Trial of Thomas Glenister, 1724

Source: Calendar of Bucks Quarter Sessions

Midsummer session (16 July 1724)
Indicted: Thomas Glenister of Winslow and Thomas White of Grandborough, for being Nightwalkers and for destroying the trees of the Rev. James Edmonds.
Thomas was previously described as a higgler, i.e. a small trader in poultry, game and dairy products. He is not found in the manor court records so he was probably not a property owner. He seems to be the Thomas son of William and Elizabeth Glenester baptised at Winslow in 1698. He had a wife called Mary by 1723 and 5 children born over the next 10 years. James Edmonds was Vicar of Winslow.

Thomas Glenister of Winslow, labourer, and Thomas White junior, of Grandborough, yeoman, having been bound over by recognizance to appear at the present sessions on a charge of destroying trees, to be kept in custody until they find sufficient sureties to appear at the next sessions. 
They would have been kept at the County Gaol at Aylesbury.

Michaelmas Session (8 October 1724)
Thomas Glenister, was discharged from the County Gaol at Aylesbury.
Presumably he had found a surety. He duly appeared before the bench.


Elizabeth Seaton, daughter of Daniel Seaton, of Winslow, butcher, said that on 14 May 1724 “about candles lighting” she went to her father’s house to drink a mug of ale.  Thomas Glenester and Thomas White, who were of the company, left about midnight and returned later.  They said they had been at the Bell in Winslow, where there had been fighting.  
Daniel Seaton, butcher, bap. 1666, must also have kept an alehouse of some sort. He was living next to The Bell, on the east side, in 1696.

Ann West and Eleanor Spratly, both of Winslow, said that Thomas Barton could give information as to Thomas Glenester and Thomas White.  The Rev. James Edmonds said that Thomas Barton declared to him that he (Barton) had “heard whispering near Richard Gibbs house on Thursday night last”.  He believed it to be the voices of Thomas Glenester and Thomas White.
Thomas Barton of Winslow, yeoman, was also indicted "to answer to Rev. James Edmonds". In 1727 Thomas Barton of Little Horwood, yeoman (probably the same man) was acquitted of cutting down the trees of Robert Lowndes of Winslow. There were many people called Richard Gibbs, but one of them was living next to The Bell in 1747.  

John Wright of Winslow, wheeler, said that on 15 May, between one and two in the morning, he saw three persons in the orchard belonging to the Rev. James Edmonds.  
John Wright, wheelwright, bap.1686, served as churchwarden. The orchard was presumably part of the Vicarage garden. The Vicarage itself was much nearer Horn Street than it is now, so the orchard was probably where the present Vicarage stands or where its Victorian predecessor stood.

Thomas Glenister said that on 14 May, he and Thomas White left Daniel Seaton’s to go to the Bell, and returned immediately. 

Thomas White said that he remained in Daniel Seaton’s house on the night of 14-15 May until 3 a.m.  

The verdict is not recorded, but in Oct 1725 Thomas Glenister was indicted "for trespassing in Whaddon Chase and threatening Richard Clarke, the keeper", and fined 1s. According to John Broad, “Whigs and deer-stealers in other guises: A return to the origins of the Black Act”, Past & Present 119 (1988), 56-72, he was the leader of a gang of deer-stealers who operated across North Bucks in the mid-1720s.

Copyright 30 March, 2018