Aireborough Historical Society

1843 Otley Magistrates Court




Title
Otley Magistrates Court
Date 7th January 1843
Location Otley
Photo ID
S458
Comment
"Otley Liberty Sessions-The General Quarter Sessions for the Liberty of Cawood, Wistow and Otley were held at the Court-House, Otley, on Monday last, before W R C Stansfield Esq. MP, Chairman, William Rhodes Esq. F H Fawkes Esq and F Billam Esq.

    Adam Calvert, a boy about fourteen years of age, was charged with stealing a watch, the property of John Smith, on the 22nd of December last at Baildon. Guilty. To be imprisoned for one calendar month. It was stated in evidence that the father of this boy had used him very barbarously, and to this treatment may be attributed the boy's fault and his punishment. The magistrates expressed a strong opinion upon the conduct of the father.

      John Pullan, of Guiseley, Was charged with stealing at Otley on the night of the first Otley statutes, 1lb of nuts, the property of Thomas Shearer of Leeds, who is in the habit of attending fairs with nuts and gingerbread. The prosecutor swore positively to having seen the prisoner take the nuts out of the bag and then put them in his pocket. His evidence was corroborated by a man called Whitehead and a boy named Spencer.

       For the defence several respectable witnesses stated that Pullan was never out of their sight from eight o' clock till near eleven. The robbery was stated to have been committed about half past nine. The prisoner received an excellent character for honesty. The Jury, after a long consultation, found the prisoner Guilty of taking the "nuts in a frolic" . The Chairman refused to receive the verdict in such terms and told them it must be either Guilty or Not Guilty, then (without laying their heads together) the Foreman said Guilty.

The Court sentenced Pullan to be imprisoned one calendar month."

Reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive, research by Edwy Harling 

    Further text by Christine Lovedale

The two Statute or lawful fairs  were held on the Friday before and the Friday after the old Martinmas Day, held as the Feast of St Martin on November 11th.

These were originally hiring fairs when farm workers and servants could be hired or if dissatisfied with their situation look for new employment.

 

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