goes that Cliffen's skull was ploughed up many years later and is now in the Norwich Castle Museum - although on looking into this there is no mention of the skull being at the castle just - Only the headpiece of the gibbet cage of James Cliffen survives and is on show in Norwich Castle Museum. It is a substantial iron artifact of two bars crossed and bent to form a cage with four vertical bars. One of these is cut short, presumably to allow the face to show properly; the others are attached to a hinged collar. The swivel eye on top is nearly worn through.

1785: Apr 4 - The Diary of a Country Parson - After breakfast, being fine weather I took a ride and Will with me thro' Hockering, North Tuddenham to Badley Moor where Cliffen stands in chains - Parson James Woodforde
Henry Seaman made a recovery.

1903: Jan 1 - Norwich Murcury:
On March 21st, 1785, James Cliffen was found guilty of the murder of Peter Seaman in a field near Yaxham Church. He was conveyed to Norwich. and executed on the Castle, Hill on March 23rd. Two days later he was taken to East Dereham, and on the 26th was hung in chains on a gibbet, 33 feet in height, on Badley Moor. Hundreds of the country people came to see the ghastly spectacle, and the result was that for many weeks the vicinity resembled a fair. On Sundays particularly, booths were erected for the sale of drink, and there were some very hilarious scenes. The body, which was encased in ribs of iron, was fixed by a swivel to a bolt, which revolved in the wind, to which Cliffen's back was always turned. The remains hung for 25 years, and were only removed at the Enclosure. Schoolboys used THE CORPSE AS A TARGET, and boasted that they had "chipped a piece off Cliffen." Many years afterwards the bones were discovered by some labourers, and the remaining portion of the gibbet was given to the Norwich Museum, and may still be seen in the dungeons.

Seems a straightforward case but then we find this - ??
1785: Apr 16 - Norfolk Chronicle
It is to be remarked, that the Petit Jury who convicted James Cliffen of murder, on strong circumstantial evidence, at our last Assizes at Thetford, were the same who acquitted William Kemball and Andrew Gunton for the same crime (under every aggravation and proof' of guilt) the very next trial!! On their second trial four of the Jurors were for convicting the prisoners, but the other eight prevailed in acquitting them. By the penal law of England, in cares of murder, if the nearest of kin appeal, and the prisoner he convicted, the crown has no power of mitigating sentence.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
July 23 - Ipswich Journal
At the Quarter Sessions of the county of Norfolk, on Thursday last - Robert Spragg, for fowl stealing, 3 months.

Whilst gathering newspaper cuttings the name SPRAGG comes up a lot. It is only now after laying the cases out in order and researching them we find they are all from the same family. - The story starts with Robert Spragg who was baptised on June 2nd at Runhall, Norfolk , the illegitimate son of Mary Spragg. Where Mary came from is not clear but there was a large family of Spagg's in the Shipdham area.
Robert married Jane Cob, a single women on February 3rd 1790 at All Saints Church, Mattishall. They had children , Charles, baptised June 1st 1790, Lydia, baptised April 1 1801 , William born about 1804, Robert Newyear Spragg baptised January 2nd 1805 and Francis, baptised Aug 16th 1806.

Robert: (father) - convicted of fowl stealing 1796 (above) 3 months and stealing a plank of wood in 1834 - 2 months inprisionment
Charles: was transported in 1834 for 7 years - More on Charles - HERE
Lydia: married Edward Fitt, they had a son James - James was transported in 1849 for 10 years - More on James Fitt - HERE
William: married Mary Ann Mallett, they had a son James, who was convicted with his cousin (James Fitt) and died in Norwich Castle (prison) in 1847 aged 22 years - More on James Spragg - HERE
William: (above) had already been convicted in 1845 and transported for 7 years - More on William - HERE
Robert Newyear: died in 1813 aged 8 years
Francis: was transported in 1832 for 7 years. - More on Francis - HERE

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
- July 26 - Bury and Norwich Post:
At the County Sessions, on Wednesday last, Edward Symonds, for stealing a sack, was sentenced to be imprisoned six months in the castle, he was afterwards convicted of stealing four bushels of wheat, the property of Mr. Wright, of Mattishall, and sentenced to be transported for seven years.
MORE - There appears to be no record of an Edward Symonds going to Australia on or shortly after 1806, did he die in prison?
There was an Edward Symonds living at Mattishall Burgh at this time. He had married Sarah Mayhew on Nov 7 1788 at St Peter's Church, Entry 7. Edward and Sarah had at least 8 children the last being born in 1803. Is this the same Edward?
- Although the whole family seemed to have vanished.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1809: Aug 22 - Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser:
At the Mattishall races, held near Norwich, a singular occurrence took place, which evinces the inhumanity of compelling animals to over-exertion. In the pony-race, five started, and each gained a heat, but, in returning in the last round, two of them fell dead, and a third was rendered unserviceable.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1811: Feb 16 - Norfolk Chroncile:
William Fisher, charges with stealing a turkey from Mr Bruton of Mattishall. - No further information.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Jun 16 - Norfolk Chronicle: - Mattishall Association.
Notice is hereby given, that the Annual Meeting of the Member of the said Association for apprehending and prosecuting Horse-stealers within the Hundreds of Mitford and adjacent hundreds, will be held at the Swan Inn, Mattishall, in the county of Norfolk, on Thursday, the 20th June 1811, at 2 o'clock in the afternoon - Dinner at three o'clock - NB The Members are requested to attend to article the sixth. Absentees to pay four shilling each - J Ringer. Treasurer.
It appears Horse-stealing was quite common.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Feb 10 - Oxford University and City Herald:
Dearing Robbery, On Wednesday, as Mr William Edmunds, collector of taxes at Mattishall, was going to East Dereham on foot, he was met by a man in Cherry-lane, near the turnpike road to Norwich, who robbed him of his pocket book, containing notes to the amount of £149, with which he got clear off. - Hand bills were immediately issued, offering a reward of 30 shillings.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Jan 11 - Norfolk Chronicle:
Saturday last - George High servant of William High, of Mattishall, and John Walton,servant of Edward Mack, of North Tuddenham, were convicted before James Marsh, Esq in the full penalty, for driving their masters' waggons in a furious way, and they riding- on them without any reins, in the Hamlet of Heigham, Norwich on the 21st. ult.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Aug 5 - Bury and Norwich Post:
On Friday night a child of Mr Nickerson, farmer of Mattishall, fell into a pond near the house, and was unfortunately drowned.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Oct 30 - Norfolk Cronicle:
About twelve o'clock on Monday night last, some person entered the dwelling-house of Mr Nicholas Sands, of Welborne, near Mattishall, by means of a ladder, which they placed against a chamber window, and after setting all the doors open, proceeded to his sleeping room, which being fastened, they were prevented from entering; and the noise having alarmed Mr Sands he got up and the robbers hastily decamped without any booty.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Jan 6 - Norfolk Chronicle - ESCAPE OF A PRISONER
Whereas on Thursday Evening last, Robert Starks, a prisoner in the custody of William Mendham, Constable of Mattishall, made his Escape, and has not since been heard of. - Whoever will apprehend the said Robert Starks, and deliver him to the constable aforesaid, shall receive FIVE POUNDS REWARD. - The above Robert Starks is about 25 years of age, five foot, five inches high, of a slender make, light complexion, and had on a fustian jacket and light coloured small clothes - Dec 20th 1820.
No further information on what happened to this man.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
May 2 - Bury and Norwich Post:
Commited to the County Gaol - John Middleton, (by the Rev Dr Wood) charged with stealing a mare, from Mr Read, of Mattishall
On August 21st 1821 John Middleton was found guilty of stealing a black mare and trap and sentenced to 7 years transportation. He departed England on October 2nd 1822 on the ship 'Surry' with 160 other convicts. He arrived at New South Wales, Australia on March 2nd 1823.
On his prison papers John's birth date was given as 1798. From Norfolk transcribed records there were 3 John Middletons baptised that year, so impossible to be more exact. He was described as a farm labourer, 5 foot 6 1/2 inches in height, fair complexion, brown hair and blue eyes. Certificate of Freedom number 28/853. October 1st 1828.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Mar 16 - Norfolk Chronicle:
Charles Clarke was convicted of having stolen on the 26th Jan last. Eight live ducks and one live drake belonging to William Lindsey, of Mattishall, and sentenced to three months hard labour at Wymondham Bridewell.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1822: Nov 28 - Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette:
Some vile miscreant within the past fortnight came on the premises of Mr John Petchell, of Mattishall Bergh, and poisoned one of the finest and fiercest dogs ever seen in this country. He was of mixed breed, Prussian and English. A brace of very valuable pointers shared the same fate. We understand similar crimes have been perpetrated all around the neighborhood of Mattishall - Norwich Mercury.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Jul 19 - Norwich Mercury - STOLEN
On Wednesday night last, July 17th 1823, from out of a stable belonging to Mr F Green, of Mattishall, Norfolk. - TWO HORSES, one of them a Brown, Chestnut, Horse, seven years old, between 16 and 17 hands high, with long main and a tail, white face, two white legs behind, the near one is swelled. - The other is also a Brown Chestnut Horse, ten years old, 15 hands high, with long mane and tail, white face, a little white on the off hind leg, and is remarkably flat footed. - Whoever will give such information to Mr F Green, of Mattishall aforesaid, as may lead to the recovery of the said Horses, shall, on conviction of the Offender or Offenders, receive a reward of TEN POUNDS.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Oct 18 - Norfolk Chronicle
The King (on the prosecution of the Rev Frederick Money) against Charles Spragg for an assault committed upon the prosecutor, who is a curate of Mattishall. The prisoner was found guilty and sentenced to one month's imprisonment and to find sureties for his good behavior for one year after.
MORE: Charles Spragg and a few of his relations were notorious characters - see more on Charles and his family below....

