|With all the hoopla about old saws lately it's easy to forget that once there were a lot of saws out there and tools were valuable. In the course of designing our Gramercy dovetail saw and the new Gramercy carcase saws we spent tons of time just doing homework. Once, just for jollies I thought I would see how many times dovetail saws were involved in felony cases at the Old Bailey. The Old Bailey was, and is, London's central court for felony crimes of all sorts. |
Read the cases. They are all sort of depressing and sad, 5 shillings was more than a good journeymen's wage for a day or so at the time. And a guilty verdict could get you hung or deported to the colonies (Georgia in the US for one).
Samuel Marks; John Rider; Theft > grand larceny; 3rd June 1767.
JAMES GRAY; Theft > grand larceny; 14th September 1796.
GEORGE BOYER; Theft > grand larceny; 18th February 1801.
JOHN ROBINSON; Theft > grand larceny; 23rd May 1798.
WILLIAM ARROW; Theft > grand larceny; 29th October 1806.
WILLIAM SIDAY; WILLIAM PARIS; Theft > housebreaking; 3rd June 1772.
I have done lots of searches for tool related crimes. These folks were mostly acquitted but one pair got death. But during my tool searches it's routine to come across all sorts of crimes using tools. Some heartbreaking, some stupid, and some just plain curious. It's fascinating to me that what would be a nuisance crime for us today-- where the police would be happy to just see the goods restored to the correct owner-- was then a major (if speedy) court case. It's a real slice of life from 18th century London. The Old Bailey only tried felony cases. As far as I know, civil cases from other courts have not been put on-line. I bet those will be even more interesting.
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