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Author Topic: Roydon Hall, East Peckham  (Read 16604 times)

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Offline JohnWalker

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Re: Roydon Hall, East Peckham
« Reply #25 on: March 14, 2017, 01:45:39 »
A good history of the house is A Manor through four centuries from memory by GH Cook

Many thanks John

I found a copy for sale on Ebay -ex library copy   £40 !!!   On Amazon £1.95 plus postage.  Both hardback.      Guess which one I ordered :)

JW

Offline John E Vigar

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Re: Roydon Hall, East Peckham
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2017, 19:02:05 »
A good history of the house is A Manor through four centuries from memory by GH Cook

Offline JohnWalker

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Re: Roydon Hall, East Peckham
« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2017, 15:57:19 »
I've just discovered that my Great Grandfather, George Impett was gardener at Royden Hall 1902 - 1907.

George Impett died in West Kent Hospital, Maidstone in October 1907 with pernicious anaemia. The story in the family was that he had been kicked by a horse which now doesn't look likely to have been the cause of his death.

After his death, his wife and children moved back to Canterbury and were housed in what was close to being a slum.  I'm wondering if the family had a tenancy at one of the cottages at Royden and had to leave once George had died.

Do any of you know the history of Royden Hall around that time - owners etc ?




Invicta

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Re: Roydon Hall, East Peckham
« Reply #22 on: April 06, 2013, 22:25:11 »
I took a couple of landscape photos last weekend but can not work out how I post them for you. If you Google Roydon Hall, images there are a few of the new roof. I was sorry to see the estate in such terrible condition,  and hope it can all be restored. I can recommend Cook's "Manor Through Four Centuries" although it is quite tragic the way the author dedicates the book to his father for all the work he has done to maintain the estate only for it to be sold off a few years later and to fall into such a bad state of repair. I also visited St. Michael`s Church and the family resting place of the Cooks and again, quite sad to see the graves a little neglected. I would happily do what I could to help. Some of the grave inscriptions are becoming weather damaged. Let us hope the new owner, whoever they are, brings this beautiful corner of Kent back to life.

Fitzdavid

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Re: Roydon Hall, East Peckham
« Reply #21 on: April 01, 2013, 18:40:56 »
Would it be possible for anyone to post photographs of the recent restoration of Roydon Hall?  Does anyone know when the new owner purchased the house? 

Offline mad4amanda

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Re: Roydon Hall, East Peckham
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2013, 09:28:36 »
Royden hall is (was) being extensively restored. I drove a delivery lorry for a friend for a couple of months last year and delivered pallets and pallets of specially hand made bricks of all shapes and sizes, they were all specials and very expensive. It had been used by some religous group for years and had deteriorated badly. The workmen told me it had been bought by an Arab who hadn`t seen it yet!

Offline kyn

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Re: Roydon Hall, East Peckham
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2013, 15:46:18 »
Friday, 9th October, 1970


Roydon Hall, at East Peckham, near Mereworth, Kent, is a fine old house which dates back to the reign of Henry VIII.  Here there is a great hall, but in addition there are five reception rooms and eight main and none secondary bedrooms, with staff accommodation.  The grounds cover about 14 acres and include formal and kitchen gardens, woodland and pasture.

There is a courtyard with a coach house and chapel.  The property is for sale through Bernard Thorpe and Partners, of Tunbridge Wells and London.  If a little large for private use, it would be eminently suitable for use as a school or institutional use.

Offline kyn

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Re: Roydon Hall, East Peckham
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2012, 16:55:59 »
Thursday, 2nd August 1962

Kent

An _________ Residential and Sporting Estate of 573 Acres.
Roydon Hall, near Tonbridge.
The Notable Period Manor House dates back to the 16th century and enjoys magnificent views.  Galleried hall, 4 reception rooms, billiards room, 5 principal bed rooms, boudoir: 4 secondary bed rooms, nursery and staff accommodation, 4 bath rooms; central heating; main electricity; garage and stable block; lodge; 2 cottages; charming grounds.

Vacant Possession.

The farms, secondary house, 2 other cottages and accommodation land chiefly let and producing £779 p.a.

Extensive Woodlands in hand.

Excellent shooting (additional 1,000 acres rented).

To be offered for sale by auction in September as a whole or in lots (unless preciously sold).



