Black Sheep Sunday – Harrison Musgrove (Part 4)

Time has moved on – almost twenty years to 1863. Harrison Musgrove had married Jane Rooking on 11 April 1853 and by now they had at least five children.

However Harrison makes the local news again in the Westmorland Gazette on Saturday 31 January 1863. This time with two other men he is accused of night poaching.

Here’s the transcript:-

THURSDAY JAN. 29 (Before W H Wakefield, W Wilson and E Harrison, Esqs.)  Westmorland Gazette Jan 1863

NIGHT POACHING AND ASSAULT

William Backhouse, Harrison Musgrove, and John Thompson, were charged with night poaching in the township of Strickland Roger, upon land belonging to MR G A Gelderd, in the occupation of Mr Anthony Barnes. Backhouse was also charged with assaulting the gamekeeper, and this charge was first entered upon.

Wm. Gardener, gamekeeper, in the service of G A Gelderd, Esq., said that on Tuesday night, 27th inst., as he was out watching he came upon Backhouse, whom he saw in a crouching position about six or eight yards off. The prisoner got up and threw a large stone at him, which hit him on the breast and stunned him for a moment. He, however, on recovering himself seized hold of the prisoner and secured him.

The stone was produced and was of formidable size.

The prisoner, who did not deny the truth of the statement, was then charged with his companions with the offence of night poaching.

The gamekeeper, Gardener, stated that on Tuesday night he heard the three men, and waited until they came to a place where they knew there was game. They then began blocking up the “smoots” where the hares run, and he saw one man setting nets and another had a dog. It was a little before twelve o’clock, but the moon was not down. Witness afterwards heard a dog run, and came upon that man (Backhouse), who then threw the stone at him, as he had stated. There were three nets set, and if he had not interrupted them there would soon have been three hares in them.

The Bench sentenced all the defendants to three months imprisonment with hard labour for night poaching, and Backhouse in addition to a month’s imprisonment for the assault.

The prisoners will also have to find securities of 10l. each, upon the termination of the imprisonment for night poaching, or will be re-committed for six months.

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