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
May 15 - Norwich Mercury- BURGLARY
Whereas two or more persons did on Sunday night, the 2nd of May inst, burglen'sly enter the Dwelling-house of Mr Francis Green, in the parish of Mattishall, in the county of Norfolk, and feloniously steal therein £27 6s, in Notes and Cash, a Silver Watch, and various other articles, - whoever will give such information, that either of the offenders, be convicted of the said offence, shall, on conviction of each of them, receive a Reward of TEN POUNDS, by applying to the said Francis Green. Mattishall, May 11th 1824.
NB. GEORGE BENNETT & JOHN FREESTONE, both of the parish of Runhall, have absconded from their homes, and are strongly suspected to be concerned with the above Robbery - The said George Bennett is about 32 years of age, 5ft 10in high, walks upright, light brown hair, light eyes, and fair complexion, has a scar on his left hand as done by a reap-hook. Freestone is about 40 years of age, about 5ft 7in high, stout made, light complexion, light hair.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
May 24 - Norfolk Chronicle:
Committed to Wymondham Prison - Robert Tufts, charges with stealing one coomb of undressed wheat, the property of David Wilkin, of Mattishall

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1824: Nov 24 - Norfolk Chronicle:
On Monday last, a pitched battle was fought near Mattishall, between Michael Fenn and John alias Dolly Short, both Norwich men and well known bruisers. At setting to, Fenn being a man of some science, bets were two to one in his favour, and in the first two rounds he floored his man with apparent ease, but after fourteen rounds of regular milling strength prevailed over skill, and Fenn was so dreadfully beaten that he was carried off the ground by his friends in a state of insensibility; a surgeon was immediately sent for, who after a considerable time succeeded in restoring animation, in the vanquished man. We understand that not less than two thousand person were present to witness the fight.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Apr 9 - Norwich Mercury:
A GUINEA REWARD - STOLEN out of a stable, at Mattishall, early Thursday morning, the 8th instant, A SORREL HORSE, with a white face, and blind both eyes; he is a Stallion, has a saddle spot on the back, and white fetlocks. - Apply to Mr George Gulyer, Mattishall.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Feb 11 - Norfolk Chronicle: - MATTISHALL NEW ASSOCIATION
The Principals Inhabitants of Mattishall and it vicinity are desirous of Establishing and ASSOCIATION for the PROTECTION of PROPERTY AGAINST THIEVES, for which purpose a General Meeting will be held in the Swan Inn. Mattishall on Thursday, 16th day of February inst. at Ten o'clock in the Forenoon. The present Subscribers are for Mattishall - Rev T Paddon, Mr Leyton, John Keeler, James Neale, William Brunton, William Cullyer, David Wilkins, John Leamon, James Bultitude, Mr John Hubbard, Charles Edward, Charles Vassar, John Eagling, L J Read, Mrs Sarah Bloomfield - Mattishall Berg, Mr John Pitchell. North Tuddenham, The Rev J Day.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Sep 8 - Norfolk Chronicle: ESCAPED
The Custody of the Constable of Mattishall - On Wednesday morning last I, James Baltitude, Constable of Mattishall, did take into Custody, by the authority of a Warrant for Bastardy, under the hands and seals of two of his Majesty's Justice of the Peace, JOHN GIBSON, alias PETCHELL, at the house of his father, John Petchell, Farmer, of Mattishall Bergh: the aforesaid John Gibson, alias Petchell, by the aid and assistance of some other persons, against whom legal proceedings are commenced, did make his Escape from my Custody - Whoever will give information so that he is apprehended, shall receive ONE GUINEA Reward.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Feb 28 - Bury and Norwich Post:
On Wednesday evening an inquest was taken at the Angle, St Stephen's on view of the body of Thomas Dack, age 16, who died at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital on Tuesday, in consequence of injury received at Mr Leamond's windmill, Mattishall. - It appears that while the deceased was assisting in hosting some sacks, the cord got out of the pulley, when he went into the underfloor of the mill to adjust it: in reaching over a nut caught the slope he had on, and drew him into the barrel. The person below observing the shaft of the mill to rise and fall suddenly, stopped it instantly, and found the deceased rolled round the barrel, with both his thighs broken, and his body otherwise injured: Verdict - Accidental death.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Dec 15 - Norfolk Chronicle
Saturday last James Nudd, was commited to the City Gaol, (by Peter Finch, Esq, Major) charged with stealing a dutfin, the property of Mr George Culyer, of Mattishall, in the County.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Aug 16 - Norwich Mercury - WITH INTENT TO MURDER
William Spragg, was indicted for having, on the morning of the 20th of April, shot at Thomas Tuttle, of Mattishall, carpenter, with intent to murder him. There were other counts charging him with intent to maim and do him some grievous bodily harm.
Thomas Tuttle, the prosecutor, is a carpenter, and knows the prisoner Spragg and one Edward Fitt, both of whom live at Mattishall, and the latter married Spragg's sister. Witness belongs to a club at Mattishall, and was at it on Saturday, the 19th of April, in the evening, at eight o'clock. He met there William Spragg and others. Witness asked the prisoner if he had any animosity against him. Prisoner said, if witness wanted any assistance he would assist him. Witness asked in what manner, and prisoner said, you may guess - there had then been no quarrel between them before - no malice at all. Witness left the club about eight, or a little after, and went home. At about ten o'clock he went to bed. There is a window in his bedroom, and the bed stood in the middle of the room; he hitched a chest of drawers against the window, & put a sieve on the top of them. He had hitched the drawers against the window about ten o'clock the same day, just before he went to bed. He had a gun, which was loaded with some powder only; it was not his own, and had borrowed it about a fortnight, or it might be longer. He was awoke by his wife, and he got up some little time after, and heard somebody at the outer front door of his house; there was a rattling at the door; his wife halloed, who is that, and somebody made a moaning noise; then he put on his things, and she halloed again, and the same noise was made; then witness halloed who is that, and the same noise was again made. He had a gun standing past the window; he went to fetch the gun; he came up to the drawers, and had the gun by his side; before he could get the gun up the shots came in at the window, and drove the sieve against him; the window was shot out. He was beside the drawers about an arm's length from the window; the staircase was on his left; the light was behind him; the shots were into the sieve before he heard the report; he laid his hand on the drawers, looked through the hole the shot had made, and saw the flash & the prisoner's face. The distance of time between his laying his hand on the drawers and seeing the flash was hardly a moment; the distance of time between the sieve being struck up against him, putting his hand on the drawers, and seeing the flash, was not a moment; he saw by the flash a man with a gun, which he dropped by his side; he can undertake to say, as sure as death, that the prisoner was the man; he had known the prisoner 10 or 12 year; he is certain the prisoner is the man; he then went down with his wife, and sat down such a thing an two hours; It was then about a quarter after one; he knew it was, because as soon as that man shot at him it was five minute, after one; He had a watch hung up in the chamber; he then went up to the chamber and laid on the bed till about half after four; he then got up, and went to the constable, Boltitude's, and told him what had passed; he saw the prisoner on the Sunday morning at the George Inn, at Mattishall; as soon as he, saw him he told him he was the man that had shot at witness, and that he would swear to it. Prisoneer said a little, but he cannot hardly recollect what; he has not the gun now; he kept it a very short time.
Cross-examined by Mr Preston - He had a pint of beer out of the room, and two glasses of beer in the club room that was all the beer he had in that house; he had had two pints at Dereham in the forenoons; Mattishall is about five miles from Dereham; he got to the club about half past seven, but he could not tell exactly; there was hardly any stir in the club when he went in; there was no stir afterwards except at what he said; it was not proposed that he should not be turned out of the room until he said so; he had no quarrel with them; he then went out and went home; he had been at the club only once since; he was told that if he did not hold his tongue he had better leave the room, and he went home directly; Sayer and William Just told him so: he was not very angry, not any angry; the club should break up a little after ten; there are other cottages not far off; the night was neither light nor dark; he could see only by the flash of the gun.
Mary Tuttle, the wife of the prosecutor, after corroborating her husband's testimony with the exception of seeing the prisoner fire the gun.
William Bultitude - Lived between fifty or sixty yards from the prosecutor; about a quarter before in one in the morning, he heard some persons coming from Mattishall, and in about ten minutes he heard the report of a gun, and directly after the footprints of smome person very briskly.
Jemima Ingall deposed that she recollected the night the gun was fired; she was disturbed by the rattle at Mrs Tuttle's door; she heard Mrs Tuttle say, who in there? three or our time, after this, Mrs Tuttle called to her brother, George Tice, who slept at the window at the end of the house, to get up. In a few minutes after she heard the report of the gun; she saw the light of the gun through the creases of the window shutter, which was up; the gun was fired either underneath her window, or very near it.
James Buttitude, constable, recollected the Sunday in April last, when Tuttle came to him early in the morning. In the course of the forenoon he went to the prosenutor's house, and observed the upper part of the window; the glass was shot from it. He took Spragg in the afternoon, and searched his house on the Monday, but did it find a gun. He produced the sieve and some seed which was laying about the chamber.
The sieve was given to the jury, and we observed the shot had passed through one side and some lodged in the other side. A model of the cottage was also put in, on a scale of a quarter of an inch to a foot, and a plan of the road near the neighbourhood was also produced.
William Just - Lived at Mattishall Bergh, about one mile and a quarter from Mattishall; he knows South Green, where Tuttles cottage is, and belongs to the club at the George; he was there on the 19th of April a little after seven; they sometimes sit late; Tuttle came in about an hour after they met; Spragg was there; he heard a conversation between Tuttle and Spragg; Tuttle did not go away exactly of his own accord; he said to him he had better go away, and there would be no words; he gave him a tap, and he went away; he was not exactly sent away; the club said let us have no rioting here, if you do, go out and riot, if not we will turn you out; it was said to Tuttle; witness stopped until after twelve at the club; Spragg went away a quarter after twelve; witness went away towards Yaxham, and when he had got about a mile he heard a gun go off; it appeared to sound as if it came over Mattishall; he went to the George next morning; saw Tuttle; the prisoner came in, and Tuttle said that is the man who shot at me at one o'clock, & I will swear it; Spragg said if he would swear it, he (Spragg) could bring proof where he was at that time; witness said John, what makes you positive about this man, it was not either light nor dark; prosecutor said he could see him by the flash of the gun.
Benjamin Fellowes - Was at the club on Saturday, 19th of April; Spragg was there; witness went away at twelve clock, and all came away together; Spragg went with him; Spragg left him and went down to the lane that joins South Green, where prisoner lives.
Robert. Gunn - Lent Tuttle a gun about a month before the cottage was shot at; he saw the gun the next morning, and it had not been fired off, because the powder was rusted in the pan.
Joseph Green - Lives at Mattishall on South Green, about eight or ten yards from Spragg's cottage he recollects the time when the shot was fired at the cottage; he saw Spragg's with a gun on the Sunday afternoon before going into his own house.
Ann Tuffs - Lives at Mattishall; recollects Tuttle's cottage being shot at; she had seen Spragg with a gun the afternoon before Mr Tuttle was shot at in his own garden about seven o'clock in the evening ; she never saw him with a gun at any other time.
The prisoner said he was at work at the time the last witness said she saw him in the garden, and that the witnesses swore falsely against him.
Two or three witnesses were called to character, and the Jury found the prisoner NOT GUILTY, not thinking the identification sufficiently proved.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Sep 6 - Norwich Mercury:
On Monday last an inquest was taken at Honingham, in Norfolk, before Mr. Pilgrim, one of the county coroners, on view of the body of R Adcock, who was killed on Saturday night. It appeared in evidence that the deceased, who was a small farmer at Mattishall, was on his way home from Norwich, and in going down a hill, at Honingham, the deceased, who was riding in front of the cart, fell to the ground and dislocated his neck, and died on the spot. Verdict, accidental death. - We are sorry to add that the deceased was in a state of intoxication, and but a short time previous to the accident occurring a gentleman passed him, and seeing the state he was in, cautioned him to take care, for he thought from his situation he was in great danger.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1828: Dec 10 - Bury and Norwich Post
COMMITTED TO THE CASTLE - Francis Spragg (by William Mason and W W Lee Warner, Esqrs) charged with having stolen from Henry Howe Bricklayer of East Tuddenham 10shillings. - On January 17th the Norwich Chronicle reported he was aquited.
More on Francis Spragg below....