Monday. 8th October 1962

Property Market

Dates from 1535

The same agents (Knight, Frank and Rutley) have just disposed of the Roydon Hall Estate, of 573 acres, near Tonbridge, Kent, for Mr. Arthur R. Cook, in whose family the property has been since 1834, and who is retaining Little Roydon, the Dower House, for his own occupation.  Messrs. Langridge and Freeman, of Tonbridge Wells, were associated in the sale and the property was acquired for £60.000 by Broadlands Properties, Ltd., who were represented by Messrs. Taylor and Tester, of East Grinstead.  It is understood that the buyers do not require the main residence which is to be offered for resale with about 20 acres and three cottages.

The house dates back to about 1535 and later passed by marriage to the Twysden family in 1573, whose home it remained for some 250 years.  Accommodation includes a galleried hall and a suite of reception rooms, with five main and four secondary bedrooms and staff and nursery accommodation.

The estate in the present sale included about 272 acres of woodlands, three farms, a secondary house and various cottages. The let portions producing around £800 a year.

Offline kyn

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Re: Roydon Hall, East Peckham
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2012, 11:20:55 »
Wednesday, 13th June 1962.

Property Market
Kent Manor House to be Sold

Built in 1535

Roydon Hall, near Tonbridge, Kent, a sixteenth-century manor house, which is in the market for only the second time in more than 400 years, is to be sold at auction next September unless there is a private sale beforehand.

The property is a residential, sporting, and agricultural estate of about 580 acres and is being handled by Knight, Frank and Rutley in association with Langridge and Freeman, of Tunbridge Wells.  It will be offered either as a whole or in lots.

The main feature is the fine manor house, built in 1535 by Thomas Roydon, which passed by marriage to the Twysden family, with whom it remained for more than 250 years.  In the early nineteenth century it was bought by a Mr. William Cook, of Norfolk, whose descendants have owned it ever since.

Its accommodation includes a galleried hall, four reception rooms and a billiards room, five main and four secondary bedrooms, besides a nursery suite, and staff accommodation.  There are many cottages and outbuildings as well as a secondary house, and part of the estate is let to produce about £690 a year.  The shooting is in hand and there is an additional area of about 1,000 acres over which the sport is hired by the present owner.

merc

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Re: Roydon Hall, East Peckham
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2012, 00:03:00 »
There are some great pictures of Roydon Hall on the KURG website: http://www.kurg.org.uk/Roydon%20Hall/index.htm

Offline kyn

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Re: Roydon Hall, East Peckham
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2012, 20:42:33 »
Friday 5th December, 1862

The great poaching case, tried before Mr. Justice Byles at Maidstone, has ended in the acquittal of all the prisoners upon the charge of manslaughter, though six of them afterwards pleaded guilty upon an indictment for night poaching.  The details of this trial are worth studying, as an illustration of the scale on which these raids are conducted, of the generalship and prudence required in those whose bounden duty it is to resist them, and of the way in which a whole gang of poachers may escape the hands of justice through the difficulty of proving which of them fired or called upon his fellows to fire the fatal shot.  While we bow to the ruling of the learned Judge on this last point, we are unable to reconcile it with the law as it is laid down in the ordinary text books of criminal jurisprudence.  If we refer to the first chapter of Mr. Archbold’s well-known treatise, we find the rule applicable to such cases stated in these words:- “If several persons combine for an unlawful purpose, or for a purpose to be carried into effect by unlawful means, particularly if it is to be carried into effect notwithstanding any opposition that may be offered against it, and one of them in the prosecution of it kill a man, it is murder in all who are present, whether they actually aid or abet or not, provided the death were caused by the act of some one of the party in the course of the assembly.”  So that, unless it can be shown that the prisoners tried at Maidstone were not banded together for the purpose of night poaching and of resisting lawful apprehension by the keepers, or that one of them in the prosecution of this purpose did not kill the deceased Gray, they were all guilty, according to Mr. Achbold, not of manslaughter only, but of murder.  Mr. Justice Byles, however, held that “as the poachers were not engaged in a felony,” the use of violence by the keepers might reduce the offence of the one, whoever he was, that fired the gun, and therefore of the aiders and abettors, to manslaughter.  That is, at least, intelligible; but when the Judge proceeded to dwell on the necessity of proving “a common purpose to shoot” in order to justify a verdict of manslaughter, he introduced a principle which, if it be sound, is by no means familiar eve to lawyers, and quite inconsistent with the passage which we have cited.  It is manifest that such a purpose can rarely be brought home to all the members of a large party, and it is more than probable that in this case the prisoners owed their acquittal to the supposed want of this link in the chain of evidence.

