Old News


Did Walter Peters eat my Great Grandfathers turkey?

From the Herts Advertiser,

 16th May 1891



St Albans

Did Walter Peters eat my Great Grandfathers turkey?

The "Herts Advertiser" of 16th May, 1891, reported a case which came before the St Albans Magistrates and the following is a summary:

George Cox, a labourer of no fixed abode, sometimes slept in the cart shed at Heath Farm, Bernards Heath, St Albans, where the farmer was my great grandfather, Jacob Reynolds. On May 9th a turkey which had been sitting on eggs in the cart shed went missing and the entrails were found in a nearby field. George Dumpleton found the entrails and a knife in a field, and the knife was recognised as belonging to "Scandalous Cox". In addition Henry Sinfield saw Cox talking to Walter Peters and his father in the Peacock Inn, Hatfield Road, St Albans. Cox was seen to pass a bundle to Peters, and was said to have received a shilling and a pot of beer for the turkey.

Cox was arrested in the cart shed of Heath Farm, where he was sleeping, and Chief Constable Wood and Police Sergeant Kendall went to Walter Peters' house in Bernard Street, St Albans. Walter denied having had a turkey, but a search found the remains of a pie in a cupboard, and some turkey bones.

On hearing the evidence against Cox, who was charged with stealing a turkey worth 15s, the mayor, Mr William George Bennett, a local coal merchant, acting in his capacity as a magistrate, decided to remand him until the following Wednesday. Walter Peters was charged with "Unlawfully receiving the turkey, knowing it to have been stolen." Mr Annesley, a local solicitor, defended and argued that that there was no evidence to show that Walter knew the turkey had been stolen. He also threw some doubt as to whether the case against Cox was sound. Mr Bennett not only decided that Walter Peters was not guilty as charged, but also changed his mind about the previous case - and set George Cox free

There are web pages for Jacob Reynolds, William George Bennett and Heath Farm, Bernards Heath

If you can add to the information given above tell me.

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