The Justicing notebook of Henry Norris: 1730-1 (nos 1 -34)

Justice in Eighteenth-Century Hackney: The Justicing Notebook of Henry Norris and the Hackney Petty Sessions Book. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 1991.

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'The Justicing notebook of Henry Norris: 1730-1 (nos 1 -34)', in Justice in Eighteenth-Century Hackney: The Justicing Notebook of Henry Norris and the Hackney Petty Sessions Book, (London, 1991) pp. 1-7. British History Online [accessed 25 April 2024]


1. Monday, 2 February 1730 Middx:ss. Thomas Martin of ye Parish of St: Giles in the Fields Joyner bound in £10:- Upon Condition that ye above bound Tho: Martin personally appeareth at the next generall Session of the peace to be held for the County of Middlesex at Hicks hall in St: John Street then & there to answer the complaint of Mnason Cornish, his Apprentice, for misusing his Said Apprentice & in the meantime to be of the good behaviour & not to depart the Court without licence. Then this Recognisance to be void otherwise remain in full force & Virtue. Captat & recog: 2do die Februarij 1730. (fn. 1)

2. Friday, 28 April 1730 Sent to ye Clerkenwell Bridewell to be put to hard labour Richard Evans, convicted on ye oath of Mr [blank] Grier Churchwarden, of being a loose disorderly fellow of ill fame & refusing or neglecting to work & making himself burdensome to ye Parish.

Friday, 8 May 1730 Ordered ye Keeper of Clerkenwell Bridewell to discharge Richd Evans if detained for no other cause than my warrant of 28 Ap: last. (fn. 2) [See 380].

3. Monday, 25 May 1730 Admitted & Sworn in John Rook Headborough for the precinct of Grovestreet in ye Parish of Hackney.

4. Saturday, 30 May 1730 Admitted & Sworn in Jno: Wetherhead Constable for ye Parish of Hackney at ye desire of Mr Ryder who was returned for yt office.

5. Saturday, 20 June 1730 Dan: Baker & Marg: Sly brot: before me by Warrt of [blank] Manly on complaint of Eliza: Sly ye Wife for keeping compa: in a vicious manner - & discharged ym both on ye matter being agreed between all ptyes & at ye desire of ye Complainant.

6. Monday, 31 August 1730 Marget Baldery widow of Tho: Baldery late a weekly Servt: to Mr Malyn a Brewer at St Margarets hill in Southwark maketh oath that her late husband T Baldery did obtain a Legal Settlement in this Parish of Hackney by living wth Mr Emmott as a yearly Servt: upwards of the Space of one year, about 20 years ago, & that her said husband did since acquire no Settlement in any other parish whatsoever, also that her Said husband has been dead about 2 years & that Since her sd husbands death She hath not acquired any Settlement, that She hath by her said husband 3 Children yet living but they are not in any great degree chargeable to her being all out in Service. Marget Baldery [mark]. Jurat 31 Aug: Coram Hen: Norris. (fn. 3)

7. Saturday, 9 January 1731 Joseph Hall brot: before me for Stealing divers Iron instruments & tools ye property's of Wm Stoakes & other persons unknown ye goods being taken upon him by James Huggett Junr: & himself having nothing to alledge in his own behalf nor denying it & it was farther proved by ye oaths of Ja: Huggett Jr: & Wm Stokes. Committed him to Newprison (to be prosecuted by ye Complainants at ye ensuing Quarter Sessions) by Warrt: dd to James Wootton. (fn. 4)

8. Saturday, 9 January 1731 Wm Tilly brot. before me by James Wotton & charged on ye Oaths of Mary Stretton & Catherine Stretton on Suspicion of Stealing in ye house of Sd Mary Stretton, a pr: Sheets 13 Pewter plates 4 dishes & other goods abt: 15 months ago the properties of Sd Mary Stretton. Committed him to Newprison to be prosecuted at ye ensuing Sessions by Mary Stretton by Warrant dd to James Wootton & bound over [ye deleted] Mary Stretton to prosecute in £20 & Cath: Stretton to be a witness in £10 penalty to [sic]. (fn. 5)

9. Monday, 8 February 1731 Thomasin Wheeler maketh complaint agt: her husband John Wheeler for beating & abusing her being Sick & for denying to assist in the maintenance of her & her Children & threatning her Saying were no more pity to kill her then to kill a dog. Given her a Warrant for her Husband. [See 48, 89, 119, 129, 553, 560, 581, 582, 680].

