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John Meads 2019 from the Northampton Mercury

The Silver Spoon Theft

From the Northampton Mercury Sat 15 July 1857
James Arthur and Mary Arthur, were charged, the former with having stolen a silver spoon, the property of Henry Hadden, at the parish of Burton Latimer; and the latter with having received said spoon, knowing it to have been stolen.
Henry Hadden, a farmer at Burton Latimer, employed the prisoner as a day-labourer. On the 23rd June, some pieces of a spoon were brought to him by a person named Sabey. Witness examined his spoons and found one was missing. He could not say how long it had been lost. The pieces produced were pieces of his spoon.
John Sabey is an errand-man living at Burton Latimer. On the 19th of June, the prisoner, Mary Arthur, gave him a silver spoon, broken into three pieces, and told him to take it to Kettering to sell as old silver. Witness took it to Kettering, to Mr. John Bates, and offered it to him for sale. The top of the spoon was doubled back, and Mr. Bates bent it forward again and broke it. It then appeared that the spoon was marked with the letter H, which had been battered. On the 23rd witness was sent to Mr. Bate’s shop. A woman named Elizabeth Kew was there. Mr. Bates gave him the pieces of spoon to show to Mr. Hadden, the prosecutor.
Mr. John Bates, silversmith, of Kettering, said the last witness brought the pieces of spoon to him. They were very much battered, but witness distinguished perfectly the letter H. The style of engraving was exactly the same as the engraving on Mr. Hadden’s spoons. Witness at first refused to buy the pieces, but he afterwards received them from Mrs. Elizabeth Kew. On the 24th, Mary Arthur came and asked for them, but witness refused to give them up, telling her he was sure they were stolen. She said her lad had found the spoon, spreading some manure in Burton Field, at Mr. Hadden’s Lodge. Witness then asked her why she broke and defaced it in that way. She replied that she broke it to see whether it was silver, and battered it unthinkingly, and without any particular motive,
The examination of the boy James was then read. It stated that he found the spoon among some muck in Mr. Hadden’s yard, and he thought whatever any body found he had a right to. If he thought it was worth anything, he would have taken it to Mr. Hadden, but he never saw a silver spoon before in his life.
Elizabeth Kew, stated that the prisoner, Mary Arthur, gave her the pieces of spoon, and told her to sell them and bring her the money. Witness took it to Mr. Bates, who detained it.
The boy said he found the spoon in Mr. Hadden’s coal place. The female prisoner said the spoon was very dirty when it was brought to her and did not know it was silver till she broke it. She kept it by her three weeks. She saw no letter upon it, and no inquiry having been made for it, and being "drove" for a shilling, she at length sent it to be sold.
The jury consulted together for some time, and at length returned a verdict of Guilty.

Three months hard labour in the House of Correction.


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