A clear view of this point of law is essential if we would form an intelligent judgement on the facts detailed by the witnesses.  It appears that on the night of January 22 a grand poaching expedition against the preserves of Major Cook, of Roydon-hall, was organized in the neighbouring parish of Malling.  Eight men are positively identified as having joined it, and it is stated that there were three or four others.  Several had guns, and a man named Luck acted as leader.  They had fired at least six shots when they were met by a body of seven gamekeepers and watchers, headed by Gray, who was armed with a life-preserver and a flail.  A parley ensued, in the course of which several of the poachers, who were “drawn up in line,” threatened to shoot the first man who advanced.  Gray said he did not believe they would be so cowardly, and led his followers to an attack.  He had raised his flail to strike, if he had not actually struck a blow, when one of the poachers – but whether the one with whom he was in personal conflict or a comrade standing by does not appear – fired, and inflicted a fatal wound in his thigh.  There was then a general melee, and the poachers made off, dropping a gun and a cap on their way.  Gray died from loss of blood the next morning.  Through information tendered by two of the party the police identified seven others, though one was afterwards let off, owing to a conflict of testimony about him.  The only serious doubt that was as to the identity of the man who fired the gun, and upon this doubt the whole eight were acquitted.  Hawks, the approver, swore it was Luck, and this was the strong belief of Hammond, one of the watchers; but Allchin, whom it was first intended to admit as Queen’s evidence, was prepared to testify that it was another man, Burgess.  Great stress was paid by the counsel for the defence on the fact that, although many voices threatened to shoot, no shot was fired while the poachers were drawn up in line, or till the rattle of the uplifted flail was heard, and then only one.  Had there been “a common design to shoot,” they argued, there would have been a volley instead of a single discharge.  But for the weight attached to this reasoning by Mr. Justice Byles, we should have been disposed to ask whether the rapidity with which the gamekeepers closed with them may not have forced them to change their tactics and engage in a hand-to-hand struggle.  But it is obvious that the whole importance of this suggestion turns upon the old question whether the prisoners could only incur the guilt of manslaughter but being parties to the shooting, or whether they incurred it by leaguing together for the unlawful object to effect which the shot was fired in their presence.  The notion of the gun going off by accident while its owner was belabouring Gray with the butt-end of it, and while, therefore, the barrel must have been pointed the other way, is not worth discussing.

This is not the first time that the perpetrators of a great crime of this kind have been saved from punishment by the indiscretion of their victim.  Several years ago a gentleman named Bagshawe was beaten to death by a gang of poachers who were engaged in dragging a piece of water on his property.  That case had many features in common with the present.  Like poor Gray, Mr. Bagshawe, who was a man of great personal strength and courage, took the law into his own hands by rushing on the poachers before summoning them to surrender.  An affray followed, in which he was killed, and though he was acting in defence of his lawful rights, and his antagonists in open defiance of the law, the circumstance that they were not the aggressors in the encounter enabled them to get off with impunity.  If Gray had told Luck and his companions that he came to apprehend them for entering land armed and by night in pursuit of game, and they had answered “We’ll shoot you first;” and he had thereupon been shot in the act of laying hands quietly upon one of them, the most lenient Judge and the most pliable jury could not have acquitted them.  Of course, such self-restraint is hardly to be found in human nature, and when a man sees deadly weapons pointed at him he may well be excused for erring on the side of decision.  Still it must be admitted that some expressions used by Gray, however creditable to his “pluck,” must have sounded more like a challenge than an invitation to submit to a lawful arrest.  This is no excuse for those who, being on a lawless errand, had drawn themselves up in battle array before a word was spoken, but it is just the kind of fact that tells with a jury.  They look on poaching with no great horror; an affray seems to them a natural sequel of a poaching expedition, and, as some one is likely to be wounded in an affray, they regard the killing of a gamekeeper rather as a fatal accident that as a wilful of felonious homicide.  We regret, for the sake of society, that so vague an estimate of the guilt involved in it should be so prevalent, but some good may result from such failures of justice if they teach us that the best way to check these murderous assault on life is to punish the depredations of poachers on property as common larceny.

grantidge

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Re: Roydon Hall, East Peckham
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2012, 18:32:47 »
Roydon Hall was owned by the Transcendental Meditation organisation for a while.  I learnt TM there (cost a fortune even 25 years ago) and for several years, found it useful.  However, subtle pressure was put on meditators to take the next course up, called the Siddhas.  I noticed that those who had done it seemed a little strange afterwards, plus it was a grand to do it, so I refrained. 

