Saturday, 5 January 2013

5th January 1813: Henry Hobhouse reports the outcome of the first trial at the York Special Commission


Jan. 5. [1813]

Dear Sir,

The whole day has been occupied with the Trial of one Prosecution, viz. that of

John Swallow
John Batley
Joseph Fisher &
John Lumb

for Burglary. It commenced at 10 in the morning, & not conclude till near 7 this Evening. It was tried admirably well, but of course very deliberately, by Baron Thomson. The Evidence was quite conclusive against all the Prisoners. The Jury retired about 10 minutes, & then returned with a Verdict of guilty against all, but recommended Lumb to mercy. The Judge asked them for the Ground of this Recommendation; which they stated to be that Lumb had not been disguised, nor armed, & had called a Witness to his Character.

We appear to have a very respectable common Jury Panel.

Tomorrow morning we proceed with the Trial of Horsfall’s Murderers, which I apprehend will be taken by Mr Justice LeBlanc, who I am happy to say appeared much better in Court today.

The Court was extremely crowded throughout the day, & with an Audience for the most part of a very ill Complexion. But the Verdict was received with perfect Silence.

I understand a considerable Concourse of People has been flocking to York from the Westward, but on this head of course Lord Sidmouth will be much better informed by those whose Duty it is to preserve the Peace.

The Grand Jury which is highly respectable, & has Mr Lascelles for it’s Foreman, has found all the Bills that have yet been presented. The Result of the Trial tomorrow will decide how many more shall be prepared.

I am Dear Sir
Yrs most faithfully
H. Hobhouse

[To] J Beckett Esq

This letter can be found at HO 42/132.

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