10. Saturday, 13 March 1731 Edward Beall and Dyson Green brot before me by Jno: Wethered by Warrt: of Tho: Talboy Esq dated 9 March 1731 charged on the Oath of Jno Wethered & James Wootton Viz: Jno Wethered maketh Oath yt Ed. Beall did forcibly rescue Ed. Baker then in Custody of J Wethered for a breach of ye peace & yt Dyson Green did also refuse to assist him ye Officer wn charged & did on ye contrary assist Baker to escape. James Wootton maketh oath that Ed: Beall did assist ye Sd Baker to escape, also yt Dyson Green was by him charged to assist in Securing Ed. Baker but did refuse or neglect to assist in it. Referred ye matter wth ye consent of ye Officer Roger Rutherford & ye Plaintiffs to be brot before us next Monday at the Mermaid at Petty Sessions.

Monday, 15 March 1731 The Complaints: having agreed ye matter wth ye 2 above pties & Jno: Maslin now brot before me, discharged ym all on promise of good behaviour in future.

11. Sunday, 21 March 1731 Joseph Stretton brot: before me by Mary Preston charged by her on Suspicion of Stealing 4 Tablecloths She lost yesterday out of her own backside in Homerton. Mary Preston Says on her Oath yt She lost yesterday between ye hours of 10 & 12, 3 Table Cloths 1 Damask & 2 Diaper from her backside but knows not who took ym but has a Suspicion of Jos: Stretton. Jno: Preston Says he Saw Jos: Stretton in ye adjoining field lying on his face between 11 & 12 but he did not at yt time See ye Cloths [nor a deleted] hanging in their place nor can give any reason for charging Stretton wth taking ym. Dismissed Jos: Stretton not finding Sufficient ground to Charge him.

12. Saturday, 27 [altered from 28] March 1731 Complaint made by Mary Shaves wife of Wm Shaves living at ye Rose in Stratford agt: Eliza: Owers for Seducing Wm Shaves her husband & keeping lewd Compa: wth him in an unlawfull manner & inticing him to consume that Substance wch Should maintain his family upon her to their impoverishmt: wch She the Sd Mary Shaves maketh oath to & thereupon granted her a Warrt: to take her up & bring her before a Magistrate. N.B. Eliza: Owers is Said to Harbour at Thomas Collies in Well Street.

Same day Eliza: Owers brot: before me upon the above warrant Says her name is Eliza: Owers, yt She is ye wife of Thomas Owers a Labourer to ye bricklayers near Woodford but has not Seen him Since 5 Ap: last acknowledges her Self wth Child & yt by Wm Shaves. Anne Collie maketh Oath yt Eliza: Owers has lodged in her house near 2/mo: took the Lodging as a Single person by ye name of Eliza: Dell & lodged there 3 or 4 nights afterwards went to Bow & staid away near 14 ds: & then came back to her lodging & had wth her Edward Watts whom She called her husband who has lived wth her as Such for abt: 6 weeks. Mary Shaves maketh Oath yt ye Sd Eliza: Owers has Seduced her husband & kept Compa: wth him in a Lewd manner & Spent his Substance [and] impoverisht his family in Spending his mo: upon ye Sd E: Owers.

Same day Committed ye Sd Eliza: Owers to Clerkenwell Bridewell to be kept to hard Labour till discharged by due course of law.