After several years I found I couldn't meditate any more but all I got from them was a set formula which didn't help.  Later, the Maharishi abandoned the UK as apparently we hadn't meditated well enough to bring about world peace.  I have come to the conclusion that it had cult-like attributes if pursued too far; I never got into that however. 

Lovely old house, reputed to have been bought for the TM organisation by George Harrison.  It needed work doing on it though.

Offline kyn

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Re: Roydon Hall, East Peckham
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2012, 15:01:32 »
Thursday 4th December, 1862

Winter Assizes.
Home Circuit.
Maidstone, Dec 3.

Crown Court. – (Before Mr. Justice Biles.)

This day had been specially appointed for the trial of the poachers for the manslaughter of the gamekeeper in the terrible struggle between gamekeepers and poachers at Roydon-hall in January last.  The case has excited great interest, and illustrators forcibly the real nature of the offence called poaching and the true character of the man who engaged in it.

The history of the case is as follows:-  Early in the morning, or just after midnight, on the 23rd of January last, on a fine moonlight night an under-gamekeeper of Major Cook, of Roydon-hall, East Peckham, in the parish of Nettlested, and an assistant were out watching, and, hearing guns fired in a wood they went and called up Gray, the head gamekeeper, and, with four others, making seven in all, went through the wood towards where the report of the guns were heard.  After passing through the wood they entered a meadow, and there sae a party of from 10 to 13 men walking towards another part of the wood on the opposite side of the meadow.  When the men saw the gamekeepers after them they turned round and faced them, being, it will be seen, nearly twice their number, and armed, whereas it did not appear that the gamekeepers had weapons (except poor Gray, who had a flail), and drew up in a line.  Gray, the deceased gamekeeper, and five of the assistants went forward towards the men, and on coming near them one of the prisoners cried, “Helloa! Where are you coming too?”  This man seemed to have a stick, or a gun in his hand, and the man next to him had a gun, and said “If you come another step I’ll shoot.”  The other said “Yes, shoot, shoot.”  The gamekeeper, Gray, said “You’ll not be so cowardly as to shoot,” and one of the poachers, with an oath, cried out that he would.  What took place after this was, of course, involved in some doubt, as it appears that the men rushed on each other, and the poor gamekeeper was shot through th thigh and fell.  A short but terrible struggle took place, which resulted in the flight of the poachers, and in consequence of their great preponderance in number none of them were apprehended on the spot.  They all made off towards Wateringbury, which is in the direction of East Malling, where two of the prisoners  (Luck and Eversfield) resided.  Poor Gray earnestly begged to be taken home.  “Take me home,” he said, “as quickly as you can, for I am dying.  Let me see my dear wife and family once more before I die.”  He lingered a few hours in agony, and died.  At the spot where the affray occurred gun-caps &c., were found; and on the route home a gun; and these, it will be seen, were traced as the property of one of the prisoners.  The great difficulty in the case, it will be readily perceived, was as to identity, and the particular nature of the evidence will be seen from the report of the trial.  Two of the men (Luck and Eversfield) were indicted at the last assizes for manslaughter.  In consequence, however of the arrest of seven other of the men, and the discovery of fresh evidence, the case was postponed, ad bills for murder were at this assize preferred against the two men first named, who were supposed to have been the two men mentioned as having threatened to shoot.

The learned Judge charged the grand jury on the case with special reference to the evidence upon the dispositions of an affray with Gray before the firing of the fatal shot, and the use by him of the flail; and he told the grand jury that, as the poachers were not engaged in a felony, the use of the flail with violence might reduce the offence to manslaughter, the men having the funs in their hands ready loaded.

In consequence of this the grand jury threw out the bills for murder, and found true bills against all the prisoners for manslaughter.

Nine men altogether had been apprehended, but in the course of the assize, as we mentioned two days ago, the counsel for the prosecution applied to the learned Judge for leave to have one of them (Hawkes) admitted as a witness for the prosecution, and the learned Judge, having the assurance of the learned counsel that it was necessary for justice, allowed this to be done.  The other eight men were accordingly not arraigned at the bar charged with manslaughter, and also with night poaching.  Their names were Luck, Allchin, Eversfield, Stevens, Obey, Clapsen, Burgess, and Catt.

