Extract from Surrey County Record Office’s archives
During International Archives week last November, Surrey County Record Office included the following reference to a crime in Epsom which we reproduce here:
The examination of William Bastin of Ewell in the said County, Razor Grinder, taken on oath this twenty-third day of September 1791. Before me, Mr. Joseph Shaw, Esq., one of his Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the said County.
Who saith that about two of the clock in the afternoon of this day He saw a man near the old Wells upon Epsom Common with a Bundle under his arm and soon afterwards Mr. Chandler of Ashtead came upon horseback and enquired if He had seen a man with a bundle. He told him he had and showed him at a distance. He heard Mr. Chandler desire him to stop. The man continued running away till Mr. Chandler came near when He threw the Bundle from him. That He the deponent took the Bundle and brought it to Mr. Chandler.
The mark of William Bastin
Sworn before me the day and year above written.
The examination of James Chandler of Ashtead in the said County of Surrey, victualler, taken on oath this twenty-third day of September 1791 before me Joseph Shaw, Esq., one of his Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the said County.
Who saith that this day between two and three of the clock in the afternoon, Mrs. Johnson a neighbour of his, came to his house and told him that all her linen had been taken of her Hedge which she had hung out there to dry.
Then He this deponent took his horse and went in Pursuit of the Person who had taken it. That on Epsom Common He was informed by a Razor Grinder that a man was crossing the Common with a Bundle under his Arm. That He the aforesaid James Chandler soon after saw a Person running with a Bundle under his arm. That He called to the man to stop on which turning round and seeing himself pursued He threw away the Bundle. He continued following the man, came up with him and found him in the hedge with a knife open in his hand and then took him into custody and showed the bundle to Mrs. Johnson who said they were the things that She had lost’.
A footnote from the Surrey Record Office headed ‘Quarter Sessions Examinations before a Justice of the Peace’ notes that according to other papers in the Sessions bundles, the man was apprehended and confessed to the crime (Michaelmas 1791 39 & 41).