Exciting Chase after Poachers at Denaby

May 1886

Mexborough and Swinton Times May 21, 1886

Exciting Chase after Poachers at Denaby

Benjamin Ogden, Rotherham, and Charles Allen, Thornhill, Masbro’ was summoned under the Poaching Prevention Act.

Mr Hickman said he appeared on behalf of Fitzwilliam in supporting of charges against the defendant on% insurgent game on land in the occupation Mr Cranage, on May 2, and also threatening an under keeper, named Edward Stribley, in consequence of which he was afraid the defendants would do him some bodily injury.

On the day in question about 7 o’clock in the morning, sibling was watching the Little Denaby Wood, between Hooton Roberts toll bar and Denaby village. Stribley saw Ogden and Allen leave the road and go into a fallow field and then into a seed field, in the occupation of Mr Cranage. The field was about 400 yards from the road. Ogden took out his gun and shot at and killed a hare, which Allen picked up. Stribley kept himself concealed, and Ogden and Allen walked along, one on each side of the road.

Stribley then made his way towards them, but they, then seeing him, ran off towards Hooton Roberts. Stribley follow, and the defendants tried to conceal themselves in a willow-garth near Mr Rhode’s farm. Ogden and Alan “faced” Stribley, Ogden telling the latter if he put his hand on him he would “do for him.” Allen also said, “Keep your hands off, or it will be worse for you.”

Stribley replied that he only wanted their name, that they were too many for him, and that as it was a fair catch they may as well tell him what their names were, and they ought to give in. Ogden told him to go – – – – and find his name there, and the defendants started off again. He afterwards, on the road, turned round and said to Stribley, “I’ll settle you.”

A youth named George Thomson came up, and Stribley sent him off on a pony to seek a policeman at Thrybergh. The policeman was not in, and Thompson returned and afterwards went to Kilnhurst.

Meanwhile Stribley kept up the pursuit, and Ogden remarking that Thompson had gone, threatened to split Stribley’s head open and to kill him. Pulling the the barrels of his gun, Ogden aimed a heavy blow at Stribley, but the latter jumped into the hedge, and thus avoided the intended injury. Stribley then gave up the pursuit.

Ogden, on Thursday last, visited Stribley, asked him not to press the case against them, said he had shot nine hares and 3 ½ brace of birds, and promised not to near the spot again. Ogden also made an admission that Allen had put his gun together and threatened to shoot Stribley, and denied that he said himself that he had done so.

Edward Stribley and George Thomson gave evidence in support of the charge.

Mr Willis said his client pleaded guilty to having been on the land, but his excuse was, that he had been out of employment some six or seven weeks, and that he committed the offence in order to provide food for his wife and family. He had now obtained a situation at the Carhouse Colliery. His client denied that he had ever threatened the keeper. Had he been disposed to use violence, he had every opportunity, and could have done so. The keeper had a stick in his hand, and was going to strike them, and Ogden raised his gun barrels in self defence.

Ogden was sworn and said he was on the land near Denaby with Allen. They ran over a mile, and when they got to the willowgath Allen could run no further. They “nipped” over the hedge and hid themselves amongst the willow, crawling about on their hands and knees to the road, to get away. They saw Stribley coming up the willows and Allen said, “Here he is, Ben; let us get over the edge.” They did so and ran further and Allen said “It’s no use your running, I cannot” Allen turned around and talked to Stribley, and they ran off again, Stribley followed, and they proceeded in the direction of Thrybergh.

Thompson went round by Hooton and met them again, on the pony. They sat down and got their wind when Stribley and Thompson were out of sight. Ogden related further incidents which occurred, he and his companion being followed a long distance by Stribley. He denied any intention of striking Stribley, saying he was only defending himself, and that he thought it Stribley could use a stick, it was quite likely that he should use a gun, and he did not doubt for a minute that he should have done so. Stribley shouted out to him three times to put the gun away, and that he wanted no “bother” with them. The keeper blew his whistle several times, but no one came except Thomson.

Cross-examined: Ogden said that both Allen and himself had a gun. Allen had written a letter, admitting the offence.

The defendants were fined 40s and costs each for the game trespass; Ogden was ordered to find two sureties in the sum of £5 each and himself in £10, for his good behaviour for six months, and the gun licences of each defendant were also forfeited