The Proceedings of the Old Bailey 1674-1913

The Old Bailey is the central criminal court in England. A fantastic project has digitalized the entire set of court records from these years. Like many trials of years gone by they make for some fascinating reading. For all the years, two men with the Buggy name appear in the records. Both are named William Buggy, one a gardener and the other a policemen.[1]

The first case is from 6 January 1840 where a young man by the name of Henry Atkins was charged with stealing five geese. [2] The main witness was William Buggy a gardener to Rev. Fredrick Sandys Wall of East Acton. The crime was committed on the last day of 1839 and Buggy outlined: “I saw the prisoner with a person named Thomas Bailey loitering about in East Acton, near Mr. Young’s—five geese, the property of Mr. Lovell, were feeding on the green—they drove them about—I went out and followed them—they drove them more than three hundred yards, and drove them down a lane, and the prisoner kicked one of the geese as he drove them down the lane—I told Lovell, and went through my master’s premises, as a near way, to stop them, but when I came I found Lovell had got them both—I took one to the officer, but Bailey has since escaped, I understand.” Based on Buggy’s testimony Atkins was found guilty.

The second case was is from 24 January 1842.[3] Ann Hastings, 21, was charged with stealing a coat belonging to a Joseph Houghton. This William Buggy was the police officer involved in the case. He told the court: “I received the prisoner into custody about half-past nine o’clock, in Half Moon-street—as we went to the station she stopped for a few minutes, called to the prosecutor, and said she stole the coat and pledged it at Mr. Attenborough’s, in Sun-street, and hoped he would forgive her—I first met the prosecutor about a quarter-past nine, as I was going down Half Moon-street—he said he had a suspicion of her stealing the coat—the prisoner came up shortly afterwards, and he told me to take her on suspicion—I did so, and on the way to the station she stopped and said this to the prosecutor.” Buggy was identified as City Police Constable No. 661.

[1] “The Proceedings of the Old Bailey”. Database. : 2003

[2] “The Proceedings of the Old Bailey”, database, ( : accessed 15 June 2011), entry for Buggy, 6 January 1840; citing trial of Henry Atkins, reference number: t18400106-443

[3] The Proceedings of the Old Bailey”, database, ( : accessed 15 June 2011), entry for Buggy, 31 January 1842; citing trial of Ann Hastings, reference number: t18420131-726

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