Mr. F. Russell and Mr. F. J. Smith were counsel for the prosecution; Mr. Addison was counsel for five of the prisoners – the last five named; Mr. Ribton was for the two first named, Luck and Allchin; Eversfield was not defended by counsel.

Mr. Russell, having described with great clearness the general history of the affray, said the witnesses having been actually engaged in it, and not calm spectators, it was to be expected that there would be some discrepancies in their evidence, though not more so than was natural and inevitable where persons who had been engaged in such an affray were giving the best account they could of it.  The learned counsel, adverting to the prisoner Hawks, who had been admitted as Queen’s evidence, said no doubt he would give evidence under the reasonable expectation that if he gave it truly he would escape punishment, or all but slight punishment; and no doubt the jury would be told, and told truly, that his evidence ought not to be relied on unless it was confirmed; but he said there would be abundant evidence to confirm it.  The learned counsel went on to charge Luck more particularly as the man who had fired the gun.  The confirmatory evidence as against him was strong.  He did not go home until 2 o’clock in the morning, his head was bleeding, his gun was found covered with blood, and he had all the marks of having been engaged in a deadly struggle.  As regarded Eversfield there was some difficulty, bit one of the guns picked up would be proved to have been in his possession; and he and all the other prisoners had admitted that they were engaged in the affray, though they had all denied that they had fired the gun.  As regarded Eversfield, the learned counsel said the approver Hawks had stated that he was not there, and the police were not disposed to doubt that statement.  Without, therefore, at once withdrawing the case as against Eversfield, the learned counsel said he should take any course his Lordship in the trial of the case might suggest.  They learned counsel then went on to state the law as applicable to the case.  By the 14th and 15th Victoria, cap 109, sec 11, any person might arrest men found committing an indictable offence at night.

The learned Judge observed that there was another power to arrest in such a case, under an older Act (9th George IV.) not repealed.

Mr. Russell said that was so, and he supposed he might take it, then, that the gamekeepers had power to arrest the poachers in this case; and if the gamekeeper killed had used no unnecessary violence, and had acted temperately in his efforts to apprehend them, the man who shot him would have been clearly guilty of murder.  But if, in attempting to arrest them, he had used a weapon likely to inflict a serious injury, and did not act with caution and temperance, it might well be that the provocation given by such violence might reduce the crime to manslaughter.  And it might well be that as regards offences committed, not against the person, but merely against property, so much violence would not be justifiable as in the case of violence offered to the person.  Still, however, if the man who fired meant to kill, the offence would, at the very least, be manslaughter.  And as regarded the other prisoners who were all present engaged in the common purpose of committing an indictable offence, and also in the common purpose of resisting with deadly weapons lawful apprehension and arrest, they were all equally guilty in the eye of the law of the same crime of manslaughter.  The learned counsel concluded his opening statement, which was equally clear and temperate, by entreating the jury to give to a case so exceedingly serious their calm and dispassionate consideration.

The first witness called was Sexton, one of the watchers.  He said they heard no less than six shots before they men the men.  The poachers came to within six or seven yards of them, and quite near enough to hear what was said.  Seven of them had guns; the gamekeepers had none, but Gray had a flail, which was produced.  One of the poachers said, “The first man that sets a step forward I’ll shoot.”  Gray called out, “Oh, you would not be so cowardly as to shoot.”  The man cried out, “So help me God, I will.”  Another gamekeeper called out, “No, no; the same God who is over you is over me.  You won’t shoot.”  One of the poachers with an oath declared he would.  The witness could not say who it was.  Gray then said to his men, “Are you ready?” and they answered “Yes.”  Then (said the witness) we all made a go at them.  One of the men (he could not tell which of them) fired his gun, and Gray was shot in the thigh.  I believe (said the witness) that he was shot before a blow was struck.

The learned Judge. – What blow?

Witness. – Before my blow was struck.  He was shot, I believe, before any one was hit.  He did not fall at once.  He struck one of two blows after he was shot.  Then he fell.

This witness gave his evidence very clearly, and to all appearance very truthfully, and neither of the learned counsel for the prisoners attempted to shake his testimony by cross-examination.  They only asked one or two questions, not tending at all to have that effect.  They elicited that Gray had flourished the flail, but not that he used it before he was shot.

Wood (the man already mentioned) was the next witness.  He said he now saw he had sworn at first before the magistrates to the wrong man.  Eversfield, the man he had seen, was another of the prisoners (whom he now pointed out), and whom he had not seen since the night in question.  He now recognised him, and said that he had been mistaken in swearing to Eversfield.

