So That's Where I Get It From

February 7, 2011

Amanuensis Monday: William Read’s Stolen Shirts

Amanuensis Monday is a blog theme started by John Newmark on his blog Transylvanian Dutch, in which he is transcribing letters, newspaper articles, audio tapes, and a war diary etc., concerning his family.

John explains Amanuensis as “a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another”.

Today I am going to transcribe  a document other than a Will.  This document is about statements given when William Read (1679 – 1752), my 7 x great grandfather, had his best shirts stolen from a hedge where they had been drying!!

Original document – dated 1735

Copy of original document in my private collection (obtained from the Oxfordshire Record Office) - copyright 2011

I love the picture this document conjures up of the thief running away but also giving us a little view of how life was in those days.  We hang our laundered clothes on washing lines, it just seems strange to think in those days everyone laid their clothes on hedges to dry.  Must have been quite a picture.

Transcript – William Read’s stolen shirts – 1735

Oxfordshire

to wit

The examination of William Read of ye parish of Wheatfield in the sd County Yeoman taken upon oath before Ric: Carter Esq one of his Majestys Justices of ye peace for ye sd County this 24 of February in ye year of our Lord 1735.

This Examinant saith that upon the three and twentyth of ye instant February this Examinant lost from off a hedge near the dwelling house of ye Examinant in Wheatfield aforsd, two ……..(?) shirts of the value of six shillings or thereabout to the best of the Examinants knowledge or belief,

Oxfordshire

to wit

The examination of John Cox of Wheatfield in ye sd County servant boy, taken upon oath before Ric: Carter Esq one of His Majestys Justices of the peace for ye County aforsd this 24 of February in the year of our Lord 1735.

This Examinant saith that upon the 23rd of ye instant February his Mistress the wife of ye sd. Wm. Read after a washing hung out several shirts ……(?) & pillow bag upon a hedge near the dwelling house of ye sd Will Read his Master, and between ….(?) & Elavan a clock in the morning of ye sd 23 of f instant and(?) being near the sd house saw John Cornish take off several shirts from off ye hedge, and then run away with them towards Hazely, by the way of Latch ford …(?) …(?) in the parish of Tetsworth(?) in the sd County(My Note here: The following sentence has a line crossed through it: “the Sonne of ye Widow Cornish of Tetsworth in the sd County”).

Oxfordshire

to wit

The examination of Charles Cornish of Latchford the son of ye Widow Cornish of Latchford (My Note here: 2 words are crossed out here) …(?) in the parish of Tetsworth taken upon oath before Ric: Carter Esq one of his Majestys Justices of ye peace this 24 of February 1735.

This examinant saith that he saw John Cox a servant boy to Will Read of Wheatfield in ye sd County about Elevan a clock in the morning of ye 23rd instant stript(?) in his shirt (running after a (My Note here: the word “John” is crossed out here) man who had stolen his masters Linen(?), as this examinant hath given his ….(?) (My Note here: three words crossed out here – possibly “and that some”(?)) but the sd Jo. Cox (My Note here: The following sentence has been crossed out here: “running a different way from this examinants mothers house …(?)” ) …..(?) of Jo. Cornish, who very soon after came by this Examinants mothers house.

Wheatfield Church (I don’t have other pics of Wheatfield)

Original photograph taken by me at Wheatfield - copyright 2011

This church is in the middle of fields and the day we went, there were cows in the same field.  Barbed wire surrounds the church so that the animals don’t get into the churchyard!!  Somewhere around about the church would be the hedges that William Read’s shirts were drying on and stolen from!!  Wish I had a photo of THE hedge!!  ;-)

As yet, I have still to find out what happened about this case!!

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