Wednesday, 21 April 1731 Sent an ordr to ye Keeper of Clerkenwell house of Correction for discharge of the before mentioned Elisa: Owers unless detained for other cause then by virtue of my Commitmt:

13. Monday, 26 April 1731 Martha Geers complains agt: her Husband, Richd: Geers for beating & bruising her last night in a very grievous manner & threatning her life whereof She made oath. Granted her a Warrt to take up ye Sd Richd Geers to answer ye Complaint. Being brot: before me Same day by [blank], Eliza: Sowter [and] Martha Geers, Sworn. Eliza: Sowter maketh oath yt Mrs Geers having Shewed her husband her bruises he Said he had given her too little. Martha Geers on oath confirms her former complaint. Committed Richd Geers to Newprison for want of Sureties.

Tuesday, 27 April 1731 Admitted Sd Geers to Bail and bound Richd Geers £20, Sam: Sadler £10, Jno: Hankin £10, to appear at next Generall Session of the Peace to answer ye complaint of Martha Geers his wife. (fn. 6)

14. Friday, 7 May 1731 Wm Corn, Tho Fouch, Hen: Rod brot: pr Warrt Hen: Trent Junr: charged wth taking a Horse bridle Pilch & Pannell (fn. 7) frm: Ja: Mackdonnelld. Ja. Macdonnald makes oath yt he bot: a horse of Wm Corn 5 May inst: wch was dd him on paying 2:6 earnest & to pay after £2:15 more & yt after ye 3 defendts: met him wth ye Horse & took him away by force. The Deft: Corn Says yt he did not deliver ye Horse but was to do it only on receiving ye whole mo: Wm Hewson called Says on oath yt ye bargain was treating in his hearing but not concluded only he heard Ja: Mackdonald Say if he agreed for ye Horse he would pay ye mo: down. Tho: Harris on oath Says yt he saw Corn take ye horse by one ear & deliver him into Macdonalds hands. Humphry Wood Swears yt Mr Corn is a man of a very good Character & Ja: Mackdonald a man of a bad Character. Sam: Sadler confirms ye same of each.

Same day Discharged ye 3 Prisoners finding no cause upon ye whole to commit ym.

15. Thursday, 13 May 1731 Jos: Parsons brot: before me by Warrt: of H Ashton & Self charged by Mary Main for an assault on Saterday last by Wm Gibbons. Mary wife of Wm Mayne Swears She was assaulted by Jos: Parsons Sat: last Struck wth a Saddle tree & thrown down on ye ground and her Arm very much hurt. Robt: Wild deposes that he Saw not Mr Parsons Strike her but did see him push her down.

Saturday, 15 May 1731 Bound over Jos: Parsons to answer the complaint at next Genll: Sessions, himself in £10, Allen Parsons £5 [and] Natha: Potts £5, Surety's. (fn. 8) [See 31].

16. Tuesday, 6 July 1731 Sarah Crew complains agt Jno Annable for abusing & assaulting her last week twice & last Sunday, & in a grievous manner throwing dirt at her & drink in her face. Granted a Warrt: for him.

17. Saturday, 24 July 1731 Complaint made by Sibella Hunt of Hummerton yt was Stoln frm: her yesterday out of her house a Copr: Coffee pot & A box Iron wch She Suspects may be concealed in ye lodging of Widow Parsons or Mr Loyd or Mr Bennett. Granted her a Search warrt:

18. Friday, 6 August 1731 Complaint made by [Benja: deleted] Wm Brown agt: Job Everton for assaulting him 31 July last & threatned his life. On oath made granted him a Warrt: to take up Job Everton.

Saturday, 7 August 1731 Discharged ye Warrt: ye matter being agreed between them.

19. Thursday, 12 August 1731 Complaint made by Jane Ross agt: Eleanor [blank] Servt: maid to Francis Crette for asssaulting her & throwing a Pewter pot & bruising her in breach of ye peace - &c on ye 9 Aug: Granted a warrt: for her.

20. Monday, 23 August 1731 Complaint made by Jane Ramsey Widow agt: Joseph Butterfeild for assaulting her throwing her on ye ground & throwing water upon her in breach of ye peace - this morning near her own house - granted her a warrt for him.

21. Monday, 23 August 1731 Brot: before me Jos: Brett charged by Jno Coules for running away frm: Rumford & leaving wth ym a Child to maintain. Discharged him on his promise in future to take care of his child & wth consent of Jno Coules one of the Overseers in behalf of ye Parish of Rumford.

