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Post Info TOPIC: Bampton East Petty Sessions register, 1857-1868


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RE: Bampton East Petty Sessions register, 1857-1868
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Thanks Jane. 

The age 29 for Edward points to this being Mary's brother, Edward/Edwin.  I'm conjuring up all sorts of stories in my head about this case - Mary's brother, brother-in-law, close to the birth of Maria, William Townsend, twenty sovereigns - surely it has to be connected to what seems to be a turbulent on off relationship between Mary Oliver and William Townsend.  I will have to make the effort to go to the Record Office to see if I can find this case in the Petty Session records.

I'm  also intrigued by the non payment of the bastardy order in April 1859 by William Townsend and will go to see if this is on the Register in the Witney Town hall.

It seems the net is closing in on this William Townsend as being my Gt Gt Grandfather.

 

Thanks again Jane for spotting all this information and passing it on.

Bye for now - Linda



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Hi Linda, it was good to see you the other day (thank you for the cake!)

I had a look in the criminal registers on Ancestry. They show that Edward Oliver appeared at the Epiphany Quarter Sessions in Oxford on 2 January 1860, charged with larceny from the person. He was acquitted.

The Oxford University and City Herald of 7 January 1860 has a report of those Quarter Sessions which gives one more little clue, i.e. Edward's age:

  'Edward Oliver, 29, labourer, was charged with stealing from the person nineteen sovereigns, the monies of William Townsend. Acquitted.'

Hope that helps with identifying which Edward he is. It might be worth checking whether any papers about the case have survived among Quarter Sessions records at the Oxfordshire History Centre. Certainly for earlier periods I know they have boxes and boxes of papers relating to trials (I helped catalogue some!) but for this date I don't know what survives.

Going back to the initial hearing in the petty sessions, Jackson's Oxford Journal of 12 November 1859 does have a report. It took some time to find it because nearly all the keywords were garbled in the the OCR'd version:

  'Edwvard Oliver, axlo stood renixoded for ste'sinp: a Purse containinig 19 sovore igns from iss ?? Townsend, of itanissien, was fully ?? fes trial. Edwvard Josses, laborer, of Fhv-toehe, wans chearged wlith re- ceiving_ tise stb . . .

What the original actually says makes a lot more sense: 

  'Edward Oliver, who stood remanded for stealing a purse containing 19 sovereigns from Wm. Townsend, of Ramsden, was fully committed for trial.

  Edward Jones, laborer, of Finstock, was charged with receiving the above-mentioned purse, knowing it to have been stolen; case dismissed.'

 

By the way, when I was looking for that newspaper article I found another in the Witney news section of the Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette, 9 April 1859, under the heading 'Justice Room', it says 'William Townsend, of Ramsden, was apprehended for non-payment of a bastardy order. Case dismissed.' Since this is the period covered by the petty sessions register at Witney Town Hall, it might be worth you going in to look at it, to see if there are any other clues there about this William in case he is yours. 



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Hello Jane.  What a find and a big thank you to you and your friend for retrieving the information for us.

The William Townsend mentioned is probably my (unproven) Great Great Grandfather.  Banns were read in June and July 1850 for Mary Oliver (my Gt Gt Grandmother) and William Townsend but no marriage followed.  Five years later my Great Grandfather, William Augustus Oliver, was born and in December 1856 Mary charged William Townsend at the Bampton Petty Sessions as being the father of her illegitimate child.  He was ordered to pay 20d per week and 12s. 6d. expenses.  Mary went on to have two more children, Mary Ann Margaret in 1858 and Maria in 1859.  It is possible that William Townsend is also the father of these two daughters but I have found nothing yet to prove or disprove this. ( I notice that Maria was born just a few weeks before this theft and I wonder if there is some connection but  I'm probably reading too much into this!!)

Getting back to the 1859 Petty Sessions regarding the William Townsend case:

 Not sure which Edward Oliver this would be (Shane will probably be able to pinpoint the right one - could be Mary's brother)

 William Townsend is likely to be the William Townsend (widower) listed on the 1851 census living in Ramsden with his five daughters. 

Edward Jones is likely to be Mary's brother in law.  He married Mary's sister Hannah Oliver in 1857 and they lived in Finstock later moving to London sometime between 1871 and 1881.