This witness gave his evidence with great appearance of frankness and truthfulness; and it should be observed that Eversfield and the man he now identified had a general resemblance and were about the same age and stature, and something of the same appearance in complexion and cast of feature.

The witness went on to say that the poachers had guns and stood in a row, and he thought there were 13.  He spoke to the same expressions, but could not say who used them.  He said, “You won’t shoot?” and the man said, “So help me God, I will!”  and the man he now identified said, “Shoot, shoot!”  All the men down the row said so, or seemed to say so.  Gray said, “Go in to them; they won’t be so cowardly as to shoot.”  The men said, “By God we will.”  The witness said, “The same God is over you as is over us; you won’t shoot.”  Gray rushed forward, and whether (said the witness) he hit the first blow of not, I don’t know, but I heard the flail rattle before he was shot.  Whether he made it rattle to guard a blow or not I can’t say; but I heard his flail rattle before he was shot.  The poachers had not moved from their places before the shot.  He could not say who fired the gun.  The keepers then tried to get hold of the guns, and (said the witness)  “I did my best, but three of them were on me at once, and gave it to me so warm that I couldn’t stand it.”  He went towards Gray, who was on his back, with a man over him,, of whom he had hold, while they were struggling.  Witness hit this man several times, and the man called out to the others, and the witness was at once knocked down, being struck on the back part of his head.  They took the man away from Gray and stood together, and then one said to the others, “Now, we may as well start.”  Gray was bleeding from a shot wound in his thigh, and said.  “Take me home as soon as you can, and let me see my dear wife and family before I die, for I am a-dying,” and he added, “They’re Malling men.”  He died at 5 o’clock that morning.  Witness was with him when he died.

Cross-examined. – The witness said he did not see Gray strike anybody, nor see him swing the flail round.  He heard the flail rattle, that was all.  He could not say whether he used it or not.  He was pressed a good deal as to whether before the coroner he had not said that Gray had struck one of the poachers.  This he denied, but he admitted that he had said there was a “regular fight and right down hard beating,” and “so there was,” he said.

Hammond, another of the watchers, described the scene in a similar way, but stated that the poachers, when they saw the gamekeepers, “formed themselves into a line, as one of the ordered them to do.”  He believed it was Luck who fired the gun.  He saw it fired, and, to the best of his belief, Luck was the man.  He could not say whether Gray struck any one, but he did not strike that man (Luck); not before he fired.  After the shot was fired the witness was knocked down, and he could not recognize any other of the men.

Cross-examined. – He believed that Luck was the man who fired the gun; he was just like him; he believed him to be the man; he was not quite sure.  He saw the man point the gun.  He could not say how far he was from him at the time.

Another of the gamekeepers’ assistants named Masters described the poachers as “in a line across the meadow.”  He saw one of the poachers turn the butt of his gun up to strike Gray who said, “That looks a little more manly than shooting.”  Then the witness said he believed that Gray made a blow with the flail, and as soon as he had made a blow he was shot by another poacher, not the one he had struck at.  The man pointed the gun at Gray and shot him in the thigh; who it was the witness said could not say positively, but believed it was Luck.  He said so next morning when he saw him.

Another of the assistants described the poachers as “standing in a row.”  The witness picked up a cap dropped by one of them, and it was bloody inside.  He spoke as to Burgess, but no other prisoner.

A surgeon, who had been called in to see Gray, and was with him when he died, stated that he had died from exhaustion, caused by bleeding.  The wound was just where the femoral artery lies.  Gray was 40 years of age, a tall man, nearly 6ft. high.  He was shot on the very night of his birthday.