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1829: Feb 28 - Norwich Mercury
On Friday night the shop of Mr Redgement, butcher of Mattishall, was broken into, and a quarter of beef stolen.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1829: May 30 - Norwich Mercury:
MURDER AT RUNHALL - On Monday last an inquest was held at Runhall, in Norfolk, before E Press, Gent. Coroner, on the body of a female infant, which was found the preceding Friday buried in a field called Mr Taylor's Piece. A most respectable jury was impannelled, and after being sworn, the Coroner signified to our Reporter that he could not allow him to take notes of the proceeding's of that Court; it was certainly an open one, and he (the Coroner) would nut prevent his being there, but he would not suffer him to write. We therefore give the substance of the principal points of the evidence from memory. The Court proceeded to the church, where the body was examined by Mr Skoulding and his son, surgeons, of Wymondham. - It was in so decomposed a state, having been buried 21 days, that no evidence could be given as to the cause of its death, or whether it had ever lived. The Jury then returned to Mr Atkins barn, when HENRY NELSON, of Runhall, was sworn. He said he was the father of Rose Nelson, and had frequently accused her of being pregnant, which she always positively denied. On the evening of April 27 (Monday), about five o'clock, she complained of head ache, and went up-stairs to lay down. Between eight and nine o'clock he went to bed, being unwell at the time; he went to bed in the same room where his daughter Rose was, who then came down stairs. He heard her go into the garden, where she was about a quarter of an hour, and during that tune he heard his wife and Mary Wright talking in the kitchen. He heard some one open the door leading to the garden, which he knew to be his wife, and thought he heard her say something to Rose; who directly returned to the kitchen and went upstairs to bed, in the same room a here he was laying with his son William. The next morning, between seven and eight o'clock, his wife called him to get up directly for something had happened; he went down stairs, and asked what was the Matter, his wife said, oh! that unhappy wretch has made away with the child; he enquired where it was, and she said in the hole in the garden he went and there saw the child laying straight on one of its sides; he saw neither blood or bruises upon it, but took it up with a shovel, and buried it in Mr Taylor's piece. He believed this to have been done before eight o'clock in the morning; he never spoke to his daughter on the subject, nor did she or his wife ever enquire how he had disposed of it.
MARY NELSON, being sworn, deposed she was the mother of Rose Nelson; had times and often told Rose of her being with child, but she always utterly denied it. She said to Rose a day or two before the 27th, if you are in the family way endeavour to get something ready - oh! no, Rose said, I shall never get anything ready - stop till I want it, and then I will get something. Rose had been out to work on April 27; came home between four and five o'clock; shortly after she was taken with a violent pain of the eye, and would go and lay down till supper was ready. My husband and daughter, Mary Wright, were in the room. Rose came down stairs between eight and nine o'clock, or thereabouts, and went abroad alone; she had been gone about a quarter of an hour when I went to her; I found her leaning on the pales, and said something more is the matter with you than common, and she answered, oh! mother, you are always tormenting me - you find there is an alteration - you can't let me alone now; she then came its with me. [Here we are obliged to omit a part of the evidence.] A few minutes after she went to bed; I went up soon after her; she was in bed; I did not say anything to her, for I felt in a very poor way, though I little forethought what she had been doing; I went to bed in the same room where Rose was; I did not go to sleep - if I did it was but for a very little time. [Here evidence was elicited, which we are obliged from its nature to omit] In the morning, about live o'clock, Rose got up and went into the garden, and put nothing on but her petticoat and gown; she was gone ten minutes or a quarter of an hour, and came to bed again; I said nothing to her, but got up as quickly as I could, and went down. After I made the fire I went out abroad, and I saw where Rose stood the night before ; it was a very little way from the door in the garden; in the path by the pales I saw a great show of blood; I felt no surprised I did not know what to say or what to do; I immediately searched about the garden. and in the hull on the garden side I found a child; I got away as fast as I could, and did not stop to see if it was alive; I did not know whether it was male or female. As snow as I got in I went upstairs to my husband - "Oh!" I said, " for the Lord Almighty's sake get up, if it is only for my sake, and see what that unhappy wretch has done." He got up as quick as he could, but never said a word to my daughter then; I went down stairs before my husband ; when he came down he said whatever is the matter—" Oh !" says I, " come and see what this unhappy wretch has done." "Oh!" said he, "what has she done" - "I said go into the garden and look into the ditch, and there you will find the child;" he went into the garden; I did not look after him at all; I never saw the child after. On the Thursday following I asked my husband what he had done with the child; he told me he had buried it; 1 did not enquire where; I am quite positive I have had no conversation whatever with him but what I have now mentioned; I never asked my daughter if the child was born alive or dead; I never gave it a thought whether it was born or dead or alive. After the above evidence had been twice read over to her some additional circumstances were revealed, nut necessary to be made public.
ROSE NELSON, was called, and cautioned by the Coroner not to say anything which might criminate herself - she merely named the person whom she considered to he the father of the child.
Mary WRIGHT and William NELSON were sworn, , but they said nothing either to alter or support the previous evidence. William CULYER was then sworn, and said I live at Mattishall, and was acquainted with Rose Nelson; I heard she was with child by me, and came to see her sometime since; I asked her if it was so? and she said no; her mother was in the room at the time (This the mother corroborated.) I wished to see her alone, and went to Runhall again the Sunday fortnight after; I saw her alone, and she said I am not with child by you, nor am I with child at all. And I said if it is so you shall fare as I fare. She said you will never be brought into trouble about me, and told me that I might go some satisfied.
Afterwards HARRIET NELSON was called, a girl about 11 years of age, on being questioned, did not know her age or the nature of an oath, and she said repeatedly she knew nothing, and nothing could be elicited from her.
The Jury consulted a short time, and returned the following verdict - "Rose Nelson GUILTY of secreting the birth of her child, with intent to destroy it." The Coronet informed the Jury that such a verdict implied Murder and wished to know if it was their opinion that Rose Nelson murdered the child, they meant she did, and the verdict was recorded "WILFUL MURDER."
The girl was instantly committed to the Castle, on the warrant of the Coroner. The investigation lasted near 12 hours.

