Early Modern Crime and the Law

Judith Evans, theft of cheese

Montgomeryshire 1764

NLW Great Sessions gaolfiles 4/188/1
69-70: Examinations of witnesses, 28 December 1764

[69]
[Robert Evan of Machynlleth, innholder, sworn]... saith that some time in the evening of the twenty sixth day of November last Evan Griffith of the parish of Llanvihangell Gener' Glyn in the county of Cardigan, yeoman, told this examinant that he had that day lodged in the buttry in the dwelling house of this examinant two cheese in a two strike bag, that he feared they were stole as they were missing, saith that he this examinant searched his house for the said cheese and bag and could not find them there, that having heard that the other examinant Evan Jones had that day taken a woman before the said Mr Edwards [the examining JP] on suspicion of having stolen some pewter plates from the dwelling house of Anne Jones of Machynlleth aforesaid, widow, and that the said person so charged had in her possession a bag with two cheese therein, he the said examinant together with the said Evan Griffith went to the said Evan Jones to be informed of the truth thereof, and the said Evan Jones then asked the said Evan Griffith whether there was any thing in the said bag besides the cheese, to which he answered there was an old shift, whereupon the said Evan Jones told this examinant and the said Evan Griffith that the said person so charged with stealing the said plates as aforesaid had in her custody when brought before the said justice a bag in which there were two cheese and an old shift...

[Evan Jones of Machynlleth, currier, sworn]... saith that he had such con[...damage...] Robert Evan and Evan Griffith in respect to the said bag, [... ] is herein before mentioned, [and Robert Evan and Evan Jones]... severally say that immediately after the said conversation... these examinants and the said Evan Griffith went to the dwelling house of Richard Humphrey of Machynlleth... where they found the said Judith Evans That the said Evan Jones ask'd the said Judith in the presence and hearing of the said Robert Evan, where are the cheese you stole from Robert Evan's house, to which she answered that she had neither stole nor seen any cheese that day. ...

[Evan Jones further]... saith that having seen two cheese in the custody of the said Judith when she was charged on suspicion of stealing the said pewter plates as aforesaid he this examinant called her aside and told her if she would inform him where the cheese were that she had stole from the dwelling house of the said Robert Evan, he would let her go without giving her any farther trouble or to that effect, whereupon she answered and said that they were near the stairs in the kitchen, saith that he went immediately to the said stairs and found a bag there. ...

[Both examinants]... say that immediately after finding the said bag the said Evan Jones accompanied by the said Robert Evan carried the said bag to the said Richard Humphrey's cellar, and opened the same in the presence and sight of the said Robert Evan That there then was in the said bag an old shift and two cheese That one [of] the said cheese had a crack in it which made it remarkable, [....] believe the two cheese now shewn to them are the cheese that [....] the said bag when it was so opened as aforesaid, and are[....] ... said cracked cheese now shewn to them is one of the said two cheese that was in the said bag when it was so opened by them as aforesaid ...

[Robert Evan]... saith that after looking at the said cheese in Richard Humprey's cellar as aforesaid, they and the said shift were put in the said bag, and carried by this examinant to his said house on the evening of the said twenty sixth day of November, and then there by him delivered to the said Evan Griffith, who opened the said bag and said This is my bag and the cheese that I put in it, but the cheese is not mine or to that effect. ...

[70]
[John James of Ty Gwyn, par. Llanfihangel Genau'r-glyn, Cardiganshire, yeoman, sworn]... saith that having bought a parcell of cheese on the twenty second day of November last at a fair at Dolegelley in the county of Merioneth, he this examinant hired a carrier to carry the same from thence to the town of Machynlleth aforesaid where the said carrier delivered the same to this examinant on the twenty sixth day of the said month of November saith that he this examinant on the said last mentioned day delivered two of the said cheese to Evan Griffith of the said parish of Llanvyhangel Gener Glyn to be by him carried to Ty Gwyn aforesaid saith the said two cheese so by him delivered to the said Evan Griffith were worth five shillings and upwards and that there was a crack in one of the said cheese which made the same remarkable and by which it is known to this examinant ... [mark]


Indictments

4/188/1.34: Judith the wife of Evan Evans of Machynlleth, labourer; on 26 November 1764 at Machynlleth; feloniously stole one two strike bag (value 1s.) and one flaxen shift (value 1s.) of Evan Griffith: found not guilty

4/188/1.41: Judith the wife of Evan Evans (as above); same date and place; stole two cheeses (5s) of John James: found guilty to the value of 10d.