"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.
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
Reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive, research by Edwy Harling
Further text by
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.