1829: Aug 19 - Bury and Norwich Post
Rose Nelson, for concealing the birth of her bastard child, (the bill of murder having been thrown out) 3 months imprisonment.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Dec 8 - Bury and Norwich Post:
On Tuesday morning between 300 and 400 men assembled and destroyed a number of machines near Shipdham. About 80 constables from Shipdham, and the tenantry of T T Gurdon, Esq. accompanied by that gentleman, B Gurdon, Esq. and the Rev P Gurdon, proceeded in pursuit of them, and having been joined by a small detachment of the 1st Royals, they came up with the rioters at East Tuddenham, near the premises of Mr T Wright. Some of the mob began to steal off as soon as they perceived the horsemen in pursuit; a part made a shew of resistance, but understanding that soldiers were in the rear, the ringleaders attempted to get away, when the yeomanry rode in upon them and secured nine men. Scarcely was one mob dispersed and the prisoners put upon a waggon, when another came up of about 100 from Honingham; these also were broken up and two more prisoners taken. The presence of the military was of essential service in preventing the necessity of any blows being struck, altho' there is no doubt but that the force of the Yeomanry would have been sufficient to have dispersed the mob.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Dec 8 - Bury and Norwich Post:
On Monday night a large body of about 500 persons, assembled at Mattishall, and proceeded to Mr W P Salters, at Whinbergh, and broke and destroyed his threshing machine, of eight horse power, worth £80, from thence they proceeded to Mr Gall's, of Yaxham, and broke his threshing machine. On the same day a large body of 500 assembled at Garvestone, and began the destructive work of breaking threshing machines, in that and adjoining villages. By the assistance of Capt Stracey and his party of the 1st Royal Dragoon Guards stationed at East Dereham, eleven prisoners were taken and conveyed to Dereham, escorted by a party of soldiers.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1831: Jan 5 - Trial Reports: James Gunton, 28 and James Brightly, 18, pleaded guilty to destroying the chaff-cutting machine of Robert Aylmer of Whinburgh. On the other occasion the other members of the gang were Thomas Anderson, * John Gilbert, Francis Spraggs, George Bowles, John Bugg and Jane Taylor. They were all convicted but Samuel Gunton and George Bowles, five were given prison sentences but James, for leading the riots was sentenced to 7 years transportation plus one month in solitary confinement.
MORE - James Gunton was baptisd on Aug 3rd 1802 at Shipdham, Norfolk the son of Samuel Gunton and his wife Ann Turvey. James married Susan Harrison on Jan 7th 1828 at Charlton Rode, Norfolk. Shortly after their marriage they moved to Mattishall where they had 3 daughters, baptised at All Saints Church.
James Gunton was transported to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) he departed on April 14th 1831 from Portsmouth on the ship 'Proteus' with 111 other convicts and landed on August 3rd 1831. The ships Master was Sylvester J Brown and the Surgeon, Thomas Logan – He never returned - For more on James Gunton click
* John Gilbert was baptised on May 6th 1809 at All Saints Church Mattishall son of John Gilbert a labourer and his wife Elizabeth Wenn.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1831: Jan 15 - Norfolk Chronicle
Charles Spragg, indicted for stealing a basket of linen cloth, the property of James Bultitude of Mattishall, aquitted

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1831: Jul 30 - Norfolk Chronicle:
John Pentney, aged 20, was charged with having feloniously killed one sheep, the property of Charles Edwards, of Mattishall, farmer. with intent to steal the carcase of the same. The prisoner was seen between 12 and one o'clock at night near the spot where the sheep was found to have been slaughtered, and one half of the carcase had been carried away. - GUILTY - DEATH recorded.
MORE - John Pentney was baptised on November 12th 1810 at All Saints Church Mattishall, the son of Robert Pentney a Labourer and his wife Hannah Gibbs.
REPRIEVED to LIFE Transportation to New South Wales, Australia - John Pentney, a Labourer Left England September 29th 1831 on the ship Asia 1 with 200 other convicts - Arived, New South Wales February 13th 1832 - No further information.
John Pentney No: 32-309 - Age 21 - Sheep Stealing - Norfolk Assizes July 23rd 1831- Height: 5ft 5inches - Complextion, Ruddy Freckled - Hair, Brown - Eyes, Hazel - Marks Women and M A Gilbird on right arm, man, women, and flag on left.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Jan 15 - Norfolk Chronicle:
Charles Spragg, indicted for stealing a basket of linen cloth, the property of James Bultitude of Mattishall, acquitted

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
May 9 - Bury and Norwich Post:
Committed to Norwich Castle on Saturday last, by W. L. L. Warner Esq at trail at the ensuring Quarter Sessions - Spragg of Mattishall, a notorious character, on suspicion of stealing a donkey from Mr Fisher, of that place.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1832: May 10 - Norfolk Chronicle:
I, JOHN HOY, of Mattishall, do hereby give notice, that I will not be accountable for any Debts which FRANCES HOY my Wife, may contract, she having left my home without my consent. - Mattishall May 10th 1832.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1832: July 18 - Bury and Norwich Post
NORFOLK SESSIONS - At the Sessions held last week at the Shirehall Norwich the following sentence was passed:- Transportation:- Francis Spragg, (having before convicted of a felony) for stealing an ass, 7 years.
Francis Spragg was baptised on Aug 16th 1806 at All Saints Church Mattishall the son of Robert Spragg and his wife Jane Cobb. He departed England on November 13th 1832 on the ship 'Andromeda' with 186 other convicts and arrived in New South Wales on March 11th 1833. He was assigned to Charles Wright of Sutton Forrest as a farm labourer. Francis is recorded on July 10th 1838 absconding from his master at Crooks River New South Wales but was recaptured on July 25th - He did get his Certificate of Freedom - which means he could well have returned to the UK (although surprisingly few could afford to)

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Feb 16 - Norwich Mercury: £100 REWARD AND HIS MAJESTY'S FREE PARDON
Notice is hereby given, that any Person who give such information as shall lead to the detection of the persons concerned in setting fire to a Barley Stack, the property of William Culler, of Mattishall, on the night of Sunday, the 3rd inst, shall receive the above Reward, to be paid by His Majesty's Government; and any Accomplice who shall give such Information and Evidence against the Principal Perpetrator or Perpetrators of the Crime, as may lead to a conviction, will receive his Majesty's must gracious pardon. Mattishall, 14th Feb, 1833

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Jan 8 - Bury and Norfolk Post:
Henry Spinks - Sentence 01 January 1834 for stealing a chicken from Joseph Neave of Mattishall, 7 years transportation.
MORE - Henry Spinks a bachelor married Elizabeth Reeve at All Saints Church Bardeswell on May 11th 1818. From convict records they had a son.
He sailed from England on July 25th 1834 on the ship 'Hooghley' together with 259 other convicts and arrived at New South Wales on November 18th 1834. On convict records his age was given as 41, 5 feet 2, 1/2 inches in height, brown hair but bald in places, shallow and freckled, light grey eyes, scar left side of lip, breast hairy, mole inside lower right arm.
Ticket of Leave No: 39/979, May 29th 1839. Certificate of Freedom November 5th 1841. On March 14th 1853 Henry married Martha Smith at Oakville, Whittingham, Wollombi, New South Wales, Australia

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Jul 9 - Bury and Norwich Post:
Charles Spragg, aged 44, for stealing from the barn of Wace Philco, of Mattishall, a pewter basin and three pieces of lead pipe, (being and old offender) was sentenced to be transported for 7 years.
Charles was baptised on June 1st 1790 at All Saints Church, Mattishall, the son of Robert Spragg a Labourer and Jane Cob. Charles, a bachelor of Mattishall married Mary Woodhouse a widow of Gaveston, on March 8th 1813 at St Margaret Church Gaveston, his father was witness. It appears there were no children.
Charles departed England on the ship 'England' on June 6th 1835 and arrived in New South Wales on September 28th 1835, with 229 other convicts.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1834: Jul 12 - Norfolk Chronicle
Robert Spragg, age 68, for stealing a plank, the property of William Dobbs of Mattishall, was sentenced to two months' imprisonment.
Robert was the illegitimate son of Mary Spragg, he was baptised on June 2nd 1770 at All Saints Church, Runhall. He married Jane Cob, a single women on February 3rd 1790 at All Saints Church Mattishall, witnessed by William Dade and Patience Allen. Robert and Jane's children all appear in these records.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1835: Apr 4 - Norwich Mercury:
Rex v Keeler - This was an indictment preferred by a person named Vassar against Mr Keeler, of Mattishall. Mr Keeler is the owner of some property which adjoins a footpath leading from Mattishall to Mattishall Burgh; he has lately been building a wall next the footpath in question, and in doing so has in some degree narrowed the footpath, still having quite room enough for two persons to walk abreast, and it was for this encroachment the present indictment had been preferred. A similar indictment had been heard at the Sessions, and the defendant was then acquitted. After hearing a great deal of evidence on booth sides, in the course of which some very ingenious models of the locus in quo were exhibited, the Jury, after a very short deliberation, returned a verdict of Not Guilty.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1835: Aug 22 - Norfolk Chronicle:
Commited To The Castle - Charles Bontler, charged with having stabbed and cut Henry Howe, of Mattishall, with intent to do him some grievous bodily harm

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1837: Mar 11 - Norwich Mercury:
William Gilbert - Charged with stealing 28lbs, of hay, the property of Charles Edwards, of Mattishall. GUILTY - two months' imprisonment.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1837: Oct 21 - Norfolk Chronicle:
James Leeds and Elizabeth Sayer, were charged with stealing nine sheaves of wheat, the property of Mrs Burton, widow, of Mattishall. Leeds was acquitted. Sayer was found Guilty and sentenced to six weeks' imprisonment.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1841: Jan 9 - Norfolk Chronicle:
George Littleboy, age 30, pleaded guilty to a charge of stealing, at Mattishall, a male ass, the property of Robert Springall, of Garvestone, and sentenced to four months imprisonment.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1841: Oct 2 - Norfolk Chronicle:
On Friday last, an Inquest was held at the Trumpet, St Stephen's, before Mr Wilde, Coroner, on the body of Elijah Smith, who died on the previous Tuesday, at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. It appeared that the deceased come from Mattishall, and had been an out-door patient at the Hospital; he had come to Norwich for medicines, and was riding home in a waggon belonging to Mr. Keeler, and when at Easton, fell over the side, and was so dreadfully injured that he was brought to the Hospital, where he expired in a few hours. The Jury found a verdict of " Accidental Death."

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1842: Jul 02 - Norwich Mercury:
Francis Whiterod, aged 60, pleaded guilty to a charge of stealing four ounces of beef suet, the property of Austin Hall of Mattishall; 14 days' imprisonment, hard labour.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1843: Jan 21 - Norwich Mercury:
Joshua Hague, age 15, for stealing four eggs, the property. of William Webster, of Mattishall, fourteen days' imprisonment.