The next witness called was John Hawks, the approver.  He was a prisoner in gaol, and had to be fetched therefrom.  His appearance at the bar seemed greatly excite the prisoners at the bar.  He said he was a labourer at Snodland and he remembered the night when Gray was shot.  On that night Catt and Burgess came to his house and asked him if he was minded to go and have a “shoot,” and he said he did not mind.  The three went into a publichouse at Snodland, and left it – at what house he could not say – together.  They went to Ham-hill, and called for Stevens and Clapson, who joined them.    They then all went to a place called Larkfield, and there William Allchin (not the prisoner of that name, but his brother), met them.  They then went to East Malling.  There two of three more joined them.  He went to a publichouse and had some beer.  Burgess and Luck went round by the road; the witness and the others went across a field, and they met again; the witness was a stranger to the place himself.  They all then went into the woods.  There were several who had guns.  The witness said he had one himself, and Burgess, Luck and Catt had guns; he did not know how many others.  When they got into the woods several shots were fired at birds.  Then they went into a meadow, and then the keepers came round before them and stopped them.  All of the men were there at that time.  Eversfield was not there at all.  Gray was the first who came down to them; he had a flail and a life-preserver.  The men asked him to let them go.  He said he had been looking for them; and he hit at one man with the flail.  He said, “My good fellows, don’t shoot, there’s a God above us all.”  Catt said, “You ben’t agoing to hit am man with that flail, are you?  He said, “Stand back – that he wasn’t going to handle ne’er a one.”  After that (apparently after the struggle had begun) the witness stated that Gray had said he would smash their brains out before they should go.  The men had started on when he began to hit them.  He hit one man (the witness could not say which).  There was then a tussle, and the gun was fired.  Luck was the man who fired it.  The witness said he was standing on the right hand of Luck at the time.  Then there was a struggle, and Allchin, Obey, Burgess, and himself “drawed off.”  Orders were not given by any one that the witness heard, but Allchin and Luck led them into the wood.

Cross-examined by Mr. Ridton. – There was another man, the prisoner Allchin, who first gave information, and he (the witness) was first apprehended on his information.

Mr. Ribton. – Why, there was a race between you who should give information first, wasn’t there?

Witness. – I don’t know about that.

Mr. Ribton. – Did you now at first say you knew nothing about it?

Witness admitted that he had.

Mr. Ribton. – When did you first admit you were there?

Witness. – When we were had up in the lockup-house.

Mr. Ribton asked him whether he had not said one day to the Allchins that if something was not done to keep Luck’s wife quiet she would be talking, and that it would be best to say that Luck fired the shot.

The witness said he did not say that; he could not remember exactly what was said, but he had said nothing about that.  He was next to Luck, and saw the flash of the gun and saw it go off in his hands.  There was a tussle before the gun went off.

The witness seemed to give his evidence fairly, and it will be seen it was not at all shaken, nor was he at all discredited by anything beyond his acknowledged complicity in this particular affair.

A witness from one of the beershops mentioned by the approver spoke to Burgess, Hawks, and, he believed, Catt as having left at 9 o’clock on the night in question.

A witness was called who had picked up a gun in the route to Wateringbury, and this and the cap were traced to Luck.

A policeman proved that Eversfield, when apprehended, said he feared he was “fixed,” and he must make up his mind to bear his punishment.  (It will have been observed that the approver had sworn that Eversfield was not there.)

The learned Judge desired the constable to repeat this statement, and he said that the officer had charged him with night poaching and the murder of Gray, and then he said, “I can see I am fixed, and I must put up with the punishment.”

The learned Judge pointed out the verbal variance between the two statement.

The witness said the words were, “I see I am fixed.”

The learned Judge observed that this was a third variance.

The constable said the words were, “I can see I am fixed,” &c.

The learned Judge. – Don’t suppose I suggest that you have given your evidence improperly; on the contrary, O think you have not; but I merely wishes to test your recollection of the precise words used, since your evidence is very important as against the prisoner Eversfield.

The constable was a very honest-looking fellow, and gave his evidence with an air of great truthfulness, and no one in court seemed to suppose that the slight verbal variances in his evidence were marks of falsehood, but the entire contradiction of his evidence to that of the approver excited some sensation.

The next witness, another constable, who had taken Luck into custody, said he had found that he had a marked of a cut on his temple, which he said he had “got in the Crimea.”  This was three months after the affray.  The witness stated also that a constable had said to Eversfield, “A gun which some one lent you had been found at Roydon-hall,” and Eversfield said he had given it to his son.  Afterwards he said he had burnt it.  The constable said he could not have done so, as he had got it.  Eversfield said he should like to see it, and after looking at it he said he gave it to young Cook, the son of a beerhouse keeper at Malling, who kept the house where some of the poachers had met.

This evidence also surprised everybody who had heard the approver’s evidence.

Another constable, who had been to Luck’s house and asked him to show him the gun he had a Roydon-hall, and he did so, and the witness now produced it.  It appeared to have been broken in several places, and riveted, as I it had been broken by blows given with it.  This constable said that Allchin had given some information before the approver hawks.

