+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

him to make the best use of it he could, and the case
might be mentioned to him again.

A remarkable case of Ignorance and Credulity has
occurred at Bristol. Richard Harris, a fortune-teller,
was indicted for stealing 10s., the money of Jane Bowly.
The prosecutrix, a pretty-looking girl, deposed that she
was a servant, and on the 6th December, having heard
that the prisoner told people's fortunes, she went to his
house to ascertain her future destiny. When she told
him what she wanted, he asked her if she had a half-
sovereign. She replied that she had, upon which he
asked for it, and said she must put it into a piece of
paper and wrap it up. He then gave her a piece of
newspaper in which she wrapped up the coin and handed
it to him, and he wrapped it up in a piece of brown-
paper. He then undid the brown-paper and gave her the
piece of newspaper, with, as she supposed, the half-
sovereign in it, and told her to keep the package in her
pocket for nine days, and in her bosom for three days,
and that then everything she wished for during the nine
days would come to pass. The Recorder: And you
believed all that?—Witness: Yes.—The Recorder:
Well, did you keep the charm for the time specified?—
Witness: No, I looked at it the same day.—The Recorder:
Then you thought you would like a little peep?—
Witness: Yes. I did not find my half-sovereign, but a
sixpence which had been wrapped up in the place of it.
Prisoner: Now, did you not call at my house before
and leave a shilling?—Witness: Yes: he made no
charge, but said I was to give him what I liked, and I
gave a shilling.—Prisoner: Did you not bring me the
half-sovereign for the charm?—Witness: Yes.—
Prisoner: You had agreed to do so; you wanted to
bring a sovereign, and I said half-a-sovereign would do.
Was not the half-sovereign packed up when you brought
it?—Witness: No.—Prisoner: Didn't you ask me for a
charm, as you wanted to get a husband and £30?—
Witness: Yes.—The Recorder: Well, she admits that
she wanted you to charm her a husband, but that is not
an answer to your taking her money.—Prisoner: Didn't
I cut you out a charm out of your linen?—The witness
did not answer this question; and some imputations
attempted to be cast upon her conduct by the prisoner
she denied. The prisoner addressed the jury in his
defence. He said the girl had come to him as a conjuror,
and asked him a few questions, and then she said she
was dying for a husband, and begged him to give her a
charm that should win to her the affections of the opposite
sex. He cut her out a charm in the shape of a
heart, and told her that she had only to make as many
oaths as she wanted lovers. When she came to him
again he merely did one of his sleight-of-hand tricks, and
had no intention whatever to keep the money.—The
Recorder said it appeared that the prisoner's habit was
to defraud poor simple foolish girls who went to him in
the belief that he was a magician. If they believed the
complainant's story a larceny was established. The
jurors found the prisoner guilty, and the Recorder
sentenced him to four months' imprisonment with hard

Serious Riots have taken place in Devonshire, in
consequence of the rise in the price of food. At Topsham,
the bakers bought off the menaced attack on their shops,
by bribes of bread and money. At Exeter, the presence
of the cavalry kept the malcontents in awe. At Crediton,
on two successive days there were regular riots: windows
were broken; and to appease the crowds loaves were
thrown from the upper windows and scrambled for;
produce was carried off at nominal prices, and butter
was trampled in the mud. It was only on the report
that "the soldiers were coming" that the mob dispersed.
A number of the rioters have been arrested.

A boy of 14, Richard Medhurst, has Met a Mysterious
Death. He worked with his father at a factory in
Clerkenwell. On the evening of the 30th October, he
left the factory with another boy. A man who was in
a chaise-cart, in Old Street, said he wanted a boy to go
with him to hold his horse; the boy said he would go;
he got into the cart, and the man drove off towards
Shoreditch. Nothing more was heard of Richard Medhurst,
for several weeks, and at length his naked corpse was found
in a ditch at East Acton. His father said that when the
boy left home he was stout and healthy: the corpse was
very emaciated; there were marks as if the hands and
feet had been tied with a cord: there was a bruise on
the nose, and a more extensive one over the right eye;
on the body were scratches and scars; the back and hips
were sore as if from lying long in one position. There
was no food in the stomach; and the left lung was
extensively diseased, though when last seen alive,
Richard, it was said, exhibited no signs of such disease.
Medical evidence, however, described the disease as of
long standing, and the boy's constitution as of a highly
scrofulous character. It was inferred that, from some
unaccountable motive, the boy was decoyed away,
imprisoned, starved, and beaten; and when death resulted,
his body was conveyed to Acton to mislead those searching
for the murderers as to the locality of the crime.
The Coroner's Jury, after two sittings, adjourned to
allow of further inquiries, and to enable the Coroner to
apply to the Home Secretary to offer a reward for the
conviction of the murderer. Mr. George Wildbore,
keeper of the New Inn at Waltham Cross, a man of
respectable character, was apprehended and brought
before the Clerkenwell Police Magistrate, charged with
having carried away the boy from Old Street. The
chief witnesses against him were two young boys, who
said they saw Medhurst taken away in Mr. Wildbore's
chaise-cart, but their statements were vague and self-
contradictory. The magistrate remanded Mr. Wildbore,
and refused bail. Mr. Wildbore was again
brought up, when the case against him entirely broke
down. A third boy came forward to give evidence
about seeing the accused in Old Street at 7 o'clock on
the evening of the 31st October: the magistrate entirely
disbelieved this boy's story, which was impugned by
his own father, while he repeatedly contradicted
himself. Witnesses were called to prove that Mr. Wildbore
was not in London on the evening of the 31st of
October with a chaise-cart: he came to London on
that day by rail, and returned at 20 minutes to 6: the
alibi was complete. The magistrate said he should
have discharged Mr. Wildbore even if no exculpatory
witnesses had been called, for there was really no
evidence against him. When liberated, Mr. Wildbore
was loudly cheered by his friends.

A singular Omnibus Robbery was committed on the
23rd. A lady residing in the Liverpool-road, having
received some money at one of the banks in the neighbourhood
of Regent-street, took an omnibus there, into
which she was followed by a quiet, respectable, and
gentlemanly-looking young man, dressed in a suit of
black. During the journey towards the Angel at
Islington several changes of passengers occurred, which
apparently gave occasion for the gentleman to change
his seat, and finally to place himself at that side of the
lady on which lay her dress pocket containing her
money. On arriving at the end of Baron-street, the
lady alighted; the gentleman also very politely assisting
her. She proceeded a few yards, and feeling for her
money found it gone. Her suspicion immediately fell
upon the gentlemanly young man, and turning back,
she proceeded towards the Angel, and caught sight
of him just coming out of a passage. She seized him
and charged him with the theft, which he very coolly
denied and threw her off, trying to escape. Fortunately
he came in contact with a gentleman to whom the lady
was known, and by whose assistance his escape was
prevented. A scuffle now took place, when the
gentlemanly thief drew a knife, crying "Life or death;"
but on the assurance of the lady that if he would give
up the money she would not give him in charge of
the police, he threw the money on the ground and was
allowed to escape, although by this time nearly 100
persons had collected on the spot.

A Case Attended with Singular Circumstances was
heard before the Master of the Rolls on the 13th inst.
In 1803 Mr. M. L. Este, a British officer, who had
returned from the Egyptian campaign, met, in Paris,
Miss Louisa Caroline Smyth, and renewed an acquaintance
which he had previously had with her. It was
agreed that they should marry, that a French contract
of marriage should be prepared, and that Mr. Este
should resign his commission and commence business as
a banker in Paris with his brother. The contract, which
was dated 23rd March, 1803, was accordingly executed,