Francis Whiterod, aged 60, pleaded guilty to a charge of stealing four ounces of beef suet, the property of Austin Hall of Mattishall; 14 days' imprisonment, hard labour.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1843: Apr 15 - Norfolk Chronicle:
On the night of Monday the 3rd inst. or early the following morning, a fat hogget sheep, the property of Mr James Mack, farmer, of North Tuddenham, was slaughtered in a field in his occupation; the skin, head, and entrails were left in the fold. Information was speedily given to Inspector Jones and police constables Futter and York. residing in the neighbourhood, who lost no time in prosecuting their inquiries. On examining the skin still lying in the field, it became evident that it was the work of some inexperienced person or persons. In consequence of the adjoining fields being principally grass land, great difficulty was experienced in tracing footsteps in any direction from the fold. At length, after great zeal and perseverance, partial footmarks, as of two persons were discovered going in the direction of Mattishall Bergh. The cottage and premises of Francis Beckham, labourer, was then searched, and under a dung heap close to his back door, police constable York discovered a frail basket, which on opening contained two shoulders of mutton apparently very recently slain. The office's then directed their-coarse to the cottage of Henry Beckham, labourer, living about a quarter of a mile distant from his brother, where, after a very minute examination, Inspector Jones succeeded in finding the remainder of the carcase concealed in a sack, in the garden of Henry Beckham, who, with his brother, were immediately apprehended and carried before W B Donne, Esq. and finally committed to Norwich Castle to take their trial at the next general quarter sessions.

1843: Jul 1 - NORWICH MERCURY: - Country Sessions: June 27th 1843
Francis Beckham
, aged 34, and Henry Beckham, aged 36, charged with stealing one sheep the property of James Mack, farmer, of North Tuddenham on 4th April last. Mr Evans for the prosecutor and Mr Palmer for the defence. Benjamin Engledow, shepherd to James Mack, deposed in April last he found the skin and entrails of a sheep in a field. All the sheep were safe the previous evening. Benjamin Engledow knew the field in which the skin was found on the same side as the living sheep, by the hurdles he observed footmarks which led to the prisoners' house in the adjoining parish. Mark Yorke, police officer, deposed he went to the prosecutor's field and thence to the cottage of the prisoner Francis Beckham; there he found a basket which contained two shoulders of mutton; from thence he went to the cottage occupied by the other prisoner, and in a dung heap there they found a sack in which was the whole carcase of a sheep except for the shoulders.
Edward Jones, police officer, deposed he searched the cottage and found the mutton; it was quite warm. Wace Philo deposed he compared the mutton found in the possession of the prisoners with the skin found in the field of the prosecutor. They certainly belonged to one sheep. Mr Palmer addressed the jury for the prisoners and contended that there was not sufficient evidence of the mutton ever being in their possession; and called several witnesses to character - Guilty; ten years' transportation.'

1843: Jul 22 - Norfolk Chronicle:
On Wednesday, two convict, named Henry Beckham and Francis Beckham were sent from the Castle to Pesitonville prison,
Francis Beckham was born Francis Webster Beckham on October 23rd 1808and baptised at All Saints Church Bradon Parva on November 13th the same year. He was the son of Daniel Beckham anf his wife Dinah Webster, A few other children followed and were baptised at Garveston and Mattishall Burgh. Francis married Mary Ann Caley on Decembe 7th 1830 at St Peter's Church Mattishall Burgh. From all accounts Francis and Marry Ann had 6 children before 1843.
Henry Beckham was born on January 13th 1811 and baptised on Febraury 3rd 1812 at All Saints Church Welborne. Henry married Mary Ann Sheldrake on April 30th 1833 at St Peter's Church Mattishall Burgh. Henry and Mary Ann had 3 children before 1843.

Francis and Henry departed England on November 4th 1844 on the ship 'Sir George Seymour' with 344 other convicts and arived in Van Dieman's Land on Febrauary 27th 1845. They never returned.
MORE on the Beckhams click HERE

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Jul 12 - Thomas Taylor age 19 committed on July 12th 1843, by the Rev T Pardon, Clerk, charged on oath of Mary Ann Bowman of Mattishall Burgh, single women, with having, on the eleventh of the same month, assaulted her with the intent to ravish her - result of case remains un-known
MORE - Thomas was born January 14th 1825 and baptisd on Feb 13th the same year, the son of George Taylor a labourer anf his wife Maria Key.
Mary Ann Bowman was baptised Mary Bowman on July 13th 1828 at St Peter's Church Mattishall Burgh the daughter of John Bowman and his wife Elizabeth

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1843: Aug 5 - Norfolk Chronicle:
Thomas Taylor, aged 19, was charged with assaulting Mary Ann Bowman, of Mattishall Bergh, single woman, with intent, &c - Mr Carlos Cooper conducted the prosecution, and Mr William Cooper the defence. - The Learned Judge stopped the case during the cross-examination of the prosecutrix the prisoner was acquitted.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Oct 21 - Norwich Mercury:
Robert Childs, aged 23, stood charged with stealing, on the 14th of August last, a silk handkerchief, the property of William Harmer, of Mattishall. By the evidence it appeared that the handkerchief was hanging on a fence with other things, for the purpose of drying; it was missed, and a short time afterwards it was found in the prisoner's possession, who was taken into custody. The handkerchief was produced and identified by the prosecutor. The Learned Chairman having summed up, the Jury returned a verdict of guilty, and the Court sentenced him to one calendar month hard labour.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1844: May 18 - Norfolk Chronicle:
ILLEGALIY ENLISTING - Robert Minns, labourer, of Mattishall. was charged by Lient Sall, of the 10th Regiment of Foot, with having enlisted in the 29th Regiment of Foot on the 16th of April last, he having been discharged from the service on the 17th of July, 1843, on account of chronic ophthalmia and loss of teeth. The prisoner's discharge was produced, and his last enlistment proved. - In defense, the prisoner said, he told the sergeant who enlisted him that be had been discharged, but he said that he would pass this time. - He was committed for two mouths to hard labour.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1844: Jul 6 - Norwich Mercury:
Mary Breeze, alias Grant, age 16, pleaded not guilty to having stolen a shawl, the property of Elizabeth Smith, of Mattishall. Acquitted

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1844: Aug 3 - Norfolk Chronicle:
LARCENY AT MATTISHALL - Richard Sendall, (68), was indicted for having, on the 23d July, stolen a sack, the property of Archibald Brassnett, of Mattishall, who deposed he was a little miller; had been informed that the sack was taken out of the mill, and missed it about half-past three o'clock in the afternoon of July 23rd; the sack was found on the prisoner's premises; who, it appeared, was a man of some property and the miller's landlord. - - A constable named Withers called prisoner out of his house, said he was charged with ' stealing a sack; prisoner said he had no sack but his own; constable made a search, and found a sack between two hampers on the hen-roost. The sack was produced and identified. - Thomas Hooper, another witness, said he saw Mr Sendall take the sack out of the mill at noon-time, while the prosecutor was there ; nobody attempted to stop the prisoner. Mr PRENDERGAST addressed the jury in defense, and they immediately returned a verdict of acquittal.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1844: Aug 10 - Norwich Mercury:
Aaron Palmer, a very powerful looking young man, was indicted for having assaulted Lydia Cullyer, of Mattishall, with intent, &c. on the 26th of July last. Mr Browne appeared for the prosecution and Mr Crouch for the prisoner. The facts of the case having been very briefly stated by the Counsel, he said that it might be proved that his client was not perhaps of strictly moral character, but be that as it might, for if she had been one of the most common prostitutes the laws would protect her from such attacks as the present. He then called Lydia Cullyer, who stated she was a married woman and the prisoner was her husband's servant, and lived in the house; on the morning in question her husband left her in bed with a little girl, her niece, about half past three o'clock, and went to Norwich; shortly after he was gone she heard footsteps coming up the stairs, and she jumped out of bed and securely fastened the door by locking it and fastening it with a small nail; she then went to the window and shrieked, but could not make any person hear her; she then sat down on the feet of the bed and began to dress herself; presently after the door of the room was broken open and the prisoner fell into the room; when he was in the room she did not call out, but continued sitting on the bed, putting her clothes on; the prisoner threw her down on the bed, and the little girl pricked his bands and feet with a file; after this she went into another room and the prisoner went to his work; at two o'clock her husband came home and she beard the little girl telling him what had occurred, and then she told him herself; when the prisoner came to dinner her husband told him of it; he then he did not care about it, and that if he had a mind to keep him out of his bedroom he must a bar that on the stable door; when the prisoner was before the Magistrates at Dereham he said the same. In her cross-examination by Mr Crouch, she stated that her husband farmed about thirty aces of land; that the nearest house from their's was not more than a stone's throw; the prisoner knew that the little girl was there; it was the first time that the prisoner ever came into her bedroom; the prisoner was on the premises all the day; she did not mention it to any person until she heard the little girl telling her husband; she did not say anything to the prisoner when he came in to breakfast; they all got breakfast together. Mary Ann Cullyer, a little girl, corroborated the statement made by her aunt. Mr Crouch addressed the Jury; the Jury returned a verdict of guilty of a common assault, but recommended the prisoner to mercy on account of the character of the woman. —Three months' imprisonment and hard labour.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1845: Feb 15 - Norfolk Chronicle:
FELONY - Francis Palmer, of Hockering, was charged by Emilins Snap, of Mattishall, butcher, with having robbed him of a £5; note. - The complainant, on the 7th February , about seven o'clock in the evening, was at the Hockering Cock public-house, with the prisoner and other persons. He had occasion to take his purse out of his pocket, and in taking his money out, be supposed that he had dropped the £5 note on the floor. Afterwards, when the prisoner had gone, he discovered that he had lost the note. He had it from the East of England bank, but he was not sure what sort of a note it was. - Charles Isbell, who was present, saw complainant take the purse out of his Pocket; presently the prisoner took a light colored piece of paper from the ground, and went out directly after. The paper laid between the parties, and the prisoner drew it to him with a stick. - Mary Ann Furnish said, her husband kept the Braziers Arms public-house, in Norwich. On the 7th February, about half-past ten o'clock. the prisoner came to her house, and having ordered some beer, he tendered a £5 note in payment. The witness went to a Mrs Arnold's to get change, and gave the prisoner £4 19s 6d. N W Skelton, of the city force, having information of the robbers, apprehended the prisoner the same night, after eleven o'clock, and found the money in his possession. -The prosecutor identified the prisoner; and the latter, it appeared, had promised to return the money. - He was committed for trial, and admitted to bail.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Jul 5 - Norfolk Chronicle:
William Spragg, (41) was indicted for having stolen five bushels of undressed wheat, the property of Sarah Bloomfield, of Mattishall widow. He was further charged with having stolen an elm plank, the property of Edward Stearman, of Mattishall. The prisoner was convicted on the first charge; no evidence was offered on the second.
The Chairman, in passing sentence, said, the prisoner had been tried for many offences, and he had used great violence in resisting the police. The sentence of the court was, that he be transported for seven years,
William was born about 1804 and thought to be the son of Robert Spragg and Jane Cob, although no baptism has been found to-date. - William Spragg a bachelor married Mary Ann Mallett on June 25th 1825 at All Saints Church Mattishall, strangely James Gunton (mentioned above who was transported in 1831) was witness. William and Mary Ann had a son in 1826 named James Spragg. James (next story below) was convicted and sentenced to 12 months in Norwich Castle where he died aged just 22 years.
William Spragg departed England on December 18th 1845 with 249 other convicts on the ship ' Joseph Somes' and arrived at Van Dieman's Land on May 19th 1846 - He never returned - More on William HERE

