Oxford Journal

Winchester Assizes

Saturday, 17th March 1827


The calendar contained the names of eighty-four prisoners, two of whom received sentence of Death, with an assurance from the Judge that they must suffer the extreme sentence of the law, viz. - David Allee, for a burglary in the house of John Sayer, Esq. in Winchester, and for a violent attack on the said John Sayer. Also for maliciously cutting George Hall, at St. Cross, while the prisoner was concerned, with others, in breaking open a house occupied by Mrs. Osgood and Mrs. Wade; and Francis Proudley (indicted with Reuben Stanley, who was acquitted) for stealing two horses, the property of J. Ellyett, of Cranborne, Dorset.

Mr. Justice Burrough, in pronouncing the awful sentence of death on Francis Proudley, observed that he had been tried on two indictments for horse stealing, one in conjuction with Reuben Stanley, a man of very bad character, who had been acquitted; the prisoner had also been tried on a third charge of a similar crime, and though not convicted it was perfectly clear he was concerned in stealing the horse. It appeared evident that the greater portion of the prisoner's life had been devoted to the crime of horse-stealing, which had become so common in all the counties throughout England that it became imperiously necessary to make a signal example of those convicted of the offence; indeed it was a duty which was owing to the justice of the country.

Nothing could be urged in favour of the prisoner; he was found associating with a man of notoriously bad character, who, though for the present he had escaped, would probably be doomed to the awful punishment which awaited the prisoner at the bar. It behoved the prisoner to make the best use of his time, to repent of the crimes which he had committed in this world, and to avail himself of the spiritual advice and instruction which he would receive.

Sentence was then passed in the usual manner.

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Oxford Journal - Saturday, 17th March 1827
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  • Francis Proudley
  • Reuben Stanley