Twenty-one persons were on Thursday last brought before the sitting Magistrates at the Town Hall, Devonport, as suspicious characters; they were apprehended living in a state of vagrancy in the Parish of St. Budeaux, and having in their possession twelve horses, a mule, and an ass, a silver ladle, and a large silver tea-pot, which they used as a tea-kettle.
The party consisted of three men, five women, and thirteen children, the whole of whom travelled in a covered cart or caravan. They gaves their names as Peter Hicks, of Brimpton, near Newbury, Berkshire, rat-catcher and horse-dealer, Wm. Belcher, of Bristol, rat-catcher, Thomas Stanley, of Winterbourn, Wiltshire, Rebecca Belcher, Roda Stanley, Betsey Hickes, Betsey Stanley, and Cecilia Belcher.
They stated that the silver articles were purchased in Ratcliffe-street, Bristol, and the horses in different parts of the country, but these accounts not being satisfactory to the Magistrates, they were remanded.
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Oxford Journal - Saturday, 23rd July 1831
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