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1846: Aug 22 - Norfolk News:
John Hall, of Mattishall, was ordered to pay 2s 6d, to the poor box and 5s, to officers, for having assaulted John Lawrence, of Lakeneham

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Jan 9 - Norfolk News:
James Spragg, aged 21, and James Fitt, aged 23, were charged with having, on the 26th of November last, stolen from the dwelling house of John Walpole, of Mattishall, two boxes, one chisel, four sovereigns, and other moneys, amounting to £3, the property of Robert Gunton, lodger at Walpole's. Mary Ann Walpole heard her husband go out about six o'clock in the morning; shortly after, heard a noise in the kitchen, and came down. Upon searching, missed a box - the box belonged to Gunton, a lodger; was not aware of having had any one in the house within the last few days, excepting Fitt, who had been there the previous afternoon.
Robert Gunton, coal dealer, and a lodger at Mrs.Walpole's, was called up on the morning of the robbery by Mrs. Walpole: he missed his box, which contained four sovereigns and between two and three pounds of silver, a book in which he kept account of work and a chisel. He traced footmarks to the house of Spragg's, and from that to a pond, near Waltham, a distance of a quarter of a mile.
Police Officer Willis, went to Walpole's on the 26th of November saw footmarks by the back door, traced them to Spragg's house, and back again to Walpole's: took Spragg's highlows, and made further examination, and found them to correspond in every respect with the footprints; afterwards dragged the pond, and found a and found a box, with two stones in, tied up with rope and list.
Simmons' a police officer, sworn - Had Spragg in custody whilst Willis was in search of Fitt. The evidence as to the identity of the footmarks was similar to last witness. Abbot, police officer, found some rope in the back kitchen, which corresponded with that upon the box. Mr. W. Cooper having addressed the jury, and the chairman having summed up, the jury after a short consultation, returned a verdict of guilty against both prisoners. Proof was then produced as to three previous convictions against Fitt, and two indictments against Spragg, upon each of which he was acquitted. Both prisoners were each sentenced to twelve mouths' imprisonment, and hard labour, with 14 days' solitary confinement at the end of each four months. Spragg in the Norwich Castle, Fitt in Walsingham.
James Spragg was baptised on June 11th 1826, the son of William Spragg (mentioned above) a Labourer ad his wife Mary Ann Mallett. James died in Norwich Castle prison at the age of 22 and was buried June 15th 1847 at All Saints Churchyard Mattishall.
James Fitt re-offends again in '1849: Aug 4' and is transported (see below)

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Jan 9 - Norfolk News:
Joseph Cock, age 28, was indicted for having broken into the house of Robert Meachen, of Mattishall, and stolen therefrom seven sovereigns, four half sovereigns, ten half crowns, five shillings, two sixspences, one shirt and other articles. Acquitted.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1847: Jul 3 - Norwich Mercury:
George Dunthorn, age 10, pleaded guilty, for having embezzled the sum of ten-pence, the property of William Harmer , of Mattishall, on the 5th April last. fourteen days' imprisonment, with solitary imprisonment.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Aug 26 - West Kent Guardian - EXTRAORDINARY ACCIDENT.
On Friday evening last, as two ladies were riding out in a retired lane, at Mattishall Burgh they observed a cow running towards them in a state of great excitement, and apparently mad. On its approach they discovered a child attached to its tail by the hair, which was wound round his body. They instantly gave the alarm a the nearest house, and assistance being rendered, the cow was secured. The child was, however, found to be quite dead The body was much bruised, and the head cut and battered in a dreadful manner. The county coroner, Mr. Pilgrim, was sent for, and an inquest was held on the body on Saturday when it appeared, from the evidence of a child five or six years old, who was near the spot at the time of the occurrence, that the deceased (whose name was Thomas Ireson, aged ten years, son of a labourer residing in the parish) had tied the cow's tail, which had a great length of hair, round his body, saying that he was going to have a swing, and the cow started off, dragging the deceased after it. A verdict of " Accidental death ' was returned. - Norfolk Chronicle.
MORE - Thomas Ireson was baptised on April 15th 1838 at All Saints Church Mattishall, entry 748 the son of John Ireson a Labourer and his wife Anne Dack

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1848: Nov 4 - Norfolk Chronicle:
William Thorpe, 47, (who pleaded guilty, and said he did it through want) for stealing 3lbs of bread meal; the property of William Culyer, of Mattishall, brick maker - Seven days.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1849: Mar 17 - Norfolk News:
Richard Gathercole, aged 18, was indicted on a charge of stealing, on the 11th of January, one brass weight, the property of Maria Hatton, of Mattishall, shopkeeper. The jury found him Guilty, but recommended him to mercy on account of his youth. He had, however, already been in Walsingham bridewell no less than seven times, and once in the castle at Norwich, and the learned Chairman sentenced him to three months' imprisonment, with hard labour - nine days solitary - and to be once privately whipped.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Aug 4 - Norfolk News: - STEALING A MARE
James Fitt, aged 26, was charged with stealing, on the 5th of April last at Outwell, a brown mare, the property of Mr Thomas W. Horton, farmer. Mr Brown prosecuted the prisoner, who was undefended. Mr Horton deposed, that on the 6th of April he missed his mare, which he had seen safe on the previous evening. The mare was afterwards shown to him by Police Constable Willis. Walham Horton, son of the last witness, stated that he fastened the mare up in the stable on the evening of April 5th. Early the next morning witness entered the stable, and found that the mare was gone. He traced the mare's footsteps to the turnpike on the road to Mattishall, George Page said he kept the toll-gate at Fincham. About a quarter before one o'clock on the morning of the 6th of April a man passed through the gate with a brown mare, on the road from Outwell to Mattishall. The gate was about sixteen miles from Outwell. The mare appeared to have been hard ridden. Witness could not actually swear to the man, but the man was of the same size as the prisoner. Witness saw the same mare again on the 11th.
P Johnson said he lived at Mattishall. He knew the prisoner, and saw him there on the 6th of April, about ten minutes after five in the morning, riding on a brown mare, which appeared very warm. The prisoner was then dressed with a cap, and a brown coat with one cape to it. Witness again saw the mare passing his house on the 11th, in possession of a police officer. He also saw the animal subsequently at Downham, in a cart belonging to the prosecutor. Police Constable Willis deposed to finding a mare feeding in the highway, at Mattishall, and taking her to Mr. Horton on the 11th. Prisoner had. been away from his house ever since. Police Constable Priest stated, that on the 10th of July, he apprehended the prisoner, when he denied having stolen the mare. Prisoner succeeded in absconding the same night, but witness, after a chase, retook him.
Elizabeth Fisher said I reside at Outsell; the prisoner lodged with me in the beginning of April last. He left on the 5th without paying me, and I did not see him again for some weeks. My house is about a mile and a quarter from Mr Morton's, and on the way to Mattishall. When I saw him again, I asked him how he came to take the mare away. He replied, that he took her to ride home with, and he turned her into a field of Mr Gowing's, at Mattishall. He also said, that he had seen the horse that he stole that very morning, on the bank. When he left my house he had a cap on, and a light brown coat. Prisoner cross-examined every witness at some length, and afterwards addressed the jury in his own defence, telling them that he left Outsell on the 5th of April, to go home, and found the mare on the way thither. He thought he knew the mare, and took charge of her for the purpose of finding the owner, but not being able to do so, he turned her loose again upon the road. After his lordship had briefly summed up, the jury returned a verdict of guilty, and the prisoner haring been on a former occasion convicted of burglary, he was sentenced to ten years' transportation.
MORE - James Fitt was baptised on August 24th 1823 at All Saints Church Mattishall, entry 325. He was one of at least 9 children, the son of Edward Fitt a labourer and his wife *Lydia Spragg. James left England on November 17th 1852 on the ship 'Dudbrook' with 230 other convicts for Western Australia. Arrived at Western Australia on February 7th 1853 - * Lydia Spragg was baptised on Apr 30th 1801 the daughter of Robert Spragg and his wife Jane Cobe, Also sister to Charles, William and Francis also mentioned above.
It appears James married soon after ariving in Australia where he then settled - The below information was taken from the internet and show some of his descendants:-

