Sunday, 19 June 2016

19th June 1816: Henry Hobhouse summarises Day 3 of the Ely Special Commission

Shire Hall
June 19. 1816.

Dear Sir,

After I wrote yesterday, four Prisoners were tried for a Robbery on Mr. Vachell, all four were clearly proved Guilty, but the circumstances of Aggravation were greater against two than against the other two, and the Jury in their Discretion thought fit to acquit the two former.

Upon the whole of yesterday there were nine capital Convictions.

This day we began with an Indictment for robbing Robt. Edwards of this place of £50, which was clearly proved against five Prisoners, but the Jury only convicted three.

We intended to proceed with the Trial of the other Offences at Ely, but the last mentioned Indictment not having concluded until near three o'Clock, it was thought best to take some shorter Cases.

Mr. Justice Burrough tried an Indictment against two Principals and one Accessory for stealing Spoons at Mr. Vachell’s. One of the Principals was convicted, but the two others were acquitted by the Evidence of a Girl, whom we called as a Witness, and who proved to be a Sweet heart of the Prisoner.

The next case was not unfortunately tried before the Chief Justice. The Indictment was for Larceny at Mr. Vachell’s, & the Prisoner set up an Alibi, with which the Judge did not in the least know how to deal, and the summing up was such, that no one could be surprized at the Verdict of Acquittal.

I am
Dr Sir
Yr obed Servt
H. Hobhouse

This letter can be found at HO 42/151.

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