22. Saturday, 28 August 1731 Complaint made by Math. Walter & Sam. Leader agt: Jacob Hales gardner to Mr Lamb for taking unlawfully the fruit growing in Mr Lambs Garden wch fruit they bot: of the Said Jacob Hales. They charge him wth taking Peaches & Nectarines & pduce Roger Rutherford as witness, who wth ye others being Sworn, Rutherford says yt Jacob Hales in his Sight has Severall times taken peaches & Nectarines & encouraged him Rutherford to do ye like. Granted ym a Warrt agt: Jac: Hales.

Same day On hearing ye Cause advised Hales to make them Satisfaction (it not appearing a felony) wch was done, & ye Deft: discharged. [See 52].

23. Saturday, 28 August 1731 Ed: Bullock brot: before me in Custo: of Hen: Batt, charged by Jno: Collins on oath with profane Swearing twice this day between 3 & 6 a Clock by the name of God - in Marestreet, not denied by Bullock & is convicted of the same.

Same day Issued a Warrt: to the Constables of Bethnal green Hamlet to levy on him 2s for use of ye poor of Hackney or Sett him in ye Stocks 2 hours.

24. Tuesday, 14 September 1731 Complaint made by Hamilton Smith agt: Thomas Batmaker, Nicholas Batmaker & John Batmaker for assaulting him last night abt: 6 at ye Kings Arms in Kingsland in ye Yard beating kicking him & bruising him in [peac deleted] breach of ye peace. Granted him a Warrt. for all 3. [See 26].

25. Tuesday, 14 September 1731 Complaint made by Nicholas Brown agt: Thomas Holt for Striking him wth a Cartwhip & wth his hand & abusing him [and] agt: George Howe for beating him & dragging him by ye Leg into ye Road in breach &c. last night abt: 8 or 9 in Kingsland near ye door of his Father Ludlow Brown. Granted a Warrt for [all 3 deleted] ym both.

Saturday, 18 [altered from 19] September 1731 On hearing of Tho: Holt, Nicho: Brown confirms by Oath ye abuses from Tho: Holt - but Holt Says Brown [struck deleted] flung dirt 1st. Dan. Welmoth says on his Oath yt Brown flung dirt or gravell at Holt before he Struck him. Mary Lodge Swears yt Brown flung dirt 1st but contradicts her Self. Sus: Batmaker Says likewise but it appeared yt She did not See ye beginning. Upon ye whole it Seemed to me yt Holt was ye aggressor but reccommended ym to make it up wch they did & N Brown acknowledged to have recd Satisfaction from G Howe So I discharged both ye Defts:

26. Saturday, 18 September 1731 Complaint made by Hamilton Smith agt: Tho: Batmaker, Nicho Batmaker & John Batmaker for assaulting him on Monday 13:7ber in ye yard of ye Kings Arms in Kingsland, & beating him in a Severe manner. Granted a Warrt: for ym.

Thursday, 23 September 1731 (1) Hamilton Smith, Jno Ellitt, Nico Brown, Ludlow Brown, Susan Ellitt. (1) swears yt on 13:7ber he was assaulted by Tho: Batmaker Jr: & yt Nich & Jno Batmaker assisted him confirmed by the other witnesses. Richd. Chapman & others called in behalf of ye Defts: but after a long hearing they agreed the matter & ye Warrt: was discharged. [See 24].

27. Sunday, 17 October 1731 Mary Mayne brot: by [blank] Collins on complaint of Tho: Blemeney charged by him for abusing him & his wife in words & Striking him Severall blows confirmed by his Oath & likewise by the Oath of Richd Marsland.

28. Sunday, 17 October 1731 Jos: Butterfield brot: in by Do & charged by Jos: Cooper on Suspicion of Stealing a Saddle last night but nothing appeared Sufficient to charge him So dismissed him.