There was an attempt to elicit from some of the witnesses in cross-examination that the men were on a footpath in the meadow.

A labouring man proved that Luck had no mark of a blow before the affray; that after it he had a black eye and a cut over the temple.  On this being remarked, he said he had run against a fellow’s fist the other night.  He was not observed at work again until two of three days after the night in question.

A very respectable woman with whom Luck had lived, and who gave her evidence against him with evident emotion, stated that on the night in question he had taken away a gun and the cap produced.  He left soon after 9, and said he was going to Peckham.  She did not see him against until 2 o’clock in the morning.  He came home alone, his face covered with blood, and very much knocked about on the head and body.  He had four large wounds on his head and one on his temple.  He brought back the gun with blood on it/  He said there was a fight, and that he was the first man knocked down with the flail; that he was knocked about while down and quite insensible; that he could not say how long he lay there, but when he came a little to himself he saw his mates and the keepers all fighting together; that he went to get up to help them, but before he could get to his feet was knocked down again, and lay until Allchin helped him up.  He was brought back a billycock hat which was soaked in blood, and which the witness said she burnt.  She did not see the cap, he had taken the cap in his pocket when he went out, and had put the billycock on.

In answer to Mr. Ribton, the witness said that he had always told her he had not known that a gun was fired until he was going home, when one of his mates told him so.

By the learned Judge. – I have lived with him as his wife for four years.

Hulse, a policeman had gone to Eversfield’s house in Malling, in April last, and asked him to produce the gun his master had lent him.  He at first denied it, but when told that his master had stated that he had lent it, he said he had given it to his son, then that he had burnt it, and then that he had given it to Cook, the son of the beerhouse-keeper.  A few days later the witness stated that he told Eversfield one of the watchers had identified him (the witness Wood), and that he was charged with the night poaching and the death of Gray, the gamekeeper.  Upon that he said, “Well, if they identified me, I suppose I must

Offline kyn

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Re: Roydon Hall, East Peckham
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2012, 16:36:23 »
Thursday 14th August, 1862

The Roydon-Hall Murder – Yesterday the six men in custody – viz., Joseph Obey, Thomas Stevens, George Allchin, John Clapson, alias “Happy Jack of Sussex,” John Hawkes, and Stephen Burgess – were brought up for re-examination, before Mr. J. Savage, at Town Malling, charged with night poaching and the wilful murder of James Gray, a gamekeeper in the service of Major Cooke, of Roydon-hall, east Peckham.  The evidence of the prisoner Hawkes, given at the last examination, was read over, and he made the following additional statement:-  “I stood next to the man Luck, who shot the keeper.  Luck wore a billycock hat and a shooting-jacket.  When Gray (the deceased) came up to us he said he would knock our brains out before we should get away.  One of the men with me said ‘Stand back you ----- or I’ll shoot you.’  Gray said, ‘For God’s sake, my good fellows, don’t shoot; think of the One that’s above us.  I don’t believe there’s a man among you will shoot.’  One of our men said, ‘You ain’t agoing to hit any of us with that flail, are you?’  Gray walked round us, and the same man said, ‘Stand back, you aint agoing to handle e’er a one of us.’”

The witness then identified the lining of a hat which was found on the spot after the affray as having been worn as a disguise by the prisoner Stevens.  Superintendent Hulse said that he approached the prisoner Allchin, who made the following statement:-  “On the night of the 22d of January last I was at the Magpie, at east Malling, when Alfred Burr Luck, the person now awaiting his trial, came to me and asked me to go with him to East Peckham, I went out with him, and at the top of East Malling-street we were joined by several other men.  We all then went to East Peckham, and on the preserves of Major Cooke, where we shot four pheasants.  We left the wood and went into a meadow leading to another wood.  We were crossing the meadow when Gray and some other keepers came up to us.  Gray said ‘If you men don’t stop, I’ll smash some of your brains out.’  Gray struck at some of us with a flail, and shortly afterwards a gun was fired and Gray fell.  I don’t know who fired the gun.”   Subsequently the other prisoners were apprehended, and, they were all confronted with Allchin.  They all admitted having been present at the affray, but denied having fired the gun.  The prisoners were fully committed on the charge of manslaughter and night-poaching.

Offline kyn

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Re: Roydon Hall, East Peckham
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2012, 14:16:39 »
Thank you for the pictures Islesy.

Yes JohnWalker it was, I have the newspaper clippings to add at a later date.

 

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