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Essays, Sketches and Illustrations of bygone Sussex

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66                   BYGONE SUSSEX.
prisoners who had escaped in the confusion were also retaken. On July 4th the brothers were brought up, and Saturday, July 6th, fixed for their trial. There were thirty-seven counts in the indictment. They were first tried for robbing the Bristol mail, and although they were undoubtably the culprits, a verdict of "not guilty" was returned. George was then tried in the King's Bench for forgery and found guilty. Joseph was tried for shooting at John Davis, who gave evidence, and a verdict of guilty was returned in this case also, so that the two brothers found themselves, at the end of their career of extrava­gance and swindling, under a common sentence of death. Joseph's conviction was secured under the " Black Act" (9, George II., c, 22), which seems to have been originally aimed at com­binations of poachers—"ill-designing and dis­orderly persons [who] have associated themselves under the name of ' Blacks,' and entered into confederacies to support and assist one another in stealing and destroying deer, robbing warrens and fishponds." Weston was not a " Black," but he had shot at a man, and the meshes of this particular law were strong enough to retain him. The two brothers, George and Joseph Weston,
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