James married on October 14th 1854 to Mary Kilford who was born in Galway Ireland in 1823. They had a least 9 children. Mary died Jan 16th 1894 at Coolgardie, Western Australia. James died on May 9th 1904 in Narrogin, Western Australia, age about 81. Their son, James Fitt was born 1856 in York, Western Australia. He married Alice Dimmock in 1873 in Williams, Western Australia and he died 3 Dec 1920 in Perth. Their son Francis Fitt was born 1885 in Narrogin, Western Australia and married Elizabeth Margaret Finnigan He died 21 Sep 1973 in Narrogin. Francis and Elizabeth had a daughter Winifred Beryl Fitt born 21 Feb 1922 in St Kilda, Western Australia and she died 1987 in Perth. She married Stanley Moyle.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1849: Oct 20 - Norfolk News:
John Bailey, aged 29, was indicted on the charge of having, on the 29th of May, stolen one lamb, the property of John Easton Brookbanks, of East Dereham, farmer. Mr Brookhanks deposed, that on the 28th of May last, be had fifteen or sixteen score sheep and Iambs in a field. On the morning of the 29th, he missed one of the lambs, and on looking about the field for it, he found the skin covered over with hay, and the entrails wrapped up in it. Witness took the skin, and delivered it to Mr Machin, a butcher. Mr Machin stated that he resided at Mattishall, and Bailey the prisoner, lived next door to him. In consequence of something that happened, witness went for police constable Willis, on the 30th of May, with whom he went to search the prisoner's house. Bailey was in the yard, but did not produce the key, and Willis got in at the window, while witness remained in the yard. Prisoner, a few minutes afterwards, ran away and witness tried to catch him, but could not. Witness then returned, and searched the house with Willis, and found some lamb there, two legs, ten breasts, two shoulders. and part of the loin, in salt and a bloody shawl. Witness received the skin of a Iamb from Mr Brookbanks, and compared the joints with it. The animal had not been killed in a proper way, as a butcher would kill it The parts all corresponded equally, especially some in which portions of the meat were left on the skin. Police officer Willis substantiated the evidence of the last witness, and the prisoner having been found guilty, he was sentenced to six months' imprisonment—six days to be solitary.
MORE - John Baley/Bailey was born on March 4th 1819 and baptised on May 16th the same year at St Peter's Church Mattishall Burgh the son of Peter Baley a labourer and his wife Mary Francis - John married Leah Thompson on Feb 10th 1846 at St Andrews Church Westfield. By 1851 John & Leah had 2 children and had moved to Kings Lynn

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1850: Jan 5 - Norfolk News:
George Furman, aged 33, was charged with having, on the 29th of November last, unlawfully uttered and past off a false and counterfeit half-crown to Mr John Leman, baker, MattishalL The evidence shewed that the prisoner had purchased some bread of the prosecutor and passed the counterfeit coin, and when taken into custody he had also in his possession a counterfeit half-crown. Guilty - He was sentenced to three months' imprisonment.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1853: Jun 11 - Norfolk Chronicle: - East Dereham - Special Petty Sessions.
Before the Revds, T Pardon, W Girling, and P Gurdon; - William Range, Hingham; Leonard Norton, Welborne; William Pooley, Hackford; Robert Haythorpe, Hardingham, Barney Pitcher, Brandon Parva; and James Howard, Mattishall; were brought up in custody charged with assaulting police constable Woodhouse and White at Hardingham "Wake," about two o'clock on the morning of the 1st inst. After investigating the case, they were fined £5 each including costs, which was paid by all excepting Range who was committed to Norwich Castle for two months' hard labor in default &c.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Sep 24 - Norfolk Chronicle: Inquest in Norfolk
Last Friday, Mr. Pilgrim held an inquest at Mattishall, on view of the body of William Scales, The deceased had come from Tuddenham, in Cambridgeshire, to see his son, who is a veterinary surgeon at Mattishall. The deceased wished to go to Weston to see an old friend of his who resided there. Mr William Pond, of Mattishall, offered to drive him to Weston, distance of a few miles, and the offer was accepted. Mr Pond and the deceased accordingly drove to Weston with a pony and cart, and as they were returning, Mr Pond was driving, the pony took fright. the deceased was thrown from the cart to the ground, the wheels passing over him; his arm got entangled between the spokes of the wheels, and was dreadfully lacerated. He was otherwise severely injured. Every assistance was rendered, but lock-jaw followed, and he lived only a short time afterwards. Mr Taylor, a surgeon, attended the inquiry, and stated his opinion that death was caused by lock-jaw coming on after a severe tendinous wound. Mr Pond was called into the room, and he expressed his regret at what had happened; and he gave a satisfactory account how the accident occurred. It appeared that deceased and Mr Pond had drank to much with their friend at Weston, though they were not intoxicated. The Jury returned a verdict, that William Scales died of lock-jaw caused by the injuries received by a fall from the cart, and the jury were satisfied that Mr Pond was exonerated from blame. The Coroner hoped that this accident would operate as a caution to him and to others to he careful in regard to drifting before driving home at night.
MORE - William Pond was Landlord of the 'White House Inn' at South Green.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1853: Nov 19 - Norfolk News:
MATTISHALL- Secret Interment - On Monday last, an inquest was held at Mattishall, before Mr Pilgrim, one of the County coroners, on the body of William Richmond, age eight months, the child of Susannah Richmond, of that parish. The child had died about a fortnight before the inquest, and was privately buried in the night by the mother and the father, who was the sexton of the parish; and for some days afterwards no other persons appear even to have known of the child's death. When the circumstances, however. came to the ears of the authorities, they instituted inquiries, and it then came out that the mother, who is only thirty-five years of age, has had fourteen children, nine of whom had died, and three had been buried. These circumstances gave rise to suspicions - and as rumors were afloat in abundance, it was thought prudent that an inquest be held. At the inquest the above facts were proved is evidence, and it was also shown, that deceased had been much neglected by the mother, who frequently left him nearly all night, with two or three other small children, while she was spending her time at balls and other places of amusement. Indeed she was thus engaged on the very night upon which the child died. She was in the constant habit, too, of administering laudanum and various cordials to the deceased - The body was exhumed. and Mr Taylor, of Mattishall, surgeon, made a past mortem examination of the body, and came to conclusion that death had been caused by inflammation of the right lung. The jury found a verdict in accordance with this opinion, and expressed their conviction that great blame attached both to the father and the mother of deceased. whom they severely reprimanded. With respect to the father they thought !mini a very improper person to hold the office of sexton in the parish.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1854: Mar 11 - Norwich Mercury:
Edward Sharman, wheelwright, of Mattishall, was summoned by police-constable Edward Coghlan for shooting a partridge at Mattishall on the 11th inst. Robert Culyer proved that he saw the defendant shoot the partridge in Mr Yell's meadow. Mr Sharman denied having done so, and stated he was in an adjoining field the greatest part of the day with other persons, but called no witnesses for his defence. He was fined 10s, and costs 13s 6d.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1854: Oct 18 - Norwich Mercury:
James Howard, beer-house keeper, of Mattishall, was charged by police constable Coghlan, with keeping his house open after the hour of half-past two, and before the hour of six o'clock in the afternoon of Sunday, the 1st inst; ordered to pay existences, 8s 6d.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1855: Apr 21 - Norwich Mercury:
On Thursday, the 10th instant, a fire broke out to a barn near the church, in the occupation of Mr Gowing, farmer, of Mattishall, by which the barn, and some sheds adjoining. were completely destroyed. Fortunately there was no corn in the barn, and only a small quantity of straw. and some trifling agricultural implements. A number of persons were quickly on the spot, and great credit is due to them for their exertions in preventing the fire spreading. The wind was very high at the time, and it was almost a miracle that no further damage was done, as there were houses on both sides of the barn. At one time the church porch caught fire, but was speedily extinguished. A fire engine from East Dereham was soon in attendance. The fire was discovered by police-constable Coghlan, who was in his garden, at ten o'clock in the forenoon, and saw something rising from the roof, which appeared to him at first like dust, but which he afterwards discovered to be smoke. He immediately ran to the barn, and, opening the door, found straw burning in a skep, which he turned over to extinguish, and he then found the whole of the thatched roof on fire. He directly closed the door, gave an alarm, and turned the live stock out of the yard. The general opinion is, that the fire was caused by a spark from an adjoining chimney. On the Thursday previous a fire broke out at Mr Gowing's Home Farm, caused by a spark from the steam engine when thrashing. This was quickly extinguished, with little damage.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
May 19 - Norfolk Chronicle:
Christmas Tofts, of Mattishall, dealer, was summoned at the instance of the overseer; of the parish of Mattishall, to shew cause why an order should not be made on him to relieve his mother, who was become chargeable to the parish. Order made for 1s. 6d. per week, and 13s. expenses.
MORE - Christmas Tofts was baptised on Jan 20th 1818 at All Saints Church Mattishall, entry 160, the son of James Totfs and his wife Susanna Rudd - It seems by 1861 all had been resolved for Susanna was now living with her daughter Edith at South Green as she had married Samuel Symmonds a farm labourer in the March quarter of 1858.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1855: Jul 11 - Norwich Mercury:
At the Assembly Room, on Friday last, before the Rev Thomas Paddon and G L Press, Esq., James White was charged by police-constable Coghlan, with being drunk at Mattishall, on the 18th ultimo. he was fined 5s, and costs 7s 6d. - Stephen Holland and Matthew Leeds, of Brandon Parva, labourers, were charged by police-constable Coghlan, with wilfully damaging furze growing on land the property of John Tyce, at the Parish of Mattishall, on Sunday, the 24th of June. Holland was fined 6d, and 9s costs, and Leeds was fined 6d, and 12s costs.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Oct 20 - Norfolk Chronicle:
William Holland, a labourer, was charged with having stolen a chicken, value 2s., belonging to J Gowing, at Mattishall. On August 3rd, the prosecutor had some chickens; on that day Mrs Gowing saw one dead with the neck broken, and sent information to the police. A constable, in consequence of information, watched Mr. Gowing's premises, and saw the prisoner put his hand into a shed, take a chicken, and put it in his pocket. The constable went after him and apprehended him. - Found guilty; ten days with hard labour.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1855: Nov 14 - Norwich Mercury:
East Dereham - At the petty sessions held at the Assembly Room, on Friday last, before the Rev P Gordon, Rev Thomas Paddon, and G L Press, Esq., Robert Johnson, of Mattishall, saddler, was summoned by police-constable Coghlan, for assaulting Elizabeth Webster, at Mattishall, on the 16th ult. He pleaded guilty, and was fined £2, and 14s 6d. costs. - James Guyton, of East Dereham, publican, was summoned by police-constable Oakley, for refusing to assist him, when duly called on to do so, on the 3rd instant. The police-constable did not wish to press the charge, but had caused him to appear before the magistrates as a' warning to others, and that he might be informed he was compelled to assist a police-constable when called on. Ordered to pay expenses, 7s - William Daynes, of Mattishall, labourer, was summoned by police-Constable Coghlan for wilfully obstructing the free passage of a certain highway in the parish of Hockering. Fined 1s, and 5s costs.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1855: Dec 12 - Norwich Mercury:
East Dereham - On Friday last, at the petty sessions, held at the Assembly Room, before the Rev Philip Gurdon, Rev Thomas Paddon, and G L Press, Esq, John Loveday, of Mattishall, labourer, was charged with stealing eleven Swede turnips, value three-pence, the property of Mr John Keeler, of Mattishall. The prisoner consented to the case being disposed of by the magistrates, pleaded guilty, and was committed to Norwich Castle for 21 days, without hard labour, being an old man. - Bartholomew Smith, a gipsy, was charged with stealing a plough line, the property of Mr James Nelson. he was committed to Norwich Castle for one month, with hard labour.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1856: Oct 15 - Norwich Mercury:
EAST DEREHAM - On Friday, before B Gurdon, Esq. and G. L. Press. Esq, - James Howard, of Mattishall, beer-house keeper, was charged with refusing to admit the police; fined £1 and 13s costs.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1856: Oct 18- Norfolk News:
Sarah Woodhouse (19), laborer, was charged with stealing an umbrella, of the value of 4s, the property of Mr William Graves, at Mattishall, on the 1st ult. Mr Graves is a draper, residing at Mattishall, and on the 1st ult, the prisoner and her sister went into his shop for the purpose of purchasing some articles. They stopped about ten minutes, and shortly after they went out, an umbrella was missed. Information of the robbery was given to a police officer, who searched the prisoner's house, and found there an umbrella, which the prosecutor identified as his property. The prisoner denied taking the umbrella, and said she did not know her sister had got it. It was dusky at the time. The jury acquitted the prisoner.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1856: Nov 15 - Norfolk News:
Dereham. At the petty sessions on the 7th inst, before the Rev P Gordon, the Rev T Paddon, and G L Press, Esq. - Elijah Goff, of Mattishall, laborer, was convicted of an assault upon Mr Matthew Yull, farmer, on the 24th of October, at Dereham, and fined £5 and 12s costs, and in default, was committed to Norwich Castle for two months, with hard labor.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1857: Feb 7 - Norwich Mercury:
EAST DEREHAM. - On the 30th ult, before the Rev T Paddon, G L Press, and C E Brown, Esq, John Breeze, of East Tuddenham, was charged at the instance of John Gooch, farmer, with stealing two hurdles. Committed for one month, hard labour. - Frederick Bush, Mattishall, labourer, was charged with furious driving; fined 2s 6d., and 6s. 6d. costs. - Jonathan Meacham, beer-house-keeper, Yaxham, was charred with allowing gaming in his house; the case was dismissed

