Early Modern Crime and the Law

Samuel Jones, sheep stealing

Carmarthenshire, 1795

NLW Great Sessions gaolfiles 4/751/1
Examinations of witnesses and suspect

[4/751/1.11: Rees William Harry of the borough of Kidwelly, farmer, on oath]... saith that he this examinant in the month of October last past bought of Samuel Jones of Pistillgwyn in the borough of Kidwelly aforesaid yeoman twenty sheep for four guineas and ... that about a month after he bought the said twenty sheep of the said Samuel Jones as aforesaid he the said Rees William Henry bought of the said Samuel Jones ten other sheep for six shillings and six pence a piece. That this examinant bought these sheep in consequence of applications from the said Samuel Jones to buy them; that he had no conception that the sheep so bought of the sd. Samuel Jones were at the time of buying them stolen sheep That he recollects one John Thomas of Trevanna coming with Samuel Jones towards this examinants house a little before Christmas last when the sd. John Thomas asked him if he had bought any sheep of the description following, vizt. one sheep with one eye only, one other sheep black with the tip of her tail white turning up, upon this examinant informing him that he had such sheep, the sd. John Thomas requested to see them which this examinant accordingly did, when the said John Thomas said that he believed he was the owner of such two sheep if not three of the sheep then shewn him this examinant upon that said that he had nothing to say about that matter but that he had bought such sheep of Samuel Jones and paid him for them and then asked the sd. Samuel Jones if that was not a fact to which the said Samuel Jones replied that was very true That the said John Thomas asked this examinant if he wod. deliver up the sheep which this examinant refus'd that he had bought them fairly of the said Samuel Jones as aforesaid ...

[4/751/1.12: John Thomas of Llanelly, Carms, yeoman, on oath]... saith that sometime on or about the twenty sixth day of November last he this examinant lost nine sheep from off a certain mountain whereon they grased commonly called Mynyddcoesllaw, which he supposed to have been stolen That after making enquiries about them to no purpose he got them cried in about a fortnight afterwards in Llanelly market That in abt. a week or nine days after they were so cried, this examinant on being informed by one Evan Gravell, that persons about Kidwelly had bought some sheep, went to the neighbourhood of Kidwelly and searched there one whole day for them but cod. not find them That the next morning this examinant was informed that one Samuel of Penlan near Kidwelly had bought some, to whom this examinant went & asked him if he had bought any sheep of the description then mentioned by this examinant, ... in answer to which the sd. Samuel replied he had sheep of such description & that he had bought them of Samuel Jones of Pistillgwyn That the said Samuel of Penlan shewed the sheep to this examinant six of which this examinant well knew to be his sheep which he had lost. That Samuel of Penlan then went for the said Samuel Jones, and brought him to Penlan; and upon the said Samuel Jones confessing in the presence and hearing of examinant that he had sold the said six sheep to the said Samuel of Penlan which this examinant claimed, this examinant asked the said Samuel Jones where he had them, he the said Samuel Jones answer'd, that he had them by or near Pontardulas; that he seem'd to be much confus'd and observ'd silence after giving that answer for some time, That this examinant again asked the said Samuel Jones to tell the truth that he well knew that he had not the sheep at Pontardulas, and what he had done with his (this examinant) three other sheep which this examinant describ'd to him then to which the said Samuel Jones replied that he had bought them of the man with the bandy leg who lives at Crossant and that the three sheep he this examinant enquire'd for were with one Rees William Harry in the borough of Kidwelly in whose custody they were found & which the said Samuel Jones then confess'd he had sold to the sd. Rees William Harry. That Samuel Jones begged of the said Rees Wm. Harry to deliver up the sheep to this examinant in order to send them to the other sheep at Penlan which the said Rees William Harry then refus'd unless he was refunded the money he had pd. for them to the sd. Samuel Jones on security for the same That this examinant is not of sufficient property or able to bear ye expence of prosecuting the said Samuel Jones ...

[4/751/1.32: Samuel Jones of Pistillgwyn, p. St Mary in borough of Kidwelly, yeoman]... saith that on or about the 26th day of September last past [1795] this examinant happened to be in a public house called the Cock in King Street Carmarthen and in company with Thomas Anthony of Crossant in the parish of Llanelly in the county of Carmarthen farmer and then and there bought of him the said Thomas Anthony thirty seven sheep without seeing them at the price of five shillings and six pence a piece and which said sheep were by the said Thomas Anthony delivered to this examinant in the twilight on the evening of the fourteenth day of October last past on Pembrey mountain when this examinant paid the said Thomas Anthony for the same ten pounds six shillings and six pence and this examinant further saith that he kept the sheep so bought about a fortnight and afterwards sold them to the different persons hereafter named vizt. eight of such sheep to Samuel Anthony of Penlan, twenty one to Rees William Harry of Garthey, eight to Jeremiah Morris of Kidwelly, that this examinant also bought of the said Thomas Anthony on Pembrey mountain twenty four sheep, about eight o'clock at night of the twenty sixth of November last at 6s/9d a piece and then paid for the same six pounds, and the remainder afterwards to the said Thomas Anthony, and this examinant further saith that he went to give the said Thomas Anthony the meeting agreeable to an appointment made the preceding Saturday at Carmarthen, that this examinant never saw the sheep before he saw them on Pembrey mountain That this examinant sold the nine sheep which John Thomas of Trevenna claims to the said Samuel Anthony and Rees William and that they are part of the last flock of sheep bought of Thomas Anthony as aforesaid ...

[4/751/1.63: Thomas Anthony of Llanelly, yeoman]... saith that he did not steal such sheep, nor ever had any dealings with the said Samuel Jones, or any knowledge of him till he saw him about a fortnight ago at his dwelling house. ...


Indictments: 4/751/1.8: Samuel Jones, theft of 6 ewes, a ram, 2 lambs of John Thomas: not guilty; 10: Samuel Jones, 6 ewes, 1 ram, 18 lambs of Phillip Benjamin (true bill, but apparently no trial); 20: Thomas Anthony, 2 lambs, 1 ram, 6 ewes of John Thomas (no true bill); 21: Thomas Anthony, 10 lambs, 7 ewes, 1 ram of Phillip Benjamin (no true bill); 22: Thomas Anthony, 10 ewes of David Thomas (no true bill); 4/751/2.17: Samuel Jones, 6 ewes, 1 ram, 18 lambs of Phillip Benjamin: not guilty; 30: Thomas Anthony, 10 ewes of David Thomas (no true bill); 31: Thomas Anthony, 6 ewes, 1 ram, 2 lambs of John Thomas (no true bill)