Examples of court cases through the centuries involving people from the village.

16th Century

The killing of William Federson-

On 9th June 1518 William Federson was assaulted by Robert Parker, a labourer, who had wielded a staff in both hands, breaking the left side of William’s skull ‘so that his brains flowed out’. He died on 11 June, the day of his inquest. The alleged murderer had fled to a property owned by the Order of St John of Jerusalem and took sanctuary (the right of sanctuary still existed for up to 40 days). The instant seizing of Parker’s property was impossible since he had ‘no goods, chattels, lands or tenements’. He was last heard of on 17 October 1519 when he was outlawed, the equivalent of conviction in the County Court in Nottingham

17th Century

Michael Eyre was leapt on by Thomas Jordan and he was struck on his left side with a two-pronged pitchfork, piercing him and inflicting a mortal wound, four inches in breadth.  This incident took place on 10 September 1607 possibly whilst the two men were working on the harvest. Thomas was imprisoned to await his trial at the Assizes.  The Assize court assembled on 11 March 1608. He attended court and described himself as ‘gentleman’, perhaps hoping it would help his cause and pleaded that he had acted in self-defence.  The jury discharged him.  It is possible that a quarrel had ensued between the two men as Thomas was a known recusant (a secret Roman Catholic) and anti-catholic feelings were running high at this time.  It is known that Thomas had emigrated on the ship Diana, which docked at Jamestown in Virginia before 1624.

18th Century

Elizabeth Fisher, a labourer’s wife was assaulted by Francis Fletcher , a tailor, in 1792.  He was sent to the House of Correction for three months and fined ten shillings.

19th Century

William Monks, a labourer, had stolen a coat worth five shillings and a silk handkerchief worth 12d from Samuel Parr ‘Gentleman’ in 1820.  Monks was sentenced to hard labour at Southwell with 14 days in the penitentiary division.

Ann Carnell became pregnant in 1821 and the parish constable was set the task of finding who the father was. Gervase Parr was named, he was a Radcliffe labourer.  Sureties of £20 each were imposed on him and his two supporters, Robert Hallam, a victualler who ran the Red Lion in Water Lane and John Bates a shoemaker. On 15th January 1822 Ann was again asked to swear to the identity of her illegitimate child’s father, presumably because Parr was denying liability.  She had a son John on 26th January.  Parr was ordered to pay the standard fee for Ann’s lying-in and for the court order and the expense of his arrest.  He also had to pay maintenance for the child of two shillings a week.  Parr however could not or would not pay his share.  In November 1823 a warrant was issued for his arrest. It is recorded that Parr regularly made maintenance from January 1824 onwards.

In 1865 Henry Parr who ran the Black Lion and later became a builder of a number of houses in the village was accused of poaching. A gamewatcher told the court that he had been knocked down in a scuffle which had preceded the surrender of seventeen eggs from Henry Parr’s pockets.  A partridge was also said to have flown out from his coat. Henry’s guilt was confirmed by the evidence of a young boy who had been offered five shillings if he would say that there had not been any eggs in the nest.  A fine of five shillings was appropriately imposed plus costs.

In 1869 William Parr junior was found guilty of stealing a hop press worth 4 shillings from Sarah Buxton at The Royal Oak and selling it to William Dickenson a blacksmith for one shilling and a quart of ale, the latter bought from Mrs Buxton.  Unfortunately William Parr had a number of previous convictions, hence his stiff sentence of three months in prison with hard labour.

20th Century

In October 1901  Charles Richard Waddingham a farm labourer appeared at the Petty Sessions charged with feloniously and with malice aforethought, causing grievous bodily harm to his son, James Dion Waddingham, aged 23, with intent to kill and murder him on Sunday October 22. In the court James Dion was the first witness to be called.  He appeared with his head in bandages and his right eye badly discoloured.  He stated that about 3 p.m. on Sunday he was asleep in a chair by the kitchen fire, his father was also in the kitchen and his mother and brother were upstairs. He was awakened by two blows to his head with a hammer.  He rolled out of his chair and saw his father with the hammer in his hand and about to deliver another blow saying “You——-, I’ll kill you”. James then attacked his father catching him by his throat and getting him to the floor and putting his knee on his father’s stomach.  He called for help and his brother appeared and called for a neighbour.  There had been ill feeling between father and son for some time past owing to the fact that the son had sided with his mother in a dispute.  The father had been served a notice to quit the house by Monday 28 October and the son had made arrangements to relocate his mother and younger brother but not to let the father know where they were going.   At the trial held in December 1901 Charles pleaded guilty with the remark that the offence had been committed under great provocation.  The judge thought that there hadn’t been a motive for the attack beyond the fact that there had been a difference of opinion with regard to the father’s treatment of the mother. Charles was found guilty by the jury by wounding with intent to do grievously bodily harm.  The judge advised the prisoner to live apart from his sons when he came out of gaol.  He was sentenced to six months imprisonment with hard labour.

(The Waddinghams lived on Main Road near the old Wesleyan Chapel, the family originally came from Lincolnshire where Charles had been a farmer.  It would appear they had abandoned the farm as in 1901 Charles is recorded as a railway platelayer.  When he came out of prison he is not recorded until the 1911 census when he is a cowman on a farm in Burton Joyce. He died in 1936 at the age of 83 in Spilsby.  The son James went on to run his own farm, get married and have a family in Lincolnshire. He died in 1956.)

In January 1901 John Gadsby was accused of breaking into the workshop of a Jacob Gee of Radcliffe on Trent and stealing ‘divers articles thereout’.  He was ordered to the House of Correction for nine months, the first and last in a solitary cell.

A tailor named George Brown of Radcliffe on Trent was charged with being drunk and disorderly and assaulting a policeman.  The prisoner was deaf and dumb and pleaded guilty.  It seems that Brown kicked Police Constable Forsey savagely when the officer was trying to prevent him from fighting with another man.  Defendants employer gave him a good character reference as a workman.  A fine of thirty shillings was imposed.