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Fitting the Crime Text  Here are some extracts from the calendar of prisoners tried at the 1840 Staffordshire spring assizes. A range of sentences were handed down, including

“Joseph Johnson: breaking into the dwelling house of Samuel Johnson, in the night of the 29th June, 1839, at Ipstones, and stealing therefrom two pinafores, and some ribbon, his property – To be transported for 15 years” & “Edward Stevenson: unlawfully and maliciously cutting Thomas Newborough, on the 8th day of August, at Rocester, with intent to do him grievous bodily harm - To be imprisoned twelve calendar months and kept to hard labour” & “James Owen, George Thomas, alias Dobell, and William Ellis, alias Lambert: wilful murder of Christina Collins, on the 17th day of June 1839, at the parish of Rugeley - Death.

Ellis was later reprieved and transported to Australia for life. These were the three Pickfords canal boat men whose crime was featured in an episode of the television series Inspector Morse. The murder also had a big impact at the time, as you can find out by clicking on Hanged by the Neck

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