James Stanley, represented by his wife, a gipsy, was charged with allowing three horses to stray on the highway. On Thursday week a constable saw the defendant's van and the three horses on the highway between Upton Pyne and Thorverton. When spoken to on the subject, he said he was going to "move on." But he failed to do so, and hence the summons. The farmers, the officer added, complained loudly of the gipsies - they turned their cattle during the night into the fields. Stanley's wife told a pitiful story. Her three children were down in the fever, and the belly-band of one of the horses was broken - that was her excuse. In all she had seven small children, who with father and mother lived in the van. For the hawking licence her husband paid £4 a year. The bench said the offence was a legal one. They were sorry for the woman, and would impose as light a find as possible - 6d - but the expenses were heavy - 8s 2d - and these must be paid. Mrs. Stanley said she expected one of her children would die. She paid the penalty.
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Western Times - Tuesday, 20th April 1869
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