Imprisoned Two Years in Chelmsford Jail for robbing the Royal Forest at Waltham of Six Pieces of Wood
AT the Summer Assizes for Essex, before the Lord Chief justice of England, Richard Corduy was indicted for stealing six pieces of wood, the property of the King. He was deputy wood-ward of the Royal Forest of Waltham, and had sold the wood in question to a carpenter soon after a sale had taken place of some refuse wood of the forest, by order of Lord Glenbervie, the Surveyor-General of Woods and Forests. Upon being charged with the fraud, he said one Byrne, who was his head woodman, had given him the wood in question, to make up the deficiency which had occurred in a lot sold in the sale, and for which he had paid the money to the auctioneer.
Byrne on being called denied this altogether; and the auctioneer, though he admitted that the prisoner had paid him the deficiency of the lot in question, denied his knowledge of any arrangement between Byrne and the prisoner on the subject.
The jury found the prisoner guilty, and Lord Ellenborough, after commenting at some length, and with considerable severity, on the nature of the offence, which was carried on to an enormous extent in the royal forests, sentenced the prisoner to two years' confinement in the jail. Admiral Harvey and Mr Raikes, and several other magistrates and clergymen of the county, gave him an excellent character for honesty and good conduct for the last thirty years.