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Stillington and District Community Archive

In the Heart of North Yorkshire

A Clever Capture

On Friday 21st November 1884 Police Constable Dale of Sutton on the Forest was patrolling Stillington. It was about Midnight he was travelling along a back lane (South Back Lane as it is now) when he heard footsteps coming along a garden path in the direction of The Bay Horse Inn (now The Bay Tree). 
PC Dale's suspicions were aroused and he hid behind a hedge. A man then walked up to him carrying a large sack over his shoulder. The constable grabbed the man who turned out to be Edmund Backhouse, aged 26, of Stillington, a joiner.
On being charged with stealing Backhouse said he had taken the sack from the granary of his uncle Mr William Wright, a farmer. Backhouse produced a set of three keys from his pocket, one of which fitted the lock to the granary door, saying he had his uncles permission to take what he wanted. When examined the sack was found to contain a large quantity of oats (about 8.5 stone in weight). When PC Dale said he would question Mr Wright about the matter Backhouse became agitated and offered the Constable his gold watch to forget the matter. When that failed he offered £5, then £20. 
Bribery failing PC Dale took Backhouse to Easingwold where he was bailed to appear in court on the 27th November. 
At the trial Backhouse was dealt with very leniently in the circumstances as the oats had been returned to his uncle. He was fined £10 and given 14 days to pay.
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