I am puzzled........

Discussion in 'Criminal Ancestors' started by Sis, Sep 5, 2015.

  1. Sis

    Sis Rootles out resources!

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    On Old Bailey online I found an ancestors of mine Charles Goodwin who in 1857 had been charged with breaking and entering and the theft of 35 books. I read through it (have done many times) and to my mind I would have thought he was guilty. But at the bottom it reads Not Guilty and I really can't see how they came to this conclusion. Don't get me wrong I don't want him to be guilty I just want to understand how he was found Not Guilty. I would love others opinions please.
    http://www.
    oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?id=def1-1052-18571026&div=t18571026-1052#highlight
     
  2. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    It puzzles me as well but I guess it all came down to the boots! Was he or wasn't he wearing them.
    Short trial eh! He was blessed that day. Maybe another day not so lucky.
     
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  3. Huncamunca

    Huncamunca The Knowledgeable One

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    Several newspapers report his appearance at the Guildhall in September 1857, presumably at an initial hearing before magistrates. They give more detail than the Old Bailey proceedings (including titles of some of the stolen books).

    The report in the Evening Standard of 15 September 1857 says 'The facts of the case were of a somewhat fragmentary character, but when the evidence should be completed the worthy alderman would then see the chain of extraordinary circumstances which could leave no room for the slightest doubt as to the prisoner's guilt.'

    Though the evidence against him seems quite compelling, maybe it was still too fragmentary to stand up in court?
     
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  4. Sis

    Sis Rootles out resources!

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    Thanks so much Huncamunca. I don't have access to newspapers, I understand now.
     
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  5. Sis

    Sis Rootles out resources!

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    Thanks AM.
     
  6. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

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    I was hoping that a report might appear in a newspaper after the Old Bailey hearing, but I can't find one. I must say I'm a bit surprised at the verdict - it didn't seem to take much evidence of wrongdoing in those days, to convict someone.

    Ann
     
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  7. Huncamunca

    Huncamunca The Knowledgeable One

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    If you have a National Library of Australia library ticket I think you should be able to get into the '19th Century British Newspapers' database. That certainly has some reports of the hearing at the Guildhall in September 1857.

    In case you can't get in . . . the books mentioned as being stolen are seventeen copies of Evangeline and two of the Grammar of Ornament (the latter said to have been worth £20 each).

    The Grammar of Ornament must have been very expensive to produce as it had colour plates like this: Grammar of Ornament - Savage Tribes.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2015
  8. Half Hour

    Half Hour Well-Known Member

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    I don't think they could prove they were his boots....maybe his brother wore them.. After all, as a bookbinder he would know the value of the books better than the prisoner.
     
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  9. Sis

    Sis Rootles out resources!

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    Um, yes I do but I had forgotten all about it!! That is very :oops::oops: considering I am supposed to be a rootler of resources!:rolleyes: Off I shall go and have a look, thanks so much for jogging my memory. (Note to self - makes more notes to self)
    Thanks for your input ladies. Charles was only 17 at the time, think I might try and find out more about this young man.
     
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