I was wondering if SKS could help with any suggestions as to where Mr
BOWN may have lived, somewhere near Hognaston perhaps, where there
seem to be generations of BOWNS.
I don't know about anyone else, but I find it slightly odd that out
of a flock of 45 sheep, my ancestor decides to steal the five with
the blue dot on them !!
Steve Farmer, Australia
Derby Mercury 15th August 1827
DERBYSHIRE SUMMER ASSIZES, Wed August 8th, CROWN BAR
William Bown, aged 21 was indicted for stealing at Kirk Ireton, on
the 2nd April last, five hog sheep, the property of Joseph Matkin.
The prosecutor stated that he was a farmer residing at Kirk Ireton
aforesaid, and that on the 2nd April last he had a flock of sheep in
number of forty-five depasturing in a close called Gorsty Hill, all
of which he saw safe about 11 o'clock in the forenoon of that day;
that on the following Wednesday he went to look them over and found
five of them (two ewes and three wethers) missing and that about six
weeks before the robbery he had purchased the same five sheep of a
person named Dean, and when he received them in to his possession
they had been previously marked with a blue dot upon the hip; that
in about a month after he had first missed the sheep he saw them
again in a field on Wirksworth Moor, in the occupation of Mr. Thomas
Hall, and that Dean, the person from whom he had purchased them, was
with him at the time. Mr. John Ford, farmer, at Bradburn, stated
that he was in a Lane called Hognaston Old Lane on the 2nd April last
about 8 o"clock in the evening, and saw the prisoner with five sheep
trying to drive them over a bridge; that witness assisted the
prisoner in getting them over, and having known the prisoner several
years, afterwards accompanied him as much as half a mile on the road,
that in the course of conversation prisoner told witness he had
purchased the sheep at Wirksworth Fair on the 25th March last for
18s.6d. each: he was driving the sheep in a direction from
prosecutor's close called Gorsty Hill, towards Hognaston. Samuel
Smith knew the prisoners very well and on the 2nd April last overtook
him on the road leading to Tissington between ten and eleven o'clock
at night with five sheep; witness walked with him about a mile. Mr.
Thomas Hall, farmer, at Middlteton, stated that he was at Ashborne
Fair on the 3rd April last, and bought five sheep from the prisoner
at 15s. a head, having one shilling returned; that he left the sheep
in the care of a butcher named Slack, with directions to drive them
to a farm occupied by witness at Hopton; that they were subsequently
taken to his farm a Middleton, and having been marked on the ear,
were sent to depasture on Wirksworth Moor; witness was quite sure
they were the same five sheep he purchased of the prisoner at
Ashborne Fair; he could speak to them from their general appearance,
and from the particular notice he took of them when he bought them;
they had each a blue mark upon some part of the body, but he did not
positively remember where. He afterwards stated that he thought it
was on the hind part. Witness being cross-examined, said the
prisoner told him his name, and where he came from, and that the
sheep were exposed in the open fair at Ashborne, which was about
three miles from prisoner's home. John Dean was then called, and
confirmed the fact of his having sold five sheep to the prosecutor
marked with the blue dot as before described. He further stated that
on the 28th April last, he went with prosecutor to Mr. Hall's field
on Wirkworth Moor, where he saw five sheep, which on examination
proved to be the same five he had sold to prosecutor; they had then
witness's blue mark on them, and in addition and ear mark; he was
confident they were the same sheep. Mr. John Brittlebank of Ashborne
and two others with all of whom prisoner had lived, spoke favorably
of his character. The jury found the prisoner Guilty, but
recommended him to mercy on account of his youth, and good character
given him. Guilty - Judgement of death recorded.
Derby Mercury 26th March 1828
CROWN BAR. - Friday March 21st
The court assembled this morning at nine o'clock, and the first
prisoner placed before the bar was William BOWN, aged 22, charged
with being at large before the expiration of the term for which he
had been sentenced to be transported. Prisoner pleaded guilty; on
which judgement of death was immediately recorded against him.
He was a very wise man. He only stole the sheep who had been covered by
the Ram. Rams wear a little apron with die in it and when they serve the
sheep it leaves a little blue/green/red, etc., coloured spot on them. He
was hoping the sheep were pregnant so that he had actually stolen two or
three sheep for every one he actually had.
Perhaps you don't have this method in Oz. It is still in use here in
Britain. This is only a supposition but I cannot see any other reason
Judy in Derbyshire
Only a little on William on my website at www.farmergroup.com/
He ended up being a fairly wealthy landowner and there is a BOWNDS
street in Albury NSW named after the family. He is buried in the
pioneer section of the Wodonga (Belvoir) cemetery.
We should also acknowledge the invaluable help I obtained from the
Derbyshire Libraries & Heritage people, they looked up the details
based on the information I emailed them and then copied the newpapers
and mailed them to me in Australia , quite wonderful !!
>Presumably William wasn't executed but transported and you are
Correct he was my GGG Grandfather
>Can I add your e-mail address, in case someone wants to
>contact you about William?
Most certainly, and my website address if you like.