One of the witnesses - Elizabeth Dore is likely to be WilliamTownsend's daughter.  She married James Dore in 1858.

19 sovereigns sounds to be quite a substantial amount of money.  It doesn't give the outcome of the case.  Is there any way of finding this out Jane?  I'm sure Shane would have found this already if it had been reported in the newspapers.

 

 And what a sad tale about poor Sophia.  

Bye for now - Linda



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Hello all

As I mentioned to some of you at the recent Oliver Family History Day, a register relating to Bampton East Petty Sessions for 1857-1868 has turned up at Witney Town Hall. It was on display there, for one day only, as part of the Heritage Open Days in September.  I loitered around waiting for a look at it, but sadly never got to the front of the queue.  Since then, a friend of mine has been back to the Town Hall specially to look at the register. She spotted some Olivers among those appearing before the magistrates in Witney, and kindly transcribed details for me.

-----------------------------

4 November 1859. Edward Oliver, labourer of Ramsden, charged with stealing from the person of William Townsend, Higgler, of Ramsden, a purse and 19 sovereigns at Ramsden on 4 November. Witnesses Richard and William and Elisha Dore. Taken into custody by P.C. Edwin Cooper. 

(same date) Edward Jones, labourer of Finstock, accused of receiving 19 sovereigns from Edward Oliver knowing them to have been stolen.  Witnesses William Townsend and Elizabeth Dore.

(same date) Edward Oliver charged with assault on Frederick Shayler on 1 November at Ramsden. Fred Shayler, Gamekeeper of Ramsden made complaint.  Witnesses Fred Shayler and Richard Pratley. Summoned by P.C. 41 Benjamin Steptoe on 8 November.

(same date) Edward Oliver and Edmund Miller, labourers, Ramsden, Charged with trespassing in the day time in search of game on land belonging to Lord Churchill in the parish of Wychwood on 1 November.  Complainant Fred Shayler, Gamekeeper.  Witness Richard Pratley, Ramsden, Assistant Keeper. [there may be more about Edward Oliver further down same page, but the photograph was out of focus]

17 April 1862. Edward Oliver, labourer of Ramsden. Drunk and riotous in Ramsden. Complainant William Kinch of Witney. Witness, W.C. Smith of Ramsden. Case dismissed. Police cash not paid. Disposed of on 17 April 1862.

7 July 1864. John Oliver of Ramsden. Charged with assaulting the complainant on 29 June at Ramsden. Complainant John Akers, Ramsden. Witness William Hawse, Blacksmith, Ramsden. Summoned by P.C. 1. Thomas Greenhalf. Not searched. Case of assault dismissed.

27 February 1866.  Taken into custody at 8 p.m. Aged 21*. Sophia Oliver of Stonesfield.  Accused of sleeping in the open air on Church Green, Witney, having no visible means of subsistence on 27 February 1866.  Taken into custody by P.C. 57 W. Pearce.  Can read.  Convicted of vagrancy and sentenced to 42 days' hard labour.  Taken to Prison at 12 p.m. on 28 February.

27 April 1866.  Taken into custody at 2 a.m. Aged 21*. Sophia Oliver of Stonesfield. Charged with sleeping in the open air on Church Green, parish of Witney, having no visible means of subsistence on 27 April 1866.  Complainant Superintendent C. Howarth.  Taken into custody by P.C. 55 J. Smith. Remanded to 5 May.  Sentenced to 6 weeks' hard labour.

15 August 1866. Taken into custody at 11 p.m. Aged 21*. Sophia Oliver of Stonesfield. Charged with sleeping in the open air on Church Green, parish of Witney, having no visible means of subsistence on 13 September 1866.  Taken into custody by P.C. 56 J. Bartlett.  Remanded till 16th for trial at Sessions for vagrancy.  No prosecution.

19 October 1866. Aged 22*.  Taken into custody at 8.30 p.m.  Sophia Oliver of Stonesfield.  Accused of wilfully breaking one pane of glass value 3s., the property of the county.  Complainant Superintendent C. Howarth.  Taken into custody by Sergt. J. Jannaway.  Remanded till 25 October.  Then sentenced to 2 months’ hard labour in default of fine and costs for wilful damage.  Case dealt with at 2.30 p.m., 25 October 1866.

 

*from other sources we know that Sophia would have been around 31 /32 in 1866, not 21/22



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