Exeter & Plymouth Gazette

Okehampton Petty Sessions

Friday, 14th October 1881

Sophia Small was summoned by Eliza Manley for assault on Tuesday last. Mr. W. Linford Brown appeared for the complainant, and Mr. Toby for the defendant. The parties are gipsies and are encamped with a number of others in a field near the Okehampton turnpike-gate.

On the evening in question it was alleged by the complainant that a girl called her a liar. She went to know what it meant, and then the defendant interfered and struck her. She was knocked down behind the wheels of the van and brutally assaulted. She went for her husband, and on her return to the field she was again knocked down and kicked on the legs and sides. She was seriously injured and her eyes blacked. The defendant had threatened to kill her, or die for herself.

There was a cross-summons for assault between the parties.

Small said that Manley was drunk and challenged her to a fight. She called her bad names and struck the first blow, and witness retaliated. Mrs. Manley reckoned herself one of the 'prize-fighters' - (laughter) - and the camp was afraid of her. She threatened to disfigure Small for life.

Witnesses were called on both sides, and after hearing their evidence the Magistrates dismissed both summonses, ordering each party to pay her own costs.

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Extracted From:
Exeter & Plymouth Gazette - Friday, 14th October 1881
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  • Eliza Manley
  • Sophia Small