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Document two

An abstract of criminal cases tried at the Dartford assizes in the sixteenth century

Joan Grene (or Fenton or Chambers) of Gravesend, spinster, was indicted for burglary and grand larceny. On 25th April at Dartford she stole 2 feather beds, 2 bolsters, a brass chafer, a latten skimmer, a brass pot, 2 pewter pots, 2 pewter pint pots, a tapestry carpet and a chopping knife. All worth 56s., from John Brydges. On 4th April 1562 she burgled the house of Thomas Brock at Dartford and stole 18 pewter platters worth 38s. Not guilty.

Emily Pott, wife of Valentine Pott of Stone, indicted for murder. By an inquisition held at Stone 27 May 1562 before John Strogull, coroner, on the body of Edward Chapman of Stone, husbandman - found that on 30 April at Stone, Pott attacked Chapman with an axe (worth 6d) and killed him. Guilty. Pleaded pregnancy; sentenced to death in July 1564 at Dartford Assizes

George Marwell of Dartford, labourer, indicted for grand larceny. On 1 May 1564 at Dartford he stole 5 sheep (worth 24s.6d) from William Vaughan. On 31 May at Dartford, he stole 5 sheep (worth 17 shillings) from William Vaughan. Not guilty.

At an Inquisition held at Dartford, 11 August 1564 before John Goodwyn, coroner, on the body of John Brusshyng. The jury found that on 5 August in the High Street at Dartford, Brusshyng attacked James Eliott of Dartford, hatmaker, with a spade (worth 4d). In self-defence Eliott punched Brusshyng inflicting injuries from which he died on 9 August. Self-defence.

Anthony Gardiner, husbandman, Constable of Dartford, indicted for a negligent escape. On 5 June 1568 he negligently allowed Joan Grome of Dartford, spinster, to escape from the stocks at Dartford. Verdict unknown.

Edward Slyn (or Kyng) of Dartford, butcher, indicted for grand larceny. On 26 December 1568 at Dartford he stole a red cow (worth 33s.4d) from Edward Russell. Guilty; to hang.

Emma Ashewell, of Dartford, spinster, indicted for infanticide, by an Inquisition held at Dartford 20 November 1583, before Thomas Tuttesham, coroner, found that on 18 November in the house of William Collyson, her master, at Dartford, Ashewell gave birth to a child which she immediately killed by cutting its throat with a knife (worth 2d). Tried in July 1584 and found guilty; remanded on plea of pregnancy.

Henry Willard of Dartford, labourer, indicted for grand larceny. On 22 June 1590 at Dartford he stole a grey stone horse (worth 6.13s.4d) from Gilbert Yonge. Guilty; to hang.

Percival Wattes, tailor, and George Watters, blacksmith of Dartford, indicted for burglary and grand larceny. On 20 February 1591 at Dartford they stole 5 quarters of wheat (worth 5), half a quarter of peas (worth 10 shillings), and two bushels of oats (worth 2 shillings) from an unknown man. On 27 August 1590 they burgled the house of John Gayler at Dartford and stole 18 bushels of corn (worth 40 shillings) and three quarters of malt (worth 3). On 1 November 1590, George Wattes broke into the close of John Gayler at Dartford and stole 10 bushels of sea-coal (worth 5 shillings) and 20 rail-posts (worth 5 shillings). Not guilty.

Inquisition held at Dartford 14 May 1595, before John Walker, coroner, on the body of James Lee of Dartford, yeoman. A jury found that Lee attacked Richard Hudson of Dartford with a sword (worth 20d). Fearing for his life, Hudson, in self-defence struck Lee with his sword (worth 12d) inflicting a wound from which he died on 10 May. Self-defence.


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