29. Monday, 1 November 1731 Tho: Griffis brot: before me 1:9ber 1731 in Custody of Hen: Batt charged on oath by Tho: Wood wth having been found last night on ye footpath wth 3 pcs: of wood in a bag upon him between 6 & 7 a clock wch pcs: are Sworn to be ye property of Jno: Townsend by himself, & a 4th pce: wood was found at his Lodgings in Sam. Fenners house wch is proved to be J Townsends & beleived to be brot: thither before. Upon full hearing committed him to Bridewell to hard Labour.

Monday, 8 November 1731 Sent by his wife a Warrt for his discharge.

30. Tuesday, 2 November 1731 Tho: Cooke brot: before Mr S: Tyssen me by Warrt: of our Selves 29:8ber, the Peace being Sworn agt: him by James Bolton. Tho: Cooke of ye Parish of Hackney bound in his own recognisance in £40 to appear at next Genll Sessions of ye Peace to answer complaint of James Bolton for threatning his Life &c mean time to keep ye Peace &c & be of ye good behaviour &c. N.B. was bound in his own recognisance alone wth consent of ye Plaintiff. (fn. 9) [See 365].

31. Tuesday, 2 November 1731 Complaint made by Josph: Parsons agt: wm Mayne for threatning to kill him 30:8ber & thereupon desire Warrt: agt: to take Surety for ye peace. Granted a Warrt: on his taking ye usuall Oath. (fn. 10) [See 15].

32. Thursday, 18 November 1731 Geo: Hobb brot: in Custody of Ludlow Brown chgd by Sarah Arnold for assaulting her on ye high road & throwing her into a Ditch. She acknowledging her Self to have recd Satisfaction ordered him to be discharged.

33. Monday, 6 December 1731 Jno: Parmer & Henry Chandler brot in Custody of Wm Davis Constable each on a charge of breach of the peace also Jno Maslin on a like charge by ye other 2. It appearing that they had agreed ye matter between themselves ordered them to be discharged.

34. Monday, 13 December 1731 Complaint made by Hannah Preston agt: her husband Edward Preston for Spending his mo: Idly & neglecting to maintain his family, being a wife & 2 Children & threatning his wife. Made out a Warrt: for him on ye wifes oath & ordered to bring him next monday to the Mermaid. [See 87].


  • 1. Martin was discharged at the February sessions. Cornish petitioned for a release from his apprenticeship on grounds of ill treatment but appears to have been unsuccessful. MJ/SBB/880, recog. 176; MJ/SP/1730/FEB/20.
  • 2. Evans was in receipt of relief from April 1730 to May 1731. P79/JN1/227.
  • 3. Baldery began to receive poor relief from the week beginning 24 August 1730. P79/ JN1/227, f. 40.
  • 4. Hall was acquitted at the January Old Bailey sessions. MJ/SR/2548, Indt. 65.
  • 5. Tilly was indicted (as William Tillett) for felony at the January Old Bailey sessions but was acquitted. The Old Bailey Proceedings indicate that the acquittal arose from the prosecutor's failure to appear against him, but this is not confirmed by the original records and there appears to have been no attempt to estreat the recognizance. Samuel Sadleir, clerk to the vestry and to the petty sessions, acted on behalf of Mary Stretton, a widow. The cost of the prosecution, amounting to £1 12s. 6d., was borne by the parish, 'she being too poor and unable to prosecute'. MJ/SR/2548, indt. 34; O.B. Proc., January 1731, R v William Tilling; P79/JN1/141/109.
  • 6. The recognizance was returned late. Geers, a gardener, appeared 12 July 1731, when the recognizance was respited indefinitely. MJ/SBB/893, recog. 185.
  • 7. Pilch: a rug for a saddle or a light saddle. Panel: a cloth under a saddle, a crude form of saddle. O.E.D.
  • 8. Parsons, a collarmaker, was discharged at the June sessions. MJ/SBB/893, recog. 186.
  • 9. Cooke, a labourer, failed to appear to his recognizance at the December sessions and it was estreated. MJ/SBB/897, recog. 212.
  • 10. Mayne, a labourer, was indicted 6 November 1731 and entered into a recognizance before Samuel Tyssen two days later. He was convicted and fined 1s. in January 1732. MJ/SR/2564, recog. 213 and indt. 21.