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
Apr 4 - Norfolk News:
George Gunn (64), laborer, was charged with having committing an abominable crime at Mattishall Bergh, on the 12th of last Sept. A Master, Esq., surgeon, stated that he considered the prisoner to be in an unsound state of mind. The prisoner was, in consequence, at once removed and ordered to be taken care of as a lunatic.
MORE: George Gunn was born on June 4th 1795 and baptised at St Peter's Church Mattishall Burgh on July 19th of the same year, the son of Robert Gunn and his wife Sarah Weebelly. George a bachelor and farm labourer married Susanna White a spinster of the parish at St Peter's Church, they had several children. George died in the Dec quarter of 1857, possible at Little Plumstead Asylum. Susanna/Susan remaried to John Rudd a farm labourer in the March quarter of 1863 and remained living at Mattishall Burgh.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1857: May 27 - Norwich Mercury:
PETTY SESSIONS - EAST DEREHAM. - On Friday last,before the Rev T Paddon, and R C Brown, Esq., Jonathan Beckett, of Mattishall, labourer, was charged with drunkenness; fined 5s, and 11s, costs.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1857: Nov 21 - Norfolk News:
Benjamin Howard, drover, of Mattishall, was charged with stealing a parasol and other articles, the property of Mary Ann Atkins, of the Castle Meadow. The prisoner, a married man, and the prosecutrix, who had been living together for some time, had a quarrel lately, and separated; and on Saturday night, when Atkins returned home she found that her house had been forcibly entered, and some articles broken, others burnt, and others taken away. Information was given to the police, who apprehended the prisoner, in whose possession they found a parasol and other of the missing articles. His defense was, that as they had been purchased with his money, he considered they were his property. He was remanded till Wednesday, when he was sent to goal for a month.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1858: Mar 20 - Norwich Mercury:
EAST DEREHAM, March 12. - Before T L Press and R C Browne, Esqs, and the Revs B Gurdon and P Paddon, Edward Sanall, of Mattishall, charged with assaulting Esther Murrell, was fined £2, and 13s costs; in default, six months' hard labour.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1858: Jun 2 - Norwich Mercury:
Edward Dobbs, innkeeper, of Mattishall, was fined 5s, and costs for being drunk. The same defendant was charges with cruelty to a horse, and ordered to pay the costs.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1859: May 11 - Norwich Mercury: POLICE GUILDHALL - SATURDAY
ALLEGED ASSASULT - David Catton, horse dealer, Hingham, was charged by Christmas Tofts, cattle dealer, Mattishall, with having that morning assaulted him on the public road, by throwing sheep's dung at and upon him. The case was dismissed by the defendant paying the costs, amounting to 7s 6d., with a caution that if he was brought before the bench again on a similar charge, he would be bound over to keep the peace.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]
1859: Dec 7 - Norwich Mercury:
Alfred Richmond (20), labourer, was charged with burglariously entering the dwelling-house of Archibald Brasnett, of Mattishall, on the 3rd of September, and stealing a desk and £2 in silver and copper, belonging to Archibald Brasnett. Mr Drake was for the prosecution, and Mr Palmer for the defence. James Lingwood stated that he lived at Mattishall, and, on the 4th of September be went to Mr Brasnett's bake-office in the morning, and found that some glass had been taken out of a window, apparently by means of a knife. Woke Mr Brasnett up. The pane was near the fastening of the window. Archibald Brasnett, the prosecutor, stated that he was a baker at Mattishall, and the prisoner lived close to his premises. Went to bed at twelve o'clock on the night of the 3rd of November. Was called up between six and seven the following morning by the last witness. Found that the bake-office had been broken into, and a desk, containing £2 in copper and silver stolen. Among the silver was a fourpenny piece, which prosecutor had had eighteen months. It was much flattened, and had on one side a rough appearance. as though it had been scraped. The word "fourpence," and the date "1838," were distinguishable on the coin. The bake office communicated by a passage with the kitchen of the house. On the following Wednesday morning prosecutor went to Mrs Dobbs, who was housekeeper for her son at the George public house. She showed him some silver, and he picked out the fourpenny piece produced, which was the one he had lost. Cross-examined. - Did not himself fasten the house up before going to bed the night before the robbery. The word "fourpence" was not all distinct. It was on the "tail." side. Could not see a little cross scratched on the coin. By the Judge. - Had observed the date before the burglary. Was quite sure of that. Edward Fisher, a lad, deposed that on Sunday, the 4th of September, he saw the prison, at a public-house, in Mattishall, offer a fourpenny piece for a sixpence; but the person to whom it was offered would not take it. Prisoner then showed it to witness, and he could see "pence" and "1838" upon it. The coin produced was the same. Cross- examined. - Could see a cross on the coin now. Did not see it on the Sunday. The cross was more easily seen then the word "pence." James Smith, apprentice to Mr Dobbs, wheel-wright and publican at Mattishall, stated that he saw the prisoner have some porter at Mr Dobbs' house on the 6th of September. He offered a fourpenny piece in change. Witness took the coin to his mistress and returned with a penny to the prisoner, who said he had given witness a sixpence, and wanted 2d. more, Witness told this to his mistress, who gave him 2d more, which he gave to the prisoner. The fourpenny piece produced was not the same he had taken form the prisoner. Mrs Dobbs, who lives at a public-house at Mattishall, deposed that on the 6th of September she received from the last witness a fourpenny piece. She did not notice the coin particularly. On the following day Mr. Brasnett called on her she shewed him some silver, and he picked out a fourpenny piece. Mr. Drake, - Now look at that coin. Witness. - Is this the one, sir (Laughter.) - Mr. Drake, - Is this the one I wish you to look at. - Mr Palmer, You had better tell her to swear to it at once. - Witness, This is the coin I gave to Brasnett, - His LORDSHIP here said, after the witness Smith's statement that it was not the coin he had received from the prisoner, it was hardly worth while to carry the case any further. It was likely that any one who had committed the burglary would have gone to the public-house to drink some of the money. Everything depended on the coin, and that was not clearly traced. The jury, then. by his lordship's direction, found a verdict of acquittal.

*********************************************************************************** [Back to Top]

Back to History Menu  
If you are viewing this site through someone else's browser then refresh here:-